When right-wing and conservative supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, it was the beginning of a less-than-peaceful transition of power following the 2020 election. Former President Donald Trump told his followers multiple times that the election was "fraudulent." While many Republican lawmakers and figureheads stood beside Trump through the end of his presidency, new text messages to former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows reveal that many of them urged for action against the insurrection.
Late on Dec. 13, the text messages were revealed by the House committee that's investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The committee is voting on Dec. 14 about whether to hold Meadows in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with the Jan. 6 committee subpoena.
The new text messages show that many people called for Trump to call off the rioters at the Capitol.
In the text messages read at the hearing, it was revealed that many of Trump's staff members and even some Fox News figures called for Meadows to urge Trump to do something about the riot, according to Politico.
“Hey Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home … this is hurting all of us … he is destroying his legacy,” Laura Ingraham wrote.
“Can he make a statement? … Ask people to leave the Capitol,” Sean Hannity asked.
“Please get him on tv. Destroying everything you have accomplished,” Brian Kilmeade's text read.
Even Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., urged the former chief of staff to get the then-president to condemn the actions of the rioters at the Capitol.
“He’s got to condemn this [s--t] Asap," Trump Jr. wrote. "The Capitol Police tweet is not enough... we need an Oval Office address."
Clearly, there were many faces on the Republican side who acknowledged the severity of the Jan. 6 riots.
Despite the pleas that came in throughout the day, it was hours before Trump released a video online condemning the actions of those storming the Capitol.
Other text messages show that some people weren't as ready to admonish the rioters.
While many people texted Meadows and tried to get him to encourage Trump to condemn the actions of those at the Capitol, there were others who were less dismissive.
“On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all," one lawmaker, who hasn't been named, told Meadows.
Following the insurrection, another unnamed lawmaker texted Meadows, “Yesterday was a terrible day. We tried everything we could in our objection to the 6 states. I’m sorry nothing worked."
Following the reading of these text messages, the panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection held Meadows in criminal contempt of Congress. They cited these messages as evidence against his refusal to testify in court.
"At this point, Sean, you know, it'll be turned over to the hands of the DOJ," Meadows told Sean Hannity on Fox News this week. "I can say this, that when you look at the criminal component of this, the intent — there's never been an intent on my part."
We will have to wait and see how the House votes on whether or not to hold Meadows in contempt of Congress on Dec. 14.