The committee investigating January 6 admitted to altering a text message between former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Rep. Jim Jordan, omitting relevant context about how they wanted then-Vice President Mike Pence to handle electoral votes.
A spokesperson for the committee said that the graphics Rep. Adam Schiff showed during a hearing on Monday evening about newly obtained correspondence between top Trump officials had been doctored to support the view that Meadows wanted Pence to overturn the election results.
“The Select Committee on Monday created and provided Representative Schiff a graphic to use during the business meeting quoting from a text message from ‘a lawmaker’ to Mr. Meadows,” the spokesperson wrote in an email to The Federalist, who first broke the story.
“The graphic read, ‘On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.'”
“In the graphic, the period at the end of that sentence was added inadvertently,” the spokesperson admitted. “The Select Committee is responsible for and regrets the error.”
The committee altered the message to include closing punctuation, making it look as though it was the entire message.
Also, the committee’s graphic attributed the message to a “lawmaker,” but the full message was a summary of a legal briefing Jordan forwarded from lawyer Joseph Schmitz to Meadows.
The committee’s spokesperson provided the full paragraph “in the interests of transparency.”
“On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all the electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all — in accordance with guidance from founding father Alexander Hamilton and judicial precedence,” Schmitz’s original text read. “‘No legislative act,’ wrote Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 78, ‘contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.’ The court in Hubbard v. Lowe reinforced this truth: ‘That an unconstitutional statute is not a law at all is a proposition no longer open to discussion.’ 226 F. 135, 137 (SDNY 1915), appeal dismissed, 242 U.S. 654 (1916).”
“Following this rationale, an unconstitutionally appointed elector, like an unconstitutionally enacted statute, is no elector at all.”
The Federalist reported that many lawmakers they spoke to mocked Schiff for using an obviously altered text, saying “anyone even remotely familiar with Jordan would know that he was forwarding an analysis without comment.”
“That’s just not Jim’s style,” one lawmaker told the outlet. “Long, nerdy paragraphs might be my style, but that’s not Jim’s style at all.”
Another laughed when asked if Jordan would ever write out such a lengthy message.
“If he texts at all, it’s usually something like ‘yes’ or ‘call me,'” the colleague said.