Rudy Giuliani, at the time serving as personal attorney to then-president Donald Trump, says that he warned his client that at least one of the ideas floated to overturn the 2020 election outcome was impeachment-worthy.
In a transcript newly released by the January 6th Committee, Giuliani describes some of his conversations with Trump as the business mogul tried to find ways to cope with or reverse his loss in the 2020 presidential election.
When the notion of having the military seize voting machines arose, the attorney — who is now on the path to potential disbarment — said it was a bridge too far.
Ultimately, the efforts to overturn the election were, as the January 6th Committee has described, multi-pronged, with disparate plots including a pressure campaign on Vice President Mike Pence, slates of fake electors, and urging election officials in states including Georgia to help alter the outcome.
Military deployment, in various capacities, is one of the strategies that was discussed and never carried out.
Giuliani says this is where he called a stop.
He claims it was what he calls “the Sidney Powell group” who proposed bringing in the military — and who claimed foreign interference in the election to justify it — and that there was a “dispute,” resulting in Trump calling him into the Oval Office to weigh in.
“I said, this would be, number one, this may be the only thing that I know of that you ever did that could merit impeachment. You’ve been innocent up until now, why don’t you stay that way?” Giuliani told the January 6th Committee.
He describes Powell as wanting Trump to sign a document to start the process of seizing voting machines, though Giuliani is unclear on who exactly would do the seizing, and complains that she brought as her “evidence” a dozen affidavits.
Giuliani says that the affidavits “could be seen as, you know, false affidavits,” because they misleadingly indicated that there were multiple sources backing up the claim:
“They’re basically using the same one piece of information, making it sound like it comes from 12 people.”
The former New York Mayor indicates that this resulted in a lot more conflict and divide among Trump’s inner circle — Mark Meadows, he says, came over to thank him for deterring the president and express his relief, while former General Michael Flynn exploded — a fight between the two “got really nasty,” Giuliani says, ending with Flynn and the rest of Powell’s “group” being thrown out of the White House.
You can read the full transcript of Giuliani’s testimony to the House Select Committee here.
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.