After Trump threatens violence at Texas rally, admits seeking to “overturn election”

Press reports reveal Trump commissioned second draft executive order to seize voting machines

Following on the heels of Donald Trump’s admission that he sought to “overturn” and “change the results” of the 2020 presidential election, new reports from CNN and the New York Times confirm that the would-be dictator personally led efforts to have the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seize voting machines in three states prior to the failed January 6, 2021 coup.

Citing “three people familiar with the matter,” the Times wrote: “Trump directed his lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, to make a remarkable call. Mr. Trump wanted him to ask the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) if it could legally take control of voting machines in key swing states. …”

“Mr. Giuliani did so,” wrote the Times, which also reported that Trump had previously asked then-Attorney General William Barr if the Department of Justice could seize voting machines, which Barr apparently rejected.

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Dayton International Airport, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, at Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Late Monday night, corroborating the Times report, CNN cited “multiple sources” confirming the existence of a second executive order directing the DHS to seize voting machines. Last month, it was revealed that Trump lawyers drafted an executive order calling for the National Guard to seize ballots across the country and have the intelligence agencies unilaterally declare Trump the winner.

While it has previously been reported that on December 18, 2020, Giuliani called DHS Acting Deputy Secretary Kenneth Cuccinelli and asked about the feasibility of the department seizing voting machines, the fact that Trump personally directed Giuliani to do so was not previously revealed.

In an earlier January interview with CNN, Cuccinelli admitted that he spoke with Giuliani on December 18, 2020. However, he claimed the conversation “never developed to the point of talking about an executive order including such action that I recall.”

The new information explodes all attempts to deny that the events of January 6 were part of a conspiracy led by the then-president to overturn the election and establish a fascistic presidential dictatorship. It shatters the claim that the siege of the US Capitol was merely a protest that got out of control. And it provides further grounds for arresting the former president on charges of attempting to overthrow the Constitution.

Trump suggested at a rally over the weekend in Conroe, Texas that, if reelected, he would pardon the January 6 insurrectionists who have been criminally charged, and he called for mass, violent protests should he himself be indicted. Such statements make clear that he and fascist allies such as Stephen Bannon and a considerable section of Republican lawmakers are plotting another coup.

These developments confirm the warnings made by the World Socialist Web Site prior to January 6 that Trump would not accept a peaceful transfer of power and our warnings since then that the efforts to build a fascist movement and seize power continue unabated.

They also confirm our warnings against placing any confidence in the Biden administration or the Democratic Party to oppose the threat to democratic rights.

Their feckless and deceitful pleas for “unity” with their Republican “colleagues” continue, giving the conspirators an open field to continue their fascistic agitation and plotting. The main concern of the Democrats—who are carrying out Trump’s herd immunity policy of mass infection in the COVID pandemic, escalating war provocations against Russia and continuing the savage crackdown on immigrants—is to conceal the danger of dictatorship from the working class.

While the text of the second executive order has yet to be revealed as of this writing, the same unnamed sources confirmed to CNN that the order instructed the DHS to “carry out the same tasks” that were assigned to the military in the previously leaked draft executive order.

The sources cited by both the Times and CNN claim that the idea to seize voting machines came from retired Army Colonel Phil Waldron and the former Trump national security advisor and QAnon proponent, retired General Michael Flynn. Previous reporting by the Washington Post confirmed that Waldron provided former New York police commissioner and Giuliani crony Bernard Kerik bogus data purporting to show election fraud. Waldron used the same data in a slide show presentation that laid out Trump’s strategy to overthrow the election of Biden.

Questioned by CNN, Giuliani’s attorney, Robert Costello, claimed that while Giuliani had no problem inquiring if the DHS would be willing to seize voting machines, he drew the line at having the military openly and directly involved.

The fact that that least three different federal agencies, the DHS, the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense, were approached by Trump allies, either inside or outside the administration, to participate in his conspiracy further exposes the notion, advanced by last summer’s bipartisan Senate Homeland Security and Rules Committee report, that “leadership” and “intelligence failures” led to the breach of the Capitol. In its report, the committee, headed by Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar, made no mention of Trump’s role in the January 6 insurrection.

The existence of the first executive order was revealed after White House records, which Trump had sought to block, were turned over to the January 6 House Select Committee by the National Archives. In response to questions from CNN on Tuesday, the Archives revealed that Trump himself had personally sought to prevent records from coming into the Archives’ possession by ripping up documents.

In a statement to CNN, the Archives wrote that “some of the Trump president records received by the National Archives and Records Administration included paper records that had been torn up by former President Trump.” The agency noted that the Trump administration turned over “a number of torn-up records that had not been reconstructed by the White House.”

Trump’s attempts to destroy evidence is a clear case of obstruction and the latest example in a cavalcade of criminal offenses committed by Trump for which the Biden Justice Department under Merrick Garland has yet to charge him.

Leading Democratic politicians have remained silent on the latest revelations, leaving it up to the right-wing Republican war hawk, Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney, to be the chief accuser of the ex-president on the House Select Committee.

As of this writing, not a single mention of Trump’s executive orders to seize voting machines, his recent calls for violent protests, or his admission of seeking to “overturn” the election has appeared on the social media accounts of so-called “progressive” Democrats such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. The same goes for President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

The same applies as well to the “squad” in the US House, who are either members of or backed by the pseudo-left Democratic Socialists of America: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Presley, Rashida Tlaib, Cori Bush and Ilhan Omar.

Meanwhile, their Republican “colleagues” continue to incite fascistic violence ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

To cite one among many examples from the past week:

On Monday’s “War Room Pandemic” podcast, hosted by Steve Bannon, guests included far-right Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and Rudy Giuliani. Referring to the November 8 mid-terms, Bannon said, “The Democratic left we’ve identified, we’ve isolated and we are going in for the kill shot.”

Echoing Trump’s racist anti-immigrant agitation in Texas over the weekend, Bannon criticized Biden’s war moves against Russia and demanded that the military be deployed instead to the southern border of the US to “repel the invasion... from these creatures.”