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Jan. 6 probe gets its hands on Trump draft executive order directing seizure of voting machines

At the very end of the order, it notes that newly appointed special counsel would oversee the fraud investigation, institute criminal and civil proceedings, and be provided with “all resources necessary to carry out her duties consistent with federal laws and the Constitution.” 

The order was first published by Politico on Friday.

In addition to directing then-Defense Secretary Chris Miller to “seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records required for retention” under existing law, it also ordered Miller to write up a report on his findings with 60 days.

That deadline indicates that Trump was angling to keep himself in power through at least mid-February of 2021. 

Underlying all of this, however, is the fact that widespread election or voter fraud simply wasn’t happening as former President Trump insisted. A litany of courts—and even Trump’s attorney general, William Barr—confirmed that there was no evidence of widespread fraud that could have drastically altered the outcome. 

Notably, the draft order also zeroes in on Georgia, a state Trump lost to President Joe Biden but that he and his attorneys (like Powell) regularly claimed was a hotbed of fraud. 

The order also cites a bunk report on voting machines in Antrim County, Michigan, first produced by Russ Ramsland, a Texas security consultant. Ramsland is not an election expert but appeared on Fox to promote claims of fraud in Michigan anyway after the race. Ramsland also provided an affidavit to pro-Trump attorney Lin Wood seeking to discredit Dominion Voting Systems machines as part of a lawsuit filed in Georgia. Ramsland rather famously confused the data for Michigan, however, with data from Minnesota. Wood’s corresponding lawsuit was eventually tossed out, and Michigan’s secretary of state went on to publish extensive findings in a report that handily rebutted the conspiracy theories.

Along with the draft order, Politico was also the first to report Friday that it had obtained a copy of a document entitled “Remarks on National Healing” that was transmitted to the committee from the National Archives. 

That document was a speech that was intended, by all appearances, to be delivered after a mob of Trump’s supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. 

Its author is also unknown at this time.

What stands out so drastically in the speech is how it is completely different in tone to anything the former president has ever uttered about the 2020 election or insurrection before, during, or after the attack.

While Trump told rioters that they were “very special” and that he “loved” them, and, further, that he commiserated with them—“I know how you feel,” he said in a video message on Jan. 6— the speech is far more condemnatory. 

“We must send a message not with mercy but with justice,” the speech states, according to Politico. ”To those who engaged in acts of violence and destruction, I want to be very clear: you do not represent me. You do not represent our movement. You do not represent our country. And if you broke the law, you belong in jail.” 

The draft speech also reportedly affirmed that there was no path forward for Trump despite his “vigorous” pursuit of “every legal avenue to contest the election results.” 

Though the draft speech called for election reform for the future, the remarks also noted how Congress certified the results and “the election fight is over.” 

“A new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”

While the niceties of the speech are many, in truth, Trump has yet to back down from his claims of fraud, and he has regularly slammed the Jan. 6 committee’s investigation. He’s also said that the insurrection—which Congress found he incited when they impeached him the second time—did not happen on Jan. 6. Trump has insisted that the insurrection was the 2020 election itself and he’s described Jan. 6, 2021 as mere protest.

Unpublished Trump Draft EO by Daily Kos



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