REVEALED: Trump reviewed draft order authorizing National Guard to seize voting machines

Trump supporter voter hat
Make America Great Again hat in support of Donald Trump at a rally at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix, Arizona. // Gage Skidmore
Trump's delusions and conspiracies are one aspect of a distinctive American bias against reality

Contrary to previous reports that a draft order to seize voting machines never reached the White House, a new report reveals that President Donald Trump not only reviewed the order but agreed to appoint far-right-wing attorney and conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell as a special counsel to investigate election fraud.

The Guardian's Hugo Lowell reports that on December 18, 2020, Trump reviewed the order during a White House meeting with Powell, disgraced and now-pardoned felon Mike Flynn, conspiracy theorist and (now former) Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, and former Trump aide Emily Newman.

The order would have authorized military intervention by the National Guard to seize voting machines.

Trump, had he signed the order, would have falsely claimed foreign interference in the U.S. election was so great it would require the military to seize the voting machines. The order was drafted by Sidney Powell, who in August was cited by a federal judge for "a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process" in filing false and frivolous election lawsuits.

In another disturbing twist, The Guardian adds that "Byrne claimed Trump had a range of options. He could decide whether to investigate election fraud in six, 12 or 31 states; whether to 'image' hard drives in voting machines or seize them; and whether to have that done by the national guard, DHS or the FBI."

Trump appeared open to such advice. Late that Friday night, two of the sources said, he told Cipollone he would just make Powell special counsel. When Cipollone said Powell would need a security clearance, which he said was probably impossible, Trump said he would grant it.

Reuters' Brad Heath confirms Lowell's reporting, adding that "Patrick Byrne and a lawyer who works for Sidney Powell told us Trump appointed Powell as election-investigating special counsel and gave her a security clearance in a meeting Dec. 18, but there was no follow-through and it never actually happened."

Read the entire report here.

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