Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene urged a top White House aide to talk to then-President Donald Trump about imposing martial law in the wake of the Capitol Hill riot, according to text messages revealed in a new report.
“In our private chat with only Members, several are saying the only way to save our Republic is for Trump to call for Marshall law,” Greene had texted then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Jan. 17, 2021, CNN reported Monday.
The reference to “Marshall law” is an apparent misspelling of martial law, the emergency power that puts the military in charge of the government.
“I don’t know on those things. I just wanted you to tell him,” the first-term lawmaker’s text reportedly said. “They stole this election. We all know. They will destroy our country next. Please tell him to declassify as much as possible so we can go after Biden and anyone else!”
Meadows did not appear to respond to Greene, CNN reported. Greene’s office did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the report.
Greene reportedly sent that text three days before Trump was set to leave office following his loss to President Joe Biden. Less than two weeks earlier, on Jan. 6, a violent crowd of Trump’s supporters broke through police lines and stormed the U.S. Capitol building, forcing those in Congress into hiding and temporarily delaying efforts to confirm Biden’s victory.
The mob was spurred toward the Capitol on that day by Trump, who had spent weeks falsely claiming he beat his Democratic challenger and that the election was rigged against him. Greene, who has a well-documented history of embracing right-wing conspiracy theories, also frequently sowed doubts about the integrity of the 2020 election following Biden’s win.
Elections experts, politicians from both parties and even Trump’s own attorney general have all denied Trump’s claims that the election outcome was affected by widespread voter fraud.
Greene reached out to Meadows in a December 2020 text published by CNN for advice about how to prepare for objections to certifying the election on Jan. 6: “We have to get organized for the 6th,” she wrote.
She also asked Meadows for a follow-up meeting with Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s former lawyer who had contributed to failed efforts to overturn Biden’s victories in key swing states.
CNN said it obtained Greene’s texts as part of a trove of 2,319 texts that were sent to and from Meadows between Election Day 2020 and Biden’s inauguration two months later. The texts show Meadows’ communications with dozens of Republican lawmakers, as well as other White House officials and several of Trump’s adult children.
Meadows had shared those messages in late 2021 with the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot, but then stopped cooperating and is now suing to quash two of the panel’s subpoenas.
In a recent filing in that civil case, the committee shared a transcript from an interview with an ex-Trump aide who said Meadows had been warned ahead of time about the potential for violence on Jan. 6.
A spokesman for the select committee declined CNBC’s request to verify the texts reported by CNN.
On Friday, Greene testified under oath in a long shot legal challenge to disqualify her from running for a second term due to her alleged involvement in the Capitol riot.
Over nearly four hours of testimony, Greene said repeatedly she could not recall specifics about the events and planning surrounding that day.
“Prior to the inauguration in 2021, did you advocate for martial law with the president of the United States?” Greene had been asked during that hearing by attorney Andrew Celli.
“I don’t recall, I don’t recall,” Greene replied.
Ron Fein, an attorney leading the bid to remove Greene from the ballot, told NBC News on Monday that the newly revealed texts show “dishonesty about her call for martial law” and suggest “she was not a credible witness” on the stand.