Meadows set to resign from Congress as he moves to White House
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) is expected to resign from Congress on Monday as he heads over to the White House to become President Trump’s next chief of staff, a Meadows aide told The Hill.
A letter announcing his departure from Capitol Hill is expected to be released later Monday, the aide said.
After five terms in the House, Meadows will replace his former colleague and Freedom Caucus member, Mick Mulvaney, who served as Trump’s acting chief of staff for a little more than a year. Trump had two other chief of staffs before Mulvaney took on the interim role.
Meadows will be coming into the high-profile role as the White House is grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, which has reached more than 140,000 cases in the U.S. as of Monday morning, according to a New York Times database. Trump has come under scrutiny for initially downplaying the outbreak at a time when the administration could’ve been preparing for the pandemic, by seeking key equipment and supplies.
Trump named Meadows as his next gatekeeper in a tweet earlier this month, in which he also announced that he would appoint Mulvaney as U.S. special envoy for Northern Ireland. The sudden staff shake-up came as the outbreak growing dire overseas, particularly in places like Italy.
Now Meadows, who has at times been a controversial figure on Capitol Hill, often exercising both gentlemanly charm and flamethrower tactics throughout his day, will be in a role that must unify the administration to implement the president’s vision.
The GOP member first came onto the national scene years before, when he filed a motion to oust then-Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) from power, which helped facilitate Boehner’s resignation that fall. A year later, Meadows became the Freedom Caucus chairman without any challenge. He has since made a name for himself as one of Trump’s top defenders and a prominent conservative hard-liner.
Meadows was in the center of a months-long GOP fight against House Democrats’ growing allegations of wrongdoing over Trump’s contacts with Ukraine, frequently appearing on television to defend the president as new allegations of election interference surfaced.
He also was on the forefront of pushing the Trump administration to investigate possible wrongdoing by the FBI and Justice Department when Republicans maintained control of the House, prior to the 2018 midterm elections.
His move to the White House comes after he announced in December that he will not seek reelection next year, which came shortly after the House voted largely along party-lines to impeach Trump on two charges. The president was later acquitted, largely along party-lines, in the GOP-controlled Senate.