Mark Meadows texted a member of Congress, 'I love it,' about a plan to submit 'alternate' slates of Trump electors, January 6 committee says

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows arrives to hear President Donald Trump speak on election night in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Washington.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows arrives to hear President Donald Trump speak on election night in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Washington.AP Photo/Evan Vucci
  • Meadows sent texts and emails about sending "alternate" electors to Congress in November 2020.

  • The House committee investigating January 6 has obtained several of Meadows' emails and texts.

  • He "apparently said, 'I love it,'" about the plan to a Congress member, the committee's chair said.

Mark Meadows sent emails as early as November 7, 2020, about a plot for Republican-controlled states to send "alternate" slates of presidential electors to Congress on January 6 and texted a member of Congress about the idea, saying, "I love it," the House select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection said.

The House panel investigating the events of January 6 is in a showdown with Meadows, a former Republican congressman and former President Donald Trump's final chief of staff, to obtain testimony and records related to his involvement in the lead-up to the riot.

On November 30, the committee announced that it had to come to an agreement to secure Meadows' cooperation, which would include a deposition. But Meadows' lawyer George Terwilliger reversed course just a week later, telling the committee on Tuesday that a deposition would be "untenable" because the panel had "no intention of respecting boundaries" over materials that Meadows' team said were protected under executive privilege.

The panel is now poised to vote to hold Meadows in contempt of Congress because he didn't show up for his scheduled 10 a.m. deposition on Wednesday.

"The Select Committee is left with no choice but to advance contempt proceedings and recommend that the body in which Mr. Meadows once served refer him for criminal prosecution," the committee's chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, wrote Monday in a letter to Terwilliger.

But the panel is already in possession of some records related to Meadows, including text messages and emails that Meadows and his attorney voluntarily turned over to the committee, Thompson said.

Thompson said these emails included "a November 7, 2020, email discussing the appointment of alternate slates of electors as part of a 'direct and collateral attack' after the election; a January 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 January 5, 2021, email about having the National Guard on standby."

The committee is also in possession of text messages from Meadows' personal cellphone, which include "a November 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,'" Thompson said.

Thompson said other records included "a January 2021 text exchange between Mr. Meadows and an organizer of the January 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 January 6th attack on the Capitol."

CNN reported Meadows, as White House chief of staff, played an essential role in Trump's campaign to subvert and overturn the 2020 election. The outlet said he pressured high-ranking law enforcement and national security officials to investigate unfounded allegations and conspiracy theories about voter fraud.

The ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl says in his book "Betrayal" that Meadows sent a memo from Jenna Ellis, Trump's campaign lawyer at the time, to Vice President Mike Pence's staff outlining a plan for him to overturn the election.

Ellis' memo called on Pence to refuse to accept slates of electoral votes for then-President-elect Joe Biden and send them back to the states in hopes that they wouldn't respond. Then, with no candidate having a majority of electoral votes, the presidency would be decided by the House of Representatives, which Ellis said would go in Trump's favor.

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