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Trump’s draft order ordered defense chief to seize swing state voting machines | US Elections 2020

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In the heady days between the defeat of Donald Trump in November 2020 and the January 6 insurrection on the United States Capitol, an executive order was prepared. He ordered the Secretary of Defense to seize voting machines in battleground states, as part of Trump’s “big lie” that the vote was rigged.

The draft executive order, obtained and published by Politico, was never sent and its author is unknown. It was part of a cache of documents turned over to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 violence, after the Supreme Court ruled this week that Trump could not evade scrutiny for reasons of privilege. executive.

The disclosure of the draft order adds to the evidence of the lengths Trump and his close advisers were willing to go to to keep him in the White House, against the wishes of the American people. According to the draft order, the Secretary of Defense would have been required to conduct an assessment of voting machines “no later than 60 days from the start of operations.”

That would have taken the chaos that Trump has diligently tried to sow around Joe Biden’s legitimate victory far beyond the January 20 inauguration handover.

The publication of the document will provoke intense speculation as to its author. Politico pointed out that at the time the draft order was dated Dec. 16, 2020, the idea of ​​seizing voting machines in key states was being vigorously promoted by Sidney Powell, a controversial lawyer who had Trump’s ear. at the time.

The document describes the seizure of voting machines by the Pentagon under federal emergency powers. That in itself would have been inflammatory, as it would have represented a dramatic display of federal power over the state, the kind normally that Republicans fiercely resist.

The author of the draft order seeks to justify such a controversial approach by regurgitating conspiracy theories. For example, pointing to the voting machines, the document says there is “evidence of international and foreign interference in the November 3, 2020 election.”

He names Dominion Voting Systems, a leading supplier of voting machines that has become the target of right-wing conspiracy theorists and big liemongers. Dominion has sued multiple vendors for false claims that its products were used to swing the election from Trump to Biden.

“Dominion Voting Systems and related companies are owned or substantially controlled and influenced by foreign agents, countries and interests,” the draft executive order incorrectly asserts.

The project also singles out County Antrim, Michigan. Claims that voting machines in this county were compromised have been thoroughly refuted, including by state election officials.

A second document was also leaked to Politico from the new mountain of documents received by the committee on January 6. Titled Remarks on National Healing, it appears to be the text of a speech Trump never delivered.

The tone of the speech is striking because it stands in stark contrast to the approach Trump actually took in the wake of the Capitol violence. Still president for two weeks, he tried to downplay the importance of the day.

Had this alternative speech been delivered, Trump would have sent a very different message. He describes January 6 as a “heinous attack” that left him “outraged and sickened by the violence, anarchy and chaos”.

The text added: “The protesters who have infiltrated the Capitol have sullied the seat of American democracy.

Trump’s draft order ordered defense chief to seize swing state voting machines | US Elections 2020

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