- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 8, 2022

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is pleading with the Supreme Court to expedite its consideration of former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit to block the release of executive branch records to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.

In an amicus brief filed Friday, Mr. Meadows’ lawyer, George Terwilliger III said the former president’s case will have important implications on legal proceedings involving several witnesses who have balked committee demands citing the president’s claims of executive privilege.

“[Mr. Meadows] and others like him therefore face the difficult choice between volunteering potentially privileged information in defiance of the President under whom they served or to resist a congressional subpoena at great personal expense and with the threat of potential prosecution,” Mr. Terwilliger wrote.

Mr. Trump sued the committee in October to block the release of White House records from the National Archives and Records Administration. Two separate appeals courts have rejected the former president’s blanket claims of executive privilege, which President Biden has overruled.

The former president also alleges that the committee’s investigation is being conducted improperly for law enforcement rather than legislative purposes, and is therefore invalid.

Mr. Trump’s claims have also been levied by three former advisers, including Mr. Meadows, in response to committee subpoenas. The Trump allies say they are not authorized to turn over information covered under executive privilege.

The committee has rejected these claims outright and has voted to hold all three in contempt of Congress.

“A prompt answer is important because, however the Court rules, its ruling will guide the parties in all of the related disputes. It will narrow— if not altogether eliminate—the dispute between the Select Committee and the targets of its investigation and may hasten the ultimate resolution of other pending litigation,” Mr. Terwilliger wrote to the Supreme Court.

He said a Supreme Court decision in favor of Mr. Trump could render the committee’s case against his client “moot.”

“If the Court were to hold that President Trump has a valid claim of privilege which President Biden cannot waive, or that the Select Committee is not pursuing a valid legislative purpose, then the Select Committee would need to narrow its investigation (or at least go back to the drawing board) in a way that might moot much of the pending litigation,” Mr. Terwilliger wrote.

Mr. Meadows complied briefly with the committee’s subpoena, before quickly withdrawing his cooperation after, he said, he became aware that the panel had subpoenaed his phone records.

The former Trump aide turned over a trove of documents to the committee during his period of cooperation.

Mr. Meadows has filed a separate civil case against the committee alleging that the committee has overstepped its bounds and that the Democrat-led probe is invalid.

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

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