Meadows looks to be heading for a criminal referral from the Jan 6th committee
Conventional wisdom portrays former President Trump as the perpetrator in his campaign’s attempt to rig the 2020 election, with most Republican lawmakers siding with him out of political necessity.
The disclosure of a sizable volume of text messages between Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff, and other Republican members, however, shows how misleading that story is and how it unfairly exonerates the GOP. The texts, which Talking Points Memo made public, demonstrate that Trump wasn’t a lone actor but rather more of a hub for anti-democratic behavior. Republicans openly collaborated with Trump to try to smear the election both before and after the uprising on January 6 rather than simply tolerating him.
For the Republican Party, this is a devastating development. It would be bad enough if some of its members agreed with Trump’s fabrications because they saw a potential electoral benefit. The extent of many Republicans’ eagerness to undermine democratic governance, though, is more horrifying.
Meadows, who served as Trump’s strategist and spokesperson, texted at least 34 Republican members of Congress about reversing the election. Just days before Joe Biden assumed office, one of them, Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina, asked Meadows to “impose Marshall [sic] law” as a last-ditch effort to “save our Republic.” Just a few days after the election, another, Texas Rep. Brian Babin, issued the following warning: “When we lose Trump, we lose our Republic. Find a method, and fight like hell.
Text messages reveal how Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, who Jason Miller referred to as a “ringleader,” helped Meadows identify which lawmakers would “move actual numbers” on January 6. And Miller’s claim that Trump was urging Republicans to join the “Cruz effort” raises the possibility that Ted Cruz had a greater stake than previously thought in the attempt to overturn 2020.
Meadows was in touch with prominent MAGA politicians who work behind the scenes in addition to specific lawmakers and strategists. The Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI), a black money MAGA organization, took on a position as “something of a headquarters for members of Congress seeking to overturn the election,” according to the Talking Points Memo, which cites Meadows’ texts. According to reports, CPI was sought after as a gathering site for “objectors,” acted as a platform for discussing legal strategy, and held events for far-right MPs.
I strongly advise reading the entire study because the revelations are extensive. But the lesson is obvious: Trump got a lot of support from influential people as he attempted to overturn the election results and stage a coup against his own government by spreading misinformation and mobilizing his following. Despite the lack of evidence that fraud played any significant part at any level in the 2020 elections, many powerful Republicans not only rolled their eyes at this, but they also saw it as a goal worth protecting.
Hearing fresh information regarding the campaign to rig the 2020 election again can get old. I’d be lying if I said I never got tired of reading about that period in American history because there was just so much knowledge to take in. But the extent of the rot in our political life is one of the reasons it’s so crucial to comprehend the complete picture of what transpired.
How much Trump represented a continuation of traditional Republican politics and how much he was an outlier is a key topic when analyzing his administration. Both arguments have a tone of supporting evidence. However, there is mounting evidence that Trump was not upending the mainstream American right, but rather was acting happily inside its ideology when it came to the dictatorial attempt to annul the results of the 2020 election.