After the 2020 election was called for Joe Biden, the person who lost, Donald J. Trump, did everything he could to overturn those results. It didn’t work. It still hasn’t worked, despite considerable, increasingly desperate efforts. But at least one person was trying to make Trump the winner while votes were still being counted. CNN recently acquired texts from Trump’s oldest son, Don Jr., in which he instructed possibly jailbound then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to do everything he could to make sure more votes went to his dad.
In those texts, which were sent on Nov. 5 — two days after the election, and two days before Biden was declared the winner — Don Jr. laid out a plan. “This is what we need to do please read it and please get it to everyone that needs to see it because I’m not sure we’re doing it,” Don Jr. told Meadows before sending out a plan on how to keep his dad in office.
“It’s very simple,” Jr. told Meadows. “We have multiple paths We control them all.”
The plan Don Jr. laid out to Meadows was more or less exactly what Trump’s cronies did over the next two months: file lawsuits, advocate for recounts in swing states, try to prevent states from certifying results, install fake “Trump electors.” And if all that failed, he’d simply have Republicans in Congress vote to reinstall Trump, rather than the person who actually won.
“We have operational control Total leverage,” Don Jr.’s message reads. “Moral High Ground POTUS must start 2nd term now.”
In other words, Trump and his team were already trying to subvert the election before they definitively knew he lost.
Don Jr. lawyer told CNN that Don Jr. didn’t personally write the message. “After the election, Don received numerous messages from supporters and others,” he said. “Given the date, this message likely originated from someone else and was forwarded.”
Of course, if that’s true, Don Jr. still sent the messages.