Meadows and the Band of Loyalists: How They Fought to Keep Trump in Power

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
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Traitors one and all:


A small circle of Republican lawmakers, working closely with President Donald J. Trump’s chief of staff, took on an outsize role in pressuring the Justice Department, amplifying conspiracy theories and flooding the courts in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

Two days after Christmas last year, Richard P. Donoghue, a top Justice Department official in the waning days of the Trump administration, saw an unknown number appear on his phone.
Mr. Donoghue had spent weeks fielding calls, emails and in-person requests from President Donald J. Trump and his allies, all of whom asked the Justice Department to declare, falsely, that the election was corrupt. The lame-duck president had surrounded himself with a crew of unscrupulous lawyers, conspiracy theorists, even the chief executive of MyPillow — and they were stoking his election lies.
Mr. Trump had been handing out Mr. Donoghue’s cellphone number so that people could pass on rumors of election fraud. Who could be calling him now?
It turned out to be a member of Congress: Representative Scott Perry, Republican of Pennsylvania, who began pressing the president’s case. Mr. Perry said he had compiled a dossier of voter fraud allegations that the department needed to vet. Jeffrey Clark, a Justice Department lawyer who had found favor with Mr. Trump, could “do something” about the president’s claims, Mr. Perry said, even if others in the department would not.
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The message was delivered by an obscure lawmaker who was doing Mr. Trump’s bidding. Justice Department officials viewed it as outrageous political pressure from a White House that had become consumed by conspiracy theories.
It was also one example of how a half-dozen right-wing members of Congress became key foot soldiers in Mr. Trump’s effort to overturn the election, according to dozens of interviews and a review of hundreds of pages of congressional testimony about the attack on

The lawmakers — all of them members of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus — worked closely with the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, whose central role in Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn a democratic election is coming into focus as the congressional investigation into Jan. 6 gains traction.
The men were not alone in their efforts — most Republican lawmakers fell in line behind Mr. Trump’s false claims of fraud, at least rhetorically — but this circle moved well beyond words and into action. They bombarded the Justice Department with dubious claims of voting irregularities. They pressured members of state legislatures to conduct audits that would cast doubt on the election results. They plotted to disrupt the certification on Jan. 6 of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.
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There was Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the pugnacious former wrestler who bolstered his national profile by defending Mr. Trump on cable television; Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona, whose political ascent was padded by a $10 million sweepstakes win; and Representative Paul Gosar, an Arizona dentist who trafficked in conspiracy theories, spoke at a white nationalist rally and posted an animated video that depicted him killing Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York.


They were joined by Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas, who was known for fiery speeches delivered to an empty House chamber and unsuccessfully sued Vice President Mike Pence over his refusal to interfere in the election certification; and Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama, a lawyer who rode the Tea Party wave to Congress and was later sued by a Democratic congressman for inciting the Jan. 6 riot.
Mr. Perry, a former Army helicopter pilot who is close to Mr. Jordan and Mr. Meadows, acted as a de facto sergeant. He coordinated many of the efforts to keep Mr. Trump in office, including a plan to replace the acting attorney general with a more compliant official. His colleagues call him General Perry.
Mr. Meadows, a former congressman from North Carolina who co-founded the Freedom Caucus in 2015, knew the six lawmakers well. His role as Mr. Trump’s right-hand man helped to remarkably empower the group in the president’s final, chaotic weeks in office.
In his book, “The Chief’s Chief,” Mr. Meadows insisted that he and Mr. Trump were simply trying to unfurl serious claims of election fraud. “All he wanted was time to get to the bottom of what really happened and get a fair count,” Mr. Meadows wrote.



Congressional Republicans have fought the Jan. 6 committee’s investigation at every turn, but it is increasingly clear that Mr. Trump relied on the lawmakers to help his attempts to retain power. When Justice Department officials said they could not find evidence of widespread fraud, Mr. Trump was unconcerned: “Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen,” he said, according to Mr. Donoghue’s notes of the call.

 
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lucas80

HR King
Gold Member
Jan 30, 2008
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It is worth noting that GOP leadership wanted Biggs and Jordan on the 1/6 Committee.
My expectations are horribly low that my representative will show any spine and stand up for the Constitution and our democratic ideals. MMM will mumble out words, and then vote against issuing subpoenas for the co-conspirators in the House.
This is an area in which we all see the demise of local media. No outlet is going to hold her feet to the fire. Nobody is going to ask her why she thought Mo Brooks wore body armor on 1/6? What did Brooks think was going to happen that day?
 

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