Dec 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Giuliani asks DHS about seizing voting machines

Rudy Giuliani speaks at an election hearing in Lansing, Mich., on Dec. 2.

Rudy Giuliani speaks at an election hearing in Lansing, Mich., on Dec. 2. Photo: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Rudy Giuliani called Ken Cuccinelli, second in command at the Department of Homeland Security, on Thursday night and asked him whether DHS could seize voting machines, a source familiar with the call confirmed to Axios.

The state of play: Cuccinelli responded that DHS does not have that authority, the source said.

Why it matters: The call, first reported by the New York Times' Maggie Haberman, is another manifestation of President Trump's increasingly extreme efforts to contest an election that was called for President-elect Joe Biden six weeks ago.

On Friday night, as first reported by The New York Times, Trump discussed commandeering voting machines and appointing conspiracy-minded election lawyer Sidney Powell as special counsel to inspect the machines.

  • Axios reported Saturday afternoon that senior Trump administration officials are increasingly alarmed at what Trump might do to unleash the power of government to try to overturn the clear result of the election.

The backstory: Giuliani is part of a dwindling remnant of Trump loyalists who is trying to act on his continued protests about the election. On Saturday, he tweeted again that Biden "didn't win."

  • Giuliani, who was briefly hospitalized for COVID-19 earlier this month, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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