Jan. 6 panel subpoenas 6 more Trump associates in probe
WASHINGTON (AP) — Further expanding its probe, the U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection has issued subpoenas to six additional associates of former President Donald Trump who were closely involved in his efforts to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election. The committee's chairman, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, said in a statement Monday that the panel is demanding testimony and documents from former Trump campaign officials and others who participated in a “war room” ahead of the siege and strategized about how to halt the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.
In the aftermath of the 2020 election, some of Donald Trump's closest allies embarked on an unprecedented effort to get the Department of Defense to chase down outlandish voter fraud conspiracy theories in hopes of helping Trump retain power, ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl writes in his new book.
In "Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show," scheduled to be released today, Karl reports that former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump attorney Sidney Powell tried to enlist a Pentagon official to help overturn the election.
Trump claims half of legal experts support his failed attempt to block his election defeat. They don't.
"I'm telling you: 50/50, it's right down the middle for the top constitutional scholars when I speak to them," Trump told ABC News' Jonathan Karl.Trump made the claim during an interview with ABC News' correspondent Jonathan Karl for his forthcoming book, "Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show," slated for publication on November 16. Karl tweeted an audio snippet of the 90-minute interview on Friday.
According to the book, Flynn -- who had just received an unconditional pardon from President Trump after pleading guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI during the Russia probe -- made a frantic phone call to a senior Trump intelligence official named Ezra Cohen (sometimes referred to as Ezra Cohen-Watnick), who previously worked under Flynn at both the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the National Security Council.
"Flynn told him to cut his trip short and get back to the United States immediately because there were big things about to happen," according to the book. Karl writes that Flynn told Cohen, "We need you," and told the DoD official that "there was going to be an epic showdown over the election results."
Memo from Trump attorney outlined how Pence could overturn election, says new book
In his new book, "Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show," Jonathan Karl says Mike Pence was under more pressure to overturn the election than was previously known. The memo, written by former President Donald Trump's campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis, is reported for the first time in Karl's upcoming book, "Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show" -- demonstrating how Pence was under even more pressure than previously known to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Flynn, according to the book, urged Cohen that "he needed to get orders signed, that ballots needed to be seized, and that extraordinary measures needed to be taken to stop Democrats from stealing the election."
"As Flynn ranted about the election fight, [Cohen] felt his old boss sounded manic," Karl writes in the book. "He didn't sound like the same guy he had worked for."
"Sir, the election is over," Cohen told Flynn, according to the book. "It's time to move on."
Flynn, according to Karl, fired back: "You're a quitter! This is not over! Don't be a quitter!"
Karl writes that after a heated few minutes, Flynn hung up the phone -- and that was the last time the two men talked.
"Betrayal" also reports that Sydney Powell, Flynn's former lawyer who was then advising President Trump, called Cohen shortly after the Flynn conversation and tried to enlist his help with one the most far-fetched claims about the election, involving then-CIA Director Gina Haspel.
New book says Trump allies pushed DoD to overturn election
A newly released book claims that allies of former President Trump tried to push a top Defense Department official into overturning the 2020 election. According to the book "Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show," which was published Tuesday, former national security advisor Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell both made calls to Ezra Cohen, who was then acting as Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, while Cohen was traveling in the Middle East, ABC News reported.Flynn and Powell were among Trump's most vocal allies as the former president sought to overturn the 2020 election based on unproven claims of voter fraud.
"Gina Haspel has been hurt and taken into custody in Germany," Powell told Cohen, pushing a false conspiracy theory that had been gaining steam among QAnon followers, according to the book. "You need to launch a special operations mission to get her," Powell said.
MORE: Judge sanctions Sidney Powell and other attorneys who filed lawsuit challenging 2020 election
Powell, according to the book, was pushing the outlandish claim that Haspel had been injured while on a secret CIA operation to seize an election-related computer server that belonged to a company named Scytl -- none of which was true.
"The server, Powell claimed, contained evidence that hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of votes had been switched using rigged voting machines. Powell believed Haspel had embarked on this secret mission to get the server and destroy the evidence -- in other words, the CIA director was part of the conspiracy," Karl writes.
Powell wanted the Defense Department to send a special operations team over to Germany immediately: "They needed to get the server and force Haspel to confess," Karl writes.
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Cohen thought Powell sounded out of her mind, according to the book, and he quickly reported the call to the acting defense secretary.
A CIA spokesperson subsequently debunked the claim, telling news outlets that "I’m happy to tell you that Director Haspel is alive and well and at the office.”
Neither Powell nor Flynn responded to repeated requests for comment.
Will any Republicans challenge Trump in 2024? DeSantis, Pence and the other top contenders to know .
GOPers like Mike Pence and Ron DeSantis - and a host of others - could run in 2024, though that will likely turn on ex-president Donald Trump.The midterm elections are still more than 11 months away, but the Republican presidential race of early 2024 is well underway, a unique behind-the-scenes contest involving more than a dozen potential candidates and being conducted in the giant shadow of a volatile ex-president named Trump.