Emails from Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner obtained by the House select committee investigating January 6 reveal that the former president wanted to trademark “rigged election” days after the 2020 presidential election.
It’s a phrase that Mr Trump used nearly 100 times in 2020 and 2021, according to a review of his statements by The Independent via Factba.se.
On 9 November, 2020, two days after media networks predicted Joe Biden’s victory, then-Trump aide Dan Scavino emailed Mr Kushner with a request from then-President Trump.
“Hey Jared! POTUS wants to trademark/own rights to below, I don’t know who to see – or ask…I don’t know who to take to,” Mr Scavino wrote, according to an email in a transcript of Mr Kushner’s testimony provided to the committee, which was released on 30 December.
The email includes two bolded phrases: “Save America PAC!” and “Rigged Election!”
Mr Kushner forwarded the request and discussed the potential trademark with the former president’s son Eric Trump, campaign lawyers Alex Cannon and Justin Clark, and Sean Dollman, the Trump campaign’s chief financial officer.
“Guys,” Mr Kushner wrote, “can we do ASAP please?”
Eric Trump replied saying that the phrases are already registered as URLs, adding that the Save America PAC website “was registered October 23 of this year. Was that done by the campaign?”
“‘Save America PAC’ is already taken/registered, just confirming that,” Mr Dollman responded. “But we can still file for ‘Save America.’”
Mr Kushner then told them “go.”
On 10 November, Mr Trump wrote on Twitter that “more [and] more people will not accept this Rigged Election!”
He said the phrase more than 20 other times that month, including in an interview with Fox News, remarks at the White House, and on Twitter.
In the months leading up to Election Day that year, he publicly said “rigged election” more than 50 other times. While in office, he falsely claimed in public remarks and messages that the 2020 election was “rigged” against him or “stolen” more than 200 times, according to a review of his statements.
His baseless narrative that the election was stolen from him or manipulated by his political enemies fuelled mob violence at the Capitol on 6 January, 2021 in an attempt to subvert the outcome as a joint session of Congress convened to certift the results. Federal investigators have made more than 900 arrests with criminal charges against nearly 300 people.
The House select committee investigating the events leading up to and surrounding the riot released a sweeping 845-page report this month with dozens of transcripts from witness interviews and testimony from figures connected to the Trump administration and the attack.
On 19 December, the committee voted to refer the former president to the US Department of Justice for a criminal investigation and prosecution for his attempts to overturn the 2020 election.
The nonbinding referral accuses Mr Trump of obstructing an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the government, and inciting or assisting an insurrection.
Federal prosecutors already are investigating Mr Trump – who is seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination – in separate probes connected to the attack and his mishandling of government documents after leaving office at his Mar-a-Lago resort.