U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney on Monday revealed texts encouraging the chief of staff for former President Donald Trump to push the president to condemn rioters who broke into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Cheney, the vice chair of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, during a committee meeting Monday night read aloud from several texts sent to Mark Meadows. The committee met as members advanced contempt of Congress charges against Meadows.
The committee unanimously voted to criminally charge Meadows with contempt of Congress, which the full U.S. House of Representatives will vote on Tuesday.
The vote against Meadows came after Cheney shared texts written by Trump’s son, among others.
“He’s got to condemn this sh*t ASAP,” Donald Trump Jr. texted Meadows, also writing, “We need an Oval office address.”
Cheney said that the committee worked with Meadows’ legal counsel for weeks regarding his testimony, but right before the scheduled hearing, Meadows reneged on the deal. She added that the contempt of Congress charge stems from his refusal to testify about the text messages he received on Jan. 6.
Meadows received numerous text messages from members of Congress, the press (including Fox News hosts) and Trump’s own family, urging him to persuade Trump to take action and call off the rioters.
“These text messages leave no doubt that the White House knew exactly what was happening here at the Capitol,” Cheney said during the meeting.
Trump, an avid Twitter user at the time, took a significantly long time to address the rioters, many of whom were his supporters. When he did, it was described by some as a mild call for peace and a request for rioters to go home.
Texts read by Cheney depicted the incident as a siege on the Capitol.
“We are under siege here at the Capitol,” one text to Meadows read.
“They have breached the Capitol,” another text said.
“Mark, protestors are literally storming the Capitol, breaking windows on doors, rushing in. Is Trump going to say something?” another text to Meadows said.
One Trump administration official texted Meadows and told him that the then-president needed to firmly condemn the rioters, because someone was going to get killed.
Four people died as a result of the Capitol attack that day.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham told Meadows that Trump was destroying his legacy by not telling the protestors to leave.
Cheney is one of two Republicans serving on the Jan. 6 committee and has been outspoken about Trump’s lack of reaction to the Capitol attack, even voting to impeach him for inciting the riot.
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