GOP Sen. Mike Lee, Who’s Still At Large, Helped Plot A Trump Coup

January 6
GOP Sen. Mike Lee, Who’s Still At Large, Helped Plot A Trump Coup

So, Senator Mike Lee, the self-proclaimed “constitutional conservative,” was up to his neck in the hardly secret plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Friday, CNN released coup texts between then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and the senator from Utah. Rep. Chip Roy from Texas also separately texted Meadows and encouraged Operation: Democracy’s End before objecting to overturning an election based on literally nothing. Lee’s texts were more craven and veered closer to the edge of outright sedition. He was on board the coup train. He just needed the barest pretext of legal justification so chumps would roll over for them.

When the election was called for Joe Biden on November 7, Lee sent Meadows a note for Donald Trump that offered his “unequivocal support for you to exhaust every legal and constitutional remedy at your disposal to restore Americans' faith in our elections.” Rep. Andy Biggs and some others attached their name to the message. They’d all met Trump so should have understood he had no interest in "restoring faith in our elections." No, he’d actively undermine faith in the election while outright trying to steal it.

We should note that the mainstream media apparently considers Lee’s actions so head-shruggingly commonplace that none of the major Sunday shows even mentioned his name.

Lee originally advocated for Kraken handler Sidney Powell. He invited her as a special guest villain to an executive meeting at the Conservative Partnership Institute. He wanted to “socialize” Republican senators on the value of the coup. It wasn’t until November 19, the day of the “Elite Strike Force” press conference, that Lee seemed to realize Powell was bonkers. He texted Meadows:

I’m worried about the Powell press conference. The potential defamation liability for the president is significant here. For the campaign and for the president personally. Unless Powell can back up everything she said, which I kind of doubt she can.

Powell in fact couldn’t back up her deranged lies about Hugo Chavez and would later argue in court that no reasonable person should take her seriously.

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Meadows shared Lee’s concern about liability, and Lee advised that Trump immediately disassociate himself from the crazy lady because “he's got deep pockets, and the accusations Powell made are very, very serious.” LOL! Lee thought Trump was legitimately wealthy.

One of my favorite texts is from November 20. It reads like lyrics from a 1980s R&B ballad: "Please give me something to work with. I just need to know what I should be saying.”

He repeated his sad refrain on November 22: "Please tell me what I should be saying.” He added that there "are a few of us in the Senate who want to be helpful (although I sense that number might be dwindling).” Lee also wondered how Republican Congress members should respond to an increasingly unhinged Powell, who’d just claimed GOP Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp was "in on the Dominion scam.”

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Lee offered “an additional idea for the campaign” on November 23: "Something is not right in a few states. I think it could be proven or disproven easily with an audit (a physical counting of all ballots cast) in PA, WI, GA, and MI.”

Like most Big Lie proponents, Lee doesn’t wonder why all the voter fraud was specific to swing states Trump lost and didn’t seem to impact any down-ballot GOP wins. Lee texted Meadows that day:

John Eastman has some really interesting research on this. The good news is is that Eastman is proposing an approach that unlike what Sidney Powell has propose could be examined very quickly.

But to do this, you'd have to act very soon. Some believe today might be the deadline for some of this in PA.

John Eastman wrote the infamous memo proposing Mike Pence overturn the election when the vice president only had the constitutional authority to read the Electoral College results and accept cash for Congress members' lunch orders. Lee latched onto the mad scheme of sending fake Trump electors for states he'd clearly lost. He texted Meadows on December 8:

If a very small handful of states were to have their legislatures appoint alternative slates of delegates, there could be a path.

There was no path. This is fraud. It was already past the “safe harbor” date, and Georgia and Wisconsin had conducted recounts verifying Biden’s win. There were no legal grounds to reject the clear results in Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. This was a coup in search of a notary stamp.

By January 3, Lee had “grave concerns” about Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley’s attention-grabbing scam. He believed objecting to the electoral results without a make-believe slate of Trump electors would do more harm than good. Lee was also slowly grasping the reality that Trump was (and still is) a madman.

I don't think the president is grasping the distinction between what we can do and what he would like us to do. Nor do I think he's grasping the distinction between what certain members are saying that sound like they could help him, but would really hurt him. He's got a very real opportunity for a win in 2024. That opportunity could be harmed in multiple ways this effort.

Lee believed a coup couldn’t work without the “Constitution on our side,” perhaps because literally nothing in the document supported his proposed election heist. After Trump bashed Lee at a rally for not doing enough to overturn the election, a despondent Lee wrote Meadows:

I've been spending 14 hours a day for the last week trying to unravel this for him. To have him take a shot at me like that in such a public setting without even asking me about it is pretty discouraging.

Oh boo hoo, did the psychopath hurt your widdle feelings?

Although Chip Roy told Meadows on December 31, 2020, to abandon the coup efforts, Lee pressed on, desperately searching for the flimsiest constitutional pretense to keep Trump in power. His texts clearly outline what Lee was willing to do and would do in a future election with more accommodating state legislatures.

Yet, he’s somehow still a senator in good standing.


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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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