House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) House select committee on Jan. 6 admitted on Wednesday that it had changed a text message read by California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff on Monday to hold former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in contempt.
Schiff’s reading of the message cut out the context of the message, something noted by journalists, including Sean Davis at The Federalist.
The message Schiff read was, “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.”
Breitbart News reported that 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. The full exchange reads (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.
The difference makes a difference in the attacks against Meadows. He has already sued the members of the committee, likely pushing the efforts against him into a lengthy legal battle for all involved.