A memo obtained by The New York Times reveals that Trump adviser and far right-wing lawyer William Olson pushed the outgoing President to implement what many consider to be “martial law” to overturn the 2020 election. In the memo, Olson suggests Trump replace acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and override the Supreme Court.
“Order the Acting AG to file suit on behalf of the United States by 5 pm tomorrow. Tuesday, December 29. If he does not commit to exactly doing that, either replace him with a Senate-confirmed DOJ official who will (there are several such persons), either allowing Mr. Rosen to return to being Deputy AG, or to leave the DOJ,” Rosen’s memo reads.
The suit Olson mentions is a lawsuit he hoped would see the Supreme Court “disqualify the designation of electors selected by processes not authorized by state legislatures.”This would be in “defiance of state law,” according to the lawyer.
It would be a move straight out of Watergate and reminiscent of the “Saturday Night Massacre” where Nixon’s attempts to end the investigation resulted in a mass exodus from the Department of Justice with the resignation of multiple Attorney Generals who refused to cooperate with the President’s plans.
Olson repeatedly tells Trump in the memo that it is his “duty” to protect the constitution and that the President’s power is absolute.
“The President is the only office holder vested by the Constitution with the sworn duty to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” Olson wrote.
Olson told the then-President to leave his home in Florida and return to Washington D.C.
“I do not believe you can do what needs to be done in Florida. And, it would send a message about your commitment to the task, to leave Mar-a-Lago to take charge at the White House. I urge you to return as soon as it can be arranged,” he advised Trump.
While Olson accuses the Supreme Court of “abdication” of its position by refusing to hear Trump’s stolen election claims, in a “Martial Law” memo written by the far right attorney in 1999, he stresses that the High Court had previously decided that the U.S. President has unrestricted and “dictatorial” power with the ability to suspend the Constitution if needed.
And his belief that a President can “call into Federal service such of the militia of any State, and use such of the armed forces, as he considers necessary to enforce those laws or to suppress the rebellion,” begs the question if Trump was aware of the prior memo now that we know the role the far-right militia groups, the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys played on Jan. 6th.
Unsealed plea agreements and the testimony of Oath Keepers Brian Ulrich and Joshua James confirm the insurrectionists were anticipating a call for martial law from the President, stashing weapons and standing at the ready.
Sent to Trump just nine days before the Capitol riot, Olson’s memo instructing him on how to execute a coup sheds another bright light on how deep, far, and wide the conspiracy went – and how far Trump and his allies were willing to go to subvert the democratic process.
You can read the memo here.
Original reporting by Maggie Haberman and Luke Broadwater at The New York Times.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick