Jake Tupper and Jamie Gangel | CNN
Members of the House Ad Hoc Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol believe former Texas Governor and Trump Energy Secretary Rick Perry was the author of a text message sent to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows the day after the 2020 election. promoting an “AGGRESSIVE STRATEGY” for the three state legislatures to defy the will of their constituents and deliver their state electors to Donald Trump, three sources familiar with the House committee investigation told CNN.
A spokesman for Perry told CNN that the former Secretary of Energy denies being the author of the text. Several people who know Rick Perry have confirmed to CNN that the phone number the committee linked to this text message is Perry’s.
The cell phone number from which the message was sent from a source familiar with the investigation appears in the databases as registered to James Richard Perry of Texas, the former governor’s full name.
The number is also linked in the second database as it is registered to the Department of Energy email address associated with Perry when he was secretary. When these facts were reported, the spokesman did not provide any explanation.
The House Election Committee declined to comment on the author of the text.
November 4, 2020 SMS from Perry’s phone got a lot of attention this week; it was included in a tranche of some 6,000 documents submitted by Meadows to the House Special Committee.
The text was first presented publicly on the floor Tuesday night by Congressman Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, and reads: HERE IS AGGRESSIVE (sic) STRATEGY: Why (sic) GA NC PENN and other R states cannot be controlled State Chambers declare this is BS (where conflicts and elections are not scheduled that night) and just send their voters to vote, and that goes to SCOTUS. “
Ruskin cited the text in the debate over Meadows’s criminal contempt of Congress, using it as an example of evidence requiring additional explanations from Meadows, which the former chief of staff refuses to provide.
“How this text influenced the plans of Mark Meadows and Donald Trump to destroy the legitimate electoral college majority that was established by the people of the United States and the states for Joe Biden,” Ruskin asked. “These are the questions we have the right to ask Mark Meadows.”
Meadows’ text suggests a willingness to trigger a constitutional crisis in order to undermine the election, even before all legitimate votes have been counted. Final results from Pennsylvania and Georgia did not arrive for several days; Ultimately Trump won in North Carolina.
Boston College professor and historian Heather Cox Richardson found the text striking in that its author “wanted the legislatures of Republican-dominated states not even wait to see who won the election — none of these states was called to November 4 – but simply ignored the will of the voters, we will elect our voters and hope that the Supreme Court will pass the election to Trump, as he has been announcing for several weeks. “
In his speech, Ruskin inaccurately described the text message as coming from a “House legislator.” Sources told CNN that this was an unintentional mistake. After CNN asked for comment, Ruskin’s source said the congressman learned of the error this week from CNN and confirmed the error to staff. He wrote a letter to correct the record in Congress.
Perry, the longest serving governor in Texas history, became President Trump’s secretary of energy from 2017 to 2019. An unsuccessful presidential candidate in 2012 and 2016, Perry described the then rival Trump’s candidacy in 2015 as a “cancer of conservatism” that would “destroy a set of principles.”