Online retailer Overstock’s founder is scheduled for Friday testimony before the House J6 Committee about a December 18, 2020, Oval Office meeting.
Patrick Byrne met with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office that day to urge him to investigate allegations of election fraud, according to a report by The Epoch Times. Byrne, the founder and former CEO of Overstock, is set to testify before the January 6 House Select Committee on July 15.
The retailer CEO described his meeting with Trump in an interview with The Epoch Times. The report noted, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell, along with a number of White House officials were present.
According to the report, Byrne used an earlier White House staffer’s invitation for a building tour as a way to gain entry with Flynn and Powell. His stated goal was getting to talk to the former president about his plan to investigate widespread allegations of voter fraud.
Byrne described how he, Flynn and Powell had a chance encounter with the then-president as he walked by that ended with a group meeting in the Oval Office. The three visitors shared two executive orders with the 45th president.
The first EO was signed by former President Barack Obama in 2015. The second was one Trump himself had signed in 2018. They claimed the EOs authorized Trump to investigate foreign interference in the election.
“[T]he argument that was made to the president was that under two executive orders,” Byrne said, “that, say if a foreign nation interferes in one of our elections, disrupts an election, the president really gets a range of options.” He added, the options presented ranged from a light-handed, quick investigation to a serious, substantial investigation.
Before White House attorneys showed up, Byrne said the meeting revolved around the question of whether multiple government documents was justification to investigate, based on the authority given in the executive orders.
An Oct. 30, 2020, preelection warning by federal agencies that Iranian state actors were targeting U.S. state websites to obtain voter registration data was reviewed. Also, another Iranian warning and an updated November 3 notice that voter registration data from at least one state was successfully obtained by a hacker were considered.
“That was a perfectly reasonable conversation to have,” Byrne said. “Everybody was acutely aware that every word we were saying was historic, could be judged by history, should be judged by history.”
Byrne explained several choices Trump could pursue, including a “very quick and dirty investigation.”
“That’s why I think that if there’s any charges for them, they should come after me,” Byrne said, accepting blame that others have tried to place on Trump.
Byrne’s first option was to investigate “the obvious six counties where the voting record was stopped,” he said.
Or, a more “heavy-handed option,” he added, would be to target 31 counties previously selected by a political scientist, according to the report.
“[Trump] said immediately: ‘just go with the six,’” Byrne declared.