Donald Trump’s Energy Secretary Rick Perry was revealed on Friday to be the person who texted Mark Meadows with an ‘aggressive’ plan to have Republican-controlled state legislatures overturn Joe Biden’s election victory.
CNN revealed Perry as the person behind the text, which was read publicly – but anonymously – on the House floor this week during the vote on holding Meadows in contemp of Congress.
A spokesman for the former Texas governor, however, denied it was Perry’s number to the network. But CNN said that ‘multiple people’ who know Perry confirmed that the phone number the committee associated with that text message is Perry’s number.
The cell phone number the text was sent from also appears in databases as being registered to a James Richard Perry of Texas, the former governor’s full name. The number is also in a second database as registered to a Department of Energy email address associated with Perry when he was secretary.
The Nov. 4, 2020, text message was read on the House floor Tuesday night by Rep. Jamie Raskin: ‘HERE’s an AGRESSIVE (sic) STRATEGY: Why can t (sic) the states of GA NC PENN and other R controlled state houses declare this is BS (where conflicts and election not called that night) and just send their own electors to vote and have it go to the SCOTUS.’
Raskin cited the text in the debate over holding Meadows, who served as Trump’s final chief of staff, in criminal contempt of Congress, which the House voted to do so. Democrats argue it showed there was a concentrated plan from Republicans to try and illegally overturn the election based on Trump’s false claim that he was the winner.
In his remarks, Raskin described the text message as having come from a ‘House lawmaker.’ CNN, citing sources, said that was an error and Raskin has written a letter to correct the Congressional Record.
Donald Trump’s Energy Secretary Rick Perry was revealed on Friday to be the person who texted Mark Meadows with an ‘aggressive’ plan to have Republican-controlled state legislatures overturn Joe Biden’s election victory – Trump and Perry are seen together in June 2017 at the Department of Energy
The House voted to hold Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows (above) in contempt of Congress and now Attorney General Merrick Garland must decide whether to pursue charges
The text message that CNN said was written by Rick Perry to Mark Meadows
Raskin used the text in making his case to hold Meadows in contempt for refusing to testify before the special committee investigating the January 6th MAGA riot in the Capitol.
‘How did this text influence the planning of Mark Meadows and Donald Trump to try to destroy the lawful electoral college majority that had been established by the people of the United States and the states for Joe Biden,’ Raskin asked on Tuesday evening in his remarks. ‘Those are the kinds of questions that we have a right to ask Mark Meadows.’
Perry, the longest serving governor in the history of Texas, was Secretary of Energy for President Trump from 2017-2019.
He wasn’t always a Trump fan. The two men clashed during the Republican presidential primary. Perry called Trump a ‘cancer on conservatism,’ a ‘barking carnival act’ and a ‘toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense.’
He isn’t the only Republican to be outed as texting with Meadows ahead of the official certification results of the 2020 presidential election.
Ohio congressman Jim Jordan was revealed as the ‘lawmaker’ who sent a text to Meadows on the eve of the Capitol riot, suggesting a way in which then-Vice President Mike Pence could avoid certifying the November 2020 vote.
Jordan, a staunch ally of Trump, confirmed through his spokesman that on January 5 he texted Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, with advice on overturning the election.
The text was a three-paragraph summary of a longer legal argument, and had been sent to Jordan by attorney Joseph Schmitz.
Jordan then forwarded Schmitz’s argument to Meadows.
Jim Jordan, congressman for Ohio, confirmed on Wednesday that he had forwarded a text to Mark Meadows suggesting an avenue for Mike Pence to overturn the election
Mike Pence is seen on January 6, certifying the results of the November 2020 election – despite pressure from Donald Trump to refuse to do so. Pence told Trump he did not have the authority to overturn the vote
Jim Jordan sent the above text to Mark Meadows on January 5. It was a forwarded message, which had been sent to Jordan by Joseph Schmitz, an attorney. Critics have pointed out that there was a period added at the end, and the full message was far longer.
At the time, Trump was desperately seeking a way to prevent his vice president, Pence, from certifying the results of the November vote in Congress – usually, a routine and uneventful procedure.
Full text of Joseph Schmitz’s message to Jim Jordan, which Jordan forwarded to Mark Meadows
On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all – in accordance with guidance from founding father Alexander Hamilton and judicial precedence.
‘No legislative act,’ wrote Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 78, ‘contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.’
The court in Hubbard v. Lowe reinforced this truth: ‘That an unconstitutional statute is not a law at all is a proposition no longer open to discussion.’ 226 F. 135, 137 (SDNY 1915), appeal dismissed, 242 U.S. 654 (1916).
Following this rationale, an unconstitutionally appointed elector, like an unconstitutionally enacted statute, is no elector at all.
The text was read out on Monday by Adam Schiff, a member of the January 6 Committee which is looking into events surrounding the insurrection.
Schiff read: ‘On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.’
Schiff said the text was from ‘a lawmaker’ – on Wednesday, Russell Dye, a spokesman for Jordan, told CNN: ‘Mr. Jordan forwarded the text to Mr. Meadows, and Mr. Meadows certainly knew it was a forward.’
Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee in addition to being a member of House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, read only part of the three-paragraph message.
His team also added a period at the end of the text, leading The Federalist to say that the text had been ‘doctored’.
Critics of the committee – who argue that it is an anti-Trump witch hunt – seized on the period at the end of the sentence, insisting it was a twisting of Jordan’s message.
‘We shouldn’t be surprised given his actions over the past 5 years and given how my emails magically had their dates changed, but he will continue to do this till someone steps up & says enough!’ said Donald Trump Jr, the former president’s son.
Other figures have been revealed to have texted Meadows – among them Fox News hosts Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Brian Kilmeade.
They all messaged Meadows on January 6, during the riot, urging Meadows to ask Trump to appear on camera and condemn the insurrectionists, and call them off.
Meadows, on Tuesday night, was declared in contempt of Congress for refusing to appear before the January 6 Committee.
The final vote was 222-208, with two Republicans – Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger – joining all Democrats.
The matter will now be turned over to the Justice Department.
In October, the House voted that former Trump adviser Steve Bannon be held in contempt for refusing to comply with the subpoena.
The Justice Department then charged him with two counts of contempt.
He has pleaded not guilty but faces up to a year in prison on each charge if convicted.
Jordan, before Tuesday’s vote to censure Meadows, tweeted: ‘Mark Meadows is a great American.
And President Joe Biden on Wednesday said that Congress was right to hold Meadows in contempt for going back on his initial cooperation with the committee probing the January 6 riot.
‘I don’t know enough – just what I’ve seen, I have not spoken to anyone,’ President Biden told reporters when departing for Kentucky to survey severe weather damage.
He added: ‘It seems to me he’s worthy of being held in contempt.’
Biden also brushed it off when he was pushed on what he thinks about the text messages that were released from Meadows’ phone.
‘I haven’t seen them all,’ he dismissed.
President Joe Biden told reporters Wednesday the House was right to vote to hold former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress
After handing over thousands of documents and communications to the House January 6 committee, Meadows abruptly withdrew his cooperation and refused to sit down before the Democrat-led panel for a deposition.
The contempt vote came after Cheney said the text messages Meadows received during the siege left ‘no doubt that the White House knew exactly what was happening here at the Capitol.’
A text from the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. on the day of the riot urged Meadows: ‘He has got to condemn this sh*t ASAP. The Capitol police tweet is not enough.’
And another from Fox host Laura Ingraham who begged: ‘Mark, the president needs to tell people in the capitol to go home, this is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy.’
Now Attorney General Merrick Garland will have to decide whether to proceed with those charges, like he did for Trump adviser Steve Bannon last month.
The House voted shortly before midnight on Tuesday to hold Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress
If Garland moves as swiftly as he did the first time, Meadows could be indicted before February.
The House voted to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress on October 21. He was indicted less than a month later on November 15.
Eight Republicans joined Democrats in voting for Bannon’s charges.
The January 6 Committee previously told Meadows he may have violated federal record keeping laws regarding information on his personal cell phone and on email earlier today.
Meadows has emerged as a key figure in the investigation – with Cheney reading into the record Tuesday three more text messages he received from fellow Republican lawmakers the day of the attack pleading with him to intervene with former President Donald Trump.
Additional texts revealed on the House floor Tuesday evening included an unnamed lawmaker sending Meadows an ‘aggressive strategy’ for overturning election results in battleground states and an exchange with an anonymous Georgia state official.
‘It is really bad up here on the Hill,’ one wrote him, according to Cheney.
‘The president needs to stop this ASAP,’ wrote another.
‘Fix this now,’ wrote a third lawmaker.
Rep. Liz Cheney read into the record new texts that GOP lawmakers sent to Trump on Jan. 6
The lawmakers were urging Meadows to intervene with Trump
‘Fix this now,’ one lawmaker wrote Meadows
‘We know that for 187 minutes, President Trump refused to act,’ said Cheney.
She shared those messages, gleaned from a trove of information the committee obtained from Meadows when he was cooperating and perhaps from other sources, after on Monday night reading pleas from Fox News commentators for Trump to make a public statement urging rioters to get out of the Capitol.
More newly-revealed texts brought up during the House’s debate over Meadows’ contempt charge continued to paint a damning picture of the former chief of staff.
Committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren read a message to Meadows sent by an unnamed Georgia state official on January 2.
‘Need to end this call,’ the text read. ‘I don’t think this will be productive for much longer.’
In a message read by Adam Schiff, an unknown number commended Meadows on Trump’s potential appointment of Jeffrey Clark to head the DOJ – which was derailed by the threat of mass resignations among former Trump officials
‘I heard Jeff Clark is getting put in on Monday. That’s amazing. It will make a lot of patriots happy, and I’m personally so proud that you are at the tip of the spear, and I could call you a friend,’ the text read.
A January 3 text from Meadows to an unnamed lawmaker read, ‘He thinks the legislatures have the power but that the Vp has power too.’
In a 51-page report on holding Meadows in contempt for his failure to testify to the panel, the committee says Meadows has ‘frustrated’ its efforts to ‘locate and discover highly relevant documents, even while turning over thousands of other documents.
‘Based on Mr. Meadows’s production of documents and recently reported information, it appears that Mr. Meadows may not have complied with legal requirements to retain or archive documents under the Presidential Records Act,’ according to the report.
‘He has denied the Select Committee the opportunity to question him about these circumstances so that the Select Committee can fully understand the location of highly relevant materials to its investigation and which materials may now be lost to the historical record.’
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) read aloud a series of tweets people sent to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows amid the Capitol riot. Many asked him to get to Trump urging him to take action
Lawmakers debated Meadows’ conduct during a House Rules Committee markup Tuesday
A Jan. 6th committee report references Meadows’ Gmail and cell phone use
Punchbowl reporter Jake Sherman revealed some of the texts Cheney read aloud were from him
By publicly revealing pleading texts sent to Meadows, Cheney may be signaling that the panel may have found a way to get some of the information anyway. It has previously subpoenaed communications companies.
The report also states that panel chair Rep. Bennie Thompson, in a letter to Meadows lawyer George Terwilliger III, asked the lawyer to ‘identify for the Select Committee the current location of Mr. Meadows’s cell phone and whether Mr. Meadows provided his texts and other relevant cell phone records to the National Archives.’
The push for the information comes as Meadows is citing a claim of executive privilege by former President Donald Trump as a reason for holding back and refusing to appear.
The texts highlighted actions Meadows had with elected officials and private individuals that would not be subject to a privilege claim.
But if the work he performed was official, even if he did it on a personal phone or private email account, federal records laws require him to turn it over to the National Archives – the repository for a trove of other information the panel is seeking to obtain.
Meadows’ personal devices have shown up in several areas amid Trump election overturn effort. One involved his and Trump’s contacts with state election officials in Georgia, where Trump was claiming election fraud.
‘Mr. Meadows used a personal account in his attempts to reach the secretary of state before,’ the committee wrote, citing its documents.
The committee, again citing documents on file, says Meadows ‘used his personal cell phone to discuss the rally in the days leading up to January 6.’
Another Meadows lawyer, Michael Francisco produced 2,300 text messages from data backed up on Meadows’ personal cell, according to the report, while also handing over a ‘privilege log’ stating Meadows was holding back more than 1,000 additional texts ‘from his personal cell phone due to claims claims of executive, marital, and other protective privileges’ –an indication he was using the phone for official communications were covered by an executive privilege that a president can assert.
The panel cites Meadows’ use of a pair of Gmail accounts as among the topics they would have questioned him about had he appeared.
‘We would’ve asked him how and for what purpose he used those Gmail accounts and when he used one of them as opposed to his official White House email account. We would’ve similarly asked him about his use of a personal cellular telephone,’ the committee wrote.
Cheney referenced Meadows’ texts repeatedly during a hearing Tuesday at the House Rules Committee.
She said he ‘appears to have been texting at least one other participant on the call’ when Trump phoned Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to push him to ‘find’ 11,800 votes.
She also pointed to his texts around another area of the inquiry: Trump’s potential move to designate DOJ official Jeffrey Clark as Attorney General. Meadows ‘was communicating multiple times with a member of Congress, a currently serving colleagues of ours, who was working with Mr. Clark,’ she said.
The report itself references ‘texts in December of 2020 regarding the prospect of the President’s appointment of Jeffrey Clark as Acting Attorney General.’
Meanwhile, Punchbowl DC reporter Jake Sherman tweeted Tuesday that he had been the author of some of the texts read aloud last night by Cheney. From a secure location in the Capitol amid the riot, Sherman contacted Meadows with his own pleas for assistance.
‘We are under siege,’ he wrote in one. ‘There’s an armed standoff at the house chamber door,’ he wrote in another. ‘We’re all helpless.’
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.
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
Don Jr. and Fox host Laura Ingraham sent desperate messages to Meadows urging him to get a grip of the chaos at the Capitol
Rep. Adam Schiff read a number of lawmaker texts to Mark Meadows in advance of Monday’s contempt of Congress vote
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.
Laura 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,’ Brian Kilmeade wrote to Meadows.
Sean Hannity advised: ‘Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the capitol.’