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Trump weighed proposals to seize voting machines and directed Giuliani, report says

Mr Giuliani reportedly objected to idea of military taking part in seizure of machines

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Tuesday 01 February 2022 07:52 GMT
Donald Trump boasts he will be the ‘47th’ US president

Former US president Donald Trump allegedly directed his attorney Rudy Giuliani to call the Department of Homeland Security and enquire if they could legally seize voting machines in key swing states.

Mr Giuliani acted on his commands and called the department’s acting deputy secretary, according to a report by The New York Times.

The former president requested his then-attorney to make the inquiry after his allies Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell pushed him to order the military to seize the machines, the report said. However Mr Giuliani was said to be "vehemently opposed to the idea of the military taking part in the seizure of machines".

After a meeting with Mr Trump at the Oval Office on 18 December 2020, Mr Flynn and Ms Powell presented the Republican president with a copy of a draft executive order authorising the military to oversee the seizure of machines.

Sources told the NYT that Mr Giuliani was adamant in recommending against mobilising the military, and Mr Trump ultimately heeded his advice.

Following the meeting, retired army colonel Phil Waldron, who claimed to have spotted irregularities in vote results, amended the draft executive order to suggest that if the military could not oversee the seizure then the Department of Homeland Security could.

Taking up his proposal, Mr Trump reportedly asked Mr Giuliani to call Kenneth T Cuccinelli II, the acting deputy secretary at the Department of Homeland Security to enquire about the viability of the proposal.

Mr Trump also asked former attorney general William Barr about the Department of Justice impounding them, which Mr Barr immediately rejected.

The Times said these new accounts indicate Mr Trump was involved more directly in discussions around seizing voting machines than previously. thought, describing him as “grasping unsuccessfully for evidence of fraud that would help him reverse his defeat in the 2020 election”.

The new information comes on the back of Mr Trump's rally in Conroe, Texas, where he hinted that he could potentially pardon people involved in the 6 January insurrection, if voted back to power at the next election.

“If I run and if I win, we will treat those people from January 6 fairly. And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons because they are being treated so unfairly,” he said.

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