Meadows Requests Delay for Contempt Hearing: ‘We Have a Responsibility to Protect Constitution’

The lawyer for Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) this morning urged a House committee to hold a vote in his client’s favor when it considers contempt charges against him Wednesday.

The chairman of the powerful Financial Services Committee said he has yet to negotiate a document “extortion,” and needs to submit three documents he claims the Justice Department is withholding.

“Obviously, Representative Meadows does not wish to be cited for contempt, or be used as a bargaining chip with the Executive Branch,” Donald Coughlin wrote in a letter to the committee chair, Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).

“Mr. Meadows was not informed of this investigation until Friday, September 1st, and was even less served with this letter.”

Hensarling has cited Meadows for seeking documents from the DOJ regarding a case brought by ex-DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Coughlin argued that, even if the documents weren’t legally necessary, Meadows could have requested the “top floors of the DOJ and the DOJ Inspector General’s Office.”

“Mr. Meadows did not ask for these documents; they were not legally necessary; and they could have been issued to him,” the letter argued.

Coughlin asked that the case be halted for at least five days to allow time for negotiations.

“I feel strongly that this is a proper political fishing expedition,” Meadows said Tuesday on “The Story.”

“If the executive branch is not going to play by the rules that are set by this committee, then we have a responsibility to protect our Constitution and we’ve got to have a ballgame when it comes to Article 1, Section 5.”

Coughlin said the document release from Meadows has nothing to do with reopening the criminal investigation into Wasserman Schultz. He said it has “nothing to do with charges in the criminal justice system.”

“Congressman Meadows has established that he has the right to search the Justice Department for documents to further his official duties and that he’s a ‘Member of Congress’ who is entitled to search for documents,” Coughlin added.

Meanwhile, the IRS was forced to release tens of thousands of documents from 2010 – the year Wasserman Schultz was questioned by investigators for an Obamacare nonprofit she helped start.

According to CBS News, a retired tax agent said he told IRS officials in 2013 that they could steal Democrats’ political mailings without a warrant. The new documents show that the IRS was allegedly operating outside of government regulations for a decade.

“It shows a very, very inefficient tax agency,” said Meadows on “Fox & Friends” Monday.

He added that the documents show a “pervasive bureaucracy of federal agencies, instead of having an in-house law enforcement arm” like the FBI.

Watch the interview above, and read a summary of the documents by CBS News.

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