Image copyright Reuters Image caption Meadows announced that he was not turning over documents to Congress on 10 July
House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows has been put in a “difficult spot” by his colleagues, committee staff and the public, he says.
Mr Meadows has been subpoenaed by a House committee over documents relating to the Obamacare repeal legislation.
The Freedom Caucus, a group of House conservatives, has been increasingly independent of the Republicans.
But he announced that he was not turning over documents to Congress on 10 July, leading to threats of contempt.
“I cannot with any credibility comply with a process that I don’t believe we have fully engaged in,” Mr Meadows said in a statement on Monday.
“Such production may not help the committee in its pursuit of the committee’s goals, but it certainly will not protect me from potential contempt proceedings.”
How the Freedom Caucus works
The Freedom Caucus, originally a one-man organisation in the House, now has 40 members – about one-third of the entire Republican caucus.
This has led to speculation that Republicans in the House are afraid of offending the group, which has called on them to vote against President Donald Trump on items such as ending protections for undocumented migrants and the shutdown of the US government in January.
It was also the first to support Roy Moore for Senate in Alabama over Mr Trump’s nominee for the seat.
But the group has been known to give Republicans the space to work their will through the back door, Bloomberg Businessweek reported .
It was also the first to send a group of four to Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in the summer of 2017 to give him a list of them was to work in the White House, the Washington Post reported .
House Speaker Paul Ryan has repeatedly criticised the Freedom Caucus , saying it was a rebel group that endangered the Republican majority.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Meadows said he was “stepping away” from the Congressional Leadership Fund
However, Mr Meadows did not announce he was quitting his post as chairman of the Freedom Caucus.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday , House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes said his committee was considering placing a contempt resolution against Mr Meadows before the full House next week.
“I think there is a significant chance we will go to a contempt resolution” in the future, he said.
Mr Meadows explained that the Freedom Caucus met on Monday, the day of the committee’s vote, to discuss his earlier statement that he would cooperate on documents only if Congress stopped its investigation into the Russia inquiry, Foreign Policy reports .
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Meadows said he had ordered his colleagues not to speak to reporters
“It was clear to me there was an absolute lack of consensus,” he said.
“They couldn’t agree on a course of action that would bring the attention of the House to this and wasn’t undermining the investigations on either side.”
But, after a short discussion, he was criticised by his colleagues and reporters.
Mr Meadows said he was stepping away from the Congressional Leadership Fund, the super-pac that supports Republicans, Reuters reports .