Then Media Captures Pictures of His Notes to President Trump Referring to Crimes and Insurrection Act.
President Trump, watching the clock count down in the White House, spent a few minutes of it on Friday with the C.E.O. of MyPillow, Mike Lindell, who brought some notes with him.
White House officials said nothing came of the roughly five-to-ten-minute meeting between Mr. Lindell and Mr. Trump, which Mr. Lindell said came after he’d been asking to get on the president’s calendar for days.
But notes that Mr. Lindell brought with him, captured by a news photographer as Mr. Lindell waited before entering the White House, sparked hours of concern on social media about what was taking place with a president who as recently as Friday insisted to White House officials that he had won an election that he lost.
In photographs captured by Jabin Botsford, a photographer for The Washington Post, Mr. Lindell held notes in his hand as he stood outside the doorway to the West Wing lobby mid-afternoon on Friday. The notes included a mention of Sidney Powell.
They were only partially visible, but there was also a suggestion about invoking the Insurrection Act, by which a president can deploy active military troops into the streets, and “martial law if necessary.” One line appeared to suggest moving Kash Patel, currently the Department of Defense chief of staff and a Trump loyalist, as “C.I.A. Acting,” which seemed to indicate the top job.
White House press aides were caught off guard by the photos as they circulated on Twitter, and said they had no idea what had transpired.
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Reached by phone, Mr. Lindell said that he was carrying notes supplied to him by a lawyer he was working with to try to prove that Mr. Trump was the true winner of the 2020 election. He would not identify the lawyer.
The picture of the notes that we share below do not mention the Insurrection Act but do share much more. They included wording suggesting that someone should be named to an Acting National Security position and something about Fort Mead. There also is mention about the assault on the [possibly Constitution] and martial law if necessary at the first hint [of likely violence]. There is also a note of moving Kash Patel to CIA Acting. Finally there is wording of China and Iran interfering in our election and using domestic actors in their effort.
“The attorney said, can you bring these to him,” Mr. Lindell said. ”It was stuff to help the American people.”
Mr. Lindell said that he was seated next to an administration official, who another official later identified as Robert C. O’Brien, the national security adviser. Mr. Trump ended the brief meeting by directing Mr. Lindell to go upstairs to the office of White House counsel Pat A. Cipollone. Mr. Lindell said he showed them material but was sent back downstairs to wait awhile longer.
A second administration official said that Mr. O’Brien was called to the meeting after Mr. Lindell arrived, because advisers in search of someone who could steer Mr. Lindell away couldn’t immediately reach Mr. Cipollone. Among the items on Mr. Lindell’s list was replacing Mr. O’Brien. The national security adviser, seeking to end the conversation, said if there was evidence of what he was saying it should go to the White House counsel, and he steered him upstairs.
Mr. Lindell maintained that the notes he had did not contain the words “martial law,” although the photograph showed it to be the case. He said the “fake news” was stirring it up. An administration official said that the blacked-out part of Mr. Lindell’s notes could be seen when looked at closely, and that they referenced firing Mr. Cipollone. The official said that Mr. Lindell got “loud” while waiting in the West Wing lobby.
Mr. Lindell has been one of the few supporters of Mr. Trump from corporate America who has stayed with him after the riot at the Capitol complex on Jan. 6, which left five people dead and included chants calling for the death of Vice President Mike Pence.
And even after President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory was certified, Mr. Lindell continued to insist that Mr. Trump will be inaugurated for a second term next week.
There was no move to fire Gina Haspel, the director of the C.I.A., on Friday or have Mr. Patel arrive at the C.I.A. headquarters to take over, according to people familiar with the matter. And Washington has already become a militarized fortress ahead of Mr. Biden’s inauguration, in order to clamp down on threats of new violence being planned for the day of the ceremony.
Mr. Trump at times has been at odds with Ms. Powell but has welcomed her input.