Mark Meadows' years as a 'disrupter' are coming back to haunt him as he faces possible criminal charges: NPR
Fox News screengarb

A report from NPR documents the rise and fall of Republican Mark Meadows (R-NC) who went from being a little-known lawmaker to a leading voice in the House Freedom Caucus to Donald Trump's chief of staff --only to end up to now being the principal target of the House committee investigating the Jan 6th Capitol riot.

As NPR's Juana Summers writes, at one time Meadows was one of the most powerful Republicans in the House who led the charge by far-right GOP House members to oust former Republican House Speaker John Boehner who stepped down two months after the North Carolina congressman filed a motion to remove Boehner from his job.

Appearing on Fox News, Meadows told the host, "If my voting card is really only allowed to vote the way that the leadership tells me that I can vote, if I don't vote that way I get either punished or I fail to get bills heard, then it's just an illusion of a democracy and a representative form of government."

According to Chris Cooper, a political scientist at Western Carolina University, Meadows used what he could to raise his profile in conservative circles.

RELATED: 'Dumbest a-hole on the Hill': Watch Michael Cohen laugh at 'stupid' Mark Meadows' legal problems

"As opposed to a member of Congress who takes the kind of quiet internal path to power, Mark Meadows took a path to power through the media," Coopper explained. "Mark Meadows took a path to power, kind of working from the outside of the institution through the Freedom Caucus and, frankly, through the press."

That, in turn, led to him stepping down from his seat in the House and becoming the combative Trump's chief of staff where things ultimately fell apart.

Writing that "Like many ideological conservatives, Meadows didn't support Trump when he first ran for president. But the North Carolina congressman ultimately became one of the president's most loyal — and powerful — congressional allies, leveraging his perch on the House Oversight committee," Summers added that he filled the position just as the Covid-19 pandemic reared its head and later contributed to Trump's 2020 election loss which in turn led to attempts to overturn the election -- with Meadows at the center of it.

Pointing out that Meadows has "already turned over thousands of pages of emails and text messages that revealed the panic consuming some members of Trump's inner circle, including the former president's son, on January 6," the NPR report adds that Meadows is now on the verge of taking the fall unless he comes clean before the House Jan 6th riot committee as his fellow Republicans keep their distance.

As former White House communications director Alyssa Farah Griffin stated recently on CNN, "I will never know why he didn't listen [to pleas to get Trump to stop the riot], but I will never stop believing that anyone who had a platform that day had an obligation to use it. Meadows had hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers, his voice would have rang very important to people on Capitol Hill."

You can read more here.