Two Republican lawmakers who worked closely with the White House to overturn the 2020 election results expressed grave concerns about their own colleagues as the Jan. 6 insurrection neared.
Newly revealed text messages exchanged with then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows show Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) pushing hard to challenge Donald Trump's loss in court, but they started getting cold feet about the plan as those lawsuits failed and the former president's rhetoric grew more extreme, reported CNN.
"The president should call everyone off. It's the only path. If we substitute the will of states through electors with a vote by congress every 4 years... we have destroyed the electoral college... Respectfully," Roy texted on Dec. 31, 2020.
Trump and his allies were working at that time to mobilize officials in the federal government -- including attorney general William Barr and vice president Mike Pence -- to help him remain in power, but Lee told Meadows that a plan to send alternate slates of electors to Congress was not lawful.
"I only know that this will end badly for the President unless we have the Constitution on our side," Lee texted on Jan. 3, 2021. "And unless these states submit new slates of Trump electors pursuant to state law, we do not."
Lee and Roy both ultimately voted to certify Joe Biden's election win on Jan. 6, 2021, but more than 100 GOP lawmakers did not -- and Lee specifically called out two of them -- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) -- in texts to Meadows.
"I have grave concerns with the way my friend Ted is going about this effort," Lee wrote. "This will not inure to the benefit of the president."
After the Capitol was cleared of the violent mob of Trump supporters, Roy said on the House floor that "the president should never have spun up certain Americans to believe something that simply cannot be."
As the riot raged, he called on Meadows to help put a stop to the violence.
"This is a sh*tshow," Roy wrote. "Fix this now."
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