During an appearance on CBS’s Face The Nation over the weekend, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) — the chairperson of the House committee investigating the Capitol riot — laid out some of the latest issues with which investigators have been dealing. Alongside other points, Thompson discussed questions related to a recently revealed draft of an executive order that would have directed the seizure of voting machines and other materials from the last election. The order, which outlined a pathway for National Guard personnel getting involved, was never put into motion, but Thompson noted how even the potential of such a thing is troubling enough — de facto agents of a losing presidential candidate shouldn’t be seizing election materials in any effectively functioning democracy.
Thompson indicated that riot panel members have obtained evidence regarding the scope of the involvement by Trump ally Jeffrey Rosen in efforts to subvert the outcome of the last election, and Thompson insisted that investigators would be continuing their efforts to uncover the breadth of what was going on. As Thompson explained, discussing the draft executive order:
‘If you are using the military to potentially seize voting machines, even though it’s a discussion, the public needs to know. We’ve never had that before. And so any of these individuals who are participating in trying to stop the election… if we can document it, we will share it with the public… We have information that between the Department of Justice, a plan was put forward to potentially seize voting machines in the country and utilize Department of Defense assets to make that happen… We do know that a potential person was identified to become the attorney general of the United States who would communicate with certain states that the election on their situation had been fraudulent and not to produce certified documents [confirming the election outcome].’
That “potential” Attorney General would appear to be Jeffrey Rosen, a Trump supporter at the Justice Department who the then-president considered appointing to the department’s top spot. (The notion that the election had been fraudulent remains false.) Thompson added that panel members “will move forward on that investigation, and… look and see specifically how far that plan went.” As laid out in the originally proposed executive order — the author of which wasn’t immediately clear, that plan also included the appointment of a special counsel to investigate issues related to the election — and bring criminal proceedings that the hypothetical official might deem to be appropriate. The document laid out a plan for a federal takeover of the electoral process by the then-president’s allies. Watch Thompson’s comments below:
"We do know that a potential person was identified to become the attorney general of the United States who would communicate with certain states that the election on their situation had been fraudulent and not to produce certified documents" — Rep. Bennie Thompson pic.twitter.com/h3hInC86Qd
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 23, 2022
The riot panel recently successfully obtained hundreds of pages of records from the Trump administration, after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to block the materials from getting transferred from the National Archives. Trump had claimed that certain sought after records were covered by executive privilege.
Next week would be a great week for the Department of Justice to investigate Donald Trump for criminal sedition. https://t.co/Z49gFCaI6C
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) January 23, 2022