Donald Trump considered seizing voting machines

In documents obtained by the parliamentary committee investigating January 6, we learn that Donald Trump had planned to issue an executive order to this effect.

The House Committee on January 6 obtained a never-released executive order from former President Donald Trump ordering the seizure of voting machines after the 2020 election, as well as a never-read speech on the “ nation healing dated 24 hours after the attack on the Capitol, reported Politico Friday.

Sidney Powell (conspiracy theorist and former Trump lawyer who was subpoenaed by the commission earlier this week) had urged the former president to seize the voting machines and appoint a special adviser to investigate the election during from a December 2020 meeting in the Oval Office. The text of the executive order, dated two days before the meeting, had not previously been reported.

It’s unclear who authored the order, but the fact that some classified memoranda are being referenced suggests that the person or people behind the order had access to government secrets, the source told Reuters. Politico a person familiar with these memoranda.

Citing false theories about voting machines and ” evidence of international and foreign interference in the election, the order authorizes Mark Milley, then Secretary of Defense, to ” seize, collect, retain and analyze all machinery, equipment, electronically stored information and physical records required to be retained under of a law on the preservation of electoral documents. Milley would then have 60 days to submit an assessment of the election: a potential tool to extend Trump’s term beyond Inauguration Day.

As requested by Powell, the order also creates a special adviser ” to oversee this operation and initiate all appropriate criminal and civil proceedings based on the evidence gathered and provide all resources necessary to perform its duties in accordance with federal law and the Constitution. »

Powell and other diehard Trumpists such as Rudy Giuliani are currently embroiled in libel suits brought by some of the voting machine companies named in the executive order.

The second document recovered by the January 6 commission is titled “ Notes on the Healing of the Nation“. This is a speech, which should have been given on January 7, that takes a stern look at those who attacked the Capitol. ” I would like to begin today by addressing the heinous attack that took place yesterday at the United States Capitolhe begins. Like all Americans, I was outraged and sickened by the violence, lawlessness and chaos. I immediately deployed the National Guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building and evict the intruders. America is, and always should be, a nation of law and order.. »

There is no evidence to support Donald Trump’s claim that he ordered the National Guard to the Capitol site. It may also be that he did not order it to respond to the attack. Politico points out that in its letter requesting the cooperation of Ivanka Trump, the commission notes that ” Acting Secretary Chris Miller, who was in the chain of command and reported directly to the President, testified under oath that the President never contacted him at any time on January 6 and never, at any time , gave the order to deploy the National Guard. »

Notes on the Healing of the Nation “also notes that the rioters” defiled the seat of American democracy“, adding: ” To those who have engaged in acts of violence and destruction, I want to be very clear: you do not represent me. You do not represent our movement. You do not represent our country. And if you broke the law, your place is in jail. »

Instead of uttering these sentences, Trump finally addressed his supporters in a very different way in a video message at the end of the afternoon: We must remain in peace. So go home. We love you. You are very special. You’ve seen what’s going on, you see how others are treated, so badly. I know how you feel. »

A spokesperson for the January 6 committee told Politico that he had now received all of the documents Trump had sued over in order to avoid handing them over. In a decision released Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled against the ex-president’s claim of executive privilege.

William Vaillancourt

Translated by the editor

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Donald Trump considered seizing voting machines