Trump’s White House Emailed About a PowerPoint on How to End American Democracy

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows handed over a trove of pre-Jan. 6 documentation. It’s damning stuff

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The House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the Capitol has obtained a trove of electronic messages from former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, including an email referring to a PowerPoint suggesting Trump could declare a national security emergency in order to delay the certification of the results of the 2020 election.

The revelation is the latest indication that Trump and his inner circle, including his allies in Congress, were very actively and very aggressively trying to overturn the results of the election, which Trump lost handily.

The PowerPoint presentation, which spanned 38 pages and was titled “Election fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN,” was part of an email sent on Jan. 5, the day before the attack on the Capitol. The email pertained to a briefing that was to be provided “on the hill.” Hugo Lowell of The Guardian tweeted slides from the presentation on Thursday detailing a conspiracy theory-laden plan for Vice President Pence to install Republican electors in states “where fraud occurred,” and for Trump to declare a national emergency and for all electronic voting to be rendered invalid, citing foreign “control” of electronic voting systems.

In the 13 months since the election, no evidence has emerged that foreign entities influenced the election, or that any significant fraud occurred.

George Terwilliger, an attorney for Meadows, said on Friday that Meadows provided the committee with PowerPoint because he simply received it in an email. “We produced the document because it wasn’t privileged,” he said, according to The New York Times.

The committee noted in a letter on Wednesday that Meadows had provided text messages in which he discussed a “highly controversial” plan to overturn the election results by appointing alternate electors in certain states. “I love it,” Meadows replied to the idea, which was sent to him by a lawmaker. Meadows discussed the same plan, which was described as a “direct and collateral attack,” in a separate email. The letter referenced the PowerPoint presentation, as well, but did not provide details of its contents.

The letter sent on Wednesday, which was addressed to Meadows’ attorney, explained that the committee had “no choice” but to move to hold Meadows in contempt of Congress for his refusal to comply with his subpoena. How, if Meadows is refusing to comply, did the committee get ahold of all of these damning documents from the former chief of staff? Meadows last week reached an agreement to cooperate, turned over the material, and then earlier this week changed his mind and is now stonewalling the committee. He’s now suing the committee in an attempt to block his subpoena.

It’s unclear what exactly inspired the reversal. Meadows says the committee was not respecting his claims of executive privilege, to which Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said the committee “tried repeatedly to identify with specificity the areas of inquiry” were subject to privilege, but Meadows wouldn’t cooperate. It’s also possible that Meadows decided to buck the committee after reports began to circulate that Trump was pissed at him for revealing a bunch of damning information about how the White House covered up details of Trump’s bout with Covid last year. It’s also possible that Meadows just isn’t very bright.

Regardless, the committee is now in possession of a trove of his documents indicating the extent of Trumpworld’s very real efforts to overturn the election results, efforts that culminated in a throng of supporters storming the Capitol in a violent attack that resulted in five deaths and dozens of injured police officers.

The material turned over by Meadows may be the tip of the iceberg. Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said last week that the committee is preparing to hold “several weeks” worth of public hearings that will tell the story of the riot at the Capitol in “vivid color.” She added on Thursday that the committee has met with nearly 300 witnesses, that it is conducting multiple depositions and interviews every week, and that it expects a ruling imminently on whether it can obtain Trump’s White House documents. “The investigation is firing on all cylinders,” she wrote.

Hours after Cheney teased an upcoming ruling on Trump’s executive privilege claim, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck it down.

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