WASHINGTON – Rep. Ralph Norman’s biggest regret about urging the Donald Trump White House to declare martial law so Trump could stay in office seems to be that he did so with poor spelling.
The South Carolina Republican texted White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Jan. 17, 2021, that Trump should promulgate the “Marshall Act” to prevent Joe Biden from taking office.
Meadows turned over an archive of his lyrics to the House committee investigating the January 6 riot. Talking Points Memo obtained the Meadows lyrics and she published this week.
When asked about the lyrics on Tuesday, Norman said, “Well, I misspelled ‘martial’.”
Declaring martial law would mean Trump using the military to suspend ordinary laws and civil liberties and put himself in power.
“I was very frustrated then, now I am frustrated,” Norman told UK Time News. “I was then frustrated with what was going on in the Capitol. President Biden spent all year in his basement. Dominion raised all kinds of questions.’
The text to Meadows read: “Mark, by seeing what is happening so quickly and reading about the Dominion lawsuits trying to stop any meaningful investigation, we are at a point of…no return…in the save our Republic!! Our LAST HOPE is to invoke the Marshall Law!! MUST PRESS THE PRESIDENT TO DO THIS!!”
It is not clear whether Meadows has responded to the message. Norman wouldn’t say if he got an answer.
Instead of declaring martial law, Trump tried to get state legislatures to throw out their vote counts, tried to get the Justice Department to take control of the voting machines, and incited a mob to attack the Capitol to prevent Congress from confirming Biden’s victory.
The various schemes ultimately failed. Norman sent his text after the House impeached Trump for inciting an insurrection and three days before Biden’s inauguration.
Meadows’ lyrics show that Norman and many other Republicans offered help and advice during the president’s bid to stay in power despite losing the 2020 election.
Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) reportedly texted Meadows the same day as Norman, with the same advice and the same spelling mistake.
“In our members-only private chat, several say the only way to save our Republic is for Trump to call for the Marshall Bill,” Greene texted on Jan. 17, 2021, according to UKTN. ‘I don’t understand those things. I just wanted you to tell him. They stole this election. We all know. They will destroy our country after this. Please tell him to release as much as he can so we can go after Biden and everyone else!”
Greene joked this week that if she had staged the riot at the Capitol, “we would have won.”
No U.S. president has declared martial law directly on behalf of the federal government since the Civil War 2005 Congressional Research Service report. But there have been limited regional declarations of martial law, made with explicit or implicit support from the president, mostly related to labor disputes.
Trump said last week that the alleged fraud of the 2020 election “enables the termination of all rules, regulations and articles, even those in the Constitution.” Norman said he doubted Trump made such a statement.
UK Time News pressed Norman if he really thought the president should declare martial law.
“I was then frustrated with everything that was happening,” he said. “LIt was a private message between a friend and me, nothing more, nothing less.’