Administration

Memo argued Trump-linked officials should seize NSA data in effort to prove election was stolen: report

A memo circulated by allies of former President Trump in December 2020 argued that the president should establish a three-person team to monitor data from the National Security Agency (NSA) for evidence of international interference in the 2020 presidential election.

The memo, first reported by The Washington Post on Wednesday, is dated Dec. 18, 2020, and was circulated among Trump’s allies. It said that “targeted inquiries” of NSA unprocessed raw signals data would “likely identify hard evidence of foreign involvement in DOD [Department of Defense] data which will support all other efforts to reverse the fraud.”

“If evidence of foreign interference is found the team would generate a classified DOD legal finding to support next steps to defend the Constitution in a manner superior to current civilian-only judicial remedies (which should still be pursued in parallel),” the memo adds.

The authors of the memo specifically asked that Trump direct Christopher Miller, the acting Defense secretary at the time, to tap three cleared individuals to work on a core advisory team to the White House, secretary of Defense and director of national intelligence “regarding foreign interference in the 2020 election.”

The proposed team included Army lawyer Frank Colon, former National Security Council member Richard Higgins and failed Republican House candidate Michael Del Rosso.

The bottom of the memo instructs individuals to dispose of the document “via shreding,” spelling the word wrong, while also noting that the content is “proprietary and privileged.”

Miller told the Post that he did not know about the memo and was not asked to carry out the requests outlined. Colon denied knowing about the documents. Higgins did not respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.

The previously unreported memo sparks legal and ethical concerns, according to the Post, as the NSA is not permitted to target the communications of an individual in the U.S. without a court order.

Trump and his allies have claimed that the 2020 presidential election was tainted by fraud, despite a number of audits reaffirming that the vote was fair. Former Attorney General Bill Barr in December 2020, roughly one month after Election Day, said there was no evidence of widespread fraud that would have changed the outcome of the race.

The Post also detailed a Jan. 4 meeting that took place at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., where a number of individuals huddled to discuss claims of election fraud. MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell reportedly organized the meeting.

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