WASHINGTON – Former President Donald Trump was angry and embarrassed after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit in December 2020 challenging the presidential election, according to new evidence presented by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
A message sent among Secret Service employees warned, “POTUS is pissed” that the Supreme Court refused to hear a case from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) challenging the presidential election results in Pennsylvania and other states that Joe Biden won.
In video testimony that the committee had not previously presented, Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House aide, said she and Mark Meadows, a former White House chief of staff, encountered Trump that evening after a Christmas party at the residence.
“The president was just raging about the decision and how it’s wrong and, ‘Why didn’t we make more calls’ and just his typical anger, outbursts at this decision,” Hutchinson said. “And the president… said something to the effect of, ’I don’t want people to know we lost, Mark. This is embarrassing. Figure it out. We need to figure it out. I don’t want people to know we lost.’”
The Secret Service message was part of a batch of communications the committee recently obtained from the agency, including outside warnings about the potential for violence on Jan. 6 and internal messages about the threat some of Trump’s supporters posed.
The committee presented the Secret Service message and the Hutchinson testimony as part of a hearing devoted to establishing Trump’s state of mind in the weeks leading up to Jan. 6, when he incited a mob of his supporters to attack the Capitol. Committee members played video testimony of Trump’s inner circle members saying they told the president he had run out of ways to challenge the election and ought to concede.
“President Trump knew the truth,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R- Ill.) said. “He knew he had lost the election, but he made the deliberate choice to ignore the courts, to ignore the Justice Department, to ignore his campaign leadership, to ignore senior advisers, and to pursue a completely unlawful effort to overturn the election.”
Contrary to Trump’s apparent suggestion that his team “didn’t make enough calls” to the Supreme Court, the court typically does not consider phone calls when deciding cases.
But Ginni Thomas, wife of conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, had actively encouraged the administration to fight the election result, according to copies of texts between Thomas and Meadows that the committee previously obtained. The messages have raised questions about whether Thomas served as a conduit between the Trump administration and the court.
Thomas also sat down for an interview with the committee this month, though it hasn’t released any excerpts of her testimony yet.