Former Republican Presidents Donald Trump and Richard Nixon in the Oval Office.
Saul Loeb/AFP and Tom Middlemiss/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
- William Olson spoked to President Donald Trump by phone on Christmas Day in 2020.
- Days later, Olson sent him a detailed plan that involved firing the acting attorney general.
- The memo, obtained by The New York Times, outlined steps for Trump to remain in power.
William Olson, a conservative lawyer who once worked in the Nixon White House and now represents MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, sent a detailed plan to President Donald Trump to help him attempt to remain in power.
The memo, which was obtained by The New York Times, was sent to Trump on December 28, 2020. A few days prior, on Christmas Day, Trump and Olson spoke on the phone, highlighting the range of right-wing figures who were in the president’s ear as he sought to subvert the election results.
The memo and the call had not previously been reported.
In the memo, Olson told Trump that people around him at the White House and the Justice Department were not doing enough to contest the election results, but that the president still had options. He said one White House lawyer, who was not named, had a “shameful and dismissive attitude” that was “unacceptable.”
“While the time to act was short when we spoke on Christmas Day, time is about to run out,” the memo said.
“You have a duty to prevent this electoral fraud on the American People,” Olson continued, adding: “It is no understatement to say that the very existence of our Constitutional Republic is slipping away.”
He then outlined a five-part plan that involved Trump hiring new lawyers and leaving Mar-a-Lago to head back to the White House as soon as possible.
The third part involved Trump ordering the acting attorney general, who at the time was Jeffrey Rosen, to file a lawsuit on behalf of the US the following day. If he refused, Olson recommended Trump fire or reassign him.
“This step will likely bring on a thousand stories making an anaolgy [sic] to Saturday Night Massacre in 1973 when President Nixon ordered AG Elliot Richardson to fire Archibald [sic] Cox as a special counsel investigating Watergate,” Olson wrote.
Saturday Night Massacre refers to an evening in 1973 when President Richard Nixon ordered the firing of Archibold Cox, the special prosecutor investigating Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate scandal. Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus both refused to carry out the order and resigned. The third most senior Justice Department official, Solicitor General Robert Bork, followed the order and fired Cox. The episode was damning for Nixon, whose impeachment began ten days later.
Olson also said Trump’s new White House counsel would identify how the powers of the presidency could be used to ensure a fair election count.
“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,” he wrote.
The full memo, titled “Preserving Constitutional Order,” can be read here.
No evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election has ever been uncovered and courts have dismissed dozens of lawsuits alleging fraud. This week, a group of Republican lawyers, judges, and lawmakers released a report that concluded there was no evidence of widespread fraud.
Olson currently represents MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, a staunch Trump supporter who is facing several lawsuits for promoting false claims about the election.
Olson also worked as a White House intern in 1971 while Nixon was in office, according to his website, which also features a photo of him and Nixon.
Olson did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.