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Trump adviser Peter Navarro explains how he and Bannon planned to undo Biden’s election victory

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Trump adviser Peter Navarro explains how he and Bannon planned to undo Biden’s election victory

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A former Trump White House official said he and right-wing provocateur Steve Bannon were in fact behind the last-minute coordinated effort by rogue Republicans in Congress to suspend certification of 2020 election results and keep President Donald Trump in power earlier this year, in a plan dubbed the “Green Bay Sweep”.

In his recently published memoir, Peter Navarro, then President Donald Trump’s trade advisor, details how he kept in close contact with Bannon as they set up “Green Bay Sweep” with the help of loyal congressmen. cause.

But in an interview last week with The Daily Beast, Navarro shed additional light on his role in the operation and their coordination with politicians like Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX ).

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“We’ve spent a lot of time lining up over 100 members of Congress, including some senators. It started off perfectly. At 1pm, Gosar and Cruz did exactly what was expected of them, ”Navarro told the Daily Beast. “It was a perfect plan. And it was all about peace and quiet on Capitol Hill. We didn’t even need protesters because we had over 100 members of Congress engaged. “

This pledge came as Congress certified the 2020 Electoral College votes, reflecting that Joe Biden had beaten Trump. Senator Cruz endorsed Congressman Gosar’s official objection to the counting of the ballots in Arizona, an effort that was supported by dozens of other Trump loyalists.

Cruz and Gosar’s staff did not respond to requests for comment. There is no public indication whether the January 6 committee requested testimony or documents from Senator Cruz or Representative Gosar. But the committee only recently began seeking evidence from fellow congressmen who were involved in the general effort to keep Trump in the White House, such as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA).

This last-minute maneuver never had the slightest chance of decertifying the election results on its own, a point Navarro quickly recognized. But their hope was to run as long as possible to increase public pressure on then-Vice President Mike Pence to return electoral votes in six contested states, where Republican-led legislatures could. attempt to undo the results. And in their mind, increasing the pressure on Pence would require media coverage. While the most respected news outlets refused to regurgitate unproven conspiracy theories of widespread electoral fraud, this plan hoped to force journalists to cover the allegations by creating a historic delay in the certification process.

“The Green Bay Sweep has been very well thought out. It was designed to give us 24 hours of televised audiences, ”he said. “But we thought we could get around corporate media by putting this stuff on TV.”

Navarro’s role in this scheme was to provide the raw materials, he said in an interview on Thursday. It came in the form of a three-part White House report he wrote during his final weeks in the Trump administration with volume titles such as “The Immaculate Deception” and “The Art of the Steal “.

“My role was to provide the receipts for the hundred or so members of Congress who would argue their case …” To lay the legal basis for the measures to be taken. (Ultimately, states found no evidence of above-standard voter fraud, which is extremely low.)

The next phase of the plan belonged to Bannon, described Navarro in his memoir, In Trump’s time.

“Steve Bannon’s role was to figure out how to use this information – what he called ‘receipts’ – to overrule the election result. This is how Steve came up with the idea for Green Bay Sweep, ”he wrote.

“The political and legal beauty of the strategy was this: by law, the House of Representatives and the Senate must devote up to two hours of debate per state on each challenge requested. For the six battlefield states, that would amount to up to twenty-four hours of nationwide televised hearings in both houses of Congress. “

His book also notes that Bannon was the first person he contacted when he woke up at dawn on January 6, writing, “I’m checking my messages and I’m delighted to see Steve Bannon have us. fully ready to perform our Green Bay Sweep on Capitol Hill Call the coin Flip the coin.

Navarro told the Daily Beast he felt lucky someone canceled his scheduled appearance to speak to Trump supporters that morning at the Ellipse, a park south of the White House that would serve as a staging area before the violent assault on the US Capitol.

“It was better for me to spend this morning working on the Green Bay Sweep. You just have to check that everything was in order, that members of Congress were on board, ”he said during the interview. “It was a fairly mild morning for me. I was convinced that everything was in place.

Later that day, Bannon made several references to football-themed strategy in his daily podcast, War Room Pandemic.

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“We are on the verge of victory,” Bannon said on the show. “It’s pretty simple. The game was called. Mike Pence, run the game. Take the football. Take over from the quarterback. You’ve got guards in front of you. You’ve got big, strong people in front of you. Just do your duty. “

This idea had been in the making for weeks. Although Navarro told the Daily Beast that he cannot remember when “Brother Bannon” proposed the plan, he said it began to take shape as the “Stop the Steal” legal challenges of Trump against election results in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin failed. outside. The courts would not side with Trump, thanks to what Navarro describes in his book as “the highly counterproductive antics” of Sydney Powell and his Kraken lawsuit. Instead, they came up with a never-before-seen plan through the legislative branch.

Navarro begins the chapter of his book on strategy by mentioning how “Stephen K. Bannon, myself and President Donald John Trump” were “the last three people on God’s good Earth who want to see violence erupt on Capitol Hill” , as it would. disrupt their plans.

When asked if Trump himself was involved in the strategy, Navarro said, “I never spoke to him directly about it. But he certainly agreed with the strategy. Just listen to his speech that day. He had been briefed on the law and how Mike [Pence] had the authority.

Indeed, Trump’s legal adviser, John Eastman, had drafted a memo (first revealed by reporters Robert Costa and Bob Woodward in their book, Peril) describing how Trump could stage a coup. And Trump made clear reference to the plan during his Jan. 6 speech, when he said, “I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. I hope. I hope… all Vice President Pence has to do is send him back to the States for recertification and we become President and you are the happiest people.

When Pence certified the electoral votes instead, he became what Navarro’s book described as “the Brutus most responsible … for President Trump’s final betrayal.”

Although the bipartisan House committee investigating the January 6 violence has demanded testimonies and files from dozens of Trump allies and rally organizers suspected of being involved in the attack on the country’s democracy, Navarro said he had yet to hear from them. The committee did not answer our questions as to whether it intended to dig into Navarro’s business.

And while he has texts, phone calls and memos that could show how involved an active White House official was in efforts to keep Trump in power, he says investigators won’t find anything that shows that the Green Bay sweep plan involved violence. . Instead, Navarro said, the investigative committee would find out that the mob attack on the U.S. Capitol building actually foiled their plans, as it prompted Pence and other Republicans to follow through on the certification.

“They don’t want any part of me. I exonerate Trump and Bannon, ”he said.

The committee is, however, engaged in a fierce battle with Bannon. Trump’s former White House chief strategist has refused to appear for a deposition or hand over documents, and he is now being sued by the Justice Department for criminal contempt of Congress.

Navarro said he was still surprised those in attendance at Trump’s rally turned violent, given the impression he got when he went to see them in person during an exercise run this morning -the.

“I’m telling you man, it was so peaceful. I didn’t see any anger. Nothing. Zero, ”he said.

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