Retired army colonel was the author of the 36-page PowerPoint presentation which ex-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows turned over to the House select committee
The House select committee investigating the 6 January insurrection has issued a subpoena for documents and testimony to Phil Waldron, the retired US Army colonel who authored the 36-page PowerPoint presentation which suggested that former president Donald Trump use the national guard to overturn the 2020 election.
In a statement, select committee chairman Bennie Thompson said Mr Waldron “reportedly played a role in promoting claims of election fraud and circulating potential strategies for challenging results of the 2020 election”.
Mr Thompson added that Mr Waldron “was also apparently in communication with officials in the Trump White House and in Congress discussing his theories in the weeks leading up to the January 6th attack,” and called the 36-page PowerPoint presentation which he reportedly authored “an alarming blueprint for overturning a nationwide election”.
“The Select Committee needs to hear from him about all these activities,” Mr Thompson said. “We expect him to comply with the law and provide records and testimony as the Select Committee continues its work to get answers for the American people about January 6th, make legislative recommendations to strengthen our democracy, and help ensure nothing like that day ever happens again”.
In a letter to Mr Waldron released by the select committee, Mr Thompson advised him that he is expected to deliver requested documents to the committee by 10 January and appear to give evidence at a deposition one week later.
The ex-army colonel reportedly met numerous times with top Trump administration officials in the days between the 3 November election and 6 January, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in hopes of stopping Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral college victory.
One of those officials, ex-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, turned over the now-infamous 36-page power point bearing the title ““Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN” to the committee before he stopped cooperating with its’ investigation last week.
The document, which Mr Trump’s allies presented to members of Congress, laid out a number of blatantly false theories about foreign interference by way of rigged electronic voting machines, and singled out eight states — Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico — as having had their results corrupted through “domestic voter fraud”.
It goes on to suggest that Mr Trump could declare a “national security emergency” and use national guard troops to seize ballots for a sham recount which would have been used as a pretext to install him for a second term against the wishes of American voters.
Another part of the presentation lays out a course of action under which then-vice president Mike Pence would have unilaterally declared electoral votes from contested states won by Mr Biden to be invalid pending “a vetting and subsequent counting of all the legal paper ballots”.
That plan closely tracked one that was suggested by Texas senator Ted Cruz, who along with senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Steve Daines of Montana, John Kennedy of Louisiana, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, and then-senators-elect Cynthia Lummis of Mississippi, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama in the days leading up to the worst attack on the Capitol since the 1814 Burning of Washington.
Mr Cruz and his compatriots proposed that Mr Pence order appointment of “an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states,” despite the fact that the American Vice President holds no such authority.
Nonetheless, Mr Lankford was speaking in favour of the plan when he was informed that the pro-Trump mob had breached the Capitol’s defences, forcing senators and Mr Pence — who had been presiding over the upper chamber — into hiding.
When the senate reconvened later that day, Mr Lankford, Mr Johnson, Ms Blackburn and Mr Daines dropped their support for the plan.