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Mark Meadows Lawsuit: Subpoenas Invalid Because Pelosi Constituted Select Committee In Violation of House Authorizing Resolution

Mark Meadows Lawsuit: Subpoenas Invalid Because Pelosi Constituted Select Committee In Violation of House Authorizing Resolution

“Speaker Pelosi failed to appoint members consistent with the authorizing resolution of the Select Committee… Thus, the Select Committee as it currently stands—and stood at the time it issued the subpoenas in question—has no authority to conduct business because it is not a duly constituted Select Committee. Chairman Thompson’s subpoenas are invalid and unenforceable.”

The “Select Committee” of Democrats and two “Republicans” to investigate the January 6 riot is an abuse of power but typical for how efficient Democrats are at weaponizing their congressional power.

Mark Meadows, former Trump Chief of Staff, has been held in contempt by the Democrat-controlled House for failing to turnover all documents subpoeanaed by the Committee, sending a referral for prosecution.

The politically corrupted DOJ likely will oblige under the unfit rule of Merrick Garland.

Meadows has turned over many documents, but is fighting the subpoena and has filed a Complaint in federal court in D.C. It’s a fascinating read.

Here are some key segments. It starts by noting that the Committee is seeking a wholesale fishing expedition through Meadow’s electronic communications – that’s what I mean by the Committee being an abuse of power.

1. Plaintiff, the Honorable Mark Meadows (“Mr. Meadows”), a private citizen who previously served as a Member of Congress and subsequently as Chief of Staff to the President of the United States, brings this complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief to invalidate and prohibit the enforcement of two overly broad and unduly burdensome subpoenas from a select committee of the U.S. House of Representatives (the “Select Committee”) issued in whole or part without legal authority in violation of the Constitution and laws of the United States.

2. The Select Committee wrongly seeks to compel both Mr. Meadows and a third party telecommunications company to provide information to the Select Committee that the Committee lacks lawful authority to seek and to obtain. The Select Committee acts absent any valid legislative power and threatens to violate longstanding principles of executive privilege and immunity that are of constitutional origin and dimension. Without intervention by this Court, Mr. Meadows faces the harm of both being illegally coerced into violating the Constitution and having a third party involuntarily violate Mr. Meadows rights and the requirements of relevant laws governing records of electronic communications. Only this Court can prevent these grave harms.

3. For months, Mr. Meadows has consistently sought in good faith to pursue an accommodation with the Select Committee whereby it could obtain relevant, non-privileged information. While the Committee and Mr. Meadows engaged over a period of time in an effort to achieve such reasonable accommodation, the Select Committee adamantly refused to recognize the immunity of present and former senior White House aides from being compelled to appear before Congress and likewise refused to recognize a former president’s claims of Executive Privilege and instructions to Mr. Meadows to maintain such privilege claims in addressing the Select Committee’s inquiries.

4. The current President of the United States, through counsel, purported to waive the former president’s claims of privilege and immunity.

5. As a result, Mr. Meadows, a witness, has been put in the untenable position of choosing between conflicting privilege claims that are of constitutional origin and dimension and having to either risk enforcement of the subpoena issued to him, not merely by the House of Representatives, but through actions by the Executive and Judicial Branches, or, alternatively, unilaterally abandoning the former president’s claims of privileges and immunities. Thus, Mr. Meadows turns to the courts to say what the law is.

But it’s not just about overbreadth of the subpoena. Meadows challenges the validity of the committee as constituted by Pelosi.

Here’s the pertinent section from the Complaint:

A. The subpoenas are not validly issued by a duly authorized committee.

91. The composition of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol is governed by Section 2 of H. Res. 503. Section 2(a) states “Appointment Of Members.—The Speaker shall appoint 13 Members to the Select Committee, 5 of whom shall be appointed after consultation with the minority leader.” H. Res. 503 117th Cong. (2021).

92. Speaker Pelosi has appointed only nine members to the Select Committee: seven Democrats and two Republicans. None of these members was appointed from the selection of five GOP congressman put forth by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

93. Authorized congressional committees have subpoena authority implied by Article I of the Constitution. McGrain v. Daugherty, 273 U.S. 135, 174 (1927). The Select Committee, however, is not an authorized congressional committee because it fails to comport with its own authorizing resolution, House Resolution 503.

94. Congress’ failure to act in accordance with its own rules is judicially cognizable. Yellin v. United States, 374 U.S. 109, 114 (1963). This is particularly significant where a person’s fundamental rights are involved.

95. Speaker Pelosi failed to appoint members consistent with the authorizing resolution of the Select Committee. Pelosi has appointed only nine members of Congress to serve on the Select Committee; whereas the authorizing resolution instructs the Speaker “shall” appoint thirteen members. H. Res. 503 § 2(a), 117th Cong. (2021).

96. Further, of those nine members Speaker Pelosi has appointed, none of them was appointed after consultation with the minority member, as is required by the authorizing resolution. H. Res. 503 § 2(a), 117th Cong. (2021).

97. Thus, the Select Committee as it currently stands—and stood at the time it issued the subpoenas in question—has no authority to conduct business because it is not a duly constituted Select Committee. Chairman Thompson’s subpoenas are invalid and unenforceable.

98. Chairman Thompson derives the authority to issue subpoenas solely from § 5(c)(6) of the Select Committee’s authorizing statute, but this authority is qualified, not absolute. The Select Committee chairman may not order the taking of depositions without consultation with the ranking minority member of the Select Committee.

99. As the Select Committee has no ranking minority member, Chairman Thompson failed to make the requisite consultation before issuing the subpoena that compelled Mr. Meadows to appear for a deposition. The ordering of Mr. Meadows’ deposition runs afoul of the Select Committee’s authorizing resolution, making it invalid and unenforceable.

There are other challenges raised in the lawsuit, including:

B. The subpoenas are not issued to further a valid legislative purpose.

C. The Select Committee seeks to use an excessively broad third-party subpoenas to
obtain personal cell phone data.

C. The Select Committee cannot obtain records under the Verizon Subpoena consistent
with the Stored Communications Act [my note: repeat lettering of “C” in original]

D. The subpoenas violate executive privilege.

E. The Select Committee violates longstanding testimonial immunity for senior advisors
to the President.

E. Compelled production under the Verizon Subpoena would violate the Fourth
Amendment.

F. Compelled production of cell phone data under the Verizon Subpoena would violate
the First Amendment.

As you can tell, the subpoena is a sweeping attempt to get Meadow’s electronic communications and phone records. This is a political attack.

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Comments

I hope they realize we are about to bust their ass, big time.
They can’t cheat every election.

    why not, they’ve been doing for decades

      MattMusson in reply to MarkS. | December 15, 2021 at 9:02 am

      Previously, they cheated when nobody was looking. Or, they cheated in small Democrat Jurisdictions. The rest of the Country could ignore the Daly Machine, Tammany Hall or Duval County Texas. But, we are now awake to the Industrial Scale Cheating of the last election. And, if it is not reigned in, the Government will lose the Consent of the Governed. Then, all bets are off.

        CommoChief in reply to MattMusson. | December 15, 2021 at 11:14 am

        Exactly. The d/prog will certainly try to skirt election laws and in some areas the judiciary will help them. However, in many States the people are awake to the issues. Another attempt at counting ballots that at best deviate from the statutory manner and process passed by the legislature or at worst are deliberately fraudulent without challenge is unlikely.

    Why not?

    Actually, they are now trying to make their cheating legal.

    After abandoning Biden’s Build Back Bolshevik bill today they’ve now set their eyes on making their 2020 vote ‘rigging’ schemes the law of the land.

    The pressure on Manchin to go along will be immense.

    That is, if McConnell doesn’t stab the GOP base in the back, again, and play let’s make a deal, again, with Schmucky. If he thinks it might prevent Trump from running and winning again he might just do that. The craven GOPe and the Marxist Dems are on the same side on that issue. Just as they have been on illegal immigration and any number of other issues.

The complaint clearly states why this so called committee is a partisan kangaroo court and lynch mob

Rules are for the little people.

Lucifer Morningstar | December 15, 2021 at 8:27 am

“Speaker Pelosi failed to appoint members consistent with the authorizing resolution of the Select Committee… Thus, the Select Committee as it currently stands—and stood at the time it issued the subpoenas in question—has no authority to conduct business because it is not a duly constituted Select Committee. Chairman Thompson’s subpoenas are invalid and unenforceable.”

And yet to date House and Senate Republicans have said nothing. Have done nothing while this illegally constituted “select committee” tramples on the rights of citizens of this country. Hypocrites. Go figure.

    That is because the Franz von Papen Republicans are no different from their Communist pals.

    Twice in my lifetime Republicans took control of Congress after Communist overreach, and twice they accomplished practically nothing. Two other times they had control of both Congress and the White House, and they did little beyond keeping the toilet seat warm for when the Communists got back into power. The failure of the GOP opposition party to actually oppose cannot be attributed to mere cowardice or incompetence, but deliberate deception and malice.

    The purpose of Pelosi’s illegitimate Star Chamber committee is to prevent Trump from running again.

    The GOPe also doesn’t want Trump to run again,

    They are silently on board with what Pelosi is doing.

    The Uniparty doesn’t want Trump to run again and they will do anything and everything they can to prevent him from doing so.

    We are no longer a country of laws. America is now an upscale banana republic.

Being in the minority, what can they do? The lame stream press covers the J6 Committee only from the Democrat’s point of view, their objections and resolutions get steamrolled by the Speaker and/or majority. The “press” won’t give widespread coverage to their press statements, etc. I’m certainly not defending the do-nothings in the party, but what can they realistically do?

    In an allegedly 50-50 Senate, and Pelosi having only a tiny majority in the House, every single major vote should be a cliff-hanger. Yet that has rarely been the case. The Biden* junta’s nominees almost always get a half-dozen (or more) Republican senators to vote for them. Pelosi’s main problem is not House Republicans (she can easily find a dozen or more for just about every major vote) but the Khmer Rouge wing of her own Party.

So the Select Committee and the investigation is as illegitimate as the current administration

Personally, I find the most repugnant move by the Speaker/President is to somehow claim that the *current* president controls what the *previous* president can call Executive Privilege. That’s like Bob and his lawyer Steve having their communications subjected to subpoena because another lawyer Fred (who has no relationship to Bob or Steve) says so.

The *second* most repugnant (of many) actions taken by Pelosi is when she insists that everybody else follows the rules that the House has laid down… except when she wants to do something.

Yeah even Congress has a due process burden. Failure to follow and adhere to the plain language and basic construction of the resolution in creating a committee is a problem. The Speaker and the majority voted to establish a committee with a particular composition. That committee has not been established. Instead an alternative committee with a different composition seeks to exercise powers that it wasn’t granted. Eventually they will get shut down. Otherwise, payback is going to be a very real threat when a new Congress is seated.

Let’s see what scrutiny occurs when the Executive branch changes. Will there be payback? I hope so. Time for some Dems to face financial ruin like Trumpers did.

    Look at Trump’s appointments to DOJ, FBI, SCOTUS and what little he did to drain the swamp. I am not optimistic of much change “when the Executive branch changes”. In fact, Trump might have been re-elected if he had paid more attention to these matters.

      tlcomm2 in reply to jb4. | December 15, 2021 at 8:22 pm

      McConnell and the uniparty Reps wouldn’t let many qualified candidates thru that didn’t play their game

If the Court will allow the state to force people to accept medical treatment against their will – and the Court has done just that – I have very little hope the same Court will prohibit the House from doing what they like.

Pelosi, the leader who refused federal aid, the woman from Planned Parent/hood, and the politician of Obamacares, too, wields her novelty size mallet to deny civil rights, equal rights, and force people to take a knee. All’s fair in lust and abortion, right?

Supposing the courts find in Meadows favor, what is the downside to the committee for doing this?

Just seems like a free punch.

Alan Dershowitz suggested that comments made while in office by Meadows are privileged unless and until a court says otherwise. Dershowitz wrote at https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/18033/president-privilege as follows:
“A former spouse, a lawyer’s former client, and a penitent’s former priest can claim privilege — and so could a former member of Congress and a former judge. The relevant issue is whether the communication was privileged at the time it was made. If so, it should be an enduring privilege that encourages confidential communications during their incumbency

According to The New York Times, this is what [the House’s lawyer] said: “The Constitution does draw a clear line between a president and an ex-president. An ex-president is somebody who rejoins the great unwashed” — by which he apparently means you and me, who never had any executive privilege.

The issue is an open one that will likely be decided by the Supreme Court. I doubt that justices who are now retired or intend someday to retire — and join the “unwashed” — would be thrilled if Congress were to subpoena their former law clerks to disclose their confidential discussions about decisions they wrote while they were still among the washed.

They [the January 6th Committee] should seek to have the courts rule first on the constitutional issue, and if Meadows then refuses to comply with a judicial order, they can seek criminal penalties. This chronology is especially required because Meadows has said that he would comply with court orders.

Seeking a court order first is also required by the constitutionally mandated separation of powers.

Finally, criminal indictments should never be used to determine what the law is. It should only be used against individuals who know that they are violating existing law that is already clear:

Does anybody here believe that if Kevin McCarthy becomes GOP Speaker, he will respond in kind? In any way?

The likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene are needed, not swamp milquetoasts like McCarthy.

We already had one Boehner. We say how that worked out.

The largest problem I see is what constitutes an “authorized” committee is determined by congress, not the courts. Don’t think any court is going to declare a warrant or subpoena invalid due to violations of House Rules.

This reminds me of legal challenges to laws passed in Wisconsin, in the first red wave of Republican electoral success. Leftist filed countless lawsuits saying the legislative bodies failed to follow self written rules and traditions. The courts seldom intervened.

This whole thing smells like Schiff

That Pelosi appointed 9 to the committee, and not 13, may be sufficient to invalidate the Committee’s subpoenas and actions.

That she appointed two Republicans, none of whom were put forward by McCarthy, may not be a basis for invalidating the Committee. Pelosi could say, “Yes, indeed, I consulted with Mr. McCarthy, as required. It does not say that I have to accept his recommendations. We consulted, and I chose others not on his list of preferred candidates. You should look up the common meaning of ‘consultation.’”