The House J6 Committee probably will not broadcast Friday’s closed-door hearing with Patrick Byrne, who metaphorically fell on his sword.
The former Overstock CEO told committee members during eight hours of testimony that he urged Donald Trump to investigate fraud allegations, according to a report in The Epoch Times.
“I was the guy that everyone should be looking into,” Byrne said. “I’m the guy who pulled that famous meeting together. I’m the guy who presented the options.” He was referring to a December 18, 2020, Oval Office meeting where he, Mike Flynn and Sydney Powell met with the 45th president. They reportedly urged Trump to investigate allegations of voter fraud that may have cost him the election, according to The Epoch Times.
The three presented a few options during the meeting before proposing to have cybersecurity experts from the Department of Homeland Security visit the six counties where voter fraud had been alleged. They claimed that two Executive Orders authorized the president to investigate foreign interference in elections.
The first EO was signed by former President Barack Obama in 2015. The second was one Trump himself had signed in 2018.
“[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 illustrated the intentions of the meeting participants by calling their proposed investigation “the cat.” Byrne said the reality was much tamer than the tiger that he believes many in the committee expected.
“I think the tiger they painted was going in with military commandos across the country,” Byrne said, referring to media reports of a suggestion he allegedly made to have Trump use the National Guard to investigate. He said that idea was roundly rejected by everyone in the room during the December 2020 meeting.
J6 committee members reportedly asked Byrne Friday if he still believes the 2020 general election was rigged.
“I said: ‘Absolutely.'” remarked the online retailer’s founder. “I believe our entire election apparatus is untrustworthy; it’s not about Democrats or Republicans.”
“In a friendly way, I think we came to a realization that they’re seeing the world as lawyers, and I’m seeing it as a business person,” added Byrne.
In regard to the J6 committee, Byrne concluded, “I think that they may have extended a bit of an olive branch, and I very much reciprocated. I hope I found for America an off ramp for the tension that’s brewing.”
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