Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows spent the waning weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency repeatedly trying to pressure the Justice Department to investigate baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, according to emails provided to Congress and reported Saturday by the New York Times.
In five emails he sent in the last week of December, Meadows pressed then–Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen to look at baseless claims of election fraud in New Mexico. One of the claims Meadows included was the absurd and relatively obscure conspiracy that Italians had used satellites and other technology to remotely switch votes from Trump to Biden.
The emails surfaced as a part of the Senate Judiciary Committee investigation of Justice Department officials’ potential involvement in efforts to undermine the election in favor of Trump.
Rosen didn’t agree to open investigations in any of the emails, according to the Times. Trump himself had tried to push Rosen at other times toward helping undermine the election. At one point, he considered trying to push Rosen out and replace him with a lackey more likely to do his bidding.
The emails are a part of a shoddy but persistent set of actions taken by Trump and other members of his administration, including Meadows, to try to undermine the election results before he left office. Meadows, for example, was also on Trump’s call with Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, in which the president tried to pressure him into altering the state’s election results.
Meadows also made a visit to Cobb County, Georgia, to personally watch an election audit, which local officials called a stunt of “desperation.”