A tired part of the 2020 “election was stolen” lie that won’t go away is the claim voting machines were rigged, despite the fact audits and reports have illustrated this wasn’t the case. The irony is that Trump loyalists were found to have breached voting systems searching for evidence. Still, a much more significant danger appeared in motion from the previous administration. The LA Times reports that some in former President Trump’s inner circle wanted to enlist private contractors to seize and inspect voting machines and election data with help from U.S. Marshalls.
The “authorizing letter” and accompanying emails were sent on November 21, 2020, asking the former President to sign off on them. These documents are believed to be in possession of the House Jan. 6th committee, according to the report. The draft executive order was presented to Trump on December 18, 2020, by attorney Sidney Powell, former national security advisor Michael Flynn, and former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne.
A letter was sent via email by Andrew Whitney to Cyber Ninjas Chief Executive Doug Logan and cybersecurity expert Jim Penrose. Whitney is a British technology entrepreneur, who became a Trump ally after seeking his support for the unproven COVID-19 cure Oleandrin, according to the LA Times. If you don’t remember, Cyber Ninjas was the company behind the Arizona audit and have since shut down.
The document sought to grant authority to three companies—including two involved in auditing the election results—to send armed workers to seize all voting machines and election data.
The paper said it would have also given these companies and their subcontractors the power to research, obtain, and store offsite “all data and/or code regarding US election fraud, election manipulation, voter fraud, election interference, voter eligibility, and election systems wherever it resides.”
Both drafts sought to greenlight “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.”
Former U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Christopher Krebs said: “the request “implies that whoever drafted this... views this as some sort of warlike event” and spoke to the possible instance where the government was almost used as a tool of the former President.
“You’re talking about issuing letters of marque effectively to a private sector organization to go do some sort of activity on behalf of that executive office of the president,” Krebs told the Times. “A private sector organization has no authority to go and seize state government equipment. The federal government doesn’t even have that authority, particularly in the context of administering elections. And we are looking at a document that says that’s okay.”