January 22, 2022 11:59:26 am
Following his defeat in the 2020 US presidential elections, Donald Trump, in a draft executive order, directed the defense secretary to seize voting machines, according to a report in Politico.
The report, based on newly-released National Archives documents, reveals the extraordinary measure Trump may have resorted to in an attempt to keep Joe Biden from being declared the President-elect.
The draft, dated December 16, 2020, orders the Secretary of Defense to immediately “seize, collect, retain and analyse all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records required for retention under” a federal law pertaining to election record preservation.
It also directs the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to provide an initial assessment of the election within 7 days and a final assessment within 60 days.
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The draft order is part of over 700 pages of presidential documents that were released by the National Archives and Records Administration to the US House committee. This comes after a Supreme Court ruling rejected Trump’s attempt to block the release of archives, including diaries, visitor logs, speech drafts and handwritten notes dealing with January 6 from the files of former chief of staff Mark Meadows.
The panel is investigating the Capitol riots of January 6, 2021, in which a group of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol as members of the House and Senate were gathered inside to validate Biden’s victory.
According to a report in The Associated Press, the documents were first requested in August, and will add to the tens of thousands the committee has already gathered as it investigates the attack by a violent mob of Trump’s supporters and what the former president and his aides were doing while it unfolded. The panel has done around 350 interviews and plans a series of hearings and reports this year as it seeks to compile the most comprehensive accounting yet of the insurrection, it said.
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