A lawyer with close ties to conservative groups and conspiracy theorists pushed several extreme ideas at then-President Trump to overturn the 2020 election results, according to a document obtained by The New York Times.
Why is it important: In the memo, William Olson admitted that his proposed plans could be seen as tantamount to declaring “martial law” and could be compared to Watergate.
- His plans included tampering with the Justice Department and firing the acting attorney general, according to the Dec. 28 memo titled “Preserving Constitutional Order.”
- The document highlights how Trump was looking to far-right figures outside the White House for options to cling to power, writes The New York Times. Many of his official advisers had told him that these options were impossible or illegal.
Details: The New York Times reports that Trump continued to seek extreme legal advice that went against DOJ recommendations.
- According to the memo, Olson suggested that the DOJ intercede directly with the Supreme Court to overturn Trump’s defeat.
- He also encouraged Trump to fire or reassign Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen if he did not use the DOJ to challenge the election in court. Olson acknowledged that this would lead to negative media coverage.
Background: Olson is currently representing conspiracy theorist and MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell, who has been sanctioned for an election lawsuit.
- Olson also had ties to Republican super PACs and promoted a conspiracy theory that Kamala Harris is ineligible to be vice president, falsely claiming she is not a U.S. citizen by birth.
What they say : “Our small group of attorneys are working on a memorandum that spells out exactly what you can do,” Olson wrote in his memo to Trump.
- “The media will call this martial law…it’s ‘fake news,'” Olson wrote.