Politico got its mitts on some of the documents Trump’s lawyers tried to keep from the January 6 committee, including a draft executive order authorizing the secretary of defense to seize voting machines and a document titled “Remarks on National Healing.” Hoo boy. First up, the EO:
The order empowers the defense secretary to “seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records required for retention under” a U.S. law that relates to preservation of election records. It also cites a lawsuit filed in 2017 against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
Additionally, the draft order would have given the defense secretary 60 days to write an assessment of the 2020 election. That suggests it could have been a gambit to keep Trump in power until at least mid-February of 2021.
The draft EO, which can be read in its entirety here, also authorizes:
“The appointment of a Special Counsel to oversee this operation and institute all criminal and civil proceedings as appropriate based on the evidence collected and provided all resources necessary to carry out her duties consistent with federal laws and the Constitution.”
Emphasis mine. He meant Sidney Powell, fellow citizens, the Kraken lady. This slobbering lunatic:
The Trump administration beclowned this country every day for what seemed like an eternity, and maybe we should be thankful that even some of Trump’s otherwise shameless enablers had a vestigial sense of professional self-preservation that motivated them to stop this ridiculous plan. That allowed the nation to dodge the democracy-dispatching bullet that would have been the Kraken lady ranting about election fraud under the international klieg lights. Good gravy!
But in a sense, it’s the “Remarks on National Healing” that really punch the ticket to Crazytown, revealing that even as the Kraken lady and others pursued their mad scheme to overthrow the election, other White House operatives were frantically constructing coup offramps:
“I would like to begin today by addressing the heinous attack that took place yesterday at the United States Capitol,” it opens. “Like all Americans, I was outraged and sickened by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem. I immediately deployed the National Guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders. America is, and must always be, a nation of law and order…”
The draft remarks go on to describe emotions running high after an intense election. “But now, tempers must be cooled and calm restored.”
Trump “vigorously pursued every legal avenue to contest the election results,” the remarks add, and still urges election “reform” so voters could be confident about future contests.
“But as for THIS election, Congress has now certified the results,” the remarks say. “The election fight is over. A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”
Whaa? Of course, Trump never gave that speech either, never admitted he lost and never condemned the supporters who attacked the Capitol under his tacky-ass banner. But that someone in the White House wrote something in a category adjacent to a concession speech shows just how rudderless and chaotic the administration was in its final weeks.
Sometimes, the whole thing still seems so surreal. I don’t think I’ll ever quite wrap my head around it.