Mr Trump is using the same tactic his father tried to use to discredit a lawmaker who investigated him during the first of two impeachment probes
Donald Trump Jr is falsely accusing members of the House committee investigating the 6 January insurrection of “altering” a text message sent by Ohio Representative Jim Jordan to ex-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
In a tweet posted late Wednesday, Mr Trump asked why “the media” was not discussing [California Representative Adam] “Schiff etc altering the text messages at his sham committee”.
“You’d think given his extensive history with magically altered messages it would be a really big deal that he’s at it again,” he added.
The “extensive history” referenced by the younger Mr Trump was a callback to a lie frequently told by his father, former president Donald Trump, and their allies during his first of two impeachment trials.
The former president frequently accused Mr Schiff of having fabricated the contents of a telephone transcript of his infamous 15 July 2019 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky during a committee hearing statement in which the California Democrat dramatized the call in an exaggerated tone.
This time, the “altered” message the younger Mr Trump referred to was a text message which Mr Schiff had read aloud during the select committee’s Monday business meeting at which they voted to recommend criminal contempt charges against Mr Meadows.
A spokesperson for the committee said committee staff “inadvertently” added a period in the middle of a sentence in the message between Mr Jordan and Mr Meadows.
An onscreen graphic displayed at Mr Schiff spoke 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”.
The actual message from Mr Jordan, which the Ohio lawmaker says was merely one hen forwarded from a pro-Trump lawyer called Joseph Schmitz, went on to say “— in accordance with guidance from founding father Alexander Hamilton and judicial precedence”.
Though Mr Jordan and the younger Mr Trump now claim that the added contexts invalidates Mr Schiff’s assertion that Mr Jordan wanted then-Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally reject electoral votes from swing states won by Joe Biden, the remainder of the message continues with this argument at length.
The messages in question were part of a tranche of roughly 9,000 records which Mr Meadows provided to the select committee before halting his cooperation last week.
On Tuesday, the House voted to recommend that Mr Meadows be charged with criminal contempt of congress for blowing off a deposition with the select committee last week.
Mr Meadows is just the second former member to be cited for contempt of congress, and the first since 1832.