December 6, 2022

POLITICO: The Trump administration’s draft order in December 2020 could have led the Pentagon to seize voting machines and hunt for fraud

Trump did not sign the executive order. But it would have instructed the Secretary of Defense to seize, collect, retain, and analyze all machinery, equipment, electronically stored information and material records related to Trump’s false claims. Tenure in the White House, According to the draft.

It is not clear who wrote this draft order, which is full of legal theories confirming the conspiracy theories and the powers of the president to seize election equipment related to the 2020 election.

The draft also states that the Secretary of Defense can identify the National Guard units that need to be centralized to assist in this effort. Any move by the military or federal agencies to seize voting equipment for political purposes would be unprecedented in American history and would amount to a coup.

The order would appoint a special adviser to investigate the 2020 election and “establish all criminal and civil proceedings based on the evidence gathered.”

The draft appears to be one of the documents that Trump fought to prevent from the Jan. 6 select committee investigating his attempts to sabotage the 2020 election.

Speaking at the Politico report, the Democrat from Virginia and a member of the House Committee, Rep. Elaine Luria told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “it’s incredible if this is really a verifiable document.”

“Today we have 700 pages,” Luria said Friday Trump White House documents Presented to the Committee by the National Archives. “I know there are some reports from various sources, so we’re still examining those documents, but, seeing what I’ll reported myself, it’s incredibly worrying whether this is actually a verifiable document prepared by someone. The President’s inner circle.”

“We look at this very closely and are still trying to determine if the report is accurate, but it’s definitely very worrying.”

In a court case last year, the National Archives claimed that the Trump administration had affirmed its prerogative over a four-page draft executive order entitled “Electoral Integrity.”

A source interviewed by the committee on January 6 asked CNN if they had a draft memorandum outlining plans to seize the voting machines. But the source could not confirm that those questions were about the draft published by Politico.

A spokesman for the group declined to comment.

CNN documents could not be verified independently.

According to a document released by Politico, the draft executive order is dated December 16, 2020. Two days after the Electoral College convened in state capitals to formalize President Joe Biden’s victory, it was a major blow to Trump’s efforts to thwart the election.

The idea was first unveiled at the highly controversial December 2020 White House meeting, which included declaring martial law, appointing a special adviser to hunt down voter fraud and ordering federal agents to seize election equipment. Previous CNN report.

These radical ideas were inspired by former Trump adviser Michael Flynn and his right-wing lawyer Sidney Powell. CNN also reported that Trump’s then-lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, had asked a senior Homeland Security official if the department could seize voting equipment in some states.

CNN has previously strongly argued against Flynn’s support for the idea of ​​declaring a state of emergency in federal states to seize voting equipment in key states, including some White House lawyers and top officials, including Trump chief executive Mark Meadows.

Committee chaplains Giuliani, Flynn and Powell on January 6 – three staunch Trump allies Misinformation campaign Regarding the 2020 election, he accused voting machine companies of participating in a global conspiracy to shift votes from Biden to Trump. According to Politico, many of their removed principles are set out in the draft executive order.

Sapona’s letters to Giuliani and Powell, citing group testimonies and news reports, urged President Trump to confiscate voting machines across the country after being told that the Department of Homeland Security had no legal authority to do so. They widely deny the mistakes associated with the 2020 election.