GOP power brokers are making sure that our political institutions work at every turn against majority rule. Controlling many more state legislatures than Democrats, Republicans gerrymander Democrats into oblivion in congressional and state legislative elections.
They then block Democratic efforts at redistricting reform in the Senate with the use of the filibuster, another essential antidemocratic instrument. To further obstruct voting and thwart the will of popular majorities in the administrative machinery of government, their gerrymandered legislatures pass laws expressly designed to suppress voter participation, making it harder (or, in the case of baseless voter roll purges, impossible) for some groups to access the ballot.
And then they cement their hold on the whole system by packing the courts with right-wing judges to enforce all the exclusion.
They are fortified in all this self-entrenchment by Supreme Court decisions like Shelby County v. Holder (2013) and Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee (2021), which have dismantled the Voting Rights Act and weakened the Constitution, which had both been for a brief shining moment effective guardians of the voting rights of the people.
In short, the leaders of the GOP — not just Trump, mind you — are using every trick in the book to stifle majority rule and to erase popular democracy in the same way they have been working to erase science and history.
The majority of Americans are caught in a vicious circle of anti-democracy.Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), in “Unthinkable:Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy
In a 68-page filing on April 22, 2022 in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (Case No. 1:21-cv-3217-CJN), the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capital (Select Committee) posits that because of information they’ve obtained from other sources, they are now able to narrow the focus of the issues they need Meadows to address with the Committee to “seven discrete topics”:
- Testimony regarding non-privileged documents (including text and email communications) that Mr. Meadows has already provided to the Select Committee in response to the subpoena, and testimony about events that Mr. Meadows has already publicly described in his book and elsewhere;
- Testimony and documents regarding post-election efforts by the Trump campaign, the Trump legal team, and Mr. Meadows to create false slates of Presidential electors, or to pressure or persuade state and local officials and legislators to take actions to change the outcome of the 2020 Presidential election;
- Testimony and documents relating to communications with Members of Congress in preparation for and during the events of January 6th;
- Testimony and documents regarding the plan, in the days before January 6th, to replace Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Mr. Jeffrey Clark so that the Department could corruptly change its conclusions regarding election fraud;
- Testimony and documents relating to efforts by President Trump to instruct, direct, persuade or pressure Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to count electoral votes on January 6th;
- Testimony and documents relating to activity in the White House immediately before and during the events of January 6th; and
- Testimony and documents relating to meetings and communications with individuals not affiliated with the federal government regarding the efforts to change the results of the 2020 election.
On September 23, 2001, the Select Committee issued a subpoena to Mark Meadows, former White House Chief of Staff under former president Donald Trump. Meadows agreed to appear before the Committee to provide testimony on December 8, 2021. Meadows, on December 7, 2021 informed the Committee that he had changed his mind and would not appear the following day as originally agreed.
Instead, Meadows filed suit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of the Select Committee. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, asks the court to invalidate two subpoenas that the panel had issued to Meadows and Verizon, the carrier for his prior personal cell phone, calling them “overly broad and unduly burdensome.”
On December 14, 2021, the House voted 222-208 to hold the former White House Chief of Staff in criminal contempt of Congress for failing to cooperate with the Committee.
The most recent filing by the Select Committee asks that Meadows’ suits be dismissed
Committee Report rationale for contempt citation
In it’s report filed in the House (Report:117-216), the Committee explains it’s rationale for the charge:
“To be clear Mr. Meadow’s failure to comply, and this contempt recommendation, are not based on good-faith disagreements over privilege assertions. Rather, Mr. Meadows has failed to comply and warrants contempt findings because he has wholly refused to appear to provide any testimony and refused to answer questions regarding even clearly non-privileged information — information that he himself has identified as non-privileged through his own document production.
Mr. Meadow’s relevant documents and testimony are necessary to the Select Committee’s investigation for many additional reasons. Mr. Meadows also reportedly participated in meetings and communicated with senior Department of Justice (DOJ) officials about unsupported election-fraud claims and litigation aimed at disrupting or overturning the election results. Mr. Meadows reportedly participated in a contentious meeting at the White House with private individuals and others linked to Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign during which Mr. Trump and others discussed seizing voting machines and invoking certain laws including the National Emergencies Act for election-related purposes because of purported fraud in the election. Mr. Meadows reportedly joined a January 2 call with Mr. Trump and State and Federal officials to discuss overturning certain States’ electoral college results on January 6, and later sent the former Vice President’s staff a memo drafted by a Trump campaign lawyer urging the Vice President to delay or decline the counting of votes from certain States. Mr. Meadows was also reportedly in contact with at least one of the individuals who planned and organized a January 6 rally, one of whom may have expressed safety concerns to Mr. Meadows about the event. In short, Mr. Meadows appears to have participated in, and been a witness to, critically important communications and events that took place before and on January 6, and the Congress is entitled to hear his first-hand testimony regarding his actions and knowledge. The Select Committee expects such testimony to be directly relevant to its report and recommendations for legislative and other action.”