Among thousands of texts previously provided by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to the House committee investigating the Capitol riot and later obtained by the news outlet Talking Points Memo is a message implicating Donald Trump Jr., a prominent son of the former president who remains avidly involved in political activism even as Ivanka steps back.
Per the new reporting, a message from Trump Jr. is actually the first in the log of over 2,300 to and from Meadows that specifically references January 6, the date set in federal law for the certification by Congress of the presidential election results and when a Trump-incited mob descended on the Capitol in hopes of forcibly stopping that process. Trump Jr. outlined a theory to Meadows according to which Republican state legislators could intervene in the count and approve electoral votes for Trump in states Biden won. The origin of what Don Jr. was saying isn’t immediately clear. According to Talking Points Memo, the missive was first reported — at least in full — in a book recently published by past GOP Congressman Denver Riggleman, who also spent some time working as an investigator for the riot committee. It was also reported in large part in April coverage from CNN. A lawyer for the ex-president’s son claimed at the time the text “likely originated from someone else and was forwarded.”
Trump Jr. spoke in his comments to Meadows about the House potentially deciding the presidential election outcome as another option, a scenario in which each state delegation to Congress would get a single vote — and with Republicans leading more state delegations at the time, that could’ve turned out well for Trump. Meadows responded approvingly to Donald Jr.’s message, saying: “Much of this had merit. Working on this for pa, ga and nc already.” The reply wasn’t included in the past reporting from CNN. Other texts with the then-White House official reveal details like Republican members of Congress and Georgia state Sen. Marty Harbin, another Republican, seeking to closely engage with the then-president’s political team in challenging the results of the election. Meadows kept Harbin informed on the Trump team’s pushes, insisting at one point that the fight should continue — in contrast to what GOP leaders in the Georgia state Senate were allegedly saying.
Harbin also spoke with the then-administration official about conspiracy theories alleging involvement in imaginary election fraud by Italian defense contractors. Meadows was also in repeated contact with GOP Rep. Jody Hice (Ga.), who informed the then-White House official of the identities of some of those supporting the push to stop Biden’s win. Others appearing in the logs include Jordan Fuchs from the team of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who pushed Meadows during the infamous post-election conversation between Trump and Raffensperger to get the call ended. That could point to some level of actionable knowledge on the part of key players about the potentially precarious legal issues involved in what was taking place — a possibly relevant detail should Georgia’s Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis decide to bring a criminal case in her investigation into pro-Trump meddling after 2020’s election.