March 25, 2023

PLOTTING PLACE: GOP insurrectionist Reps. met at Mark Meadows’ CPI offices

PLOTTING PLACE: GOP insurrectionist Reps. met at Mark Meadows' CPI offices

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Several congressmen responsible for blocking Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) run for House Speaker for 14 rounds of voting were spotted outside the offices of former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Friday morning.

Representatives Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Byron Donalds (R-FL), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and Scott Perry (R-PA) were seen walking into the Washington D.C. offices of the Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI) at around 8:30 a.m.

“Multiple Republican sources on Capitol Hill mentioned that Meadows is involved in the attempt to stop McCarthy from becoming speaker,” Yahoo News reported.

CPI offices have been a gathering spot for GOP strategizing since Meadows joined the conservative group after leaving the White House in January 2021.

Since CPI was founded by former United States Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) in 2017, high-profile Republican politicians and operatives have frequently appeared in the organization’s promotional videos.

According to DeMint, the company provides resources to candidates that the group supports – which apparently doesn’t include Rep. McCarthy.

The former legislator joined 70 Republicans who signed a letter denouncing McCarthy’s bid for the speakership.

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Washington Press previously reported that the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas – Virginia “Ginni” Thomas – also signed the letter.

Thomas, along with former Trump attorney Cleta Mitchell – a senior legal fellow at the right-wing group – played a key role in trying to overturn the 2020 election results in favor of Trump.

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Several of the representatives meeting at CPI just hours before voting on the speakership were involved in the insurrectionist events of January 6th and reportedly asked President Trump for a pardon for their roles.

While no one knows for sure why the congressmen were meeting at the D.C. offices – or with whom – one thing is clear; the cast of coup co-conspirators connected to the conservative group is not a promising sign for the nation’s democracy.

The first few rounds saw the Freedom Caucus band together to vote against McCarthy – before throwing random nominations in the mix to add to the chaos, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) who has pledged his support for McCarthy, Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL), and even ex-president Donald Trump, who managed to get one vote.

Prior to the new session, Rep. Biggs challenged McCarthy for speaker and managed to siphon 31 votes away from his party colleague. Rep. Donalds received 20 votes in another.

Matt Gaetz was responsible for Trump’s lone vote.

By the 15th vote, the damn had broken. Two of the Freedom Caucus’ most vocal anti-McCarthy members – and CPI associates – Gaetz and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) changed their votes to present. This cleared the way for Rep. McCarthy to reach the majority he needed to click the Speakership.

The question remains – now what?

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With the concessions that McCarthy made for committee and subcommittee placements, the reinstatement of the chamber’s motion to vacate, and the re-establishment of the archaic Holmon rule, we are already facing a two-year term that will likely be fraught with propaganda, chaos, inconsistency, and performative politics.

And the involvement of CPI in the process of the negotiations over the Speakership is concerning.

Any organization that lists former Trump racism-whisperer Stephen Miller as an adviser, isn’t one on the side of democracy or its process, and that should worry us all.

Original reporting by Jon Ward at Yahoo News. 

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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