By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. Meadows and Jan. 6

Throughout the age of Donald Trump, I kept getting this feeling we were being punked, on a historic scale. As the Trump presidency took on an amoebic look, the other notions were that the White House was being staffed by Amateur Hour. Now we have texts from former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that he voluntarily turned over to the House Jan. 6 Committee, which simply underscore that Meadows is a dim bulb, now facing a felony contempt of Congress charge. This is the man who wrote in his new book that Trump was a COVID super spreader. His old boss declared it “fake news,” prompting Meadows to do the same. Memo to Mike Pence: Declaring your own book “fake news” will be bad, baaaad for sales.

Meadows Jan. 6 texts reveal alarm in real time within Trump World as the insurrection raged at the U.S. Capitol while Pence, family and staff cowered down below. Laura Ingraham: “Hey Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home … this is hurting all of us … he is destroying his legacy.” Mark Kilmeade: “Please get him on tv. Destroying everything you have accomplished.” Sean Hannity: “Can he make a statement? … Ask people to leave the Capitol.” Donald Trump Jr.: “He’s got to condemn this [shit] Asap. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough … We need an Oval address. He has to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand.” 

Meadows was with President Trump on Jan. 6. So his texts emails and testimony will be invaluable in determining what our Commander-in-Chief was doing, who he was communicating with, what his mindset was, and whether he took seditious actions.

2. Banks aide at the Capitol?

Fox News host Tucker Carlson said last week that one of his kids was at the Capitol during the insurrection: "Well, I hated what happened on Jan. 6, you know one of my kids was actually in the building when it had happened - I was on the phone in real time." Immediate speculation centered on Buckley Carlson, an aide to U.S. Rep. Jim Banks. Buckley Carlson did not respond to an email from Howey Politics Indiana  which asked if he was in the Capitol on Jan. 6 and if he was, what was he doing there. Banks, who was denied a seat on the panel by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is opposing the committee's intent to subpoena phone records, telling Fox News, "The fact they’re doing this in secret … is what makes this an unprecedented event in congressional history — that a rogue committee would go out and subpoena private citizens' phone records." 

3. Rep. Teshka shot at

There have been an unprecedented number of threats aimed at Members of Congress. Now State Rep. Jake Teshka told police that a man shot at his car Wednesday afternoon on the St. Joseph Valley Parkway, shattering the windshield (Parrott, South Bend Tribune). Teshka told police that a man driving a maroon Dodge Caravan with Georgia license plates fired the shot at Teshka’s white GMC Acadia at 4:22 p.m. Teshka pulled over on Nimtz Parkway and called 911. Teshka declined to comment, with House press aide Allison Vanatsky issuing a written statement: "At this time, my family would appreciate privacy as we process the events of the other night." The South Bend Police Department had not released the report on the incident by late Friday afternoon, instead requiring The Tribune to file a public records request.

4. Holcomb approval 65%

HPI huddled with Indiana Republican Chairman Kyle Hupfer on Monday. Recent polling reveals Gov. Eric Holcomb has a 66% approval rate while 27% disapprove. President Biden's Indiana approval: 41% with 57% disapproving.

5. READI grants coming today


Gov. Holcomb will announce several $500 million READI grants at 4 p.m. today. Some 17 regions have sought the grants. The meeting will be livestreamed. Click here view the event virtually. Gov. Holcomb is excited about the process and program and told HPI he wants to extend the process in the future. 

Have a great day, folks, it's The Atomic!