Former President Trump “mused” about using the Insurrection Act during his presidency, a former Trump official said on Monday.
Miles Taylor, the infamous self-proclaimed author of the “I Am The Resistance Inside The Trump Administration” op-ed, wrote on Twitter that Trump called the law a “magic power.”
Taylor, a former DHS official, said that Trump would make the statements “in convos I witnessed & was briefed on.”
Taylor has parlayed his break with the Trump admin into a series of gigs aimed at removing Trump from the Republican Party. His statement comes in advance of the House Jan. 6 Committee’s first public hearings this year.
Under the Insurrection Act, the President can order military forces to deploy on missions within the country aimed at law enforcement tasks that would otherwise be handled by civilian organizations. To invoke the act, the President needs to declare that an “insurrection” or “rebellion” is taking place.
Trump discussed invoking the act to use the U.S. military to suppress the summer 2020 racial justice protests, but was dissuaded from doing so by top advisers.
The law may have figured into some of the planning for those accused of storming the Capitol in a bid to stop the Jan. 6 certification of Biden’s win.
Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, who has been charged with seditious conspiracy in relation to his Jan. 6 activities, told Infowars Host Alex Jones on Nov. 9, 2020 that Trump should invoke the law, saying that his group would “station” men near D.C. “as a nuclear option.”
“He needs to use that now, he needs to invoke the Insurrection Act and suppress this insurrection,” Rhodes told a crowd of supporters in D.C. a month later, on Dec. 12.
On Jan. 6 itself, court filings say, Rhodes called a person who he believed to be an intermediary with Trump and asked him to invoke the law.
“I just want to fight,” Rhodes purportedly said, after the unnamed intermediary refused to reach out to Trump.
One day before, Rhodes had met with Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio in the parking garage of the Phoenix Park Hotel. It’s not clear what was discussed, though federal prosecutors have said in papers filed Tuesday charging Tarrio with seditious conspiracy that the two mentioned the Capitol.
Separately, federal prosecutors alleged in the Tuesday indictment, the Proud Boys discussed whether they had become a “militia” on Jan. 6 itself.
Rhodes, the Oath Keepers leader, had suggested that his group would qualify as a “militia” if Trump were to invoke the Insurrection Act.
At the time of Jan. 6, fears abounded that Trump would invoke the Act. Acting Pentagon Chief Chris Miller testified to Congress last year that he was hesitant to use the military to respond when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in part out of fear that “advisors to the President were advocating the declaration of martial law.”
One unnamed Proud Boy on the afternoon of Jan. 6 asked “are we a militia yet?” in a group chat. Tarrio replied, “yep” and “make no mistake…” and then “we did this…”
The exchange took place as insurgents were inside the Capitol.