Mark Meadows, Donald Trump's White House Chief of Staff, reportedly sent an email suggesting that the National Guard would "protect pro Trump people" during the January 6 Capitol riot.
The revelation is just one of many in a Sunday report released by the House committee charged with investigating the insurrection.
"Mr. Meadows sent an email to an individual about the events on January 6 and said that the National Guard would be present to 'protect pro Trump people' and that many more would be available on standby," the report alleges. The email's recipient, however, was not disclosed. The report also notes that Meadows was "in contact with at least some of the private individuals who planned and organized a January 6 rally" ahead of the riot.
Meadows' email appears to align with Trump's previous comments to former Defense Secretary Christopher Miller. Back in May, Miller testified that the former president told him to "do whatever was necessary to protect the demonstrators that were executing their constitutionally protected rights."
This week, Meadows reportedly turned over a 38-page PowerPoint presentation entitled "Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN" that was circulated on Capitol Hill in the days leading up to the insurrection. The presentation outlined a plan to declare a national emergency in an effort to delay the certification of the 2020 election. It also entailed the promulgation of the baseless conspiracy that Venezuela had compromised U.S. voting machines in a number of battleground states.
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According to the House's committee Sunday report, Meadows "received text messages and emails regarding apparent efforts to encourage Republican legislators in certain States to send alternate slates of electors to Congress." Speaking of the plan, Meadows reportedly wrote in a text message: "I love it."
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According to POLITICO, Meadows' newly-unearthed email is "of high interest" to committee investigators because they are working to ascertain why the National Guard's response was delayed during the riot.
Back in March, initial reports suggested that the Defense Department placed heightened restrictions on the Guard's deployment, prolonging it by three hours even though the troops were on standby. The Defense Department has since pushed back on these claims, alleging that guard members were not prepared for deployment. Last week, an ex-D.C. National Guard official accused two top Army officials of lying to Congress about the military's slow response on January 6, criticizing the branch's inspector general for releasing a report replete with "inaccuracies, false or misleading statements, or examples of faulty analysis."
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This week's House report recommends that Meadows, who was subpoenaed by the January 6 panel in September, should be held in contempt of Congress. Meadows has insisted that he is protected by executive privilege, but the House committee has pushed back on this claim, saying in a report that it is "confident that there is no conceivable immunity or executive privilege claim that could bar all of the Select Committee's requests or justify Mr. Meadows's blanket refusal to appear for the required deposition."