The messages were read by committee members on the House floor Tuesday during debate over referring a criminal contempt of Congress against Meadows to the Justice Department. They included messages from a Georgia government official sent to Meadows while then-President Donald Trump was on the phone with Georgia’s secretary of state urging him to “find” votes for Trump, as well as discussions of Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat on the select panel, read a text message from an unnamed Georgia government official sent to Meadows during the January 2 call.
“Need to end this call,” the official wrote. “I don’t think this will be productive for much longer.”
Rep. Adam Schiff, another California Democrat on the committee, read a text from an unknown number that applauded the potential appointment of Jeffery Clark to be acting attorney general while Trump tried to get the Justice Department to support his false claims of election fraud. Clark was one of the big proponents at the DOJ who was pushing to use the power of the department to investigate unfounded claims of voter fraud, but he was rebuffed by the department’s leaders.
“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 to Meadows read.
The January 6 committee members did not identify who sent Meadows the messages they revealed Tuesday. But they argued that the messages were part of a litany of evidence showing how Meadows was in contempt of Congress after he reversed his decision to cooperate with the committee’s investigation.
“Mr. Meadows received numerous text messages, which he has produced without any privilege claim, imploring that Mr. Trump take specific action we all know his duty required,” said Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, one of two Republicans on the select committee. “Indeed, some of those text messages, madam speaker, came from members in the chamber right now.”
On Monday, when the select committee approved its resolution holding Meadows in contempt, the panel revealed that Meadows had voluntarily provided scores of text messages he received on January 6, including from Fox News personalities, lawmakers and the then-President’s son, Donald Trump Jr.