Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Chip Roy started out wanting to help Trump steal the election, but eventually told him to stop because there was no evidence.
April 15, 2022

CNN's New Day looked at the new text messages Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Chip Roy were sending to Mark Meadows about attempts to overturn the election.

"Never before seen text messages uncovered by the January 6th committee show how two Trump congressional allies, Congressman Chip Roy and Senator Mike Lee, went from encouraging the effort to at least block the certification of the 2020 election, to warning against it," John Berman said.

"I just want you to look at the evolution of texts from Chip Roy to Mark Meadows. On November 7th, he writes, 'Dude, we need ammo, we need fraud examples, we need it this weekend.' On November 19th, he writes, 'We need substance or people are going to break.' On November 22nd, he writes, "Freaking Rudy needs to hush." And on December 31st, Chip Roy writes, 'The president should call everyone off.'

"Both Chip Roy and Mike Lee did not go along with the certification on January 6th itself. What does the evolution tell you here?"

"They questioned their colleagues who did go forward with it," CNN's Abby Phillip said.

"I think the evolution tells you what we already knew, that there was no evidence and that people knew it at the time. There was a long period of time from the days after the election in which many Republicans thought, 'Let's give it some time to see if evidence emerges,' but clearly based on these text messages, before the start of the New Year, many Republicans in Washington and elsewhere around the country knew there was no 'there' there. There was no evidence, long before January 6th, and yet, many of their colleagues continued forward. and it just tells you that all of this is a farce. There are a lot of people out here claiming that it is partisanship to say that these election claims are false, when in fact people on both sides of the aisles knew this then."

"Roy and Lee saying help me help you, and they clearly never got the help they thought they needed," John Berman said to Maggie Haberman.

"You had a bunch of people right after election day who thought there is a window here, it is not unheard of shortly after an election to look at, you know, ballot counting, to like look at various options in various states, never seen on this scale. There were people who were aware that there was nothing materializing, not just in terms of the baseless claims of widespread fraud, but also that we're going to undo this, we have this path and this path and this path. By the time you get to the beginning of January in 2021, you are days away from the electoral college vote being certified in favor of Joe Biden and you have a vice president, Mike Pence, making clear he does not have the legal authority that Trump's allies were claiming he did, and those texts lay out clearly there are others, looking at that landscape and saying this is just not real," Haberman said.

"Not real, and potentially dangerous, because Roy and Mike Lee, leading up to January 6th, telling Mark Meadows repeatedly, this is a really bad idea. This is really bad for the country. Mark Meadows can't argue that no one warned him," Berman said.

"Yeah, I mean, I was struck by that too. It is not just that they knew there wasn't any evidence, but that they feared that this would pose a threat to American democracy itself," Phillip said.

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