The House committee investigating the Capitol riot presented text messages that key allies to former President Donald Trump sent to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Jan. 6.
The text messages, read before the panel voted to hold Meadows in contempt of Congress, revealed Donald Trump Jr., as well as Fox News personalities Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Brian Kilmeade, communicated with Trump's top aide and urged action to stop the violence on Capitol Hill.
"We need an Oval Office address, he has to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand," Trump Jr., who is the former president's eldest son, texted Meadows.
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Trump Jr. texted Meadows repeatedly during the riot, according to Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney. At one point, Meadows told him, "I'm pushing it hard, I agree."
—@Liz_Cheney reads texts sent by Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Brian Kilmeade, and Donald Trump Jr. to Mark Meadows during the insurrection, imploring him to get Trump to do something. pic.twitter.com/mgzFeHiHsy— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) December 14, 2021
Meadows also received text messages from a number of high-profile Fox News personalities.
“Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol,” Hannity texted Meadows.
“Mark, president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home," Ingraham wrote. "This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy."
“Please get him on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished,” Kilmeade said.
In addition, Cheney read through text messages from five different individuals sent to Meadows who appeared to be at the Capitol during the unrest.
“These text messages leave me no doubt: The White House knew exactly what was happening here at the Capitol. Members of Congress, the press, and others wrote to Mark Meadows as the attack was underway," she said before reading them.
“We are under siege here at the Capitol,” one person wrote.
“They have breached the Capitol,” a second person texted.
“Mark, protesters are literally storming the Capitol. Breaking windows on doors, rushing in," a third person texted Meadows. "Is Trump going to say something?”
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“There's an armed standoff at the House chamber door,” a fourth person texted.
“We are all helpless,” a fifth person said.