One of Donald Trump’s closest allies has been photographed clutching a memo outside the White House which appeared to push the idea of martial law.
Michael Lindell, the CEO of My Pillow, was snapped heading towards the West Wing of the White House by Jabin Botsford, a photographer for the Washington Post, who then shared the photos to social media.
In the photos, Lindell has folded over the paper, so half of the text is not visible, but one partial phrase says: “... martial law if necessary upon the first hint of any....”
Over the past few days there has been speculation Trump would invoke martial law, which would mean military would temporarily be in control.
Just before Trump was impeached for a second time for inciting an insurrection, Wade McKinney, a pastor from Texas, alleged anonymous sources told him Trump would declare martial law.
“I’m talking about the next two or three days — we’re looking at a martial law being declared. This is coming straight from my contacts in [Washington] DC, y’all,” the pastor claimed on Facebook.
“We are going to see martial law declared.”
According to New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, martial law has no established definition, however it is possible to deploy the military under the Insurrection Act.
“To some observers, a deployment of troops under the Insurrection Act might look and feel very much like martial law,” the Brennan Center says.
“Given the degree of confusion over the term, some within the media or the government itself might even call it martial law.
“Although that label would be inaccurate and the military’s authority would be substantially less extensive than under martial law, the fact remains that any use of US armed forces as a domestic police force represents a departure from American tradition and carries inherent risks.”
Snopes refuted the claims of Trump invoking martial law and pointed out Trump has not invoked the Insurrection Act.
The Washington Post’s White House reporter Josh Dawsey retweeted Botsford’s photos and said he had spoken to Lindell.
“Talked to Mike Lindell this evening. He said lawyer gave him notes to share with POTUS but repeatedly wouldn’t say what lawyer,” Dawsey tweeted.
“He said he met with Trump for 5-10 minutes and then was referred to counsel’s office. Said the lawyers were ‘disinterested, very disinterested’.”
Lindell also gave Trump a document, which he also gave to Dawsey, which according to the reporter falsely claimed Trump won the 2020 election by 11 million votes.
Talked to Mike Lindell this evening. He said lawyer gave him notes to share with POTUS but repeatedly wouldn’t say what lawyer. He said he met with Trump for 5-10 minutes and then was referred to counsel’s office. Said the lawyers were “disinterested, very disinterested.” https://t.co/h1iNVxuiPz
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) January 16, 2021
Trump lost the election. Biden’s win has been certified by Congress and Trump’s claims have been proved to be false.
One Twitter user, Wes Beal, transcribed the text that was visible on Lindell’s memo, some of the text is scribbled out and what can be seen is only part of the sentence.
It does reference Sidney Powell, Bill Olsen, Kurt Olsen and says to “move Kash Patel to the CIA Acting”.
Patel is chief of staff for the acting secretary of defence, Christopher Miller.
Very fast effort to transcribe. Here's what I got. pic.twitter.com/N0fqhByHaJ
— Wes Beal (@wesbeal) January 15, 2021
People on social media were also alarmed to see the words “trigger” and “powers”, which some speculated could read “trigger emergency powers”.
Others questioned what authority Lindell had on such sensitive topics.
“Which part of selling pillows qualifies him to give national security advice?” one person asked on Twitter.
Following the insurrection at the Capitol, Lindell has remained loyal to Trump.
He offered a discount for those who used the code “FightForTrump” when checking out with My Pillow website and described the violent events which unfolded at the Capitol as “very peaceful”, The New York Times reported.
The Times also reported Lindell was promoting debunked conspiracy theories following the siege at the Capitol.
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