Capitol Riot

At ‘Unhinged' WH Meeting, Outside Lawyers Proposed Military Seizure of Voting Machines, Raskin Says

A draft Executive Order presented at the meeting "proposed the immediate mass seizure of state election machines by the U.S. military," it. was revealed during Tuesday's Jan. 6 hearing

US Representative Jamie Raskin speaks at the opening of a hearing on "the January 6th Investigation," on Capitol Hill on July 12, 2022, in Washington, DC.
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

At Tuesday's Jan. 6 hearing investigating the Capitol riot, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., revealed that four days after the Electoral College confirmed Joe Biden's victory, a team of former President Donald Trump's advisors paid a visit to the White House for a meeting described as "unhinged," "not normal" and "the craziest meeting of the Trump presidency," according to testimony from people who were present.

The advisers, outside lawyers who had "lots of theories supporting the Big Lie" that Trump had been the real election victor but "no evidence to support them," made the "surprise visit" to the White House on Dec. 18, 2020.

"They brought to the White House a draft Executive Order they had prepared for President Trump to further his ends," Raskin said. "Specifically, they proposed the immediate mass seizure of state election machines by the U.S. military. The meeting ended after midnight with apparent rejection of the idea."

Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone testified on video, played Tuesday by the committee, that he had opposed the proposed mass seizure of election machines.

"To have the federal government seize voting machines, that's a terrible idea for the country, you know? That's not how we do things in the United States. There's no legal authority to do that," Cippollone told the committee. "The idea that the federal government could come in and seize election machines — I don't understand why I would even have to tell you why that's a bad idea for the country. That's a terrible idea."

Instead, Raskin said, Trump decided after the meeting to call on his supporters to come to D.C. on Jan. 6 to help contest the election results.

"Trump's 1:42 a.m. Tweet electrified his supporters, especially the dangerous extremists in the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, and other racist and white nationalist groups spoiling for a fight against the government," Raskin said.

This is a live update. Click here for complete coverage of the Jan. 6 hearings.

The Jan. 6 committee revealed never-before-seen text messages sent by Brad Parscale in which he asserted that the rhetoric leading up to the Capitol riot led to a woman’s death.
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