Yesterday, Congresswoman Liz Cheney read the texts sent to Mark Meadows on January 6 during the assault on the Capitol. We now know for certain that Meadows and Donald Trump knew exactly what was happening. Fox News personalities like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingaham texted urging Trump to call off the attackers. Even Don, Jr., was demanding his father do something. Instead, the assault went on for more than three hours before Trump uploaded a video calling for calm.
Meadows released a trove of information that confirms that he was involved in the planning of protests calling for overturning the election results. He had a Powerpoint on his phone that outlined a coup and the presentation was shared with Republican Members of Congress. He was communicating with Members of Congress, conservative media, and organizers of the protest throughout the assault.
Despite giving the House Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack incriminating evidence, Meadows is refusing to testify before the committee. The committee recommended last night that he be held in contempt of Congress. The full House will vote on the recommendation tomorrow.
I don’t expect any Republicans except Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger will vote to hold Meadows in contempt. The rest of the Republican caucus is complicit in a cover-up, urging the country to move on from the attempt to overthrow our democracy. Republicans who were once loyal to the Constitution and country are now subservient to Donald Trump and his followers. Rank-and-file GOP operatives, donors, and supporters will look the other way while the most noxious conservative pundits continue to lie to the segment of the population who can be fooled all of the time, casting doubt on the validity of the texts.
Still, I expect Meadows to become the fall guy for the attempted coup. He’s the none-too-bright apparatchik who sees himself as a master operator, but who’s really as expendable as anyone in the Trump universe. Republicans will gladly sacrifice Meadows to protect their 2024 frontrunner, especially if Trump turns on him, which seems inevitable.
Republicans just want January 6 to go away. They’ve downplayed its significance after initially criticizing Trump’s role in the assault. At Trump’s second impeachment trial, Mitch McConnell said, “There’s no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.” Just a few months later he confirmed that he would support Donald Trump if he were the Republican nominee for president. Clearly, the GOP puts the political fortunes of their party ahead of the well-being of the country. If they can make January 6 go away by throwing Meadows under the bus, then they’ll gladly do it.