A lawmaker proposed to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows a brazenly anti-democratic plot to throw the 2020 election to Donald Trump — even before the race had been called for Joe Biden, records of Meadows’ texts described by the Jan. 6 Committee on Tuesday reveal.
Just one day after Election Day, the committee said, an unidentified member of Congress texted Meadows on Nov. 4 suggesting that the Republican-controlled state legislatures of Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania (none of which had been called at that point) plus other GOP-controlled states just unilaterally throw away Biden electors and replace them with their own.
“HERE’s an AGGRESSIVE STRATEGY: Why can t [sic] the states of GA NC PENN and other R controlled state houses declare this is BS (where conflicts and election not called that night) and just send their own electors to vote and have it go to the SCOTUS,” the lawmaker wrote, according to texts the House Jan. 6 select committee released on Tuesday.
Biden was not officially projected to be the winner of the election until November 7.
Committee members read Meadows’ texts aloud and displayed blown up images of them during the House’s debate Tuesday over whether to send the panel’s criminal contempt referral against Meadows to the Justice Department. The House ultimately voted to do so.
The committee did not identify the name of the lawmaker.
The panel members also released texts on Tuesday revealing the ex-White House official’s involvement with Trump’s infamous call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the Jeffrey Clark scheme.
The panel began publicizing Meadows’ bombshell texts, which the former official had turned over voluntarily before deciding to defy the committee’s subpoena, on Monday. The first tranche of the messages showed Fox News hosts Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Brian Kilmeade frantically texting Meadows begging for Trump to take action as the Capitol insurrection was unfolding. Don Jr., Trump’s eldest son, had also texted Meadows that day saying that his father has “got to condemn this shit asap.” “It has gone too far and gotten out of hand,” he wrote.
All four of them would later go on to publicly claim Trump wasn’t at fault, downplay the insurrection and baselessly suggested the attack was carried out by Trump’s political enemies.
There was another text released on Monday that, similar to the “AGGRESSIVE STRATEGY” proposal message, revealed how certain members of Congress had joined Trump behind the scenes in his attempts to steal the election: “Yesterday was a terrible day. We tried everything we could in our objection to the 6 states. I’m sorry nothing worked,” an unnamed lawmaker wrote to Meadows the day after the insurrection.