According to a letter from the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the US Capitol and what led to it, Mark Meadows provided some of the conversations he had in or around Jan. 6 about the White House’s efforts to disrupt the certification of the 2020 election.
Meadows had a communication with a member of Congress who recommended an alternate slate of electors, according to the Committee’s Chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS). The member admitted that the concept would be “highly controversial,” but Meadows said, “I love it.”
“The text messages you did produce include a Nov. 6, 2020, text exchange with a Member of Congress apparently 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’; an early Jan. 2021 text message exchange between Mr. Meadows and an organizer of the Jan. 6 rally on the Ellipse and text messages about the need for the former President to issue a public statement that could have stopped the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol,” an excerpt of the letter from Thompson to Meadows’ lawyer says.
Meadows’ personal mobile phone texts do not seem to have been given up to the National Archives, in violation of the Presidential Records Act.
After cooperating with the committee and presenting evidence, former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows unexpectedly withdrew his cooperation with the House Select Committee on Jan. 6 on Tuesday.
In the letter to Meadows’ lawyer, Thompson explained that on Nov. 26, 2021, “Mr. Meadows provided to the Select Committee certain documents that you obtained from Mr. Meadows’ personal email account and determined were responsive to the Select Committee’s subpoena. In doing so, you also provided a privilege log indicating that you withheld several hundred additional documents from Mr. Meadows’ personal email account based on claims of executive, attorney-client, or other privilege. Despite your very broad claims of privilege, Mr. Meadows has also produced documents that you apparently agree are relevant and not protected by any privilege at all. Those documents include: a Nov. 7, 2020, email discussing the appointment of alternate slates of electors as part of a ‘direct and collateral attack’ after the election; a Jan. 5 2021, email regarding a 38-page PowerPoint briefing titled “Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN” that was to be provided ‘on the hill’; and among others, a Jan. 5 2021, email about having the National Guard on standby.”
Meadows withheld over 1,000 text messages from his mobile phone, which he turned up to his cell phone carrier after January 6, 2021, according to the letter.
Meadows’ recent assertions that the committee does not respect former President Donald Trump’s privilege are blatantly inaccurate, according to the letter.
CNN host Jim Acosta also chastised Meadows for whitewashing the events of January 6 while promoting Donald Trump’s “great lie” in his new book.
“The book is called “The Chief’s Chief,” Acosta said. “It could be called The Cheat’s Cheat. Mark Meadows is doing a little ‘CYA’ here — cover your autocrat.”
Marshall Cohen, a reporter, commented by labeling it a “very sycophantic book.”
“It’s 100 percent pro-Trump,” Cohen told Acosta. “He says he wants Trump to run again in 2024, but besides all the politics, there is a lot of important stuff that will be of interest to the Jan. 6 investigation. Make no mistake, he is totally peddling the big lie, still. There is a lot of stuff in this book … that’s still pushing the same debunked claims about ballot irregularities and voter fraud that has no merit to it whatsoever, and then on Jan. 6, he’s trying to absolve President Trump of any responsibility.”
Meadows wrote after leaving the platform during the “Stop the Steal” event on Jan. 6, according to a passage in the book.
“President Trump let me know that he had been speaking metaphorically about the walk to the Capitol. He knew as well as anyone that we couldn’t organize a trip like that on such short notice. It was clear the whole time that he didn’t actually intend to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue with the crowd.”
“They’re washing their hands of this,” Cohen said.
He went on to say that numerous Jan. 6 insurgents indicated they had no plans to go to the Capitol following Trump’s speech until the former president suggested it to them.
“I covered Trump for a long time,” Acosta responded. “I never heard him use the word ‘metaphorically.’ It makes you wonder, if he’s still peddling the big lie, why should we believe anything in this book? It’s a book for one reader I suppose — the dear leader.”
“It might be for one reader, but there will be other readers on the Jan. 6 committee in the House,” Cohen responded. “They are looking at this book. Of course, remember, Meadows is someone who got a subpoena. He will be going in to testify on a few specific topics. They want him to talk about everything. They’re saying now, some of the Democrats on that committee, they’ve said, ‘If you can write about it in a book, for-profit, you can talk about it under oath for our investigation.’”
Meadows’s forthcoming book also revealed that Trump tested positive for Covid-19 three days before his first presidential debate against Joe Biden, with a subsequent pre-debate test coming back negative.
Meadows claimed in the book that Trump appeared “a little fatigued” and that he feared he had a “slight cold” before learning of the victorious outcome on his way to a rally in Pennsylvania.
Trump tested positive for the second time on Oct. 1 and was admitted to the hospital the following day, when he announced the results on Twitter. The debate took place on September 29.
Trump denied being unwell at the time of the first positive result in a statement last week.
“The story of me having COVID prior to, or during, the first debate is Fake News,” Trump said. “In fact, a test revealed that I did not have COVID prior to the debate.”
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