The investigation into the effort to overturn the 2020 election has repeatedly shown that senior government officials’ text messages can be crucial pieces of evidence — and that they can be equally hard to obtain.
Earlier this year, American Oversight’s lawsuit revealed that the Defense Department and the Army failed to preserve top leaders’ text messages from Jan. 6, 2021. That revelation prompted the department to impose new rules for the preservation of messages and also led to an internal investigation. This week, the Pentagon’s inspector general told Congress that it had identified “concerns” with the department’s use of phone messaging apps.
Also this week, text messages obtained by CNN showed that Phil Waldron, the former Army colonel who was active in efforts to overturn the election, had in late December 2020 briefed Chief of Staff Mark Meadows about his efforts to access voting systems in battleground states.
Threats to Democracy
This week’s scheduled hearing of the House select committee investigating Jan. 6 was postponed as Hurricane Ian hit Florida’s west coast on Wednesday. Even without a public hearing, the panel interviewed Ginni Thomas, a right wing activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Ginni Thomas — as revealed in emails and texts in recent months — pushed officials, including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows as well as Arizona and Wisconsin lawmakers, to keep fighting to overturn the 2020 election results. She was also in touch with attorney John Eastman.
The committee is also seeking testimony from Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos regarding a phone call he had with former President Trump in July, during which Trump again asked Vos to overturn the 2020 results. Vos has sued the committee to block the subpoena.
DeSantis’ Office Courting Election Deniers
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office met with a right-wing group whose co-founder promoted an Islamophobic conspiracy theory about an election worker, according to records we obtained and reported on by CNN.