Trump advisers drafted 2nd order to seize voting machines: report

0
32
Trump advisers drafted 2nd order to seize voting machines: report

Advisers to then-President Donald Trump reportedly drafted two versions of an executive order that would have authorized the seizure of voting machines in key states following the 2020 presidential election. 

The first draft order — which would have directed the Department of Defense to take possession of the machines — surfaced last month and was handed over to the House select committee investigating last year’s Jan. 6 Capitol riot. CNN reported this week that a second draft order — directed at the Department of Homeland Security — exists as well. 

It is unclear who drafted the orders, neither of which was issued. 

However, according to CNN, the idea of taking possession of voting machines was thought up by former Army Col. Phil Waldron and former Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported late Monday that Trump himself directed his lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, to ask the DHS if it could obtain the voting machines.

The report said Giuliani made the inquiry to then-acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli, who shot it down.

Former president Donald Trump pictured at a Save American Rally on Jan. 29.
Former President Donald Trump at a Save America Rally on Jan. 29.
EPA

Around the same time, according to the outlet, Trump told then-Attorney General William Barr that his legal team had found evidence that the Justice Department had the power to obtain the machines. 

Barr, however, insisted to Trump that the DOJ had no basis for seizing the voting machines since there was no probable cause to believe a crime was committed, the Times reported. 

Barr has since spoken with the Jan. 6 committee. 

The panel has expressed deep concern about the first draft order, which would have authorized the Pentagon to “seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records” related to the former president’s claims of massive voter fraud. 

“We are concerned that our military was part of this big lie on promoting that the election was false,” committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan late last month. 

“So, if you are using the military to potentially seize voting machines, even though it’s a discussion, the public needs to know — we’ve never had that before.” 

Thompson admitted that the committee had no proof of any operational plan to execute the order, but added that “the draft itself is reason enough to believe that it was being proposed. Our job is to get the facts and circumstances of, how far did they go?” 

Since election night, Trump has repeatedly claimed a second term was “stolen” from him through massive voter fraud. 

Former Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, above, was reportedly behind the push to seize voting machines.
Former Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was reportedly behind the push to seize voting machines.
AP

On Jan. 6, 2021, as Congress was counting the Electoral College votes, Trump urged then-Vice President Mike Pence to reject electors from certain states, essentially voiding the result. 

This week, Trump reiterated his opinion that Pence could have changed the election outcome, slamming a bipartisan effort to clarify and narrow the vice president’s role in counting electoral votes. 

“If the Vice President (Mike Pence) had ‘absolutely no right’ to change the Presidential Election results in the Senate, despite fraud and many other irregularities, how come the Democrats and RINO Republicans, like Wacky Susan Collins, are desperately trying to pass legislation that will not allow the Vice President to change the results of the election?” he said in a statement released by his Save America PAC Sunday evening.

“Actually, what they are saying, is that Mike Pence did have the right to change the outcome, and they now want to take that right away. Unfortunately, he didn’t exercise that power, he could have overturned the Election!”

Not long after, Jan. 6 committee member Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) tweeted that the former president’s statement represented “an admission.”

“‘He could have overturned the election.’ This is an admission, and a massively un-American statement. It is time for every Republican leader to pick a side … Trump or the Constitution, there is no middle on defending our nation anymore,” Kinzinger wrote

“Trump uses language he knows caused the Jan 6 violence; suggests he’d pardon the Jan 6 defendants, some of whom have been charged with seditious conspiracy; threatens prosecutors; and admits he was attempting to overturn the election,” fellow committee member Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) wrote. “He’d do it all again if given the chance.”

Phil Waldron at a Michigan House Oversight Committee meeting in Dec. 2020.
Phil Waldron at a Michigan House Oversight Committee meeting in December 2020.

The former president doubled down on Tuesday, calling on the committee to investigate why Pence did not reject the Electoral College votes.

“So pathetic to watch the Unselect Committee of political hacks, liars, and traitors work so feverishly to alter the Electoral College Act so that a Vice President cannot ensure the honest results of the election, when just one year ago they said that ‘the Vice President has absolutely no right to ensure the true outcome or results of an election,’” Trump said. “In other words, they lied, and the Vice President did have this right or, more pointedly, could have sent the votes back to various legislators for reassessment after so much fraud and irregularities were found.

“If it were sent back to the legislators, or if Nancy Pelosi, who is in charge of Capitol security, had taken my recommendation and substantially increased security, there would have been no ‘January 6’ as we know it!”

Michael Flynn and Rudy Giuliani reportedly directed Trump to inquire with the DHS about seizing voting machines.
Michael Flynn and Rudy Giuliani reportedly directed Trump to ask the DHS about seizing voting machines.
AP

Trump concluded: “Therefore, the Unselect Committee should be investigating why Nancy Pelosi did such a poor job of overseeing security and why Mike Pence did not send back the votes for recertification or approval, in that it has now been shown that he clearly had the right to do so!”

Source link