The House select committee investigating the January 6th attack against the US Capitol recently released new text messages that were obtained from former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. The text messages were sent to him in the days leading up to the insurrection as well as while the Capitol was under attack.
Committee members read the messages on the House floor this Tuesday during the debate over whether a criminal contempt of Congress against Meadows should be given to the Justice Department or not.
One of the messages included in the readings was from a Georgia government official to Meadows while former president Donald Trump was on the phone with Georgia’s secretary of state, during which Trump was urging him to “find” votes for Trump. Other discussions relating to Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election were also included.
Representative Zoe Lofgren read a text message from an unnamed Georgia government official to Meadows that was sent during the same phone call. The message read: “Need to end this call, I don’t think this will be productive for much longer,” referring to the call between Trump and Georgia’s secretary of state.
Representative Adam Schiff read a text message from an unknown number that applauded the potential appointment of Jeffrey Clark to be acting attorney general while Trump was attempting to get the Justice Department to support his false claims of election fraud.
“I heard Jeff Clark is getting put in on Monday. That’s amazing. It will make a lot of patriots happy, and I’m personally so proud that you are at the tip of the spear, and I could call you a friend,” the text to Meadows read.
“Mr. Meadows received numerous text messages, which he has produced without any privilege claim, imploring that Mr. Trump take specific action we all know his duty required. Indeed, some of those text messages, madam speaker, came from members in the chamber right now,” said Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, one of two Republicans on the select committee.
The select committee approved its resolution holding Meadows in contempt on Monday. The panel also revealed that Meadows had voluntarily provided text messages that he received on January 6th, including those from Fox News personalities, lawmakers, and Donald Trump Jr.
While some republicans spoke out against the committee for pursuing contempt charges against Meadows, they responded by stating that Meadows was flouting the law by refusing to show up for testimony about material he has already turned over to them.
The text messages used throughout the hearing emphasized the argument that there were plenty of topics that the committee could ask Meadows that would not be covered by executive privilege.
One of these text messages from Meadows to an unspecified member of Congress inquired about whether or not former vice president Mike Pence could overturn Electoral College results; this text was sent three days before the insurrection.
In another text message from November 4, 2020, the day after the election, a member suggested to Meadows an “aggressive strategy for Republican-led state legislatures to just send their own electors to Congress and let the Supreme Court decide who won the election.”
Another text message from a member to Meadows underscored how the “committee has not received everything from the former White House chief of staff. Please check your signal,” the January 5 message said.
The committee will be making a decision within a week when to release the names of all the individuals involved in the text messages with the former chief of staff.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.