‘My pillow’ CEO visits White House, suggests imposing martial law
Republican donor and pillow salesman Mike Lindell, an ally of outgoing US President Donald Trump who has pushed baseless accusations of fraud in the 2020 election, was photographed at the White House Friday with documents floating the possibility of declaring martial law in the final days of Trump’s presidency.
Zoomed in photos of a document held in Lindell’s hand as he visited the West Wing showed text fragments that included the words “…BE TAKEN IMMEDIATELY TO SAVE THE…THE CONSTITUTION,” as well as “Insurrection Act now as a result of the assault on the…” and “…martial law if necessary upon the first hint of any…”
Lindell later told the Daily Beast he had presented the president with documents he believed proved China and other countries had helped steal the election.
He said Trump had told him to show his documents to attorneys, who rejected the claims but also said they would “look into it.”
“I can’t even figure out what theory they are using,” said professor emeritus Lynne H. Rambo of Texas A&M School of Law in Fort Worth, the school’s expert on executive authority. The federal law allows activating the military to enforce laws during rebellions, disturbances or disasters. Not to overturn an election already upheld repeatedly by judges and lawmakers, many of them Republicans. “I am very, very surprised that there is a significant number of people who are this detached from reality,” she said. “It’s just flat out mentally ill.”
Professor Steve Vladeck of the University of Texas School of Law in Austin is considered an expert on the Insurrection Act. “Listen,” he wrote on Twitter, “ — if you’re going to stage a coup, secretly invoke the Insurrection Act, and declare martial law, who *better* to conspire with than the MyPillow guy?!?”
Later, he wrote that no matter what orders Trump gives, his presidency will end Wednesday at noon under the Constitution “We seem to have forgotten not just basic civics,” Vladeck wrote by email, “but also basic principles of what it means to be part of a democratic society in which ‘our side’ doesn’t always win — and in which we’re governed by laws, not opinions.”
“Those who believe the Insurrection Act can reverse an election are “either deluding themselves or being repeatedly lied to,” he wrote.
One of the nation’s top experts on homeland security law is retired Brig. Gen. Michael C.H. McDaniel of Cooley Law School at Western Michigan University in Lansing.
He said: “The only insurrection I see was on January 6 when [Trump] caused an insurrection at the Capitol.”