National Guard would ‘protect pro Trump people’ on Jan. 6

December 13, 2021
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows arrives with his wife Debbie Meadows as U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to deliver his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination on the South Lawn of the White House August 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump gave the speech in front of 1500 invited guests.
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Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows sent a message of reassurance the day before a riot at the Capitol about the protection the National Guard would offer some individuals on Jan. 6.

Meadows wrote in an email that the National Guard would “protect pro Trump people,” according to the House committee investigating the insurrection, and others would be available on standby.

The message was among the documents Meadows shared with the committee that now plans to recommend a contempt citation for the top adviser to former President Donald Trump.

It was part of a trove of new information contained in a 51-page report the committee released Sunday as it prepared to vote on a contempt citation that would then go to the full House. The House would vote on whether to refer Meadows to the Justice Department for prosecution.

Meadows initially cooperated with the committee, providing documents for its investigation. But last week, his attorney said he would not sit for a deposition, citing Trump’s claim of executive privilege.

More:Mark Meadows’ lawyer urges House panel investigating Jan. 6 against contempt, criminal charges

The committee’s investigators wrote in the report that they would have asked Meadows about deployment of the National Guard had he sat for the deposition. The report specifically cited the Jan. 5 email in which Meadows wrote that “pro Trump people” would be protected.

The report, though, doesn’t identify the recipient of the message or detail why protection would be needed. Meadows sent the message the day before Trump spoke at a rally near the Capitol as lawmakers began counting electoral votes.

“Mr. Meadows apparently knows if and when Mr. Trump was engaged in discussions regarding the National Guard’s response to the Capitol riot, a point that is contested but about which Mr. Meadows provided documents to the Select Committee and spoke publicly on national television after President Trump left office,” they wrote in the report.

Other revelations in the report include:

  • Meadows’ text message exchange with the organizer of the Jan. 6 rally on the Ellipse, where the organizer said “things have gotten crazy and I desperately need some direction. Please.”
  • His receipt of text messages and emails about efforts to get state lawmakers in Republican states to send alternate slates of electors to Congress to overturn the election. When one member of Congress pointed out the plan was “highly controversial,” the report said Meadows responded “I love it.”

The committee is scheduled to meet Monday evening to vote on the contempt citation.

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