Donald Trump Jr. seemed unconcerned about the will of American voters when he urged then-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to nail “operational control” of the White House after President Donald Trump lost re-election. (Photo: Douglas P. DeFelice via Getty Images)
Donald Trump Jr. told then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in a text last year how he could take “operational control” of his father, President Donald Trump’s presidency shortly after the 2020 election, CNN reported Friday .
The former president’s eldest son cared little about how Americans voted, according to messages he sent to Meadows, verified by CNN. He pointed to Republican majorities in the Senate and swing-state lawmakers that could be used to wrest voter control of the election.
“It’s very simple,” he reportedly texted two days after the presidential election, before the vote for Joe Biden was officially called. “We have several ways. We control them all.”
He suggested a series of steps Trump allies were already developing to change the election results in the event of Trump’s loss. These included lawsuits to block the results and pressure on state legislatures to demand recounts and, against voters’ wishes, produce a list of fake voters who would support Trump.
Trump Jr. argued to Meadows that Republican lawmakers could ultimately just vote to keep Trump in the White House, CNN reported.
“We have full leverage of operational control,” his message insisted, according to CNN. “Moral High Ground POTUS needs to start 2nd Term now.”
Trump Jr.’s attorney, Alan S. Futerfas, said in a statement to CNN that his client likely forwarded a message to Meadows that had been written by someone else — though he didn’t say by whom.
“After the election, Don received numerous messages from supporters and others. Given the date, this message probably came from someone else and was forwarded,” Futerfas told CNN.
A number of points made in Trump Jr.’s text were detailed in the so-called “coup memos,” authored by far-right lawyer John Eastman, a key strategist involved in how to get the white House for Trump can conquer.
Last month, US District Judge David Carter wrote in a ruling that he believed the former president and Eastman had launched a “campaign to overthrow a democratic election — an action unprecedented in American history.” Carter called it an attempted “coup in search of a legal theory” and said it was “most likely that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Jan. 6, 2021 joint session of Congress” to prevent his loss officially.
Carter ordered Eastman to release 101 emails he had written on the subject to the House Select Committee investigating last year’s January 6 riot, and ruled that Eastman had failed to make a sufficient claim to attorney-client privilege. The committee received the emails earlier this week.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.