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House Jan. 6 probe sheds light on Trump aide Mark Meadows’ records before contempt vote

Jacob Scott

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The lawmakers investigating the Jan. 6 invasion of the Capitol are set Monday to vote to recommend the House hold former President Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress.

The vote, scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, will make Meadows the third of Trump’s associates to face the threat of possible criminal charges stemming from the probe of the deadly attack, in which hundreds of Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol and forced Congress to flee their chambers for safety.

Trump, who was impeached in the House for inciting an insurrection but acquitted by Republicans in the Senate, since leaving office has continued to spread the false claims of a “rigged” 2020 election that spurred many of his followers to violently break into the building.

The bipartisan, nine-member panel is set to vote on a 51-page report that lays out the case for the House to hold Meadows in contempt for defying a subpoena to hand over a slew of records and sit for a deposition. The House could then vote to send a contempt resolution to the Department of Justice for possible criminal prosecution.

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The report, released on the eve of the panel’s vote, sheds new light on the thousands of documents that Meadows had provided to investigators before he reversed course and filed a lawsuit to invalidate two of their subpoenas.

The documents, which are described but not shared in full, show Meadows discussing the Jan. 6 attack and the efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, according to the committee’s report.

They include:

Meadows saying in an email that the National Guard would be present on Jan. 6 to “protect pro Trump people” and that more members would be available on standby; Meadows receiving messages about alleged plans for Republican state legislators to send purported “alternate slates” of electors to Congress. “I love it,” Meadows responded to one such message. “Have a team on it,” he replied to another; Meadows sending claims about election fraud to the acting leadership of the Department of Justice; Meadows texting advice to an organizer of the Jan. 6 rally outside the White House, after that organizer told him, “[t]hings have gotten crazy and I desperately need some direction. Please.”

Trump has claimed that many of the materials sought by the House investigators should be withheld on the basis of executive privilege, the doctrine that allows for some White House communications to kept private.

The former president has also cited claims of privilege as the basis for directing multiple former aides, including Meadows, not to comply with the committee’s subpoenas.

Biden, however, waived executive privilege over many of the White House records, prompting Trump to file a civil lawsuit to stop the committee from receiving them from the National Archives.

Both a federal district court judge and a panel of three appeals court judges have rejected Trump’s argument that, in the dispute over executive privilege, his claims should override the incumbent president’s judgment. Trump is expected to ask the Supreme Court to overturn the appellate court’s ruling.

On Monday morning, a lawyer for Meadows sent select committee chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., a letter arguing that a contempt referral in this case “would be contrary to law, manifestly unjust, unwise, and unfair.” The letter contends that the invocation of privilege for Meadows was made in “good faith,” and that referring a former senior presidential aide for contempt would “do great damage to the institution of the Presidency,” among other arguments.

(L-R) Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), chair of the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, speaks as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), vice-chair of the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) listen during a committee meeting on Capitol Hill on December 1, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

The House had already voted to hold former White House senior advisor Steve Bannon in contempt for his own noncompliance with a subpoena issued by the Jan. 6 panel. A federal grand jury subsequently charged Bannon with two counts of contempt of Congress.

Bannon has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine of up to $100,000 for each count. A federal judge set a tentative July 18 start date for Bannon’s trial.

Last week, the select committee voted to advance contempt proceedings for ex-Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, though the investigators also gave him a time extension to comply with the probe.

Meadows’ lawsuit asks the court to invalidate subpoenas that the panel had issued to him and Verizon, his former personal cell phone carrier, calling them “overly broad and unduly burdensome.”

His argument rests in large part on Trump’s instruction for him not to comply with the subpoena, citing claims of executive privilege. Meadows “has been put in the untenable position of choosing between conflicting privilege claims,” the lawsuit argues.

It was filed a day before Trump lost his appeal to stop the committee from obtaining the disputed White House records.

The select committee has rejected Meadows’ argument. “To be clear, Mr. Meadows’s failure to comply, and this contempt recommendation, are not based on good-faith disagreements over privilege assertions,” the contempt report says.

“Rather, Mr. Meadows has failed to comply and warrants contempt findings because he has wholly refused to appear to provide any testimony and refused to answer questions regarding even clearly non-privileged information — information that he himself has identified as non-privileged through his own document production.”

The report says that Trump himself has not relayed any privilege claims to them regarding Meadows’ participation in their probe. They note that Biden, the incumbent president, is not invoking privilege to prevent Meadows from complying.

After months of negotiations, an agreement had been struck for Meadows to share certain records and appear for a deposition with the Jan. 6 probe. He has handed over approximately 9,000 pages of records with no claims of privilege attached, according to committee member Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

But the day before his deposition, Meadows told the committee he would not attend “even to answer questions about the documents that he agrees are relevant and non-privileged that he had just produced,” the report says.

That reversal came on the day of the release of Meadows’ book, which documents many of his experiences in Trump’s White House, including his interactions with Trump himself.

That book revealed that Trump in 2020 had tested positive for the coronavirus three days before his September debate with Biden. The White House did not disclose that positive test at the time, but rather only shared a subsequent pre-debate test result that came back negative.

Trump has denied having Covid prior to or during the debate. He was hospitalized with the virus a few days after the debate.

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‘Moon Knight’ Took Marvel in a Different Orbit, but It Didn’t Rise to the Occasion

Jacob Scott

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Before anyone writes that off as an anomaly, “Eternals” tackled a similar introduction of a dense mythology on the bigger screen, with equally mixed results. It’s a reminder that while film-goers have had more than a decade to get to know characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, introducing some of these lesser-known heroes can pose a more formidable challenge beyond catering to the most ardent fans.
For Marvel, there are warning signs in that, since “Moon Knight” will be followed by several series based on second-tier characters, although the next two on the horizon, “Ms. Marvel” (which is due in June) and “She-Hulk,” at least have the benefit of sharing franchises and name recognition with existing Avengers.
Ultimately, “Moon Knight’s” murky storytelling appeared to squander its principal assets, which included the cool look of the character — a costume that was too seldom used — and the presence of Isaac, who possesses additional genre credentials via the “Star Wars” sequels.

Taking its time in peeling back the layers of the character’s complicated backstory, “Moon Knight” took a weird plunge into the Egyptian mythology behind it, in ways that became increasingly confounding and surreal.

By the time the protagonist’s two halves, Steven Grant and Marc Spector, wound up in a psychiatric hospital talking to an anthropomorphic hippo in the penultimate chapter, the question wasn’t so much being able to keep up with the story as whether bothering to do so was worth the effort.

The sixth and final episode brought the plot to a messy close, seeking to stop the goddess Ammit from proceeding to “purify the souls of Cairo, and then the world.” In the customary credit sequence, the producers capped that off by introducing a third personality, Jake Lockley, also rooted in the comics. While that seemingly spelled the end for the show’s villain (Ethan Hawke), the finish — giving the god Khonshu the protégé he sought — paved the way for further adventures should Marvel so choose.

That last twist might be cause for celebration in narrower confines of the Marvel fan universe, but “Moon Knight” too often felt like it was one long Easter-egg sequence, conspicuously preaching to that choir.

Granted, Marvel has made clear that Disney+ offers the chance to explore different kinds of stories, but “Moon Knight” feels at best like a quirky showcase for Isaac and at worst a failed experiment in terms of execution and tone.

That doesn’t mean this “Moon” won’t somehow rise again, if the closely held streaming data justifies it. But the promise that surrounded this property has faded, providing further evidence that even Marvel isn’t immune from setbacks as it moves into its next phase.

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Start-up Pony.ai says it’s the first self-driving company to get a taxi license in China

Jacob Scott

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Autonomous driving start-up Pony.ai can collect fares for robotaxi rides in parts of two major Chinese cities as of Sunday.

Pony.ai handout

BEIJING — Self-driving start-up Pony.ai announced Sunday it received a taxi license, the first of its kind in China.

The license allows Pony.ai to operate 100 self-driving cars as traditional taxis in the Nansha district of the southern city of Guangzhou, the company said.

The Chinese start-up, which is backed by Toyota, received approval from Beijing city late last year to charge fees to operate a commercial robotaxi business in a suburban district of the city. It is not the same as a taxi licence.

Baidu’s Apollo Go also received approval in the same Beijing district last year.

Pony.ai was valued at $8.5 billion in early March. The company said its Nansha taxi license required 24 months of autonomous driving testing in China and/or other countries, and no involvement in any active liability traffic accidents, among other factors.

The start-up said it plans to launch commercial robotaxi businesses in two other large Chinese cities next year. The company is already testing self-driving cars in those cities and in California. 

Robotaxis in China currently have a human driver present for safety.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.

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How to watch Timberwolves vs. Grizzlies: TV channel, NBA live stream info, start time

Jacob Scott

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Who’s Playing

Memphis @ Minnesota

Current Records: Memphis 2-1; Minnesota 1-2

What to Know

The Memphis Grizzlies’ road trip will continue as they head to Target Center at 10 p.m. ET this past Saturday to face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Memphis will be strutting in after a win while Minnesota will be stumbling in from a loss.

The Grizzlies are hoping for another victory. They beat the Timberwolves 104-95 this past Thursday. The victory came about thanks to a strong surge after the first quarter to overcome a 39-21 deficit. Memphis’ success was spearheaded by the efforts of power forward Brandon Clarke, who had 20 points in addition to eight rebounds, and shooting guard Desmond Bane, who shot 7-for-15 from beyond the arc and finished with 26 points and six boards.

Barring any buzzer beaters, Memphis is expected to win a tight contest. They might be worth taking a chance on against the spread as they are currently on a two-game streak of ATS wins.

Memphis’ win brought them up to 2-1 while the Timberwolves’ defeat pulled them down to a reciprocal 1-2. A couple offensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: The Grizzlies come into the game boasting the second most points per game in the league at 115.6. But Minnesota is even better: they rank first in the league when it comes to points per game, with 115.9 on average. Tune in for what’s sure to be a high-scoring contest.

How To Watch

When: Saturday at 10 p.m. ET Where: Target Center — Minneapolis, Minnesota TV: ESPN Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.) Follow: CBS Sports App Ticket Cost: $76.96

Odds

The Grizzlies are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Timberwolves, according to the latest NBA odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Grizzlies as a 3-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

See NBA picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Memphis have won 19 out of their last 28 games against Minnesota.

Apr 21, 2022 – Memphis 104 vs. Minnesota 95 Apr 19, 2022 – Memphis 124 vs. Minnesota 96 Apr 16, 2022 – Minnesota 130 vs. Memphis 117 Feb 24, 2022 – Minnesota 119 vs. Memphis 114 Jan 13, 2022 – Memphis 116 vs. Minnesota 108 Nov 20, 2021 – Minnesota 138 vs. Memphis 95 Nov 08, 2021 – Memphis 125 vs. Minnesota 118 May 05, 2021 – Memphis 139 vs. Minnesota 135 Apr 02, 2021 – Memphis 120 vs. Minnesota 108 Jan 13, 2021 – Memphis 118 vs. Minnesota 107 Jan 07, 2020 – Memphis 119 vs. Minnesota 112 Dec 01, 2019 – Memphis 115 vs. Minnesota 107 Nov 06, 2019 – Memphis 137 vs. Minnesota 121 Mar 23, 2019 – Minnesota 112 vs. Memphis 99 Feb 05, 2019 – Memphis 108 vs. Minnesota 106 Jan 30, 2019 – Minnesota 99 vs. Memphis 97 Nov 18, 2018 – Memphis 100 vs. Minnesota 87 Apr 09, 2018 – Minnesota 113 vs. Memphis 94 Mar 26, 2018 – Memphis 101 vs. Minnesota 93 Dec 04, 2017 – Memphis 95 vs. Minnesota 92 Feb 04, 2017 – Memphis 107 vs. Minnesota 99 Nov 19, 2016 – Memphis 93 vs. Minnesota 71 Nov 01, 2016 – Minnesota 116 vs. Memphis 80 Oct 26, 2016 – Memphis 102 vs. Minnesota 98 Mar 16, 2016 – Minnesota 114 vs. Memphis 108 Feb 19, 2016 – Memphis 109 vs. Minnesota 104 Jan 23, 2016 – Minnesota 106 vs. Memphis 101 Nov 15, 2015 – Memphis 114 vs. Minnesota 106

Injury Report for Minnesota

No Injury Information

Injury Report for Memphis

Dillon Brooks: Game-Time Decision (Foot) Santi Aldama: Out (Knee) Killian Tillie: Out (Knee)

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