If the House Select Committee on Jan. 6 wanted to be taken seriously beyond its base followers of J6 hoaxers, perhaps it should break some major news. Investigating why Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to deploy the National Guard six times would be a good start.
Instead, the partisan probe has routinely sought to selectively leak the private messages of public and private individuals in an effort to frame political dissidents as complicit in a “violent insurrection.” Friday was the committee’s latest example of this, sending texts between a former White House chief of staff and a pair of Republican lawmakers to its go-to outlet, CNN.
In a “CNN Exclusive,” a team of four reporters published the most recent revelations from the Jan. 6 Committee to apparently implicate Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Texas Rep. Chip Roy as guilty of fomenting the Capitol unrest.
“‘We need ammo. We need fraud examples. We need it this weekend,'” the story headlined. “What the Meadows texts reveal about how two Trump congressional allies lobbied the White House to overturn the election.” The raw text messages can be found here.
The J6 narrative charged Lee and Roy with promoting election conspiracies to assist the White House in overturning an election with apparently no problems, aside from the record-level turnout from less-reliable mail-in voting under last-minute rule changes with election offices privatized by left-wing actors. What they truly found, however, were lawmakers who worked to ensure the constitutional legitimacy of an extremely close election.
To start, CNN acknowledged both lawmakers “supported legal challenges to the election but ultimately came to sour on the effort and the tactics deployed by Trump and his team.” Both voted to certify President Joe Biden’s electoral victory (even if they hadn’t, objections are not illegal, and in fact have been popular among Democrats in 2001, 2005, and 2017).
The authors started the next paragraph with, “‘We’re driving a stake in the heart of the federal republic,’ Roy texted Meadows on January 1” — a comment completely ripped out of context to inflame readers obsessed with every development from the committee as a blockbuster scandal.
Roy Communications Director Nate Madden responded to the line by posting a screenshot of the raw message from CNN’s own page that included a qualifier.
“Use the whole quote, Einstein,” Madden wrote, wherein the full text read, “If POTUS allows this to occur… we’re driving a stake in the heard of the federal republic,” five days before Jan. 6. That’s quite the opposite of encouraging Trump to follow through with contesting an election outcome.
“The messages speak for themselves,” Madden told The Federalist. “But as the old saying goes, torture the data and it will tell you anything you want.”
Lee also stands accused by CNN’s Amanda Carpenter of lying about his knowledge of a scheme plotted by attorney John Eastman to pursue alternate electors. As outlined by the Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll in a Twitter thread linked below, however, the erroneous accusation results from a manipulation of the messages presented by CNN and the Salt Lake Tribune reporting on them.
According to reporting by Robert Costa and Bob Woodward linked in the Tribune story and shared by Carpenter, Lee’s knowledge of a campaign of alternate electors only extended to “a social media campaign – an amateur push with no legal standing,” not a real plot by Eastman.
What the text messages published by CNN reveal are nothing more than a pair of top Republican lawmakers fighting to exhaust all legal and constitutional challenges to ensure the integrity of an election outcome decided by fewer than 45,000 votes across three tipping-point states amid election system chaos. Such treason.