The chair of the House Oversight Committee will forward a new letter to Congressman Mark Meadows on Wednesday, asking the North Carolina Republican whether he’ll formally bring criminal contempt charges against the president.
Meadows declined to comment about any particular action, but said he’s open to working with lawmakers on the panel to explore their options.
After that assessment, chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) can then forward a formal contempt referral to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who would then make a final decision.
Cummings said last week that he hoped Meadows would continue to talk with committee members after he was elected majority leader and give them the chance to join any future investigation, possibly around these matters.
Cummings said Tuesday that “if there is a need to refer it, we will do it.”
Meadows has confirmed he’s spoken with Cummings, but has not provided details.
“We have talked on a few occasions,” Meadows said Monday night. “He certainly is very clear on the concept of not having his committee involved in an impeachment investigation.”
Meadows, however, has publicly expressed interest in investigating the president’s finances and conversations with the Russians. He said earlier this year the president had violated the Emoluments Clause, a reference to the constitutional clause that prohibits presidents from taking gifts from foreign governments, an admission now rejected by the president’s lawyers.
Meadows has emphasized repeatedly that Trump’s wealth isn’t a partisan issue.
“I will tell you … there are many members on both sides of the aisle who have significant questions about these foreign contacts and conflicts of interest that we think present some real issues,” Meadows said, “as long as this administration makes their business as we know it public.”
Meadows has shown no interest in a probe akin to the one the House Judiciary Committee is considering. A top Democrat on the panel said Monday that Democrats are moving to start impeachment proceedings against the president, a move that is also opposed by Meadows and two other Freedom Caucus Republicans.