Administration

Meadows hosted wedding despite guidelines banning gatherings of more than 10 people: report

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows reportedly hosted an indoor wedding for his daughter in May in Atlanta despite city and state health protocols that prohibited gatherings of more than 10 people to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained photographs of the lavish affair, which took place on May 31 at the Biltmore Ballrooms. Approximately 70 guests wearing tuxedos and gowns were reportedly in attendance, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

However, no pictures appeared to show attendees wearing masks, according to the newspaper.

The Hill has reached out to the White House and Jordan's office for comment.

At the time of the event, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's (R) emergency orders, signed on May 12, banned gatherings of more than 10 people so long as they were not "transitory or incidental" or spread out across different locations.

On June 1, the day after the wedding, another order went into effect that raised the number of people allowed at gatherings from 10 to 25.

When reached for comment, Novare Events, which hosts special events at the Biltmore Ballrooms and other venues, told The Hill that it was in compliance with the governor's order. The company said the number of guests was permissible given the square footage of the event space.

The company refused to comment on the Meadows wedding when reached by the Journal-Constitution.

Photos obtained by the paper showed groups of people closely together in the same room before dancing to a live wedding band. Guests were reportedly served a three-course seated dinner.

A website containing the wedding's detail reportedly showed the wedding party consisting of 11 bridesmaids and eight groomsmen.

State officials told the paper that law enforcement could have written citations to the venue for hosting an event of that size. 

The Journal-Constitution noted that Kemp has defied his own coronavirus rules by hosting a campaign rally in September with hundreds of unmasked attendees when his own mandates at the time banned gatherings of more than 50 people.

At the time of the wedding, President Trump was responding to massive protests against police brutality and racial injustice following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. On June 1, Trump sparked widespread backlash for staging a photo opportunity outside St. John's Church after having demonstrators forcibly removed from Lafayette Square.

Politico noted at the time that Meadows, a former congressman from North Carolina, "spent the weekend with family outside of Washington."

Updated at 1:33 p.m.

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