A former White House aide told the House Select Committee that Mark Meadows, former President Trump’s ex-White House Chief of Staff, incinerated documents in his office after meeting with a House Republican who was part of a broad GOP effort to overturn the 2020 election results, according to a Politico report.
The testimony was obtained from a former Meadows aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, who had already testified that Meadows was warned that Republican plans to overturn the election with sham electors weren’t “legally sound” and that Trump’s January 6 rally could turn violent.
Hutchinson told the select committee that she had seen “Meadows incinerate documents after a meeting in his office with Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.)”, Politico claimed in its report.
Meadow’s meeting with Perry took place in the weeks that followed after Trump lost the election to then-Democratic candidate Joe Biden by a humiliating margin and scrambled to subvert the elections, per Politico.
Hutchinson spoke with the bipartisan select committee for about 90 minutes, Politico reported. Still, it was unclear if she said which documents were burned, nor was it clear if federal records laws protected those documents from destruction.
Perry chairs the Freedom House Caucus — a pro-Trump group of far-right lawmakers, including Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) — but he once maintained in low profile within the halls of Congress.
However, reams of documents and hours of testimony that the select committee obtained show that Perry “was the first person to connect Trump with Jeffrey Clark, a top Justice Department official who sympathized with the then-president’s efforts to overturn his loss to Joe Biden,” Politico stated in its report.
Perry bombarded Meadows with conspiracy theories of election fraud even before the race was called.
"We have the data-driven program that can clearly show where the fraud was committed. This is the silver bullet," Perry texted Meadows on November 7, 2020.
"From an Intel friend: DNI needs to task NSA to immediately seize and begin looking for international comms related to Dominion," Perry said in a November 12, 2020, text to Meadows.
Weeks after the race was called, the lawmaker pressed Meadows to act asap on the GOP election-subversion plans, per Politico.
“Mark, just checking in as time continues to count down,” Meadows wrote on December 26, 2020. “11 days to 1/6 and 25 days to inauguration. We gotta get going!”
In a recent court filing, congressional investigators said that Perry had played a key role in the failed efforts to steal the 2020 election, drawing up plans with other Trump allies to introduce phony electors into the mix, who would throw out Biden electoral votes in the states Trump lost, according to CNN.
The select committee has subpoenaed Perry for his efforts to get a Trump loyalist installed as attorney general, but the lawmaker has objected to the committee’s request that he appear for deposition.
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The leader of House Republicans Kevin McCarthy has responded to his subpoena from the House Select Committee with a lengthy letter from his attorney, arguing, like others have tried and failed before him, that the panel lacks “valid legislative purpose.”
And as for his own discussions with former President Donald Trump—impeached for inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last year—those details, McCarthy argues, are not subject to oversight.
McCarthy’s response also came with a list of demands, much like his colleague in the House and fellow Trump-ally Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio. But unlike Jordan, who at the very least offered to provide an "adequate response” if his requests were met, McCarthy’s attorney, Elliot Berke, opted instead to present only McCarthy’s challenge to the committee’s authority—with the demand that members on the panel defend their “legal rationale” for issuing the subpoena.
“It is unclear how the Select Committee believes it is operating within the bounds of law or even within the confines of the authorizing resolution,” Berke wrote in the 11-page letter to committee chair Bennie Thompson.
He, like Jim Jordan, wants the committee to meet a list of demands including all the "legal rationale" they have used to premise their requests.— Brandi Buchman (@Brandi_Buchman) May 27, 2022
Something tells me there's an attorney just waiting to oblige him. pic.twitter.com/r1ZkXAMKXd
As for the California Republican’s conversations with Trump on the day of the attack—the details of which the committee has sought for months and beyond what has potentially been publicly reported—McCarthy’s attorney says that information would effectively have no bearing on whatever legislative agenda the probe might have.
”Of course, the Select Committee has no valid legislative interest or oversight authority to question the Leader about public statements he has already made to the press or in the House Chamber,” Berke wrote.
McCarthy, through his attorney, also accused the committee of wishing to “interrogate him” politically and slammed the panel as unconstitutional and acting beyond the “power of inquiry as decreed by our Founding Fathers.”
Federal courts have already established that the committee has a valid legislative interest in investigating the events leading up to January 6. This decision was rendered in John Eastman’s fight to keep the committee away from documents it deemed pertinent to the probe’s fact-finding mission and again when the Republican National Committee tried to shield data from the committee about its fundraising materials.
Those documents, the committee has argued, were entrenched with the former president’s falsehoods and lies about the outcome of the 2020 election and this was used to effectively defraud the public.
The response also contends at length that the committee itself was improperly formed because just nine members sit on it and the resolution states the speaker “shall appoint 13 members to the select committee, 5 of whom shall be appointed after consultation with the minority leader.”
But McCarthy had his chance to nominate picks to the committee. Some of his picks were accepted by Pelosi and others were denied. When Pelosi sent two of the nominees back—including Trump stalwart Jim Jordan—McCarthy, to borrow a phrase, took his ball and went home.
He ended negotiations cold and established clearly that he would not continue engaging with the committee.
The January 6 committee, as it stands today with nine members, includes seven Democrats and two Republicans.
An investigatory body was initially proposed and designed to be an independent, truly bipartisan commission. Democrats suggested splitting membership right down the middle, affording equal subpoena powers to both their party and the Republican Party.
But this proposal couldn’t muster enough support in the Senate and as such, the dreams of that commission were shut down.
Republicans continued to balk, largely, at holding any investigation at all. In the House, only two Republicans—the only two that now serve on the committee, Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger—voted in favor of forming the select committee.
The House passed the resolution.
Five members of the House including McCarthy and Jordan have been hit with subpoenas for their records and depositions. The committee also sent subpoenas to Reps. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Mo Brooks of Alabama, and Andy Biggs of Arizona. To a man, each have have refused to comply.
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.
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Days after the massacre at an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school — a horrific shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead — the nationwide clamor for overdue gun control legislation has grown tumultuous. However, Republicans have chosen to mock these calls, and at the forefront is Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO).
Boebert, an extremist MAGA Republican and Q-Anon conspiracy theorist, took to Fox News’ Hannity Special to offer a bizarre justification for her refusal to support common-sense gun reforms: The United States didn’t ban planes after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“When 9/11 happened, we didn’t ban planes — we secured the cockpits,” Boebert told Sean Hannity, failing to mention that the United States had enacted a flurry of security measures after 9/11, including the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.
In the wake of the attacks, the United States temporarily grounded all flights and implemented sweeping changes to air travel in the interest of public safety, one of which was the creation of a federal agency - the Transportation Security Agency -- to vet passengers before they board planes.
Boebert reached into the Republican playbook for a solution to the growing U.S. gun violence problem — bring in more guns. “I want our schools secured; I want their children protected, and I want teachers that can protect themselves and their students. And you know what? We can achieve this without trying to disarm law-abiding citizens.” Boebert said.
“For me, this is my equalizer. I need a way to protect myself and my children. And my firearm is my equalizer, my tool to do that,” she added. Boebert also claimed the shooting was enough proof that “gun-free zones are deadly.”
In the tasteless rant that preceded her bogus claims, Boebert went on to suggest that Democrats were trying to use the tragedy to further “their political agenda” and create stricter gun control laws.
"And, of course, leave it to Barack Obama to make this issue more divisive instead of allowing the nation to come together, mourn and heal," Boebert said, referring to the former president’s tweet mentioning George Floyd’s murder in a statement about the Uvalde shooting.
Boebert blasted Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for blocking a Republican bill the Democrat said could “see more guns in schools”; Democratic Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke for confronting Texas Governor Greg Abbot at a news conference addressing the tragedy; and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (R-NY) for demanding that Boebert “just quit” after rejecting solutions to gun violence.
Boebert is a staunch advocate for firearm possession who centered her 2020 election campaign around attacking calls for more gun control. The lawmaker also owns a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, called "Shooters Grill," where the waitstaff are permitted to carry firearms.
The House Republican’s comments earned her a resounding backlash. “Why even be in Congress if you don’t believe in doing your job?” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted after Boebert whined that evil could not be “legislated” away.
“Just quit and let someone who actually gives a damn do it instead of acting like a useless piece of furniture when babies are shot with AR-15s that we let teen boys impulse buy before they can legally have a beer,” Cortez added.
CBS Sports NBA reporter Sam Quinn said of Boebert’s comments, “There are so many things wrong with this, but I'll key in on this: airport security has gotten so much tighter since 9/11. I can't even wear shoes going through security anymore. When a few planes killed a bunch of people we made air travel safer. Why can't we do that with guns?”
MSNBC’s Steve Benen opined that Boebert made a good point with her airplane comment but had failed to see it.“If buying guns were in any way similar to getting on an airplane in post-9/11 America, the number of people killed by gun violence would fall dramatically,” he said.