The United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack admitted Wednesday that it had doctored a text message cited by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) in his push Monday to hold former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in contempt.
The Federalist’s Sean Davis first reported Wednesday morning that Schiff had manipulated the text message, cutting out the full context and adding punctuation into it, which he falsely implied was authored by a Republican lawmaker.
As Breitbart News summarized:
One message, which Schiff attributed to a Republican lawmaker, was doctored to read: “On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.”
But the original message came from former Department of Defense Inspector General Joseph Schmitz, who had drafted and summarized legal arguments that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) forwarded to Meadows. And Schiff left out the full exchange, which read (emphasis added):
On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all the electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all — in accordance with guidance from founding father Alexander Hamilton and judicial precedence.
‘No legislative act,’ wrote Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 78, ‘contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.’ The court in Hubbard v. Lowe reinforced this truth: ‘That an unconstitutional statute is not a law at all is a proposition no longer open to discussion.’ 226 F. 135, 137 (SDNY 1915), appeal dismissed, 242 U.S. 654 (1916).
Following this rationale, an unconstitutionally appointed elector, like an unconstitutionally enacted statute, is no elector at all.
Schiff omitted the portions in bold, above, which referred to a legal basis for rejecting electors. As Davis reported:
In his statement and on-screen graphic, Schiff erased the final two paragraphs and the final clause of the first paragraph of the text message before inserting punctuation that was never there, all without disclosing what he was doing. The graphic displayed by Schiff, which was doctored to look like an exact screenshot, was similarly doctored, as it contained content that was never in the original message and eliminated content that was.
Schiff has repeatedly faked evidence in investigations. In 2019, at the opening hearing of the House Intelligence Committee investigation into President Trump, he faked a conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
On Wednesday afternoon, The Federalist reported that the January 6 committee admitted that it had manipulated the text:
In a statement provided to The Federalist via email, a Democrat spokesman for the Jan. 6 committee confessed that the committee doctored the text message.
“The Select Committee on Monday created and provided Representative Schiff a graphic to use during the business meeting quoting from a text message from ‘a lawmaker’ to Mr. Meadows,” the spokesman wrote. “The graphic read, ‘On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.’”
“In the graphic, the period at the end of that sentence was added inadvertently,” the spokesman admitted. “The Select Committee is responsible for and regrets the error.”
As Davis noted, the committee’s statement did not explain why Schiff cut out the last phrase of the first text message, or why he falsely attributed it to a Republican lawmaker (without naming the lawmaker in question, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio).
The committee recommended that Meadows be held in contempt, and the House voted to do so, largely among party lines.
Liberal defense lawyer Alan Dershowitz said Wednesday that Meadows should not have been held in contempt until his claims to be constrained by executive privilege had been adjudicated by the federal courts, where they are pending.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.