'roadmap to an attempted coup'
Former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) says that text messages between former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and top conspiracy theorists seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election provide a "roadmap to an attempted coup," CNN reports.
Phil Waldron, a retired Army colonel, has been identified as one of the top people seeking to prove that Trump's re-election loss resulted from voter fraud. As he and other Trump allies sought access to voting machines in states like Arizona and Georgia, he kept Meadows updated on their progress via text messages, per CNN.
On Dec. 23, 2020, Waldron texted Meadows after an Arizona judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Republican lawmakers seeking to obtain voting machines. The suit was part of a campaign by Pro-Trump GOP officials to find evidence of Trump's claims of voter fraud.
In the messages, Waldron called Arizona the "lead domino we were counting on to start the cascade" and said the court's dismissal would allow opponents to use "delay tactics" to keep Waldron and his team from getting access to the machines. Meadows replied, "Pathetic."
The text messages illuminate how strong Waldron's influence was among GOP White House leaders at the time. CNN reports that court documents suggest that the extent of Meadow's connection to the attempts to overturn the election has stirred the interest of prosecutors investigating efforts to prove Trump's claims of voter fraud.
In an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes, Riggleman said, "The Meadows text messages show you an administration that was completely eaten up with a digital virus called QAnon conspiracy theories."