In the weeks after the 2020 election, Republican lawmakers rallied around then-President Donald Trump's nonsense claims that victory was "stolen" from him by Democrats engaging in widespread election fraud.
As recounts, audits, court verdicts, state officials, and national officials correctly insisted this conspiracy theories was unfounded and damaging to public faith in democracy, multiple members of Congress worked with the Trump administration behind the scenes to subvert the will of the American people.
Among them was far-right Representative Chip Roy of Texas. A recent CNN report detailed how the House Select Committee investigating January 6 has accessed text exchanges between Roy and then-President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
In a text sent the day major media outlets declared Biden the victor, Roy urged Meadows to drum up examples of voter fraud (an extremely rare phenomenon) in order to undermine public trust in the election:
"If you're still in the game... dude, we need ammo. We need fraud examples. We need it this weekend."
A few days later, Roy advised Meadows to see that Trump toned down his rhetoric in order to make the slow-motion coup more palatable for Americans observing:
"We must urge the President to tone down the rhetoric, and approach the legal challenge firmly, intelligently and effectively without resorting to throwing wild desperate haymakers, or whipping his base into a conspiracy frenzy."
But by late December—one week before a mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the Capitol to prevent the peaceful transfer of power—Roy had given up, saying to Meadows:
"The President should call everyone off. It's the only path. If we substitute the will of states through electors with a vote by Congress every 4 years... we have destroyed the electoral college... Respectfully. ... Give a statesman speech. End strong."
His warnings continued into January:
"If POTUS allows this to occur... we're driving a stake in the heart of the federal republic..."
By January 4, Roy had called for the resignation of Texas AG Ken Paxton, who'd filed a futile Supreme Court complaint seeking to toss out the electoral votes of swing states Trump lost. He denounced some Congressional Republicans' plans to object to the electors in those states as well.
Roy apologized to Meadows, writing:
"I am truly sorry I am in a different spot then you and our brothers re: Wednesday. But I will defend all."
The Congressman has now issued a tweet responding to the report, and insists that his efforts were motivated by a reverence for the Constitution.
But social media users aren't buying it.
There are growing calls for his resignation.
Roy has no intention of doing so.