'He's got to condemn this sh*t ASAP': Fox hosts texts Jan. 6 riot
Don Jr and Fox news hosts sent frantic texts to Mark Meadows during Jan. 6 riot urging Trump to ‘condemn this sh*t’ as it ‘got out of hand’, committee reveals as it unanimously votes 9-0 to hold him in contempt of Congress
- House committee voted to recommend contempt charges against Meadows
- Rep. Liz Cheney read a number of texts sent to Meadows by Don Jr and Fox hosts
- ‘He’s got to condemn this s**t ASAP,’ Don Jr. texted his father’s chief aide
- ‘We need an Oval Office address,’ the president’s son said in a further message
- Ingraham said, ‘The president needs to tell people in the capitol to go home’
- Hannity advised, ‘Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the capitol’
Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News hosts sent frantic texts to Mark Meadows during the January 6 riot urging the president to ‘condemn this sh*t’ as it ‘got out of hand’, a House Committee has revealed.
The House Select Committee unanimously voted 9-0 on Monday night to recommend contempt charges against former White House chief of staff Meadows.
Rep. Liz Cheney, the select committee’s vice chair, read a number of text messages from political and journalistic heavyweights which ‘leave no doubt that the White House knew exactly what was happening here at the Capitol.’
‘[President Trump] has got to condemn this sh*t ASAP. The Capitol police tweet is not enough,’ Don Jr. texted Meadows.
Meadows replied to the president’s son: ‘I’m pushing it hard, I agree.’
‘Donald Trump Jr. texted again and again urging action by the president, “We need an Oval Office address. He needs to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand,”‘ Cheney told the committee.
Ingraham messaged: ‘Mark, the president needs to tell people in the capitol to go home, this is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy.’
‘Please get him on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished,’ Kilmeade wrote to Meadows.
Hannity advised: ‘Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the capitol.’
Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows went on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show on Monday to say he was not surprised at the Jan. 6 committee’s decision
Don Jr. and Fox host Laura Ingraham sent desperate messages to Meadows urging him to get a grip of the chaos at the Capitol
Donald Trump (pictured in the East Room of the White House in July 2020) held a rally at the Capitol which descended into a deadly riot on January 6
Rep. Adam Schiff read a number of lawmaker texts to Mark Meadows in advance of Monday’s contempt of Congress vote
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney read through text messages sent to Meadows during the insurrection including from lawmakers, administration officials, several Fox News hosts and Donald Trump Jr. All encouraged the president to call the mob off
Meadows later appeared on Fox News claiming the investigation into the Capitol riot is an excuse to go after Trump ‘once again.’
‘It’s disappointing, but not surprising,’ Meadows told Fox News’ Sean Hannity last night.
‘Let’s be clear about this, this is not about me – holding me in contempt. It’s not even about making the Capitol safer. We’ve seen that by the selective leaks that are going on right now. This is about Donald Trump and about actually going after him once again,’ Meadows said.
Prior to Monday’s vote, the committee members laid out their case against the ex-White House chief of staff, who was at former President Donald Trump’s side during the January 6 insurrection.
Chairman Bennie Thompson insisted Meadows – who had planned to cooperate and then changed his mind – ‘hasn’t left us any choice.’
On Monday, Hannity told his viewers that the committee is a ‘sham’ and a ‘waste of your time and money.’
Meadows pushed back on one of the committee’s central pieces of evidence: an email sent by Meadows on January 5 saying that the National Guard would be present the next day to ‘protect pro Trump people.’
The former congressman from North Carolina suggested that the committee was trying to ‘spin some nefarious purpose’ on the email, which was meant to ensure a ‘safe environment.’
He defended his lack of cooperation with the investigation into the Capitol riot, which led to the deaths of five people, saying that it’s not up to him to speak.
‘I can say that when you look at the criminal component of the intent, there’s never been an intent on my part,’ Meadows told Hannity.
‘I have tried to share non-privileged information but truly, the executive privilege that Donald Trump has claimed is not mine to waive, it’s not Congress’ to wave, and that’s why we filed the lawsuit to hopefully get the courts to weigh in – hopefully they will weigh in.’
In his opening remarks on Monday, Chairman Thompson said, ‘Mr. Meadows put himself in this situation, he must now accept the consequences.’
‘Anyone who wants to cooperate with our investigation can do so. Nearly everyone has,’ Thompson also said.
‘Our democracy was inches from ruin, our system of government was stretched to the breaking point. Members and staff were terrorized. Police officers fought hand and hand for hours. People lost their lives,’ he recalled.
The U.S. House Select Committee on Jan. 6th met Monday night and voted 9-0 to hold Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress
‘We want to figure out why and share that information with the American people,’ he continued. ‘And either you are on the side of helping us figure out why or you are trying to stop us from getting those answers.’
Thompson added that ‘in real life there aren’t a lot of bright-line moments.’
‘This is one of them,’ he noted. ‘And if you are listening at home, Mr. Meadows, Mr. Bannon, Mr. Clark, I want you to know this: history will be written about these times. About the work this committee is undertaken. And history will not look upon any of you as martyrs. History will not look upon you as a victim. History will not dwell on long list of privileged claims or your legal sleight of hand.’
‘History will record that in a critical moment in our democracy, most people were on the side of finding the truth or providing accountability, or strengthening our system for future generations,’ Thompson said.
‘And history will also record in this critical moment that some people were not. That some people hid behind excuses, went to great lengths answering questions explaining what they had done and what they knew,’ Thompson said. ‘I predict that history won’t be kind to those people.’
Rep. Adam Schiff also read out a number of text messages the committee received from Mark Meadows before he decided to stop cooperating
Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a select committee member, read more text messages, including an unnamed lawmaker telling Meadows that Vice President Mike Pence should throw out Electoral Votes when chairing the joint session to certify President Joe Biden’s election on January 6.
‘On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence as President of the Senate, should call out electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all,’ the text read.
Schiff also called one of the texts ‘chilling,’ when yet another unnamed lawmaker apologized to Meadows for not being able to overturn the election during the certification session – without mentioning the Capitol attack.
‘Yesterday was a terrible day. We tried everything we could in our objection to the 6 states. I’m sorry nothing worked,’ the lawmaker said, according to Schiff.
Several lawmakers on the committee chided Meadows for not cooperating, yet putting ‘part of that story in a book to line his pockets,’ as Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger put it.
Meadows released a book, The Chief’s Chief, earlier this month.
Committee members also pointed out that Meadows had been a member of Congress before becoming Trump’s chief of staff in 2020.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, appearing at the hearing remotely, chided Mark Meadows for not cooperating, yet putting ‘part of that story in a book to line his pockets.’ Meadows’ book about his time at the White House came out earlier this month
Earlier Monday, Meadows’ attorney urged the Jan. 6 committee not to pursue criminal charges against the former White House chief of staff, as he argued doing so would be ‘contrary to law.’
‘Such a referral would be contrary to law, manifestly unjust, unwise and unfair,’ attorney George Terwilliger wrote. ‘It would ill-serve the country to rush to judgment on the matter.’
Terwilliger said that a ‘good-faith invocation of executive privilege and testimonial immunity’ is within the bounds of the law for a former administration official.
The committee recommended the contempt charges on Sunday, the same day it released a report showing that Meadows said the National Guard was on standby to ‘protect pro Trump people’ in an email on January 5.
‘There’s a very high probability that they will refer me for criminal contempt to DOJ,’ Meadows told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Monday.
Democratic leaders announced on Thursday that the full House will vote on the contempt measure this week.
Meadows is the third person to face a contempt vote in the House in the Democrat-led committee’s investigation, after ex-Trump adviser Steve Bannon and former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark.
Bannon, Trump’s former White House chief strategist, was indicted on two counts of contempt of Congress by a federal grand jury on November 12 after he refused to appear or hand over any documents.
The committee recommended the contempt charges on Sunday, the same day it released a report showing that Meadows said the National Guard was on standby to ‘protect pro Trump people’ in an email on January 5
Meadows did an about-face last week, deciding at the last minute that he would cease compliance with the committee after he and the committee could not come to agreement on the terms of his testimony, according to his attorney.
But he had already handed over around 6,000 pages of documents.
‘A referral to the Department of Justice based on such an invocation would ignore the statute’s legislative history and historical application, contravene well-established separation of powers principles, and improperly impute a criminal intent to a good-faith actor,’ Terwilliger said Monday.
When Meadows failed to appear for his deposition last Wednesday, the committee announced it would move to refer criminal contempt charges to the Department of Justice.
The former chief of staff, in turn, filed a lawsuit against members of the House Jan. 6 committee and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
In the case, Meadows accuses the investigators of trying to ‘violate’ the principle of executive privilege that should protect his communications with Trump.
It asks a judge to invalidate two ‘overly broad’ subpoenas and accuses the committee of overreach by issuing a demand to Verizon for his cell phone records.
‘After working with them – trying to work with them – it became obvious over the last 72 hours or so that they continued to plan to delve into both executive privilege and some of the deliberative speech that would have occurred as a result of my interactions with the president and other senior staff and so we had to make the tough decision to say that we’re gonna no longer cooperate,’ Meadows told the Jenna Ellis show.
He said revealing their conversations would set a dangerous precedent.
Reps. Bennie Thompson D-Miss., and Liz Cheney, R-Wisc., said in a statement last week that they had questions about official communications Meadows had carried from his personal accounts, and that he needed to appear over his non-privileged communications.
‘We also need to hear from him about voluminous official records stored in his personal phone and email accounts, which were required to be turned over to the National Archives in accordance with the Presidential Records act.’
‘Even as we litigate privilege issues, the Select Committee has numerous questions for Mr. Meadows about records he has turned over to the Committee with no claim of privilege, which include real-time communications with many individuals as the events of January 6th unfolded,’ Thompson and Cheney wrote in the statement.
In a 51-page report released Sunday, the committee described a series of messages sent by Meadows to various people.
‘The Chief’s Chief,’ by former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, was published by All Seasons Press on December 7
‘Mr. Meadows sent an email [on January 5] to an individual about the events on January 6 and said that the National Guard would be present to ‘protect pro Trump people’ and that many more would be available on standby,’ the report states.
The committee also identified a text message that Meadows sent to a member of Congress in November 2020 ‘regarding efforts to contact state legislators because, as Mr. Meadows indicates in his text messages, quote, ‘POTUS wants to chat with them.”
In the document released Sunday, the committee outlined the questions it would have asked Meadows had he cooperated.
‘We would’ve asked Mr. Meadows about text messages exchanged with various individuals, including Members of Congress, on January 6th, both before, during, and after the attack on the United States Capitol, including text messages encouraging Mr. Meadows to facilitate a statement by President Trump discouraging violence at the Capitol on January 6th, including a text exchange with a media personality who had encouraged the presidential statement asking people to, quote, ‘peacefully leave the Capitol,’ end quote, as well as a text sent to one of—by one of the President’s family members indicating that Mr. Meadows is, quote, ‘pushing hard,’ end quote, for a statement from President Trump to, quote, ‘condemn this s***,’ end quote, happening at the Capitol.’
Meadows has continued to defend Trump, including in his new book, The Chief’s Chief, released last week.
The former congressman wrote that Trump would’ve taken the law into his own hands to fight off Black Lives Matter protesters trying to enter the White House last year and ‘knocked their heads in’ if the Secret Service hadn’t led him to a secure bunker instead.
‘But he didn’t have a choice. When it comes to the United States Secret Service, no one does. Either you do what they say, or they pick you up and make you do it.
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