PowerPoint Coup Plot? House Panel Got Its Hands on Doc Detailing How Trump Could Have Clung to Power
12:31 GMT 11.12.2021 (Updated: 13:28 GMT 11.12.2021)
© Photo : Author UnknownSlide from PowerPoint presentation circulating online allegedly detailing Trump White House brainstorming on how to overturn the 2020 election results.
© Photo : Author Unknown
A Democratic-led House panel is investigating the Trump administration’s possible role in the 6 January violence on Capitol Hill, which saw an angry mob of protesters storming Congress in a bid to halt lawmakers’ formal certification of the November 2020 election results. Donald Trump maintains that the vote was rigged against him.
Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows has reportedly turned over a potentially damning secret 36-page PowerPoint presentation to the House select committee investigating the events of 6 January, with the document said to detail multiple options for the former president to annul the results of the November 2020 election.
The potential bombshell document, which has been leaked online, is entitled “Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 Jan,” and gave then-president Trump several options for coasting to a second term despite the 3 November 2020 election results in which Joe Biden emerged victorious.
Recount Due to Foreign Interference
One option outlined in the PowerPoint presentation was to have the president brief congress on alleged “systematic” election interference by China involving the manipulation of electronic voting machines in eight swing states, followed by a declaration of a national emergency, the voiding all electronic voting results, and a request that lawmakers come up to a solution in a constitutionally acceptable fashion.
Results in eight states – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – were further cited as having been compromised by “domestic voter fraud” on top of the alleged Chinese interference.
A US intelligence report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in March concluded that it had found no evidence of any Chinese interference in the 2020 election.
9 November 2021, 14:04 GMT
A second scenario proposed a nationwide ballot recount to be conducted by “select federalized National Guard units” supervised by a “lead counter” appointed by the president, with the US Marshals to be instructed to “secure all ballots and provide a protective perimeter around the locations in all 50 states.”
In that scenario, the Department of Homeland Security was to use “emergency response logistic capabilities to support the effort.”
The PowerPoint also laid out three ways vice president Mike Pence could keep his boss in power, including by seating Republican electors “over the objections of Democrats in states where fraud occurred,” rejecting “the electors from states where fraud occurred causing the election to be decided by the remaining electoral votes,” and “delay[ing] the decision [on certification] in order to allow for a vetting and subsequent counting of all the legal paper ballots.”
Pence ultimately rejected efforts by Trump to overturn the election, prompting the president to accuse him of having “stabbed [him] in the back,” and accusing Pence of “betraying the Constitution” by ignoring alleged ballot irregularities in swing states.
The PowerPoint presentation was said to have been shown to some Republican senators and House lawmakers on 4 January, two days before Congress met to formally certify Biden’s victory – only to be interrupted by rioters storing the Capitol. It was one of over 6,000 documents former chief of staff Meadows was forced to turn over to the House probe, which Trump has dismissed as a partisan “witch hunt.”
Meadows himself faces a possible vote next week on criminal contempt charges by the House after his failure to appear before the committee for testimony. The former official has refused to testify, saying his communications during the period under investigation are covered by executive privilege, and accusing the committee of overreach. Other Trump officials and the former president have also sought to use executive privilege to avoid testimony and turning over White House records.
9 December 2021, 07:17 GMT
On Thursday, a Washington, DC appeals court rejected Trump’s bid to prevent the records’ release. A spokesman for the former president said he would take the matter to the Supreme Court.
The authenticity of the PowerPoint presentation floating around online has yet to be verified, with the select committee refusing to comment on its veracity as of this writing. An informed source told the Washington Post that it was difficult to say how much of the leaked document, which is 36 pages long, matches that of the 38-page presentation said to have been provided to the committee by Meadows, although the New York Times maintains that the two versions are "similar."