How 'loyal servant' Mark Meadows played a 'pivotal' role in Trump’s attempted coup: report

How 'loyal servant' Mark Meadows played a 'pivotal' role in Trump’s attempted coup: report

The events that followed the 2020 presidential election were unprecedented in U.S. history. Never before had an incumbent president in the United States lost the popular vote by more than 7 million and watched his opponent win 306 electoral votes only to falsely claim that the election was stolen from him and make an unsuccessful coup attempt. And never before had an insurrectionist mob violently attacked and invaded the U.S. Capitol Building in the hope of stopping the peaceful transition of presidential power.

But all of those things happened after now-President Joe Biden defeated then-President Donald Trump in 2020, and one of Trump’s closest allies during his unsuccessful coup attempt was then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Journalist Michael Kranish, in an article published by the Washington Post on May 9, takes an in-depth look at the prominent role Meadows played in that coup attempt.

“Instead of echoing the (Trump) Administration’s own Justice Department to tell Trump that his claims of a stolen election were wrong,” Kranish explains, “Meadows went to extraordinary lengths to push Trump’s false assertions — particularly during a crucial three-week period starting with his trip to Atlanta and culminating in the violent insurrection on January 6, 2021.”

Kranish continues, “A review of Meadows’ actions in that period by the Washington Post — based on interviews, depositions, text messages, e-mails, congressional documents, recently published memoirs by key players and other material — shows how Meadows played a pivotal role in advancing Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. In doing so, Meadows ‘repeatedly violated’ legal guidance against trying to influence the Justice Department, according to a majority staff report of the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

Some right-wing Republicans refused to go along with the Big Lie in late 2020 and early 2021, including Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr — and Trump angrily turned against them. But Meadows was an unwavering Big Lie supporter.

Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland told the Post, “Meadows was someone obviously central to the operations of the Trump White House and deeply implicated in Trump’s specific attempts to strip Biden of his Electoral College victory after the election. He was above all a loyal servant to Donald Trump regardless of the dictates of the law and the Constitution.”

Meadows, Kranish notes, “granted those peddling theories about a stolen election direct access to the Oval Office and personally connected some with the president, according to congressional reports and interviews with former White House officials.”

“He pressed the Justice Department to investigate spurious and debunked claims, including a bizarre theory that an Italian operation changed votes in the United States — an allegation a top Justice official called ‘pure insanity,’ according to e-mail correspondence released by congressional investigators,” Kranish writes. “He also pushed the Justice Department, unsuccessfully, to try to invalidate the election results in six states through federal court action. Now, Meadows’ actions are at the center of probes by both the House committee investigating the January 6, (2021) attack and the Justice Department, which is examining whether to press contempt-of-Congress charges against him and is conducting its own inquiry into the events surrounding the insurrection.”

Former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham cites Meadows as an example of someone who didn’t hesitate to push the Big Lie in late 2020 and early 2021.

Grisham, author of the book “I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw At the Trump White House,” told the Post, “Anybody who participated in telling the president, 'We can take this back,’ has a role in all of this. He was allowing people to come into the White House who had this false information.… He was participating in these meetings that were causing the president to really believe in voter fraud.”

Grisham was the Trump Administration’s third of four White House press secretaries. During the final months of Trump’s presidency, that position was held by Kayleigh McEnany — now a MAGA pundit/carnival barker at Fox News. But Grisham, after being replaced by McEnany, maintained her White House presence by serving as then-First Lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff — a position she left after the January 6, 2021 attack.

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