Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Jan 6 Committee Investigates Trump’s Totally “Unhinged” West Wing Meeting

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On the eve of former President Donald Trump’s infamous tweet calling on his supporters to appear in Washington on Jan. 6, the West Wing had been “unhinged”.

As evidenced by the select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 Capitol attack, Dec 19 tweet followed an Oval Office meeting where insults, personal attacks and even challenges to fistfights were exchanged between participants as a group of outside Trump advisers tried to persuade him to issue an executive order to confiscate voting machines and arrest attorney Sidney Powell. as a special counsel to investigate electoral fraud.

In a text message to the committee, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who was also in the West Wing at the time, described the meeting to another White House aide. “The west wing is OFF,” she wrote.

Even that doesn’t describe the fiery nature of the confrontation between attorneys from the White House office and the likes of Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne. Giuliani testified that he called Trump’s White House lawyers “a bunch of sissies” for not zealously supporting Trump’s efforts to undo the 2020 election.

During Powell’s recorded statement, between gulps of Diet Dr. Pepper and jabs at what she saw as the failure of White House attorneys to go along with the conspiracy theories, described a meeting with Trump for about 10 to 15 minutes before White House attorneys realized she and the other proponents of his fraud claims were in the Oval Office. Trump, she said, was very interested in parts of their presentation to him. The tone changed when White House lawyers arrived to try to dissuade Trump and things heated up.

“Sometimes there were people yelling at each other and insulting each other. It wasn’t just people sitting on a couch chatting,” former White House secretary Derek Lyons said in his recorded statement.

In clips that former White House adviser Pat Cipollone’s committee played behind closed doors, the conservative attorney could barely hide his disdain for Powell and Flynn’s proposals to Trump. He testified that they had “a general disregard for supporting what you’re actually saying with facts,” and said of their proposal to confiscate voting machines: “It’s a terrible idea for the country. That’s how we do it in the United States.” States not.”

The pushback infuriated outsiders, according to the witnesses, and Trump viewed the White House office as not offering him “solutions.” The fighting between them lasted until after midnight.

“I think it got to the point where the screaming was completely, completely out there. People who came in late at night had a long day, and I thought what they were proposing was crazy,” said White House counsel Eric Herschmann. in its included statement. “Flynn yelled at me I was a quitter, kept standing and just kept yelling at me. At one point I had it with him, so I yelled back, ‘Come on back or sit down with your effin’ ass again.’”

Although Trump verbally appointed Powell as special counsel during the meeting, he never completed the necessary paperwork afterward. As Cipollone recalled: “I think [Powell] may have believed she had been appointed.” Instead, Trump changed tactics and switched to calling for a “big protest” on Jan. 6 via Twitter, which he promised “would be wild.”

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