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Politics New details emerge of the 'war room' meetings at the Willard Hotel

00:50  24 october  2021
00:50  24 october  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Former President Trump and his loyal associates set up 'war rooms' in a downtown DC hotel where they planned out their efforts to overturn the 2020 election in the days before January 6.

Trump and company set up a command center made up of multiple rooms and suites at DC's Willard hotel where they mapped out strategies to try and reinstate Trump for a second term despite losing the 2020 election to Joe Biden, the Washington Post reported.

The operation was described as 'intense' and those involved worked around the clock in the days leading up to the insurrection and even on January 6 when Congress convened for the counting of electoral votes, the Post reported.

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The team was led by Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and included Trump's former chief White House strategist Steve Bannon as an adviser and former NYPD police commissioner Bernard Kerik, who attended as an investigator.

Also involved in the strategizing was scholar John Eastman, who in an Oval Office meeting on January 4 with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, pressured the VP to try to use his powers to delay or potentially block the certification of the election  on January 6 to help Trump's efforts.

The special House committee is currently investigating the January 6th MAGA riot on the Capitol.

They have subpoenaed Steve Bannon, who has been held in criminal contempt for failing to appear before the committee last week, as well as organizers of the Stop the Steal rally, former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, communications director Dan Scavino and Pentagon chief of staff Kashyap Patel.

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The committee has requested documents and communications related to the legal advise and analysis given by Eastman, including a two-page, six-point plan that mapped out how Pence could overturn the election for Trump.

The loyal associate's strategy included publicizing supposed evidence of fraud, pushing state legislatures to challenge Biden's victory and calling on the Trump supporters to pressure Republican lawmakers in key states, the Post reported.

From the command center, Trump allies went to work, calling lawmakers in swing states including Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona, to encourage them to convene special sessions to investigate fraud and to reassign electoral college votes from Biden to Trump, the Post reported.

On January 2 alone Trump, Giuliani and Eastman spoke to 300 state legislators in a conference call that provided them with so-called evidence of fraud and called on  them to take action to 'decertify' their election results, the Washington Examiner reported.

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'You are the real power,' Trump told the state lawmakers. 'You're the ones that are going to make the decision.'

This call appeared to persuade some and on January 5 dozens of lawmakers from Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin wrote to Pence, asking that he delay certification of Biden's victory for 10 days to allow 'our respective bodies to meet, investigate, and as a body vote on certification or decertification of the election.'

These efforts were confirmed by several of the Trump loyalist present at those meetings.

In May Eastman told talk show host Peter Boyles that he was in the supposed 'war room' the day of the riots.

'We had a war room at the at the Willard ...kind of coordinating all of the communications,' he said.

Eastman says he has not yet been contacted by the select committee and when asked by the Post about his involvement in the team, he did not elaborate, citing client attorney confidentiality.

'To the extent I was there, those were attorney discussions. You don't get any comment from me on those,' he said.

Senior campaign aide and former White House special assistant Boris Epshteyn told the Post that even now he believes Pence was within his right to delay election certifications.

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'I firmly believed then, as I believe now, that the vice president — as president of the Senate — had the constitutional power to send the issue back to the states for 10 days to investigate the widespread fraud and report back well in advance of Inauguration Day, January 20th,' Epshteyn said. 'Our efforts were focused on conveying that message.'

Earlier this week Trump sued the House select committee after it subpoenaed a number of his top former advisors and demanded White House documents from the National Archives.

Trump is asking a federal court in Washington, D.C. to enjoin the National Archivist from handing over troves of information about the inner workings of the White House as part of its probe into the Jan. 6th riot.

Trump's suit, filed Monday in US District Court, names as defendants both the committee itself and its chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, as well as archivist David Ferriero.

The filing claims the committee 'has decided to harass President Trump and senior members of his administration (among others) by sending an illegal, unfounded, and over-broad records request to the Archivist of the United States.'

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This is interesting!