6 January Panel Recommends to Hold Donald Trump's Former Chief of Staff in Contempt of Congress
Among other things, the panel's report revealed that the ex-White House chief of staff "sent an email to an individual" about the pro-Trump rallies held on 6 January. Mr Meadows wrote "that the National Guard would be present to 'protect pro Trump people' and that many more would be available on standby".
The committee also said that the former official participated in meetings and calls with government officials, lawmakers, and Donald Trump himself during which the participants discussed proposals to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election. The measures suggested during those meetings and calls included:
"You [White House] guys are offering me nothing. These guys are at least offering me a chance. They're saying they have the evidence [of alleged voter fraud]. Why not try this?"
Yet, later he made an about-face and refused to testify before the committee, citing executing privilege, a common law that provides immunity from subpoenas to executive branch officials during their tenure in office.
Why Does it Matter?
The allegations against the Trump administration stem from their statements about the results of the 2020 presidential election, which the Republican lost to Democrat Joe Biden. Donald Trump and his allies have claimed that the vote was rigged by the Democrats, alleging that voting machines were manipulated to affect the results of the vote, with some officials charging that foreign nations were involved in the plot.
The former president and his supporters have filed more than 50 lawsuits in several states demanding recounts of ballots, citing voter fraud. Most of them have been withdrawn or thrown out of court due to a lack of evidence.
On the day members of Congress were convening to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump held a so-called "Stop the Steal" rally that was attended by thousands of his supporters.
Addressing the crowd, Donald Trump and other speakers at the rally reiterated claims about the election being stolen. Trump also called on his supporters to "march" on Congress.
"You are the people that built this nation. You have to get your people to fight", the president told his supporters.
Following the incident, Democrats accused Donald Trump of inciting an "insurrection" and introduced an impeachment article against him. The Republican POTUS became the first US president to be impeached twice. The four-day trial ended with lawmakers voting 57-43 to convict Trump, but he was acquitted because a two-thirds majority (67 votes) was needed. The president said he bore no responsibility for the deadly riots and dismissed the Democrats' decision to introduce an article of impeachment against him as "ridiculous".