Jan. 5 Meadows email indicated National Guard would ‘protect pro Trump people,’ investigators claim

The House committee investigating the Capitol riot described on Sunday night an email from Mark Meadows indicating that the National Guard was on standby to “protect pro Trump people.” The email had been sent on January 5. 

Context for the message is unknown, but the National Guard has faced scrutiny for a slow response to the incident at the Capitol on January 6 as well as conflicting timelines regarding their efforts from Pentagon and Guard leadership.

No information has been released indicating to whom Meadows, the former White House chief of staff to Donald Trump, was sending the information, or whether it resulted from insight of the Defense Department.

The comment does align, though, with testimony from Christopher Miller, former Defense Secretary, who indicated that in a January 3 conversation with Trump, he was told to “do whatever was necessary to protect the demonstrators that were executing their constitutionally protected rights.” 

Details of the message are part of a 51-page document that was released on Sunday by the panel the day before it is slated to vote on whether to hold Meadows in contempt of Congress. On Tuesday, the full House is expected to vote to hold him in criminal contempt of Congress.

The exchange is important to congressional investigators looking to see whether the former president had anything to do with the several-hour delay in the request by Capitol Police for Guard support and the time at which they arrived at the Capitol. The event that ensued as rioters attempted to stop the congressional certification of the 2020 election results. 

Other messages described by the committee show Meadows apparently asking members of Congress for their assistance in connecting Trump with state lawmakers not long after his defeat in November.

According to documents obtained by the January 6 committee, Meadows said, “POTUS wants to chat with them.” Meadows allegedly made several contacts with members of Congress about Trump’s attempts to recruit state lawmakers to urge them to overturn election results.

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