Sidney Powell as special counsel? Trump deploying martial law? POTUS responds to NY Times claims

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President Donald Trump reportedly considered naming former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell a special counsel to investigate alleged election fraud during this year’s balloting, though the idea was opposed by several people including personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

According to The New York Times, two people claiming to be familiar with the discussions said they took place during an Oval Office meeting between the president, Powell, and several advisers, with Giuliani taking part by phone. In addition to naming Powell, the president was advised to declare martial law and deploy the military to redo the November election, ideas that were opposed by most in the room.

In fact, the meeting “became raucous and involved people shouting at each other at times,” the Times reported.

Also in attendance was Powell’s client, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, while other senior officials came and went during the meeting, the paper said. During an appearance this week on Newsmax TV, Flynn — a retired Army lieutenant general and former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency — suggested that Trump impose martial law and deploy the military so he could “rerun” the election. The president supposedly asked about that option during the Friday meeting, the sources told the Times.

But, President Trump is calling the reporting on martial law “fake news.” In an early Sunday morning tweet, Trump kept his response short and simple:
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1340523944680583169?s=20

Powell’s suggestions, meanwhile, “were shot down by every other Trump adviser present, all of whom repeatedly pointed out that she had yet to back up her claims with proof,” said the paper.

One person who was briefed on the matter said that while Powell did produce a number of affidavits, they had all been signed by a man she’s used in previous cases as an expert witness and whose credentials have been questioned.

Persons briefed on the meeting said both Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone vehemently and repeatedly opposed the ideas that were being proposed.

Cipollone reportedly said that the president had no constitutional authority to act on some of the more radical suggestions, a person briefed on the meeting told the Times. Other Trump campaign and White House advisers delivered similar push-back, the sources said.

Regarding Powell, sources told the paper that one of the fundamental aspects of the meeting, which stretched on for some time, was to have the president appoint her to serve as a special counsel within the White House.

At one point, the Times said, Trump asked about the possibility of getting Powell the necessary security clearances to perform the job, if she were to be appointed — and it’s not clear that the president will do that, the Times added.

Powell reportedly accused other advisers to the president of being quitters.

Sources told the paper “the idea that Mr. Trump would try to install Ms. Powell in a position to investigate the [election] outcome sent shock waves through the president’s circle,” the Times reported, adding that Trump has been in contact with her a number of times in recent days.

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That said, cryptic tweets from Georgia-based attorney Lin Wood and White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications and Director of Social Media Dan Scavino only added to the drama — and mystery.

Saturday evening, Wood tweeted, “Patriots are praying tonight that @realDonaldTrump will impose martial law in disputed states, seize voting machines for forensic examination, & appoint @SidneyPowell1 as special counsel to investigate election fraud. Our country must learn TRUTH of 20/20 election. We must.”

The tweet accompanied a graphic featuring Wood, Trump, Flynn, Powell, Giuliani, and campaign attorney Jenna Ellis with the words: “Liberal Beware, Patriots are just getting started.”

https://twitter.com/LLinWood/status/1340479656013799425

It’s not clear what Wood was referring to.

Scavino, meanwhile, tweeted a series of photos featuring Trump looking at a painting of President Abraham Lincoln, a photo of World War II-era British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Trump on the phone with a determined look and President Andrew Jackson in the background.

He also tweeted a gif of an angry-looking eagle — again, without explanation.

Jon Dougherty

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