Unable to find evidence of fraud, Meadows turned to ‘loopholes’

When Cassidy Hutchinson testified before the Jan. 6 committee two weeks ago, she didn’t do Mark Meadows — her former boss — any favors. This was a televised event in which the former presidential chief of staff’s top deputy shared stunning revelations from inside Donald Trump’s White House.

Among the problems for Meadows was Hutchinson’s insights about his apparent indifference as the threat of violence grew, and Meadows’ alleged pursuit of a pardon ahead of Inauguration Day 2021.

Yesterday, however, things got a little worse for the former White House chief of staff.

We saw testimony from former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, for example, who told investigators that Meadows told him that Trump would “eventually agree to a graceful exit.” At the same time, Meadows was enabling Trump’s nonsense and fully expecting the opposite.

What’s more, as part of yesterday’s proceedings, Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin explained that Meadows told associates that Trump should concede defeat around the time the Electoral College certified the results of the 2020 election — but that didn’t stop Meadows from moving forward with Trump’s larger scheme. The committee aired these previously undisclosed comments from Hutchinson:

“During this period, he — I perceived his goal with all of this to keep Trump in office. You know, he had very seriously and deeply considered the allegations of voter fraud. But when he began acknowledging that maybe there wasn’t enough voter fraud to overturn the election, you know, I witnessed him start to explore potential constitutional loopholes more extensively, which I then connected with John Eastman’s theories.”

In other words, according to his top deputy and investigators’ findings, Meadows couldn’t substantiate his boss’ wild-eyed conspiracy theories, and so, unable to prove election fraud, the then-chief of staff decided it was time to get creative and push the constitutional envelope.

For those making a list of Trump insiders who knew he lost, but who proceeded with the plot to keep Trump in power anyway, be sure to put Meadows near the top.

Of course, he wasn’t alone. Raskin also shined a light yesterday on a letter the committee received from Bernie Kerik’s lawyer (Kerik was Rudy Giuliani’s lead investigator in the post-election period). The letter conceded that Kerik found it “impossible” to collect actual evidence of fraud that would’ve changed the outcome of the election.

Or put another way, even Giuliani’s team knew they hadn’t collected evidence to prove their conspiracy theories — but like Meadows, they proceeded anyway.

One can only hope Justice Department officials were paying close attention to the proceedings.