Texts show Utah Sen. Reads early work on overthrowing the election

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Senator Mike Lee of Utah worked on early efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, helping push legally questionable plans to keep then-President Donald Trump in power before changing course and quickly pulling back.

His efforts, revealed in text messages received by the House of Representatives panel investigating the deadly uprising at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, Friday drew swift condemnation from its re-election challengers.

Text messages between the Republican senator and then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows describe how Lee urged Trump’s top advisers to embrace Sidney Powell, a Republican lawyer who later spread wild and baseless allegations of a false election.

The messages from Lee to Meadows – and the messages from the Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy for Meadows – was reported on and published Friday by CNN.

They show Lee’s efforts to help Trump began on Nov. 7 and included early support for Powell. Later, Lee examined a plan to encourage state legislators to change the outcome of the 2020 election by appointing deputies.

At one point, Lee said he worked “14-hour days” to help Trump. At another, he asked Meadows, “Please tell me what to say.”

In mid-November, however, the messages show that Lee is starting to lose confidence in Powell and eventually the plan for those deputies. He also questioned the efforts to object to the vote certification after no evidence of widespread fraud emerged.

“I only know this will end badly for the President unless we have the Constitution on our side,” Lee wrote to Meadows.

He and Roy did not join congressional Republicans protesting the results when they were certified in January.

Still, Lee’s Republican primary opponent, Becky Edwards, a former state legislator, said the messages show that Lee “investigated overturning a legitimate, democratic election for party political and political gain … he allowed the situation to continue and allowed those seeking to keep itself in power., whatever the consequences. ”

Ally Isom, a former deputy state chief who also challenges Lee, said the messages show he is “more concerned with playing DC games” than with representing people in Utah. “I’m a classic conservative,” she said in a statement.

Independent Evan McMullin, a former presidential candidate, also criticized Lee on Twitter.

Lee’s spokesman, for his part, said the senator followed the constitution and that the messages “tell the same story that Senator Lee told from the Senate hall the day he voted to confirm the election result.”

Lee’s messages are the latest example of high-profile Republicans pushing Meadows to challenge the election result.

Last month, The Washington Post and CBS reported that Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomasalso texted Meadows repeatedly, urging him to act to overthrow the 2020 election. Her involvement in the effort has raised concerns about her husband’s potential involvement in all cases involving the January 6 election or uprising.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.