The Biden administration blasted Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) Wednesday after newly published text messages revealed he urged former President Donald Trump to impose “marshall law” in the final days of his administration to prevent Joe Biden from taking office.
“Plotting against the rule of law and to subvert the will of the people is a disgusting affront to our deepest principles as a country,” deputy White House press secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement.
“We all, regardless of party, need to stand up for mainstream values and the Constitution, against dangerous, ultra MAGA conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric,” Bates added.
On Monday, Talking Points Memo revealed messages dozens of Republican lawmakers, including Norman, sent to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, brainstorming last-ditch ways to either challenge the 2020 presidential election result or take drastic action to keep Trump in the presidency.
“Mark, in seeing what’s happening so quickly, and reading about the Dominion law suits attempting to stop any meaningful investigation we are at a point of � no return � in saving our Republic !!” Norman told Meadows on Jan. 17, 2021. “Our LAST HOPE is invoking Marshall [sic] Law!! PLEASE URGE TO PRESIDENT TO DO SO!!”
Norman walked back his comment about invoking martial law, saying it “was never warranted” in a statement to The State newspaper in South Carolina.
“That text message came from a source of frustration, on the heels of countless unanswered questions about the integrity of the 2020 election, without any way to slow down and examine those issues prior to the inauguration of the newly elected president,” he continued in the statement.
Norman, 69, also regretted the typo in his text to Meadows.
“Well, I misspelled ‘martial,’” he told Huffpost.
Trump, 76, never imposed martial law, but his allies did try to disrupt the certification of the 2020 election for Biden by getting state legislatures to toss electors and replace them with those favorable to the 45th president.
A mob of Trump supporters also stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 to derail Congress’ vote to certify the election result.
The TPM report said at least 34 Republicans — including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia — reached out to Meadows in 364 messages. The texts were part of a tranche of information Meadows turned over late last year to the House select committee investigating the riot.
In a Jan. 5 text from Jordan to Meadows, the incoming House Judiciary Committee chairman urged then-Vice President Mike Pence, who would preside over the certification the following day, to throw out the results.
”Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all,” Jordan said.