Patrick Byrne: How Trump Lost the White House: There WAS a plan to seize control, but it was not taken. The third excerpt from Patrick Byrne’s fascinating account of what was happening on the inside of the effort to appeal the 2020 election. The first excerpt is here and the second here, and the fourth is here.
Rudy’s strategy (if there is one) just seems to be a long march through the courts. Taking cases to the states and appellate levels. Imagining he is going to win by running the tables through the court system.
Or getting state politicians to do something brave. But that was not going to work, as the courts are ponderous anywhere, especially disinclined to get involved in election matters, and were already setting court dates out past January 20. And politicians do not do brave things. Yet Rudy just kept plodding along, with an occasional hearing, a daily podcast. It did not make any sense.
There was an alternative action, ready to go:
Mike, Sidney, myself, and others developed a Solution-in-a-Can. It was really the solution we had started within in mid-November, but redone by a top-notch lawyer and a 3-star General.
Under various orders signed previously by both Obama and by Trump, if an election had foreign entanglement, the President had a broad spectrum of powers. There was indisputable evidence of foreign involvement on countless fronts, but we were asking that only a narrow set of his powers be invoked: based on the information that had been turned up, the President should use his powers under the requisite Executive Orders [e.g. EO 13848] to send US Marshalls and the National Guard into the five problematic counties, open up the paper ballot backups, and recount them on livestreamed TV.
If there were no big discrepancies, Trump would concede. If there were big discrepancies, such as half-a-million vote discrepancies that we suspected might fall out, then more aggressive courses of action could be countenanced, such as re-rerunning the election in those counties or states. The recount of the five counties could be easily done in under a week, and if it justified further action, the entire resolution could still be achieved on a Constitutional timeline.
It was either that, or an election whose integrity was doubted by 47% of the electorate had to be choked down.
General Flynn drafted a beautiful operational plan for such a mission. One signature from the President and the whole thing would be set in motion. The teams created from the right military and National Guard Units, the precise directives to each…
In a pinch, we could hit just the Problematic 6 counties, and even simply recount the boxes of paper ballots, and have a preliminary answer in 2-3 days, thus ending a great deal of national drama. Mike and Sidney had the legal research, the draft finding, the general’s Execution Checklist that would, upon Presidential signature, make everything run like a Swiss watch.
But the action was not taken:
And yet, things slid and slid. Rudy went off to organize a hearing in a hotel room and wanting one of our people there to speak…. Days spent waiting for warrants that never came…. Absolutely no sense that there was anyone with a plan, let alone executing one . We saw the Constitutional deadlines beginning to loom…
The days turned into weeks. December came, then mid-December. Yes we had matters spinning in various states, yes we had cyber-teams inspecting packet traffic and finding foreign interactions, yes we were finding that every new voter in Nevada had his or her registration transmitted to Pakistan ISI, yes we were finding vote counting machines with wireless cards in rooms with smart thermostats that had been breached from overseas, yes we were learning why voting rolls were kept live overseas…..
But Mike Flynn and I had a sense that our side was chasing its tail. That the other side was just running out the clock. And Rudy’s approach would surely allow that.
At one point I learned how the President was staying involved. Periodically, the Mediocrity and Rudy Giuliani were going over to the White House to brief him. Really, no kidding: the person who was so bad my colleagues had declared they would quit rather than work another moment with that person, and the 76 year old guy who had trouble sending an email and was spending at least his evenings sloshed, were the ones explaining to the President the cyber-crime of all time and what his options were.
At first I thought it was a sick joke, but I confirmed it. The Mayor and the Mediocrity were the ultimate point-people on the mission of addressing this world-historic event.
Flynn and I felt sick. A frequent subject of mutter between us ran along the lines, “Why the fuck are we doing this?” The president’s children were off, uninvolved, pep-rallying, or planning retirements. We could detect no discernible strategy out of the President’s team, no marching orders, just an organization wandering around in circles and melting as it did so. A Mediocrity who was so bad, we had had to make special arrangements such that the Mediocrity did not have contact with our Bad News Bears [Byrne’s techies], or they were going to flee.
And the whole mess was led by a 76 year old gentleman, a man beloved by all including myself, but who six weeks into what might be the most sophisticated cyber-theft in all of history, still could not have a coherent conversation beyond, Did you hear that 211 dead people in Philadelphia voted? Dead people?!?!? And they voted! Joe Frazier’s father voted! Have you heard?!?
The failure to rectify the election fraud was a stuff up, not a conspiracy or a carefully considered strategy.
The world was at a critical turning point, but a couple of key characters were too old, too out of their depth technically, and underperformed. It’s not always like it is in the movies.