During a midnight meeting in the Oval Office in December 2020, a White House lawyer said he was “crazy” and an executive aide said he was “crazy.”
Then-President Donald Trump spoke that evening with three outside advisers, presenting him with implausible plans to reverse the outcome of the 2020 presidential election won by Joe Biden.
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On January 6, 2021, Mr. A’s House committee investigating an attack on the Capitol led by Trump supporters revealed new evidence in what lawmaker Jamie Raskin called “the strangest meeting of the presidency.” Trump”.
In addition to the president, this December 18, 2020 session was attended by Sidney Powell, an ardent supporter of conspiracy theories, Michael Flynn, former national security adviser, and Patrick Byrne, former boss of online sales Overstock.com. to place.
According to the commission, they signed Mr. Trump, the Secretary of Defense to seize the voting machines, a special counsel to investigate Ms.’s election. They also offered a draft executive order appointing Powell.
White House legal officials were alerted to their presence once a staff member let the three officials into the White House.
According to Powell, they were able to spend 10 to 15 minutes alone with the president before White House legal counsel Pat Cipollone rushed to the Oval Office, setting a new “land speed record.”
“I don’t understand how they got in,” Mr Cipollone told the commission. “I’m not happy with the people in the Oval Office.”
“I don’t think they give good advice to the president,” he added.
Mr Cipollone said he was ‘absolutely opposed’ to appointing Ms Powell as special prosecutor and said seizing the voting machines was a ‘terrible idea’.
Mr. According to Rusk, Mr. A “a heated and offensive confrontation” between Cipollone, other White House staffers and outside advisers continued for more than six hours.
Former New York Mayor and Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani joined the group at some point. He had been falsely claiming for weeks that the election had been rigged.
“It was not a normal meeting,” said Derek Lyons, one of the White House officials at the time. “People were yelling at each other and yelling at each other.”
Cassidy Hutchinson, an assistant to the president’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said she heard the commotion and texted a colleague saying the situation was “crazy.”
Mr Cipollone said outside advisers were “verbally attacking” him and accused him of failing to show loyalty to Mr Trump by investigating allegations of voter fraud.
“We asked a simple question: ‘Where is the evidence?’ “, he explained.
Eric Hershman, another White House legal adviser who was present, said Mr Flynn had previously tried to demonstrate voter fraud with graphics showing “internet-connected Nest thermostats”.
“We got to the point where we could hear screaming everywhere,” Hershman said. “It’s late at night. It’s been so long and what they gave me seemed crazy.
Regarding the election results, Mr. Trump also pointed out that all of Trump’s legal challenges have been dismissed by the courts. said Hershman. To which Ms Powell replied: ‘Well, judges are corrupt’.
“And I said ‘all the judges’?” said Mr. Hershman. “Are any of them corrupt? Even the ones we named?
According to him, Mr. Flynn, a retired general, would have shouted at him that he was a “abandoner”.
The meeting ended after midnight and it was back to square one, Mr Lyons said.
That is, they were looking for ways that Sidney Powell would “beat, Mike Flynn beat – that would inspire President Trump to pursue a second term.”