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Meadows said National Guard would be ready to 'protect pro Trump people' before Capitol riot

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to reporters following a television interview, outside the White House in Washington, US October 21, 2020. (Reuters photo)

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said in an email ahead of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot that the National Guard would be present to “protect pro Trump people,” a congressional committee said in a report issued on Sunday.

In the email dated Jan. 5, Meadows indicated that troops would be present and more would be on standby, according to the report by the US House of Representatives committee investigating the deadly riot.

The committee said in the report that Meadows “is uniquely situated to provide key information, having straddled an official role in the White House and unofficial role related to Mr. Trump’s reelection campaign.”

This was just one of several new details in the report about Meadows' actions before and during January 6, as well as his role in trying to overturn the 2020 election.

The committee also noted that Meadows "exchanged text messages with, and provided guidance to, an organizer of the January 6th rally on the Ellipse after the organizer told him that '[t]hings have gotten crazy and I desperately need some direction.'"

The committee is now set to recommend contempt charges against Meadows on Monday for refusing to fully cooperate with its inquiry.

Meadows has been called repeatedly to appear for depositions before the committee, but has refused to do so in spite of being subpoenaed.

Although he has turned over some information requested by the panel, he has held back many documents, asserting that they are protected because his testimony may be covered by executive privilege as he was working for the president.

“To be clear, Mr. Meadows’ failure to comply, and this contempt recommendation, are not based on good-faith disagreements over privilege assertions,” the committee said.

“Rather, Mr. Meadows has failed to comply and warrants contempt findings because he has wholly refused to appear to provide any testimony.”

Meadows, a former Republican congressman from North Carolina, could become the third associate of Trump to face a criminal contempt charge.

The US Justice Department, at the House’s request, has already brought similar charges against Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon. The House is also considering similar action against former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark.

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