On Monday, CNN published excerpts from 2,319 text messages sent and received by Donald Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows which confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt that the executive branch and a substantial portion of the Republican Party were scheming for months with fascists to block the certification of the election on January 6, 2021 and establish a dictatorship.
The texts expose the already threadbare lie that what took place during the attack on the Capitol was unplanned, spontaneous and unserious.
In fact, as CNN’s article explains, “The text messages provide a timeline showing how Trump’s team searched all corners for evidence of election fraud and tried to overturn the election. Beginning on Election Day, Meadows was in the middle of it all, from connecting activists pushing conspiracy theories to strategizing with GOP lawmakers and rally organizers preparing for January 6.”
Fascist representatives like Mo Brooks (Republican, Alabama) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (Republican, Georgia) and senators like Ted Cruz (Republican, Texas) served as the coup attempt’s congressional whips while high-ranking Republican officials worked their networks and discussed proper “messaging” for the plan.
Meadows was in touch with right-wing journalists and television personalities like Sean Hannity to direct the narrative and whip up Trump’s supporters. He also corresponded with a network of figures with known connections to neo-Nazi groups and fascist militias. The texts show that Meadows was even engaged in setting the line-up of speakers for the January 6 rally itself.
Trump’s backers had selected January 6—the date of the constitutional certification of the Electoral College—weeks ahead of time, as soon as it became clear that the courts would not overturn the voting results.
CNN’s article explains: “On December 21, Brooks, the Alabama congressman, wrote to Meadows and others in a group text asking whether he should engage with the media about the ‘formulation of our January 6 strategies.’”
On December 26, Pennsylvania Representative Scott Perry texted Meadows, “Mark, just checking in as time continues to count down. 11 days to 1/6 and 25 days to inauguration. We gotta get going!” Meadows responds, “I got it, I think I understand.”
On December 31, 2020 Greene wrote to Meadows: “Good morning Mark, I'm here in DC. We have to get organized for the 6th.” She continued: “I would like to meet with Rudy Giuliani again. We didn’t get to speak with him long. Also anyone who can help. We are getting a lot of members on board. And we need to lay out the best case [to block electoral certification in] each state.”
Even after the rioters fell just short of capturing or killing members of Congress or Vice President Mike Pence, a section of the plotters carried forward efforts to deploy the military. On January 17, Greene wrote: “In our private chat with only [Republican] Members [of Congress], several are saying the only way to save our Republic is for Trump to call for Marshall (sic) law.”
The Democratic Party-controlled House Select Committee to investigate January 6 had possession of these texts for months, but it withheld them from the public until now. Despite the explosive and clearly criminal content of these messages, Biden’s Justice Department has still refused even to hold Meadows in contempt in order to force him to release another 1,000 texts that he claims, falsely, are protected by executive privilege. These texts are likely far more damaging and almost certain to include correspondence with Trump himself.
The Democratic Party fears that alerting the population to the looming danger from fascist plotting will both trigger social opposition and alienate its Republican Party “colleagues,” and therefore undermine its ruthless imperialist war drive against Russia in Ukraine.
Throughout Trump’s presidency, the Democrats downplayed the dangers of Trump’s dictatorial threats, his attacks on immigrants, and his appeals to fascist groups like the Proud Boys, instead appealing for “unity” with the Republicans. The Democrats attempted to impeach Trump in 2018 on the grounds that he was insufficiently belligerent toward Russia and withheld military aid from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It is now clear that this was a long-term effort to prepare public opinion for war.
This is the role the Democrats have played for years. The New York Times recently published details of internal discussions held by high-ranking Republican officials in the immediate aftermath of January 6, 2021, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) telling his political advisers he believed Trump’s criminality was so naked after January 6 that “the Democrats are going to take care of the son of a bitch for us.”
But “taking care” of Trump would have required making a serious appeal to the democratic sentiments of masses of people who opposed Trump’s coup attempt, and this was what the Democrats were desperate to avoid. The Democrats feared that any appeal would trigger mass protests and strikes that would tap into profound anger in the working class over social inequality and develop into a challenge to the corporations and the capitalist system. Biden’s message was therefore not the threat of dictatorship but an appeal to “national unity” and the preparation for war.
The Democratic Party’s fear of mobilizing the population against Trump rendered its second impeachment effort ineffective and greatly strengthened the fascistic elements of the Republican Party, which went on a counter-offensive. As a result, McConnell’s hopes that the Democrats would “take care of Trump for us” dissolved.
Referring to McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who also voiced hostility to Trump in the immediate aftermath of January 6, the Times writes: “Within weeks both men backed off an all-out fight with Mr. Trump because they feared retribution from him and his political movement. Their drive to act faded fast as it became clear it would mean difficult votes that would put them at odds with most of their colleagues.”
Now, inflation is soaring and the fascist Republicans look poised to capitalize on mass social discontent to make gains in the upcoming midterm elections.
The recent revelations expose all the false proclamations of the stability and permanence of the capitalist political order. In reality, the American political system is breaking down under the pressure of immense domestic social tensions, and both parties are guided by a fear of social revolution. Biden, the generals and the architects of imperialist foreign policy have profoundly misjudged the appetite of the American working class for war with Russia and are only paving the way for unprecedented explosions of working class opposition.
In a matter of just weeks, the war has exacerbated social hardship, coming amidst a pandemic that has killed more than one million people in the US and is now spreading without even the most minimal restraints. A Harris poll released Monday reveals that Americans by a 61 percent to 30 percent margin believe the economy is on the wrong track, while 48 percent say their own financial situation is getting worse—more than double the 21 percent who said so in March 2021.
The recent outbreak of strikes among nurses, oil workers and teachers in California, graduate students in Illinois, autoworkers in Wisconsin and shipbuilders in Washington state mark the first skirmishes in the spring offensive of the working class. This movement takes place as workers in Sri Lanka, Peru, Sudan, Indonesia and countless other countries fight against the impact of the war on the already intolerable cost of living. The task of socialists is to draw these movements into a common, self-conscious international struggle against the capitalist system, dictatorship and imperialist war.