Federal Government

Little-known lawyer advised Trump on firing acting AG, lawyers in White House counsel's office

  • Print

Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump. Photo from Shutterstock.

A little-known lawyer advised former President Donald Trump on how he could overturn the 2020 presidential election results with the help of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Lawyer William J. Olson of Vienna, Virginia, told Trump in a Dec. 28, 2020, memo that the federal government should file a lawsuit modeled on a failed action filed by Texas directly in the U.S. Supreme Court, the New York Times reports.

The high court cited a lack of standing in December 2020 when it tossed the Texas suit, which sought to overturn election results in four battleground states.

Trump should order Acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen to file the lawsuit, Olson advised. If Rosen was “to refuse to file suit, and you were required to replace the AG to get it filed, it would create what the press would call a constitutional crisis, yet we are already in such a crisis brought on by corruption at the highest levels of government,” Olson wrote.

Olson said his team had already begun work on a revision of the Texas lawsuit, and they now had a draft that Rosen could review and improve before filing it with the Supreme Court.

Olson also referenced a long conversation earlier in the week in which he could “hear the shameful and dismissive attitude of the lawyer from White House counsel’s office toward you personally—but more importantly toward the Office of the President of the United States itself. This is unacceptable.”

Olson said the Office of White House Counsel had failed Trump, and a new lawyer should be brought in.

“Task your new White House counsel with identifying how the powers of the presidency can be used to ensure that the people receive a fair election count, if that can be done,” Olson wrote. “Through use of sampling from lists of registered voters it should not take long to accomplish this, but it requires the use of the powers given to your office. Our little band of lawyers is working on a memorandum that explains exactly what you can do. The media will call this martial law, but it that is ‘fake news’—a concept with which you are well familiar.”

Olson currently represents MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who has also made election fraud claims. Lindell is seeking to block a subpoena for his call logs from the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot.

According to the New York Times, the memo highlights Olson’s role in advising Trump “as the president was increasingly turning to extreme, far-right figures outside the White House to pursue options that many of his official advisers had told him were impossible or unlawful, in an effort to cling to power.”

Olson’s involvement “underscores how the system that would normally insulate a president from rogue actors operating outside of official channels had broken down within weeks after the 2020 election,” the New York Times reports.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.