Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said that the National Guard would be available to “protect pro-Trump people” during their Jan. 6 gathering at the U.S. Capitol, according to information released Sunday by the House panel investigating the deadly insurrection.
Meadows shared those plans in an email that he sent to an unidentified person ahead of the day’s violence, the Associated Press reported, citing a report from the panel. He also said that additional guards would be placed on standby.
The panel is set to vote on potential contempt charges for Meadows after he failed to comply with a congressional subpoena related to the investigation. It did not publicly release the full email and other documents, but described some of what it obtained from the Trump insider. As part of the investigation, Meadows has provided 6,600 pages of records taken from personal email accounts and about 2,000 text messages, according to the AP.
These text messages reportedly include Meadows’ former colleagues asking him to persuade Trump to call off the violence amid the Jan. 6 attack. An organizer for the “Stop the Steal” rally, which immediately preceded the Capitol attack, told Meadows that they “desperately” needed direction because things “have gotten crazy.” Meadows was with Trump at the time.
This information appears to shed some light on the White House’s delayed response to the day’s rally, which led to five deaths along with injuries and widespread destruction to the historic building. The panel has said that it wants to know whether Trump was involved in delaying sending the National Guard to the scene as the violence unfolded.
The commanding general of the D.C. National Guard testified back in March that it took senior Pentagon officials more than three hours to respond to a help request by the head of the Capitol Police. Earlier this month, a former D.C. National Guard official also accused Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn — brother of disgraced onetime national security adviser Michael Flynn — and Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt of delaying the National Guard’s response to the violence and then lying about it.
Meadows has claimed that he does not need to answer the House committee’s questions about the rally because they are related to Trump’s claims of executive privilege. The vote on recommending contempt charges is expected to take place on Monday.