Trump's Oval meeting was so heated even Giuliani was shocked: 'They discussed martial law and Sidney Powell'
The meeting included Michael T Flynn, who had recently suggested that Trump should invoke martial law to allow the military to 'rerun' the election
On Friday, December 18, in a meeting at the White House, President Trump weighed on appointing Sidney Powell as a special counsel investigating voter fraud. Powell, as a lawyer for Trump’s campaign team, has spread conspiracy theories about a Venezuelan plot to rig voting machines in the US. She has also espoused QAnon beliefs.
As per The Daily Beast, sources confirmed that Trump and Powell held the December 18 meeting to discuss their theories of mass election fraud. As per a New York Times report of what went on in the meeting where Trump made this proposal, even Rudy Giuliani was against the idea; as were most of his other advisers, two of the people briefed on the discussion told the NYT. According to the same report, the meeting became “raucous and involved people shouting at each other at times”. Another source quoted by CNN on December 19, Saturday, described the meeting as “ugly” after Powell and Flynn lashed out at others. “It was heated, people were really fighting it out in the Oval,” the source was quoted saying.
Participants of the meeting reportedly included Powell, Giuliani, retired Lt Gen Michael T Flynn, and some senior administration officials. Flynn, who was formerly the national security adviser, had recently suggested that Trump should invoke martial law to allow the military to “rerun” the election. "[Trump] could take military capabilities and he could place them in those states and basically rerun an election in each of those states," Flynn said earlier this week on the conservative news outlet Newsmax. Allegedly, at one point in the meeting on December 18, Trump asked Flynn about that idea.
As per the NYT, Powell’s ideas were shot down by every other Trump adviser present, repeatedly pointing out that she had yet to back up her claims with proof. At one point, Powell reportedly produced several affidavits, but upon inspection, they were all signed by a man she has previously used as an expert witness, whose credentials have been called into question. White House counsel, Pat A Cipollone reportedly told Trump that there was no constitutional authority for what was being discussed. Part of the White House meeting on December 18 night was also a discussion about an executive order to take control of voting machines to examine them.
Critics expressed alarm at Friday's meeting, which was first reported by The New York Times. Noah Bookbinder, who heads the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told ABC News that the ideas raised in the Oval Office discussions would represent an "abuse of power" and were "wrong and must be condemned."
"President Trump's continued attempts to overturn the results of the election have done immeasurable damage to the stability of our democracy and to the American people's faith in it," Bookbinder said. "The president welcoming Michael Flynn to the White House right after Flynn suggested Trump impose martial law to overturn the election by force takes the threat to a new level."
Trump was defeated in the 2020 presidential election by President-elect Joe Biden by more than 7 million votes. The states have confirmed Biden’s Electoral College victory by a margin of 306-232.