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Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied Donald Trump’s attempt to withhold White House documents from Congress’s January 6 committee. Today, new records are already coming to light—and illuminating the extreme steps the Trump administration considered when seeking to maintain power.

Among the documents now in committee hands is a draft executive order which, had it been issued, would have directed the secretary of defense to seize voting machines. According to Politico, which broke this news, the draft, dated December 16, 2020, reflects advice given to Trump by attorney Sidney Powell.

On Dec. 18, 2020, Powell, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump administration lawyer Emily Newman, and former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne met with Trump in the Oval Office.

In that meeting, Powell urged Trump to seize voting machines and to appoint her as a special counsel to investigate the election, according to Axios.

Citing conspiracy theories about Dominion voting machines, the order directs the nation’s top military leader to “seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information.” The order called for a special counsel to bring charges based on the seized information and authorized the defense secretary to use the national guard.

Reporter Betsy Woodruff Swan, who broke the story, notes that the order may have been part of a plan to keep Trump in office after January 20, 2021.

There’s a lot more to learn from the committee’s investigation, but one thing is clear: Trump’s coup attempt could have been even scarier.

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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