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Trump told Giuliani to call the Department of Homeland Security to see if they could ‘take control of voting machines’: NYT report

  • Former President Donald Trump played a role in plans for seizing voting machines in the 2020 election. 
  • Trump asked Rudy Giuliani to call DHS about confiscating voting machines, The New York Times reported.
  • Trump weighed the prospect of using the military or the Justice Department to obtain the machines.

Former President Donald Trump asked Rudy Giuliani, his attorney, to call the Department of Homeland Security to see if they could legally take control of voting machines in key states in December 2020, six weeks after the Presidential election, The New York Times reported. 

Giuliani called Kenneth Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, who told him he did not have the authority to do so, the Times reported. 

Insider previously reported people in Trump’s orbit had written a draft executive order that was dated to December 2020 that mentioned using the Pentagon to seize machines.

That draft order was recently obtained by the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. 

The Times reported that plans of using other federal agencies were also previously known but new details from three unnamed sources – either briefed on the events by participants or with firsthand knowledge of the events – show which plans Trump considered and advocated for. 

Trump’s request to Giuliani to call DHS came after he rejected a proposal to use the Pentagon to confiscate the machines to look for evidence of alleged voter fraud that Phil Waldron, a retired Army colonel, claimed to have discovered, the Times reported, adding that Waldron first mentioned this plan to former Trump advisor Michael Flynn. 

Waldron also proposed the use of the military to seize the machines, but after Trump presented that idea to Giuliani, the attorney opposed it. 

The Times reported that Trump also met with former Attorney General William Barr about the idea of using the Justice Department to seize voting machines. Barr immediately shot down the idea, essentially telling Trump that there was no probable cause that could justify the move, the Times reported. 

The former president even asked lawmakers in Michigan and Pennsylvania to use local law enforcement to seize machines, the Times reported. 

A spokesperson for Trump did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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