According to a draft published by Politico, an executive order that former President Donald Trump considered signing in the December following the 2020 election would have directed the Pentagon to seize voting machines in important states and search them for evidence of fraud. Trump never did sign the order.
Although the order went unsigned, it would have directed the Secretary of Defense to “seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records” regarding Trump’s claim of wide-spread voting fraud meant to prevent his second term in the White House.
What has not been made clear yet is who drafted the order, which includes legal language asserting presidential powers to take hold of the election equipment.
The draft additionally notes that the defense secretary could name National Guard units to be federalized in order to assist the effort. Any mobilization of the military or federal agents to take hold of voting machines for political purposes would have been unseen at any other time in U.S. history.
The document seems to be part of one that Trump was looking to block from the January 6 House Select Committee investigating the attempts to reverse the election results.
One source who was interviewed by the Select Committee told CNN they were questioned about the existence of a draft memo that included plans to take voting machines. The source, though, could not confirm that the questions were actually about the draft published by Politico. CNN, though, has not been able to independently verify the documents.