Chip Roy’s Texts

More willingness to subvert the election.

Following on from my rundown of Senator Mike Lee’s (R-UT) texts to Mark Meadows in support of finding ways to undermine the 2020 presidential election, let’s also not forget Representative Chip Roy’s (R-TX) as well. Like Lee, Roy is looking not for the truth, but instead is hunting for talking points to back the notion that his side won in the context of the outcomes shaping up otherwise.

On November 5, 2020:

From Chip Roy to Mark Meadows We have no tools / data / information to go out and fight RE: election / fraud. If you need / want it, we all need to know what’s going on. Fwiw…


From Chip Roy to Mark Meadows What’s the message? This seems hard to sell: 

From Chip Roy to Mark Meadows Any help on message appreciated. We’re all just making generic statements…

November 7, 2020:

From Chip Roy to Mark Meadows Good. Be well. If you’re still in the game… dude, we need ammo. We need fraud examples. We need it this weekend.

November 19, 2020:

From Chip Roy to Mark Meadows Hey brother – we need substance or people are going to break…

What immediately strikes me about this is that if there was some obvious problem with the results (apart from their candidate not winning) then it wouldn’t be necessary to ask what to say. Further, it means he was willing to cast aspersions on the process without having any real evidence to back his position except, again, the fact that his candidate had not been declared the victor.

The pleading continued on November 22, 2020:

From Chip Roy to Mark Meadows If we don’t get logic and reason in this before 11/30 – the GOP conference will bolt (all except the most hard core Trump guys) 

From Chip Roy to Mark Meadows We need a controlled message ASAP.

And November 25th:

From Chip Roy to Mark Meadows Where do we stand, brother? do we have anything to put out that can make the case?

To his credit (but seemingly without the self-awareness that he had been supporting the White House’s efforts) by early December he seems to understand that they had to pull back:

December 31, 2020:

From Chip Roy to Mark 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.  

January 1, 2021:

From Chip Roy to Mark Meadows If POTUS allows this to occur… we’re driving a stake in the heart of the federal republic…

On January 6, 2021:

From Chip Roy to Mark Meadows This is a sh*tshow  

From Chip Roy to Mark Meadows Fix this now. 

While his sentiments about 1/6 are accurate, I get the impression he doesn’t see how his own actions in encouraging Team Trump on the elections helped bring that crowd to the Capitol that day.

For what it is worth, Roy voted to certify the election and did not join the 147 Republicans who objected to at least one slate of electors.

While it is good to see that guys like Lee and Roy have a limit, the reality is that they still went way too far. The limit should be: don’t question the elections without solid evidence of malfeasance. It is beyond unacceptable that they were all too willing to parrot whatever talking points Meadows was willing to give them if it fit their desired outcome. Further, they very much fed the machine in the White House that was willing to utterly subvert the election if they could find a way.

Side note: in looking to see if Roy had made any statement about these texts, I did find this story from last month from KTSM in El Paso: Texas Rep. Chip Roy 1 of 8 House members to vote against Russia-Belarus trade sanctions.

FILED UNDER: 2020 Election, Democracy, US Politics, , , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    I’m reminded of James Wood’s line early in the premiere of Shark: [speaking to his staff of prosecutors] “Truth in relative; pick the one you want.”

  2. Jay L Gischer says:

    You know, I have a bit of a different read of those texts. To me, they kind of sound like the guy who really doesn’t want to go base jumping off the water tower, but doesn’t want to say so directly. Instead he says, “Oh, man, we really need those [things we can’t get] before we can do this”

    To me, Roy is demonstrating “agreeable disagreement” which is directed to Trump, whom very few R’s want to cross.

  3. @Jay L Gischer: I see your point. My problem is that he seems willing, from the beginning, to take direction from the WH on these things.

    He doesn’t have to text Mark Meadows for instructions while the vote-counting is taking place.

    I will agree that the Lee texts are far worse.

  4. Scott F. says:

    It is beyond unacceptable that they were all too willing to parrot whatever talking points Meadows was willing to give them if it fit their desired outcome.

    It is unacceptable to you and unacceptable to me, but any theories on why the mainstream press is reporting this as simply hard-ball politics as usual?

  5. EddieInCA says:

    They’re just representing their base. Literally.

    NEW POLL: Whopping 57 Percent of Republicans See Jan. 6 as ‘Act of Patriotism’ Rather Than ‘Insurrection’

    But according to an exclusive poll by The New Republic, there’s an ever-widening gap in how the attack is viewed by Americans.

    Respondents to the poll were asked “Thinking about the people who forced their way into the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, would you say that was more of an insurrection against the United States or more of an act of patriotism?”

    Among all respondents, 66 percent replied “Insurrection” and 34 percent said “Act of patriotism.”

    Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning respondents, the result was 88 percent “Insurrection” and 12 percent “Act of patriotism.”

    For Republicans, the numbers were inverted: 43 percent “Insurrection” and 57 percent “Act of patriotism.”

    When they retake and house and Senate, we are screwed.

  6. Jay L Gischer says:

    @EddieInCA: Hmm, I wonder what those numbers were a year ago?

    My rule of thumb is that if 70 percent of the country wants something, it’s going to happen.

    55-60 percent isn’t good enough, that’s where the electoral advantage of the Rs comes in, as well as the checks and balances.

    GWB got to maybe 60, 65 percent calling for impeachment. So it didn’t happen. But it was close. I remember Grassley saying to a reporter – “If he does X, we will impeach him”.

    So, my sense is that the 66 percent represents growth from a year ago, and that the 57 percent “patriotism” response among Rs is on a downward trend. If that’s so, that’s a very positive trend.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott F.: IOKIYAR.