PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson explained Wednesday why he voted against finding former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress for refusing to deliver testimony to a U.S. House committee investigating the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Johnson, a Republican from South Dakota, gave two reasons in a statement issued by his office.
“When subpoenaed, you have two lawful options—you can comply, or you can make a legal filing to quash. We shouldn’t hold someone in contempt if they are attempting to quash their subpoena; they have a right to attempt that,” Johnson said.
He continued, “Additionally, in 1983 the (U.S.) Supreme Court ruled that when congressional subpoena disputes arise, legal action should be delayed ‘until all possibilities for settlement have been exhausted.’ The subpoena was issued in September, and Mr. Meadows’ settlement efforts have not yet been exhausted. While I believe individuals should comply with congressional subpoenas, this contempt vote was premature.”
The tally Tuesday was 222-208. Among those present, the vote split mostly along party lines, with Democrats in favor and all but two Republicans — Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — against. Cheney and Kinzinger serve on the House Jan. 6 select committee.
In October, Johnson also voted against the House finding former Trump aide Stephen Bannon in contempt of Congress. The tally was 229-202 in favor.