The textual content messages from Lee and Roy to Meadows vary from Nov. 7, 2020 to Jan. 6, 2021, and they’re already within the Jan. 6 committee’s possession. There are roughly 100 texts in the batch CNN made public Friday.
A spokesperson for the probe declined to remark or verify any of the main points reported. Representatives for Lee, Roy, and Meadows didn’t instantly reply to request for remark by Every day Kos.
Roy’s spokesman, nonetheless, informed CNN the texts “spoke for themselves,” and a communications director for Lee known as Lee “absolutely clear” since he beforehand and publicly aired his considerations about fraud within the aftermath of the 2020 election.
It was Nov. 7, 2020, when Lee planted his flag with Meadows and pledged to search out “each authorized and constitutional treatment” to “restore People religion in our election.”
Trump didn’t need to concede, Lee informed the White Home chief of workers.
Trump additionally didn’t need to destroy the “credibility of the election course of,” he added.
Lee believed there was a “third manner” that might work.
Lee pushed to have right-wing legal professional Sidney Powell information these efforts and despatched Meadows her cellphone quantity and e-mail. She had a “technique that might preserve a number of states in play” for Trump, the senator vowed.
He urged Meadows once more simply a few days later, saying Powell was a “straight shooter.”
Powell had already established a status for herself in Washington lengthy earlier than Lee made the advice that she tackle Trump’s newest scheme. She represented Trump’s ex-national safety adviser Michael Flynn after he pleaded responsible to mendacity to Vice President Mike Pence.
She would finally launch a authorized bid in opposition to the Division of Justice on Flynn’s behalf, accusing them of prosecutorial misconduct. A choose swatted her down, discovering no such proof. She was additionally vehemently against Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference within the 2016 election and often carried on about “deep state” conspiracy idea.
For some time, Powell’s knack for right-wing red-meat spectacle solely elevated her cache in Trump’s White Home. Trump even praised her on Twitter as a “nice” legal professional after she took up for Flynn.
Across the similar time that Lee was pushing for Powell to get extra concerned, Roy despatched a flurry of texts to Meadows. The Texas congressman was involved that the president’s allies in Congress had been ill-equipped to make the case of widespread fraud to the general public.
“We’ve no instruments/information/info to exit and combat RE: election/fraud. If you happen to want it/need it, all of us have to know what’s occurring. Fwiw …” Roy wrote on Nov. 5.
Meadows informed Roy he was “engaged on it.”
Two days later, Roy once more texted Meadows.
“Dude, we’d like ammo. We’d like fraud examples. We’d like it this weekend,” Rep. Roy wrote.
Meadows tried to assuage him.
“We’re engaged on precisely that,” he replied.
By Nov. 9, Lee had informed Meadows he held a gathering with Powell and fellow Republican senators so she might familiarize them with Trump’s “authorized cures.”
“You may have us in a gaggle of prepared and constant advocates who will go to bat for him, however I worry this might show short-lived except you rent the precise authorized group and set them free instantly,” Lee mentioned.
With the electoral school protected harbor certification deadline solely weeks away at that time, Powell was effectively into Lee’s ear. Lee mentioned she informed him that Trump’s marketing campaign attorneys had been “obstructing progress” that could possibly be made on the president’s supposed path to victory.
However inside a couple of weeks, issues modified. Powell’s efficiency at a 90-minute press convention with Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis simply earlier than Thanksgiving prompted a significant rift.
Powell made wild claims at the press conference. She mentioned Dominion Voting Techniques used rigged software program on its machines on the behest of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as a result of that helped him rig his personal election. She additionally mentioned the corporate had ties to George Soros and the muse run by former President and First Girl Invoice and Hillary Clinton generally known as the Clinton Basis.
She additionally claimed that the software program used and set an algorithm that switched votes from Trump to Biden.
Lee was watching and shot Meadows a textual content.
“I’m nervous concerning the Powell press convention,” Lee wrote.
In one other message, he warned Meadows: “The potential defamation legal responsibility for the president is critical right here. For the marketing campaign and for the president personally.”
“Except Powell can again up every little thing she mentioned, which I type of doubt she will be able to,” Lee mentioned.
Meadows replied: “I agree. Very involved.”
Lee urged that Powell be lower off from the marketing campaign except her wild claims of fraud could possibly be substantiated.
“He’s bought deep pockets, and the accusations Powell made are very, very critical,” Lee wrote.
It’s unclear if Lee meant Trump had deep pockets or was referring to the proprietor of Dominion Voting Techniques.
The textual content messages reveal how Lee pulled away from Powell after the press convention and commenced advocating for longtime conservative legal professional John Eastman to become involved. Roy was chatting with Eastman round this time, too.
“Get Eastman to file in entrance of PA board of elections,” Roy wrote to Meadows after asking him if the president had engaged with Eastman but.
“Get information in entrance of public area,” Roy wrote on Nov. 22.
“Frigging Rudy must hush,” Roy added.
The GOP wanted a “managed message ASAP,” as a result of, in line with Roy, with out “logic and cause” offered, solely probably the most “hardcore Trump guys” would lodge an objection at certification.
Over within the Senate, Lee was nonetheless spitballing and informed Meadows he had “concepts” about the best way to audit battleground states. Eastman had a proposal that might assist issues transfer alongside, however the White Home must act quick.
Eastman was accountable for writing a memo proposing an unconstitutional technique that pressured the vice chairman to cease the certification regardless of missing the authority to take action. It’s unclear what date the memo was written.
By mid-December, neither Roy nor Lee appeared assured that they’d the “evidentiary assist” they wanted to anchor the fraud claims and bolster assist from fellow lawmakers to object.
“The president ought to name everybody off. It’s the one path,” Roy wrote on Dec. 31. “if we substitute the need of states by means of electors with a vote by congress each 4 years, we’ve destroyed the electoral school … respectfully.”
Lee informed Meadows a couple of days later he had “grave considerations” concerning the plan Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas had in place to object to battleground state electors. It wouldn’t assist Trump, he warned on Jan. 3.
That very same day, Lee wrote:
I do not assume the president is greedy the excellence between what we will do and what he would really like us to do. Nor do I believe he is greedy the excellence between what sure members are saying that sound like they may assist him, however would actually damage him. He is bought a really actual alternative for a win in 2024. That chance could possibly be harmed in a number of methods this effort.
Lee believed issues might change if battleground states licensed Trump’s electors “pursuant to state regulation” however absent that, he conceded, the trouble to cease or delay the certification was “destined not solely to fail however to harm DJT within the course of.”
Trump took a swipe at Lee throughout a rally on Jan. 4, saying he was a “little indignant at him” for suggesting he was in opposition to objecting on Jan. 6.
Lee had spent hours that day, he whined to Meadows over a number of texts, making an attempt to “determine a path that I can persuasively defend.”
Meadows apologized, saying Trump had “unhealthy intel.”
“And this gained’t make it any simpler, particularly if others now assume I’m doing this as a result of he went after me. This simply makes it much more sophisticated,” Lee seethed to Meadows. “And it was sophisticated already. We’d like one thing from state legislatures to make this reliable and to have any hope of successful.”
That very same day, Roy messaged Meadows and apologized for having to interrupt with the president when lawmakers would convene on the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“I am actually sorry I’m in a distinct spot then you definately and our brothers re: Wednesday. However I’ll defend all,” Roy wrote. [Spelling original]
Inside 48 hours, Trump would take to the stage on the Ellipse, flanked by his attorneys, like John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani. He would spend greater than an hour delivering remarks a few stolen, fraudulent election, whipping the group right into a frenzy.
Earlier than he even completed his speech, rioters had already made their manner all the way down to the Capitol and commenced pouring over police barricades.
Roy despatched a message to Meadows in the course of the assault: “This can be a full shitshow.”
He urged: “Repair this now.”