A new report from the House committee investigating the Capitol riot on 6 January detailed former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’ messages leading up to and during the attempted insurrection.
The report, which comes ahead of the select committee’s vote whether to hold Mr Meadows in contempt of Congress for his refusal to comply with the committee, details his communications with people regarding the 2020 presidential election, former president Donald Trump’s lies about it and his actions during the riot.
“According to documents and testimony obtained by the Select Committee, Mark Randall Meadows is uniquely situated to provide critical information about the events of January 6, 2021, as well as efforts taken by public officials and private individuals to spread the message of widespread fraud in the November 2020 election and to delay or prevent the peaceful transfer of power,” the report says.
The committee released the 51-page report after he had refused to answer questions from the committee because it had also subpoenaed his communications records from his private phone.
“In fact, as the violence at the Capitol unfolded, Mr Meadows received many messages encouraging him to have Mr Trump issue a statement that could end the violence, and one former White House employee reportedly contacted Mr Meadows several times and told him,” the report said.
The report cited various communications he made. One text message the report cited noted how one of the organisers texted Mr Meadows “‘[t]hings have gotten crazy and I desperately need some direction. Please.”
Mr Meadows also reportedly emailed someone about the events on 6 January, saying the National Guard would be present to “‘protect pro Trump people” and that people would be available on standby.
The report detailed Mr Meadows’ attempt to encourage states to send alternative electors, which one member of Congress called “highly controversial.” In response, the chief of staff said “I love it.”
The committee raised questions it would have asked Mr Meadows, such as messages he sent to members of Congress before, during and after the attack on the Capitol, such as one with a media personality who suggested the president make a statement for rioters to “peacefully leave,” another text by one of Mr Trump’s family members that said that Mr Meadows was “pushing hard” for a statement from Mr Trump to “condemn this s***.”
“We would ask Mr Meadows questions about text messages reflecting Mr Meadows’ skepticism about public statements regarding allegations of election fraud put forth by Sidney Powell and his skepticism about the veracity of claims of tampering with Dominion voting machines,” the report said.
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