For two months, six men did their utmost to spread “The Big Lie,” which was to keep Donald Trump in the White House. The committee investigating the attack on Congress in January has now asked two of them to appear for questioning.
Unless you follow American politics very closely, you have hardly heard of the group of American congressional politicians who call themselves “The House Freedom Caucus.”
But six members of this very conservative group, which numbers some 40 people and often collaborate on issues in Congress, played key roles when Donald Trump – in the two months that passed from the loss of last year’s presidential election to Joe Biden until the attack on Congress January 6 – was desperate to change the outcome.
They became the disciples who spread what has been referred to as “The Great Lie” about election fraud as often as they could and wherever they could.
They became Donald Trump’s most loyal men.
Chances are good that you have not heard of the six men before either.
Jim Jordan is one of them. Probably best known as Donald Trump’s foremost defender in Congress. But also known for his yellow ties and for allegedly having silenced sexual abuse from a university doctor when he was a wrestling coach at a university in Ohio.
Paul Gosar is another. He, who has previously spoken at a meeting of white nationalists, recently made a name for himself when he posted an animated video on social media depicting himself killing Congressman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
A third was Scott Perry, referred to by his colleagues as “General Perry”, because he coordinated much of their work. The last three were Louie Gohmert, Andy Biggs and Mo Brooks.
The six must according New York Times have worked closely with Trump’s then chief of staff Mark Meadows, to change the election results.
Meadows, as the House of Representatives this week voted to indict for contempt of Congress because he refuses to appear for hearing in the so-called January 6 committee on the attack on Congress, was one of the founders of “The House Freedom Caucus”, and has himself previously been the leader of the group.
As the New York Times points out, these six were not alone in supporting the outgoing president’s election lies, but they went further than most. After a deliberation meeting between Trump’s next two days after it became clear that Joe Biden won the election, they went from word to deed:
According to the newspaper, they “bombarded” the Ministry of Justice with dubious allegations of irregularities in the polling stations; they made plans to replace the Attorney General with one who was more likely to do as Trump wanted; they put pressure on electoral officials in the states to carry out additional reviews and vote counts in the hope of casting doubt on the election result; and they made plans to prevent the formal approval of the election result in Congress on January 6.
January 6 was the day that ended with an attack on the Congress building, or in the eyes of many; an attack on American democracy. Five people lost their lives in the incident.
That Trump trusted the Republican politicians would stand up for him became clear this summer. Then the notes the acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue took from what Trump said in a conference call last Christmas between the then president and the leadership of the Ministry of Justice became known:
“Just say the election was corrupt. Let me and the R congressmen take care of the rest.”
This was after the ministry had gone out into the media and stated that there was no evidence of election fraud.
Defendant Vice President
Among the specific things Trump’s loyal men did, the New York Times lists:
Scott Perry contacted the aforementioned Donoghue and told that he had a whole portfolio of allegations of cheating he thought the ministry needed to investigate. Allegations it was later concluded that there was no basis for.
Perry also tried to get the leaders of Congress to postpone the final confirmation of the election result, which was to be done on January 6.
Louie Gohmert claimed in a video on YouTube that the US military had confiscated a computer in Germany that was used to change people’s voices. He later sued Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, in an attempt to get him to cancel the election.
Paul Gosar la pressure on the governor of Arizona to investigate whether the electronic voting machines used in the state were reliable. He also sent his chief of staff to an airport in Phoenix after a conspiracy theory that a plane from South Korea with fake ballot papers was on its way got water on the mill.
Sent Trump message: – This hurts us all
Forwarded text message
The day before Mike Pence was to formally approve the election result, Jim Jordan forwarded a text message to Mark Meadows, in which a legal theory about how the vice president allegedly had the authority to not accept the election result from some states, if he thought the result was cheating, was put forward.
Parts of the text message were read out by the January 6 committee in Congress earlier this week. What Meadows did with the text message is unknown, but definitely one of the questions the committee wants to ask him in the hearing he refuses to attend.
– You can understand why it is essential to ask Mr. Meadows about this. About a congressman who proposes that the former vice president only cast votes he alone considers to be unconstitutional with the aim of overthrowing a presidential election and the will of the American people, said committee member and Democrat Adam Schiff this week, according to CNN.
«Stop the Steal»
And on the very day the election was to be formalized, January 6, Mo Brooks stood on the stage a few hundred meters from the congress building and spoke to the Trump supporters during a so-called “Stop the Steal” mass meeting:
– Today is the day American patriots start to write down names and give people an overhaul. Are you willing to do what it takes to fight for America? he asked.
Minutes later, hundreds of people marched toward Congress. The attack was underway.
– No one is protected
According to a person interviewed by the January 6 committee, they are very interested in learning more about the relationship between the members of “The House Freedom Caucus” and the political activists behind the “Stop the Steal” events.
Committee chair Bennie Thompson has stated that they will follow the facts wherever they lead them. Including to their colleagues in Congress.
– No one is protected, says Thompson.
Before Christmas, it became clear that the committee had asked one of them, Jim Jordan, to volunteer to attend an interview with them. Earlier in December, Scott Perry received the same request.
The latter has already refused to attend voluntarily. The former has so far given no answer, but he has previously warned the committee against going after Republican representatives.
Whether the committee will summon them if they do not attend voluntarily remains to be seen.
In his recently published book, Mark Meadows writes that he and Donald Trump only wanted to investigate the serious allegations of electoral fraud “to get to the bottom of what really happened, and get a fair count.”
PS Donald Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon is too charged with contempt of Congress after refusing to testify before the January 6 committee.