After his election loss in 2020, then-President Donald Trump was intimately involved in plans to deploy national security agencies to confiscate voting equipment, according to media reports, urging his lawyer to ask questions as aides crafted two versions of a related executive order.
Media reported on Monday that Trump asked Rudy Giuliani to phone the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to see if it could lawfully seize control of voting machines in important swing states, citing three people familiar with the situation.
Trump’s outside advisers pressed the Defense Department to seize the devices, and Trump asked Attorney General Bill Barr if the Justice Department could remove them, according to reports. According to reports, Barr instantly rejected the notion.
According to the media, Trump’s aides wrote a second version of an executive order asking the Department of Homeland Security to take control of voting equipment. The first version, as reported by Politico last month, asked for the devices to be taken by the Defense Department.
According to media, Trump made a direct effort to advance the endeavour, citing persons who were informed by those engaged or had firsthand knowledge.
State and local governments control voting machines and the majority of other parts of U.S. elections. The Justice Department, which deals with concerns like civil rights and violence, and the Federal Election Commission, which enforces campaign finance laws, are in charge of federal election involvement.
Trump’s representatives could not be reached for comment on the reports right away.
The claims are the latest to show the outgoing Republican president’s and his aides’ efforts to sway the outcome of the 2020 election, which Democrat Joe Biden won by more than 7 million votes and 306 to 232 votes in the Electoral College.
Despite repeated court victories and audits verifying Biden’s victory, Trump continues to claim he lost the November 2020 election due to rampant fraud.
The news comes as a House of Representatives committee probing Trump supporters’ deadly attack on the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, ramps up its investigation ahead of public hearings planned this spring. On Tuesday, Trump slammed the House investigation once more in a statement.
On a charge of encouraging the Capitol attack, Trump was impeached in the House but acquitted in the Senate.
If he were to reclaim the White House in 2024, he said at a rally in Texas on Saturday that if he were to win, he would consider pardoning those convicted in the attack, which left five people dead and hundreds of police officers injured.
According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, out of more than 725 people detained, more than 165 have pleaded guilty to various federal counts.
Trump’s popularity among Republicans has not waned. Although donations have slowed, his major fundraising group reported on Monday that it has more than $100 million in cash. Some Republicans, on the other hand, are opposed to the assailants being pardoned.
Separately, media reported that certain documents turned over by the National Archives to House investigators from the Trump White House had been taped together. In a statement, the Archives verified that some of the records it received were “paper records torn up by former President Trump.”