Mark Meadows reportedly asked acting AG to investigate 'fantastical' election conspiracy theory involving Italy

Mark Meadows.
(Image credit: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows sent five emails to then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen in late December 2020 and early January 2021 asking him to examine election fraud conspiracy theories, including a "fantastical" one that claimed people in Italy used military technology and satellites to remotely switch votes for former President Donald Trump to votes for President Biden, The New York Times reports after reviewing newly uncovered emails provided to Congress. None of the emails show Rosen agreeing to investigate the "Italygate" theory, or any of the other false claims tossed out by Meadows.

"Italygate" has been floating around some corners of the internet for a while, but the communications between Rosen and Meadows haven't been previously reported, and the Times writes that the messages show how Meadows "veered into the realm of the outlandish" as he, Trump, and their allies tried "to find some way to undermine" November's results.

In his request that the Justice Department look into the Italy theory, Meadows reportedly sent Rosen a YouTube link to a video from Brad Johnson, a former CIA employee who had been touting the conspiracy. In an email to another Justice Department official, Rosen reportedly said he had been asked to set up a meeting between Johnson and the FBI, had refused, and was asked to reconsider. There are no indications that he did. Read more at The New York Times.

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Tim O'Donnell

Tim is a staff writer at The Week and has contributed to Bedford and Bowery and The New York Transatlantic. He is a graduate of Occidental College and NYU's journalism school. Tim enjoys writing about baseball, Europe, and extinct megafauna. He lives in New York City.