The White House responded Tuesday to TPM’s reporting that Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) called for then-President Donald Trump to impose martial law in the final days of his presidency.
“Plotting against the rule of law and to subvert the will of the people is a disgusting affront to our deepest principles as a country,” Deputy White House Press Secretary Andrew Bates told TPM. “We all, regardless of party, need to stand up for mainstream values and the Constitution, against dangerous, ultra MAGA conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric.”
A log of then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’s texts obtained by TPM show Norman reaching out on Jan. 17, 2021, just three days before Joe Biden took over the presidency.
“Mark, in seeing what’s happening so quickly, and reading about the Dominion law suits attempting to stop any meaningful investigation we are at a point of � no return � in saving our Republic !!” Norman said, according to the log. “Our LAST HOPE is invoking Marshall Law!! PLEASE URGE TO PRESIDENT TO DO SO!!”
Norman has backtracked since the text came to light, telling South Carolina news outlet The State that the text “came from a source of frustration, on the heels of countless unanswered questions about the integrity of the 2020 election, without any way to slow down and examine those issues prior to the inauguration of the newly elected president.”
Norman texted Meadows a couple more times before and after Jan. 6, per the log of Meadows’ texts. He is one of 34 members of Congress who texted Meadows about overturning the 2020 election.
On Nov. 7, soon after news outlets called the election for Biden, he encouraged Meadows and co. to brainstorm ways to overturn the results in Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania.
“For anyone willing to discuss our game plan let me or anyone else know and let’s get on a conference call with concrete plans of action,” he wrote. “I will go anywhere anytime to help our cause. Bottom line, it’s time we FIGHT FOR THE ONE PERSON WHO HAS CHANGED THIS COUNTRY!! WAY TOO SOON TO GIVE IN NOW!!”
He chimed in again a couple months later, lamenting the lack of Republican cohesion behind the plan to contest the certification of the electoral college votes.
“Mark, I hear McCarthy is giving equal time to let those who are opposed to the challenge of the electoral votes which is LUDICROUS!! Trump needs to call Kevin!!” Norman wrote.
A day after he sent that text, the pro-Trump mob raided and ransacked the Capitol.
Hunter Walker contributed reporting to this article.