Mike Lee and Chip Roy’s texts reveal a plot to nullify the 2020 election

Newly-revealed text messages between then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Chip Roy after the 2020 presidential election through Jan. 6, 2021 , the day of the bloody riot at the US Capitol, suggest that the plot to overturn a free and fair election involved high-ranking Republican officials far more broadly than previously thought.

The text messages were obtained by the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack and released by CNN on Friday.

The two Republican lawmakers initially supported Trump’s White House efforts to challenge the 2020 presidential results in the months following the Nov. 8 election, repeatedly offering assistance and asking for talking points to defend the conspiracy in public appearances.

“Please give me something to work with. I just need to know what I should say,” Lee said in a Nov. 20, 2020 text message sent to Meadows.

In another text, Lee points Meadows to documents from John Eastman, a right-wing lawyer who wrote “coup memos” for Donald Trump and his supporters on how to annul the presidential election. Eastman “has some really interesting research on this,” Lee said in the text message.

Lee, who calls himself a “constitutional conservative” and speaks frequently about adhering to the US constitution, suggested the White House pursue a campaign to challenge thousands of votes in multiple states despite no evidence of widespread fraud, a move that would have allowed GOP officials in those states they must designate alternative voter lists.

“If a very small handful of states were to have their legislatures appoint alternate lists of delegates, there might be a way,” Lee said in a Dec. 8 text message to Meadows.

However, on January 3, 2021, just days before the violent attack on the US Capitol by hundreds of Trump supporters, Lee appeared to have a change of heart. In text messages to Meadows, he warned the effort could “backfire” and urged him to convince Trump to change course.

“We simply have no authority to reject a state’s certified electoral votes in the absence of dueling slates, the Trump slate stemming from a state legislative decision,” Lee said Jan. 4.

Lee then voted against an objection to the 2020 presidential results on Jan. 6, unlike some of his Republican colleagues in the Senate. Still, the Utah Republican voted to acquit Trump in his second impeachment trial, which came in the wake of the deadly attack on the Capitol.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), who served as Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) chief of staff before he was elected to Congress, also endorsed the strategy to challenge the 2020 election results after the election. November 8 presidential election. But he too changed his mind a few days before it was too late.

Roy, at least, was more forceful in warning Meadows of pressure from his boss to cancel a free and fair election. However, he arrived quite late.

“The president should remind everyone. It’s the only way. If we replace the will of the states by the voters with a vote of Congress every 4 years…we have destroyed the Electoral College…Respectfully,” Roy sent to Meadows on Dec. 31, 2020.

“If POTUS allows this to happen…we drive a stake through the heart of the federal republic…” he added on Jan. 1, five days before the Jan. 6 riot.

Read all correspondence between Republicans here.


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