Trump involved in proposals to seize voting machines: report

Former President Trump was reportedly involved in proposals to seize voting machines in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.

The New York Times, citing three unidentified sources, reported that Trump ordered his lawyer Rudy Giuliani to contact the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in December 2020 to ask if it could legally take possession of voting machines in crucial swing states.

Giuliani reportedly placed a call to acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli to relay the president’s request. But, according to the Times, Cuccinelli told Giuliani that he did not have the power to examine or take possession of the voting machines.

The request came after Trump declined to use the Pentagon to seize the voting machines, an idea that was floated by his team of outside advisers, the Times reported.

Trump also reportedly brought up potentially using the Department of Justice to take possession of voting machines. According to the Times, the president raised the prospect during a meeting with then-Attorney General William Barr in the Oval Office, a gathering that took place not long before Giuliani called Cuccinelli.

Last month, Politico reported on a draft executive order that sought to order the Defense secretary to take possession of voting machines and appoint a special counsel to investigate the 2020 election.

And on Monday, CNN reported that advisers to Trump drafted another version of an executive order that would have directed the DHS to seize voting machines.

Three sources told the Times that retired Army Col. Phil Waldron conceived the idea to order federal agencies, like the Pentagon or DHS, to seize voting machines. Waldron reportedly went to former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn with his idea. 

Trump also tried to encourage state lawmakers in key battleground states — including Michigan and Pennsylvania — to utilize law enforcement agencies to seize voting machines, according to the Times. The state lawmakers, however, would not get on board with the effort, the newspaper added.

The Hill has reached out to Trump for comment.

Tags Donald Trump Rudy Giuliani William Barr
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