- New emails show that Mark Meadows, Donald Trump’s chief of staff, was involved in the bid to overturn the election.
- The emails show Meadows pressured the Justice Department to investigate election fraud conspiracy theories.
- It’s considered highly inappropriate for White House officials to try to get the DoJ involved in political cases.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Mark Meadows, who served as chief of staff in Donald Trump’s White House, pressed the Justice Department to investigate several conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, according to reports.
The New York Times first reported Saturday that in emails between December and January to then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, Meadows pressed him to investigate the baseless theories that the presidential election was stolen from Trump due to mass fraud or foreign meddling.
Among the claims, Meadows pushed was the bizarre ‘Italygate’ conspiracy theory. Its supporters invented a narrative that allies of Joe Biden in Italy could flip the result of the election using military satellites.
In other emails, Meadows discussed unsubstantiated claims of mass fraud in New Mexico and Georgia, pushed by Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
The emails were recovered as part of a Senate Judiciary Committee probe into whether the Justice Department had been involved in Trump’s attempt to overturn the election result.
Meadows’ campaign to get the Justice Department to investigate the conspiracy theories is highly controversial as White House officials should not seek Justice Department investigations for political purposes.
According to the Times, the emails do not show that Rosen opened investigations into any conspiracy theories. Another email showed Rosen refused to broker a meeting between the FBI and a man who’d promoted the Italygate conspiracy theory in online videos.
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, told CNN that the “new evidence underscores the depths of the White House’s efforts to co-opt the department and influence the electoral vote certification. This is a fire alarm fire for our democracy.”
Insider has contacted Meadows for comment on the reports.
Trump and his allies’ election fraud conspiracy theories fuelled the January 6 attack on the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters.