Jonathan Swan of Axios describes a crazy December 18, 2020 shouting match in the White House as conspiracy theorists Sidney Powell, Michael Flynn and others tried to get Donald Trump to act upon their belief that the Democrats stole the presidential election through the manipulation of voting machines. Trump’s advisers are having none of it. This is some wild stuff.
Here is Swan:
Powell waved an affidavit from the pile of papers in her lap, claiming it contained testimony from someone involved in the development of rigged voting machines in Venezuela.
She proposed declaring a national security emergency, grantingher and her cabal top-secret security clearances and using the U.S. government to seize Dominion’s voting machines.
“Hold on a minute, Sidney,” Herschmann interrupted from the back of the Oval. “You’re part of the Rudy team, right? Is your theory that the Democrats got together and changed the rules, or is it that there was foreign interference in our election?”
Giuliani’s legal efforts, while replete with debunked claims about voter fraud, had largely focused on allegations of misconduct by corrupt Democrats and election officials.
“It’s foreign interference,” Powell insisted, then added: “Rudy hasn’t understood what this case is about until just now.”
In disbelief, Herschmann yelled out to an aide in the outer Oval Office. “Get Pat down here immediately!” Several minutes later, White House counsel Pat Cipollone walked into the Oval. He looked at Byrne and said, “Who are you?”
The meeting was already getting heated.
White House staff had spent weeks poring over the evidence underlying hundreds of affidavits and other claims of fraud promoted by Trump allies like Powell. The team had done the due diligence and knew the specific details of what was being alleged better than anybody. Time and time again, they found, Powell’s allegations fell apart under basic scrutiny.
But Powell, fixing on Trump, continued to elaborate on a fantastical election narrative involving Venezuela, Iran, China and others. She named a county in Georgia where she claimed she could prove that Dominion had illegally flipped the vote.
Herschmann interrupted to point out that Trump had actually won the Georgia county in question: “So your theory is that Dominion intentionally flipped the votes so we could win that county?”
As for Powell’s larger claims, he demanded she provide evidence for what — if true — would amount to the greatest national security breach in American history. They needed to dial in one of the campaign’s lawyers, Herschmann said, and Trump campaign lawyer Matt Morgan was patched in via speakerphone.
By now, people were yelling and cursing.
Read the entire piece here.
Some of you may remember Herschmann from Trump’s first impeachment trial:
Yes, even someone like Herschmann believes that Trump lost the election. Yet many evangelical leaders–most notably Eric Metaxas–continue to support the Powell-Flynn conspiracy theories.
Eleven days after this meeting, Eric Metaxas put this Sidney Powell interview on his YouTube page:
As of last night he was claiming that Biden did not win the election.