Inside the ‘Powerpoint coup’: The 36-page plan to keep Trump in power revealed

Presentation claims that China ‘systematically gained control over our election system constituting a national security emergency’

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
,Andrew Feinberg
Friday 10 December 2021 21:29
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Related video: Mark Meadows Sues As Jan. 6 Panel Proceeds With Contempt Case

Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has reportedly handed over a PowerPoint presentation to the House Select Committee looking into the Capitol riot on 6 January, as a possibly separate leaked document revealed how the Trump administration was attempting to overturn President Joe Biden’s election victory.

The presentation bears the title “Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 Jan”. The date on the title page is 5 January – the day before the insurrection.

It was not immediately clear whether the PowerPoint that was reportedly leaked online in an email exchange with the ex-chief is the same one that Mr Meadows is said to have handed to the committee.

It echoes a series of false claims based on Donald Trump’s so-called Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him through fraud. The defeated president and his supporters had set out a series of allegations which were subsequently discredited.

In fact, the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council said in a joint statement on 12 November 2020: “The November third election was the most secure in American history.”

“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” they added.

In reaction to the leak of the PowerPoint, California Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell tweeted: “How boldly are Republicans trying to overthrow the Biden government? They had a PowerPoint plan. Why were they so bold? Because they think you and DOJ don’t care and thus they can’t be stopped. We are in a battle for democracy. It’s on life support.”

The Director for the Centre for Politics at the University of Virginia, Larry Sabato, wrote: “I’m old-fashioned but treason seems like a serious crime. I’m not a lawyer but the PowerPoint seems like real evidence that a treasonous coup was planned.”

A former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, Dan Pfeiffer, tweeted: “Hey America — the GOP put the plan to overthrow the government in a f***ing PowerPoint!”

In a tweet posted late on Thursday, Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar called the document “a plan for a coup”.

“We need [to] get serious about what the consequences for that should be,” she said.

A spokesperson for the select committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the presentation from The Independent, but committee vice-chair Liz Cheney wrote in a Twitter thread on Thursday that the committee had “received exceptionally interesting and important documents from a number of witnesses”, Mr Meadows included.

It’s not clear who wrote the document, but many of the actions recommended in the presentation – which Mr Meadows reportedly intended to deliver to members of Congress – also match up with ideas floated by other key allies of former President Trump, including Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, in hopes of keeping him in the White House for a second term in defiance of the wishes of American voters.

“The Chinese systematically gained control over our election system constituting a national security emergency,” the document states under the heading “talking points”.

“The electronic voting machines were compromised and cannot be trusted to provide an accurate vote count,” the presentation adds.

“To restore confidence, the ‘failsafe’ of counting paper ballots” should be “used to determine who won the election for President, Senators, [and] Congressional representatives,” another talking point says.

“Hand counts reported by the media are not really hand counts and easily subverted,” the document adds.

On a slide entitled “summary of domestic voter fraud”, the presentation submitted to the 6 January committee claims that “double voters, deceased voters, out of state and out of county voters, non-citizen or felon voters, fake ballot” or “ballot stuffing” and “other illegal ballots” were used “in eight states”: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Another slide claims that “it’s been happening for a while” and includes a CNN video from when the Democrats won the 2019 race for governor in Kentucky.

A slide under the headline “irregularities in 2020 Election”, states that “Donald J Trump was winning by a significant margin across all key states Nov 3 evening”.

“Vote counting stopped in key states where Smartmatic software and either ES&S or Dominion machines were used,” the document adds.

Voting machine manufacturers have sued pro-Trump lawyers for defamation for their false claims that their equipment stole the election.

“When reporting resumed a massive spike occurred that favoured Joe Biden and exceeded the counting capabilities that were on hand in many cases,” the presentation adds.

A number of graphs then follow to show that there was a jump in the count.

A graph claims to show ‘vote injections’ ‘fixing’ the results in Michigan

One slide shows a complicated web of claims, stating that “adjudicated ballots are totally at the whim of the operator or malicious actor”.

Trump attorney Sidney Powell told a top defence department official that CIA director Gina Haspel had been captured during a fictitious mission to capture the non-existent German server described on this slide.

Another slide states that “election fraud and foreign interference” includes “one tactic that is part of a larger strategic plan” and that “other tactics include riots, threats, censorship, looting, etc”.

Presenting it as a “key issue”, the authors of the presentation claim that “China has leveraged financial, non-governmental and foreign allies including Venezuela to acquire influence and control US voting infrastructure in at least 28 States”.

They go on to argue that this control will be “utilized as [a] part of [an] ongoing globalist” and “socialist operation to subvert the will of United States voters and install a China ally”.

The claims in this powerpoint slide match those made by Sidney Powell during an infamous 19 November press conference at Republican National Committee headquarters.

The PowerPoint also claims that the Chinese Communist Party has “financial control of Dominion voting machines”.

One slide claims that the Chinese Communist Party have financial control of voting machines used in the 2020 election

There’s no evidence to support claims that the 2020 election was subjected to widespread fraud.

One slide purports to show the ‘money trails’ of those working to overthrow the election

Over the course of several slides, the creators of the PowerPoint state that the Chinese Communist Party also control “testing for Smartmatic software operation on Dominion voting machines” and that “they embedded anything they wanted!”

On a page of “recommendations”, the authors suggest that members of Congress be briefed on “foreign interference” and that a “national security emergency” be declared.

“Declare electronic voting in all states invalid,” the authors suggest.

On a slide entitled “perpetrators”, the presentation claims that “local zealots” used “illegal ballot harvesting, illegal voter roles, counterfeit mail-in and absentee ballots, and illegal adjudication changes”.

The voting machines shifted “votes from one candidate to another either through an algorithm or adjudications”, the creators claim, adding that “foreign actors” affected the vote “either through adjudications or outright database overwrites”. These events “demonstrably occurred, but not necessarily in a coordinated fashion,” the presentation says.

“Next step – count the paper ballots,” the next slide states. “Regardless of the cheating and stuffing of the ballot box, by eliminating the counterfeit mail-in and absentee ballots -> Trump almost certainly wins,” the presentation says, adding that lower-level races would “turn to Republican”.

By removing what they call “counterfeit” votes and counting the ballots again “by hand”, they would “quickly and easily find out who the elected leaders REALLY ARE and restore confidence in the outcome!” the PowerPoint says.

So-called “foreign actors” had to “shift votes in traditionally Republican strongholds in order to deliver a Biden win because they could jam no more into the major cities (fraud votes)”, the presentation says.

The PowerPoint then moves on to local examples of what the authors say is evidence of fraud and claim that if you count all paper ballots, then-President Donald Trump would “overwhelmingly” win.

A PowerPoint slide claims to show that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election

On a slide with the heading “restoring confidence in the 2020 General Election”, the authors argue that “a full check to weed out counterfeit paper ballots and then a count of the remaining legal ones across the nation must be done for all races in all states” to “accurately determine who the people of America actually elected as our leaders”.

The presentation states that the recount “must be done in full public view (via web broadcast) where each person has the chance to do the count themselves if they so desire. No more hiding behind barriers, distances, secrecy, and gag orders”.

“Every legal paper ballot will have a camera pointed at it and will be captured for a few seconds. It will be recorded and be broadcast in real-time on the Internet,” the presentation says.

The “top-level plan” to count the votes includes the use of National Guard troops and the US Marshals.

“A trusted lead counter will be appointed with authority from the POTUS to direct the actions of select federalized National Guard units and support from DOJ, DHS and other US government agencies as needed to complete a recount of the legal paper ballots for the federal elections in all 50 states,” the authors suggest.

“US Marshals will immediately secure all ballots and provide a protective perimeter around the locations in all 50 states,” they add.

The National Guard would be “responsible for counting each legitimate paper ballot” and “as the counting occurs each ballot will be imaged and the images placed on the Internet so any US citizen can view them and count the ballots themselves. The process will be completely transparent”, the presentation goes on to state.

The creators of the presentation say that the “legality of each ballot will be determined based on the Constitution and therefore the laws enacted by the state legislatures and in effect at [the] time of the election”. Exceptions would require Supreme Court approval, the PowerPoint says.

“Ballots that are suspect will be sequestered, separately secured, and turned over to the FBI to verify the forensic analysis,” the authors suggest.

The presentation says that examples of suspected ballots are votes that are made “from a different material than real ballots, are of a different colour, different format, photocopies, marked by the same commercial ink that printed them, filled out by a machine, have no creases in the case of mail-in ballots, etc”.

“If the sequestrated ballots are required to determine the winner, then they will be resolved based on the law and precedent in past elections,” the authors state. “The entire challenge process must be on video and broadcast.”

The last page of the presentation from 5 January bears the headline “options for Jan 6” – the day of the insurrection.

Then-Vice President Mike Pence “seats Republican electors over the objections of Democrats in states where fraud occurred,” the presentation states. “VP Pence rejects the electors from states where fraud occurred causing the election to be decided by remaining electoral votes,” and “VP Pence delays the decision in order to allow for a vetting and subsequent counting of the all the legal paper ballots”.

The Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council added in their joint statement on 12 November 2020: “While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too. When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections.”

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