He needs them to move fast.
In a court filing on Friday, former Chief of Staff during the Trump administration, Mark Meadows, requested the Supreme Court expedite deciding on a suit filed by the former President, in which he seeks to obstruct the House committee –– investigating the January 6th Capitol riot –– record request.
In the amicus brief, George Terwilliger III, Meadow’s attorney, argues that his client is legally uncertain about the route he should take in response to the committee’s investigation, saying Meadow was tasked with choosing between defying a congressional subpoena or disclaiming an executive privilege.
The uncertainty derives from former President Trump’s efforts to thwart the committee’s access to communication documents, by arguing that executive privilege allows the documents to remain private.
However, in October, President Joe Biden denied Trump’s executive privilege claims, with White House counsel, Dana Remus, saying the administration had determined it was “not in the best interest of the United States” to suppress the documents.
Then in December, after Trump objected to Biden’s denial, two lower courts upheld Biden’s decision by rejecting the former President’s argument that legal doctrine protected the records, causing the former President to petition the Supreme Court on December 23rd.
As the Supreme Court is yet to rule on Trump’s filing, Terwilliger argued that this placed Meadows in a predicament forcing him and other officials to choose whether to defy the “President under whom they served” by revealing “potentially privileged information” or to risk potential prosecution by resisting a congressional subpoena.
The filing contends that a decision by the court –– depending on which way it ruled –– could release Meadows from threats of criminal charges if he failed to cooperate with the probe into the January 6th investigation.
This filing follows a request by the House to have Meadows charged with contempt of Congress after Steve Bannon, a former Trump political advisor, was indicted in November by a federal grand jury.