Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Don Trump Jr.

Donald Trump Jr. speaks before the arrival of his father, then-President Donald Trump during a rally at the Van Andel Arena on March 28, 2019 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Trump Jr. Pushed Meadows to Overturn Election as Votes Were Counted, Texts Show

"This is as explicit as it gets," said one observer.

Julia Conley

Text messages obtained by the House select committee that is investigating the January 6, 2021 insurrection revealed that people in former President Donald Trump's closest circle—specifically his son, Donald Trump Jr.—were strategizing before the votes were even counted how they could overturn the results of the 2020 election and make sure Trump served a second term.

As CNN reported late Friday, Trump Jr. texted former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on November 5, 2020—just two days after the election and before President Joe Biden was announced the winner—to urge White House officials to use "operational control" to ensure a Trump victory regardless of the results.

"POTUS must start 2nd term now," Trump Jr. told Meadows.

He then suggested that Republican-controlled state legislatures in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Michigan "step in" and put forward "Trump electors."

"This is as explicit as it gets," tweeted Yale University philosophy professor Jason Stanley.

The former president's son also suggested that the U.S. House could vote for president by state party delegation if neither Trump nor Biden got enough electoral votes to be declared the winner, with each state getting one vote.

"Jr. was all in on the coup and demanding misuse of the government to investigate Trump's enemies."

"We either have a vote WE control and WE win OR it gets kicked to Congress 6 January 2021," said Trump Jr.

His final suggestion was having the White House dismiss FBI Director Christopher Wray, who angered Trump and his allies by not releasing information that they believed would be harmful to the former president's rivals.

"Fire Wray," the president's son told Meadows, adding that former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell should replace him.

Later that same day, Grenell announced that he was joining Trump campaign officials in filing a lawsuit to "stop the counting of illegal votes."

"Jr. was all in on the coup and demanding misuse of the government to investigate Trump's enemies," said New Yorker staff writer Susan Glasser.

Trump Jr.'s text messages were revealed less than two weeks after a federal judge found that the former president and his lawyer likely committed a felony in their efforts to overturn the election by filing dozens of lawsuits and demanding vote recounts—which took place in several states and never unveiled any irregularities that would have changed the outcome of the vote.

As Common Dreams reported last month, U.S. District Court Judge David Carter found the Trump campaign's strategy after the election was "a coup in search of a legal theory."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Green Groups Urge California Gov. Newsom to Close Aging Nuclear Plant on Schedule

"Diablo Canyon is dangerous, dirty, and expensive," a coalition of environmental organizations said in a letter to California's Democratic governor. "It must retire as planned."

Brett Wilkins ·


'After Which Failed Pregnancy Should I Have Been Imprisoned?' Asks Rep. Lucy McBath

The congresswoman highlighted how right-wing attacks on abortion rights could also impact the healthcare available to patients who experience miscarriages and stillbirths.

Jessica Corbett ·


'A Slap in the Face to Voters': Kansas Supreme Court Upholds GOP Map

"This case is only one skirmish in the wholesale assault on democracy in Kansas and around the country," said the head of the state's ACLU.

Jessica Corbett ·


Ahead of House Vote, Analysis Details How Big Oil Price Gouging Rewards Wall Street

"Congress has a narrow window of opportunity to stop profiteering at the pump and secure a more stable, sustainable future for all. It's time to act—before it's too late."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Major Milestone' as Rhode Island Expands Voting Rights

A newly passed measure was praised as "a huge step forward in improving and modernizing voting in the Ocean State."

Andrea Germanos ·

Common Dreams Logo