Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), a former member of the House select committee that investigated the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, said on Wednesday that the revelations in former President Trump’s most recent indictment over his efforts to remain in power after the 2020 election were “chilling.”
“I didn’t realize how close we came to Trump ordering the military into American cities,” Lofgren said on CBS News. “That’s pretty chilling.”
“If he had succeeded, there would have been demonstrations, and that’s why ‘we have the Insurrection Act,’ which of course allows for military to be dispatched,” she continued, appearing to quote from the indictment. “Very unsettling.”
The four-count indictment unveiled by prosecutors last week charged the former president with conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction or attempted obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.
The portion of the indictment that Lofgren appeared to quote laid out the various efforts by an unnamed co-conspirator — widely assumed to be former Trump Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark — to send a letter to state officials in Georgia that falsely claimed the department had identified “significant concerns” that could have impacted the election results.
During a Jan. 3, 2021, meeting, the deputy White House counsel reportedly told the co-conspirator that there had not been widespread election fraud and that if Trump remained in office, there would be “riots in every major city in the United States.”
The co-conspirator allegedly responded, “Well, [Deputy White House Counsel], that’s why there’s an Insurrection Act.”
The Insurrection Act allows the president to deploy the military within the U.S. to suppress a rebellion or enforce the law.
In a separate conversation between a senior adviser to the president and another unnamed co-conspirator — believed to be former Trump attorney John Eastman — the adviser reportedly said, “[Y]ou’re going to cause riots in the streets.” According to the indictment, the co-conspirator responded that there had been previous times in the nation’s history in which violence was necessary.
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