Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows gave the House select committee investigating the Jan.6 attack on Capitol Hill a PowerPoint recommending that Donald Trump declare a national security emergency in order to return to the presidency.
The fact that Meadows was in possession of a PowerPoint the day before the attack on Capitol Hill which detailed the means of staging a coup suggests that he was at least aware of efforts by Trump and his allies to prevent Joe Biden’s certification to take place on January 6.
The PowerPoint, titled “Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for Jan 6,” made several recommendations to Trump to retain the presidency for a second term based on debunked lies and conspiracies about widespread electoral fraud.
Meadows handed over a version of the PowerPoint presentation he received in an email and spanned 38 pages, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The Guardian reviewed a second 36-page PowerPoint version marked for release with metadata as of January 5, which had some differences from what the select committee had received. But the PowerPoint title and its recommendations have remained the same, the source said.
Senators and members of Congress should be made aware of foreign interference first, PowerPoint said, at which point Trump could declare a national emergency, declare all electronic votes invalid and ask Congress to agree on a remedy constitutionally acceptable.
The PowerPoint also outlined three options for then-Vice President Mike Pence to abuse his largely ceremonial role during the joint session of Congress on January 6, when Biden was due to be certified president, and fired. unilaterally Trump in the White House.
Pence could pursue one of three options, the PowerPoint said: base Trump’s voter lists on Democrats’ objections in key states, reject Biden’s voter lists, or delay certification to allow for “verification. “and counting paper ballots”.
The final option for Pence is similar to an option that was put forward simultaneously on January 4 and 5 by Trump’s lieutenants – led by attorneys Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, as well as Trump strategist Steve Bannon – working since l Willard Hotel in Washington DC.
The Guardian revealed last week that between the late evening of January 5 and the early hours of January 6, after Pence refused to go ahead with such plans, Trump then asked his lieutenants how to completely prevent Biden’s certification from taking place.
The PowerPoint recommendations for Trump and Pence were based on wild and unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud, including that “the Chinese have systematically taken control of our electoral system” in eight key battlefield states.
Then-Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen and his predecessor Bill Barr, both of whom were appointed by Trump, had already determined on January 5 that there was no evidence of electoral fraud sufficient to change the result of the 2020 elections.
House investigators said they became aware of the PowerPoint after it surfaced in more than 6,000 documents that Meadows handed to the select committee. PowerPoint was to be presented “on the Hill”, a reference to Congress, the panel said.
The powerpoint was presented on January 4 to a number of Republican senators and members of Congress, the source said. Trump’s lawyers working at the Willard Hotel did not see the presentation, according to a source familiar with the matter.
But the select committee said it found in documents handed over by Meadows, his text messages with a congressman, who told Meadows of a “very controversial” plan to send voters lists for Trump to the joint session. of Congress.
Meadows replied, “I love him.”
Trump’s former White House chief of staff had turned over the documents to the select committee until the cooperation agreement broke on Tuesday, when Meadows’ attorney Terwilliger abruptly told House investigators that Meadows would no longer help the investigation.
The select committee said on Wednesday that in response it would refer Meadows to criminal prosecution for defying a subpoena. Select committee chairman Bennie Thompson said the vote to hold Meadows in contempt of Congress would take place next week.
“The select committee will meet next week to present a report recommending that the House cite Mr. Meadows for contempt of Congress and refer him to the Department of Justice for prosecution,” Thompson said in a statement.