While numerous people in Donald Trump’s inner circle have been contacted by the January 6th Committee and have refused to speak, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) says that he’d be happy to speak with the Committee, but that they haven’t reached out to him.
Lee was implicated in the plot to overturn the election when CNN released texts between him and Mark Meadows, who was White House Chief of Staff at the time. These include a message from Lee and others (two Members of Congress, and several right-wing influencers) encouraging Trump to “exhaust every legal and constitutional remedy at [his] disposal,” and efforts to link Trump with Sidney Powell, who, Lee pleaded in texts to Meadows, “has a strategy to keep things alive and put several states back in play.”
Now, on Fox News Sunday, Lee says he never tried to help overturn the election, and only made calls to find out whether it was true that states were considering withdrawing their electoral counts — “not trying to influence anyone.”
Asked about his texts to Meadows & possible involvement in the Trump coup attempt, Mike Lee says "I knew how bad Joe Biden would be as president" but claims he didn't actually try to overturn the election, he just contacted federal & local officials to see if they were trying 🤔 pic.twitter.com/i09nz9gKvS
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 19, 2022
“I knew how bad Joe Biden would be as President…There was some uncertainty in the wake of the election. As we approached the end of December, there were rumors that continued to circulate suggesting that some states were going to be reallocating, withdrawing and reallocating, their electoral votes…I communicated with Mark Meadows to try to find out whether the rumors were true. I couldn’t get answers so I reached out to state lawmakers in various states, not trying to influence anyone, simply trying to find out whether the rumors were true.”
Ultimately, as the Washington Post‘s Electoral Count Tracker documents, Lee voted to confirm the electoral vote, and refused to support any objections, saying, “There is no authority for Congress to make value judgments in the abstract regarding any state’s election laws.”
Still, texts revealed from Lee to Meadows between the election and the confirmation vote do not support the claim that he was merely checking on rumors, particularly when he attempted to help Powell reach the then-president with her own ideas for challenging the election outcome.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com