Mark Meadows sent texts and emails about sending “alternate” slates of electors to Congress in November 2020.
The House Committee investigating January 6 has obtained several of Meadows’ emails and texts.
“Mr. Meadows apparently said ‘I love it'” about the plan in an exchange with a member of Congress, Thompson said.
Mark Meadows sent emails as early as November 7, 2020 about a plot for Republican-controlled states to send “alternate” slates of presidential electors to Congress on January 6, 2021, and also texted a member of Congress about the idea, saying, “I love it,” according to the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol insurrection.
The House panel probing the events of January 6 is in a showdown with Meadows, a former Republican congressman and former President Donald Trump’s final chief of staff, to obtain testimony and records related to his involvement in the lead-up to the riot.
On November 30, the committee announced that it had to come to an agreement to secure Meadows’ cooperation, which would include a deposition. But Meadows’ lawyer George Terwilliger reversed course just a week later, telling the committee on Tuesday that a deposition would be “untenable” because the panel “has no intention of respecting boundaries” over materials that Meadows’ team claims are protected under executive privilege.
The panel is now poised to vote to hold Meadows in contempt of Congress because he didn’t show up for his scheduled 10 a.m. deposition on Wednesday.
“The Select Committee is left with no choice but to advance contempt proceedings and recommend that the body in which Mr. Meadows once served refer him for criminal prosecution,” the committee’s chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson wrote in a December 7 letter to Terwilliger.
But the panel is already in possession of some records it seeks related to Meadows, including text messages and emails that Meadows and his attorney have already voluntarily turned over to the committee, Thompson said.
According to Thompson, these emails include “a November 7, 2020 email discussing the appointment of alternate slates of electors as part of a ‘direct and collateral attack’ after losing the election, a January 5, 2021 email regarding a 38-page PowerPoint titled briefing titled ‘Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN that was to be provided ‘on the hill,’ and among others, a January 5, 2021 email about having the National Guard on standby.”
The committee is also in possession of text messages from Meadows’ personal cell phone, which include “a November 6, 2020 text exchange with a Member of Congress about appointing alternate electors in certain states as part of a plan that the Member acknowledged would be ‘highly controversial’ and to which Mr. Meadows apparently said, ‘I love it,'” Thompson said.
Other records include “a January 2021 text exchange between Mr. Meadows and an organizer of the January 6 rally at the Ellipse; and text messages about the need for the former president to issue a public statement that could have stopped the January 6 attack on the Capitol,”
Meadows, as White House chief of staff, played an essential role in Trump’s campaign to subvert and overturn the 2020 election. To that end, he aggressively pressured high-ranking law enforcement and national security officials to investigate unfounded allegations and bizarre conspiracy theories about purported voter fraud.
ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl also reported in his book “Betrayal” that Meadows sent a memo from then-Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis to Pence’s staff outlining a plan for the former vice president to overturn the election.
Ellis’ memo called on Pence to refuse to accept slates of electoral votes for President Joe Biden and to send them back to the states in the hopes that they wouldn’t respond. Then, with no candidate having a majority of electoral votes, the presidency would be decided by the House of Representatives, which Ellis believed would go in Trump’s favor.
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