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Trump Planned To Seize Voting Machines; Did Not Side With Rioters Initially: Report

Former US President Donald Trump holds a rally in Florence, Arizona, US earlier on Wednesday. (Image: Reuters)

Former US President Donald Trump holds a rally in Florence, Arizona, US earlier on Wednesday. (Image: Reuters)

The reports released show that Donald Trump spent his final weeks huddled with conspiracy theorists who wanted him to seize voting machines

A draft order released to the panel probing the January 6 Capitol Hill Riots received a damning document which further showed that former president Donald Trump did not want a peaceful transition following his loss to Joe Biden.

The document was titled – Presidential findings: To preserve collect and analyze national security information regarding the 2020 general election

Trump, according to the draft order accessed by news agency Politico, would have ordered the defence secretary of the United States to ‘seize, collect, retain and analyse all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records required for retention under’ an US law with respect to preservation of election records.

The report by Politico also outlined that the draft order, if implemented, would have given the defence secretary 60 days to assess the 2020 elections and suggested that it could have been an attempt to keep Trump in office until February of 2021.

Second Documents Reveals Jarring Facts

The news agency Politico in the report also said that they found another document titled – Remarks On National Healing. The content of the document was a surprise for many as it aimed to harshly criticise the Capitol Hill rioters.

“I would like to begin today by addressing the heinous attack that took place yesterday at the United States Capitol. 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 document stated. Trump did not deploy the National Guard.

‘We must send a message – not with mercy but with justice. To those who engaged in acts of violence and destruction, I want to be very clear: you do not represent me. You do not represent our movement. You do not represent our country. And if you broke the law, you belong in jail,” the order further said.

These remarks were in deep contrast with Trump’s video message to the Capitol Hill rioters which was released during the attack. In his video message released amid the riots in January 6, 2020 rioting in the Capitol Hill, the former president struck a tone of empathy with the rioters.

“We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens, you see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel,” Trump said in his video message.

Trump’s inconsistency with the draft document continued later in 2021 as well where he praised the rioters and Ashli Babbitt, the protester who was shot dead by security personnel on January 6. Several hundreds have been arrested for the insurrection and investigations continue on the Capitol Hill riots.

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first published:January 22, 2022, 11:20 IST