The Jan. 6 committee just secured a written executive order authorizing the National Guard to take voting equipment after the 2020 election, but it’s uncertain who authored it or how concerned former President Donald Trump was about the idea.
Trump was deeply engaged, according to the New York Times, and he personally lobbied to see whether voting equipment in battleground states could be confiscated on many occasions.
During a November meeting with Attorney General Bill Barr, Donald Trump reportedly mentioned the idea of the Justice Department taking voting equipment, according to the New York Times.
According to reports, Donald Trump reminded Barr that his attorneys told him the computers may be confiscated, but Barr dismissed the idea since there was no indication of any misconduct.
After it was suggested by retired Army colonel and election conspiracy theorist Phil Waldron, who was also behind the now infamous presentation setting out how Donald Trump might announce a national security emergency in order to keep power, Trump’s attorneys purportedly caught wind of the plan.
According to the New York Times, Waldron continued to promote the scheme within Trump’s inner circle after Trump’s meeting with Barr, emphasizing that the concept might be implemented out by other federal agencies.
Discredited general Michael Flynn and conspiracy-theorizing lawyer Sidney Powell allegedly supplied Donald Trump with a copy of an executive order authorizing the military to confiscate the computers at a Dec. 18 Oval Office meeting described by the New York Times as dramatic.
Donald Trump called Rudy Giuliani, who declared that the military had no legal authority to confiscate them because there was no evidence of severe electoral fraud. In the end, Trump agreed with Giuliani but it doesn’t end there.
Waldron allegedly changed the presidential order to indicate that they may be seized by the Department of Homeland Security.
Multiple draughts of the executive order exist, according to CNN, with one asking the military to confiscate the computers and the other telling the Department of Homeland Security to grab them.
The executive order acquired by the Jan. 6 committee contains classified material, as previously disclosed. Waldron, who operates a distillery south of Austin, isn’t a government figure, to be sure.
After plots to have the Justice Department and the military seize the machines were nixed, Trump was amused by the thought of the DHS seizing the machines and asked Giuliani to contact the department’s acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli to see if the DHS could perhaps commandeer the state-run machines. He did so, and the response was, unsurprisingly, no.
According to the New York Times, all of this strategizing produced a lot of stress inside Trump’s inner group.
According to the publication, Giuliani is vehemently opposed to the military taking computers and feels the plan is far beyond pale.
Mark Meadows, then-Chief of Staff, was opposed to Flynn and Powell even entering inside the White House.
Garrett Ziegler, an associate to Trump adviser Peter Navarro, who reportedly boasted to Rolling Stone about his engagement in the administration’s attempt to overturn the election, is said to have let them in. Meadows terminated Ziegler’s guest rights once he realized he’d admitted Flynn and Powell inside the Oval Office, Ziegler alleged on a podcast.
The committee issued subpoenas to Waldron, Flynn, Powell, Giuliani, and Meadows on January 6.