SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah Sen. Mike Lee labored on early efforts to overturn the outcomes of the 2020 election, serving to push legally doubtful schemes to maintain then-President Donald Trump in energy, earlier than he shifted course and rapidly backed away.
His efforts, revealed in textual content messages obtained by the Home panel investigating the lethal rebellion on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, drew fast condemnation Friday from his reelection challengers.
Textual content messages between the Republican senator and then-White Home chief of workers Mark Meadows element how Lee inspired prime Trump advisers to embrace Sidney Powell, a Republican lawyer who later unfold wild and baseless claims of a rigged election.
The messages from Lee to Meadows — and messages from Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy to Meadows — have been reported on and printed Friday by CNN.
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They present Lee’s efforts to help Trump started Nov. 7 and included early assist for Powell. Later, Lee explored a plan to encourage state legislatures to change the end result of the 2020 election by appointing alternate electors.
At one level, Lee stated he was working “14 hour days” aiding Trump. At one other he requested Meadows, “Please inform me what I ought to be saying.”
By mid-November, nevertheless, the messages present Lee starting to lose confidence in Powell and, finally, the alternate electors plan. He additionally questioned efforts to object to the vote certification after no proof of widespread fraud emerged.
“I solely know that it will finish badly for the President except we’ve got the Structure on our aspect,” Lee wrote to Meadows.
He and Roy didn’t be part of congressional Republicans who objected to the outcomes after they have been licensed in January.
Nonetheless, Lee’s Republican main opponent Becky Edwards, a former state lawmaker, stated the messages present Lee “researched overturning a lawful, democratic election for partisan and political achieve … he allowed the scenario to proceed and enabled these searching for to maintain themselves in energy, irrespective of the implications.”
Ally Isom, a former gubernatorial deputy chief of workers who can be difficult Lee, stated the messages present he’s “extra involved with enjoying DC video games” than with representing folks in Utah. “I’m a traditional conservative,” she stated in a press release.
Impartial Evan McMullin, a former presidential candidate, additionally criticized Lee on Twitter.
Lee’s spokesman, for his half, stated the senator did observe the Structure and the messages “inform the identical story Sen. Lee advised from the ground of the Senate the day he voted to certify the election outcomes.”
Lee’s messages are the most recent instance of high-profile Republicans pushing Meadows to problem the election outcomes.
Final month, The Washington Put up and CBS reported that Ginni Thomas, spouse of Supreme Court docket Justice Clarence Thomas, additionally texted Meadows repeatedly imploring him to behave to overturn the 2020 election. Her involvement within the efforts have raised considerations about her husband’s potential involvement in any circumstances involving the election or the Jan. 6 rebellion.
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