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Dec. 21, 2020 White House Meeting


On Dec. 21, 2020, a group of congressional Republicans and Trump administration staff members met with the president at the White House to plot how to keep him in power by preventing Congress from certifying the Electoral College results on Jan. 6, 2021. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) organized the meeting, according to email records obtained by the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the Capitol.

Participants in the meeting included

  • President Trump
  • Vice President Pence
  • attorney Rudy Guiliani
  • White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows
  • Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.)
  • Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas)
  • Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.)
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.)
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)
  • Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.)
  • Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.)
  • Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.)
  • Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)
  • Rep. Scott Perry (R-Penn.)
  • Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.)

January 6, 2021

  • In an interview with Politico in December 2020, Brooks explained that the White House meeting was “a back-and-forth concerning the planning and strategy for January the 6th.”
  • Hice promoted the Republican strategy to upend the certification process developed at the meeting. On Dec. 22, 2020, he tweeted, “Big meeting today with @realDonaldTrump, @VP, the President’s legal team, @freedomcaucus and other Members of Congress. I will lead an objection to Georgia’s electors on Jan 6. The courts refuse to hear the President’s legal case. We’re going to make sure the People can!”
  • Following the meeting, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) criticized the House Republican strategy spearheaded by Brooks, saying, “I think the thing they got to remember is, it’s not going anywhere. I mean in the Senate, it would go down like a shot dog. I just don’t think it makes a lot of sense to put everybody through this when you know what the ultimate outcome is going to be.”

The Big Lie

  • In organizing the meeting, Brooks made it clear that he was plotting to keep Trump in power by perpetuating the myth of election fraud in the 2020 election. In an email to Meadows, he wrote: “Only citizens can exert the necessary influence on senators and congressmen to join this fight against massive voter fraud and election theft.”
  • According to Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), who served on the House Select Committee, participants in the Dec. 21 meeting discussed “what would later be known as the ‘Eastman theory’” promoted by attorney John Eastman. That “theory” was a fringe legal strategy arguing that Vice President Pence had the authority to reject slates of electors during the Electoral College certification process.
  • When confronted about his role in the meeting, which was revealed by the House Select Committee, Rep. Harris dismissed its importance, saying “I haven’t had a chance to watch the hearing today. I was busy working on important issues like bringing down the price of gas and groceries and securing our communities against violent crime.”