A month after Donald Trump’s presidential defeat in 2020, an unsigned draft of a White House executive order has ordered the Pentagon to seize voting machines across the United States, according to documents released Friday.
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The text, published by the National Archives and obtained by Politico, highlights steps Trump may have been willing to take to cling to power after Joe Biden’s victory.
The decree, dated December 16, 2020, also stipulated the appointment of a special lawyer to file complaints regarding any allegations of fraud resulting from the seizures.
“With immediate effect, the Secretary of Defense will confiscate, collect, retain, and review all electronically stored machinery, equipment, information, and material records,” the three-page draft reads.
To justify this project, the document lists a series of conspiracy theories — repeatedly debunked — about the hacking of electoral devices. It is not known who wrote the text.
It is one of more than 750 documents handed over to the House Special Committee to investigate the January 6, 2021 attack on Capitol Hill after the Supreme Court rejected the former president’s appeal to block his release.
The committee, made up mainly of Democratic lawmakers, is seeking to establish the responsibility of Trump and his allies in the attack on Capitol Hill in an attempt to prevent confirmation of Biden’s victory.
Among the investigators’ targets was attorney Sydney Powell, who told reporters the election was the subject of “communist money through Venezuela, Cuba and possibly China”.
Powell and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani tried unsuccessfully to get the courts to reject election results in key states in the weeks after the Republican Qutb’s defeat.
The former president and his allies spent months pushing false allegations of widespread fraud, despite members of his administration saying it was the safest vote in US history. Trump-appointed attorney general Bill Barr also dismissed the charges.
A year after he formally resigned, Trump claims the 2020 election was “stolen” from him. According to opinion polls, more than half of Republican voters agree with him.
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