Here's how bombshell Jan. 6 texts put 'a ton of pressure on Merrick Garland'
US Attorney General Merrick Garland (AFP)

The revelation of text messages from lawmakers and Fox News hosts begging for Donald Trump to call off his rioting supporters puts new pressure on attorney general Merrick Garland.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) read the panicked messages from Jan. 6 before the House select committee voted 9-0 to recommend contempt charges against former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, and Washington Post reporter Jacqueline Alemany told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" the new evidence was "jaw-dropping."

"There's no doubt now that people in the White House were aware of exactly what was going on and what did they do in those 187 minutes," Alemany said. "This opens up a lot of new questions, whether or not some of these people are potentially culpable in some of the deaths that happened on Jan. 6. I think what we also learned last night, the new information and exact communications is just how integral Mark Meadows is in this investigation, he is at the heart of all the information coursing through the White House of these various coups type planning, the "Stop the Steal" rally, the illegal conspiracy coup being planned at the Willard Hotel and in coordination with Trump himself."

These revelations come days after news broke of a 38-page PowerPoint presentation that circulated among White House officials and Republican lawmakers calling for then-vice president Mike Pence to reject certification of Joe Biden's election win.

READ MORE: Liz Cheney reads bombshell Jan. 6th text messages -- including panicked messages from Don Trump Jr.

"These text messages drew out and tease out some raw emotions from people who have been downplaying this insurrection from the start," Alemany said. "That is really powerful and a good moment for our democracy."

Congress will vote Tuesday whether to hold Meadows in contempt, and Alemany said that could turn up the heat on the Department of Justice.

"When the DOJ does decide to criminally prosecute someone that could have repercussion for the actual investigation," she said. "The committee may not have the actual information that they need in criminal prosecution. Yes, Mark Meadows might go to prison and, yes, he might be fined, but at the end of the day, he could walk out without giving a lot of information that the committee really needs. But he already has given 9,000 pages of personal text messages and documents. He's also opened himself up to other investigations, conducting business on personal cell phones."

"We'll see what Merrick Garland does," Alemany added. "There's obviously going to be a ton of pressure on him and, and last night was the first step the committee takes to make the public case for that criminal prosecution."

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