It was time for Marshall Law.
Or, as it’s actually spelled, martial law.
Perhaps it was just a cosmic coincidence that the story was broken by Josh Marshall of the longtime liberal site Talking Points Memo.
The Jan. 6 committee clearly provided Marshall with a deluge of texts between Mark Meadows, Donald Trump’s last chief of staff, and members of Congress and others. Josh hasn’t made any attempt to hide that.
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With no more hearings, the committee can’t draw the kind of media attention it used to command. So with no good options, the panel handed over the Meadows texts, screenshots and all, to a sympathetic journalist who would give them big play.
No matter where you stand on the matter of the 2020 election, the exchanges with Meadows show elected officials floating increasingly wild and desperate-sounding ideas to block the Electoral College certification, either at the federal or state level. It lifts the curtain on the chaotic atmosphere in which members of Congress were sending crazy texts with all the credibility of Sam Bankman-Fried.
One exception to the lack of attention for the House panel is the somewhat pointless debate over whether it will make criminal referrals to the Justice Department when it meets four days before Christmas. Can you imagine anything more symbolic? DOJ is already investigating the hell out of Trump on several fronts, with a special counsel in charge.
Unless it’s to allow the committee to give Justice its records, it’s meaningless. That train left the station long ago.
The latest TPM installment yesterday features Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, who was pissed when Fox News called his state for Joe Biden– “Fox doesn’t know what they are doing,” he told Meadows–and overall had exchanges of 63 messages, according to the committee.
Biggs (who is challenging Kevin McCarthy for speaker) peppered Meadows with proposals. Republican governors legislatures in states with “shenanigans” could block their electors if “they have the collective will and backbone.”
Then there was a new tack: Biggs claimed he could demonstrate “a significant number of illegal aliens votes” so the legislature “can reject them based on fraud.”
“I like it,” Meadows replied.
Another one from yesterday: Republican Rep. Rick Allen of Georgia citing an anonymous source:
“The source that is feeding my source some voter fraud information contacted me directly. They sent it to me and it is mostly Data breeches of drivers licenses in Georgia and Texas and probably all the swing states that can be used to commit voter fraud.”
Wait, it gets better: Allen sent a clip citing “Romanian illegal activity 3:40 � 50 million stolen us identities 7:37 � used by thiefs for online shopping, loans, election fraud, 8:24 � produce duplicate copies of driver licenses to commit election fraud…”
The Romanian man proved nothing in the clip, which Allen complained had been banned by YouTube.
Earlier, Talking Points Memo focused on Republican Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina telling Meadows to push the president to declare “Marshall Law.”
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Republican Rep. Brian Babin of Texas sent Meadows 21 texts (with four responses):
“Mark, When we lose Trump we lose our Republic. Fight like hell and find a way. We’re with you down here in Texas and refuse to live under a corrupt Marxist dictatorship. Liberty! Babin”
Republican Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania was so frustrated he used an obscenity:
“We’re in Philadelphia suing Pa. Sec. of State for her illegal meddling in this election and will continue to expose fraudulent actions. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to fight these MF’ers in Pa.? Our President is heroic !!”
There were also shots at the press. Norman again:
“Guys, if there was ever a time to stand with our leader who has strengthened our military, stood for life for the unborn, supported Israel, built the wall, appointed conservative judges ect. And we lay down and abandon him JUST BECAUSE THE BIASED MEDIA HAS CALL THE ELECTION??
In the runup to Jan. 6, one of the best-known Republican congressmen, Ohio’s Jim Jordan, texted Meadows that Mike Pence should “call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all–in accordance with guidance from founding father Alexander Hamilton and judicial precedence.”
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“I have pushed for this. Not sure it is going to happen,” Meadows said.
As indeed it did not.
These members of Congress were passionate and determined, trying everything in their power to block a Biden presidency, and Meadows was receptive. But in peddling conspiracy theories and increasingly far-fetched claims and bogus plots, some of them seemed out of touch with reality.
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