01
Nov
20

🔴 The Trump Files 2021

 

🔴 The Trump Files 2021

 
Permalink: https://wp.me/pDKwi-cIt
 

With Tweets, Retweets, links to articles and excerpts, I’ve tried to document this national soap opera/tragedy we’re living through. The resources at the beginning are a mixed bag of timelines and documents and I provide a clickable cast of characters (Russians, mostly).

What does this have to do with The Blacklist? A lot, actually. Russian mob figures, spies and apparatchiks. Semion Mogilevich, the Smart Don, reminds me of Red, though Red is a lot nicer and much better-looking.

Featured are drawings (she calls them “maps”) by @Jzikah, and “Mueller, She Wrote” is the best podcast I’ve ever come across. The three women who do it are comedians, though they’re all super smart and A.J. (the lead) has a PhD and is a Veteran.

Caution: You may enjoy this feature a bit more if you’re of the liberal persuasion. This is the single place on this blog where *there are politics* though I tend to stick with MSM, specialized sources (ex-Intel Community, altGov, and reputable sleuths) and other people I’ve learned to trust.

 

🇷🇺 Press Here 2021 Articles

🇷🇺 Press Here For 2022

🇷🇺 Press Here For 2020

🇷🇺 Press Here For 2019

🇷🇺 Press Here For 7/26/2017 through 2018

📀 Press Here For Impeachment #1 Trial on Cspan (2020)

📀 Press Here For Impeachment #2 Trial on Cspan (2021)

📀 Press Here For January 6th Committee Hearings (2022)

Press Here For Biden/Burisma/Ukraine Fact Checks

 
💽Recommended⋙ Mueller She Wrote Podcasthttp://bit.ly/2PgTKWs  or Press   ⇊  ⇊
 
Other Podcasts:

    All The President’s Lawyers (J Barro, R Lowry)
    The Asset (Center for American Progress) 🌟
    The Dworkin Report (Scott Dworkin)
    Gaslit Nation (Sarah Kendzior, Andrea Chalupa)
    The Lawfare Podcast (Benjamin Wittes, Brookings)
    The Josh Marshall Podcast (TPM)
    The Mother Jones Podcast (David Corn)
    Mueller Time (Eric Leval, Chris Carey)
    The Oath (Chuck Rosenberg, MSNBC)
    The Report (Lawfare)
    On Topic (Renato Mariotti)
    Skullduggery (Michael Isikoff, Yahoo)
    Trump Inc (q4- 8qProPublica)
    Trumpcast (Slate)

🔊 PlayerFM: Best Trump Russia Investigation Podcasts (2019) http://bit.ly/2MKbtV8
 
Twitter List: INVESTIGATORS: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/lists/investigators
// Investigative reporters, Trump-Russia sleuths, Intelligence Community, Legislators, “alt-gov,” and Targets
 

Russian Intelligence Services:

Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) – The Foreign Intelligence Service reports directly to the President of Russia.
GRU – Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces.
Federal Security Service (FSB) – The Federal Security Service is responsible for counter-intelligence, state security and anti-terrorist operations

 

 
🔄 ECFR , Mark Galeotti [EU] (2016): Introduction: Putin’s hydra: Inside Russia’s intelligence services http://bit.ly/2NZWN1h
// 5/11/2016, Intro
⋙ 📒 ECFR, Mark Galeotti [EU] (2016): Report: Putin’s Hydra: Inside Russia’s Intelligence Services [pdf] http://bit.ly/2NYjG5b 20p
// May 2016, Full report

 

 
Key People: Roman Abramovich, Aras Agalarov, Emin Agalarov, Rinat Akhmetov, Rinat Akhmetshin, Yulya Alferova, Anatoly Antonov, Andrii Artemenko, Arron Banks, Andrey Baronov, Vitaly Bespalov, Leonid “Len” Blavatnik, Anna Bogacheva, David Bogatin, Victor Boyarkin, Wm Browder, Mariia Butina, Carole Cadwalladr, Michael Caputo, Yuri Chaika, Igor Chekunov, Michael Cohen, George Cottrell, Igor Danchenko, Oleg Deripaska, Andrii Derkach, Igor Divyekin, Kirill Dmitriev, Aleksandr Dugin, Arkady Dvorkovich, Paul Erickson, Oleg Erovinkin, Nigel Farage, Dmitri Firtash, John Fotiadis, Gene (Evgeny) Friedman, Igor Fruman, Daniel Gelbinovich, Rob Goldstone, Sergei Gorkov, Henry Greenberg, Andrew Intrater, Bidzina Ivanishvili, Brittany Kaiser, Mikhail Kalugin, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Saak Karapetyan, Eugene Kaspersky (Kaspersky Lab), Denis Katsyv, Irakly (“Ike”) Kaveladze, Michael Khodarkovsky, Konstantin Kilimnik, Sergey Kislyak, Artem Klyushin, Ihor Kolomoyskyi, Konstantin Kosachev, Aleksandra Krylova, Elena Khusyaynova, Simon Kukes, Alexander Litvinenko, Howard Lorber, Yuriy Lutsenko, Simona Mangiante, Alexander Mashkevich, Viktor Medvedchek, Josef Mifsud, Sergei Millian, Semion Mogilevich (Don Semyon), Konstantin Molofeev, George Nader, Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, Alexei Navalny, Eduard Nektalov, Konstantin Nikolaev, Vyacheslav Nikonov, Yevgeniy Nikulin, Alexander Nix, Isabel Oakeshoff, George Papadopoulos, Lev Parnas, Sam Patten, Alexander Perepilichnyy, Dmitry Peskov, Igor Pisarsky, Petro Poroshenko, Yevgeny Prigozhin, Sergei Prikhodko, Vladimir Putin, George Ramishvili, Dmitry Rogozin, Alexander Rovt, Giorgi Rtskhiladze, Dmitry Rybolovlev, Konstantin Rykov, Mikheil Saakashvili, Felix Sater, Igor Sechin, Anastasia Shevchenko, Viktor Shokin, Oleg Solodukhin, Christopher Steele, Ruslan Stoyanov, Oleg Solodukhin, Peter Strzok, Taiwanchik (aka Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov), Andriy Telizhenko, Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov (aka Taiwanchik), Aleksandr Torshin, Vyacheslav Trubnikov, Yulia Tymoshenko, Anastasia Vashukevich (aka Nastya Rybka), Viktor Vekselberg, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Vyacheslav Volodin, Curt Weldon, Andy Wigmore, Alexander Yakovenko, Viktor Yanukovych, Ivan Yermakov, Viktor Yushchenko, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, Maria Zakharova, Joel Zamel, Volodymyr Zelensky

 

 
Bios w links (Wikipedia unless otherwise noted): Roman Abramovich, Aras Agalarov, Emin Agalarov, Rinat Akhmetov, Rinat Akhmetshin, Yulya Alferova (National Compass), Anatoly Antonov, Andrii Artemenko, Arron Banks, Andrey Baranov (Bloomberg), Vitaly Bespalov (NBC), Leonid “Len” Blavatnik, Anna Bogacheva (NYT), David Bogatin (NYT), Victor Boyarkin (TrumpRussia), William Browder, Mariia Butina, Carole Cadwalladr, Michael Caputo, Yuri Chaika, Igor Chekunov, Michael Cohen, George Cottrell, Igor Danshenko, Oleg Deripaska, Andrii Derkach, Igor Divyekin, Kirill Dmitriev, Aleksandr Dugin, Arkady Dvorkovich, Paul Erickson, Oleg Erovinkin, Nigel Farage, Dmitri Firtash, John Fotiadis (Archinect), Gene (Evgeny) Friedman, Igor Fruman, Daniel Gelbinovich (Daily Beast), Rob Goldstone, Sergei Gorkov, Henry Greenberg (Miami Herald), Andrew Intrater, Bidzina Ivanishvili, Brittany Kaiser (Cambridge Analytica), Mikhail Kalugin, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Saak Karapetyan, Eugene Kaspersky (Kaspersky Lab), Denis Katsyv, Irakly Kaveladze, Michael Khodarkovsky, Elena Khusyaynova, Konstantin Kilimnik, Sergey Kislyak, Artem Klyushin (National Compass), Ihor Kolomoyskyi, Konstantin Kosachev, Aleksandra Krylova (NYT), Simon Kukes, Alexander Litvinenko, Howard Lorber, Yuriy Lutsenko, Konstantin Malofeev, Simona Mangiante (Papadopoulos), Alexander Mashkevich, Viktor Medvedchek, Josef Mifsud, Sergei Millian, Semion Mogilevich (Don Semyon)

 

Cover: KyivPost (10/18/2019): Shady Cast of Characters: Engineers of Trump-Ukraine Scandal http://bit.ly/2MZCilW
 
Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, Alexei Navalny, Eduard Nektalov (NYMag), Konstantin Nikolaev, Yevgeniy Nikulin, Vyacheslav Nikonov, Alexander Nix, Isabel Oakeshoff, George Papadopoulos, Lev Parnas ,Sam Patten, Alexander Perepilichny, Dmitry Peskov, Igor Pisarsky (RIM), Petro Poroshenko, Yevgeny Prigozhin, Sergei Prikhodko, Vladimir Putin, George Ramishvili (Bloomberg), Dmitry Rogozin, Alexander Rovt, Giorgi Rtskhiladze (CNBC), Nastya Rybka (aka Anastasia Vashukevich) (WaPo), Dmitry Rybolovlev, Konstantin Rykov, Mikheil Saakashvili, Felix Sater, Igor Sechin, Anastasia Shevchenko (Amnesty Intl), Viktor Shokin, Oleg Solodukhin, Christopher Steele, Ruslan Stoyanov, Peter Strzok, Taiwanchik (aka Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov), Andriy Telizhenko (BuzzFeedNews), Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov (aka Taiwanchik), Aleksandr Torshin, Vyacheslav Trubnikov, Yulia Tymoshenko, Anastasia Vashukevich (aka Nastya Rybka) (WaPo), Viktor Vekselberg, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Vyacheslav Volodin, Curt Weldon, Andy Wigmore, Alexander Yakovenko, Viktor Yanukovych, Ivan Yermakov (Moscow Proj), Viktor Yushchenko, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, Maria Zakharova, Joel Zamel, Volodymyr Zelensky

 

By @WendySiegelman
 

Key Documents

 
🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 LawfareBlog: Litigation Documents Related to the Mueller Investigation http://bit.ly/2OVch6n
// new November 2018, to be continually updated

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 House.gov: Select Committee to Investigate the JANUARY 6TH Attack on the United States Capitol https://january6th.house.gov

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 JustSecurity: Public Document Clearinghouse: UKRAINE Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2CEsQ2F ‼️ Links to ALL documents ‼️

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 AmericanOversight: Trump-Ukraine Key Figures and Documents http://bit.ly/2C24bES
AmericanOversight: The Trump Administration’s Contacts with Ukraine http://bit.ly/2BYSY89 from FOIA requests

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 JustSecurity, Andy Wright: Just Security Launches the Russia Investigation Congressional Clearinghouse http://bit.ly/2L21uHz
// 8/22/2019

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 Lawfare: Full Text of the Mueller Report’s Executive Summaries http://bit.ly/2IFLewq
// 4/18/2019

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 Lawfare: Document: The Mueller Report http://bit.ly/2vcgNpN
// 4/18/2019

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: The Whistle-Blower Complaint: Read the Document [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2nq4FAD
// 9/26/2019

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 WaPo: Trump impeachment inquiry: Latest news and updates http://wapo.st/2P09WuE [Continually updated]

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 WaPo, Kate Rabinowitz and Kevin Schaul: Who’s involved in the Trump impeachment inquiry http://wapo.st/2W673dg
// orig published 10/21/2019

 

By @jzikah has a new book! Cartoon President http://amzn.to/2QUeZhk @Jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 Court Filing (1/17/2019): Civil Action No. 1:18-cv-03501 [pdf] http://cnn.it/2CBddZy (111p) Democratic National Committee v.: Russian Federation, DJ Trump For President, Inc (and others)
// 1/17/2019

⋙ 💙💙🔄 TheAtlantic, Yoni Appelbaum: Impeach Donald Trump http://bit.ly/2FykFIP
//March 2019 cover story

⋙ 💙💙🔄 Politico Mag, Darren Samuelsohn: The Only Impeachment Guide You’ll Ever Need http://politi.co/2QHcJGi
// 1/11/2019, As talk of the I-word heats up, here’s POLITICO Magazine’s soup-to-nuts answers to all your questions about the politics—and the practical realities—of removing a president.

⋙ 💙💙🔄 WaPo, Max Boot: Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian asset http://wapo.st/2D7IJQ9
// 1/13/2019
 

By @Jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 TheAtlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg (Editor): UNTHINKABLE: 50 Moments That Define an Improbable Presidency http://bit.ly/2RvDFOn
// Jan 2019; Donald Trump’s 50 Most Unthinkable Moments ~ 50 Articles

⋙ 💙💙🔄 Wikipedia: Timeline of investigations into Trump and Russia (2018) http://bit.ly/2Bh12jP

⋙ 💙💙🔄 Axios: Timeline: Every big move in the Mueller investigation http://bit.ly/2Euh3H9
// 12/12/2018
 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 Moyers&Co: Interactive Timeline: Everything We Know About Russia and President Trump http://bit.ly/2uVHc9j
// continually updated

⋙ 💙💙🔄📒 DocumentCloud: Steele Dossier [pdf] http://bit.ly/2y5ZhnF 35p

⋙ 💙💙🔄📒 FBIRecordsVault: Records Between FBI and Christopher Steele http://bit.ly/2KqLoF1

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ AP: Mueller Investigation documents http://bit.ly/2ihbK0l

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ CitJourno: Trump/Russian Mob Connections http://www.citjourno.org
 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ CNN, Marshall Cohen, Tal Yellen & Liz Stark: Tracking the Russia investigations (documents) http://cnn.it/2hVCpU5

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Russian Hacking and Influence in the U.S. Election http://nyti.ms/2NqFXeY

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ BrennanCenter: Trump-Russia Investigations http://bit.ly/2yRKcu6

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Politico: The people connected to the Russia probes [ Interactive ] http://politi.co/2FUDhz2 //➔ Democrats, Prosecutors, Law Enforcement/Lobbyists/Media,Team Trump, Foreign Nationals

⋙ 💙💙🔄 TheMoscowProject: Trump’s Russia Cover-Up By the Numbers http://bit.ly/2ycY959
// Center for American Progress; 80+ contacts with Russia-linked operatives https://themoscowproject.org/about/ http://bit.ly/2ycY959
 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NBCNews: Russia timeline: Key players, meetings and investigation details http://nbcnews.to/2vtR3YW

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ DailyBeast: Democrats Release the Fusion GPS Testimony on Trump and Russia http://thebea.st/2qMmH1d w attachment [pdf] ⋙ via Dianne Feinstein http://bit.ly/2FjtlPP

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Justice Department Gives Congress Comey’s Memos on Trump http://nyti.ms/2HdLe2Z
// 4/19/2018 ➔ DocumentCloud: http://bit.ly/2HOGC4z

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ DOJ: Indictment of Internet Research Agency LLC et al … [PDF] http://bit.ly/2CqdHzD 37p //➔ Mueller Investigation
// 2/16/2018
 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Amy Siskind: The Weekly List ~ “This is How Democracy Ends” https://theweeklylist.org

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Mueller Has List of Questions for Trump http://nyti.ms/2rfDuqK + http://nyti.ms/2HExEKi
// 4/30/2018, Majority Relate to if Trump Obstructed Inquiry on Russia

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: The Trump Lawyers’ Confidential Memo to Mueller, Explained [ Document ] http://nyti.ms/2kKPgq9
// 6/2/2018, NYT article about document: http://nyti.ms/2swIZSc

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ TIME: The Arguments President Trump Has Made Against the Mueller Investigation http://ti.me/2MdeARX
// 6/8/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ TIME: Wikipedia: Links between Trump associates and Russian officials http://bit.ly/2K42VDF

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ WaPo: Who has been charged in the Russia probe and why http://wapo.st/2toNwH2
// continually updated; WaPo Russia page

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ ForeignAffairs Anthology: A New Cold War? Russia and America, Then and Now 1947- http://fam.ag/2KEA4dF

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Justice.gov: Mueller Indictment of 12 Russians in the GRU for Election Hacking [pdf] http://bit.ly/2NbphV6 29p
// 7/13/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ FactCheck.org: Timeline of Russia Investigation http://bit.ly/2KZ4qaQ
// posted 6/7/2018, updated 7/13/2018; Key moments in the FBI probe of Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election; Readable

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Legal Process Server: DNC Lawsuit vs Russia, Wikileaks, et al http://bit.ly/2KIOhBq

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT, Linda Qiu: Truth-Testing Trump’s 250-Plus Attacks on the Russia Inquiry http://nyti.ms/2MY609E
// 8/18/2018

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Justice.gov: Manafort Plea Agreement [pdf] http://bit.ly/2CZiVb7 17p
// 9/14/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄💽 NYT: Opinion | Operation Infektion: A three-part video series on Russian disinformation http://nyti.ms/2OHqSSV
// 11/12/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ PasteMag, Jacob Weindling: A Year of Trump and Russia: The 75 Stories That Defined the Mueller Investigation in 2018 http://bit.ly/2QWN1SU
// 12/28/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ LawFareBlog: Document: Indictment of Roger Stone [pdf] http://bit.ly/2UdQgmj 24p
// 1/25/2019

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄📋 NYT: Trump and His Associates Had More Than 100 Contacts With Russians Before the Inauguration [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2MAZCps
// 1/26/2019

⋙ 💙💙🔄 BuzzFeedNews: These Secret Files Show How The Trump Moscow Talks Unfolded While Trump Heaped Praise On Putin http://bit.ly/2DWQ2ed
// 2/5/2019; ⏳TIMELINE ⌛️

⋙ 💙💙🔄 WaPo: What we learned about Trumpworld outreach to Russia since Mueller’s investigation began http://wapo.st/2twkXYE
// 2/19/2019, And what we still don’t know.

⋙ 💙💙🔄 ◕📋 NYT, Larry Buchanan and Karen Yourish: Trump Has Publicly Attacked the Russia Investigation More Than 1,100 Times http://nyti.ms/2T2HSsN
// 2/19/2019

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
  ;
⋙ 💙💙🔄 ◕📋 WaPo, Philip Bump: The 81 people and organizations just looped into the Trump probe — and why they were included http://wapo.st/2SJrw41
// 3/4/2019

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Full Document: Trump’s Call With the Ukrainian President [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2lfBkbC (Annotated)
// 9/25/2019″

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: The Whistle-Blower Complaint: Read the Document [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2nq4FAD
// 9/26/2019

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ HPSCI: Trump-Ukraine impeachment inquiry report http://bit.ly/2LlnJsX
// 12/3/2019; House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ Report: House Judiciary Committee report on their articles of impeachment against President Donald John Trump http://bit.ly/2Ek2rIa 658p
// 10/15/2019

⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ Lawfare: House Releases Impeachment Trial Brief http://bit.ly/2ucCo3Y document 111p
// 1/18/2019
 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y

 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ Trial Memorandum of the US House of Representatives in the Impeachment Trial of President Donald J Trump http://bit.ly/2uePNsc
// 1/18/2020

 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ Trial Memorandum of President Donald J Trump http://bit.ly/2NGi2XK 171p
// 1/20/2020

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ Vox, Matthew Yglesias and Andrew Prokop: The ultimate guide to the Donald Trump impeachment saga http://bit.ly/2SoXpkm
// Updated: Feb 5, 2020, 8:06pm EST, Published: Nov 5, 2019, 8:06am EST

 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ 📀 Press Here For Impeachment Trial on Cspan
// 1/20/2020-2/5/2020

 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ LawFare: Confronting the Capitol Insurrection [Index Page] http://bit.ly/3mfMDNc

 

⏳WaPo: The full Trump-Ukraine impeachment timeline http://wapo.st/35odsUl

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y

 
⭕ Feb 2021 Second Trump #Impeachment Trial

Day One: Rules etc

Day TWO: C-SPAN: U.S. Senate Impeachment Trial Day 2, Impeachment Managers’ Constitutionality Arguments http://bit.ly/3aa1CCQ
// 2/9/2021;

Day 2 of the impeachment trial of former President Trump for incitement of insurrection began with senators voting 89-11 in favor of the trial organizing resolution. Lead Impeachment Manager Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) then made opening remarks followed by a 13-minute video showing footage of former President Trump’s January 6, 2021, speech and of the actions of those who stormed the U.S. Capitol that day. Afterward, impeachment managers Representatives Raskin, Joe Neguse (D-CO), and David Cicilline (D-RI) presented their arguments for the constitutionality of impeaching a former president. Representative Raskin in his arguments talked about bringing his daughter and son-in-law with him to the Capitol on January 6.

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
Day THREE: C-SPAN: Senate Impeachment Trial Day 3, Part 1 http://bit.ly/374q3zm
// 2/10/2021;

The first part of Day 3 of the impeachment trial of former President Trump for incitement of insurrection began with House impeachment manager Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) asserting that the former president had “surrendered his role as commander in chief” and become “the inciter in chief.” He played the January 6, 2021, video Mr. Trump posted on Twitter in which he told his supporters who attacked the U.S. Capitol to “go home.” Representative Joe Neguse (D-CO) then outlined impeachment managers’ plan for arguing their case. In the final segment of part 1, Representatives Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) described the former president’s actions leading up to and after the 2020 election

Day Three: C-SPAN: Senate Impeachment Trial Day 3, Part 2 http://bit.ly/3tYOS9Y
// The Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump continued with House managers presenting video and tweets they say indicate that former President Trump incited the deadly January 6 riot.

Day Three: C-SPAN: Senate Impeachment Trial Day 3, Part 3 http://bit.ly/372bYSY
// Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) Entire remarked on the breach of the Capitol and attacks on police officers.

Day Three: C-SPAN: Senate Impeachment Trial Day 3, Part 4 http://bit.ly/3aZ82DV
// An effort by Sen. Mike Lee to remove remarks by the House impeachment managers from the official record sparked confusion on the Senate floor.

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
Day FOUR: C-SPAN: Senate Impeachment Trial Day 4, Part 1 http://bit.ly/3rXW1pf
// 2/12/2021

Former President Donald Trump’s defense lawyers made their case that Mr. Trump was innocent of charges of inciting an insurrection. They compared speeches by Democrats and others to the former president’s remarks in their defense, and stated that “the article of impeachment now before the Senate is an unjust and blatantly unconstitutional act of political vengeance.”

Day Four: C-SPAN: Senate Impeachment Trial Day 4, Part 2 http://bit.ly/3ddmmeG
// After a recess, Former President Donald Trump’s defense continued to make their case that Mr. Trump was innocent of charges of inciting an insurrection. In this portion of the impeachment trial, attorney Bruce Castor spoke.
Day Four: C-SPAN: Senate Impeachment Trial Day 4, Q&A http://bit.ly/3jLkwD0
// In this portion of the second impeachment trial of former President Trump, senators asked questions of both the House managers and Mr. Trump’s defense lawyers. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) then announced that Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman would be receiving the Congressional Gold Medal, due to his actions during the January 6 riots.

Day FIVE: C-SPAN: Senate Impeachment Trial Day 5 http://bit.ly/3b2haHL
// 2/13/2021

The Senate acquits former President Trump of inciting an insurrection, 57-43. Earlier, the House managers and the defense made closing arguments. Also, House Manager Raskin (D-MD) read a written statement from Rep. Herrera Beutler (R-WA).

Majority Leader Schumer on Impeachment Acquittal of Former President Trump http://bit.ly/2OFAT8V
// Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) delivered remarks after the Senate voted to acquit former President Trump, 57-43. Seven Republicans joined all Democrats in voting to convict Mr. Trump.
Minority Leader McConnell on Impeachment Acquittal of Former President Trump http://bit.ly/3djH5NM
// Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered remarks after the Senate voted to acquit former President Trump, 57-43. Seven Republicans joined all Democrats in voting to convict Mr. Trump.

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y

 

Twitter Threads

⭕ 9 Feb 2021 Impeachment #2: Day 1
💙 🧵 RT @atrupar Rep. Raskin’s opening impeachment trial statement: “Their argument is that if you commit an impeachable offense in your last few weeks in office, you do it with constitutional impunity.” 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1359206921039974406?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar Here is the entire video timeline of the January 6 insurrection as presented by the House impeachment managers 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1359216739054190593?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 10 Feb 2021 Impeachment #2: Day 2
🔄 💙🐣🧵 RT @jentaub It’s on. Day 2 of the Trump Impeachment Trial 2.0. February 10, 2021. We will have a dinner break at 6 p.m. ¤ 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/jentaub/status/1359548695038087169?s=20
🔄 💙🐣🧵 RT @atrupar Raskin: “This case is much worse than someone who falsely shouts fire in a crowded theater. It’s more like like a case where the town fire chief, who’s paid to put out fires, sends a mob not to yell fire in a crowded theater, but to actually set the theater on fire.”
🔄 💙 WaPo: See all the evidence presented in Trump’s impeachment trial http://wapo.st/3qeb1ii

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⭕ 11 Feb 2021 Impeachment #2: Day 3
🔄 💙🧵 RT @jentaub 🇺🇸 It’s on. Day 3. The Trial of Donald Trump 2.0 continues at 12:04 p.m. on February 11, 2021 📌 https://twitter.com/jentaub/status/1359911216588685317?s=20
// Defense
🔄 💙🧵 RT @atrupar The Thursday installment of Trump’s #ImpeachmentTrial begins with a Baked Alaska clip 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1359914413709492232?s=20

⭕ 12 Feb 2021 Impeachment #2: Day 4
🔄 💙 🧵 RT @jentaub We have begun. It’s Day 4 of the Trump Impeachment Trial 2.0. The defense is putting on their case. The first lawyer is Van Der Veen. 📌 https://twitter.com/jentaub/status/1360274181510807556?s=20

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y

🔄 💙 🧵 RT @atrupar “Lord, infuse them with the spirit of nonpartisan patriotism” — Senate Chaplain Barry Black’s prayer begins the Trump defense portion of the #ImpeachmentTrial 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1360275280775028740?s=20
⋙ 🔄 💙 🧵 RT @atrupar [Q&A] Lindsey Graham, Kevin Cramer, and Roger Marshall use an impeachment trial question to own the libs 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1360337066215804930?s=20

⭕ 13 Feb 2021 Impeachment #2: Day 5
🔄 💙 🧵 RT @jentaub Day 5 of the Donald Trump Impeachment Trial 2.0. February 13, 2021. Wonderful! They are going to debate whether to subpoena witnesses and documents ¤ 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/jentaub/status/1360605971198967809?s=20
🔄 💙 🧵 RT @atrupar “Lord, touch and move them to believe that end does not justify the means” — Senate Chaplain Barry Black’s prayer begins the Saturday portion of the #ImpeachmentTrial 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1360607971055656962?s=20

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 

 
 
⭕ 31 Dec 2021

DailyBeast, David Lurie: Jan. 6 Was Just the Start of Radicalizing Trump’s Republican Party http://bit.ly/3HqlrDm
// Even if Trump didn’t order the coup attempt, his supporters knew they were doing what he wanted.

Donald Trump’s January 2021 coup attempt failed to overturn the election; but Trump has succeeded in transforming the GOP into an ever more radicalized party that rewards extremism, and punishes, or even banishes, those members who fail to support ever more audacious attacks on democracy and the nation’s electoral process. ¤ The Republican Party is now institutionally oriented to work towards the anti-democratic aims of its charismatic leader, Trump.

As the one-year anniversary of the Capitol insurrection approaches, we are only beginning to gain a picture of the full scope of what can now fairly be described as a coup scheme, intended to void the outcome of a presidential election. The scheme was encouraged, if not planned, by the White House, with Trump’s chief-of-staff Mark Meadows serving as field general for the putsch, and encouraging the pursuit of various extreme proposals and bizarre conspiracy theories from a range of co-conspirators, including members of Congress as well as state legislators and freelance neo-fascists such as Steve Bannon, Rudy Giuliani, and John Eastman.

It is essential that Congress’ Jan. 6 committee, as well as the Justice Department and other law enforcement agencies, continue to seek out every relevant item of evidence regarding this effort to take down the nation’s democracy, and identify the role of each of the schemers. The evidence may well establish that individuals, potentially including Trump himself, are guilty of federal crimes arising from the putsch scheme, such as obstruction of the congressional electoral vote counting proceedings.

Yet regardless of what additional facts the congressional and law enforcement investigations establish, we already know that Trump has succeeded in a broader goal of transforming the Republican Party into a vehicle for ever more radical and extreme attacks on the democratic foundations of the nation. His success is reflected in the fact that Trump no longer needs to tell followers inside and outside of government to play their parts in undermining democracy—they now take the initiative to anticipate Trump’s desire for extreme actions and act upon them.

Historian Ian Kershaw famously described the Third Reich’s operating principle as “working towards the Führer.” Party members anticipated the steps its leader wanted, particularly attacks on political opponents and “undesirables” like Jews, and frequently took them without being asked. Over time, it became clear that those who pursued the most radical, and often violent, steps to serve the party would be met with approbation, while those who hesitated would be met with disfavor or worse.

While Trump is, of course, no Hitler, he and his acolytes have used a similar reward-and-punishment dynamic to relentlessly move the GOP towards a dynamic of ever greater extremism, in which adherence to legal and moral norms is viewed as intolerable weakness.

During 2016, Trump’s most devoted acolyte, his namesake son, responded to news that the Russian government was illicitly aiding his father’s presidential campaign by exclaiming “I love it” in an email, and arranging a meeting in the hope of getting “dirt” on Hillary Clinton from Russia. In early 2021, after Trump lost the election, Meadows likewise responded to fellow extremists’ plans to undermine the electoral vote count by “replacing” duly designated electors with Trump shills by, likewise, declaring “I love it.”

We do not know if Trump expressly blessed either scheme beforehand, but it is clear that both Don Jr. and Meadows understood that they would risk Trump’s ire if they failed to pursue the most extreme attacks on American laws and democratic norms available in Trump’s name.

The GOP’s dynamic of rewarding extremism, and penalizing restraint, has only strengthened since Trump lost the election. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy disavowed his initial support for an investigation of Jan. 6, and ultimately supported the sanctioning of Liz Cheney for participating in the Congressional inquiry into the coup attempt. Cheney and fellow Jan. 6 committee member Adam Kinzinger are now facing a call for their expulsion from the GOP caucus from prominent party activists and institutions that are now singularly dependent on Trump, such as Matt Schlapp and the Club for Growth, as virtually all of their House colleagues cower in silence. Meanwhile, McCarthy, recognizing that his hope to be elected Speaker depends on maintaining the support of Trump’s most radical allies, gives free license to members like Paul Gosar, who recently disclosed evidence establishes was an active participant in the coup effort and who recently “joked” about murdering a House colleague.

At the state level, the impetus within the GOP to work towards Trump is likewise even more powerful than it was during the weeks following the election. Trump’s now-infamous call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, demanding that he “find” additional votes for Trump, failed to induce Raffensperger to corrupt the election, and Trump’s rejection of the election results likely contributed to the runoff losses of both GOP incumbent senators—costing Republicans control of the senate.

Yet during the succeeding months, Trump’s relentless attacks on Raffensperger and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp have induced other Republicans to join in attacking the two for not undoing the outcome of the 2020 election, and to induce opponents who share Trump’s extremist agenda to plan primary challenges against them, making radicalism the norm in the party.

The story is the same in many other states, including Wisconsin, where a GOP legislative leader has responded to Trump’s loss there by attacking the state’s bipartisan election commission (including a commissioner he appointed), while some Wisconsin Republican leaders, including Sen. Ron Johnson, are calling for what amounts to a GOP takeover of the administration of elections in the state. In Arizona, an “audit” that confirmed Trump’s loss has nonetheless served as a rallying cry for efforts to undermine voting rights in that state and others. Across the country, people who claim the 2020 election was “stolen” by Biden are running to take control of the local election machinery to ensure that the next election can be stolen by Trump.

While they rarely direct these actions, Trump and his acolytes have praised these extremists while often threatening retaliation against party members who question such a radical approach.

A case in point is Michigan, where Trump supporters have demanded an Arizona-style audit of the election, despite the fact that a GOP-sponsored probe found no evidence of election fraud. A group of Trump supporters, some of them members of the state legislature, have commenced a campaign to intimidate state party leaders to support this audit, as a sign of support for Trump, declaring that their effort is the first step in a “revolution” against the electoral system.

This brings us back to Jan. 6. Trump’s address to a crowd of supporters that day came after a presidential term in which he openly praised neo-Nazi rioters, encouraged gun-wielding protesters to go to state capitals to “liberate” them from COVID restrictions, and wielded a Bible in front of a church after a crowd of protesters had been cleared for him by a violent police and National Guard attack. It followed weeks during which Trump himself had waged a relentless campaign to delegitimize the results of the election, commencing even before it was held and using every legal and political lever that he could to get himself reinstalled against the will of the people.

The former president claims that he didn’t tell the crowd that gathered for his speech on Jan. 6 to attack the Capitol, but virtually all of the people who did believed they were acting in his interests, and had every reason to believe that their attack would meet with his approbation.

Indeed, evidence that has come to light during recent months has only added further support for their belief. Trump has confirmed that he was wholly unconcerned with Pence’s safety during the insurrection, and failed even to call him as the siege proceeded. We are also now learning that Trump ignored entreaties from legislators inside the Capitol, and even from Don Jr., and Sean Hannity, to call off his supporters’ siege, as only he could have done.

It is also becoming increasingly clear that, as the siege proceeded, Trump’s acolytes, including Rudy Giuliani, and (as reported by The Daily Beast) possibly Peter Navarro, may well have been employing the disruption in the proceedings as an the opportunity to attempt to encourage more legislators to vote against certification—or to at least to delay it until they could engineer the naming of “replacement” electors.

We now know that in the weeks before Jan. 6, a group of legislators had been working hand-in-glove with Meadows and other Trump allies to implement the coup scheme. Most GOP members of Congress had not joined the scheme. But the insurrection contributed to making more of them more pliant Trump allies. Freshman GOP Rep. Peter Meijer has recounted that, in the immediate wake of the insurrection, a number of his colleagues who had planned to vote in favor of certifying Biden’s election reversed course, some out of fear for their own lives.

Since that time, most GOP politicians have routinely endorsed, or at least chosen not to oppose, the extreme attacks on democracy and the electoral system that have become core tenets of the GOP. As I have previously discussed, appeals to an extremist “base” are now such a central element of the party’s political strategy that GOP “leaders” fear losing support if they don’t support conspiracism and anti-democracy. For example, during a recent Minnesota GOP senate debate, all five of the candidates resisted acknowledging that Biden had won the 2020 election.

Even Trump himself has found that his power as a “leader” of an extremist movement depends on his own reliably continuous appeals to extremism. This was starkly evident last week when Trump himself faced criticism from some of his most fervent followers for acknowledging that the COVID vaccine saves lives, and admitting that he received a booster dose.

In short, extremism is Trump’s calling card, and the force that fuels his movement. Accordingly, whether or not Trump ordered the insurrection, he clearly chose to allow it to continue by his silence, likely because Trump believed the attack on the Capitol served his own ends. And during the months that have followed, GOP activists encouraged by Trump have normalized the goals and even the tactics of the insurrectionists—who are now frequently described by Trumpist Republicans as harmless tourists, or patriots. ¤ The party is working towards Trump.

📊 WaPo: 1 in 3 Americans say violence against government can be justified, citing fears of political schism, pandemic http://wapo.st/32zuJ1q
// The Post-UMD poll, coming a year after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, marks the largest share of Americans to hold that view since the question was first asked more than two decades ago.

🐣 RT @NPR Paul Eaton, a retired U.S. Army major general, worries that fractures in the top ranks and poor understanding of how the U.S. government works could lead to a coup in 2024, led or assisted by elements of the military.
⋙ NPR: Retired general warns the U.S. military could lead a coup after the 2024 election http://n.pr/3qDVCsQ
// Retired Major General Paul Eaton says war-gaming and civics education could help assure that the military is better prepared for a contested election.

WaPo: Prosecutors break down charges, convictions for 725 arrested so far in Jan. 6 attack on U.S. Capitol http://wapo.st/3zgvCaU

Of those arrested, 225 people were charged with assault or resisting arrest. More than 75 of those were charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon against police officers. The office said 140 police officers, including Capitol officers and members of the D.C. police department, were victimized during the attack.

As the country nears the first anniversary of the storming of the Capitol, the U.S. attorney’s office in the District, the largest office of federal prosecutors in the nation, released a breakdown of the arrests and convictions associated with the attack.

Of those arrested, 225 people were charged with assault or resisting arrest. More than 75 of those were charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon against police officers. The office said 140 police officers, including Capitol officers and members of the D.C. police department, were victimized during the attack. ¤ The office said about 10 individuals were charged with assaulting members of the media or destroying their equipment.

Some 640 people were charged with entering a restricted federal building or its grounds. And another 75 were charged with entering a restricted area with a deadly weapon. ¤ Prosecutors in the office have been working with the FBI as well as prosecutors in various locations around the nation. The office said the individuals arrested come from nearly all 50 states.

One person, 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt of California, was fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer as she tried to breach a set of doors deep in the Capitol during the riot. Federal prosecutors later cleared the officer of any wrongdoing in Babbitt’s death.

According to a May estimate by the Architect of the Capitol, the attack caused about $1.5 million worth of damage to the building.

About 165 individuals, the office said, have pleaded guilty to a variety of federal charges, from misdemeanors to felony obstruction. ¤ So far, 70 defendants have received some kind of sentence from a judge. Of those, 31 people were ordered jailed, and 18 were sentenced to home detention. The remaining 21 defendants were placed on probation.

In early December, Robert Scott Palmer, 54, of Largo, Fla., received the longest prison sentence to date among those convicted in the attack. A U.S. District Court judge sentenced him to more than five years in prison. ¤ In October, Palmer pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and assaulting officers with a dangerous weapon. Prosecutors said Palmer broke into the Capitol building and, while inside, threw a wooden plank at police officers; then, they said, while he was on the front line of the riot, he sprayed police officers with a fire extinguisher and hurled the emptied extinguisher at the officers. No officers, prosecutors said, were injured.

The FBI is continuing to identify suspects in the case and is collecting tips at fbi.gov/wanted/capitol-violence, 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or tips.fbi.gov.

🐣 RT @tribelaw Good news. Now it remains to be seen whether only the rioters themselves will be charged; and whether anyone at any level will be charged with seditious conspiracy or with giving aid and comfort to an insurrection. ¤ If not, we’re inviting a repetition that we’re bound to regret.
⋙ 🐣 RT @hugolowell New: Justice Dept has now charged at least 275 rioters connected to the Capitol attack with corruptly obstructing of an official proceeding — for which Trump may also be referred by the Jan. 6 committee.

⭕ 30 Dec 2021

DailyBeast, Julia Davis: How Tucker Carlson Is Boosting Russia’s New Propaganda War http://bit.ly/3zeB7XF
// As Putin and Biden talk, Kremlin mouthpieces are rushing to explain the motivations behind Russia’s surge in aggression. Fox News is helping them do their work.

… Carlson’s talking points often sound identical to those pushed by the Kremlin’s propagandists—or by Putin himself. ¤ During one of his broadcasts on Fox News in December, Carlson argued that “NATO exists primarily to torment Vladimir Putin.” He worried about the possibility of “a NATO takeover of Ukraine,” and described the 2014 Maidan Revolution as a U.S.-organized “coup in Ukraine.” He also baselessly accused Joe Biden of fomenting “a hot war with Russia.” The very next day, translated quotes from Tucker Carlson’s show were widely broadcast on Russia’s state television. After watching Carlson’s remarks during the live taping of 60 Minutes, Igor Korotchenko, member of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Public Council and editor-in-chief of the National Defense magazine said: “Excellent performance, with which we can only express solidarity.”

🐣 📋 RT @peterbakernyt In the first year of Trump’s presidency, the S&P 500 hit new records 62 times and finished up 17%.
In the first year of Biden’s presidency, the S&P 500 hit new records 70 times and finished up 29%.

🐣 RT @duty2warn Trump announced he’s holding a press conference on Jan 6th (5PM). All self-respecting media should decline to attend. If the Manhattan DA could indict him on Jan 5th, that would also be nice. Even if they feel they aren’t fully ready to indict, focus on the humor, and the karma.

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote BREAKING: People under current DoJ criminal investigation for their role in the trump election lawsuits hosted gatherings to plot to overturn 2020 with multiple people including those with ties to John Eastman and the Arizona fraudit. 1/
⋙ CNBC: Pro-Trump lawyer says his plantations were go-to spots for those aiming to overturn the 2020 election http://cnb.cx/k
// Lin Wood says his plantations in South Carolina were used as a hub for those who wanted to overturn the 2020 election.

● Lin Wood told CNBC he hosted numerous election conspiracy theorists on his plantation properties in South Carolina after the 2020 presidential election.
● His guests included fellow Trump allies attorney Sidney Powell, former national security advisor Mike Flynn and former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne.

Lin Wood, a conservative trial lawyer who led a failed legal challenge against the election results in Georgia, said in a lengthy interview that shortly after the 2020 contest last November, he hosted at his massive South Carolina properties fellow right-wing attorney Sidney Powell, former Trump national security advisor Mike Flynn, former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, and Doug Logan, the CEO of cybersecurity firm Cyber Ninjas.

Jim Penrose, who says on his LinkedIn profile that he used to work for the National Security Agency, and Seth Keshel, who promotes himself on his Twitter page as a former Army captain and who has spread falsities about the election, according to the Associated Press, also made appearances at Wood’s properties, the attorney said.

Penrose was among a group of people who met with conservative lawyer John Eastman on Jan. 5, the day before the deadly riot on Capitol Hill, attorney and independent journalist Seth Abramson reported. Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives for inciting the riot, during which his supporters attacked Congress while lawmakers were trying to certify President Joe Biden’s electoral victory. He was acquitted in the Senate.

Eastman wrote a legally dubious memo arguing that former Vice President Mike Pence could reject Biden’s Electoral College victory in the 2020 election. He’s been subpoenaed by a House committee investigating the origins of Jan. 6. Eastman has since said he plans to defy the subpoena. …

Wood told CNBC that after the November election Powell asked him if she and her team could use his South Carolina property known as the Tomotley Plantation in order “to do work on the election cases.” Wood reportedly bought the $7.9 million plantation last year. ¤ Wood, who once represented the late Richard Jewell after he was suspected of being involved with the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing, was referred by a federal judge for possible disbarment following his role in contesting the results of the election.

A website highlighting dozens of lawsuits levied by Trump’s campaign and his allies shows that almost all of them failed. Cyber Ninjas conducted an audit of election results in Arizona that eventually confirmed Biden as the victor over Trump in Maricopa County. The audit itself was partially funded by Byrne’s nonprofit, The America Project, which is led by multiple other allies of the former president.

“They set up in my living room and one of the sunrooms. They looked like election central. They had computers, whiteboards. They were working,” Wood said about Powell and her team’s prior work at his residence. Southern Living magazine describes the living room at Tomotley: “Custom built-ins and a working fireplace bring warmth to the spacious living room.”

Wood said that there were a few instances when Powell asked him to assist in her election investigations that were taking place at his new home. ¤ “I remember making a couple of phone calls to speak to individuals that she was trying to talk into being plaintiffs, I believe in Georgia,” Wood said. “I think we had, kind of, passing conversations of what she was learning. I know she talked to me about information about Venezuela.”

Multiple state and federal officials, including former Trump Attorney General Bill Barr, have said that there was no widespread voter fraud during the 2020 election. Wood’s move to reveal details about election conspiracy theorists using his property comes after The Daily Beast reported on a growing feud between Wood, Flynn and Powell.

The fight is reportedly linked to Wood’s handling of his former client Kyle Rittenhouse, who was accused of killing two unarmed men during a protest in Wisconsin and was later acquitted. …

DailyBeast, David Lurie: Jan. 6 Was Just the Start of Radicalizing Trump’s Republican Party http://bit.ly/3FMK3pC

NYT: Putin Warns Biden of ‘Complete Rupture’ of U.S.-Russia Relationship Over Ukraine http://nyti.ms/3zbTht9
// President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia spoke with President Biden for 50 minutes about the escalating crisis with Ukraine, but his intentions remained unclear.

President Vladimir V. Putin warned President Biden on Thursday that any economic sanctions imposed on Russia if it moves to take new military action against Ukraine could result in a “complete rupture” of relations between the two nuclear superpowers, a Russian official told reporters on Thursday evening.

The exchange came during a 50-minute phone call that Mr. Putin requested, and which both sides described as businesslike. Yet it ended without clarity about Mr. Putin’s intentions. He has massed 100,000 or so troops on the border with Ukraine, and issued demands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the United States to pull back their forces in the region, but apparently has not decided whether to order an invasion.

Mr. Biden, for his part, pushed back, according to two American officials. A terse White House statement said he “made clear that the United States and its allies and partners will respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine.”

🐣 RT @MichaelCohen212 This morning I was notified by my attorneys @lauferlaw @NYadvocateJKL that the process server successfully effectuated service on #BillBarr while he was vacationing in Virginia. This is the look they got…Happy New Year asshole! https://twitter.com/MichaelCohen212/status/1476652094006435847?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @Porter_Anderson Media: @PeterHotez to @Acosta on anti-science aggression: “This is more than disinformation, it’s a killer. Since June 1, 200,000 unvaccinated Americans have needlessly lost their lives. I’ve asked the @JoeBiden administration” to help. “This is a well-funded anti-vax ecosystem.”

⭕ 29 Dec 2021

WaPo: Biden to hold another call with Putin on Thursday afternoon http://wapo.st/3eDrZlX

During a conversation requested by the Russian government, Biden plans to tell Putin that while the United States is prepared to proceed diplomatically, it also stands ready to respond to further incursions with economic sanctions, NATO reinforcement and assistance to Ukrainian efforts to defend itself, all according to a senior administration official.

The conversation will mark the second Biden-Putin call in a month. In a Dec. 7 videoconference, Biden warned Putin not to mount a new invasion and laid out the economic and security costs that Russia would face if the Kremlin went down that path.

Russia is looking to extract security concessions from the United States and its European partners, while simultaneously threatening a new invasion of Ukraine, a U.S. partner nation that is not a member of NATO. Moscow has made several demands, saying Washington needs to provide written guarantees that NATO will no longer expand eastward, a point the White House has dismissed as a nonstarter.

The Biden administration has stressed that Russia will need to begin showing signs of de-escalation before any sort of “diplomatic end game” is possible, a point repeated by the senior administration official previewing the call to reporters on the condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the White House. … ¤ The official said that it was not clear why Putin had requested the call but that “it will take a high level of engagement to address this and to try to find a path of de-escalation.”

The administration has previously warned of a variety of responses, which the official reiterated Wednesday. Those include sanctions exceeding those that were imposed in 2014, after Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine; increasing the U.S. force posture in Europe; and providing Ukraine with additional material assistance to help it defend itself against a potential invasion.

🐣 RT @mhmck The path to NATO and EU membership is written into Ukraine’s constitution. Ukrainians cannot give that up any more than Americans can give up freedom of speech rights written into their constitution. Ukraine is fundamentally and unalterably a Western nation.

🐣 RT @marceelias Republicans are focused on this as their only strategy for 2022 and 2024. ¤ What more can we do to get Democrats to understand that unless we match them with the same intensity, commitment and focus, this will be game, set, match?
⋙ 🐣 RT @marceelias Republicans are taking hold of the once-overlooked machinery of elections. While the effort is incomplete and uneven, outside experts on democracy and Democrats are sounding alarms, warning that the United States is witnessing a “slow-motion insurrection.”
🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind This is what I warned about in my Oct article: there is literally a slow motion coup underway, with GOP efforts to take top offices in MI, PA, WI in 2022, and key election official roles, so 2024 is a done deal before we even vote! Democrats doing NOTHING!
⋙ AP: ‘Slow-motion insurrection’: How GOP seizes election power http://bit.ly/3qCJU1w “Never in the country’s modern history has a a major party sought to turn the administration of elections into an explicitly partisan act”

🐣 RT @PeterHotez When the antivaccine disinformation crowd declares twisted martyrdom when bumped from social media or condemned publicly: they contributed to the tragic and needless loss of 200,000 unvaccinated Americans since June who believed their antiscience gibberish. They’re the aggressors

💙 CNN, Paul LeBlanc: The January 6 committee formed 6 months ago. Here’s what it’s uncovered. http://cnn.it/3exXM7B

🐣 RT @ False. The @January6thCmte hasn’t dropped requests for any necessary records. In fact, we’re actively litigating to obtain White House records Trump is trying to conceal. We will not allow him to hide the truth about January 6th, or his conduct, from the American people. Text Block: https://twitter.com/RepLizCheney/status/1476348676142473216?s=20/photo/1
// att: Trump post

⭕ 28 Dec 2021

💽 MSNBC, TheBeatWithAri: Busted: Indicted Trump aide Bannon sees Jan. 6 ‘playbook’ leaked by ally http://on.msnbc.com/3EPXrIn
// Trump ally Steve Bannon is indicted and awaiting trial for hiding evidence about his January 6th plotting. Now, one of his accomplices, Trump veteran Peter Navarro, has leaked information detailing the plan to rally Congressional Republicans to interfere with certifying Biden’s 2020 election win. MSNBC’s Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber is joined by Democratic strategist Chai Komanduri to discuss the revelation and Navarro’s comments likening the effort to the “Green Bay Sweep.” 

WaPo Editorial: Putin wants to shut down Russia’s Memorial, but he can’t erase the past http://wapo.st/3Jpl79Y “[Putin] can try to knock down the walls of Memorial, but he cannot extinguish the memory of Soviet crimes, nor of today’s unfortunate return to despotism“

🐣 ◕ RT @nytimes States with lower vaccination rates tend to have had higher Covid-19 death rates, particularly from the most recent wave of Delta variant infections, which hit the South the hardest. https://nyti.ms/3mGzHjz https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/1475937556080513028?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @TheTweetOfJohn Two Trump-appointed federal judges have rejected claims from January 6 defendants that they’re being treated unfairly, because of their conservative politics, compared with left-leaning rioters in Portland, Oregon, in the summer of 2020.
⋙ CNN: Two Trump-appointed judges reject comparisons between January 6 and Portland political unrest http://cnn.it/3pCMOo0

🐣 RT @juliaioffe Few people can say it better than the utterly eloquent @vkaramurza: “The only thing that this decision today confirms is that the people who are sitting in the Kremlin today consider themselves to be the direct successors to Stalin, Beria, Andropov.”
⋙ TheWorld[]org: Kremlin tries to ‘erase a nation’s history’ with shutdown of leading human rights org, Russian politician says http://bit.ly/3ezf6sV
// Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian opposition politician, joins The World’s host Marco Werman to discuss what’s at stake with the shutdown of Memorial International, which has documented Soviet-era crimes and other human rights abuses for 30 years. 

🐣 RT @duty2warn GOP lawmaker clowns learned it from Trump. Trump learned it from Roy Cohn. Cohn learned from reading Goebbels. It’s the same playbook. Lie. Repeat. Admit nothing. Go all in. All the time. Deflect. Distract. Double down for all eternity.

🐣 RT @rollcall NEW: lowa Sen. Charles E.Grassley, the Senate president pro tempore, says he and not Vice President Mike Pence will preside over the certification of Electoral College votes, since “we don’t expect him to be there.”
// 1/5/2021 7:06am

🐣 RT @ProjectLincoln It’s clear, every level of the Republican Party was involved in the Jan 6 attacks on our democracy. LP Sr. Advisor @StuartPStevens discusses the intricate planning that went into that failed coup attempt with @JakeTapper on CNN. 💽 https://twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1475927116315303937?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @CREWcrew This seems like a good time to remind everyone that there are people actively trying to overthrow the government

🧵 📊 ◕ RT @ATheodorodis New @UMassPoll data! After a year that saw a shocking attack on the U.S. Capitol & persistent, discredited claims by Trump & sycophants of a stolen election, we continue to find Republicans & Democrats believing in diametrically opposed “realities.” 📌 https://twitter.com/AGTheodoridis/status/1475942039040757765?s=20

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Trump idolatry has undermined religious faith http://wapo.st/3mASnRB

Much has been written about White evangelicals’ central role in the fraying of democracy. More attention, however, should be paid to the damage the political movement has inflicted on religion itself. ¤ The demographic — which remains in the throes of White grievance and an apocalyptic vision that postulates America (indeed “Western civilization”) is under attack from socialists, foreigners and secularists — forms the core of the MAGA movement. Many have rejected the sanctity of elections, the principle of inclusion and even objective reality.

The consequences have been dire for American politics. The siege mentality has morphed into an ends-justify-the-means style of politics in which lies, brutal discourse and even violence are applauded as necessary to protect “real America.” Essential features of democracy, such as the peaceful transfer of power, compromise with political opponents and defining America as an idea and not a racial or religious identity, have fallen by the wayside.

Sadly, the degradation of democracy has intensified in the wake of Joe Biden’s victory. The doctrinal elevation of the “big lie,” the increase in violent rhetoric and the effort to rig elections all reflect a heightened desperation by the MAGA crowd. This has driven the GOP to new lows (e.g., vaccine refusal to “own the libs,” virtually all House Republicans defending an animation depicting the murder of a congresswoman).

While lovers of democracy around the world view these developments in horror, we should not lose track of the damage the MAGA movement has wrought to religious values. … Robert P. Jones, who leads the Public Religion Research Institute, writes that “in the upside-down world white evangelicalism has become, the willingness to act in self-sacrificial ways for the sake of vulnerable others — even amid a global pandemic — has become rare, even antithetical, to an aggressive, rights-asserting white Christian culture.” The result is reckless self-indulgence that places some evangelicals’ own aversion to “being told what to do” ahead of the health and lives of vulnerable populations.

As self-identified evangelicals reject small inconveniences and show distain for others’ lives, Jones observes, “there is no hint of awareness that their actions are a mockery of the central biblical injunction to care for the orphan, the widow, the stranger, and the vulnerable among us.”

In sum, while the White evangelical political movement has done immeasurable damage to our democracy, its descent into MAGA politics, conspiratorial thinking and cult worship has had catastrophic results for the religious values evangelicals once held dear. Jones writes: “It’s important to say this straight. This refusal to act to protect the vulnerable — particularly because of the low personal costs involved — is raw, callous selfishness. Exhibited by people I love, it is heartbreaking. Expressed by people who claim to be followers of Jesus, it is maddening.”

If these trends continue uninterrupted, we will wind up with a country rooted in neither democratic principles nor religious values. That would be a mean, violent and intolerant future few of us would want to experience.

🐣 RT @ForeignAffairs Despite sending tens of thousands of troops to its border with Ukraine, Russia does not want to annex its neighbor, argues @DmitriTrenin. Moscow’s priority is to stop both NATO expansion and threatening Western military activities.
⋙ ForeignAffairs, Dmitri Trenin: What Putin Really Wants in Ukraine http://fam.ag/3z948DZ
// Russia seeks to stop NATO’s expansion, not to annex more territory.

⭕ 27 Dec 2021

🐣 RT @dcexaminer “We are not bluffing,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Monday, per state-run TASS. ¤ “These are our real proposals. The West’s awareness of this needs to be facilitated,
⋙ WashingtonExaminer: Russia ‘not bluffing’ on NATO rollback, warns of ‘large-scale conflict in Europe’ http://washex.am/3sGBHMr

Russian President Vladimir Putin has amassed military forces around Ukrainian borders, ostensibly due to the dangers presented by Ukraine joining NATO at some future date. Putin’s team, which oversaw the annexation of Crimea and the invasion of eastern Ukraine in 2014, portrays the latest round of tensions a consequence of NATO expansion over the last 25 years, raising the prospect of a major war in Europe.

“It is important to lower the degree of confrontation caused by the way our U.S. colleagues are looking after their Ukrainian proteges,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview published Sunday. “The course on dragging Kyiv into NATO with the prospect of deploying attack missile systems near our borders creates unacceptable threats to Russia’s security, thus provoking serious military risks for all parties involved, up to a large-scale conflict in Europe.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wants to join NATO, but that process has been stalled for nearly two decades. President Joe Biden said in July that “it remains to be seen” whether Ukraine ever will “meet [the] criteria” for membership in the trans-Atlantic alliance, but Russian officials want NATO to close the door on the idea.

“We would like to emphasize that the nonexpansion of NATO and preventing the deployment of weapons systems near the Russian border that threaten Russia’s security will be front and center during the upcoming talks with the United States and NATO,” Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Saturday. “This is something those who until now have been unable to grasp Russia’s position must understand.”

NATO leaders agreed in 2008 that Georgia and Ukraine should have the option at some point of joining the alliance, but Russia has invaded both of those countries in the intervening years, creating territorial disputes that short-circuit using the trans-Atlantic alliance’s collective defense guarantee to avert a conflict.

“Yet the Kremlin has, in effect, exercised … a veto,” former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer wrote in October. “Allies appear unenthusiastic … because there is no good answer to the question ‘if Ukraine joins NATO tomorrow, does the alliance then find itself at war with Russia?’” ¤ Putin has sought to pose that question even in the absence of any serious progress toward Ukrainian membership in NATO.

“We demand an official withdrawal of the decision made at the 2008 Bucharest summit relating to Ukraine and Georgia’s [intentions] to join NATO,” Ryabkvo said. “When we say that further expansion of NATO needs to be prevented, when we say that NATO facilities and all kinds of activities that are provocative for Russia need to be rolled back to the positions that existed in 1997 when the NATO-Russia Founding Act was signed, we are not bluffing.”

🐣 RT @IlvesToomas For those who, like me, love to get into the weeds of claims by Russia, this thread on the Charter of Paris by @DrRadchenko is just what you need to get started on your morning — unless you’re at Stanford, Mike @McFaul, where it’s a bedtime treat.
⋙ 🧵 RT @DrRadchenko Watched Lavrov’s interview on Dec. 22, where he recycled the claim that @mfa_russia uses to justify Russia’s demands for guarantees of NATO’s non-enlargement. Lavrov: “No participant of the OSCE should ensure their security by damaging the security of others.” Let’s do a thread. 📌 https://twitter.com/DrRadchenko/status/1475705458455465986?s=20
⋙⋙ 🐣 … RT @DrRadchenko To sum up, Lavrov and @mfa_russia’s claims about OSCE commitments are based on partial, highly selective reading of the relevant documents, and are thus little better than propaganda. You are welcome.

🐣 RT @danielsgoldman The only defense for Republicans who were involved in the effort to overturn the election is to cry partisanship, but there is no partisanship in subverting democracy. We must not fall for this false circular argument.
⋙ 🐣 RT @marceelias My prediction for 2022: Before the midterm election, we will have a serious discussion about whether individual Republican House Members are disqualified by Section 3 of the 14th Amendment from serving in Congress. ¤ We may even see litigation. Text Block: https://twitter.com/danielsgoldman/status/1475548582522634242?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @TheTweetOfJohn Peter Navarro says he and Steve Bannon were behind the last-ditch, coordinated effort by rogue Republicans in Congress to halt certification of the 2020 election results and keep Trump in power, in a plan dubbed the “Green Bay Sweep.”
⋙ DailyBeast, Jose Pagliery: Trump Advisor Peter Navarro Lays Out How He and Bannon Planned to Overturn Biden’s Electoral Win http://bit.ly/3Hg5eRo
// “It started out perfectly. At 1 p.m., Gosar and Cruz did exactly what was expected of them…”

A former Trump White House official says he and right-wing provocateur Steve Bannon were actually behind the last-ditch, coordinated effort by rogue Republicans in Congress to halt certification of the 2020 election results and keep President Donald Trump in power earlier this year, in a plan dubbed the “Green Bay Sweep.”

In his recently published memoir, Peter Navarro, then-President Donald Trump’s trade advisor, details how he stayed in close contact with Bannon as they put “Green Bay Sweep” in motion with help from members of Congress loyal to the cause.

But in an interview last week with The Daily Beast, Navarro shed additional light on his role in the operation and their coordination with politicians like Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).

“We spent a lot of time lining up over 100 congressmen, including some senators. It started out perfectly. At 1 p.m., Gosar and Cruz did exactly what was expected of them,” Navarro told The Daily Beast. “It was a perfect plan. And it all predicated on peace and calm on Capitol Hill. We didn’t even need any protestors, because we had over 100 congressmen committed to it.”

… But their hope was to run the clock as long as possible to increase public pressure on then-Vice President Mike Pence to send the electoral votes back to six contested states, where Republican-led legislatures could try to overturn the results. And in their mind, ramping up pressure on Pence would require media coverage. While most respected news organizations refused to regurgitate unproven conspiracy theories about widespread election fraud, this plan hoped to force journalists to cover the allegations by creating a historic delay to the certification process.

“The Green Bay Sweep was very well thought out. It was designed to get us 24 hours of televised hearings,” he said. “But we thought that we could bypass the corporate media by getting this stuff televised.”

Navarro’s part in this ploy was to provide the raw materials, he said in an interview on Thursday. That came in the form of a three-part White House report he put together during his final weeks in the Trump administration with volume titles like, “The Immaculate Deception” and “The Art of the Steal.”

“My role was to provide the receipts for the 100 congressmen or so who would make their cases… who could rely in part on the body of evidence I’d collected,” he told The Daily Beast. “To lay the legal predicate for the actions to be taken.” (Ultimately, states have not found any evidence of electoral fraud above the norm, which is exceedingly small.)

The next phase of the plan was up to Bannon, Navarro describes in his memoir, In Trump Time.

“Steve Bannon’s role was to figure out how to use this information—what he called ‘receipts’—to overturn the election result. That’s how Steve had come up with the Green Bay Sweep idea,” he wrote.

“The political and legal beauty of the strategy was this: by law, both the House of Representatives and the Senate must spend up to two hours of debate per state on each requested challenge. For the six battleground states, that would add up to as much as twenty-four hours of nationally televised hearings across the two chambers of Congress.”

“It was better for me to spend that morning working on the Green Bay Sweep. Just checking to see that everything was in line, that congressmen were on board,” he said during the interview. “It was a pretty mellow morning for me. I was convinced everything was set in place.”

Later that day, Bannon made several references to the football-themed strategy on his daily podcast, War Room Pandemic.

“We are right on the cusp of victory,” Bannon said on the show. “It’s quite simple. Play’s been called. Mike Pence, run the play. Take the football. Take the handoff from the quarterback. You’ve got guards in front of you. You’ve got big, strong people in front of you. Just do your duty.”

This idea was weeks in the making. Although Navarro told The Daily Beast he doesn’t remember when “Brother Bannon” came up with the plan, he said it started taking shape as Trump’s “Stop the Steal” legal challenges to election results in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin fizzled out. Courts wouldn’t side with Trump, thanks to what Navarro describes in his book as “the highly counterproductive antics” of Sydney Powell and her Kraken lawsuits. So instead, they came up with a never-before-seen scheme through the legislative branch.

When asked if Trump himself was involved in the strategy, Navarro said, “I never spoke directly to him about it. But he was certainly on board with the strategy. Just listen to his speech that day. He’d been briefed on the law, and how Mike [Pence] had the authority to it.”

Navarro starts off his book’s chapter about the strategy by mentioning how “Stephen K. Bannon, myself, and President Donald John Trump” were “the last three people on God’s good Earth who want to see violence erupt on Capitol Hill,” as it would disrupt their plans.

Indeed, Trump legal advisor John Eastman had penned a memo (first revealed by journalists Robert Costa and Bob Woodward in their book, Peril) outlining how Trump could stage a coup. And Trump clearly referenced the plan during his Jan. 6 speech, when he said, “I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. I hope so. I hope so… all Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to recertify and we become president and you are the happiest people.”

When Pence certified the electoral votes instead, he became what Navarro’s book described as “the Brutus most responsible… for the final betrayal of President Trump.”

Although the bipartisan House committee investigating the violence on Jan. 6 has demanded testimony and records from dozens of Trump allies and rally organizers believed to be involved in the attack on the nation’s democracy, Navarro said he hasn’t heard from them yet. The committee did not respond to our questions about whether it intends to dig into Navarro’s activities.

And while he has text messages, phone calls, and memos that could show how closely an active White House official was involved in the effort to keep Trump in power, he says investigators won’t find anything that shows the Green Bay Sweep plan involved violence. Instead, Navarro said, the investigative committee would find that the mob’s attack on the U.S. Capitol building actually foiled their plans, because it incentivized Pence and other Republicans to follow through with certification. ¤ “They don’t want any part of me. I exonerate Trump and Bannon,” he said.

The committee is, however, engaged in a bitter battle with Bannon. The former Trump White House chief strategist refused to show up for a deposition or turn over documents, and he’s now being prosecuted by the Justice Department for criminal contempt of Congress.

Navarro said he’s still surprised that people at the Trump rally turned violent, given the impression he got when he went to see them in person during an exercise run that morning. ¤ “I’m telling you man, it was just so peaceful. I saw no anger. None. Zero,” he said.

TheGuardian: Capitol panel to investigate Trump call to Willard hotel in hours before attack http://bit.ly/32tF1jq

Congressman Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the House select committee investigating the Capitol attack, has said the panel will open an inquiry into Donald Trump’s phone call seeking to stop Joe Biden’s certification from taking place on 6 January hours before the insurrection.

The chairman said the select committee intended to scrutinize the phone call – revealed last month by the Guardian – should they prevail in their legal effort to obtain Trump White House records over the former president’s objections of executive privilege.

“That’s right,” Thompson said when asked by the Guardian whether the select committee would look into Trump’s phone call, and suggested House investigators had already started to consider ways to investigate Trump’s demand that Biden not be certified as president on 6 January.

Thompson said the select committee could not ask the National Archives for records about specific calls, but noted “if we say we want all White House calls made on January 5 and 6, if he made it on a White House phone, then obviously we would look at it there.”

The Guardian reported last month that Trump, according to multiple sources, called lieutenants based at the Willard hotel in Washington DC from the White House in the late hours of 5 January and sought ways to stop Biden’s certification from taking place on 6 January.

Trump first told the lieutenants his vice-president, Mike Pence, was reluctant to go along with the plan to commandeer his ceremonial role at the joint session of Congress in a way that would allow Trump to retain the presidency for a second term, the sources said.

But as Trump relayed to them the situation with Pence, the sources said, on at least one call, he pressed his lieutenants about how to stop Biden’s certification from taking place on 6 January in a scheme to get alternate slates of electors for Trump sent to Congress.

The former president’s remarks came as part of wider discussions he had with the lieutenants at the Willard – a team led by Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Boris Epshteyn and Trump strategist Steve Bannon – about delaying the certification, the sources said. …

… Thompson said that the select committee would now also investigate both the contents of Trump’s phone calls to the Willard and the White House’s potential involvement, in a move certain to intensify the pressure on the former president’s inner circle.

“If we get the information that we requested,” Thompson said of the select committee’s demands for records from the Trump White House and Trump aides, “those calls potentially will be reflected to the Willard hotel and whomever.”

A spokesperson for the select committee declined to comment about what else such a line of inquiry might involve. But a subpoena to Giuliani, the lead Trump lawyer at the Willard, is understood to be in the offing, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The Guardian reported that the night before the Capitol attack, Trump called the lawyers and non-lawyers at the Willard separately, because Giuliani did not want to have non-lawyers participate on sensitive calls and jeopardize claims to attorney-client privilege.

It was not clear whether Giulaini might invoke attorney-client privilege as a way to escape cooperating with the investigation in the event of a subpoena, but Congressman Jamie Raskin, a member of the select committee, noted the protection does not confer broad immunity.

“The attorney-client privilege does not operate to shield participants in a crime from an investigation into a crime,” Raskin said. “If it did, then all you would have to do to rob a bank is bring a lawyer with you, and be asking for advice along the way.”

The Guardian also reported Trump made several calls the day before the Capitol attack from both the White House residence, his preferred place to work, as well as the West Wing, but it was not certain from which location he phoned his top lieutenants at the Willard.

The distinction is significant as phone calls placed from the White House residence, even from a landline desk phone, are not automatically memorialized in records sent to the National Archives after the end of an administration.

That means even if the select committee succeeds in its litigation to pry free Trump’s call detail records from the National Archives, without testimony from people with knowledge of what was said, House investigators might only learn the target and time of the calls.

🐣 RT @RonFilipkowski Steve Bannon said today the only thing keeping the GOP from winning a 100 seat majority in the House in 2022 is Marc Elias: “He’s pure evil, but man that brother is tough .. Republicans don’t have the guts to stand up to him .. I admire that. He’s crazy, but he’s a fighter.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @MontyBoa99 Marc Elias’s teams defeated Trump Kraken lawyers, who alleged that
– a dead Hugo Chavez spawned the Dominion Voting machines system
– Italian satellites altered votes
– the US military was seizing US election servers in… Germany
– Chinese bamboo meant voter fraud
Who’s crazy?

WaPo: Committee investigating Jan. 6 attack plans to begin a more public phase of its work in the new year http://wapo.st/32pA77c Public hjearings are planned for winter and spring “followed by an interim report in the summer and a final report ahead of November’s elections”

WSJ: How the Capitol Riot Turned a Partisan Congress ‘Toxic’ http://on.wsj.com/3szy1MB “A list of the top 10 fundraisers in the House, according to Federal Election Commission data, includes some of the most outspoken partisans in both parties”
// Fallout from Jan. 6 attack fractured House relationships, further undercutting comity; magnetometers serve as daily reminder of threat

⭕ 26 Dec 2021

WaPo: House MAGA squad seeks to expand by boosting challengers to fellow Republicans http://wapo.st/3FuChAy ‘Candidates seeking Trump’s approval meet with him at Mar-a-Lago, where he peppers them with questions that test their MAGA bona fides’

“We’re looking at a nihilistic Mad Max hellscape. It will be all about the show of 2024 to bring Donald Trump back into power. … They will impeach Biden, they will impeach Harris, they will kill everything,” said Rick Wilson, a longtime Republican strategist who is sharply critical of Trump.

Trump has taken an active role in selecting candidates, so far doling out dozens of endorsements, and many of the candidates, like Kent, are challenging incumbents in GOP primaries for state and federal positions. For the 2022 House races, Trump has already thrown his support behind more than two dozen Republicans, including five running against Republican incumbents. ¤ Candidates seeking his approval meet with him at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., where he peppers them with questions that test their MAGA bona fides.

TheAtlantic, Peter Wehner: The Gospel of Donald Trump Jr. http://bit.ly/3sBoRPz “[T]he GOP has lost its moral bearings”
// The former president’s son told a crowd that the teachings of Jesus have “gotten us nothing.”

Trump [Jr] spoke at a Turning Point USA gathering on December 19. He displayed seething, nearly pathological resentments; playground insults (he led the crowd in “Let’s Go, Brandon” chants); tough guy/average Joe shtick; and a pulsating sense of aggrieved victimhood and persecution, all of it coming from the elitist, extravagantly rich son of a former president.

But there was one short section of Trump’s speech that I thought was particularly revealing. Relatively early in the speech, he said, “If we get together, they cannot cancel us all. Okay? They won’t. And this will be contrary to a lot of our beliefs because—I’d love not to have to participate in cancel culture. I’d love that it didn’t exist. But as long as it does, folks, we better be playing the same game. Okay? We’ve been playing T-ball for half a century while they’re playing hardball and cheating. Right? We’ve turned the other cheek, and I understand, sort of, the biblical reference—I understand the mentality—but it’s gotten us nothing. Okay? It’s gotten us nothing while we’ve ceded ground in every major institution in our country.”

Throughout his speech, Don Jr. painted a scenario in which Trump supporters—Americans living in red America—are under relentless attack from a wicked and brutal enemy. He portrayed it as an existential battle between good and evil. One side must prevail; the other must be crushed. This in turn justifies any necessary means to win. And the former president’s son has a message for the tens of millions of evangelicals who form the energized base of the GOP: the scriptures are essentially a manual for suckers. The teachings of Jesus have “gotten us nothing.” It’s worse than that, really; the ethic of Jesus has gotten in the way of successfully prosecuting the culture wars against the left. If the ethic of Jesus encourages sensibilities that might cause people in politics to act a little less brutally, a bit more civilly, with a touch more grace? Then it needs to go. ¤ Decency is for suckers.

… He believes, as his father does, that politics should be practiced ruthlessly, mercilessly, and vengefully. The ends justify the means. Norms and guardrails need to be smashed. Morality and lawfulness must always be subordinated to the pursuit of power and self-interest. That is the Trumpian ethic. … ¤¤ Donald Trump and his oldest son have become evangelists of a different kind.

Liz Cheney voted with President Trump more than 90 percent of the time but is now persona non grata in the GOP because she is willing to defend the Constitution and the rule of law and stand against a violent assault on the Capitol and an effort to overturn a free and fair election. When Liz Cheney is more despised in the party than the crazed Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar, Lauren Boebert, Jim Jordan, Madison Cawthorn, or Donald Trump Jr., you know that the GOP has lost its moral bearings.

🐣 RT @BillPascrell 353 days ago terrorists ransacked the US Capitol and *hours later* 138-of-202 (68%) House republicans voted to make trump a dictator. They tried to finish the rioters’ job and end democracy. Never forget it.

🐣 RT @duty2warn NOT ONE poll before the election had Trump ahead of Biden. There wasn’t a nanosecond in 4 yrs where Trump had a 50% approval from America. He lost EVERY post-election lawsuit. There’s ZERO evidence of fraud. He is psychologically unbalanced. GOP are grifters. Trumpers are chumps.

🐣 RT @PeterHotez At what point do we define such public remarks made by former or current elected officials as hate speech/rhetoric? Since June 1, 2021, I estimate 200,000 unvaccinated Americans lost their lives to Covid because they refused vaccinations despite their widespread availability.
⋙⋙ TheHill: Sarah Palin says she’ll get coronavirus vaccine “over my dead body” http://hill.cm/JKLgT15
⋙ 🐣 RT @PeterHotez How do we define speech that contributes significantly to the loss of American 🇺🇸 lives on a scale we’ve not seen before in modern times?
⋙ 🐣 ◕ RT @PeterHotez Picture says a lot https://twitter.com/PeterHotez/status/1475224183235915777?s=20/photo/1
// COVID-19 deaths by political party
⋙ 🐣 RT @PeterHotez Fyi to give credit, I think I first saw this from @DrEricDing

😅 WaPo: Dave Barry’s 2021 Year in Review http://wapo.st/3yYswrW
// Vaccines, variants and supply chain woes: A look back at the past 12 months

⭕ 25 Dec 2021 🎅🏼🎁 ✨Merry Christmas✨

🐣 RT @Ukraine OTD 30 years ago the USSR collapsed. The greatest geopolitical joy of the XX century! https://twitter.com/Ukraine/status/1474625967436009473?s=20/photo/1
// flag of USSR being lowered USSR flag being lowered

⭕ 24 Dec 2021🎄

🐣 RT @RonFilipkowski People often ask me what Steve Bannon’s agenda is. It’s complicated because he is all over the place, but the best way to describe it: ¤ Create chaos to destabilize government and institutions to push society to the brink of anarchy, causing people to yearn for authoritarianism.
⋙ 🐣 RT @sandibochum He installed Trump to blow up the administrative state

TheAtlantic, Ron Brownstein: The Republican Axis Reversing the Rights Revolution http://bit.ly/3FvDl78 “[O]ffensives by red-state governments and GOP-appointed federal judges are poised to retrench those common standards across an array of issues”
// We are witnessing a reordering of American life not seen in half a century.

The great divergence is rapidly expanding—and President Joe Biden’s window to reverse it is narrowing. ¤ Since the 1960s, Congress and federal courts have acted mostly to strengthen the floor of basic civil rights available to citizens in all 50 states, a pattern visible on issues from the dismantling of Jim Crow racial segregation to the right to abortion to the authorization of same-sex marriage. But now, offensives by red-state governments and GOP-appointed federal judges are poised to retrench those common standards across an array of issues. The result through the 2020s could be a dramatic erosion of common national rights and a widening gulf—a “great divergence”—between the liberties of Americans in blue states and those in red states.

WaPo, Rob Portman and Jeanne Shaheen: Ukraine stood with the West in 2014. Today we must stand with Ukraine. http://wapo.st/3Hfx0xp “How the West responds now will define the trajectory of our relations with Russia and Putin for the next decade“

Seven years ago, in what Ukrainians call the Revolution of Dignity, the people of Ukraine stood up to their Russian-backed leaders and made a conscious decision to turn to the West. ¤ Ukrainians chose a free, democratic and independent future. Today, that yearning for freedom is even more pronounced. Recent surveys show strong support among Ukrainians — especially youths — for joining the European Union and NATO. ¤ This is despite unrelenting attempts by Russia to undermine Ukrainian democracy through disinformation and military intimidation, including the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Russian troops invaded the Ukrainian border regions of Donbas in 2014 under the guise of protecting Russian citizens, and they continue to aid separatists fighting there. Ukraine has stood strong and shown remarkable restraint. By contrast, Russia’s aggressive posture has recently increased significantly, with as many as 100,000 Russian troops and 100 battalion tactical groups, including armored tanks and artillery, amassed on Ukraine’s border. Media reports warn that Russia could invade Ukraine as early as January.

Moscow would have the world believe that Russia is merely trying to shore up its border against a threat from Ukraine and NATO. This argument has no merit. Ukraine’s military posture has always been purely defensive in nature. Unlike Russia, Ukraine has upheld its commitments under the Minsk agreements between Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which were designed to ensure a cease-fire in Donbas.

Russia has shown its intent to violate its international commitments by demanding NATO cease expanding to sovereign countries that wish to join, and calling for Ukraine to grant more of its sovereign territory to Russia. ¤ The Biden administration has placed diplomacy at the forefront of its efforts to deter Russia. However, these efforts must be combined with the necessary economic and military measures that would strengthen a diplomatic approach and give it greater credibility.

… Since 2014, the United States has provided more than $2.5 billion in security assistance, and since 2017, we have provided lethal assistance such as antitank missiles and heavy machine guns. This aid was designed to prepare Ukraine for an active conflict in the Donbas — not a full-scale Russian invasion. In Congress, we have advocated to increase security aid: The United States must speed up the pace of assistance and provide antiaircraft, antitank and anti-ship systems, along with electronic warfare capabilities.

Second, the Biden administration should not support any attempts to force Ukraine to cede control in Donbas outside the Minsk agreements. The Russians are using the same playbook there as they have in Crimea and the occupied Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia — seeking to normalize their illegal occupation by backing separatist forces, encouraging the creation of local, pro-Russian governments and issuing Russian passports to local residents. President Biden should not urge Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to grant any concessions outside of the Minsk agreements process, and he must require Russia to withdraw troops from the border before further negotiations begin.

Third, Biden should seriously reconsider the imposition of sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. It is clear that Vladimir Putin is willing to flout international norms to advance what the State Department has described as an emotional agenda to reunite the Soviet Union. Russia has recently used its outsize energy resources as a weapon by exacting geopolitical concessions from the government of Moldova and by refusing to increase outflows to Europe during the recent supply crunch. The administration should work closely with the new German government to keep the pipeline from becoming operational; it is in Europe’s best interests to deny Putin another arm of influence over our allies.

🐣 RT @RFERL The United States grew “arrogant and self-confident” after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev said in an interview published on the eve of the 30th anniversary of his resignation as president of the U.S.S.R.
⋙ RFE/RL: U.S. Became ‘Arrogant’ After Soviet Union Collapsed, Gorbachev Says 30 Years After He Resigned http://bit.ly/3FulVb4

🐣 RT @NPR Soviet leader Gorbachev announced on Christmas Day 1991 that the Soviet Union would break up in 15 separate countries. Since then, there’s often friction among the former Soviet republics, including the current confrontation between Russia and Ukraine.
⋙ NPR, Greg Myre: How the Soviet Union’s collapse explains the current Russia-Ukraine tension http://n.pr/3mvAvrv

🐣 RT @thedailybeast “Trump, stop. Just stop,” said Jan. 6 organizer Ali Alexander
⋙ DailyBeast, Zachary Petrizzo: TrumpWorld Becomes Unglued Over Trump’s Praise of Vaccine and Booster Shots http://bit.ly/3ejmf0D

⭕ 23 Dec 2021

WaPo, Greg Sargent: What Jim Jordan knows about Trump’s coup attempt — and what he may cover up http://wapo.st/3sHW9fW

💽 MSNBC, AllInWithChris: ‘We took the Capitol’: Proud Boy pleads guilty to Jan. 6 conspiracy charges http://on.msnbc.com/3FAO944
// On Wednesday, one of the members of the Proud Boys became the first to admit he was at the Capitol to stop the transfer of power, as part of a cooperation agreement with the government.

WaPo: Thompson says Jan. 6 committee focused on Trump’s hours of silence during attack, weighing criminal referrals http://wapo.st/340TjIV “Trump’s actions could amount to criminally obstructing Congress as it sought to certify the election results”

DailyBeast, Allison Quinn: Putin Loses His Cool When Confronted Over Ukraine, Claims It Belongs to Lenin Anyway http://bit.ly/3sx8XpE “… [W]ho created Ukraine – Lenin Vladimir Ilyich, when he created the Soviet Union.”
// The Russian leader became visibly angry and lashed out at the West for “cheating” Moscow before arguing Ukraine really belongs to Vladimir Lenin.

When a reporter for Sky News asked whether Moscow could give security guarantees and promise not to invade its neighbor, Putin exploded: “You are demanding guarantees from us? It’s you who should give us guarantees. Immediately. Right now. And not talk it over for decades.”

His comments came as Ukraine released satellite images it said showed more Russian forces building up at its border, and the Russian Defense Ministry announced massive “attack” drills in Crimea. ¤ Moscow has repeatedly claimed the moves are in response to what it sees as the threat of an expanding NATO, while Western officials view the Kremlin’s saber-rattling as a form of coercive diplomacy through which it hopes to keep its grip on Ukraine.

Putin repeatedly portrayed Russia as the victim at his press conference, claiming Moscow had been dragged into the Ukraine conflict when it is really just a “mediator. ¤ “They want to make us a party to the conflict, and it’s not like that,” he said. (Apparently in his view it was not the Russian forces seizing Crimea in 2014, the years of Kremlin propaganda, Russian support for separatists, and the reported weapons supplies that made Russia a party to the conflict.) ¤ “And on top of that—no matter what we did, you always expressed ‘concerns.’ Get out of here with your ‘concerns.’ We will do what we consider necessary. We want to ensure our safety,” he said.

Later in the conference, Putin said there was an overall “positive response” from the U.S. to the Kremlin’s “red line” proposals on NATO. ¤ “Our American partners say they’re ready to start discussions early next year in Geneva. Both sides have named representatives and I hope that things will continue along the same path,” he said.

“Our actions will depend on the situation in the sphere of security. We made clear that the further expansion of NATO in the East is not acceptable. We’re not the ones who came to the States with missiles. They’re the ones setting up missiles right on our doorstep,” he said. ¤ “And what if we set up missiles on the border of the U.S. and Canada? Or Mexico?”

Visibly angry, he went on to vent frustration over the idea of a sovereign Ukraine, suggesting the country actually belongs to Vladimir Lenin. ¤ “And who did California belong to?” he asked, apparently referring to California being part of Mexico prior to the Mexican-American War. ¤ “And Texas? Did they forget that or something? Well okay, everyone has forgotten, and they don’t remember the way they now remember about Crimea. We also don’t remember who created Ukraine–Lenin Vladimir Ilyich, when he created the Soviet Union.”

WaPo: Trump’s newest business partner: A Chinese firm with a history of SEC investigations http://wapo.st/3qfbf9O because Trump killed irony a long time ago
// Shanghai-based Arc Capital, an investment firm that has been the target of probes by securities regulators, is at the center of the deal to take Trump’s media venture public.

Arc Capital, an investment advisory firm based in Shanghai, has repeatedly helped create or finance companies with little or no revenue, no customers and office locations that point to P.O. boxes, according to a Washington Post review of regulatory and court filings. One claimed to be developing autonomous drone software despite having no employees; another said it operated a publicly traded in-home bakery “specializing in freshly-made cakes and cupcakes” before saying it pivoted into touch-screen technologies for a “diversified blue-chip client base,” regulatory filings show.

🐣 RT @duty2warn Trump suggesting people should take the vaccine has generated substantial cognitive dissonance among his followers. Some of them might soon suggest that the person speaking could not be Trump and was some CGI trick. If Trump ever says he lost the election, will brains explode?
⋙⋙ 🐣 He did just say he lost the election, offhandedly, in an interview ~ and his exec privilege filing with SCOTUS refers to him as a “former president”
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @RonFilipkowski In a new interview, Trump admits he lost the 2020 election.
💽 https://twitter.com/objectivereali6/status/1474128006515867652?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 RT @duty2warn To be clear, cognitive dissonance is a term used to describe mental discomfort that results from holding two conflicting beliefs, values, or attitudes. People tend to seek consistency in their attitudes and perceptions, so this conflict causes feelings of unease or discomfort.
⋙⋙ 🐣“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

🐣 RT @BryanDawsonUSA
Mike Flynn pleaded the 5th
John Eastman pleaded the 5th
Jeff Clark pleaded the 5th
Michael Cohen pleaded the 5th
Roger Stone will plead the 5th
Will Mark Meadows plead the 5th?
Will Trump plead the 5th?
What does #TheDonFather say about pleading the 5th?
💽 https://twitter.com/BryanDawsonUSA/status/1472065551610658820?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @BillKristol The Jan. 6 Committee is clearly laying the groundwork for requesting that Trump testify, and if he refuses, for subpoenaing him to do so. He may have arguments (good and bad) for not answering particular questions. I don’t see what argument he has for refusing to testify at all.

🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind It’s worth acknowledging we are living thru a once-in-a-century pandemic, on the heels of a brush with authoritarianism and our nation’s first attempted bloody coup. So if you’re not feeling the holiday cheer or regaling about 2021, that’s okay. Be kind to yourself right now 💜

💙 🧵 RT @SteveSchmidtSES I’d like to share a story. It is an American story that belongs to every one of us. 244 years ago on December 19, 1777, General George Washington led the Continental Army into its winter encampment at Valley Forge. In all, there were 12,000 “soldiers,” 400 women and children (1) 📌 https://twitter.com/SteveSchmidtSES/status/1474125177751584769?s=20
// tags: @SteveSchmidtSES Christmas The Cause Valley Forge WW2 FDR Churchill

NYT, Lawrence Tribe, Donald Ayer and Dennis Aftergut: Will Donald Trump Get Away With Inciting an Insurrection? http://nyti.ms/30Vkbsx AG Garland must “hold the leaders of the insurrection fully accountable for their attempt to overthrow the government”
// Mr. Tribe taught constitutional law at Harvard for 50 years. Merrick Garland was one of his students. Mr. Ayer oversaw criminal prosecutions and investigations as Ronald Reagan’s U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California. He later served as deputy attorney general. Mr. Aftergut handled a number of complex investigations and prosecutions as a federal prosecutor in San Francisco.

Mr. Garland’s success depends on ensuring that the rule of law endures. That means dissuading future coup plotters by holding the leaders of the insurrection fully accountable for their attempt to overthrow the government. But he cannot do so without a robust criminal investigation of those at the top, from the people who planned, assisted or funded the attempt to overturn the Electoral College vote to those who organized or encouraged the mob attack on the Capitol. To begin with, he might focus on Mark Meadows, Steve Bannon, Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman and even Donald Trump — all of whom were involved, in one way or another, in the events leading up to the attack.

While the Justice Department has filed charges against more than 700 people who participated in the violence, limiting the investigation to these foot soldiers would be a grave mistake: As Joanne Freeman, a Yale historian, wrote this month about the insurrection, “Accountability — the belief that political power holders are responsible for their actions and that blatant violations will be addressed — is the lifeblood of democracy. Without it, there can be no trust in government, and without trust, democratic governments have little power.”

The legal path to investigate the leaders of the coup attempt is clear. The criminal code prohibits inciting an insurrection or “giving aid or comfort” to those who do, as well as conspiracy to forcibly “prevent, hinder or delay the execution of any law of the United States.” The code also makes it a crime to corruptly impede any official proceeding or deprive citizens of their constitutional right to vote.

Based purely on what we know today from news reports and the steady stream of revelations coming from the House select committee investigating the attack, the attorney general has a powerful justification for a robust and forceful investigation into the former president and his inner circle. As White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows was intimately involved in the effort to overturn the election. He traveled to Georgia last December, where he apparently laid the groundwork for the phone call in which the president pressured Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, to “find 11,780 votes.” Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio reportedly promoted a scheme to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to reject duly certified Joe Biden electors. And from their war room at the Willard Hotel, several members of the president’s inner circle hatched the legal strategy to overturn the results of the election.

It is possible that the department is deferring the decision about starting a full-blown investigative effort pending further work by the House select committee. … ¤ But such an approach would come at a very high cost. In the prosecution business, interviews need to happen as soon as possible after the events in question, to prevent both forgetfulness and witness coordination to conceal the truth. A comprehensive Department of Justice probe of the leadership is now more urgently needed than ever.

It is also imperative that Mr. Trump be included on the list of those being investigated. The media has widely reported his role in many of the relevant events, and there is no persuasive reason to exclude him. ¤ First, he has no claim to constitutional immunity from prosecution. The Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel has recognized such immunity only for sitting presidents because a criminal trial would prevent them from discharging the duties of their office. Mr. Trump no longer has those duties to discharge. ¤ Nor is exclusion of the former president remotely justified by the precedent President Gerald Ford set in pardoning Richard Nixon to help the country “heal” from Watergate. Even our proud tradition of not mimicking banana republics by allowing political winners to retaliate against losers must give way in the wake of violence perpetrated to thwart the peaceful transition of power. …

Significantly, even if the Atlanta district attorney is able to convict Mr. Meadows and Mr. Trump for interfering in Georgia’s election, they could still run for office again. Only convicting them for participating in an insurrection would permanently disqualify them from office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

To decline from the outset to investigate would be appeasement, pure and simple, and appeasing bullies and wrongdoers only encourages more of the same. Without forceful action to hold the wrongdoers to account, we will likely not resist what some retired generals see as a march to another insurrection in 2024 if Mr. Trump or another demagogue loses.

Throughout his public life, Mr. Garland has been a highly principled public servant focused on doing the right thing. But only by holding the leaders of the Jan. 6 insurrection — all of them — to account can he secure the future and teach the next generation that no one is above the law. If he has not done so already, we implore the attorney general to step up to that task.

🐣 RT @gconway3dg [not George Conway] Liz Cheney: — “That fucking guy Jim Jordan. That son of a bitch… I smacked his hand away and told him, ‘Get away from me. You fucking did this.’”
// reportedly said on Jan 6

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Sydney Powell is under federal criminal investigation for her role in January 6th. Merry Christmas!

🐣 RT @RonFilipkowski This interview is sending shockwaves through the anti-vax MAGAs this morning. [Trump:] “The vaccine is one of the greatest achievements of mankind .. The ones that get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones who don’t take the vaccine.”
💽 https://twitter.com/RonFilipkowski/status/1474024520721866789?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 Here’s what Biden said: “Resist the temptation to ascribe motive, because you really don’t know — and it gets in the way of being able to reach a consensus”

NYT: Trump Asks Supreme Court to Block Release of Jan. 6 Records http://nyti.ms/3svII2A If SCOTUS decides against Trump, we’ll know “in the coming weeks”; otherwise, the case will be heard in the spring with a decision announced in late June”: part of “The Big Stall”
// The case is a constitutional clash on the scope of executive privilege and on whether a former president may invoke it when the current one has waived it.

🐣 RT @marceelias My prediction for 2022: Before the midterm election, we will have a serious discussion about whether individual Republican House Members are disqualified by Section 3 of the 14th Amendment from serving in Congress. ¤ We may even see litigation. Text Block: https://twitter.com/marceelias/status/1473118873302056961?s=20/photo/1

Text:“Section 3. ¤ No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”

WaPo: Trump’s newest business partner: A Chinese firm with a history of SEC investigations http://wapo.st/3qfbf9O because Trump killed irony a long time ago
// Shanghai-based Arc Capital, an investment firm that has been the target of probes by securities regulators, is at the center of the deal to take Trump’s media venture public.

⭕ 22 Dec 2021

WaPo: Inside the nonstop pressure campaign by Trump allies to get election officials to revisit the 2020 vote http://wapo.st/3FqlkXS //➔ Astounding how one person’s psychopathology can set an entire country in a tizzy

💙💙 🔄 HealthLine (2017): Stem Cell Research http://bit.ly/32lMcdt
// 7/8/2017

★ JAMA, Y Tabak et al [CVS]: Incidence and Estimated Vaccine Effectiveness Against Symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Persons Tested in US Retail Locations, May 1 to August 7, 2021 http://bit.ly/3H0JhWa

Our analyses provide real-world evidence on the substantial risk of symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections in unvaccinated persons, who were up to 4 times more likely to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 between May and August 2021 than vaccinated individuals. Our findings are based on data from more than 1.2 million individuals in the CVS Health database, which is, to our knowledge, the largest national SARS-CoV-2 test data set in the US. Our findings are consistent with a study in which mRNA-1273–elicited antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 variants persisted but at a reduced level 6 months after the second dose,4 and with a case-control study reporting a 0.22 relative risk for SARS-CoV-2 infections in individuals vaccinated with 2-dose mRNA vaccines before the emergence of the Delta variant.5

Chart Key: J&J – Johnson & Johnson; BNT – Pfizer/BioNTech; mRNA – Moderna(The scale on the left is for the vaccines; the scale on the right is the % Delta)

My Notes: This was published today, but the situation has evolved since the data only went through July. This was pre-omicron and pre-booster. But it shows the relative effectiveness of the various vaccines. ⋙ If a person gets a booster of an mRNA vaccine two months after the J&J, their protection is actually better than getting two shots of an mRNA. It’s called cross-immunity – the two technologies complement each other. Also, getting a flu shot is important (I haven’t yet)

💙🐣 📋 RT @Emilie From the founder of Bloomberg News: ¤ Biden’s Economic Performance Has Proved Unbeatable ¤ “America’s economy improved more in Joe Biden’s first 12 months than any president during the past 50 years.”
⋙ Bloomberg: Biden’s Economic Performance Has Proved Unbeatable http://bloom.bg/3sqOnHl
// No first-year president going back to Carter comes close to matching the current White House occupant’s No. 1 or No. 2 ranking in each of 10 [measures]

🧵 RT @January6thCmte The Committee has requested that Rep Jim Jordan provide information for the committee’s investigation. ¤ Chair @BennieGThompson noted that Jordan was apparently in communication with the former President on 1/6 & he was reportedly involved in efforts to challenge election results. Text Block: 📌 https://twitter.com/January6thCmte/status/1473754870524092425?s=20/photo/1-2
// letter

🐣 RT @ReportsDaNews BREAKING NEWS ¤ Proud Boy Matthew Greene of Syracuse, NY, will plead guilty to CONSPIRACY and OBSTRUCTION of official proceeding. ¤ Greene has agreed to cooperate with the feds. ¤ This is huge.

🧵 RT @rgoodlaw House Select Committee letter to Jim Jordan signals committee may already have testimony at a granular level of what Trump was doing in Oval during the attack. ¤ And raises questions re presidential pardons as attempted get out of jail free cards for individuals involved in Jan. 6 📌 https://twitter.com/rgoodlaw/status/1473755276436201478?s=20/photo/1-2

WaPo: House Jan. 6 committee requests information from and meeting with GOP Rep. Jim Jordan about his contact with Trump http://wapo.st/3yPxcAq

🐣 📋 RT @JohnWDean “Studies show that those living in the most pro-Trump counties in the United States are dying from covid-19 at a rate more than five times higher than in the most anti-Trump counties.”
⋙ WaPo: Sarah Palin’s anti-vax talk shows Republicans have become a death cult http://wapo.st/3eiY7v2

🐣 RT @McFaul Simply crazy.
⋙ 🐣 RT @CarlBildt Here comes the first fabrication that could be used to motivate a new 🇷🇺 invasion of 🇺🇦, with the 🇷🇺DefMin saying that 🇺🇸military contractors are preparing something with chemical weapons in Donbas.

⭕ 21 Dec 2021

NewYorker, Joshua Yaffa: Why Is Russia Threatening to Invade Ukraine? http://bit.ly/3oJWDzB
// 12/16/2021; For Putin, the current standoff is a chance to overturn what he sees as an unjust post-Cold War order—and create a new one in its wake.

🧵 RT @RusEmbUSA 1️⃣ We call on @StateDept not to distort the reality. For the sake of de-escalation, the United States should not create anti-Russian military sites near our borders.
📌 https://twitter.com/RusEmbUSA/status/1473529806729928710?s=20
⋙⋙ 🧵 RT @nedprice Contrary to statements from the Russian Defense Minister, Russia and its proxies are responsible for escalating tensions, not Ukraine or the United States.
📌 https://twitter.com/StateDeptSpox/status/1473444367918579717?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @RusEmbUSA 2️⃣ In particular, #Washington shall undertake to prevent further eastward expansion of @NATO, deny accession to the Alliance to the States of the former #USSR, not use their infrastructure for any military activities, and not develop bilateral military cooperation with them.
⋙ 🐣 RT @RusEmbUSA 3️⃣ These steps would allow to defuse dangerous tensions in #Europe and conclude agreements on guarantees of equal and indivisible security.

🐣 RT @RealLizUSA [sock puppet] NEW! President Donald J. Trump: “Why isn’t the Unselect Committee of highly partisan political hacks investigating the CAUSE of the January 6th protest, which was the rigged Presidential Election of 2020? Does anybody notice that they want to stay as far away from that topic… Text Block: https://twitter.com/realLizUSA/status/1473300872281178118?s=20/photo/1

Text: Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America
Why isn’t the Unselect Committee of highly partisan political hacks investigating the CAUSE of the January 6th protest, which was the rigged Presidential Election of 2020? Does anybody notice that they want to stay as far away from that topic as possible, the numbers don’t work for them, or even come close. The only thing they can do is not talk about it. Look at what is going on now in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, and, to a lesser extent, Michigan where the numbers are horrendously corrupt in Detroit, but the weak Republican RINOs in the Michigan House and Senate don’t want to touch the subject. In many ways a RINO is worse than a Radical Left Democrat, because you don’t know where they are coming from and you have no idea how bad they really are for our Country. The good news is there are fewer and fewer RINOs left as we elect strong Patriots who love America. I will be having a news conference on January 6th at Mar-a-Lago to discuss all of these points,and more. Until then, remember, the insurrection took place on November 3rd it was the completely unarmed protest of the rigged election that took place on January 6th.

🐣 RT @McFaul “Putin wants a replay of the 1945 Yalta agreement (in Russia they even speak of “Yalta 2.0”). In this new version, the United States and Russia (this time excluding Britain) would carve out spheres of influence in Europe. That is completely unacceptable.”
⋙ WaPo, Michael McFaul: Putin wants us to negotiate over the heads of our allies. Washington shouldn’t fall for it. http://wapo.st/32aaKWR
// A return to Yalta is the last thing that the world needs now.

Last week, the Russian government took the highly unusual decision to publish two draft treaties, complete with articles and formal legalistic language, on European security — one between Russia and NATO, one between Russia and the United States. During my five years in the Obama administration, I often participated in talks with the Russians on major agreements, including two that we succeeded in completing, the New START Treaty and Russia’s accession agreement to the World Trade Organization. In those serious negotiations, Moscow never started by issuing a list of demands.

In fact, few serious negotiations begin with one side drafting, let alone publishing, an entire agreement. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s move has the feel of an ultimatum. And ultimatums, as we know from history, are often pretexts for annexation or war. Leaders in Washington, Brussels and Kyiv should be worried that Putin does not really want to negotiate a new agreement on European security. His deployment of 175,000 troops on the border suggests, instead, that he is more interested in escalating the current war in eastern Ukraine.

But what if Putin really wants to talk about European security? If so, U.S., Canadian and European leaders should embrace the opportunity. Some of the great pillars of European security of the past — the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, the Vienna Document, the Paris Charter, the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances for Ukraine and the Helsinki Final Act — are either now defunct or no longer serving their originally intended purposes.

Many of the demands in the draft treaties now floated by Putin, however are nonstarters and violate agreements Moscow signed before. To mention but one example, great powers cannot dictate to other countries what multilateral organizations that can and cannot join — contrary to Moscow’s expressed desire to limit’s Ukraine choices regarding affiliations with European security institutions. That violates the Helsinki Final Act. Still, a few ideas in the Russian treaties are worthy of discussion, including limits on arms, deployments and exercises. …

There are many other important European security issues that also need new attention. But this list of amendments to the Russian draft treaties is a good place to test whether Putin is serious about an actual negotiation on a new European security architecture — or whether he’s interested merely in issuing an ultimatum, designed purposely to be rejected, as a pretext for greater military action against Ukraine.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance New from @just_security: evidence is mounting that the most senior defense officials did not want to send troops to the Capitol because they harbored concerns that President Donald Trump might utilize the forces’ presence in an attempt to hold onto power.
⋙ JustSecurity, Ryan Goodman and Justin Hendrix: Crisis of Command: The Pentagon, The President, and January 6 http://bit.ly/3mnm5te

According to a report released last month, Christopher Miller, who served as acting Secretary of the Defense on Jan. 6, told the Department’s inspector general that he feared “if we put U.S. military personnel on the Capitol, I would have created the greatest Constitutional crisis probably since the Civil War.” In congressional testimony, he said he was also cognizant of “fears that the President would invoke the Insurrection Act to politicize the military in an anti-democratic manner” and that “factored into my decisions regarding the appropriate and limited use of our Armed Forces to support civilian law enforcement during the Electoral College certification.”

Miller does not specify who held the fears that Trump would invoke the Insurrection Act, and he wasn’t asked by Congress. However, it’s now clear that such concerns were shared by General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as former CIA Director and at the time Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Before Nov. 3, Milley and Pompeo confided in one another that they had a persistent worry Trump would try to use the military in an attempt to hold onto power if he lost the election, the Washington Post’s Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker reported. “This military’s not going to be used,” Milley assured Pompeo.

Milley, according to multiple reports, “feared it was Trump’s ‘Reichstag moment,’ in which, like Adolf Hitler in 1933, he would manufacture a crisis in order to swoop in and rescue the nation from it.” ¤ The top officials’ fears were warranted: Donald Trump, his close aides and a segment of Republican political figures had openly discussed the possibility of invoking the Insurrection Act or using the military to prevent the transfer of power on the basis of false claims that the election was “stolen.” But the Pentagon’s actions with respect to the National Guard suggest a scenario in which, on the basis of such concerns, a potentially profound crisis of command may have played out on Jan. 6.

Close observers of the events of Jan. 6 have mainly posited two reasons for the delay in mobilizing the Guard. The first explanation is one of bureaucratic failures or managerial weaknesses in the military’s procedures that day. A second explanation is that the military was deliberately serving Trump’s effort to interfere with the election by withholding assistance. ¤ We identify a third explanation: that senior military officials constrained the mobilization and deployment of the National Guard to avoid injecting federal troops that could have been re-missioned by the President to advance his attempt to hold onto power.

[T]he evidence also indicates that the same concerns potentially explain why the Pentagon did not approve deployment of the National Guard in sufficient time – and, indeed, authorized the deployment only after President Trump eventually made a public announcement (at 4:17 pm) that he was not in favor of continued occupation of the Capitol.

What was at stake was the prospect of an illegal order from the President and thwarting a potential scheme to undermine the peaceful transfer of power. Ultimately, the outcome of the Pentagon’s decisions may have been best for the nation, even if it extended the period of time during which Congress was in harm’s way. …

🐣 RT @richsignorelli Read the names of those officials who are responsible for mass deaths in this country. Never forget or forgive.
⋙ 🧵 RT @Schwartzesque Wow. http://bit.ly/3H6DApY Text Block: 📌 https://twitter.com/Schwartzesque/status/1473358574285991938?s=20/photo/1

Text: From: “Birx, Deborah L. EOP/NSC”•
Date: Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 7:55 AM
To: “Short, Marc T. EOP/OVp”
Subject: FW: For Review: Draft POTUS Remarks – Meeting with Medical Experts
I can’t be part of this with these people who believe in herd immunity and believe we are fine with only protecting the 1.5M Americans in LTCF and not the 80M + with co-morbidities in the populations included the unacceptable death toll among Native Americans, Hispanics and Blacks. With our current mitigation scenario we end up near 300K by Christmas and 500K by the time we have vaccine – close to the 600K live lost with 1918 Flu. We have worked to find a path that is the least disruptive to the economy but moves us under R1 and saves both the economy and American lives. Without masks and social distancing in public and homes we end up with twice as many deaths – we are a very unhealthy nation with a lot of obesity etc – we will never look as good as even Sweden due to our co-morbidities. These are people who
believe that all the curves are predetermined and mitigation is irrelevant – they are a fringe group without grounding in epidemics, public health or on the ground common sense experience. I am happy to go out of town or whatever gives the WH cover for Weds. Perhaps do Annapolis and meet with Hogan. Fauci and I could probably do it together – I am open to options. Deb

🐣 RT @SpyTalker Russian Invasion of Ukraine is ‘Almost Certain,’ Cyber Expert Says. Putin not bluffing, argues noted cyber and statecraft expert @DAlperovitch, whose Crowdstrike firm uncovered Moscow’s 2016 DNC hack by @talk_spy
⋙ SpyTalk, Jeff Stein: Russian Invasion of Ukraine is ‘Almost Certain,’ Cyber Expert Says http://bit.ly/3mpXgNw
// Putin not bluffing, argues noted cyber and statecraft expert Dmitri Alperovitch, whose Crowdstrike firm uncovered Moscow’s 2016 DNC hack

🐣 RT @AP Fox News defended Jesse Watters after he used the phrase “kill shot” in a speech urging young conservatives to confront Dr. Anthony Fauci with a hostile interview, saying Watters’ words were taken out of context. Fauci said Watters should be fired.
⋙ AP: Fauci says Fox’s Watters should be fired for comments on him http://bit.ly/3JkxNPs

🐣 RT @SenWhitehouse The Supreme Court opened the floodgates for dark money with Citizens United. That decision broke our campaign finance laws & strained our democracy to the breaking point. It’s time to pass my DISCLOSE Act and clean up this mess.

🧵 RT @duty2warn (1/4) We’re going to answer this question ONCE AND FOR ALL. We heard it asked yet again, after his latest screed. The question is: Does Trump really believe he won the election because it was stolen? Here is the actual answer, sorry if you don’t find it satisfying, but it’s true: 📌 https://twitter.com/duty2warn/status/1473363147683602437?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @duty2warn (2/4) The answer is – it doesn’t matter! It’s the same. To understand this, you have to know Trump’s psychopathology and his aberrant relationship to the truth. In all ways, belief or not belief – it’s the same. There is no concept of “belief.” Only the narrative he puts forth.
⋙ 🐣 RT @duty2warn (3/4) In his universe, there is only HIM. There is only HIS urgency and his needs. Actual belief NEVER seeps into conscious thought. It’s not only the CHOICE of belief that doesn’t enter thought, the very CONCEPT of belief doesn’t either. Thus, it doesn’t matter.
⋙ 🐣 RT @duty2warn (4/4) If you’re asking whether he believed he won the election the day it happened, if he believed the election was stolen the day it happened, the answer is “no”. He knew he lost. That realization was momentary and transitory. He needed it to go away forever. And so, it has.

NBCNews: Republican Rep. Scott Perry says he won’t comply with Jan. 6 panel http://nbcnews.to/3efdh4o
// The committee announced on Monday it was requesting information from the congressman.

🐣 RT @RonFilipkowski Alex Jones is flipping out after Trump said he got the booster: “Hell, we’re fighting Bill Gates and Fauci and Biden and the New World Order and Psaki and the Davos Group .. and now we’ve got Trump on their team!” 💽 https://twitter.com/RonFilipkowski/status/1473342766855987205?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 20 Dec 2021

💽 MSNBC, Steve Benen: Why Michael Cohen’s new lawsuit is surprisingly important http://on.msnbc.com/3qd9hqK
// Michael Cohen is suing Donald Trump, Bill Barr, and the Bureau of Prisons in a civil suit that’s a lot more important than you might think.

[AP:] Michael Cohen claimed in a new lawsuit Thursday that Donald Trump retaliated against him for writing a tell-all memoir, saying his abrupt return to federal prison last year endangered his life and amounted to punishment for criticizing the president…. The new lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court, seeks damages for “extreme physical and emotional harm” and violations of Cohen’s First Amendment rights.

… Cohen is suing the former president, federal prison officials, and former Attorney General Bill Barr. ¤ And why is this a case worth watching? In part because Cohen’s argument appears to have merit, and in part because of the core allegation he’s raised in the civil case. ¤ Just weeks into home confinement, the lawyer arrived at a New York courthouse, expecting to complete some routine paperwork. What he encountered instead was probation officers asking him to sign a document that would prevent him from publishing a book or speaking to the media during the remainder of his sentence.

Cohen, working on an anti-Trump book, balked, insisting that the request was a violation of his free speech rights under the First Amendment. About 90 minutes later, Cohen was in handcuffs. The Bureau of Prisons had decided to revoke home confinement and sent him back to prison.

By all accounts, this was not normal for released prisoners, and it raised some unsettling questions. Was federal law enforcement punishing Cohen because he’d worked on a book critical of the then-president? Was there a special rule being applied just to him?

In July 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein agreed that it appeared federal officials were trying to silence Cohen. “I’ve never seen such a clause in 21 years of being a judge and sentencing people,” the federal judge said. “How can I take any other inference but that it was retaliatory?” …

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Breaking: The Jan. 6 select committee is requesting an interview with Republican Scott Perry — the first known effort to talk to a member of Congress about helping Trump in his efforts to overturn the election. https://bit.ly/3qbfnI5

🐣 RT @starsandstripes Service members who overtly support extremist groups or ideas, attempt to recruit others into such ideology, or train, organize or demonstrate in support of an extremist view are to face punishment under new guidance published by the Pentagon on Monday.
⋙ Stripes.com: Pentagon unveils new extremism rules, including potential punishment for social media likes or shares http://bit.ly/3edDqRa
// Warning that extremism in the ranks is increasing, Pentagon officials are issuing detailed new rules prohibiting service members from actively engaging

Service members who overtly support extremist groups or ideas, attempt to recruit others into such ideology, or train, organize or demonstrate in support of an extremist view are to face punishment under new guidance published by the Pentagon on Monday.

The guidance leaves entirely to commanders decisions about punishments for those found to be “actively participating” in extremist activity. Commanders may charge violators criminally, dole out a lesser administrative punishment or simply counsel them on what they did wrong, the guidance states.

Earlier this year, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin instructed the Pentagon to better define extremism, as the Pentagon worked to understand how rampant such ideologies were in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of then-President Donald Trump. Those involved included some members of the armed forces and dozens of veterans.

“The overwhelming majority of the men and women of the Department of Defense serve this country with honor and integrity,” Austin wrote in a memorandum dated Monday, which was released alongside the updated rules on extremism and a new report on extremist activity in DOD. “We believe only a very few violate [their] oath by participating in extremist activities, but even the actions of a few can have an outsized impact on unit cohesion, morale and readiness — and the physical harm some of these activities can engender can undermine the safety of our people. We owe the men and women of the Department of Defense an environment free of extremist activities, and we owe our country a military that reflects the founding values of our democracy.”

The Countering Extremist Activity Working Group that Austin stood up in April found fewer than 100 service members had likely “participated in some prohibited extremist activities” in the last year, John Kirby, the Pentagon’s top spokesman, told reporters Monday.

Some activity barred by the new rules may be simpler to root out than others, he acknowledged. For example, the rules ban service members from sporting clothing, tattoos or other paraphernalia promoting extremism, financially supporting an extremist cause or distributing extremist literature or materials.

However, service members could also be punished for their online actions, including posting, sharing or “liking” materials that “promote or otherwise endorse extremist activities” on the internet. ¤ That is where a commanders’ discretion will be most important, Kirby said, noting that a service member, perhaps, could “like” a social media post by accident. ¤ “Commanders … know their units. They know their people better than anybody, so that’s why it’s up to them,” he said. “Commanders will have to make that call on their own in terms of what they believe is the right thing to do. … You want to have a conversation here. So it’s not just that a knee jerk reaction to just immediately go to punishment — each case will have to be looked at individually.”

In a six-part definition, the new Pentagon guidance labels extremist activity as any advocating or committing violence against the United States or its people, including plotting for or supporting the overthrow of the government or terrorism against the nation. It also labels any advocacy for “widespread unlawful discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), gender identity, or sexual orientation” as extremist activity.

Kirby said the new definitions should be clearer for service members to understand — an issue that was often cited in the extremism stand down discussions Austin ordered across the entire armed forces this year. Service members will receive new training and education on the definitions and the rules, including on social media behaviors that could be problematic, he said Monday. ¤ The new guidance does not include specific examples of extremist groups or organizations nor does it ban personnel from any specific groups. The guidance, Kirby said, is based solely on actual acts and not membership in a group.

Defense officials since late last year have warned that such groups actively recruit service members and veterans for their knowledge of weapons and tactics and a sense of legitimacy that is brought by including former troops, especially combat veterans. For example, the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters — groups widely labeled extremist which were both represented in the Jan. 6 riot — often boast of the high number of veterans within their organizations.

Kirby said DOD did not seek to single out particular groups as extremist for its purposes. “Groups can and do change their methodology, their ideals, their motivations, and they can reform themselves or they can disband and reform into something else,” Kirby said. “And, so if we got into coming up with a list of extremist groups, it would be only probably as good as the day we published it, because these groups change.”

Ultimately, those who belong to extremist organizations will likely break the Pentagon rules and punished, Kirby said. ¤ “If you want to be a member of you-pick-it [extremist group] in order to prove your membership you’re probably going to run afoul of one of these criteria sets,” he said.

The Countering Extremist Activity Working Group also recommended the Pentagon update its training for service members departing the military and expand screening for recruits for extremist beliefs. Kirby said Monday the Pentagon was working to implement some of those recommendations.

The Austin-led efforts have been questioned by some lawmakers, especially Republicans who have claimed it was an effort to remove conservatives from the military. Kirby said Monday the Pentagon’s extremism-focused efforts had nothing to do with politics.

“None of this has anything to do with who a service member votes for or doesn’t vote for or their personal political views,” he said. “This isn’t about political leanings or partisan inclinations. It’s about … prohibited extremist activity and active participation in that activity.”

🧵 RT @McFaul Now that Putin has published his ideas for a new European security agreement, let me propose some additional articles to the draft agreement. 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/McFaul/status/1471910562854588419?s=20

🧵 RT @jennycohn1 If you want to know why Roger Stone is one of the worst people alive, read what he & Andrew Miller (one of his many young male protégés) did to journalist Bob Norman. 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/jennycohn1/status/1473133223634890754?s=20

🐣 💽 RT @45rape Letitia James, Psaki, Even Trump. ¤ “This Adam Schiff speech will haunt former President Trump and some Republicans forever and ever” https://twitter.com/45rapeKatiejohn/status/1473053948227563520?s=20/photo/1
// film by ElevenFilms

🐣 RT @HugoLowell Heard that when Trump saw the texts his former White House chief Meadows turned over to the Jan. 6 committee being read out at the contempt vote, he grew furious and told an associate: “What the fuck!”

WaPo: House Jan. 6 committee seeks information from GOP Rep. Perry about communications with Trump White House officials http://wapo.st/3pgAYQe … concerning “Perry’s efforts to install Jeffrey Clark, former Justice Department official, as acting attorney general”

🐣 RT @MuelledSheWrote And there you have it. 😌
🐣 💽 RT @45rapeKatiejohn Letitia James, Psaki, Even Trump. ¤ “This Adam Schiff speech will haunt former President Trump and some Republicans forever and ever” https://twitter.com/45rapeKatiejohn/status/1473053948227563520?s=20/photo/1
// film by ElevenFilms

🐣 RT @HugoLowell Heard that when Trump saw the texts his former White House chief Meadows turned over to the Jan. 6 committee being read out at the contempt vote, he grew furious and told an associate: “What the fuck!”

WaPo: House Jan. 6 committee seeks information from GOP Rep. Perry about communications with Trump White House officials http://wapo.st/3pgAYQe … concerning “Perry’s efforts to install Jeffrey Clark, former Justice Department official, as acting attorney general”

🐣 RT @MuelledSheWrote And there you have it. 😌
💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Jan. 6 Committee Weighs Possibility of Criminal Referrals http://nyti.ms/3FfQn8F The move would could put pressure on DOJ to “examine the conduct of Mr. Trump and his aides as they promoted baseless allegations of voter fraud”
// The House panel is examining whether there is enough evidence to recommend that the Justice Department pursue cases against Donald J. Trump and others.

According to people briefed on their efforts, investigators for the committee are looking into whether a range of crimes were committed, including two in particular: whether there was wire fraud by Republicans who raised millions of dollars off assertions that the election was stolen, despite knowing the claims were not true; and whether Mr. Trump and his allies obstructed Congress by trying to stop the certification of electoral votes.

Behind the scenes, the committee’s day-to-day work is being carried out by a team of 40 investigators and staff members, including former federal prosecutors. The panel has obtained more than 30,000 records and interviewed more than 300 witnesses, including about a dozen last week whom committee members say provided “key” testimony.

In recent weeks, the committee has publicly signaled its interest in the question of criminality. Shortly after obtaining from Mr. Meadows 9,000 pages of documents — including text messages and a PowerPoint presentation — the panel’s top Republican, Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, read from the criminal code at a televised hearing.

She suggested that Mr. Trump, by failing to stop the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, might have violated the federal law that prohibits obstructing an official proceeding before Congress.

“We know hours passed with no action by the president to defend the Congress of the United States from an assault while we were trying to count electoral votes,” Ms. Cheney said, adding: “Did Donald Trump, through action or inaction, corruptly seek to obstruct or impede Congress’s official proceeding to count electoral votes?”

It plans to hold televised hearings early next year to lay out for the public how the pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” movement helped lead to the Capitol riot. And it ultimately may propose changes to federal laws, toughening statutes to rein in a president’s conduct and overhauling the Electoral Count Act, which Mr. Trump and his allies sought to exploit in his attempt to cling to power.

At a hearing this month, Ms. Cheney suggested that the committee could subpoena Mr. Trump to answer questions and that criminal penalties would hang over his head if he lied.

“Any communication Mr. Trump has with this committee will be under oath,” she said. “And if he persists in lying then, he will be accountable under the laws of this great nation and subject to criminal penalties for every false word he speaks.”

Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and a member of the committee, said it was “certainly possible” that the panel would make criminal referrals before the investigation concluded.

⭕ 19 Dec 2021

WaPo, David Ignatius: The Biden administration weighs backing Ukraine insurgents if Russia invades http://wapo.st/3qiWXoU

🐣 RT @kasparov63 If you are reading the signposts on the way to apocalypse, the Putin government just released “national standard for mass graves”. ”
⋙ YandexNews: Grave in law: state adopts national standard for mass-casualty burial http://bit.ly/3sgDdot

🐣 RT @ProfHayward Francis Collins is one of the smartest & nicest ppl I’ve ever known. He is a great scientist & a devote evangelical Christian. I am not surprised at all that he resisted this unethical political pressure.
⋙ CNN: Outgoing NIH director says Trump and other Republicans pressured him to endorse unproven Covid-19 remedies and to fire Fauci http://cnn.it/3e9n77K “I was not going to compromise scientific principles to just hold onto the job” ~ Dr. Francis Collins

DailyBeast: Roger Stone Stirs Up Old Feud, Suggests Steve Bannon ‘Gave The Order’ To Breach Capitol On Jan 6 http://bit.ly/3e5HEdg

Stone, who has long been at odds with Bannon over the latter “testify[ing] falsely” against him during his criminal trial, took to the far-right messaging platform Telegram to suggest Bannon was behind the call to “breach” the Capitol building on Jan 6. “It is highly likely that [Steve] Bannon really gave the order to breach the capital [sic] and maneuvered patriots into dangerous positions,” he wrote. “A neophyte Steve Bannon was willing to try crazy things like this to curry favor with Trump who had a [sic] no interest in Bannon’s bullsh*t.”

🐣 RT @duty2warn Trump’s memos were especially deranged yesterday. When he’s feeling maximum pressure, he projects. The projection is a confession. He spoke to Dems putting people in jail. ¤ Glenn Kirschner: “Somebody is SCARED. TO. DEATH. Buckle up, Buttercup. It’s about to come crashing down.”

⭕ 18 Dec 2021

NBCNews, Noah Bookbinder: Trump International Hotel in Washington report exposes gaping corruption loopholes http://nbcnews.to/3J3JJEX Bookbinder is the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW)
// Why does the House report matter? The D.C. hotel was the epicenter of Trump’s graft.

Politico: ‘Stop the Steal’ founder told Jan. 6 committee about contacts with GOP lawmakers http://politi.co/3miBlb6 “Alexander said … he worked with Gosar, Biggs and Brooks to attempt … to pressure lawmakers to overturn the electoral results”
// The description of the testimony comes in a lawsuit Ali Alexander filed to block the committee from obtaining his phone records.

Ali Alexander, who founded the pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” movement and attended the rally that preceded the Capitol attack, told congressional investigators that he recalls “a few phone conversations” with Rep. Paul Gosar and a text exchange with Rep. Mo Brooks about his efforts in the run-up to Jan. 6, his lawyers confirmed in a late Friday court filing. ¤ Alexander also told the Jan. 6 House select committee that he spoke to Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) in person “and never by phone, to the best of his recollection,” his lawyers say.

The description of the testimony comes in a lawsuit Alexander filed to block the committee from obtaining his phone records from Verizon. Alexander says in the suit that the records include contacts with people protected by privileges: religious advisers, people he counsels spiritually and his lawyers. He also indicated that he already shared more than 1,500 text messages with investigators, in addition to sitting for an eight-hour deposition. The Brooks text, he indicated, is among the texts he turned over.

Alexander’s testimony underscores the degree to which the select committee continues to probe the roles of their Republican colleagues in efforts to promote former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud — and their potential support for fringe figures who helped gather people in Washington on Jan. 6, the day Congress was required to certify the 2020 election results.

The panel hasn’t formally requested testimony from any of the GOP lawmakers yet but has continued to ask witnesses about Gosar, Biggs, Brooks and Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), who helped push a strategy to use the Department of Justice to promote the fraud claims.

Per Alexander’s attorneys Jonathon Moseley and Paul Kamenar, members of Congress may have been on an organizing call with him in early January. Several were invited but he did not take attendance, the lawyers said. They also said Alexander “testified that he had phone conversations with Rep. Brooks’ staff about a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter and how his activists could be helpful.”

Alexander said in a since-deleted video that he worked with Gosar, Biggs and Brooks to attempt to use Congress’ Jan. 6 session certifying Biden’s victory as a chance to pressure lawmakers to overturn the electoral results. ¤ “We four schemed up to put maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting,” Alexander said in the video. ¤ Biggs and Brooks have denied meeting Alexander. Gosar has appeared at events with him but has not elaborated on their relationship.

Alexander also revealed in the filing that he gave the committee details of a call he had on the morning of Jan. 6 with Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr. ¤ “The Select Committee asked him about this call. He stated that it was a short and pleasant call. Ms. Guilfoyle thanked Mr. Alexander for being a leader on voting rights and creating the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement,” Moseley indicated. “The two spoke about the ongoing Georgia election and the GOP primaries that would take place in 2022. The Select Committee seemed satisfied with Alexander’s explanation of that short call.”

🧵 RT @ The question is persistently asked: Why is Putin threatening with war against Ukraine now? A few ideas: 1. Russia’s relative military strength will never be greater than today given stagnant economy & declining technological development. 📌 https://twitter.com/anders_aslund/status/1472302498610397188?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @anders_aslund … In short, this is a good time for Putin to extort as much as possible from the West, but if he actually starts a war in Ukraine, he will be toast & lose power in Russia. Therefore, the West (the US) must just say no! @JakeSullivan46 @ABlinken @UnderSecStateP @POTUS

🐣 RT @duty2war David Cay Johnston, just now on MSNBC, said he expects Vance to bring racketeering charges against Trump. He cited a recent grand jury meeting with an editor of Forbes. Also, Vance’s focus on malice of forethought and intent to deceive, building blocks of a racketeering charge.

🐣 RT @ImSpeaking13 If Cy Vance indicts Trump for racketeering, the RICO Act mandates a twenty-year maximum prison sentence per racketeering count for which the defendant was found guilty.

🐣 RT @Acyn [John] Dean: I’m one who happens to believe the case is so overwhelming against Trump, I don’t see how the department cannot be looking at a criminal prosecution of this former President 💽 https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1472335796589916162?s=20/photo/1

🧵 RT @TheRickWilson 1/ Two years ago yesterday, the Lincoln Project was born. It feels like it’s been longer, but no matter how many rough moments we faced, the importance of the fight is clearer than ever. ¤ Here’s what we wrote then: 📌 https://twitter.com/TheRickWilson/status/1472252395648339972?s=20
⋙⋙ NYT (12/17/2020): We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated http://nyti.ms/3EbDafM
// The president and his enablers have replaced conservatism with an empty faith led by a bogus prophet.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 2/ “Over these next 11 months, our efforts will be dedicated to defeating Pres Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box and to elect those patriots who will hold the line.” ¤ For four months, we fought largely in the shadows. Republicans hissed their hate and most Democrats shrugged. [thread starts here:]📌 https://twitter.com/TheRickWilson/status/1472252696577069066?s=20
// includes Project Lincoln videos

🐣 RT @BillPascrell 345 days ago terrorists ransacked the US Capitol and *hours later* 138-of-202 (68%) House republicans voted to make trump a dictator. They tried to finish the rioters’ job and end democracy. Never forget it.

🐣 RT @TristanSnell Trump’s latest rant against “DA’s, AG’s and Dem Law Enforcement” strongly suggests he’s just been told the Manhattan DA and NY AG plan to prosecute him — he’s gotten target letters. ¤ The FBI may have come knocking also. ¤ The more they close in on him, the more he’ll lash out.

🐣 RT @duty2warn At Trump’s core, are feelings of inadequacy, and a desperate quest for legitimacy. His entire life has been a concoction of secrets and lies. Accountants and bankers are talking now. He is terrified of exposure. He is a fraud, and for that to become known, is total humiliation.
⋙ 🐣 RT @duty2warn He is afraid of losing, and desperately clings to the Big Lie. He is afraid of not being able to grift. He is afraid of prosecution, and potential prison. But that’s not what terrifies him. A malignant narcissist is terrified TO THE CORE of one thing above all else – HUMILIATION.

🐣 RT @TomJChicago Trump is choking w/ fear. Analyzing the rant:
1 “All the Democrats want to do is put people in jail” & “destroying people’s lives” means he’s not being offered a deal
2 “Their DAs, AG’s & Dem Law Enforcement” means he’s freaked out over the Manhattan DA since he said “DA’s” first
Text Block: https://twitter.com/TomJChicago/status/1472322585677471748?s=20/photo/1

“All the Democrats want to do is put people in jail. They are vicious, violent, and Radical Left thugs. They are destroying people’s lives, which is the only thing they are good at. They couldn’t get out of Afghanistan without disgracing our Country. The economy and inflation are a disaster. They’re letting thugs and murderers into our Country–their DA’s, AG’s, and Dem Law Enforcement are out of control. This is what happens in communist countries and dictatorships, and they don’t think they’ll be held accountable for rigging the 2020 Presidential Election. The Jan. 6 Unselect Committee is a coverup for what took place on November 3rd, and the people of our Country won’t stand for it.”

⭕ 17 Dec 2021

🔄💙 LawFare: Confronting the Capitol Insurrection [Index Page] http://bit.ly/3mfMDNc

Forbes, Randall Lane: Forbes Testified Before The Trump Grand Jury Yesterday http://bit.ly/329QGDK
// —Here’s Why We Fought Their Subpoena

I was questioned by Mark Pomerantz, the former federal prosecutor who Vance brought in to lead the case. Pretty much every question was a simple yes or no. Under oath, I confirmed the following:

● The methodology that goes into our Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans. (He read aloud our 2015 published statement. You can read the largely similar current version here.) And that we apply that methodology consistently across the board. (Trump incorrectly claimed in the story that we somehow have one methodology for him and another for every other billionaire in America.)

● That of the 1,600 or so people who have been on The Forbes 400 since 1982, none of them, as we report in the article, have been more fixated on their net worth than Donald Trump.

● That Trump told me that he was worth “much more than $4.5 billion,” our net worth estimate for him in 2015—and, in fact, that he was worth “much more than $10 billion.”

● That Trump told me that “I look better if I’m worth $10 billion than if I’m worth $4 billion,” as reported in the article. More specifically, that Trump told me that a higher net worth number “was good for financing.”

● That, as I reported in the article, the first time I interviewed Trump for Forbes, in October 1993, Trump told me he was calling from a waiting room in the hospital where his then wife, Marla Maples, had just given birth to Tiffany Trump.

● That Trump, as reported in the article, told me that our estimate of the value of his holdings in Trump Tower should be increased from $530 million by a factor of five or six. And that he said he could sell his stake in Trump Tower “for $2 billion or $2.5 billion or $3 billion.”

● That Trump took Peterson-Withorn and me on a tour of his triplex penthouse in Trump Tower, as reported in the article, and told us the apartment was worth at least twice as much as the $100 million we pegged it at. Peterson-Withorn’s subsequent testimony was directly related to this—specifically, that he told us that his apartment was 33,000 square feet.

● That, as reported, Trump said that during the early 1990s, Forbes’ estimates “were actually high” and he “deserved to be off [the list].”

● That Trump, as I reported in the article, made an unsolicited suggestion for the headline of the 2015 story: “The King.”

📔 Select Committee on COVID-19: Select Subcommittee Releases Further Evidence of Trump Officials’ Pursuit of ‘Herd Immunity’ Strategy, Interference in Public Health http://bit.ly/3H00jUf

💙 WaPo, Dana Milbank: ‘We are closer to civil war than any of us would like to believe,’ new study says http://wapo.st/3e9HMZv

If you know people still in denial about the crisis of American democracy, kindly remove their heads from the sand long enough to receive this message: A startling new finding by one of the nation’s top authorities on foreign civil wars says we are on the cusp of our own.

Barbara F. Walter, a political science professor at the University of California at San Diego, serves on a CIA advisory panel called the Political Instability Task Force that monitors countries around the world and predicts which of them are most at risk of deteriorating into violence. By law, the task force can’t assess what’s happening within the United States, but Walter, a longtime friend who has spent her career studying conflicts in Syria, Lebanon, Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Rwanda, Angola, Nicaragua and elsewhere, applied the predictive techniques herself to this country.

Her bottom line: “We are closer to civil war than any of us would like to believe.” She lays out the argument in detail in her must-read book, “How Civil Wars Start,” out in January. “No one wants to believe that their beloved democracy is in decline, or headed toward war,” she writes. But, “if you were an analyst in a foreign country looking at events in America — the same way you’d look at events in Ukraine or the Ivory Coast or Venezuela — you would go down a checklist, assessing each of the conditions that make civil war likely. And what you would find is that the United States, a democracy founded more than two centuries ago, has entered very dangerous territory.”

Indeed, the United States has already gone through what the CIA identifies as the first two phases of insurgency — the “pre-insurgency” and “incipient conflict” phases — and only time will tell whether the final phase, “open insurgency,” began with the sacking of the Capitol by Donald Trump supporters on Jan. 6. ¤ Things deteriorated so dramatically under Trump, in fact, that the United States no longer technically qualifies as a democracy. Citing the Center for Systemic Peace’s “Polity” data set — the one the CIA task force has found to be most helpful in predicting instability and violence — Walter writes that the United States is now an “anocracy,” somewhere between a democracy and an autocratic state.

U.S. democracy had received the Polity index’s top score of 10, or close to it, for much of its history. But in the five years of the Trump era, it tumbled precipitously into the anocracy zone; by the end of his presidency, the U.S. score had fallen to a 5, making the country a partial democracy for the first time since 1800. ¤ Dropping five points in five years greatly increases the risk of civil war (six points in three years would qualify as “high risk” of civil war). “A partial democracy is three times as likely to experience civil war as a full democracy,” Walter writes.

Others have reached similar findings. The Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance put the United States on a list of “backsliding democracies” in a report last month. “The United States, the bastion of global democracy, fell victim to authoritarian tendencies itself,” the report said. And a new survey by the academic consortium Bright Line Watch found that 17 percent of those who identify strongly as Republicans support the use of violence to restore Trump to power, and 39 percent favor doing everything possible to prevent Democrats from governing effectively.

The question now is whether we can pull back from the abyss Trump’s Republicans have led us to. There is no more important issue; democracy is the foundation of everything else in America. Democrats, in a nod to this reality, are talking about abandoning President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda in favor of pro-democracy voting rights legislation. Republicans will fight it tooth and nail.

The enemies of democracy must not be allowed to prevail. We are on the doorstep of the “open insurgency” stage of civil conflict, and Walter writes that once countries cross that threshold, the CIA predicts, “sustained violence as increasingly active extremists launch attacks that involve terrorism and guerrilla warfare, including assassinations and ambushes.” ¤ It is no exaggeration to say the survival of our country is at stake.

NYT: Jan. 6 Committee May Add New Expertise for Investigation http://nyti.ms/3e8FN7z
// As the panel continues to take testimony, it is looking to do more analysis of social media and possible foreign efforts to sow discord in the U.S. before the Capitol riot.

🐣 RT @MSNBC “It was a horrendous event and I think what they are seeking to find out is something the public needs to know,” Sen. McConnell said of Jan. 6 cmte. probe.
⋙ NBC: McConnell says Jan. 6 committee’s findings are ‘something the public needs to know’ http://nbcnews.to/3F8VxDC
// McConnell’s interest in the investigation is notable given that he had opposed the creation of a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission, calling the idea “slanted and unbalanced.”

🐣 RT @duty2warn It is becoming increasingly clear that the Jan 6th committee knows a lot more than we know that they know, you know?

🐣 RT @harrylitman New emails from DOJ top officials show how raw the Jeffrey Clark coup attempt was and how adamant and united the DOJ brass was about resigning if they exploited the Department to propound a lie to help Trump. Very strong stuff.

💙 📋 WaPo Editorial: The 700-plus miscreants who desecrated the Capitol deserve consequences http://wapo.st/3schT3v “[T]he question persists of why there has yet to be an effort to hold criminally liable the higher-ups who put into motion the events of Jan. 6”
// However manipulated and misguided their passions may be, they cannot trash their government — and democracy itself.

It has been 11 months since a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol intent on disrupting the certification of electoral ballots won by Democrat Joe Biden and overturning the result of a legitimate election. The rioters desecrated the legislative seat of federal government, doing about $1.5 million in physical damages. The violence resulted in the death of five people, including U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick. More than 100 D.C. and Capitol police officers were injured and two officers died by suicide in the immediate aftermath of Jan. 6. It was the worst assault on the Capitol since the War of 1812.

To date, more than 700 people have been charged with offenses in federal court, and officials say they won’t quit until all leads have been exhausted. There are those who would overlook or minimize the events of that dark day, which is why we should credit Justice Department officials for their perseverance in trying to bring to justice individuals who in some cases used chemical sprays and wielded batons, flagpoles and other weapons against law enforcement officers. The longest sentence so far was five years in prison, given to Robert S. Palmer, 54, of Largo, Fla., who hurled a plank, a fire extinguisher and a pole at police, and later lied about his actions to authorities.

The Justice Department’s response to Jan. 6 has come under criticism from some quarters. Several federal judges expressed chagrin that people who engaged in an assault on our very democracy were charged with only misdemeanor offenses. And, the question persists of why there has yet to be an effort to hold criminally liable the higher-ups who put into motion the events of Jan. 6.

Notwithstanding those concerns, it is heartening that law enforcement officials across the country — led by the U.S. attorney in D.C. and aided by members of the public — have been so relentless in trying to track down and hold to account every individual who brazenly attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6. The message for future miscreants must be: However manipulated and misguided their passions may be, they cannot trash their government — and democracy itself — without having to pay a consequence.

WaPo: 3 retired generals: The military must prepare now for a 2024 insurrection http://wapo.st/3meW3s2 “More than 1 in 10 of those charged in the [Jan. 6] attacks had a service record”

The signs of potential turmoil in our armed forces are there. On Jan. 6, a disturbing number of veterans and active-duty members of the military took part in the attack on the Capitol. More than 1 in 10 of those charged in the attacks had a service record. A group of 124 retired military officials, under the name “Flag Officers 4 America,” released a letter echoing Donald Trump’s false attacks on the legitimacy of our elections.

Recently, and perhaps more worrying, Brig. Gen. Thomas Mancino, the commanding general of the Oklahoma National Guard, refused an order from President Biden mandating that all National Guard members be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Mancino claimed that while the Oklahoma Guard is not federally mobilized, his commander in chief is the Republican governor of the state, not the president. ¤ The potential for a total breakdown of the chain of command along partisan lines — from the top of the chain to squad level — is significant should another insurrection occur. The idea of rogue units organizing among themselves to support the “rightful” commander in chief cannot be dismissed.

All service members take an oath to protect the U.S. Constitution. But in a contested election, with loyalties split, some might follow orders from the rightful commander in chief, while others might follow the Trumpian loser. Arms might not be secured depending on who was overseeing them. Under such a scenario, it is not outlandish to say a military breakdown could lead to civil war. ¤ In this context, with our military hobbled and divided, U.S. security would be crippled. Any one of our enemies could take advantage by launching an all-out assault on our assets or our allies.

The lack of military preparedness for the aftermath of the 2020 election was striking and worrying. Trump’s acting defense secretary, Christopher C. Miller, testified that he deliberately withheld military protection of the Capitol before Jan. 6. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reportedly scrambled to ensure the nation’s nuclear defense chains were secure from illegal orders. It is evident the whole of our military was caught off-guard.

… The Pentagon should immediately order a civics review for all members — uniformed and civilian — on the Constitution and electoral integrity. There must also be a review of the laws of war and how to identify and deal with illegal orders. And it must reinforce “unity of command” to make perfectly clear to every member of the Defense Department whom they answer to. No service member should say they didn’t understand whom to take orders from during a worst-case scenario.

In addition, all military branches must undertake more intensive intelligence work at all installations. The goal should be to identify, isolate and remove potential mutineers; guard against efforts by propagandists who use misinformation to subvert the chain of command; and understand how that and other misinformation spreads across the ranks after it is introduced by propagandists.

Finally, the Defense Department should war-game the next potential post-election insurrection or coup attempt to identify weak spots. It must then conduct a top-down debrief of its findings and begin putting in place safeguards to prevent breakdowns not just in the military, but also in any agency that works hand in hand with the military.

★ 🐣 RT @StarTribune Ethical decision is protecting patients http://strib.mn/3p55TyH via @StarTribune #MayoClinic
⋙ StarTribune: EDITORIAL | Ethical decision is protecting patients http://strib.mn/3p55TyH
// Push by some Minnesota House Republicans to weaken Mayo Clinic’s vaccine requirement is reckless.

🐣 RT @vermontgdg I remain baffled at how much media coverage is the false equivalency of “Dems are in disarray because they’re having legit conversations about real policy” and “GOP in disarray over whether to support democracy.” One is a much bigger—and troubling—story than the other.

🐣 RT @JakeTapper This is the text in question (originally inaccurately IDed as from a House lawmaker) but the Jan 6 committee says it came from the phone of former Secretary Rick Perry, and CNN has verified the phone number is Perry’s https://twitter.com/jaketapper/status/1471958920902103040?s=20/photo/1
// Lawmaker to Meadows [1/4/2020]: HERE’s an AGRESSIVE STRATEGY: Why can t [sic) the states of GA NC PENN and other R controlled state houses declare this is BS (where conflicts and election not called that night) and just send their own electors to vote and have it go to the SCOTUS.

WaPo: Fla. man sentenced to 5 years for attacking police, the longest Jan. 6 riot sentence yet http://wapo.st/3q6w07F
// Robert S. Palmer watched and cheered rioters, then joined front of mob and hurled fire extinguisher, plank and long pole at police.

🧵 RT @SethAbramson (THREAD) With the BREAKING NEWS that Trump adviser Roger Stone told Congress his testimony about January 6 would tend to incriminate him and subject him to prosecution, PROOF is posting this thread of its reporting on Stone—for which Stone threatened to sue PROOF. Please RETWEET. 📌 https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1471897487724228614?s=20

🧵 RT @V7VOA Delivering @SCSTATE1896 winter commencement address, @POTUS says “you’re inheriting an incredible tradition graduating from this university” (an #HBCU). 💽 https://twitter.com/W7VOA/status/1471867549348507653?s=20/photo/1
// Biden at South Carolina State

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Jan 6 Comm at work: Parscale told Fox News a year ago he was the architect of a well funded, far reaching plan to “stoke unfounded fears about ‘rampant voter fraud’ in the 2020 election.” If records back up his claims, he could be a revelatory witness.
⋙ DailyBeast: Brad Parscale Says Jan. 6 Panel Subpoenaed His Phone Records http://bit.ly/3sg7p3a
// The former Trump campaign manager had cut ties with Trump before the voting ever started. But the Jan. 6 Committee would like to see his phone records anyway.

WaPo: Russia broadens security demands from West, seeking to curb U.S. and NATO influence on borders http://wapo.st/3saORkJ
// Putin’s far-reaching security demands have been repeatedly ruled out by NATO officials.

🧵 RT @atrupar During a Minnesota GOP gubernatorial debate on Wednesday that was moderated by Hugh Hewitt, every single candidate refused to affirm that Joe Biden won the presidential election legitimately. ¤ Here’s the response from Scott Jensen: 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1471858533939523587?s=20/photo/1

TheHill: Trump sought to ‘undermine’ COVID-19 response, says panel http://bit.ly/3F9Q7Z8

The Trump administration deliberately undermined the nation’s coronavirus response for political purposes, including by weakening testing guidance and championing widespread “herd immunity,” according to a new report from the House panel investigating the pandemic response.

The staff report released Friday was a summation of the year’s work investigating political interference in the pandemic response from Trump officials and the former president himself. 

In interviews with officials and from uncovered emails and other documents, the committee found that the former administration failed to heed warnings about supply shortages, blocked public health officials from speaking publicly and neglected the pandemic response in order to focus on the 2020 presidential election and on promoting the lie that the election was “stolen” from Trump through widespread fraud.

New evidence released Friday showed the Trump White House intentionally “softened” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s public health guidance for faith communities.

Jay Butler, the deputy director for infectious diseases, told the panel in an interview he was pressured by the White House to publish guidance for faith communities that “softened some very important public health recommendations,” such as removing all references to face coverings, a suggestion to suspend choirs and language related to virtual services.

🐣 RT @stevebenen Did you hear the one about Paul Gosar’s chief of staff trying to catch a Korean plane full of non-existent fraudulent ballots in Arizona?
⋙ MSNBC, Steve Benen: How far did Team Gosar go to pursue election conspiracy theories? http://on.msnbc.com/3F7kmji

🐣 RT @Mediaite Mitch McConnell Shows Support for 1/6 Committee: ‘The Public Needs to Know’ What Was Behind That ‘Horrendous Event’
⋙ Mediaite: Mitch McConnell: ‘The Public Needs to Know’ About January 6 http://bit.ly/3e2ECqg
// Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is doing something that very few Republicans on Capitol Hill are — voicing support for the January 6

DailyBeast: Kanye West’s ‘Independent’ Campaign Was Secretly Run by GOP Elites http://bit.ly/3ITYQkt
// The campaign took steps, experts say, to mask its connections to GOP operatives. That could violate federal election laws.

⭕ 16 Dec 2021

WaPo: ‘A real conflagration’: Wisconsin emerges as front line in war over the 2020 vote http://wapo.st/3qfDHbU

NYT, Frank Bruni: The Line From Fox News to Trump’s Big Lie Is Short and Direct http://nyti.ms/3J9t8Qi

… Fox News has helped to sell the fiction that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, and there’s a direct line from that lie to the rioting. There’s a direct line from that lie to various Republicans’ attempts to develop mechanisms to overturn vote counts should they dislike the results.

That lie is the root of the terrible danger that we’re in, with Trump supporters being encouraged to distrust and undermine the democratic process. And that lie has often found a welcome mat at Fox News. ¤ It’s a conspiracy-minded, ratings-driven hallucination. Just this week, The Associated Press published a review of “every potential case of voter fraud in the six battleground states” where Trump has disputed Biden’s victory. It found fewer than 475 cases.

“Joe Biden won Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and their 79 Electoral College votes by a combined 311,257 votes out of 25.5 million ballots cast for president,” the A.P. reported. “The disputed ballots represent just 0.15 percent of his victory margin in those states. The cases could not throw the outcome into question even if all the potentially fraudulent votes were for Biden, which they were not, and even if those ballots were actually counted, which in most cases they were not.”

🐣 RT @emptywheel The January 6 Committee released evidence that Mark Meadows played a key role in an attempted coup and this is how @wsj and @WaPo reported it.
⋙ WaPo: Meadows referral creates new legal, political challenge for Garland and DOJ http://wapo.st/30AIX0N
⋙ WSJ: How Mark Meadows Ended Up in the Middle of the Fight Over Jan. 6 http://on.wsj.com/3p3wf4f
// Text messages of former White House chief of staff take center stage in House probe of pro-Trump Capitol riot

WSJ: More Than 60,000 Interpreters, Visa Applicants Remain in Afghanistan http://on.wsj.com/3GNW0LQ … and are in various stages of the Visa process; evacuation flights are taking place daily
// About 33,000 of those could be eligible for immediate evacuation, State Department says

🐣 RT @jilevin The Republican Party has become a danger to our democracy and values. https://twitter.com/jilevin/status/1471637282578915329?s=20/photo/1
// text: “I WALKED AWAY FROM THE REPUBLICANS. ¤ I renounce my membership in the Republican Party. It is corrupt, indecent and immoral. Every one of these complicit leaders will carry this shame through history. Their legacies will be ones of well earned ignominy. They have disgraced their country and brought dishonor to the Party of Lincoln.Today, the Republican Party has become a danger to our democracy and values.”
~ Steve Schmidt, former Republican Strategist

TheBulwark, AB Stoddard: The Attempted Republican Coup Should Be the Democrats’ Leading Message http://bit.ly/3GMwPcz //➔ it should be a combination of this plus that Dems try (and sometimes succeed) in helping people, despite GOP obstruction

🐣 So we pivot from 6 months of not getting BBB passed to 6 months of not getting Voting Rights passed. And no student debt relief. ¤ Oh, but Congress goes home a week earlier? ¤ Sounds like a *winning* strategy

🐣 RT @donwinslow Dear @January6thCmte ¤ The @nytimes has revealed six of the names. ¤ What are you waiting for? ¤ #NameTheTraitors https://twitter.com/donwinslow/status/1471601321966858241?s=20/photo/1
// Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Louie Gohmert, Mo Brooks, Scott Perry

WaPo, Paul Waldman: Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin mull whether democracy is worth saving http://wapo.st/3246yYy

🐣 RT @john_sipher Just to be clear. The US (and the military especially) sucks at “information warfare.” Its clownish. This guy is an idiot and dangerous but not because he has some super secret skill.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheTweetofJohn The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol issued a subpoena on Thursday for Phil Waldron, a retired Army colonel with a background in information warfare who had circulated a detailed and extreme plan to overturn the 2020 election.
⋙⋙ NYT: Jan. 6 Panel Subpoenas Retired Colonel Who Shared Plan to Overturn Election http://nyti.ms/3q0Hg5z
// Phil Waldron has been under scrutiny since a 38-page PowerPoint he circulated was turned over to the panel by former President Donald J. Trump’s last chief of staff.

WaPo, Greg Sargent: A Fox News defector ~ Jonah Goldberg ~ gets it right on Laura Ingraham — and on MAGA http://wapo.st/3sd9QmL Also see Goldberg’s piece in The Dispatch: “Donald Trump’s Megaphone”

NYT: Vaccine Holdouts in Army and Navy Will Be Dismissed, Military Says http://nyti.ms/3paAXNL
// Governors of five states are seeking exemptions for their National Guard troops.

TheDispatch, Jonah Goldberg: Donald Trump’s Megaphone http://bit.ly/3m6jmo7
// Fox News news hosts knew that Trump’s lies were lies—and they amplified them anyhow.

🐣 RT @jseldin .@NATO’s North Atlantic Council expresses grave concern over “the substantial, unprovoked, and unjustified #Russia|n military build-up on the borders of #Ukraine” per statement ¤ “Any further aggression against Ukraine would have massive consequences & would carry a high price”
⋙ 🐣 RT @jennsstoltenberg #NATO Allies are gravely concerned by the substantial Russian military build-up on the borders of #Ukraine & reject false claims of Ukrainian and NATO provocations. Read the statement by the North Atlantic Council
⋙⋙ NATO: Statement by the North Atlantic Council on the situation in and around Ukraine http://bit.ly/3yzFqwn

‼️🐣 RT @RonFilipkowski Peter Navarro to Bannon: “You were the hero on J6, Steve. You were the guy who had the .. strategy to go up to Capitol Hill. Pence was the quarterback. We had 100 people working on the .. team who were going to make sure we remanded the results back to the battleground states.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @RonFilipkowski The 100 people he is talking about are Members of Congress who were supposed to object to the electors, then Pence was supposed to go along with it.

🐣 RT @kyledcheney NEW: One part of the pre-Jan. 6 pressure campaign against Mike Pence has been largely overlooked: Rep. Louie Gohmert’s Dec. 27 lawsuit. The suit is arguably as significant as the Eastman memo but is rarely mentioned in the same breath.
⋙ Politico: The Jan. 6 puzzle piece that’s going largely ignored http://politi.co/30AmocI
// Rep. Louie Gohmert sued then-Vice President Mike Pence on Dec. 27. Donald Trump’s involvement in the case remains unclear.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) sued Pence on Dec. 27, just as Trump was ratcheting up his pressure campaign against his vice president. Backed by a squad of lawyers associated with Trump ally and conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell, Gohmert argued Pence should assert unilateral control over certification, governed only by the vague wording of the Twelfth Amendment.

Gohmert’s move forced Pence to publicly resist Trump’s subversion of the election, only a week before the fateful Jan. 6 joint session of Congress. When the Justice Department stepped in to defend Pence from the lawsuit on Dec. 29, it marked the first time Pence signaled he wouldn’t fold to Trump’s demands.

Pence allies have long believed that Trump played a role in Gohmert’s legal strategy, and they’ve indicated that Trump was frustrated that the Justice Department intervened to defend his vice president against Gohmert’s suit. But what remains unknown is just how involved Trump was in Gohmert’s legal strategy. A spokesperson for the former president did not respond to a request for comment.

And while it’s unclear whether the Jan. 6 select panel is probing the genesis of Gohmert’s suit — which was quickly rejected by federal district and appellate courts in Texas — one committee member described it as an important episode in the runup to the violence at the Capitol. ¤ “It’s a significant detail in that it was part of a plan to isolate and coerce Pence,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.).

A litany of new details about Trump’s pressure campaign against Pence have emerged in recent weeks. Those include memos from Trump attorneys John Eastman and Jenna Ellis that lay out fringe legal rationales for halting certification, as well as proof of further public and private force exerted by Trump himself. Gohmert’s suit is rarely mentioned in the publicly available pre-Jan. 6 timetable.

Gohmert’s goal, outlined in the suit, was to force Pence to ignore the 130-year-old law that governs the final certification of presidential elections and instead wield total authority over the proceedings. Pence ultimately decided that he lacked this power and his role was almost entirely ceremonial. He revealed his final decision on Jan. 6, shortly before a pro-Trump mob ransacked the Capitol amid chants that he was a “traitor” and should be hanged.

As for why Gohmert led the suit, Powell has publicly indicated that one reason was because Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has jurisdiction over his home state of Texas. Alito, Powell argued, might have bought more time for pro-Trump forces to reverse the results by blocking Pence from certifying Biden’s victory. (There’s no evidence Alito was considering this).

As for why Gohmert led the suit, Powell has publicly indicated that one reason was because Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has jurisdiction over his home state of Texas. Alito, Powell argued, might have bought more time for pro-Trump forces to reverse the results by blocking Pence from certifying Biden’s victory. (There’s no evidence Alito was considering this).

The Texan made headlines at the time, though, after the district court rejected his court challenge. He said the effect of the court decision would leave street violence as the only option to contest the election. ¤ “In effect, the ruling would be that you’ve got to go to the streets and be as violent as antifa and BLM,“ Gohmert said on Newsmax on Jan. 1.

One aspect of Gohmert’s legal fight that went unnoticed at the time but is relevant in hindsight: One of Pence’s Justice Department defenders was Jeffrey Clark, then acting assistant attorney general. ¤ In recent months, House and Senate investigators have revealed that Clark was marshaling allies inside DOJ who might help him deploy the department in support of Trump’s bogus claims of voter fraud. He pressured department leaders to issue a letter calling into question the results in multiple states, a push that then-Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen resisted. Trump came within inches of removing Rosen and installing Clark as acting attorney general, but relented amid a promise of mass resignations.

🐣 🖼 RT @ungubunugu1274 War means Peace https://twitter.com/ungubunugu1274/status/1471311438476201987?s=20/photo/1
// Photos: At Willard Hotel: Bannon, Giuliani, Eastman, Stone, Epstein, Jason Miller

🐣 RT @tribelaw The Big Lie is now metastasizing into a Swarm of Lies . . .
⋙ 🐣 RT @OMGno2trump What’s crazier?
– Laura Trump saying Trump tried to warn people about Jan 6th insurrection
– Fox reporting it as if it’s true with no questioning or fact checking
– Or the Maga crowd that will totally buy the story
It’s not a good look for so many in US to be willfully insane.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @Acyn Lara Trump claims that Trump tried to warn people about January 6th
💽 https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1471308742088028166?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @AnaCabrera A confirmed tornado was reported over Plainview, in SE Minnesota, just after 8pm local time tonight. This is the first tornado ever reported in the state of Minnesota during the month of December, according to NOAA data.

🐣 RT @BillKristol “What have Republicans done? The worst among them are complicit while the slightly less dangerous are still gaslighting…They are contemptuous of accountability…They have refused to disavow any of the revelations…There will be no further defections.”
⋙ TheBulwark, AB Stoddard: The Attempted Republican Coup Should Be the Democrats’ Leading Message http://bit.ly/3GMwPcz

⭕ 15 Dec 2021

WaPo, Dana Milbank: The bulldogs of Benghazi roll over for insurrectionists http://wapo.st/3yD4DWH “The differing responses to the two tragedies show the rank hypocrisy in the Republican Party and the sickness that has taken hold of it”

🐣 RT @swin24 I am trying to think of someone who recently has so epically and colossally punched himself, this many times in such a short period of time, in his own dick this hard, as much as Mark Meadows has managed to do so; and the only other name coming to mind so far is Mark Meadows
⋙ 🐣 RT @swin24 And he did it throughout the course of a singular mission to try to make Donald Trump happy, and now Trump has been constantly shit-talking Meadows behind his back, this is one reason why game-show racism cults can backfire for its faithful adherents

🐣 RT @swin24 The irony is that if trump did try Flynn’s idea to do a fascistic military intervention, the military woulda said no, and likely no one dies. Various top aides to Trump, including Meadows, worked together to steer Trump towards slightly less blatantly authoritarian steps. Then…
⋙ 🐣 RT @swin24 …he picks one of their “less crazy” prescriptions that results in flabby insurrection and a body count, including one of the Blue Lives keeps telling you he cares so effusively for. And the daily covid death counts are climbing, can we have 2020 back now

WaPo, Philip Bump: Ten minutes of dishonest fury, presented to an audience of millions http://wapo.st/3DZ0Gge Life down the rabbit hole. (My head hurts)

💙 NYT: Meadows and the Band of Loyalists: How They Fought to Keep Trump in Power http://nyti.ms/3EZZtGx
// A small circle of Republican lawmakers, working closely with President Donald J. Trump’s chief of staff, took on an outsize role in pressuring the Justice Department, amplifying conspiracy theories and flooding the courts in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

🐣 RT @HillaryClinton The Big Lie is just that.
⋙ 🐣 RT @AP An @AP review of every potential case of voter fraud in the six battleground states disputed by former President Donald Trump has found fewer than 475 cases of fraud — a number so small it would have made no difference in the 2020 presidential election.
⋙⋙ AP: Far too little vote fraud to tip election to Trump, AP finds http://bit.ly/3GEaSfM
// Democrat Joe Biden won Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and their 79 Electoral College votes by a combined 311,257 votes out of 25.5 million ballots cast for president. The disputed ballots represent just 0.15% of his victory margin in those states.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance A key take away from the Jan 6 Comm’s work – they aren’t treating that day as a stand-alone event. They view it as the culmination of Trump’s efforts to steal the election, including coercion in GA & the plan to replace DOJ leadership with someone who’d further the big lie.

WaPo, Aaron Blake: The GOP plotted to overturn the 2020 election before it was even over http://wapo.st/3IVutd4

What we’ve learned in recent days has driven that home about as well as anything — including the latest disclosure about Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’s text messages.

As the calendar turned to Nov. 4, 2020 — the morning after Election Day — the results of the presidential race were still up in the air. The New York Times analyzed the incomplete results that morning with a headline that stated, “Can Biden Still Win? Yes.” We here at The Washington Post wrote that it remained “a tight race to 270 electoral votes,” with plenty of doubt about the outcome.

It wouldn’t be until late that day that Michigan and Wisconsin would be called for Joe Biden, at which point it looked like he had an edge — though the outcome would still be in doubt for three more days.

But even as all this was playing out on Nov. 4, momentum was building behind a drastic step. As Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.) detailed Tuesday night, a Republican member of Congress texted then-White House chief of staff Meadows that same day with an idea for an “AGRESSIVE [sic] STRATEGY.”

“Why can t [sic] the states of GA NC PENN and other R[epublican] controlled state houses declare this is BS (where conflicts and election not called that night) and just send their own electors to vote and have it go to the [Supreme Court],” wrote the lawmaker, who was not identified.

… This member of Congress was advocating for appointing alternate electors in states that were still up in the air. Pennsylvania wouldn’t be called for Biden until Nov. 7, and Georgia wouldn’t go for him until Nov. 19. North Carolina was ultimately called for Trump, but not until Nov. 13. ¤ [Kyle] Cheney notes that the text lays bare what this was really about: “scrapping democracy before the votes were even counted.” ¤ To be clear, the idea that Republicans might try to appoint alternate slates of electors had been floating around for a while — even before the election — and Trump had previewed baseless claims of fraud both before Election Day and in the wee hours of Nov. 4. It was clear Trump was going to fight a loss.

What this new evidence reinforces is that Republicans and those around Trump didn’t really care about actual evidence of fraud — or anything that could even plausibly be read as amounting to it — before leaping into “AGRESSIVE” and “highly controversial” measures to overturn the election. That evidence never arrived even later, of course, but claims about it were significantly more speculative so soon after the election.

Alternet: Jim Jordan’s office admits he sent Mark Meadows a plan to overturn the election from Biden http://bit.ly/33rJ6Vj So, it was him! ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1471240752701267969?s=20/photo/1

In his text to Meadows, the far-right Jordan wrote, “On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all the electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all — in accordance with guidance from founding father Alexander Hamilton and judicial precedence. ‘No legislative act,’ wrote Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 78, ‘contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.’”

Jordan continued, “The court in Hubbard v. Lowe reinforced this truth: ‘That an unconstitutional statute is not a law at all is a proposition no longer open to discussion.’ 226 F. 135, 137 (SDNY 1915), appeal dismissed, 242 U.S. 654 (1916).”

Jordan’s office, according to Politico’s Kyle Cheney, has “confirmed” that he sent that text to Meadows — who, the U.S. House of Representatives voted, should be held in contempt of Congress for failing to cooperate with the January 6 committee.

NYT, Thomas Edsall: How to Tell When Your Country Is Past the Point of No Return http://nyti.ms/3q1pLSI

🐣 RT @SAPinker Though both ideological tribes bear some responsibility for political polarization, the two major American political parties are far from symmetrical, particularly in the most fundamental commitment.
⋙ 🐣 ◕ RT @RichardHanania Indistinguishable https://twitter.com/RichardHanania/status/1470987252431933444?s=20/photo/1
// V-Dem Institute’s index for how “anti-pluralist” a party is (w FoxNews marker)

🔆 This❗️⋙ Reuters: The military-intelligence veterans who helped lead Trump’s campaign of disinformation http://reut.rs/3GNifSc Including Mike Flynn and Phil Waldron, a PSYOPs expert who briefed GOP legislators
// After Donald Trump lost the White House, ex-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and three other current and former U.S. Army officers challenged the vote’s legitimacy and pushed baseless conspiracy claims. Military ethicists say their actions threaten to weaken the public’s faith in democracy.

During the Afghan and Iraq wars, the careers of two military officers often intersected. Army General Michael Flynn and an Army Reserve colonel named Phil Waldron worked together on secret projects in both countries, Waldron said. When Flynn was appointed to run the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency in 2012, Waldron said he worked at the DIA’s clandestine service.

Flynn was an intel expert. Waldron’s specialty was psychological operations, or PSYOPs – targeting foreign adversaries, as an Army field manual describes, “to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately, the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.”

Now the two military veterans, along with at least two other retired and reserve officers, are engaged in a new mission, this time with a domestic target: They are central to the far-right effort to persuade Americans that the 2020 election was stolen from then-President Donald Trump.

For the past year, Flynn, Waldron and other intelligence veterans have helped propagate some of the outlandish theories undercutting Americans’ faith in democracy. They pitched false accusations to lawmakers and the public about how the election had been compromised, pushed spurious lawsuits to challenge its outcome, and bankrolled efforts to conduct partisan audits of the results. They provided briefings to members of Congress on methods for overturning the election, and worked aside some of the leading actors in Trump’s “Stop the Steal” movement.

“I think we’re doing a huge service,” Waldron told Reuters in an interview. ¤ In these efforts, Flynn, Waldron and their colleagues publicly touted their military-intelligence training, arguing that their expertise on the battlefield provided them special insight into alleged election fraud at home in America.

🧵 RT @RepLizCheney Thread: Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham have now reconfirmed their views that the violence on January 6th was unjustified and unacceptable. (1/4) 📌 https://twitter.com/RepLizCheney/status/1471151118038315013?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @RepLizCheney Mark Meadows turned over many texts he received to the Committee. Hannity and Ingraham are standing by the texts they sent to Meadows on January 6 urging that President Trump take immediate action to stop the violence. (2/4)
⋙ 🐣 RT @RepLizCheney As we know, for multiple hours, President Trump chose not to take the specific and immediate action many urged – as the violent mob besieged & invaded the Capitol, attacked & injured scores of Capitol Police, & obstructed Congress’s count of electoral votes. (3/4)
⋙ 🐣 RT @RepLizCheney This was a supreme dereliction of the President’s duty, and the @January6thCmte is examining these issues in detail. (4/4)

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews #Russia’s state TV host Olga Skabeeva described the launch of an Otvet advanced anti-submarine missile by the Russian Pacific Fleet’s frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov as Moscow’s response to the discussions of “sanctions from hell” in the U.S. Senate. “Otvet” means “Response.”

🐣 RT @MichaelArt123 Claire McCaskill[:] Personal account for emails!! These guys have some nerve don’t they? After all the crap they gave Hillary
Docs confirm Meadows used personal gmail accounts, a personal cellphone, and Signal for official business and to send communications related to January 6th

💙 ✅ RT @PolitiFact Nearly a year later, there is zero evidence to say that Jan. 6 was an antifa operation, a tourist visit, a false flag, or an uneventful day to forget. Lies about the Capitol insurrection is this year’s Lie of the Year: http://bit.ly/3INKQbM

🧵 RT @MuellerSheWrote THREAD: A couple of interesting things. I’m sure you’ve noticed by now the deliberate legalese used by Liz Cheney repeatedly during recent hearings. “Whether trump by action or inaction corruptly sought to obstruct or impeded Congress’ official proceeding.” This is no accident 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/MuellerSheWrote/status/1470938692004892675?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote … Where am I going with this? I just find it deliberate and fascinating that the committee co-chair is using criminal language to describe trump’s behavior that’s currently being used by the DoJ to charge insurrectionists, and that a judge just ruled they could. END

⭕ 14 Dec 2021

🐣 RT @LionHunterMusic That means all @HouseGOP seditionists, and @SenMikeLee, @RandPaul, @marcorubio, @SenRonJohnson & @SenJohnKennedy are disqualified in the 2022 elections… Text Block: https://twitter.com/LionHunterMusic/status/1470832918658371585?s=20/photo/1

14TH AMENDMENT (Amendment XIV), Section 3
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

DailyBeast, Matt Lewis: Old Man Trump Is Looking Weaker and Weaker—Sad! http://bit.ly/32hosXC “[J]ust 44 percent of Republicans want him to run for president again (and 32 percent want him out of politics altogether)”
// People don’t want him to go away mad, they just want him to go away.

TheHill: Trump says Pence ‘mortally wounded’ in GOP because of actions on Jan. 6 http://bit.ly/3q7j1Tr “I was disappointed in one thing, but it was a big thing. Mike should have sent those crooked votes back to the legislatures and you would have had a different [election] result”

Former President Trump said this weekend that former Vice President Mike Pence has been “mortally wounded” by allowing the congressional certification of the 2020 election results.

“I was disappointed in one thing, but it was a big thing,” Trump said during a ticketed event in Sunrise, Fla., on Saturday, according to CNN. ¤ “Mike should have sent those crooked votes back to the legislatures and you would have had a different result in the election, in my opinion,” the former president told the audience at the stop on Bill O’Reilly’s “History Tour.”

Trump implied that Pence wouldn’t get support from voters because of his alleged inaction on Jan. 6. ¤ “I think Mike has been very badly hurt by what took place in respect to January 6. I think he’s been mortally wounded, frankly, because I see the reaction he’s getting from people,” Trump added, per CNN.

RawStory: The emperor has no clothes: Trump supporters are abandoning former president as his weaknesses are exposed http://bit.ly/31QWSRf

In two separate pieces published on Tuesday, longtime conservative commentators explained that while Donald Trump still looks like the frontrunner for the 2024 GP presidential nomination, there are warning signs that his influence in the Republican Party is waning as his act grows old and fans seem to have grown weary of him.

Writing for the Daily Beast, Matt Lewis stated that there is more than enough evidence that conservative voters are beginning to ignore the former president as evidenced by the poor showing so far by potential 2022 GOP candidates he has endorsed and this past weekend’s rallies in his new home state of Florida that were poorly attended.

In the LA Times, conservative Jonah Goldberg hammered home the same point. ¤ Noting that a recent poll shows that about half of Republicans questioned indicated that don’t want to see Trump run again, Goldberg explained that boredom with Trump could mean conservatives and GOP lawmakers can feel free to ignore him.

🐣 RT @CheriJacobus FB pal: Trump was waiting to see if the coup was going to succeed. After 187 minutes Pence had not been sent to the gallows, AOC & Pelosi’s heads were not up on spikes and the coup dissolved into madness & disorganization. But make no mistake, Trump knew exactly what he was doing

TheHill: Judge dismisses Trump suit to block Congress from getting tax returns http://bit.ly/3INKyBH ~ a judge Trump appointed who mentions that even though tax returns are private, it is entirely up to the committee chairman to determine whether to release them

WaPo: Text messages to Meadows renew focus on Trump’s inaction during Jan. 6 attack http://wapo.st/3IQYomP

On Tuesday, Cheney read aloud texts that Republican members of Congress had sent Meadows on Jan. 6 after rioters breached the Capitol. The disclosures came as the House was poised to vote to hold Meadows in criminal contempt of Congress for defying the committee’s subpoena. ¤ “It is really bad up here,” one said, according t, mo Cheney. Others texted, “The president needs to stop this ASAP” and “Fix this no )

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) read one message to Meadows from an unidentified sender regarding the possibility that Jeffrey Clark — the former acting head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, who appeared open to pursuing Trump’s attempts to overturn the election results — would replace Jeffrey Rosen, then the acting attorney general.

“I heard Jeff Clark is getting put in on Monday. That’s amazing. It will make a lot of patriots happy. And I’m personally so proud that you are at the tip of the spear and I could call you a friend,” Schiff said the Jan. 3 text read.

Most of the focus this week, however, has been on the fact that Meadows is one of a few people who may be able to provide insight into why Trump stayed silent for hours while the Capitol was ransacked by his supporters rather than call off the mob and then released a video hours later that praised the rioters even as he asked them to stop their offensive on Congress.

During a committee meeting Monday night, Cheney revealed several other texts to Meadows from Fox News hosts Laura Ingraham, Brian Kilmeade and Sean Hannity, all of whom have since downplayed the severity of the insurrection in their coverage. On Jan. 6, however, the urgency in their entreaties to Meadows was clear.

“Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy,” Ingraham wrote.
“Please get him on TV,” Kilmeade wrote, adding that the attack was “destroying everything you have accomplished.”
Hannity similarly asked Meadows if Trump could “make a statement” and “ask people to leave the Capitol.”

“As we saw last night, dozens of texts — including from Trump administration officials, from members of the press, from Donald Trump Jr. — urged immediate action by the president,” Cheney said Tuesday. “But we know hours passed with no action by the president to defend the Congress of the United States from an assault while we were trying to count electoral votes.”

Timestamps for the newly released text messages to Meadows are not yet publicly known, but from the moment the Capitol was breached at 2:11 p.m. on Jan. 6, Trump resisted calls to intervene for 187 minutes — more than three hours — while watching the riot play out on television. In the first two hours alone, the mob broke into both the House speaker’s office and the Senate chamber. Three rioters died in that time frame, and scores of police officers were assaulted, some with their own weapons, while dozens of lawmakers feared for their lives in hiding.

Through it all was a lack of action from Trump. In the first message Trump posted to Twitter after the Capitol was breached, he continued to blame Vice President Mike Pence for not blocking the certification of the 2020 election results. At the time, some in the mob outside the Capitol were chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” and Pence himself was being evacuated with his family to a secured location.

“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” Trump tweeted at 2:24 p.m. that day. ¤ At 2:38 p.m., Trump tweeted, “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”

At some point after the 2:38 p.m. tweet, Trump Jr. texted Meadows with a frantic request for his father, according to messages read aloud Monday by Cheney.

“He’s got to condemn this s — t ASAP,” Trump Jr. wrote, according to Cheney. “The Capitol Police tweet is not enough.” ¤ “I’m pushing it hard,” Meadows responded. “I agree.” ¤ “We need an Oval Office address. He has to lead now,” Trump Jr. continued. “It has gone too far and gotten out of hand.”

At 2:45 p.m., Punchbowl News founder Jake Sherman also sent Meadows a series of text messages: “Do something for us … We are under siege in the cpaitol [sic] … There’s an armed standoff at the house chamber door … We’re all helpless …” Sherman said he never received a response, but the timing of his texts would indicate Meadows had been made further aware of the severity of the situation from someone inside the Capitol even after Trump’s second tweet.

At 3:13 p.m., Trump tweeted: “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order — respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”

It would be more than an hour before Trump addressed the nation again, and it wouldn’t be until the worst of the attack had subsided. At 4:17 p.m., he posted a video to his Twitter account, telling rioters, “Go home. We love you, you’re very special.”

“I know your pain, I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us,” Trump said in the video, continuing to push his baseless claims that the 2020 election had been rigged against him. “But you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt. It’s a very tough period of time … So go home. We love you, you’re very special.”

The Washington Post has previously reported that several other high-profile Republicans attempted to contact Trump or his closest aides during the insurrection to get him to call off the mob. Some of those included Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, former senior counselor Kellyanne Conway and former communications director Alyssa Farah, who told Meadows, “If someone doesn’t say something, people will die.” Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) also called Meadows to request help from the National Guard.

On Monday, Cheney said the newly revealed texts were “further evidence of President Trump’s supreme dereliction of duty during those 187 minutes.” ¤ “Did Donald Trump, through action or inaction, corruptly seek to obstruct or impede Congress’s official proceedings to count electoral votes?” Cheney said the committee was seeking to determine.

Immediately after the insurrection, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) said McCarthy had relayed details of his call with Trump, noting Trump had “initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol.” ¤ According to Herrera Beutler, after McCarthy told Trump it was his supporters storming the Capitol, Trump responded: “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.” Three months later, McCarthy claimed that Trump had been unaware of the attack until McCarthy called him to urge his supporters to go home.

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters he was not personally in contact with Meadows or other White House officials on Jan. 6 to try to get Trump to call off the riot. ¤ “But I do think we’re all watching, as you are, what’s unfolding on the House side, and it will be interesting to reveal all the participants that were involved,” said McConnell, who had worked to block the formation of an independent Jan. 6 commission in May.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday said it was not surprising some of Trump’s public boosters had been revealed to be among those who had privately begged him to tamp down the riot. ¤ “Well, it’s disappointing and unfortunately not surprising that some of the very same individuals who are willing to warn, condemn and express horror over what happened on January 6 in private … were totally silent in public or even worse, were spreading lies and conspiracy theories and continue to, since that time,” Psaki said.

WaPo: Man who threatened to shoot Pelosi and brought guns and ammo to D.C. is sentenced to 28 months http://wapo.st/3yr5Yje
// Cleveland Meredith Jr. repeatedly texted family and friends saying he hoped to shoot Pelosi and assault the nation’s capital

🐣 RT @cbouzy I love you Lawrence, but this isn’t it. Trump knew precisely what he was doing; he was hoping the mob would murder members of Congress. Fox hosts, members of Congress, Donald Jr…etc., were contacting him because they knew he was going full coup and they were terrified.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Lawrence Each person texting the White House on Jan 6—Fox hosts, members of Congress, Donald Trump Jr—was certain of one thing: Donald Trump had no idea what to do.
They knew they had to tell the incompetent president what to do.
They knew the Commander in Chief was unfit to serve.
⋙⋙ 🐣 trying to figure which is worse

🐣 RT @January6thCmte “If he [Meadows] can get away of ignoring the law, if witnesses summoned before Congress can merely pick and choose when they comply, our power of oversight will be gone and along with it our cherished system of checks and balances.- @RepAdamSchiff 💽 https://twitter.com/January6thCmte/status/1470894143178219523?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @duty2warn Trump LOST the House, Presidency AND Senate. Got suspended by Twitter and FB. Deutsche Bank cut ties. PGA bumped his club. Corporate America steers clear. Company, CFO indicted. When Nat’l Archives gets records and Congress gets taxes, he’ll be a future convict. He’s quite upset
NYT: Proud Boys Regroup, Focusing on School Boards and Town Councils http://nyti.ms/3DQftd3
// The far-right nationalist group has become increasingly active at school board meetings and town council gatherings across the country.

🐣 RT @Hobie_SHRED https://twitter.com/Hobie_SHRED/status/1470833835378053120?s=20/photo/1
// Ingraham, Kilmeade, Hannity: what they texted Meadows vs what they said on their shows

WaPo: Trump’s longtime accountant testifies to N.Y. grand jury in criminal probe http://wapo.st/31PZajz

🐣 RT @RonFilipkowski What did we learn last night?
1. All the Fox hosts had Meadows cell number.
2. They either didn’t have Trump’s, or he was blowing them off.
3. They believed Trump and only Trump had the ability to control the mob.
4. They believed they had influence over Trump and could … get him to do what they wanted.
5. Meadows either never relayed their messages to Trump or he blew them off.
6. Everyone in Trump’s orbit – media, friends, WH staff, Cabinet, family, and Members of Congress were begging him to tell them to stop but he refused to do anything.

🧵 RT @atrupar Fox News has spent a year pumping viewers’ brains full of nonsense about Jan 6 being the work of antifa, or an FBI trap, that the officers who were assaulted are actually crisis actors. The Meadows texts reveal how fraudulent and disingenuous all this work to rewrite history is. 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1470849247528505352?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar And yet there is no doubt that Fox succeeded in shaping how viewers think about that day. Hell, after all the gaslighting it was helpful for me to read the texts and be reminded of how it actually went down. The platform they have is a powerful one and they use it to do bad stuff
⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar But how does Fox respond to being exposed as total frauds? They completely ignore it. So viewers who don’t pay attention to other news sources might not even know that Hannity & Ingraham & Kilmeade have been exposed. Instead, they spend the day on nonsense like the segment below. https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1470851313131044867?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @brianklaas If you break the way people get credible information, you break democracy.
⋙ 🐣 RT @WalshFreedom The problem remains the same: The people who need to be told the truth about these January 6th texts never will be told the truth.

🐣 RT @costareports “It will be interesting to reveal all the participants who were involved.” [~McConnell] 💽 https://twitter.com/costareports/status/1470834849971945473?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @Acyn Greene: *calls Democrats communists*
Raskin: We are not communists as the gentle lady from Georgia suggested, that’s just the friends of the former President who you lionize like the dictator of North Korea and Vladimir Putin..so those are your friends, don’t put them on our side

🐣 RT @harrylitman Wow. @Liz_Cheney going straight to possible criminal culpability by Trump as reason they need Meadows’s testimony. They are not messing around. Also puts maximum pressure on Meadows- without his testimony, nobody to defend Trump.

WaPo: The Meadows texts and the weird PowerPoint take Jan. 6 inside the White House http://wapo.st/3m7tAV9 ‼️‘Caution about the PowerPoint is justified: As Philip Bump documented, there are questions about its authenticity and how seriously the West Wing took it’
// Full: Early caution about the PowerPoint was justified: As my colleague Philip Bump documented, there were questions about its authenticity and how seriously the West Wing took the document’s outlandish claims.

WaPo: DC attorney general sues Proud Boys, Oath Keepers over Jan 6 attack http://wapo.st/33vqfc8 “Racine said the goal of the Jan. 6 lawsuit is ‘full restitution and recompense’ for the city of Washington, which has incurred huge costs for treating hundreds of injured officers”

D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine (D) on Tuesday sued the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers over the Jan. 6 attack on Congress, seeking to use a law written to cripple the Ku Klux Klan to exact stiff financial penalties from the far-right groups that Racine alleges were responsible for the violence.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., cites the modern version of an 1871 law known as the Ku Klux Klan Act, which was enacted after the Civil War to safeguard government officials carrying out their duties and protect civil rights. Two similar suits have been filed already this year related to Jan. 6 — one by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, and another by a number of police officers who fought the rioters that day.

Racine’s suit, however, is the first effort by a government agency to hold individuals and organizations civilly responsible for the violence at the U.S. Capitol on the day Congress ceremonially confirmed President Biden’s 2020 election victory.

A similar legal tactic led to a $26 million verdict last month against more than a dozen of the nation’s most influential white supremacists and hate groups for their role in the deadly 2017 United the Right rally in Charlottesville. That trial evidence drew heavily on the defendants’ text messages, social media posts and videos to reconstruct how they conspired in advance of the violence.

Racine said the goal of the Jan. 6 lawsuit is “full restitution and recompense” for the city of Washington, which has incurred huge costs for treating hundreds of injured officers. “I think the damages are substantial,” he said in a phone interview. “If it so happens that it bankrupts or puts these individuals and entities in financial peril, so be it.” ¤ The suit names as defendants Proud Boys International LLC, Oath Keepers and dozens of their most high-profile members — mostly individuals who are charged in federal court with committing crimes related to Jan. 6.

Racine declined to say whether he’d discussed the lawsuit with the U.S. Justice Department officials overseeing those criminal cases. Federal prosecutors have filed conspiracy charges against individuals affiliated with the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, and the FBI continues to investigate those groups’ activities in the days and months leading up to Jan. 6.

Racine’s civil suit was put together with the backing of two nonprofit groups that focused on the Jan. 6 assault: the States United Democracy Center and the Anti-Defamation League. Those groups and two private law firms served as pro bono outside counsel to the attorney general as he developed the case.

“There is no substitute for bringing a civil suit that seeks damages against each of the individuals and groups responsible,” said Norman Eisen, a veteran of the Obama White House Counsel’s Office who co-chairs the Democracy Center with former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman, a Republican. “It is a way to assure those bad actors never do it again.” ¤ The lawsuit also aims to unravel the financing behind the groups. “I’m particularly interested in understanding the financial apparatus of these individuals and entities and where the money came from,” Racine said.

One of the most badly injured was D.C. police officer Michael Fanone, who was shocked with a stun gun as rioters dragged him down the steps of the Capitol. Fanone lost consciousness and was stripped of his badge and gun; he suffered a heart attack and a traumatic brain injury.

“The domestic terrorists who stormed the Capitol and violently assaulted hundreds of brave law enforcement officers were stoked by groups promoting The Big Lie,” Fanone said in a statement. “Those of us who suffered physical and emotional harm trying to defend democracy will never forget, nor will we cease working to hold accountable everyone responsible for inciting the mob, wherever the evidence may lead.”

The lawsuit draws heavily on evidence gathered by federal prosecutors seeking to prove that dozens of Oath Keepers and Proud Boys members conspired to disrupt the peaceful transition of power. It says the defendants conspired “to prevent, interrupt, hinder, and impede, through force, intimidation, and threat . . . United States officials from discharging official duties of their offices and positions of trust as part of the formal process for counting and certifying the count of electoral votes for the 2020 presidential election and declaring a winner of the 2020 presidential election.”

In the criminal cases, prosecutors have drawn on encrypted chats and emails to claim that the Oath Keepers planned for weeks in advance of Jan. 6 — recruiting new members, engaging in paramilitary training, setting up radios to stay in communication and stashing guns just across the river in Virginia. ¤ Prosecutors say one Florida Oath Keepers member said in a Dec. 19 Facebook message that he had “formed an alliance” with the Proud Boys to “shut this [expletive] down,” and later referred to the Proud Boys as a “force multiplier.” On Jan. 6, according to prosecutors, several Oath Keepers entered the Capitol in a militarylike “stack” with the goal of disrupting the electoral college count.

Stewart Rhodes, the Oath Keepers’ founder, has not been charged with a crime, nor is he named as a defendant in Racine’s lawsuit. Charging papers in the criminal cases refer to him simply as “Person One.” Prosecutors say he designated leaders for the Jan. 6 operation, huddling with them before they went in the building and staying in touch with them as they stormed the Capitol.

WaPo, Greg Sargent: Fox News hosts grew alarmed about Jan. 6 — after feeding the ‘big lie’ themselves http://wapo.st/3qeHUwz “MediaMatters documented an extraordinary range of hyperbolic, unhinged and outright false claims on Fox about the election in its aftermath”

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: A federal court has ruled that obstructing the electoral vote count is illegal. Trump should panic. http://wapo.st/3oRXHSe //➔ Whether Trump intended violence doesn’t matter; all that matters is if he “corruptly” intended to disrupt the “official proceeding”

U.S. District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich ruled last week that an effort to interrupt the counting of the electoral votes can be a crime — even if no violence was contemplated.

Friedrich’s ruling came in the case against Ronald Sandlin and Nathaniel DeGrave, two men accused of storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. In doing so, she refused to throw out charges that they had “corruptly” obstructed an official proceeding before Congress by “entering and remaining in the United States Capitol without authority and committing an act of civil disorder, and engaging in disorderly and disruptive conduct.”

“This December 10 Friedrich opinion does indeed seem important to me,” constitutional legal scholar Laurence Tribe tells me. Whether it is an obstruction charge — or a charge of sedition or conspiracy to commit sedition (under either sections 2383 or 2384 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code) — Tribe observes that the principal obstacle to prosecution has been “the argument that the electoral count certification in the Joint Session of Congress is too ministerial to count as an official proceeding.” However, Tribe concludes, “This federal court opinion undercuts that line of argument.”

Former acting solicitor general Neal Katyal has been voicing this exact argument for some time. “Judge Friedrich’s decision means the prosecutors don’t have to show someone intended violence for it to be a crime,” he explains. “So long as the intent was to influence and disrupt the congressional function of counting the votes, that is sufficient — so long as it was done ‘corruptly.’ ” Katyal notes that the judge cited “a prior ruling by a conservative superstar jurist, Judge Laurence Silberman, [who] defined ‘corruptly’ to be to be doing something by unlawful means.”

Too many people have let themselves be sidetracked into looking for a connection between Trump and the violence of Jan. 6. But that evidence is unnecessary because the crime here is the end result — the intended disruption of the House electoral vote-counting. And from every document, news report or tell-all book we have seen, that is precisely what Trump tried to do. Simply because he told the world about his corrupt intent does not make it any less illegal.

⭕ 13 Dec 2021

WaPo: House Jan. 6 committee votes to hold Meadows in contempt, details texts from Trump allies who wanted him to call off rioters http://wapo.st/3IPxUlO

WaPo: Fox News hosts urged Meadows to have Trump stop Jan. 6 violence, texts show http://wapo.st/3ymnrJM
// Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Brian Kilmeade expressed alarm, concern, according to messages shared during House select committee hearing

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote I’m about to go to sleep. December 13th, 2021, and I’m imagining people in the future studying this day. We were all here to witness it, and whether democracy prevails, or whether it fails, today will be talked about for centuries.

🧵 RT @TheRickWilson 1/ It’s a message the great unwashed MAGAe horde won’t clearly understand; Hannity, Ingraham, Kilmeade, et al at Fox knew exactly how bad this was and were acting behind the scenes to stop it. ¤ The whole kayfabe of utter loyalty to the Dear Leader is just that. 💽 📌 https://twitter.com/TheRickWilson/status/1470592011656962049?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 2/ “Hurrr durrrr Hannity pwns duh cucks” is sucker bait. Every one of them — most ESPECIALLY Baron Tucker Von Fishsticks — are performance artists who don’t know, understand, or embrace conservatism. They’re actors in Rupert’s Winger Minstrel Show.

🐣 RT @brhodes Waiting for the self-reflection from political media about their rabid and sanctimonious interest in the use of personal email for work purposes until precisely November 8, 2016.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Acyn Documents confirm that Meadows had been using personal gmail accounts, a personal cellphone, and Signal for official business and to send communications related to January 6th

🧵 RT @SteveSchmidtSES Fox News hosts and executives hold their audience in complete contempt. They despise them. The disrespect shown to the audience is unprecedented in broadcast history. The lying is ceaseless and every word is delivered with blind faith that the audience is stupid and oblivious 📌 https://twitter.com/SteveSchmidtSES/status/1470618661224431618?s=20

🐣 RT @mccaffreyr3 Absolutely the correct action by DOD to discharge military personnel refusing COVID vaccine. The Armed Forces must deploy and fight on short notice. This is a science based health directive. They also must unequivocally obey lawful orders.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @AP BREAKING: Air Force discharges 27 over the coronavirus vaccine mandate. They are believed to be the first U.S. service members removed over the shot mandate. http://apne.ws/sVaMMoQ
🐣 They’ll go straight to joining the rightwing militias and vigilantes

🐣 RT @NPR In the messages, Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News hosts Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity urge Meadows to get then-President Donald Trump to tell his supporters to leave the Capitol. https://n.pr/3m0lXQc https://twitter.com/NPR/status/1470593908702953474?s=20/photo/1

Text messages sent to Mark Meadows during the Jan 6th siege
“POTUS has to come out firmly and tell protestors to dissipate. Someone is going to get killed”
“Mark, he needs to stop this. Now”
“TELL THEM TO GO HOME”
“POTUS needs to calm this s*** down.
As the violence continued, one of the President’s sons texted Meadows:
“He’s got to condemn this s*** Asap. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough.” Donald Trump, Jr. texted.

🐣 RT @GetWisdomDude Shake The Justice Dept. ¤ Amendment 14 Sec 3
No Person Shall Be A Senator or Representative In Congress or Elector Of President & Vice-President Who, Having Previously Taken An Oath To Support The Constitution Of The US, Shall Engage In Insurrection or Rebellion Against The Same. 💽 https://twitter.com/GetWisdomDude/status/1470541800494575618?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: Fox News hosts urged Meadows to have Trump stop Jan. 6 violence, texts show http://wapo.st/3ymnrJM “This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy.”
// Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Brian Kilmeade expressed alarm, concern, according to messages shared during House select committee hearing

🔆 This❗️⋙ USAToday Editorial: Democracy in the balance: Revise Senate filibuster to protect elections and voting rights http://bit.ly/3ymoOYK
//. Our View: America is facing a take-no-prisoners assault on fair elections that can be defeated by elements of the Freedom to Vote Act pending before Congress.

💙 🧵 RT @JillWineBanks 1/ #Jan6thCommittee votes to hold @MarkMeadows in contempt. This is the right decision, but commentators saying that Meadows has a stronger case for ExecPriv than Bannon are wrong. Both have ZERO basis for claiming privilege. Here’s why – and it’s worth reading the full thread. 📌 https://twitter.com/JillWineBanks/status/1470578742309314567?s=20

🐣 RT @JillWineBanks The powerpoint @MarkMeadows gave the #Jan6thCommittee presents an interesting similarity to #Watergate. Like #OperationGemstone that was presented to Nixon’s AG laying out the Watergate DNC break-in, here the crimes of Jan 6 were laid out in the PPT and given to Trump’s CofS.

🐣 RT @BillKristol Don Jr. texts Meadows, “He’s got to condemn this shit ASAP.” Meadows responds: “I’m pushing it hard.” ¤ In other words, Meadows was talking to Trump and pushing him to stop the insurrection. Trump refused. Trump knew was happening, and he refused to act. He was pro-insurrection.

🐣 RT @January6thCmte “These texts leave no doubt: the White House knew exactly what was happening at the Capitol. Members of Congress, the press, and others wrote to Mark Meadows as the attack was underway.”-Vice Chair @RepLizCheney 💽 https://twitter.com/January6thCmte/status/1470578269628026882?s=20

🐣 RT @allinwithchris Before voting to hold Mark Meadows in contempt, the January 6th committee revealed text messages in which Fox News hosts Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Brian Kilmeade begged Mark Meadows to get Trump to call of the riot.
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, AllIn: Jan. 6 panel: Fox News hosts texted Meadows amid riot, urged intervention http://on.msnbc.com/3IID7vL
// Mehdi Hasan: “On what grounds do we call other countries ‘failed states’? How, in the United States of America, in 2021, are we asking teachers to scramble on the ground for cash, as a stadium full of people cheer and jeer?”

🐣 RT @MayaWiley Remember how outraged Republicans in Congress were over Hillary Clinton using personal server for emails? #Meadows used personal emails and Signal. #Jan6thCommittee

🐣 RT @mkraju A GOP lawmaker texted Meadows on Jan. 7. The lawmaker wrote: “Yesterday was a terrible day. We tried everything we could in our objection to the 6 states. I’m sorry nothing worked,” per Jan. 6 committee. They don’t say who it was

NYT, David Leonhardt: America’s Anti-Democratic Movement http://nyti.ms/3s7sEUy
// It’s making progress.

🐣 RT @mkraju A GOP lawmaker texted Meadows on Jan. 7. The lawmaker wrote: “Yesterday was a terrible day. We tried everything we could in our objection to the 6 states. I’m sorry nothing worked,” per Jan. 6 committee. They don’t say who it was

🐣 RT @LincolnWatchman Nobody has taken it to Donald Trump & his sycophants more savagely than @SteveSchmidtSES over the last few years. ¤ Here are some of Steve’s greatest takedowns & some inspiration at the end. ¤ If you love Steve, this is a MUST watch! ¤ Savage Schmidt 💽 https://twitter.com/LincolnWatchman/status/1470484282791669770?s=20/photo/1

AP: Judge refuses to toss key charge in Capitol riot case http://bit.ly/3m1n6Hi “An indictment charges Sandlin and DeGrave with obstruction of an official proceeding on Jan. 6, when … Congress convened at the Capitol to certify President Joe Biden’s electoral victory”

🐣 RT @ericgarland Mark Meadows’ contempt referral is out and:
– He coordinated with the coup planners out of the White House
– He promised that the National Guard would protect Trump supporters during the attaack
– Ran the attempt to overturn Georgia’s electors…
⋙ Document [pdf] http://bit.ly/3DQEaGa 51p

Excerpts: The events of January 6, 2021, involved both a physical assault on the Capitol building and law enforcement personnel protecting it and an attack on the constitutional process central to the peaceful transfer of power following a presidential election. The counting of electoral college votes by Congress is a component of that transfer of power that occurs every January 6 following a presidential election. This event is part of a complex process, mediated through the free and fair elections held in jurisdictions throughout the country, and through the statutory and constitutional processes set up to confirm and validate the results. In the case of the 2020 presidential election, the January 6 electoral college vote count occurred following a series of efforts in the preceding weeks by Mr. Trump and his supporters to challenge the legitimacy of, disrupt, delay, and overturn the election results.

According to eyewitness accounts as well as the statements of participants in the attack on January 6, 2021, a purpose of the assault was to stop the process of validating what then-President Trump, his supporters, and his allies had falsely characterized as a ‘‘stolen’’ or ‘‘fraudulent’’ election. The claims regarding the 2020 election results were advanced and amplified in the weeks leading up to the January 6 assault, even after courts across the country had resoundingly rejected Trump campaign lawsuits claiming election fraud and misconduct, and after all States had certified the election results. As part of this effort, Mr. Trump and his associates spread false information about, and cast doubts on, the elections in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia, among other states, and pressed Federal, State, and local officials to use their authorities to challenge the election results.

To fulfill its investigative responsibilities, the Select Committee needs to understand the events and communications in which Mr. Meadows reportedly participated or that he observed.

Mr. Meadows was one of a relatively small group of people who witnessed the events of January 6 in the White House and with then-President Trump. Mr. Meadows was with or in the vicinity of then-President Trump on January 6 as he learned about the attack on the U.S. Capitol and decided whether to issue a statement that could stop the rioters.28 In fact, as the violence at the Capitol unfolded, Mr. Meadows received many messages encouraging him to have Mr. Trump issue a statement that could end the violence, and one former White House employee reportedly contacted Mr. Meadows several times and told him, ‘‘[y]ou guys have to say something. Even if the president’s not willing to put out a statement, you should go to the [cameras] and say, ‘We condemn this. Please stand down.’ If you don’t, people are going to die.’’29

Moreover, Mr. Meadows reportedly spoke with Kashyap Patel, who was then the chief of staff to former Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, ‘‘nonstop’’ throughout the day of January 6.30 And, among other things, Mr. Meadows apparently knows if and when Mr. Trump was engaged in discussions regarding the National Guard’s response to the Capitol riot, a point that is contested but about which Mr. Meadows provided documents to the Select Committee and spoke publicly on national television after President Trump left office.31
Beyond those matters, the Select Committee seeks information from Mr. Meadows about issues including the following:

● Mr. Meadows exchanged text messages with, and provided guidance to, an organizer of the January 6th rally on the Ellipse after the organizer told him that ‘‘[t]hings have gotten crazy and I desperately need some direction. Please.’’32

● Mr. Meadows sent an email to an individual about the events on January 6 and said that the National Guard would be present to ‘‘protect pro Trump people’’ and that many more would be available on standby.33

● Mr. Meadows received text messages and emails regarding apparent efforts to encourage Republican legislators in certain States to send alternate slates of electors to Congress, a plan which one Member of Congress acknowledged was ‘‘highly controversial’’ and to which Mr. Meadows responded, ‘‘I love it.’’ Mr. Meadows responded to a similar message by saying ‘‘[w]e are’’ and another such message by saying ‘‘Yes. Have a team on it.’’34

● Mr. Meadows forwarded claims of election fraud to the Acting leadership of DOJ for further investigation, some of which he may have received using a private email account and at least one of which he had received directly from people associated with Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign.35

● He also reportedly introduced Mr. Trump to then-DOJ official Jeffrey Clark.36 Mr. Clark went on to recommend to Mr. Trump that he be installed as Acting Attorney General and that DOJ should send a letter to State officials urging them to take certain actions that could affect the outcome of the November 2020 election by, among other things, appointing alternate slates of electors to cast electoral votes for Mr. Trump rather than now-President Biden.37

● Mr. Meadows participated in meetings and calls during which the participants reportedly discussed the need to ‘‘fight’’ back against ‘‘mounting evidence’’ of purported voter fraud after courts had considered and overwhelmingly rejected Trump campaign claims of voter fraud and other election irregularities. He participated in one such meeting in the Oval Office with Mr. Trump and Members of Congress, which he publicly tweeted about from his personal Twitter account shortly after.38 He participated in another such call just days before the January 6 attack with Mr. Trump, Members of Congress, attorneys for the Trump re-election campaign, and ‘‘some 300’’ State and local officials to discuss the goal of overturning certain States’ electoral college results on January 6, 2021.39

● Mr. Meadows traveled to Georgia to observe an audit of the votes days after then-President Trump complained that the audit had been moving too slowly and claimed that the signature-match system was rife with fraud.40 That trip precipitated Mr. Trump’s calls to Georgia’s Deputy secretary of state and, later, secretary of state.41 In the call with Georgia’s secretary of state, which Mr. Meadows and an attorney working with the campaign also joined, Mr. Trump pressed his unsupported claims of widespread election fraud, including claims related to deceased people voting, forged signatures, out-of-State voters, shredded ballots, triple-counted ballots, Dominion voting machines, and suitcase ballots, before telling the secretary of state that he wanted to find enough votes to ensure his victory.42 At one point during the call, Mr. Meadows asked ‘‘in the spirit of cooperation and compromise, is there something that we can at least have a discussion to look at some of these allegations to find a path forward that’s less litigious?’’43 At that point, Mr. Trump had filed two lawsuits in his personal capacity and on behalf of the campaign in Georgia, but the United States had not filed—and never did file—any. Mr. Meadows used a personal account in his attempts to reach the secretary of state before.44

● Mr. Meadows was chief of staff during the post-election period when other White House staff, including the press secretary, advanced claims of election fraud. In one press conference, the press secretary claimed that there were ‘‘very real claims’’ of fraud that the Trump re-election campaign was pursuing and said that mail-in voting was one that ‘‘we have identified as being particularly prone to fraud.’’45

● Trump spoke to rally goers and, presumably, just after the attack on the Capitol had started.54
It is apparent that Mr. Meadows’s testimony and document production are of critical importance to the Select Committee’s investigation. Congress, through the Select Committee, is entitled to discover facts concerning what led to the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, as well as White House officials’ actions and communications during and after the attack. Mr. Meadows is uniquely situated to provide key information, having straddled an official role in the White House and unofficial role related to Mr. Trump’s reelection campaign since at least election day in 2020 through January 6.

⇈ ⇊
WaPo, Greg Sargent: Mark Meadows’s coverup of Trump’s coup attempt is falling apart http://wapo.st/3DSm9HB
⋙ Index: http://bit.ly/3DVGJ9L
⋙⋙ Core Report [pdf]: http://bit.ly/3DQEaGa 51p

🐣 RT @mccaffreyr3 A Russian invasion of Ukraine is a risky option for Putin. Potential high intensity ground combat followed by guerrilla warfare. Almost certain to generate enhanced economic retaliation by the West. NATO will be energized by fear…. Who’s next? https://twitter.com/mccaffreyr3/status/1470435289038348292?s=20

⭕ 12 Dec 2021

🐣 RT @McFaul Putin invaded Georgia & Ukraine, helped to shoot down a Dutch airplane, meddled in US elections, poisoned Litvinenko & Skripal in the UK, but the West is allegedly threatening Russia, not the other way around. Orwellian.
⋙ 🐣 RT @BBCSteveR Tonight’s anti-Gorbachev/anti-Yeltsin monologue by Kiselev on Russian TV is designed I think to (a) big up Putin’s role in modern Russia (b) stoke resentment among the Russian public over Moscow’s lost influence (c) convince viewers Russia’s under threat. Here’s part of it: Text Block: https://twitter.com/BBCSteveR/status/1470090008140914689?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @justinbaragona Jake Tapper: “Make no mistake, the folks from this movement do not believe in free and fair elections. They do not believe in your vote counting unless you vote for them. Their platform is disenfranchisement and derangement. It is undemocratic and it’s frankly un-American.” 💽 https://twitter.com/justinbaragona/status/1470046433017577478?s=20/photo/1

NYT: Meadows Was Deeply Involved in Fighting Election Outcome, Jan. 6 Panel Says http://nyti.ms/3ykNl0q
// The House committee laid out its case for a contempt of Congress charge against Mark Meadows, the chief of staff to former President Donald J. Trump.

Before coming to loggerheads with the panel, Mr. Meadows provided more than 9,000 pages of records to the committee. The information they contained raised additional questions, the panel said. ¤ Among the emails and text messages that Mr. Meadows turned over were the following, the panel said:

● A Nov. 7 email that discussed an attempt to arrange with state legislators to appoint slates of pro-Trump electors instead of the Biden electors chosen by the voters. Mr. Meadows’s text messages also showed him asking members of Congress how to put Mr. Trump in contact with state legislators.

● Text messages Mr. Meadows exchanged with an unidentified senator in which he recounted Mr. Trump’s view on Vice President Mike Pence’s ability to reject electors from certain states. Mr. Trump “thinks the legislators have the power, but the VP has power too,” Mr. Meadows wrote.

● A Jan. 5 email in which Mr. Meadows said the National Guard would be present at the Capitol on Jan. 6 to “protect pro Trump people.”

● Emails from Mr. Meadows to Justice Department officials on Dec. 29, Dec. 30 and Jan. 1 in which he encouraged investigations of voter fraud, including allegations already rejected by federal investigators and courts.

● Text messages Mr. Meadows exchanged with members of Congress as violence engulfed the Capitol on Jan. 6 in which lawmakers encouraged him to persuade Mr. Trump to discourage the attack, as well as a text message sent to one of the president’s family members in which Mr. Meadows said he was “pushing hard” for Mr. Trump to “condemn this.”

● Text messages reflecting Mr. Meadows’s private skepticism about some of the wild public statements about allegations of widespread election fraud and compromised voting machines that were put forth by Sidney Powell, a lawyer working with Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer.

🧵 RT @SethAbramson (THREAD) This thread includes my thoughts on the lengthy report just issued by the House January 6 Committee—which seeks a congressional referral to DOJ for Contempt of Congress against former GOP congressman and Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows. I hope you’ll read on and share. 📌 https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1470226336904003585?s=20

🐣 RT @duty2warn “Jan 6th and The Big Lie are far worse than Watergate. Richard Nixon cheated to win and resigned. Donald Trump refused to acknowledge losing and attempted to overthrow the government. Nixon had intelligence and a conscience. Trump has only ignorance and vanity.” – John Dean

🐣 RT @FrankFigliuzzi Subversion of our military: Meadows Jan. 5 email indicated National Guard on standby to ‘protect pro Trump people,’ investigators say – POLITICO
⋙ Politico: Meadows Jan. 5 email indicated Guard on standby to ‘protect pro Trump people,’ investigators say http://politi.co/3dKH0ln “[T]he message is part of a 51-page document released Sunday by the select panel a day before it is set to vote to hold Meadows in contempt”
// The context for the message is unclear, but it comes amid scrutiny of the Guard’s slow response to the Jan. 6 violence at the Capitol.

⭕ 11 Dec 2021

NYT: In Bid for Control of Elections, Trump Loyalists Face Few Obstacles http://nyti.ms/3sfiQYX “‘This is a five-alarm fire,’ said Jocelyn Benson, the Democratic secretary of state in Michigan”
// A movement animated by Donald J. Trump’s 2020 election lies is turning its attention to 2022 and beyond.

🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom This is how close we came to a coup, and Eastman and Rudy and the other GOP seditionists can spare us their bullshit. This was a direct attack on the Constitution hatched in the White House. Yes, Pence gets credit for not doing it, but none for refusing to go public even now.
⋙ 🧵 RT @costareports (thread) Based on our reporting, Eastman begins drafting his memo in late Dec. and Trump WH has it by the new year. WH then gives it to Sen. Lee and others on Jan. 2, as we document in “Peril.” ¤ But by Jan. 3, after Pence meets w/ Sen. Parliam., it’s clear he’s not coming along. 📌 https://twitter.com/costareports/status/1469680144726040577?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @ Now, months after “Peril” was published, we are learning more about both Meadows and that key day, January *4th.* ¤ Think of it as the set-up day for the eve of the insurrection, Jan. 5, when Bannon and Giuliani work from the Willard and Trump pressures Pence, 1 on 1, in Oval.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ Read this: “The powerpoint was presented on 4 January to a number of Republican senators and members of Congress, the source said.” ¤ Meadows was in possession of a PowerPoint that echoed Eastman memo. (The origin story of the PP is a key reporting target.)https://theguardian.com/us-news/2021/dec/10/trump-powerpoint-mark-meadows-capitol-attack
⋙ 🐣 RT @ We now know that in the critical Jan. 4-5 period, where the pressure on Pence is Level 10/10, you have not only the principals leaning on the VP, but numerous docs circulating to make the case.
-Eastman memos
-PowerPoints
-And Jenna Ellis memos (see below)
https://cnn.com/2021/12/10/politics/jenna-ellis-trump-lawyer-memos-pence-biden/index.html
⋙ 🐣 RT @ But despite all of these docs and PowerPts, the most revealing thing of this period isn’t a document. It’s what he says to Pence on Jan. 5. ¤ At the end of the day, Trump isn’t looking to these docs to make his case. He looks to the gathering mob in the streets. (Ch. 43, “Peril”)
⋙ 🐣 RT @ “If these people say you had the power, wouldn’t you want to?” Trump asked.
“I wouldn’t want any one person to have that authority,” Pence said.
“But wouldn’t it almost be cool to have that power?” Trump asked.
“No,” Pence said.
/end

WaPo: Election denier who circulated Jan. 6 PowerPoint says he met with Meadows at White House http://wapo.st/3Gviq4c “[I]t is not clear how widely the PowerPoint was circulated or how seriously the ideas in it were considered”

A retired U.S. Army colonel who circulated a proposal to challenge the 2020 election, including by declaring a national security emergency and seizing paper ballots, said that he visited the White House on multiple occasions after the election, spoke with President Donald Trump’s chief of staff “maybe eight to 10 times” and briefed several members of Congress on the eve of the Jan. 6 riot.

Philip Waldron, the retired colonel, was working with Trump’s outside lawyers and was part of a team that briefed the lawmakers on a PowerPoint presentation detailing “Options for 6 JAN,” Waldron told The Washington Post. He said his contribution to the presentation focused on his claims of foreign interference in the vote, as did his discussions with the White House.

A version of the presentation made its way to the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, on Jan. 5. That information surfaced publicly this week after the congressional committee investigating the insurrection released a letter that said Meadows had turned the document over to the committee.

Although Trump at the time was pressuring Pence to delay certifying Biden’s victory, it is not clear how widely the PowerPoint was circulated or how seriously the ideas in it were considered. A lawyer for Meadows, George J. Terwilliger III, said on Friday that there was no indication that Meadows did anything with the document after receiving it by email.

Still, Waldron’s account of his interactions with the White House, together with a 36-page version of the presentation that surfaced online this week and was reviewed by The Post, shed new light on the wild theories and proposals that circulated among the people advising Trump as they worked to overturn his election defeat, causing a crisis at the heart of government. They suggest that Meadows, who also pressed senior Justice Department leaders to investigate baseless conspiracy theories about election fraud, was more directly in contact with proponents of such theories than was previously known.

One person familiar with the matter confirmed that Meadows met with Waldron at the White House in December, although a person familiar with Meadows’s thinking stressed that Meadows had “little or nothing to do” with Waldron and did not endorse the document. The person said that Meadows’s role, as chief of staff, was often to receive information and pass it along to an appropriate recipient. He said Meadows often did this without endorsing the substance of a given idea or suggestion.

In early January, Waldron was working alongside Trump’s attorneys Giuliani and John C. Eastman from a suite at the Willard hotel in downtown Washington, gathering purported evidence of election fraud, The Post previously reported. Waldron was a supporting witness for Giuliani at hearings on election fraud held by lawmakers in battleground states after the 2020 vote. …

Waldron said that on Jan. 5 he was among about a half-dozen people who briefed several members of Congress in a congressional office. He declined to identify the members without their permission and said that others may have joined by video. The members were “shocked” by the presentation but did not commit to any action, Waldron recalled.

Waldron, 57, who is based in Dripping Springs, Tex., told The Post that before the election, he started working with the Texas company Allied Security Operations Group (ASOG). Russell J. Ramsland Jr., ASOG’s leader, was also photographed at the Willard in the days before the riot, and Eastman told The Post that he met Ramsland around that time. Over the previous two years, the firm promoted claims about the dangers of electronic voting to a procession of conservative lawmakers, activists and donors, The Post has reported.

Waldron served in the Army, Army Reserve, Texas Army National Guard and the Individual Ready Reserve from May 1986 to June 2016 and received multiple service awards, an Army spokesman told The Post last year, adding that Waldron retired as a psychological operations and civil affairs officer. Waldron was deployed to Iraq from 2004 to 2005, the spokesman said.

Waldron has said that the team behind the PowerPoint included former intelligence officers and military veterans and was supported by hundreds of “digital warriors” who provided research. Jovan H. Pulitzer, a Texas-based entrepreneur who is a vocal election denier, told The Post that he contributed material for it.

Since January, Waldron has built a significant following among Trump supporters by continuing to spread false claims about election fraud, including onstage at an August conference hosted by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. ¤ Waldron also has promoted the ongoing campaign for “audits” of the 2020 election, including the Republican-commissioned review of 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County, Ariz.

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann consulted Waldron in deciding to hire the Florida firm Cyber Ninjas to conduct that review, according to text messages that the nonprofit American Oversight obtained through a public records request.

Waldron was named in a 2020 state corporate filing as the chief executive of PointStream Inc. of Dripping Springs, which bills itself as a discreet cybersecurity firm. Specialties that PointStream touts on its website include “deep access to the Internet of Things, Social Media, and Dark Web,” conducting untraceable “cyber lurking,” and providing data sets “virtually unknown” to either private industry or the U.S. government.

⭕ 10 Dec 2021

💙 WaPo, Ron Filipkowski: I monitor Trump’s die-hard base. They’re still plotting out in the open. http://wapo.st/3rYJgOl The coup has gone Local, but backed by Big Bucks frum the Usual Suspects and new ones, bolstered by grassroots grifting
// The same activists behind Jan. 6 are moving into local, grass-roots organizing now

Not quite a year ago, on Dec. 19, 2020, Donald Trump lit a match. “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th,” he tweeted. “Be there, will be wild!” That night, on the social network Parler, a user posted, “Build the gallows.”

Two researchers offered to help me anonymously. I’ve been a criminal lawyer for almost three decades, first as a federal and state prosecutor and now as a defense attorney. My background, combined with the research skills of my team, has allowed us to monitor and track right-wing groups across a wide array of platforms. We watch obscure live­stream events and listen to podcasts and radio broadcasts, and I have attended events in person. We follow influencers and organizations wherever they are on social media — Facebook, Twitter, Parler, Gab, Telegram, YouTube, Gettr, Rumble, Frank Speech and other, darker places.

What we’re seeing is that many of the activists and influencers who promoted and attended the rally that became the violent attempt to stop the certification of President Biden’s election have now turned their attention to three primary targets: school boards, city and county commissions, and secretaries of state and supervisors of elections. The new endeavors give the appearance of grass-roots efforts but feature familiar characters teaming up with organizations long involved with financing and leading disruptions, protests and disinformation campaigns on a variety of issues — organizations like Morton Blackwell’s Leadership Institute, the Council for National Policy, Turning Point USA, the Heritage Foundation’s Action branch and Liberty Counsel. What’s more, some of these activists have harnessed the anger, fear and resentment they have helped churn up and are using it for their personal and financial benefit. We began noticing this shift between February and March, as these leaders launched new websites, created new business entities, and restarted their events and rallies.

Figures like Stephen K. Bannon, Roger Stone, Alex Jones, Charlie Kirk and Flynn are regulars on the circuit mobilizing people to take on local governments. Bannon’s “War Room” podcast has promoted and featured potential candidates who have visited and trained on the Precinct Strategy website, which provides information and tools for becoming voting precinct captains and committeemen. People in these roles, although not often talked about, can be powerful decision-makers in local and state elections. As The Washington Post recently reported, Trump supporters are using similar strategies to replace officials in a multitude of local and state offices, “including volunteer poll watchers, paid precinct judges, elected county clerks and state attorneys general.”

To boost the movement’s power in local politics, a new nonprofit, County Citizens Defending Freedom USA (CCDFUSA), took shape early this summer and partnered with a number of groups, including Kirk’s Turning Point USA and America’s Future, a long-standing right-wing nonprofit where Flynn was appointed chairman in May. CCDFUSA hosts action trainings, meetings, candidate meet-and-greets and protests, which focus on mask mandates, vaccine requirements and critical race theory. This organization has grown quickly and quietly, and already has had an impact in Florida. CCDFUSA takes Bannon’s “precinct strategy” and applies those lessons and others to mobilize its local activists. Stone attends its anti-mandate rallies. The group’s presence across social media, local events across the country and nightly news programs helps it advance its goal of replacing traditional Republican politicians with ­MAGA-minded operatives.

NYT: Self-Proclaimed Proud Boys Member Gets 10 Years for Violence at Portland Protests http://nyti.ms/3DIGBdO
// Prosecutors called Alan Swinney, 51, a “white nationalist vigilante cowboy” who shot a man in the eye with a paintball gun.

NPR: READ: Key excerpts from the Supreme Court ruling on S.B. 8, the Texas abortion case http://n.pr/3pPhQaL

“The clear purpose and actual effect of S. B. 8 has been to nullify this Court’s rulings. It is, however, a basic principle that the Constitution is the “fundamental and paramount law of the nation,” and “[i]t is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.” Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 177 (1803). Indeed, “[i]f the legislatures of the several states may, at will, annul the judgments of the courts of the United States, and destroy the rights acquired under those judgments, the constitution itself becomes a solemn mockery.” United States v. Peters, 5 Cranch 115, 136 (1809). The nature of the federal right infringed does not matter; it is the role of the Supreme Court in our constitutional system that is at stake.” ~ Chief Justice John Roberts

WaPo: Supreme Court says Texas abortion providers may proceed with challenge of six-week ban, leaves law in effect for now http://wapo.st/30g06Nf

NYT: U.K. Court Rules Julian Assange Can Be Extradited to U.S. http://nyti.ms/3lQFbaU
// The WikiLeaks founder can still appeal the verdict, which would leave him facing espionage charges that could put him in prison for decades.

⭕ 9 Dec 2021

WaPo: Democrats just proved they can get around the filibuster — when they want to http://wapo.st/3GDi5wx
// 10 for overrides 1 against; The debt ceiling deal reveals the arbitrary nature of the supposed customs of the upper chamber

🐣 RT @WhiteHouse Today, @POTUS held a call with President Zelenskyy and reaffirmed our unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. He also called leaders of the B9 to brief them on his call with President Putin and underscore our commitment to Transatlantic security.

🧵 RT @JudiciaryDems Meadows’ involvement in the events leading to Jan 6 isn’t up for debate. Our investigation found that, without a doubt, he asked Acting AG Rosen to initiate baseless election fraud investigations on behalf of Trump—and this “Big Lie” helped incite the insurrection. ¤ KEY POINTS ⬇️ 📌 https://twitter.com/JudiciaryDems/status/1469017329421983748?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @JudiciaryDems .@JudiciaryDems found that from 12/29-1/11, Meadows asked DOJ to: 1) Investigate various discredited claims of election fraud in Georgia that the Trump campaign was unsuccessfully pursuing in court;
⋙ 🐣 RT @JudiciaryDems 2) Investigate false claims of “signature match anomalies” in Fulton County, Georgia, even though Republican state elections officials had made clear “there has been no evidence presented of any issues with the signature matching process.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @JudiciaryDems 3) Investigate a theory known as “Italygate,” promoted by a Rudy Giuliani ally, which held that the CIA and an Italian IT contractor used military satellites to manipulate voting machines and change Trump votes to Biden votes. Meadows also asked DOJ to meet with Giuliani.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JudiciaryDems 4) Investigate a series of claims of election fraud in New Mexico that had been widely refuted and in some cases rejected by the courts, including a claim that Dominion Voting Systems machines caused late-night “vote dumps” for Democratic candidates.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JudiciaryDems ICYMI: “Meadows Pressed Justice Dept. to Investigate Election Fraud Claims”
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @JudiciaryDems BREAKING NEWS: Documents uncovered by the Senate Judiciary Committee and Chair @SenatorDurbin reveal that Mark Meadows pressured DOJ to investigate unfounded conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election in an attempt to nullify the results.
⋙⋙⋙ NYT (6/5/2021): Meadows Pressed Justice Dept. to Investigate Election Fraud Claims http://nyti.ms/3q2erWz
// Emails show the increasingly urgent efforts by President Trump and his allies during his last days in office to find some way to undermine, or even nullify, the election results.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JudiciaryDems A breakdown of @JudiciaryDems interim report on our continued investigation into Meadows, Jeffrey Clark, and others involved in President Trump’s pressure campaign to overturn the 2020 election:
⋙⋙ 🧵 RT @JudiciaryDems (10/17/2021) WHAT WE FOUND in our investigation into former President Trump’s campaign to pressure DOJ to overturn the 2020 Election. ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️ 📌 https://twitter.com/JudiciaryDems/status/1446190492627111947?s=20

WaPo, Nancy Gertner and Lawrence Tribe: The Supreme Court isn’t well. The only hope for a cure is more justices. http://wapo.st/3oHwuBL “This is a uniquely perilous moment that demands a unique response.”

In voting to submit the report to the president neither of us cast a vote of confidence in the Supreme Court itself. Sadly, we no longer have that confidence, given three things: first, the dubious legitimacy of the way some justices were appointed; second, what Justice Sonia Sotomayor rightly called the “stench” of politics hovering over this court’s deliberations about the most contentious issues; and third, the anti-democratic, anti-egalitarian direction of this court’s decisions about matters such as voting rights, gerrymandering and the corrupting effects of dark money.

Those judicial decisions haven’t been just wrong; they put the court — and, more important, our entire system of government — on a one-way trip from a defective but still hopeful democracy toward a system in which the few corruptly govern the many, something between autocracy and oligarchy. Instead of serving as a guardrail against going over that cliff, our Supreme Court has become an all-too-willing accomplice in that disaster.

Worse, measures the court has enabled will fundamentally change the court and the law for decades. They operate to entrench the power of one political party: constricting the vote, denying fair access to the ballot to people of color and other minorities, and allowing legislative district lines to be drawn that exacerbate demographic differences. As a result, the usual ebb and flow that once tended to occur with succeeding elections is stalling. A Supreme Court that has been effectively packed by one party will remain packed into the indefinite future, with serious consequences to our democracy. This is a uniquely perilous moment that demands a unique response. …

Hand-wringing over the court’s legitimacy misses a larger issue: the legitimacy of what our union is becoming. To us, that spells a compelling need to signal that all is not well with the court, and that even if expanding it to combat what it has become would temporarily shake its authority, that risk is worth taking.

NYT: Appeals Court Rejects Trump’s Bid to Shield Material From Jan. 6 Inquiry http://nyti.ms/3GLDRhV
// A three-judge panel held that Congress’s oversight powers, backed by President Biden’s decision not to invoke executive privilege over the material, outweighed Mr. Trump’s residual secrecy powers.

WaPo: Trump White House records can be released in Jan. 6 probe pending Supreme Court review, appeals court rules http://wapo.st/3DGogxS
// Former president seeks to keep White House papers from congressional committee investigating Capitol riot in first legal case testing whether a sitting president can waive a predecessor’s claim of executive privilege
⋙⋙ 📔 USCourtofAppeals (D.C.): Document [pdf] http://bit.ly/3oEs0M4 68p
// Trump’s appeal denied unanimously; put on 14-day hold so Trump can appeal to SCOTUS

On the record before us, former President Trump has provided no basis for this court to override President Biden’s judgment and the agreement and accommodations worked out between the Political Branches over these documents. Both Branches agree that there is a unique legislative need for these documents and that they are directly relevant to the Committee’s inquiry into an attack on the Legislative Branch and its constitutional role in the peaceful transfer of power.

More specifically, the former President has failed to establish a likelihood of success given (1) President Biden’s carefully reasoned and cabined determination that a claim of executive privilege is not in the interests of the United States; (2) Congress’s uniquely vital interest in studying the January 6th attack on itself to formulate remedial legislation and to safeguard its constitutional and legislative operations; (3) the demonstrated relevance of the documents at issue to the congressional inquiry; (4) the absence of any identified alternative source for the information; and (5) Mr. Trump’s failure even to allege, let alone demonstrate, any particularized harm that would arise from disclosure, any distinct and superseding interest in confidentiality attached to these particular documents, lack of relevance, or any other reasoned justification for withholding the documents. Former President Trump likewise has failed to establish irreparable harm, and the balance of interests and equities weigh decisively in favor of disclosure.2

For those reasons, we affirm the district court’s judgment denying a preliminary injunction as to those documents in the Archivist’s first three tranches over which President Biden has determined that a claim of executive privilege is not justified.

Politico: National Archives: Meadows may not have stored all Trump-era records ‘properly’ http://politi.co/31JOOBp “Mark Meadows and the National Archives are in talks over potential records he did ‘not properly’ turn over from his personal phone and email”
// The acknowledgment comes amid his clash with the committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

WaPo: A conservative group debunks Trump’s voter-fraud claims (yet again) http://wapo.st/3y8pBfW Add Wisconsin to Georgia, Michigan and Arizona to the list of states that investigated and found no evidence of “widespread voter fraud”

Repeatedly now, conservatives who are sympathetic to voter-fraud allegations have conducted audits in the key states that Donald Trump contested in 2020. And repeatedly, they have come up empty when it comes to finding anything amounting to the widespread fraud that Trump claimed — and they have often explicitly debunked him.

The latest example comes in Wisconsin, where the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty conducted its own 10-month review parallel to the one spearheaded by state legislative Republicans. Its report argues that certain procedures weren’t adequately followed. But on the big issue of voter fraud — the one Trump and his allies have hyped as proof that he actually won — the institute is pretty emphatic in its conclusion.

“There was no evidence of widespread voter fraud,” the report says. “In all likelihood, more eligible voters cast ballots for Joe Biden than Donald Trump. We found little direct evidence of fraud, and for the most part, an analysis of the results and voting patterns does not give rise to an inference of fraud.”

When any such group is conducting an audit, it’s fair to ask what viewpoint it comes from. This is a group that thinks voter fraud is an issue worth probing. It also casts doubt on the severity of the Jan. 6 insurrection. But it describes Trump’s attempts to overturn the election through Congress as “shameful.” ¤ In other words, it’s a pretty mainstream conservative group that was open to finding something nefarious. And after 10 months, it found no evidence of significant fraud.

It’s not alone.

● In Georgia, a post-election audit of paper ballots was conducted by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), who made combating voter fraud a centerpiece of his 2018 campaign for the job. He concluded: “The audit confirmed that the original machine count accurately portrayed the winner of the election.” Raffensperger also conducted a later signature-match audit in Atlanta-based Cobb County, an issue he said raised legitimate questions. It, too, came up empty. “This audit disproves the only credible allegations the Trump campaign had against the strength of Georgia’s signature match processes,” he said.

● In Michigan, a review run by another voter-fraud-focused Republican, state Sen. Edward McBroom (R), was arguably even harsher on Trump and his allies. It said of a popular claim of vote-switching in Antrim County that was pushed by Trump and his allies: “The Committee finds those promoting Antrim County as the prime evidence of a nationwide conspiracy to steal the election place all other statements and actions they make in a position of zero credibility.” And of the idea of a ballot dump in Detroit-based Wayne County: “The data suggests that there was no anomalous number of votes cast solely for the president, either in Wayne County or statewide.”

● In Arizona, a review of ballots in Phoenix-based Maricopa County by the so-called Cyber Ninjas was extensively hyped by Trump and allies. It wound up confirming the accuracy of the results. While raising other concerns, it stated, “The paper ballots are the best evidence of voter intent, and there is no reliable evidence that the paper ballots were altered to any material degree.”

Republicans, of course, will continue to point to the alleged reasons for suspicion of the process. But at some point, with Trump still claiming a “stolen” election with gusto more than a year later, you would think that anyone interested in truly reforming our elections might start with acknowledging that the basis offered by the Republican Party’s leader has been found to be bunk over and over again — including, most notably, by would-be allies in the fight.

🐣 RT @CharlesPPierce This is the damndest government record I’ve read since the transcript of the smoking-gun tape was released in August of 1974. And it’s 10 times as insane.
⋙ Esquire, Charles Pierce: Mark Meadows Provided the January 6 Committee With a Truly Insane Document http://bit.ly/3dAbeay
// No wonder the ex-White House chief of staff is reluctant to testify.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chair of the House special committee investigating the insurrection of January 6, is showing himself to have a very deft hand with the stiletto. In response to the duplicity of former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who bailed on cooperating with the committee and then launched a comical lawsuit against it, Thompson released a document Meadows had provided to the committee and, WILL O’GOD!, it’s the damndest government record I’ve read since the transcript of the smoking-gun tape was released in August of 1974. And it’s 10 times as insane. Seriously, this thing reads like it was put together by Moe, Larry, and Curly Hitler, except it was received and taken seriously by the stooges who were running the government and organizing resistance to a free election.

You have to wade through a bunch of Sidney Powell-Rudy Giuliani bilge about election ratfcking by China and Venezuela, and a timeline that apparently was put together by someone on blotter acid, to get to the real good stuff, which is about how to steal the election in Washington and to use the American military as your button men.

[ … Excerpts … ]

Meadows clearly knew that he’d handed over this seditious sci-fi over to the committee before he bailed on cooperating, so I’m inclined to believe that, perhaps through its gathering of texts and voicemails, the committee obtained further evidence that scared Meadows into withdrawing and then suing the committee itself, which is a doomed and futile effort to run out a clock he no longer controls. …

The committee is clearly getting there. I remember Jimmy Breslin writing that Richard Nixon’s political life was being sliced away through paper cuts delivered by the pages of documents in the offices of the special prosecutor and the staff of the House Judiciary Committee. It’s a helpful metaphor.

⬇️
⋙⋙ Document: Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN http://bit.ly/31MSVwy 36p

🧵 RT @RepLizCheney Thread for those interested in the @January6thCmte’s progress: The Committee has already met with nearly 300 witnesses; we hear from four more key figures in the investigation today. We are conducting multiple depositions and interviews every week. (1/4) 📌 https://twitter.com/RepLizCheney/status/1469005186257596419?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @RepLizCheney We have received exceptionally interesting and important documents from a number of witnesses, including Mark Meadows. He has turned over many texts from his private cell phone from January 6th. (2/4)
⋙ 🐣 RT @RepLizCheney We have litigated and won Trump’s executive privilege case in Federal District Court. The Federal Appellate Court has expedited the appeal, and we anticipate a ruling regarding many more Trump White House documents soon. ¤ The investigation is firing on all cylinders. (3/4)
⋙ 🐣 RT @RepLizCheney Do not be misled: President Trump is trying to hide what happened on January 6th and to delay and obstruct. We will not let that happen. ¤ The truth will come out. (4/4)

Mediaite: Trump Ordered Staff to ‘Bust Some Heads’ at Black Lives Matter Protest Prior to Bible Photo Op, Meadows Book Reveals http://bit.ly/3dCVbsQ

⭕ 8 Dec 2021

NYT: Meadows Sues Pelosi in Bid to Block Jan. 6 Committee Subpoena http://nyti.ms/31K7P6u
// The suit came hours after the committee said it would prepare a criminal contempt of Congress referral against Mark Meadows, who was President Donald J. Trump’s chief of staff on Jan. 6.

In a statement Wednesday night, Mr. Thompson and Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and the committee’s vice chair, said that Mr. Meadows’s “flawed lawsuit won’t succeed at slowing down the select committee’s investigation or stopping us from getting the information we’re seeking.”

The committee has now interviewed more than 275 witnesses and obtained tens of thousands of documents. Those cooperating include some members of former Vice President Mike Pence’s inner circle, including Marc Short, his former chief of staff. But several high-profile witnesses are stonewalling the panel, in line with a directive from Mr. Trump.

Mr. Meadows joins Mr. Trump is suing the committee to try to block its investigation. The former president is battling in court to prevent the release of documents requested by the committee that he says are subject to executive privilege, though the Biden administration has refused to assert that claim.

WaPo: New details emerge on Mark Meadows’s role in trying to overturn election as Jan. 6 panel moves to hold him in contempt http://wapo.st/31GHzu7 “The information released … suggests that Meadows was deeply involved in the effort to overturn the election results”

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol said it is preparing to hold Mark Meadows in criminal contempt for not complying with its subpoena as it laid out evidence Wednesday showing the former White House chief of staff’s support for efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), in a letter to Meadows attorney George Terwilliger III, criticized Meadows’s decision to no longer cooperate with the panel. The onetime North Carolina congressman reversed course this week, arguing the panel was pressuring him to discuss issues that former president Donald Trump said are protected by executive privilege.

In his letter, Thompson details some of the emails and text messages Meadows had already handed over to the committee, providing one of the first glimpses of internal communications the panel has obtained that illuminate the actions of Trump and his allies. The new materials show Meadows was involved in early discussions to appoint an alternate slate of electors to replace those prepared to certify Joe Biden the victor in certain states, including an email sent days after the election that described a “a direct and collateral” attack on the results.

The letter highlights the committee’s focus not just on the specific events of Jan. 6 but the actions undertaken by Trump and his associates leading up to that day, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol while echoing the false claims he made about a stolen election.

The panel appears to be focusing heavily on an effort by Trump’s allies to develop a plan in which Vice President Mike Pence would have halted Congress’s certification of the election on Jan. 6 to allow Republican state legislators to investigate the unfounded fraud claims. Trump privately and publicly pressured Pence to embrace the plan, but the vice president would not, arguing he did not have the power to do so under the Constitution.

The information released by the panel Wednesday suggests that Meadows was deeply involved in the effort to overturn the election results. ¤ Along with the discussion to appoint an alternate slate of electors, Thompson outlined in his letter other documents Meadows has already provided to the committee, including a Jan. 5 email “regarding a 38-page PowerPoint briefing titled ‘Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN’ that was to be provided ‘on the hill’ ” and a Jan. 5 “email about having the National Guard on standby.”

The text messages produced by Meadows also include a Nov. 6, 2020, correspondence “with a Member of Congress apparently about appointing alternate electors in certain states as part of a plan that the Member acknowledged would be ‘highly controversial’ and ­to which Mr. Meadows apparently said, ‘I love it.’ ”

Meadows also turned over messages about “the need for the former President to issue a public statement that could have stopped the January 6th attack on the Capitol,” according to Thompson, along with an early-January 2021 text message exchange between Meadows and an unnamed organizer of the Jan. 6 rally on the Ellipse that proceeded the attack on the Capitol.

“All of those documents raise issues about which the Select Committee would like to question Mr. Meadows and about which you appear to agree are not subject to a claim of privilege,” Thompson wrote to Terwilliger.

Thompson noted that information Meadows provided came from his personal cellphone and email address instead of his government accounts, raising questions about whether he has turned over that information to the National Archives as required.

The criminal contempt charge is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. ¤ Meadows’s refusal to sit for an interview with the panel, as previously agreed, marks a reversal following Trump’s angry outbursts against Meadows about his new memoir, “The Chief’s Chief,” which was published Tuesday after its contents were reported by several news organizations last week.

WaPo: Low-profile heiress who ‘played a strong role’ in financing Jan. 6 rally is thrust into spotlight http://wapo.st/3y6sduN “Julie Fancelli, the 72yo daughter of the founder of the Publix … wired a total of $650K to three organizations that helped stage and promote the event”

WaPo Editorial: The U.S. must stand firm for Ukraine — and international law http://wapo.st/3oAUUN5

💙 💽 🔆 This❗️⋙ USStateDept: The Summit for Democracy. http://bit.ly/3dzf3gh

USAToday: ‘The crisis we face is real’: Blinken on why Biden is convening a Summit for Democracy http://bit.ly/30bPvms
// by Anthony Blinken, Secretary of State

BrennanCenterforJustice: Addressing Insider Threats in Elections. http://bit.ly/31Bgfxw
// There is an active effort to recruit rogue election officials to sabotage elections across the country.

Election officials were some of the biggest heroes of the 2020 election. After a grueling year that saw a pandemic, unprecedented disinformation efforts, and the highest turnout in over a century, they stood up to pressure from political actors seeking to overturn or cast doubt on the election results in key states. This collective, bipartisan effort helped avoid a constitutional crisis last year.

But the effort to sabotage our elections has only intensified, which is why Congress and state and local governments must take critical steps to protect against insider threats.

⭕ 7 Dec 2021

WaPo: An angry rift between Trump and Bannon signals the far-right’s future http://wapo.st/3dtyVRX

⭕ 6 Dec 2021

💙 WaPo Mag: Jamie Raskin’s Year of Grief and Purpose http://wapo.st/3lR6DW7 “What was there to be afraid of when the worst thing imaginable had already happened to him?”
// A son’s suicide, an attack on the Capitol and a congressman’s renewed sense of mission

WaPo, Greg Sargent: GOP election lawyer Benjamin Ginsberg issues a frantic warning to his own party about Trump and 2024 http://wapo.st/3EGxlbl

WaPo: Rep. Devin Nunes to leave Congress to become Trump media company CEO http://wapo.st/3EvsNVm

🐣 RT @CheriJacobus Why does Trump seem so confident Garland will let him off the hook for obvious, blatant obstruction of justice to the point where he’s openly bragging about it? ¤ Because he knows he’s gonna skate.
⋙ 🧵 RT @Acyn Trump: Don’t forget, I fired Comey. Had I not fired Comey, you might not be talking to me right now about a beautiful book about four years in the White House and we’ll see about the future. 💽 📌 https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1467669035756052484?s=20/photo/1
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @Acyn Trump: If I didn’t fire Comey, they were looking to take down the President of the United States… 💽 📌 I don’t think could’ve survived if I didn’t fire him https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1467674845987016707?s=20/photo/1

🐣 Putin has a flare for the dramatic. I was awake in the wee hours monitoring Y2K when on Jan 1, 2000 he suddenly appeared on tv and took over the reins from Yeltsin. ¤ In December 1991, 30 years ago, what Putin called “The greatest tragedy of the 20th century,” the fall of the USSR took place: ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1468101351561482243?s=20/photo/1

The Dissolution of the Soviet Union: TIMELINE
Source: Wikipedia

Before Dec 1, 1991, many Soviet states have declared independence, including the Baltics
On December 1, Ukraine votes to become independent (91% in favor)
On December 8, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus secretly sign the Belavezha Accords, stating the Soviet Union has ceased to exist; it’s replaced by a looser Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), other states will be invited to join
On December 12, the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR formally ratifies the Belavezha Accords
On December 21, representatives of 8 of the 12 remaining republics – all except Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, and Lithuania – sign the Alma-Ata Protocol, confirming the dissolution of the Union, accepting the CIS; Gorbachev agrees to resign
On December 25, Gorbachev resigns in a nationally televised speech; the flag of the USSR is lowered and replaced by the Russian tricolor
On December 26, the Soviet of Republics, the upper chamber of the Union’s Supreme Soviet, votes the Soviet Union out of existence
Through 2019, the CIS performed certain transitional functions, and has continued to exist among several states as a devolving trade/military cooperation (Ukraine exited in 2018)

Politico: Ex-DC Guard official says generals lied to Congress about Jan 6 http://politi.co/3lFtdkw Col Earl Matthews calls two Army generals—Gen Charles Flynn, dep chief of staff for operations on Jan 6, and Lt Gen Walter Piatt, dir of Army staff—“absolute and unmitigated liars”
// In a 36-page memo to the Capitol riot committee, Col. Earl Matthews also slams the Pentagon’s inspector general for what he calls an error-ridden report.

❗️🐮🐮🐮❗️⋙ Politico: Devin Nunes will leave Congress http://politi.co/3pACKu6
// Nunes, who was first elected in 2002, ascended to chair the House Intelligence Committee in 2015.

WaPo: Tomorrow’s crucial Biden/Putin call could be a matter of war and peace http://wapo.st/3Isy7v2

WaPo: Putin expected to demand guarantee in Biden call that NATO won’t expand east http://wapo.st/31Hkg3a

WaPo: Bob Dole: America needs unity to rediscover its greatness http://wapo.st/3lFk23y

WaPo: Justice Dept. sues Texas over state redistricting maps, citing discrimination against Latinos http://wapo.st/3pvIjdl

🔆 This❗️⋙ TheAtlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg: A Party, and Nation, in Crisis http://bit.ly/3IpqNjA
// The GOP’s leaders are attempting to destroy the foundations of American democracy.

🔆 This❗️⋙ TheAtlantic, Barton Gellman: JANUARY 6 WAS PRACTICE http://bit.ly/3rDDDF2
// Donald Trump is better positioned to subvert an election now than he was in 2020.

⭕ 5 Dec 2021

DailyBeast, David Rothkopf: America Is One Gut Punch Away From Throwing in the Towel on Democracy http://bit.ly/3EtLQPO
// This is a moment to attend to the business of bringing together all Americans with a sense of aspiration and a common purpose, before it’s too late.

⭕ 4 Dec 2021

WaPo, Aaron Miller and Richard Sokolsky (Carnegie): Biden is right that global democracy is at risk. But the threat isn’t China. http://wapo.st/3Dr4TJh “America has a glass-house problem, and it needs to promote its democratic virtues with considerable humility”

⭕ 3 Dec 2021

WaPo, Dana Milbank: A.I. analysis: The media treats Biden as badly as — or worse than — Trump http://wapo.st/3dkeIhu “Too many journalists are caught in a mindless neutrality between democracy and its saboteurs, between fact and fiction. It’s time to take a stand”

WSJ: U.S. to Urge Democracies to Sanction Corrupt Foreign Officials, Human-Rights Abusers http://on.wsj.com/3rzMuHG “White House officials have said they see the sanctions as an important tool in the Biden administration’s efforts to spark what it calls a Democratic renewal” around the globe
// Biden administration will unveil sanctions in run-up to Summit for Democracy

🐣 RT @tribelaw A law professor taking the 5th to avoid answering questions from Congress about an attempted coup and an insurrection?! A virtual confession of criminal sedition, by my lights.

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote I’d bet my cat that @JusticeOIG has interviewed Rosen, Donaghue, & other DoJ officials about the conduct of Eastman & Clark who are about to plead the 5th to the 1/6 committee. I’d bet the other cat the IG will make criminal referrals to Garland, who has sworn to follow them.

WaPo, Norm Eisen et al: Trump’s lawyers are pleading the Fifth. Congress can still make them talk. http://wapo.st/3luZt9J
// The committee investigating Jan. 6 has options to test Jeffrey Clark and John Eastman’s assertions of privilege

… [T]he Fifth Amendment protects against self-incrimination — not against public condemnation. The mere invocation of the amendment by a former high-ranking Justice Department official before a congressional committee investigating an attempt to overturn the election is a scarlet letter. It is one now affixed to Trump, his entire White House and his administration’s Justice Department. If nothing else, Clark’s gambit underscores the critical mission of the committee — and that it is on to something.

Politico: Eastman takes the Fifth with Jan. 6 committee http://politi.co/3lB3xFw
// The attorney, who helped former President Donald Trump contest the 2020 election, asserted his right against self-incrimination in a Dec. 1 letter to the Capitol riot panel.

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Russia planning massive military offensive against Ukraine involving 175,000 troops, U.S. intelligence warns http://wapo.st/3rvAcQR

NYT, Jamelle Bouie: The Trump Conspiracy Is Hiding in Plain Sight http://nyti.ms/3Ihq43R ~ “the plot to restore Donald Trump to power over and against the will of the voters” in 2024

When people plot to do wrong, they often do so in plain sight. To the extent that they succeed, it is at least partly because no one took them as seriously as they should have.

And so it goes with the plot to restore Donald Trump to power over and against the will of the voters. The first attempt, prefigured in Trump’s refusal in 2016 to say whether he would accept the results of the presidential election, culminated in an attack on the Capitol this year, broadcast on camera to the entire world. Since then, the former president and his allies have made no secret of their intent to run the same play a second time.

Steve Bannon, a former Trump adviser and White House official, hosts a popular far-right podcast where he has urged his listeners to seize control of local election administration. “It’s going to be a fight, but this is a fight that must be won, we don’t have an option,” he said in May. “We’re going to take this back village by village … precinct by precinct.”

Those listeners were, well, listening. “Suddenly,” according to a recent ProPublica investigation, “people who had never before showed interest in party politics started calling the local G.O.P. headquarters or crowding into county conventions, eager to enlist as precinct officers. They showed up in states Trump won and in states he lost, in deep-red rural areas, in swing-voting suburbs and in populous cities.”

Many of these new activists very much want to “stop the steal.” In Michigan, notes ProPublica, “one of the main organizers recruiting new precinct officers pushed for the ouster of the state party’s executive director, who contradicted Trump’s claim that the election was stolen and who later resigned.” In Arizona, likewise, new Bannon-inspired precinct officers have “petitioned to unseat county officials who refused to cooperate with the State Senate Republicans’ ‘forensic audit’ of 2020 ballots.”

The obvious point of all this is to eliminate resistance should the outcome of the 2024 presidential election come down, once again, to the fortitude of local officials. In his desperate fight to subvert the outcome of the 2020 election, Trump probed for and found the soft spots in our electoral system. His supporters are fighting to make them more vulnerable.

In tandem with the fight to seize control of election administration is an effort to gerrymander battleground states into nearly permanent Republican legislative majorities. “In Texas, North Carolina, Ohio and Georgia,” according to my colleagues in the newsroom, “Republican state lawmakers have either created supermajorities capable of overriding a governor’s veto or whittled down competitive districts so significantly that Republicans’ advantage is virtually impenetrable — leaving voters in narrowly divided states powerless to change the leadership of their legislatures.”

In these states, Democrats could win a narrow majority of voters but gain fewer than half of the seats in the state legislature, while Republicans could win with that same majority and gain far more than half the seats. It’s an affront to the ideal of political equality, to say nothing of the “one person, one vote” standard enshrined in the 1964 Supreme Court decision in Reynolds v. Sims. A system in which some voters are worth much more than others — and where popular majorities are locked out of power if they contain the wrong kinds of people — is many things, but it isn’t a democracy (or, if you prefer, a “republic”).

These impenetrable supermajorities serve a purpose beyond simple partisan advantage. The belief that Trump actually won the 2020 election is backed by the belief that elections are less about persuasion and more about rigging the process and controlling the ballots. And in the swing states that Trump lost, his strongest allies have pushed the radical idea that state legislatures have plenary authority over presidential elections even after voters have cast their ballots. Trump may lose the vote in Arizona, but under this theory, the legislature could still give him the state’s electoral votes, provided there is some pretext (like “voter fraud,” for example). What this would mean, in practice, is that these legislatures could simply hand their state’s electoral votes to Trump even if he were defeated at the ballot box.

It’s with this in mind that we should look to Wisconsin, where Republicans are fighting to seize control of federal elections in the state now that they’ve gerrymandered themselves into an almost-permanent legislative majority. (The Wisconsin Republican Party, along with the one in North Carolina, has been at the vanguard of the authoritarian turn in the national party.)

Last month, Senator Ron Johnson said that lawmakers in his state could take control of federal elections even if Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, stood in opposition. “The State Legislature has to reassert its constitutional role, assert its constitutional responsibility, to set the times, place and manner of the election, not continue to outsource it through the Wisconsin Elections Commission,” Johnson said, in reference to the bipartisan commission Republicans had established to manage elections. “The Constitution never mentions a governor.”

And of course, Trump is taking an active role in all of this. From his perch in Mar-a-Lago, he has endorsed candidates for state legislative elections in Michigan with the clear hope that they would help him subvert the election, should he run as the Republican nominee for president in 2024. “Michigan needs a new legislature,” Trump wrote last month in one such endorsement. “The cowards there now are too spineless to investigate Election Fraud.”

Increasingly untethered from any commitment to electoral democracy, large and influential parts of the Republican Party are working to put Trump back in power by any means necessary. Republicans could win without these tactics — they did so in Virginia last month — but there’s no reason to think that the party will pull itself off this road.

Every incentive driving the Republican Party, from Fox News to the former president, points away from sober engagement with the realities of American politics and toward the outrageous, the antisocial and the authoritarian. ¤ None of this is happening behind closed doors. We are headed for a crisis of some sort. When it comes, we can be shocked that it is actually happening, but we shouldn’t be surprised.

⭕ 2 Dec 2021

CNBC: House probe will hold public hearings in 2022 detailing Jan. 6 Capitol riot and Trump White House response ‘in vivid color,’ Liz Cheney says http://cnb.cx/31optfW

WaPo Editorial: Donald Trump: Superspreader in chief http://wapo.st/31n6bIc

⭕ 1 Dec 2021

WaPo, Dana Milbank: ‘Roe’ is dead. The Roberts Court’s ‘stench’ will live forever. http://wapo.st/3G6e4R8

Public opinion hasn’t changed. The science hasn’t fundamentally changed. No new legal theory has been promulgated. The only difference is the court now has a majority hellbent on settling scores in the culture wars. “Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?” Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked her colleagues. “I don’t see how it is possible.”

Before Kagan spoke those words, I had spent the morning outside the court, watching abortion foes literally shout down the other side. Police used metal barricades to split First Street NE in front of the court into equal sections for the opposing sides, each with a soundstage. Not content with that arrangement, a group of antiabortion demonstrators invaded the other side and took turns drowning out the speakers there with a pole-mounted bullhorn at ear-shattering volume: ¤ “Maybe some of you should have been aborted, you wicked, nasty disgusting, ungodly — I don’t even want to call you women! You are bloodthirsty animals!” ¤ “This is what happens when you allow women to emasculate men! God hates you!” ¤ “In the name of Jesus Christ, shut your vile, sick mouth!” ¤ They heckled a Black speaker: “Go to Chicago! Black-on-Black killing is off the charts! … You don’t mind taking the White man’s dollar when he wants to kill babies!”

It was the abortion debate in a nutshell. There were at least as many abortion rights activists in the crowd. They carried balloons saying “Bans Off Our Bodies,” and fake People magazine covers calling Justice Brett Kavanaugh the “Sexist Man Alive.” Some held a sit-in on Constitution Avenue. Some chanted “Ho-ho, hey-hey, abortion rights are here to stay.” Lawmakers and other speakers voiced earnest bromides: “Abortion is essential … Fair and equitable treatment … Oppression has no place in America.”

But the other side was louder, and full of rage. They displayed scores of posters showing bloody, larger-than-life fetuses and body parts. They got in faces. And they screamed. “You deserve capital punishment! … You deserve what’s coming to you! … You’re a vile, anti-God, anti-Christ sicko!”

This is what the Roberts Court has chosen to reward.

Overturning Roe will complete the court’s decline into political hackery that began with Bush v. Gore, continued with Citizens United (corporations are people!), accelerated with the gutting of the Civil Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder, and reached terminal velocity with the virtual theft of a court seat by Senate Republicans in 2016. Now, after conservatives complained for years about the “arbitrary” standard of fetal viability, the justices are considering a more arbitrary standard of 15 weeks. Is it any wonder public confidence in the Supreme Court just hit a new low?

Justice Stephen Breyer, the court’s senior liberal, referred to the damage. “We have to have public support,” he said, “and that comes primarily from people believing that we do our job.” Breyer said Americans would conclude from the overturning of Roe that justices are “just politicians. And that’s what kills us as an American institution.”

… About half the states would effectively ban abortion once the Supreme Court rules, many without exceptions for rape or incest. Rich women could still travel for abortions. Poor women, and disproportionately women of color, would go to back alleys or be forced to give birth, often at risk to their lives.

Here’s whatever else is going on: “The court has never revoked a right that is so fundamental to so many Americans,” argued Biden administration solicitor general Elizabeth Prelogar, “and so central to their ability to participate fully and equally in society.”

Until now, that is. Roe is dead. It’s all over but the shouting.

🐣 RT @timodc In October 2020 I wrote a detailed timeline positing that Trump had COVID during the 1st debate, endangered Biden, and covered it up. It turns out in his book Mark Meadows just…wrote it out. ¤ More in my latest: “Trump Tried To Kill Biden With COVID-19”
⋙ TheBulwark, Tim Miller: Trump Tried to Kill Biden with COVID-19 http://bit.ly/3lve1GF
// It turns out that Trump knew he had COVID at the first presidential debate, but lied about it. And then covered it up.
⋙⋙ TheBulwark, Tim Miller (Oct 2020): The Truth About Trump’s COVID Test Timeline http://bit.ly/31jMiBp
// 10/5/2020; Why the president is hiding his previous COVID tests and lying about what he knew and when.

WaPo, Aaron Blake: The reckless timeline of Trump’s positive coronavirus test http://wapo.st/3d9h82v //➔ like something out of Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death”

Donald Trump claimed more than a dozen times that he was the most transparent president in history. But according to a top aide and ally, when he tested positive for the coronavirus for the first time in the fall of 2020, his White House did not disclose it, went forward with events including one with veterans and a debate, and then spent weeks refusing to confirm reporters’ correct suspicions that it had hidden Trump’s diagnosis.

WaPo, Michael McFaul and Oleksiy Honcharuk: The best response to Russia’s threats is a closer relationship with Ukraine http://wapo.st/3rB5hlU

WaPo: House Jan. 6 committee votes to hold former Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark in criminal contempt http://wapo.st/3ltYvux “The committee has portrayed Clark and Bannon as outliers, saying that more than 200 witnesses have already cooperated with the investigation”

⭕ 30 Nov 2021

WaPo: Tensions with Russia loom over NATO talks http://wapo.st/3d87Bss ““Part of [Russia’s] playbook is to attempt to create and manufacture a so-called provocation as justification for something that Russia is planning to do all along,” ~ Sec of State Anthony Blinken

NYT: Appeals Court Questions Trump’s Bid for Secrecy on Jan. 6 Papers http://nyti.ms/3DemrIi “At issue … is whether Mr. Trump is so likely to lose the case that the National Archives should be permitted to turn over batches of records to the House committee right away”
// The case presents the novel question of what happens when a current president and a former one disagree about invoking executive privilege.

At issue before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is whether Mr. Trump is so likely to lose the case that the National Archives should be permitted to turn over batches of records to the House committee right away, or whether they should stay blocked while the case is fully litigated.

🔊 WaPo, Ruth Marcus: The Rule of Six: A newly radicalized Supreme Court is poised to reshape the nation [with audio] http://wapo.st/3EahJg7 “Thiis is what they’ve been scheming for” ~ Ruth Marcus on @TheLastWord with @Lawrence

WaPo: Prosecutors demanded records of Sidney Powell’s fundraising groups as part of criminal probe http://wapo.st/3Eafych “Defending the Republic contributed $550,000 to fund a Republican-commissioned review of nearly 2.1 million ballots cast last year in Arizona”
// A subpoena issued by the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. sought communications and other documents related to fundraising and accounting by Defending the Republic

WaPo: Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows cooperating with Jan. 6 committee http://wapo.st/3D3R3MI
// Meadows has provided records to the committee investigating the attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob and will give a deposition

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote BREAKING :: HUGE :: Trump called the Willard from the White House multiple times on the night of 1/5 and spoke to his lieutenants in the War Room about how to stop the certification of the election. I speak with the Guardian on today’s @dailybeanspod
🔆 This❗️⋙ TheGuardian: Trump called aides hours before Capitol riot to discuss how to stop Biden victory http://bit.ly/3FZ2tDd “Trump’s remarks reveal a direct line from the White House and the command center at the Willard”
// Sources tell Guardian Trump pressed lieutenants at Willard hotel in Washington about ways to delay certification of election result
⋙⋙ ⋙ 🐣 (still no indication Trump knew or planned the breach of the Capitol, though he was in no hurry to call it off)

Hours before the deadly attack on the US Capitol this year, Donald Trump made several calls from the White House to top lieutenants at the Willard hotel in Washington and talked about ways to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election win from taking place on 6 January.

The former president first told the lieutenants his vice-president, Mike Pence, was reluctant to go along with the plan to commandeer his largely ceremonial role at the joint session of Congress in a way that would allow Trump to retain the presidency for a second term.

But as Trump relayed to them the situation with Pence, he pressed his lieutenants about how to stop Biden’s certification from taking place on 6 January, and delay the certification process to get alternate slates of electors for Trump sent to Congress.

The former president’s remarks came as part of strategy discussions he had from the White House with the lieutenants at the Willard – a team led by Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Boris Epshteyn and Trump strategist Steve Bannon – about delaying the certification.

Multiple sources, speaking to the Guardian on the condition of anonymity, described Trump’s involvement in the effort to subvert the results of the 2020 election.

Trump’s remarks reveal a direct line from the White House and the command center at the Willard. The conversations also show Trump’s thoughts appear to be in line with the motivations of the pro-Trump mob that carried out the Capitol attack and halted Biden’s certification, until it was later ratified by Congress.

The former president’s call to the Willard hotel about stopping Biden’s certification is increasingly a central focus of the House select committee’s investigation into the Capitol attack, as it raises the specter of a possible connection between Trump and the insurrection.

Several Trump lawyers at the Willard that night deny Trump sought to stop the certification of Biden’s election win. They say they only considered delaying Biden’s certification at the request of state legislators because of voter fraud.

The former president made several calls to the lieutenants at the Willard the night before 6 January. He phoned the lawyers and the non-lawyers separately, as Giuliani did not want non-lawyers to participate on legal calls and jeopardise attorney-client privilege.

Trump’s call to the lieutenants came a day after Eastman, a late addition to the Trump legal team, outlined at a 4 January meeting at the White House how he thought Pence could usurp his role in order to stop Biden’s certification from happening at the joint session.

At the meeting, which was held in the Oval Office and attended by Trump, Pence, Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short and his legal counsel Greg Jacob, Eastman presented a memo that detailed how Pence could insert himself into the certification and delay the process.

The memo outlined several ways for Pence to commandeer his role at the joint session, including throwing the election to the House, or adjourning the session to give states time to send slates of electors for Trump on the basis of election fraud – Eastman’s preference.

Then– acting attorney general Jeff Rosen and his predecessor, Bill Barr, who had both been appointed by Trump, had already determined there was no evidence of fraud sufficient to change the outcome of the 2020 election.

Eastman told the Guardian last month that the memo only presented scenarios and was not intended as advice. “The advice I gave the vice-president very explicitly was that I did not think he had the authority simply to declare which electors to count,” Eastman said.

Trump seized on the memo – first reported by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa in their book Peril – and pushed Pence to adopt the schemes, which some of the other lieutenants at the Willard later told Trump were legitimate ways to flip the election.

But Pence resisted Trump’s entreaties, and told him in the Oval Office the next day that Trump should count him out of whatever plans he had to subvert the results of the 2020 election at the joint session, because he did not intend to take part.

Trump was furious at Pence for refusing to do him a final favor when, in the critical moment underpinning the effort to reinstall Trump as president, he phoned lieutenants at the Willard sometime between the late evening on 5 January and the early hours of 6 January.

From the White House, Trump made several calls to lieutenants, including Giuliani, Eastman, Epshteyn and Bannon, who were huddled in suites complete with espresso machines and Cokes in a mini-fridge in the north-west corner of the hotel.

On the calls, the former president first recounted what had transpired in the Oval Office meeting with Pence, informing Bannon and the lawyers at the Willard that his vice-president appeared ready to abandon him at the joint session in several hours’ time.

“He’s arrogant,” Trump, for instance, told Bannon of Pence – his own way of communicating that Pence was unlikely to play ball – in an exchange reported in Peril and confirmed by the Guardian.

But on at least one of those calls, Trump also sought from the lawyers at the Willard ways to stop the joint session to ensure Biden would not be certified as president on 6 January, as part of a wider discussion about buying time to get states to send Trump electors.

The fallback that Trump and his lieutenants appeared to settle on was to cajole Republican members of Congress to raise enough objections so that even without Pence adjourning the joint session, the certification process would be delayed for states to send Trump slates.

It was not clear whether Trump discussed on the call about the prospect of stopping Biden’s certification by any means if Pence refused to insert himself into the process, but the former president is said to have enjoyed watching the insurrection unfold from the dining room.

But the fact that Trump considered ways to stop the joint session may help to explain why he was so reluctant to call off the rioters and why Republican senator Ben Sasse told conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt that he heard Trump seemed “delighted” about the attack.

The lead Trump lawyer at the Willard, Giuliani, appearing to follow that fallback plan, called at least one Republican senator later that same evening, asking him to help keep Congress adjourned and stall the joint session beyond 6 January.

In a voicemail recorded at about 7pm on 6 January, and reported by the Dispatch, Giuliani implored Republican senator Tommy Tuberville to object to 10 states Biden won once Congress reconvened at 8pm, a process that would have concluded 15 hours later, close to 7 January.

“The only strategy we can follow is to object to numerous states and raise issues so that we get ourselves into tomorrow – ideally until the end of tomorrow,” Giuliani said.

A spokesperson for Trump did not respond to requests for comment on this account of Trump’s call. Giuliani did not respond to a request for comment. Eastman, Epshteyn and Bannon declined to comment.

Trump made several calls the day before the Capitol attack from both the White House residence, his preferred place to work, as well as the West Wing, but it was not certain from which location he phoned his top lieutenants at the Willard.

The White House residence and its Yellow Oval Room – a Trump favorite – is significant since communications there, including from a desk phone, are not automatically memorialized in records sent to the National Archives after the end of an administration.

But even if Trump called his lieutenants from the West Wing, the select committee may not be able to fully uncover the extent of his involvement in the events of 6 January, unless House investigators secure testimony from individuals with knowledge of the calls.

That difficulty arises since calls from the White House are not necessarily recorded, and call detail records that the select committee is suing to pry free from the National Archives over Trump’s objections about executive privilege, only show the destination of the calls.

House select committee investigators last week opened a new line of inquiry into activities at the Willard hotel, just across the street from the White House, issuing subpoenas to Eastman and former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik, an assistant to Giuliani.

The chairman of the select committee, Bennie Thompson, said in a statement that the panel was pursuing the Trump officials at the Willard to uncover “every detail about their efforts to overturn the election, including who they were talking to in the White House and in Congress”.

⭕ 29 Nov 2021

CNN: Patriots 45 MAGA Gang’ planned violence on January 6, prosecutors say http://cnn.it/3ph0Wlr

Federal prosecutors have indicted a trio of alleged US Capitol rioters — including one who is accused of assaulting DC police officer Michael Fanone — for planning to be violent together on January 6, according to court records and a Justice Department statement on Monday.

One defendant, Edward Badalian, a 26-year-old from California, allegedly wrote to his co-defendants “We need to violently remove traitors and if they are in key positions rapidly replace them with able bodied Patriots,” according to the indictment. ¤ “We don’t want to fight antifa lol we want to arrest traitors,” he also wrote.

The group communicated on Telegram under the name “Patriots 45 MAGA Gang,” prosecutors said, riffing about their anger toward officials who supported the 2020 election result and gloating about the violence of the siege. They also attended pro-Trump and anti-coronavirus mask mandate rallies in Southern California, prosecutors said.

Before January 6, they collected weapons and gear, including a stun gun, pepper spray, gas masks and walkie-talkies, and traveled together to the January 6 Stop the Steal rallies, according to the Justice Department. The day before the riot, they “joined a caravan” in Kentucky headed toward DC, setting up a radio app on cellphones so the caravan could communicate, the indictment said.

Badalian and another defendant, Daniel Joseph Rodriguez, “used the Patriots 45 group chat as a platform to advocate violence against certain groups and individuals that either supported the 2020 presidential election results, supported what the group perceived as liberal, or communist ideologies, or held positions of authority in the government,” prosecutors wrote. ¤ The prosecutors noted that Badalian told another person he wanted to assassinate Joe Biden

The third defendant’s name is still under seal. The third defendant, on January 6 at the Ellipse, asked another person via text to “roll in force” with the group and texted at almost 2 p.m. “the battle has begun,” the indictment said.

The unnamed defendant and Rodriguez then scuffled with police at entryways to the Capitol with Rodriguez hurling a flagpole and discharging a fire extinguisher and the unnamed defendant telling officers “liberty or death, gentlemen!” according to the indictment.

This is a notable new conspiracy case in the January 6 dragnet, which has arrested nearly 700 federal defendants. The Justice Department has already pursued several high-profile groups of defendants including members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers for allegedly planning or coordinating their participation in the riot. The conspiracy cases and the police assault cases are some of the most serious allegations against January 6 riot participants, and the indictment related to the “Patriots 45 MAGA Gang” group combines both of those types of charges. ¤ The Justice Department charged has previously charged Rodriguez with using a stun gun on DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone.

CNN: World’s first living robots can now reproduce, scientists say http://cnn.it/3d9cwJn “The research was partially funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency” (DARPA)
// #TheBlacklist

🐣 RT @anders_aslund Today @ZelenskyyUa dismissed the highly considered head of SBU counterintelligence Major General Aleksandr Rusnak, whom he appointed in September 2019. ¤ What is going on?!

💙 🖼 WaPo: Jill Biden’s first White House Christmas brings back a warmer, simpler vibe http://wapo.st/3FVZ73S The gingerbread White House is surrounded by community buildings, including a school, a hospital, a police station, a post office and a fire station
// The first lady chose “Gifts From the Heart” as this year’s theme, filling rooms with shooting stars and peace doves

WaPo: Jan. 6 committee prepares to hold former Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark in criminal contempt http://wapo.st/31cxF2X “[T]he committee could move to hold yet another witness, President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, in contempt before the week is over”

WaPo: Trump allies work to place supporters in key election posts across the country, spurring fears about future vote challenges http://wapo.st/3pfMpGi “… including volunteer poll watchers, paid precinct judges, elected county clerks and state attorneys general”

⭕ 28 Nov 2021

Politico: DOJ: Bannon attempting ‘frivolous’ effort to turn court case into media spectacle http://politi.co/3lj3wpH “The defense’s misleading claims, failure to confer, unexplained wholesale opposition, and extrajudicial statements make clear the defense’s real purpose” ~ DOJ
// Prosecutors seek to turn ex-Trump aide’s combative out-of-court statements against him.

The Justice Department on Sunday night accused Steve Bannon’s defense team of lodging “frivolous” legal complaints in order to cause a public dust-up with prosecutors as he battles criminal charges for attempting to thwart the House’s Jan. 6 select committee.

In a 10-page filing, prosecutors said an attorney for Bannon, Evan Corcoran, had repeatedly rebuffed their efforts to negotiate an evidence-sharing agreement, a standard part of the process in criminal trials. Instead, the prosecution said, Bannon’s defense used a public court filing Wednesday — and a statement to the Washington Post — to complain about the case.

“The defense’s misleading claims, failure to confer, unexplained wholesale opposition, and extrajudicial statements make clear the defense’s real purpose: to abuse criminal discovery to try this case in the media rather than in court,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Vaughn wrote.

⭕ 27 Nov 2021

🐣 RT @McFaul Deterring Russian aggression in Europe is a major challenge for the free world. NATO’s intellectual and physical resources should remain laser-like focused on this vital security objective.

⭕ 26 Nov 2021

🧵 RT @duty2warn Democracy is hard. It’s about process, debate, and the common good. It doesn’t rely on sound bites and slogans. It doesn’t peddle irrational fear, and it doesn’t hit you on the head with hyperbole. Democracy requires a majority willing and able to distinguish truth from untruth. 📌 https://twitter.com/duty2warn/status/1464270414419431434?s=20

🧵 RT @richsignorelli Given speculation as to whether Trump is being investigated for his fed crimes, I would like to provide an overview of some of the investigatory methods available to @TheJusticeDept w/ regard to prosecuting Trump, et al & whether such methods would be publicized at this time: 📌 1/ https://twitter.com/richsignorelli/status/1464281200026177542?s=20

⭕ 25 Nov 2021

NYT: A Trump Investigation Enters a Critical Phase http://nyti.ms/30ZL0M9
// New developments come as Cyrus Vance Jr., the prosecutor overseeing the inquiry, enters his final weeks as Manhattan district attorney.

🐣 RT @TheAtlantic “The usual suspects in the pro-Trump media ecosystem will of course endorse and repeat everything Trump says, no matter how outlandish. But it’s not pro-Trumpers who are leading the latest round of Trump-Russia denialism,” @davidfrum writes:
⋙ 🐣 RT @arianapikary @davidfrum at it again, reminding media of all stripes: “The factual record on Trump-Russia has been set forth most authoritatively by the report of the Senate Intelligence Committee, then chaired by Richard Burr, a Republican from North Carolina.”
💙 ⋙⋙ TheAtlantic, David Frum: It Wasn’t a Hoax http://bit.ly/3HSOTmK
// People with scant illusions about Trump are volunteering to help him execute one of his Big Lies.

… The usual suspects in the pro-Trump media ecosystem will of course endorse and repeat everything Trump says, no matter how outlandish. But it’s not pro-Trumpers who are leading the latest round of Trump-Russia denialism. This newest round of excuse-making is being sounded from more respectable quarters, in many cases by people distinguished as Trump critics. …

The factual record on Trump-Russiahas been set forth most authoritatively by the report of the Senate Intelligence Committee (pdf: http://bit.ly/3ayY0c1 966p) then chaired by Richard Burr, a Republican from North Carolina. I’ll reduce the complex details to a very few agreed upon by virtually everybody outside the core Trump-propaganda group.

● Dating back to at least 2006, Trump and his companies did tens of millions of dollars of business with Russian individuals and other buyers whose profiles raised the possibility of money laundering. More than one-fifth of all the condominiums sold by Trump over his career were purchased in all-cash transactions by shell companies, a 2018 BuzzFeed News investigation found.
● In 2013, Trump’s pursuit of Russian business intensified. That year, he staged the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. Around that time, Trump opened discussions on the construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow, from which he hoped to earn “hundreds of millions of dollars, if the project advanced to completion,” in the words of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
● Trump continued to pursue the Tower deal for a year after he declared himself a candidate for president. “By early November 2015, Trump and a Russia-based developer signed a Letter of Intent laying out the main terms of a licensing deal,” the Senate Intelligence Committee found. Trump’s representatives directly lobbied aides to Russian President Vladimir Putin in January 2016. Yet repeatedly during the 2016 campaign, Trump falsely stated that he had no business with Russia—perhaps most notably in his second presidential debate against Hillary Clinton, in October 2016.
● Early in 2016, President Putin ordered an influence operation to “harm the Clinton Campaign, tarnish an expected Clinton presidential administration, help the Trump Campaign after Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, and undermine the U.S. democratic process.” Again, that’s from the Senate Intelligence Committee report.
● The Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos “likely learned about the Russian active measures campaign as early as April 2016,” the Senate Intelligence Committee wrote. In May 2016, Papadopoulos indiscreetly talked with Alexander Downer, then the Australian high commissioner to the United Kingdom, about Russia’s plot to intervene in the U.S. election to hurt Clinton and help Trump. Downer described the conversation in a report to his government. By long-standing agreement, Australia shares intelligence with the U.S. government. It was Papadopoulos’s blurt to Downer that set in motion the FBI investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, a revelation authoritatively reported more than three years ago.
● In June 2016, the Trump campaign received a request for a meeting from a Russian lawyer offering harmful information on Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump Jr. and other senior Trump advisers accepted the meeting. The Trump team did not obtain the dirt they’d hoped for. But the very fact of the meeting confirmed to the Russian side the Trump campaign’s eagerness to accept Russian assistance. Shortly after, Trump delivered his “Russia, if you’re listening” invitation at his last press conference of the campaign.
● WikiLeaks released two big caches of hacked Democratic emails in July and October 2016. In the words of the Senate Intelligence Committee: “WikiLeaks actively sought, and played, a key role in the Russian intelligence campaign and very likely knew it was assisting a Russian intelligence influence effort.”
● Through its ally Roger Stone, the Trump campaign team assiduously tried to communicate with WikiLeaks. Before the second WikiLeaks release, “Trump and the Campaign believed that Stone had inside information and expressed satisfaction that Stone’s information suggested more releases would be forthcoming,” according to the Senate Intelligence Committee. In late summer and early fall 2016, Stone repeatedly predicted that WikiLeaks would publish an “October surprise” that would harm the Clinton campaign.
● At the same time as it welcomed Russian help, the Trump campaign denied and covered up Russian involvement: “The Trump Campaign publicly undermined the attribution of the hack-and-leak campaign to Russia and was indifferent to whether it and WikiLeaks were furthering a Russian election interference effort,” the Intelligence Committee found.
● In March 2016, the Trump campaign accepted the unpaid services of Paul Manafort, deeply beholden to deeply shady Russian business and political figures. “On numerous occasions, Manafort sought to secretly share internal Campaign information” with a man the Intelligence Committee identified as a Russian intelligence officer. “Taken as a whole, Manafort’s high-level access and willingness to share information with individuals closely affiliated with the Russian intelligence services … represented a grave counterintelligence threat,” the committee found. Through 2016, the Russian state launched a massive Facebook disinformation program that aligned with the Trump campaign strategy.
● At crucial moments in the 2016 election, Trump publicly took positions that broke with past Republican policy and served no apparent domestic political purpose, but that supported Putin’s foreign-policy goals: scoffing at NATO support for Estonia, denigrating allies such as Germany, and endorsing Britain’s exit from the European Union.
● Throughout the 2016 election and after, people close to Trump got themselves into serious legal and political trouble by lying to the public, to Congress, and even to the FBI about their Russian connections.

The confirmed record may not add up to a criminal conspiracy either, not as that concept is defined by U.S. law. Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team stated that they could not prove any such conspiracy. But the confirmed record suggests an impressive record of cooperation toward a common aim—even if the terms of the cooperation were not directly communicated by one party to the other.

Since Donald Trump declared for president in 2015, it’s seldom been possible to get to the bottom of one scandal before Trump distracts attention with a bigger and worse scandal. For more than a year, the United States has been convulsed by Trump’s frontal assault on election integrity and the peaceful transfer of power. He has, one by one, eliminated from politics Republicans who upheld the rule of law, and urged their replacement by stooges who repeat his Big Lie. Republican candidates for office talk more and more explicitly about taking power by violence if necessary. These dark threats have understandably overwhelmed the effort to fill in the blanks of the Trump-Russia scandal of yesteryear. …

The Steele dossier undertook to answer the question “What the hell is going on with Trump and Russia?” The Senate Intelligence Committee found that the FBI investigation gave the Steele dossier “unjustified credence.” But the disintegration of the dossier’s answers has not silenced the power of its question.

It was to silence that question that the outgoing Trump administration appointed a special counsel of its own to investigate its investigators. John Durham has now issued three indictments, all for lying to the FBI about various aspects of the Steele dossier. None of these indictments vindicate Trump’s claims in any way. It remains fact that Russian hackers and spies helped his campaign. It remains fact that the Trump campaign welcomed the help. It remains fact that Trump’s campaign chairman sought to share proprietary campaign information with a person whom the Senate report identified as a “Russian intelligence officer.” It remains fact that Trump hoped to score a huge payday in Russia even as he ran for president. It remains fact that Trump and those around him lied, and lied, and lied again about their connections to Russia.

Anti-anti-Trump journalists want to use the Steele controversy to score points off politicians and media institutions that they dislike. But as media malpractice goes, credulous reliance upon the Steele dossier is just a speck compared with—for example—the willingness of the top-rated shows on Fox News to promote the fantasy that the Democratic Party hacked itself, then murdered a staffer named Seth Rich to cover up the self-hack. (Some versions of this false claim include suggesting that Rich himself committed the crime.) Fox News ultimately settled with Rich’s family for an undisclosed sum even as the Fox host who had done most to promote the false story insisted on his radio show that he had retracted nothing. The story was crazy and cruel. But the story protected Trump, and that was proof enough for a media organization much more powerful than any of those that accepted the Steele dossier. …

Related:
● Franklin Foer (8/19/2020): Russiagate was not a hoax http://bit.ly/2ZtRzpC
● Franklin Foer (June 2020) Putin is well on his way to stealing the next election http://bit.ly/3bqCrZM
● Jurecic & Wittes (5/5/2020): To Trump, ‘Complete and Total Exoneration’ Is Always Right Around the Corner http://bit.ly/3CSDlfz

⭕ 24 Nov 2021

WaPo, Vladimir Kara-Murza: A congressional proposal reveals the Kremlin’s Achilles’ heel http://wapo.st/3r82WyP House Res. 806 “stipulates that any attempt by Putin to remain in power after the end of his final term in 2024 ‘shall warrant nonrecognition [by] the United States’”

Rarely has a congressional resolution jolted the halls of power in Moscow as did House Resolution 806, a bipartisan initiative introduced last week. In a two-page draft referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) offer the “sense of the House of Representatives” that recent constitutional amendments in Russia waiving President Vladimir Putin’s term limits were “illegitimate.” The text further stipulates that any attempt by Putin to remain in power after the end of his final term in 2024 “shall warrant nonrecognition on the part of the United States.”

The proposal should not come as a surprise. Extensive legal analyses have concluded that last year’s amendments enabling Putin to become, in effect, president for life were adopted with serious breaches of legal procedure. Among other things, the process violated the legal requirements that amendments be passed individually rather than en bloc and that the meaning of the first two chapters of the Constitution should remain unchanged. The farcical “plebiscite” that ratified them violated both domestic electoral law and Russia’s commitments to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

A March legal opinion from the Venice Commission — the top legal body of the Council of Europe, which includes Russia — assessed the amendments as “a serious danger for the rule of law” and the procedure for their enactment as “clearly inappropriate.” In September, the European Parliament called the amendments “illegal” and condemned “any attempt by President Putin to remain in office beyond the end of his current and final presidential mandate on 7 May 2024.” The Kremlin and its talking heads responded with customary criticism.

Needless to say, the House proposal is neither provocative nor unusual. The notion of withholding recognition from illegitimate foreign rulers is well entrenched in U.S. foreign policy precedent — from President Woodrow Wilson’s refusal to recognize self-proclaimed Mexican leader Victoriano Huerta to President Ronald Reagan’s withdrawal of recognition from Philippine strongman Ferdinand Marcos. More recently, and more relevantly, the United States refused to accept the fraudulent election “victories” of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela and Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus. To this day, the two men are not recognized by Washington as legitimate leaders. Given the similarities between the regimes in Belarus and Russia, derecognition of Putin would bring a welcome consistency to U.S. diplomatic standards.

The difference, of course, would be in the impact. However authoritarian and corrupt at home, the regimes of Maduro and Lukashenko are not as integrated as Putin’s into the global system, and not as dependent on their stakeholders’ personal access to Western countries, banks and financial institutions. Kremlin officials and oligarchs have long treated our country as a looting ground — while taking the spoils of their loot to the West, where their money is protected by the very same rule of law they deny our citizens. It is estimated that private Russian assets abroad range from $800 billion to $1.3 trillion, with much of this wealth likely linked to Putin himself. Recent exposés by investigative journalists, including the Panama Papers and the Pandora Papers, offered only small glimpses into the vast foreign holdings of Putin’s inner circle.

WSJ: Trump’s False Claims of Voter Fraud Test GOP Candidates http://on.wsj.com/3l969Ky
// Former President Donald Trump’s campaign falsely claiming he won the 2020 election and demanding redress is turning voter fraud into a litmus test for Republicans seeking office in the 2022 House and Senate elections. The Wall Street Journal’s Alex Corse tells WSJ What’s News host Peter Granitz what this means for GOP candidates and voter confidence in the electoral system.

WaPo: CIA director warns Russian spies of ‘consequences’ if they are behind ‘Havana Syndrome’ incidents http://wapo.st/30TWRuM

CIA Director William J. Burns delivered a confidential warning to Russia’s top intelligence services that they will face “consequences” if they are behind the string of mysterious health incidents known as “Havana Syndrome” afflicting U.S. diplomats and spies around the world, according to U.S. officials familiar with the exchange.

During a visit to Moscow earlier this month, Burns raised the issue with the leadership of Russia’s Federal Security Service, the FSB, and the country’s Foreign Intelligence Service, the SVR. He told them that causing U.S. personnel and their family members to suffer severe brain damage and other debilitating ailments would go beyond the bounds of acceptable behavior for a “professional intelligence service,” said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss highly sensitive conversations.

The main purpose of Burns’s trip to Moscow was to put the Kremlin on notice that Washington was watching its troop buildup on the border of Ukraine and would not tolerate a military attack on the country, officials said. ¤ His appearance in Moscow at the behest of President Biden was designed to convey Washington’s seriousness. The CIA chief — a former deputy secretary of state and ambassador to Russia — has handled some of the president’s most sensitive missions, including senior-level engagement with the Taliban after its takeover of Afghanistan.

⭕ 23 Nov 2021

WaPo: Spencer, Kessler, Cantwell and other white supremacists found liable in deadly Unite the Right rally http://wapo.st/3r7UnnA

💽 TheHill: Wray says FBI domestic terrorism caseload has ‘exploded’ since last year http://bit.ly/3xfSkyO

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday testified to a Senate committee that his agency’s domestic terrorism caseload had “exploded” since early 2020, in particular cases involving racially or ethnically motivated crimes.

“Since the spring of 2020, so for the past 16, 18 months or so, we have more than doubled our domestic terrorism caseload from about 1,000 to around 2,700 investigations, and we have surged personnel to match, more than doubling the amount of people working that threat than the year before,” Wray testified during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on threats to the homeland. 

“Certainly, the domestic terrorism caseload has exploded, and meanwhile the international terrorism caseload hasn’t subsided,” Wray said later during questioning from senators. 

Wray noted that the “biggest chunk” of racially and ethnically motivated violent extremism the FBI tracks is now “favoring white supremacy.” ¤ “We collect information about that threat. We have, as you say, prioritized that threat at a national threat priority level,” Wray said. 

Wray’s testimony came a year after he testified to the House Homeland Security Committee that racially motivated violent extremism was the main issue pursued within FBI domestic terrorism cases. ¤ It also came as the FBI continues to respond to and investigate the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, an issue Wray noted in his written testimony the FBI perceives as domestic terrorism.

Social media was used to help organize the Jan. 6 incident. Wray stressed Tuesday that the use of social media has transformed domestic terrorism and helped connect those who previously might not have posed a threat. ¤ “Some of these same people before might have been stewing away in the basement or the attic in one part of the country and not communicating with each other, but today terrorism moves at the speed of social media,” Wray said. ¤ “You have the ability of lone actors disgruntled in one part of the country to spin up similar, like-minded individuals in other parts of the country and urge them into action or inspire them into action,” he added.

WaPo Editorial: America is sick with information disorder. Time for a cure. http://wapo.st/3cFlP3R “[T]wo forces — existing misconceptions and social media’s tools that amplify them — work in tandem. Any … strategy to treat the country’s information disorder must do the same”

“Information disorder” is a malady that comes in many forms, from made-up news to manipulated media to misunderstood satire. According to a six-month investigation by a commission at the Aspen Institute, the United States is not trying nearly hard enough to find a cure.

Disinformation, the authors say, often isn’t about persuading people to believe something new but about giving them permission to believe things they were inclined to think from the start — exploiting bigotry and division where it already exists rather than creating it where it doesn’t. At the same time, these malignant campaigns are real, and require concrete action to confront. The Aspen Institute’s report recognizes that these two forces — existing misconceptions and social media’s tools that amplify them — work in tandem. Any comprehensive government strategy to treat the country’s information disorder must do the same.

⋙ 💙❤️📔 AspenInstitute: Commission on Information Disorder [pdf] http://bit.ly/3HO86WE 80p
// Information disorder is a crisis that exacerbates all other crises. When bad information becomes as prevalent, persuasive, and persistent as good information, it creates a chain reaction of harm.

🐣 RT @January6thCmte BREAKING: The Select Committee subpoenas individuals and organizations linked to the violent attack on the Capitol:

• Proud Boys International, L.L.C.
• Henry “Enrique” Tarrio (Leader of Proud Boys)
• Oath Keepers
• Elmer Stewart Rhodes (President of Oath Keepers)
• Robert Patrick Lewis (Chairman) / 1st Amendment Praetorian

⋙ 🐣 RT @January6thCmte We believe the individuals and organizations we subpoenaed today have relevant information about how violence erupted at the Capitol and the preparation leading up to this violent attack.
🔆 This❗️⋙ January6th.house.gov: Select Committee Subpoenas Groups and Individuals Linked to Violent Attack on the Capitol on January 6th http://bit.ly/32xByjH

“The Select Committee is seeking information from individuals and organizations reportedly involved with planning the attack, with the violent mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6th, or with efforts to overturn the results of the election. We believe the individuals and organizations we subpoenaed today have relevant information about how violence erupted at the Capitol and the preparation leading up to this violent attack. The Select Committee is moving swiftly to uncover the facts of what happened on that day and we expect every witness to comply with the law and cooperate so we can get answers to the American people.”

The Select Committee issued subpoenas for records and testimony from three organizations and a number of associated individuals.

Members of Proud Boys International, L.L.C., called for violence leading up to January 6th, and at least 34 individuals affiliated with the Proud Boys have been indicted by the Department of Justice in relation to the January 6th attack on the Capitol. Many individuals associated with the Proud Boys repeatedly spread the former President’s unsupported claim that the 2020 election was stolen and suggested the use of force against police officers and government officials. Henry “Enrique” Tarrio was Chairman of the Proud Boys during the January 6th attack on the Capitol. Though Mr. Tarrio was prevented from entering Washington, D.C., on January 6th, he was allegedly involved in the Proud Boys’ preparation for the events at the Capitol.

Individuals associated with the Oath Keepers organization were similarly involved in planning and participating in the violent attack on the Capitol on January 6th. Eighteen members of the Oath Keepers were indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly planning a coordinated attack to storm the Capitol, including by traveling to Washington, D.C., with paramilitary gear and supplies. Elmer Stewart Rhodes is President of the Oath Keepers. Prior to January 6th, Mr. Rhodes repeatedly suggested the Oath Keepers should engage in violence to ensure their preferred election outcome. On January 6th, Mr. Rhodes was allegedly in contact with several of the indicted Oath Keepers members before, during, and after the Capitol attack, including meeting some of them outside the Capitol.

1st Amendment Praetorian is an organization that provided security at multiple rallies leading up to January 6th that amplified the former President’s unsupported claim that the election was stolen. On January 4th, the 1st Amendment Praetorian Twitter account suggested that violence was imminent. Robert Patrick Lewis, Chairman of 1st Amendment Praetorian, was listed as a speaker on the permit for the January 5th rally on Freedom Plaza. On January 6th, Mr. Lewis tweeted: “Today is the day that true battles begin.” The day after, Mr. Lewis claimed that he was involved in “war-gaming” to continue efforts to overturn the election results.

The letters to the witnesses can be found here:
● Proud Boys International, L.L.C.
● Henry “Enrique” Tarrio
● Oath Keepers
● Elmer Stewart Rhodes
● Robert Patrick Lewis/1st Amendment Praetorian

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Verdict reached in Charlottesville Unite the Right rally trial http://wapo.st/3r7UnnA “The jury … awarded $500,000 in punitive damages against all 12 individual defendants, and $1 million against five white nationalist organizations on that conspiracy count”

WaPo: House Jan. 6 committee intensifies focus on law enforcement failures that preceded Capitol attack http://wapo.st/3FGNyxh They are “scrutinizing in particular multiple warnings of possible violence that went unheeded by the FBI”

⭕ 22 Nov 2021

WaPo: Judge orders two lawyers who filed suit challenging 2020 election to pay hefty fees: ‘They need to take responsibility’ http://wapo.st/3xcURdj The judge called the suit “the stuff of which violent insurrections are made”

NYT: Court Urged to Let Jan. 6 Panel See Trump White House Files http://nyti.ms/3HJ9nhJ
// In appellate briefs, lawyers for the House and the Justice Department argued against the former president’s claim of executive privilege.
⋙ 💙📔 House Brief [pdf] http://bit.ly/3FCnnrG 69p [Begin p16 for Chronology]
⋙ 📔 DOJ Brief [pdf] http://bit.ly/3DQQS8Q 65p

In a 69-page brief, lawyers for the House urged the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to permit the House committee investigating the riot to see the files without waiting for litigation over Mr. Trump’s privilege claim to be fully resolved.

They stressed that the constitutional privilege exists to protect the executive branch, not an individual person, and that the incumbent president had declined to assert the privilege in this case. The lawyers for the House called Mr. Trump’s assertion of executive privilege “unprecedented and deeply flawed” and said the judiciary should not permit it to interfere with the work of Congress.

Earlier this month, a Federal District Court judge in the District of Columbia, Tanya Chutkan, ruled that Congress’s constitutional oversight powers, backed by Mr. Biden, outweighed Mr. Trump’s residual secrecy powers, so the National Archives could proceed with its plan to turn over tranches of the files on a rolling basis.

Judge Chutkan declined a request by Mr. Trump’s lawyers to nevertheless block the agency from providing the files to Congress while they appealed her ruling. But a three-judge panel of the appeals court instituted a short-term hold. It has scheduled arguments for Nov. 30.

Both as president and now out of office, Mr. Trump has pursued a strategy of using the slow pace of litigation to run out the clock on congressional oversight efforts. In a brief last week, Jesse R. Binnall, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, argued that the appeals court should keep the hold in place while the issues are fully litigated.

But in a separate 65-page brief filed on Monday, the Justice Department, which is representing the National Archives, also urged the appeals court panel to defer to Mr. Biden’s decision that the circumstances of the Jan. 6 attack were so extraordinary that they justified making an exception to the executive branch’s general interest in protecting the confidentiality of presidential records.

Politico: Capitol riot suspect’s court hearing turns to potential criminal charge for Trump http://politi.co/3r1eDqR
// The judge and lawyers discuss whether the then-president’s pressure on Vice President Mike Pence could have amounted to obstruction.

≣ Jan6Committee: Select Committee Subpoenas Individuals Involved in Planning and Organizing the Rallies and March Preceding January 6th Attack http://bit.ly/30OFHyC including Alex Jones and Roger Stone; links to letters
// Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol

“The Select Committee is seeking information about the rallies and subsequent march to the Capitol that escalated into a violent mob attacking the Capitol and threatening our democracy. We need to know who organized, planned, paid for, and received funds related to those events, as well as what communications organizers had with officials in the White House and Congress. We believe the witnesses we subpoenaed today have relevant information and we expect them to cooperate fully with our effort to get answers for the American people about the violence of January 6th.”

The Select Committee issued subpoenas for records and testimony to the following individuals:

Dustin Stockton, who reportedly assisted in organizing a series of rallies after the November 2020 election advancing unsupported claims about the election’s outcome, including the rally at the Ellipse on January 6th immediately preceding the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Mr. Stockton reportedly was concerned that the rally at the Ellipse would lead to a march to the Capitol that would mean “possible danger” which he said “felt unsafe,” and these concerns were escalated to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Jennifer Lawrence, who along with her fiancé, Mr. Stockton, reportedly was involved in organizing rallies following the November 2020 Election, including the Ellipse rally in Washington, DC on January 6th that immediately preceded the violent attack on the Capitol.

Taylor Budowich, who reportedly solicited a 501c(4) organization to conduct a social media and radio advertising campaign encouraging attendance at the January 6th Ellipse rally and advancing unsupported claims about the result of the election.

Roger Stone was reportedly in Washington on January 5th and 6th, spoke at rallies on January 5th, and was slated to speak at the January 6th rally at the Ellipse that directly preceded the violent attack on the Capitol. Before traveling to Washington, Mr. Stone promoted his attendance at the rallies and solicited support to pay for security through the website stopthesteal.org. While in Washington, Mr. Stone reportedly used members of the Oath Keepers as personal security guards, at least one of whom has been indicted for his involvement in the attack on the Capitol. Mr. Stone has made remarks that he was planning to “lead a march to the Capitol” from the Ellipse rally.

Alex Jones reportedly helped organize the rally at the Ellipse on January 6th that immediately preceded the attack on the Capitol, including by facilitating a donation to provide what he described as “eighty percent” of the funding. Mr. Jones spoke at the January 5th rally on Freedom Plaza that was sponsored by the Eighty Percent Coalition. Mr. Jones has stated that he was told by the White House that he was to lead a march from the January 6th Ellipse rally to the Capitol, where President Trump would meet the group and speak. Mr. Jones has repeatedly promoted unsupported allegations of election fraud, including encouraging individuals to attend the Ellipse rally on January 6th and implying he had knowledge about the plans of the former President with respect to the rally.

The letters to the witnesses can be found here:
Duston Stockton
Jennifer Lawrence
Taylor Budowich
Roger Stone
Alex Jones

CNN: New January 6 committee subpoenas issued for 5 Trump allies including Roger Stone and Alex Jones http://cnn.it/30M1wPV

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Roger Stone and Alex Jones subpoenaed by House committee investigating Jan. 6 attack on Capitol by pro-Trump mob http://wapo.st/3xbZHau

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: U.S. listed as a ‘backsliding’ democracy for first time in report by European think tank http://wapo.st/3kZPfye “The U.S, the bastion of global democracy, fell victim to authoritarian tendencies itself“ ~ International IDEA’s Global State of Democracy 2021
⋙ 📔🐣 The International IDEA*’s Global State of Democracy 2021 Report: http://bit.ly/30OUnh6 *The Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance
// “The United States, the bastion of global democracy, fell victim to authoritarian tendencies itself, and was knocked down a significant number of steps on the democratic scale,” the International IDEA’s Global State of Democracy 2021 report said.

🐣 RT @EJDionne “GOP congressman urges supporters to be ‘armed’ and ‘dangerous’…The more one of the nation’s major political parties is ‘tolerant of at least some persistent level of violence in American discourse,’ the scarier our public life will become.”@stevebenen
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, Steve Benen: GOP congressman urges supporters to be ‘armed’ and ‘dangerous’ http://on.msnbc.com/30UlCqU
// Following the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict, Rep. Madison Cawthorn told his allies, “Be armed, be dangerous and be moral.”

WaPo: N.Y. prosecutors set sights on new Trump target: Widely different valuations on the same properties http://wapo.st/3FFltqk (This isn’t “new”)
// Records gathered by prosecutors suggest the Trump Organization used high or low values on the same properties to get tax breaks or to impress lenders.

NYT: Trying to Blur Memories of the Gulag, Russia Targets a Rights Group http://nyti.ms/3qYKpoD
//. Prosecutors are trying to shut down Memorial International, Russia’s most prominent human rights group, as the Kremlin moves to control the historical narrative of the Soviet Union.

WaPo, Max Boot: Republicans are fomenting violent extremism — and are also hostage to the extremists http://wapo.st/3xfsuLC “We are at the greatest peril since the early 1970s — when the threat emanated from the left — of a violent insurgency in America”

The United States has a serious problem with political violence, particularly right-wing violence, which has overtaken Islamist attacks as the No. 1 domestic terrorism threat. The list of right-wing outrages includes Oklahoma City 1995 (168 dead), Pittsburgh 2018 (11 dead) and El Paso 2019 (23 dead). The 2020 Kenosha, Wis., shooting, which left two dead, is part of the same alarming trend. Even though Kyle Rittenhouse was found last week to have acted in self-defense, he remains morally culpable for showing up with an assault-style rifle at a protest, looking for trouble.

In many other instances — e.g., the 2018 pipe bombing attempts targeting critics of President Donald Trump — tragedy was only narrowly averted. The Jan. 6 riot was both horrible and not nearly as bad as it could have been: Though 140 police officers were injured in the worst assault on the Capitol since the War of 1812, the insurrectionists did not succeed in killing or kidnapping any lawmakers.

Faced with this alarming trend, a responsible political party would damp down its incendiary rhetoric and urge its supporters to moderate their zeal. That is not what Republicans are doing. They continue to fan the flames of hatred, violence and division.

Many on the right routinely depict Democrats as America’s enemies. At one recent conference, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) said, “The left hates America,” while Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said: “Their grand ambition is to deconstruct the United States of America.” At the same time, Republicans make a fetish of gun ownership and use; weapons of war are the hottest fashion accessory in GOP campaign ads.

The message many Republicans receive is that violence is justified to save the United States from a leftist takeover. An audience member at a pro-Trump event spoke for many when he asked: “When do we get to use the guns?”

An American Enterprise Institute poll found that 39 percent of Republicans believe, “if elected leaders will not protect America, the people must do it themselves, even if it requires violent actions.” Another survey by the University of Chicago found that 21 million adults believe the “use of force is justified” to restore Trump to the presidency.

We are at the greatest peril since the early 1970s — when the threat emanated from the left — of a violent insurgency in America. Indeed, the scattered terrorist attacks we have seen in recent years might be the early stages of such an uprising. If we see a full-blown insurgency — something that becomes more likely if Trump runs and loses again in 2024 — it would bear roughly the same symbiotic relationship to the GOP that the IRA had to the Sinn Fein party: It would be the armed wing of a larger right-wing movement. Trump made the relationship explicit when he told the Proud Boys, an armed group that later took part in the Jan. 6 attack on Congress, to “stand back and stand by.” …

Republicans are complicit in fomenting violent extremism — and they have also become hostage to the extremists in their ranks. It’s an ugly situation familiar from other people’s civil wars, and it portends more grief and bloodshed for a country that has already seen far too much of both. It’s not too late to avert a wider insurgency, but it will require Republicans to dial down their violent and apocalyptic rhetoric — which they show no sign of doing.

WaPo: A MAGA squad of Trump loyalists sees its influence grow amid demands for political purity among Republicans http://wapo.st/3oTmOmp “[T]hey enjoy support from the former president … , who praises them at rallies and echoes their incendiary rhetoric”

⭕ 21 Nov 2021

RollingStone, Hunter Walker: Leaked Texts: Jan. 6 Organizers Say They Were ‘Following POTUS’ Lead’ http://bit.ly/3cyMI9B //➔ Sounds like Women for America Firsf/March for Trump planned peaceful protest with WH, disputed w Ali Alexander over Stop the Steal “Wild Protest”
// Rally planners coordinated closely with the White House before Jan. 6 and readied a dinner party while the Capitol was under siege, according to leaked group text messages obtained by Rolling Stone

… Two sources who were involved in planning the Ellipse rally previously told Rolling Stone they had extensive interactions with members of Trump’s team, including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. The text messages provide a deeper understanding of what that cooperation entailed, including an in-person meeting at the White House. Rally organizers also described working with Trump’s team to announce the event, promote it, and grant access to VIP guests.

Rolling Stone reviewed the text messages in a phone where they were originally received and timestamped. The messages from Amy Kremer and her daughter, Kylie Jane Kremer, came from phone numbers that have been used by both women. We are publishing excerpts of these messages as they were originally written including some typos.

Kremer, who began her political career as a Tea Party activist, is the chairwoman of Women For America First, the pro-Trump organization that obtained the permit for the Ellipse rally. Kylie is the group’s executive director.

Along with Women For America First, Amy Kremer was also a leader of March For Trump, a group that was launched in 2019 to protest against Trump’s first impeachment. In late November of 2020, after Trump’s loss to President Joe Biden, March For Trump began a bus tour with events around the country, where Kremer and other conservative activists promoted false conspiracy theories about the election and called for the results to be overturned. On Nov. 28, 2020, the day before the bus tour began, Kremer texted fellow activists in a group chat. ¤ “Welcome to the March for Trump bus tour,” Kremer wrote. “We are going to save the world!”

Two days later, Kremer texted some of the organizers to let them know she was temporarily getting off the bus to travel to Washington for a White House meeting. ¤ “For those of you that weren’t aware, I have jumped off the tour for the night and am headed to DC. I have a mtg at the WH tomorrow afternoon and then will be back tomorrow night,” wrote Kremer. “Rest well. I’ll make sure the President knows about the tour tomorrow!”

The message describing Kremer’s White House meeting is one of several where she and Kylie, indicated they were in communication with Trump’s team. Both Amy and Kylie Kremer did not respond to requests for comment on the record. Chris Barron, a spokesperson for the Kremers, called Rolling Stone to insist elements of this reporting are untrue.

“You are printing things that are 100 percent factually untrue that we can prove are not true,” Barron said. “You are printing things that are absolutely, factually untrue and, beyond being factually untrue, for anybody who knows Amy are like hilariously preposterous.” ¤ Barron repeatedly declined to answer specific questions about which aspects of the story he wanted to dispute.

The texts reviewed by Rolling Stone reveal that on December 13, 2020, Kremer texted the group to say she was “still waiting to hear from the WH on the photo op with the bus.” On January 1, before the Ellipse rally was publicly announced, Kylie sent a message to another group chat that said she was still working on the permits and “just FYI – we still can’t tweet out about the ellipse.” ¤ “We are following POTUS’ lead,” Kylie wrote, using an abbreviation for the president.

Two days later, on January 3, March For Trump activist Dustin Stockton texted one of the team’s groups to ask who was “handling” rally credentials for VIPs. “It’s a combination of us and WH,” Kylie replied. ¤ Stockton’s fiancee, Jennifer Lawrence, had a similar question when she asked a chat group where media credential requests for the Ellipse rally were going after being submitted on the group’s website. ¤ “To campaign,” Kylie responded in an apparent reference to Trump’s re-election team. “They are handling all.” …

As the big rally approached, the group chats grew even more excited. On the morning of January 5, Kremer texted the organizers and declared “we are about to be part of a pivotal and historic moment in our nation’s history.” ¤ “Thank you for taking this journey with Women For America First. I love you all and am grateful for each of you,” Kremer wrote, adding, “Let’s go save the Republic!”

Kremer and Women For America First weren’t the only ones involved in planning events to protest the election result. Another group, Stop the Steal, which was led by far right activist Ali Alexander, held its own rallies around the country and planned a “Wild Protest” outside the Capitol on January 6. Two sources who were involved in the Ellipse rally planning previously told Rolling Stone they had concerns Alexander’s event could turn violent due to his apparent ties to militia groups and its location directly outside the Capitol. Those sources claimed Alexander initially agreed he would not hold the “Wild Protest” and would allow the Ellipse rally to be the only major pro-Trump event in D.C. on January 6.

The March For Trump group chat conversations hint at some of the tensions between Kremer’s group and the “Wild Protest” planners. On the 6th, the group chats indicate Kremer’s group had a dispute with Alexander over VIP seats at the Ellipse rally. …

On Dec. 31, as the members of the group realized the “Wild Protest” seemed to be moving forward, Kylie posted a series of angry messages accusing the people who were riding the bus of focusing on irrelevant issues and not sufficiently appreciating the work being done to plan the Ellipse event. Kylie dismissed the “Wild Protest” as “all the people who aren’t invited or POTUS won’t be associated with.”

“How do yall not get it? Seriously. Everyone needs to get off that damn bus because you are all going crazy focused on things that don’t matter.”¤ A volunteer responded that the group’s supporters were uneasy about a lack of guidance since the Ellipse rally plans had not yet been tweeted. Kylie replied with a pair of messages noting how rare it is for events to take place on the Ellipse. She added that she was working with colleagues and “Team Trump” to get the event squared away.

“I am very frustrated and feel like you guys have NO IDEA the hoops we have been jumping through 24-7 lately. Google events at the Ellipse. Send me pictures that you can find of anything other than the Christmas tree light or menorah lighting that are official WH events. THEY DONT HAPPEN,” Kylie wrote. “Y’all this has got to stop. The back and forth. If anyone doesn’t like what … team trump and I are doing then you don’t have to come to January 6th.” … …

There was plenty of drinking on Jan. 6 at Kremer’s Willard suite, according to multiple sources. The text messages include a menu for a dinner for the organizers on the night before the rally. Menu options included a “Willard Burger” with truffle aioli, red wine braised Angus short rib Beef Bourguignon, steak frites, and a salmon filet with aged balsamic. Based on Kremer’s text about the charcuterie plate, she chose options from the same menu for the organizers on the evening of Jan. 6. The options in the Willard suite also included champagne that Kremer’s guests were drinking just as her organization issued a press release denouncing the violence and calling the group “saddened and disappointed.”

On the morning after January 6, the group chats show some of the Ellipse rally organizers wanted to hold a press conference or make a statement denouncing the violence. Shortly before noon, Kremer replied that she felt her initial Women For America First statement was sufficient.

“I don’t think it is wise for us to talk to the press or have a press conference. Our statement yesterday was strong enough and we need to leave it at that,” Kremer wrote to the group chat on January 7. “Nothing god will come from us talking to CBS or any other mainstream media outlet. I hope you guys understand and agree.”

NYT: Two Fox News Contributors Quit in Protest of Tucker Carlson’s Jan. 6 Special http://nyti.ms/3FBCX6V “Their departures also mark the end of a lingering hope … that the channel would at some point return to a pre-Trump reality”
// Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes, stars of a brand of conservatism that has fallen out of fashion, decide they’ve had enough.

In some ways, their departures should not be surprising: It’s simply part of the new right’s mopping up operation in the corners of conservative institutions that still house pockets of resistance to Donald J. Trump’s control of the Republican Party. Mr. Goldberg, a former National Review writer, and Mr. Hayes, a former Weekly Standard writer, were stars of the pre-Trump conservative movement. They clearly staked out their positions in 2019 when they founded The Dispatch, an online publication that they described as “a place that thoughtful readers can come for conservative, fact-based news and commentary.” It now has nearly 30,000 paying subscribers.

Their departures also mark the end of a lingering hope among some at Fox News — strange as this is for outsiders to understand — that the channel would at some point return to a pre-Trump reality that was also often hyperpartisan, but that kept some distance from Republican officials. Fox’s chairman, Rupert Murdoch, recently deplored Trumpism while acting as though — as Bloomberg’s Tim O’Brien noted — he didn’t run the company.

The reality of Fox and similar institutions is that many of their leaders feel that the tight bond between Mr. Trump and their audiences or constituents leaves them little choice but to go along, whatever they believe. Fox employees often speak of this in terms of “respecting the audience.” And in a polarized age, the greatest opportunities for ratings, money and attention, as politicians and media outlets left and right have demonstrated, are on the extreme edges of American politics.

Mr. Carlson became the network’s most-watched prime-time host by playing explicitly to that fringe, and “Patriot Purge” — through insinuations and imagery — explored an alternate history of Jan. 6 in which the violence was a “false flag” and the consequence has been the persecution of conservatives.

Mr. Goldberg said that he and Mr. Hayes stayed on at Fox News as long they did because of a sense from conversations at Fox that, after Mr. Trump’s defeat, the network would try to recover some of its independence and, as he put it, “right the ship.”

“Patriot Purge” was “a sign that people have made peace with this direction of things, and there is no plan, at least, that anyone made me aware of for a course correction,” Mr. Goldberg said. ¤ “Now, righting the ship is an academic question,” he continued. “The ‘Patriot Purge’ thing meant: OK, we hit the iceberg now, and I can’t do the rationalizations anymore.”

They now find themselves in a group of Americans who think the threat that Mr. Trump poses to America’s democratic system outweighs many other political differences. Mr. Hayes said that he was particularly concerned about Fox lending support to the idea “that there’s a domestic war on terror and it’s coming for half of the country,” he said. “That’s not true.” Particularly disturbing in “Patriot Purge,” he added, “was the imagery of waterboarding and suggestions that half the country is going to be subject to this kind of treatment, that’s the same kind of treatment that the federal government used when it went after Al Qaeda.”

Mr. Carlson “pumped that stuff out into society, and all you need is one person out of every 50,000 people who watch it to believe it’s literally the story about what happened, that it’s true in all of its particulars and all of its insinuations. And that’s truly dangerous in a way that the usual hyperbole that you get on a lot of cable news isn’t.”

Mr. Hayes said he’d been particularly disturbed recently when a man at a conference of the pro-Trump group Turning Point USA asked its leader, “When do we get to use the guns?” ¤ “That’s a scary moment,” Mr. Hayes said. “And I think we’d do well to have people who, at the very least, are not putting stuff out that would encourage that kind of thing.”

For his part, Mr. Goldberg said he has been thinking about William F. Buckley, the late founder of National Review, who saw as part of his mission “imposing seriousness on conservative arguments” and purging some extreme fringe groups, including the John Birch Society, from the right.

Now, their views have put them outside the current Republican mainstream, or at least outside what mainstream right-wing institutions and politicians are willing to say out loud. But while in recent years both appeared occasionally on the evening show “Special Report” and on “Fox News Sunday,” which the network classifies as news, it’s been years since they were welcome on Fox’s prime time, and Mr. Goldberg clashed bitterly with the prime-time host Sean Hannity in 2016. (Mr. Hayes and Mr. Goldberg emailed their readers Sunday to announce their departure.)

Despite the former contributors’ hopes, Fox’s programming has hewed to Mr. Trump’s line, as have its personnel moves. The network, for instance, fired the veteran political editor who accurately projected Mr. Biden’s victory in the key state of Arizona on election night, and has hired the former Trump White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

Mr. Hayes and Mr. Goldberg are the first members of Fox’s payroll to resign over “Patriot Purge,” but others have signaled their unhappiness. Geraldo Rivera, a Fox News correspondent since 2001, captured the difficulty of internal dissent at the network when he voiced cautious criticism of Mr. Carlson and “Patriot Purge” to my colleague Michael Grynbaum. “I worry that — and I’m probably going to get in trouble for this — but I’m wondering how much is done to provoke, rather than illuminate,” he said.

🐣 RT @starsandstripes That intelligence has been conveyed to some NATO members over the past week to back up U.S. concerns about Putin’s possible intentions and an increasingly frantic diplomatic effort to deter him from any incursion.
⋙ Stars&Stripes: US intel shows Russian plans for potential Ukraine invasion http://bit.ly/3DIFWd2

⭕ 20 Nov 2021

🐣 RT @duty2warn Donald Trump LOST the House, Presidency AND Senate. Suspended by Twitter and FB. PGA bumped his clubs. Banks cut ties. Charity shut down. Declared bankruptcy 6 times. Corporate America steers clear. Company and CFO indicted. Even lost fake audits! If Trump’s not a loser, WHO IS?
⋙ 🐣 RT @duty2warn Booed at the World Series. Laughed at at the UN. His “University” settled lawsuits and shuttered. Inherited almost $1B, has less than that now. Countless loan defaults. A lifetime of secrets and lies. Desperately trying to avoid total humiliation. Should be a little late for that

🧵 RT @SteveSchmidtSES An 18 year old vigilante killer has become a cultural icon for the MAGA right. A Holocaust denier Congressman denounced by his family has been embraced by all but two of his GOP colleagues for his murderous fantasies about a Member of Congress. A tide of extremism has risen from 📌 https://twitter.com/SteveSchmidtSES/status/1462088021512130563?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES the ashes of a failed American coup. The extremism in our country is growing and metastasizing. Its danger should not be underestimated. It cannot be ignored and wished away. The old boundaries have collapsed and they will not return. The American people will have to decide if
⋙ 🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES we are ready to abandon the American experiment and bury the dream of a just society built on the noble idea that at long last we can be a nation of equality and justice for all people, that life liberty and the pursuit of happiness applies to all Americans. Perspective can
⋙ 🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES be forged by many factors from experience to geography, but I think time is its most powerful shaper. What will this moment and the next years look like a generation from now? Will what happens next seem perfectly obvious in retrospect? What strikes me is how much more extreme
⋙ 🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES our broken politics has gotten since the Trump Coup and there is an absolute black hole of nothingness where there should be focus and passion around defending American democracy and a birthright of freedom that remains the envy of people all over the world. Desmond Tutu was
⋙ 🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES Once asked whether evil was more powerful than good. He said no but quipped that it was better organized. It seems a prescient comment in this moment of American radicalism. The question is how far the American people will let this all go. Democracy won’t be lost in America
⋙ 🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES by force, invasion or coup. It will be lost in elections at the hands of the American people who will decide the fate of the gift given us all through sacrifices by women and men of all races, creeds and faith that beggar imagination. The American people will decide until the
⋙ 🐣 RT @SteveSchmidtSES power to do so is given away to a faction who thereafter will make the decisions for us all and the first one they will make is that the debate between us is over.

⭕ 19 Nov 2021

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote NEW: Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Jerry Nadler is calling on @TheJusticeDept to review the Kyle Rittenhouse shootings for potential federal charges.
⋙ 🐣 RT @RepJerryNadler This heartbreaking verdict is a miscarriage of justice and sets a dangerous precedent which justifies federal review by DOJ. Justice cannot tolerate armed persons crossing state lines looking for trouble while people engage in First Amendment-protected protest. https://twitter.com/RepJerryNadler/status/1461775482496724998?s=20

🐣 RT @MaryLTrump There is no justice in America and we need to stop pretending otherwise.

🐣 RT @NoelCasterComedy Behind even celebrity teenage shooter there’s a selfless shooter mom, taking him to gun ranges, staying up late to drive him across state lines to regional protests. It takes a village to raise a murderer.

🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom This is completely true and everyone cheering the verdict knows it.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TimOBrien If a black guy walked into Kenosha from out of town with an assault rifle and killed two people while severely wounding another we would have had a very different verdict.

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted on all counts in Kenosha shootings http://wapo.st/30PWEJg

🐣 RT @ACLU No one should be targeted, threatened, or attacked for exercising our First Amendment right to protest. It is our right to protest and demand justice. ¤ We’ll be watching to ensure no one — including law enforcement — interferes with that right.

🐣 Dems don’t want ruckus over miscarriage of justice to get in the way of messaging on infrastructure and BBB. ¤ Being confronted by gun-toting randos is an infringement on the right to protest. This should be a federal Civil Rights case.

🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom I felt that way about OJ. And many other trials. But “respect the verdict” means “this trial is done, accept the outcome peacefully, and if you don’t like it, start changing laws.”
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @Daddy_Boy51 You can’t “respect” a verdict that is not based on reality or the law. I am very afraid this is the next step down the slippery slope of Old West justice. This just made our country incrementally more dangerous.
⋙ 🐣 I think of Rodney King when the DOJ took it up as a civil rights case ~ and won. The right to protest is a civil right. This verdict puts a target on the back of every protester and will encourage vigilantism.

⭕ 18 Nov 2021

WaPo, Max Boot: Even if the Steele dossier is discredited, there’s plenty of evidence of Trump’s collusion with Russia http://wapo.st/3FzLp6N

The Steele dossier is a sideshow. Like many raw intelligence reports, it was full of uncorroborated information — a lot of which doesn’t check out. But the Steele dossier did not launch the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, and discrediting it does not undermine the evidence that the Kremlin helped Trump win the election with his campaign’s eager encouragement and cooperation. You can debate whether this constituted “collusion,” a word with no legal definition. You can’t deny that there was extensive collaboration — at least not without resorting to bald-faced lies.

⭕ 17 Nov 2021

MotherJones, David Corn: New Revelations Emerge on How Donald Trump Killed 400,000 (or More) Americans http://bit.ly/3oGOo6e “The right went nuts over Benghazi, in which four Americans tragically died, yet it evinces no concern over the needless deaths of 400,000”
// We keep learning more about Trump’s deadly mishandling of the pandemic.

The congressional January 6 investigation has been drawing great attention lately, particularly as it has triggered the federal indictment of Steve Bannon for defying its subpoena, fired off other subpoenas at Mark Meadows and assorted Trumpers, and sought to obtain Trump White House records related to the insurrectionist attack on the Capitol. At the same time, a different congressional investigation, with much less notice, has been pursuing another profound betrayal committed by Donald Trump and his crew: the lethal mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis.

x On Friday, the Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, which is chaired by Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), released interviews and documents revealing how senior Trump officials tried to block government health officials from informing the public about the seriousness of COVID-19. On February 25, 2020, Nancy Messonnier, a senior CDC health expert, warned in a news briefing that the virus’s spread in the United States was inevitable. That enraged Trump, who was trying to downplay the coronavirus threat. The new material shows that the Trump administration tried to shut her up. And Anne Schuchat, a top CDC official, told the committee that Trump officials scrambled to hold a briefing hours after Messonnier’s warning, though “there was nothing new to report.”

The story gets worse: Between March 9 and May 29 of last year, the CDC held no press briefings. In testimony to the committee, Kate Galatas, a CDC communications official, said the White House repeatedly thwarted the agency’s attempts to schedule such briefings, including one in April that would have emphasized the need to wear masks to contain the virus’s spread.

And worse: Dr. Deborah Birx, who was the White House COVID-19 task force coordinator, told the committee that Dr. Scott Atlas, a radiologist (not an infectious disease specialist) who was advising Trump on COVID, leaned on the CDC to alter its guidelines on testing to recommend that only symptomatic people be tested. (This would have yielded lower numbers of confirmed cases.) Government scientists, worried about asymptomatic people spreading the disease, thought it was important for symptomatic and asymptomatic people to get tested. Atlas’ pressure, though, led to CDC guidance in August 2020 on testing that was less vigorous. This revised recommendation, Birx told the committee, “resulted in less testing and…less aggressive testing of those without symptoms that I believed were the primary reason for the early community spread.” A month later, the CDC reinstituted the more expansive testing directive. It was released over “objections from senior White House personnel,” according to Birx.

As researchers from UCLA noted in March 2021, the United States could have avoided 400,000 COVID deaths if the Trump administration had implemented a more effective health strategy that included mask mandates, social distancing, and robust testing guidelines. Birx made a similar statement at that time.

We’ve long known that Trump did the opposite of what public health experts advised. More concerned with his own standing in the polls than with the health and safety of the citizenry, Trump dismissed or minimized the threat and sent a mixed message on masks, social distancing, and testing. The new revelations from the committee underscore his immense negligence and dereliction of duty that led to the preventable deaths of hundreds of thousands.

In a world of endless Trump outrages, this particular atrocity deserves more…well, outrage. The right went nuts over Benghazi, in which four Americans tragically died, yet it evinces no concern over the needless deaths of 400,000. Is this number just too large to absorb? In a 1932 essay, German journalist and satirist Kurt Tucholsky quoted a fictional diplomat referring to the horrors of war: “The war? I cannot find it to be so bad! The death of one man: this is a catastrophe. Hundreds of thousands of deaths: that is a statistic!” (No, apparently, Stalin did not say this.)

Moreover, it’s dumbfounding that killing 400,000 through ineptitude is not a disqualification for political leadership. Trump remains the GOP’s 2024 frontrunner, and party leaders continue to genuflect before him. Meanwhile, decrying Mr. Potato Head and Big Bird and fulminating over Dr. Seuss books have been far more important priorities for Republicans.

It’s also puzzling that the nation is not more focused on learning what went wrong during this horrific crisis. The work of the coronavirus subcommittee is not breathlessly monitored by the media. The material it just released did not make the front pages, as far as I can tell. And a search indicates the New York Times did not cover it. …

🐣 RT @MeidasTouch Please take a moment to watch @AOC’s impassioned speech on the House floor about Paul Gosar’s threats of violence against her and the disgraceful Republican response. 💽 https://twitter.com/MeidasTouch/status/1461059686757662720?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: Biden administration to buy Pfizer antiviral pills for 10 million people, hoping to transform pandemic http://wapo.st/3DrvLtr
// Pfizer, meanwhile, asks regulators to authorize the pills and agrees to allow them to be made and sold for less in poor countries.

WaPo: ‘QAnon shaman’ sentenced to 41 months for role in Capitol riot http://wapo.st/3cmtfZr “You didn’t slug anybody,” U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth told Jacob Chansley, “but what you did here was actually obstruct the functioning of the whole government.”

✅ WaPo, Glenn Kessler: The Steele dossier: A guide to the latest allegations http://wapo.st/3DpLk4R “[T]he dossier has [largely] been a side show to the main event — clear evidence of the Russian govt’s efforts to intervene in the 2016 election on the side of Donald Trump”

To a large extent, the dossier has been a side show to the main event — clear evidence of the Russian government’s efforts to intervene in the 2016 election on the side of Donald Trump. A bipartisan report by the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2020 confirmed the initial intelligence community finding.

Moreover, the FBI opened its investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government not because of the dossier, but because of a tip from an Australian diplomat that a Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, had disclosed that Russia had obtained damaging information on Hillary Clinton. “This information provided the FBI with an articulable factual basis that, if true, reasonably indicated activity constituting either a federal crime or a threat to national security, or both, may have occurred or may be occurring,” concluded a 2019 Justice Department inspector general report.

The report by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III also largely ignored the dossier. He could not find evidence of a conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, but he concluded the campaign was opportunistic about apparent assistance from Russia.

For instance, when given a chance to obtain “dirt” on Clinton from a person they were told represented the Russian government, top campaign aides, including Donald Trump Jr., eagerly gathered to collect it — though it turned out to be nothing of importance.

Mueller’s investigation, moreover, determined that the hacking of the Democratic National Committee was directed by the Kremlin in an effort to help Trump’s campaign — further evidence of Russia’s covert backing of Trump.

But the Steele dossier has loomed large in the public imagination, in part because of media coverage of salacious elements, such as an alleged incident involving Trump and sex workers in a Moscow hotel room. Then-FBI Director James B. Comey on Jan. 7, 2017, privately briefed Trump on the Moscow hotel reference in the dossier, a discussion that quickly leaked.

… The fact that the dossier’s funding was traced to the Clinton campaign — and that Steele had actively pitched the findings to news reporters — gave Trump and his defenders an opening to try to discredit the Russia-related investigations as partisan-inspired witch hunts.

The Danchenko indictment has further bolstered the perception, especially on the right, that the dossier was a smear campaign orchestrated by Trump’s opponents. The indictment alleges that a source for Danchenko was a longtime political operative who was a supporter of Clinton and that another source, who had no role [Sergei Millian], was falsely identified by Danchenko.

Igor Danchenko: … Analysis: With immunity, Danchenko would have every incentive to answer truthfully. In his FBI interviews, he appeared relatively open about his reporting methods and his sources. Some, including in the FBI, have theorized that Steele’s methods were so sloppy that Russian disinformation could have infected into the final product. The indictment raises questions about whether some sources were too close to the Democrats or would benefit from a Clinton victory.

Charles Dolan Jr.: … Analysis: Dolan’s involvement as a possible source for the dossier makes the document appear even more partisan. Dolan was a longtime Clinton supporter — and the Clinton campaign was underwriting the project to which he allegedly contributed. The fact that Danchenko allegedly played down Dolan’s role is suspicious, given the other Clinton connections surrounding Steele’s efforts. But the indictment is vague about whether Dolan played a substantial role in the dossier, especially because the only charge in the indictment that refers to Dolan concerns the gossip about Manafort’s firing — which was relatively accurate, given it drew from news accounts.

Sergei Millian: … Analysis: With the removal of Millian as source for the dossier, much of the material must be discarded as highly suspect. The inspector general report noted how important a certain sub-source — supposedly Millian — was to many of the reports: “The reports describe this sub-source in varying ways: Report 80 (‘Source D, a close associate of TRUMP ….’); Report 95 (‘Source E, an ethnic Russian close associate of Republican US presidential candidate Donald TRUMP ….’); Report 97 (‘a Russian emigre figure close to the Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald TRUMP’s campaign team ….’); and Report 102 (‘[A]n ethnic Russian associate of Republican US presidential candidate Donald TRUMP …’).” ¤ Indeed, “Source E” supposedly described the “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin — which the indictment says was the underpinning of the court-approved wiretaps of Page.

⭕ 16 Nov 2021

💽 MSNBC, Hayes Brown: Jenna Ellis’ memo on stealing the 2020 election holds a lesson for Democrats http://on.msnbc.com/
// Every version of Trump’s election plot was as dangerous as it was nonsensical.

🐣 RT @solomonfreek13 Food for thought… https://twitter.com/solomonfreek13/status/1460684375423602692?s=20/photo/1
⋙ Criminal indictments by admin:
0 Obama
1 Ford
1 Carter
1 GHW Bush
2 Clinton
16 GW Bush
26 Reagan
76 Nixon
215 Trump

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Monmouth poll:
73% of Americans approve of having the Jan. 6 select committee look into whether members of Congress played a role in the riot
67% approve of the committee looking into whether Trump played a role

⭕ 15 Nov 2021

💙❤️📔 AspenInstitute: Commission on Information Disorder [pdf] http://bit.ly/3HO86WE 80p
// See under 11/23 WaPo editorial; Information disorder is a crisis that exacerbates all other crises. When bad information becomes as prevalent, persuasive, and persistent as good information, it creates a chain reaction of harm.

🐣 RT @willsommer Hundreds of QAnon supporters are back in Dallas’s Dealey Plaza awaiting JFK Jr’s return and singing “We Are the World.” https://twitter.com/willsommer/status/1460454073291972608?s=20/photo/1

⋙ 🐣 RT @inscribajournal
There comes a time
When you’ve read too many blogs.
When the world gets turned upside down.

There are people lying
And it’s time to lend our dough to Don,
The greatest scam of all.

We can’t go on
Pretending day by day
That someone will ever change our minds. /1 [ … ]

Oh, there’s a choice we’re making
We’re believing all his lies.
It’s true we’re getting used by Don, you and me. 3/3

NYT, Bill Grueskin: The Steele Dossier Indicted the Media http://nyti.ms/3qJfRHg “[A]sked by the Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple about two years ago how reporters should have approached an unverified rumor from the dossier … he responded, ‘By not publishing.’”

WaPo, Max Boot: A newly disclosed memo reveals Trump’s plot to turn the military into his personal goon squad http://wapo.st/30lymX8

That evidence comes courtesy of ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl, who has unearthed a memorandum from Johnny McEntee, Trump’s director of presidential personnel, listing 14 reasons for ousting Esper. That document was dated Oct. 19, 2020. Three weeks later Esper was fired by a Trump tweet.

The very premise of McEntee’s memo was both sinister and ludicrous — a 30-year-old of no professional or intellectual distinction, whose path to power was carrying Trump’s bags, was making the case for getting rid of a senior Cabinet officer for insufficient loyalty to the president. This revealing and chilling document deserves to be read not as a historical curiosity but as a terrible portent of what could be in store if Trump wins another term. He appears determined to turn the military into his personal goon squad.

[ List ]

Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker recounted in their book “I Alone Can Fix It” Milley’s well-grounded worries after the election about Trump’s mounting a coup. “They may try, but they’re not going to f—ing succeed,” the general reportedly told a friend. “You can’t do this without the military. You can’t do this without the CIA and the FBI. We’re the guys with guns.”

Well, the next time around, Trump would want to ensure that the “guys with guns” are on his side. If he wins a second term, Trump’s next defense secretary (Johnny McEntee perhaps?) would almost certainly be somebody more devoted to him than to the Constitution. For anyone concerned about the future of U.S. democracy, that should be a cause of considerable alarm at a time when Trump and Biden are running almost neck and neck in polling matchups.

💙 TheAtlantic, Anne Applebaum: Autocracy Is Winning http://bit.ly/3CbNJyA
// If the 20th century was the story of slow, uneven progress toward the victory of liberal democracy over other ideologies—communism, fascism, virulent nationalism—the 21st century is, so far, a story of the reverse.

⭕ 14 Nov 2021

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote We now have THREE coup memos: John Eastman, Jenna Ellis, & John McEntee. Mark Meadows knew about all of them. Pair these with the Clark letters to the states trump intended to rob of their electoral votes, & we have a clear violation of 18 U.S. Code § 2384 – Seditious conspiracy Text Block: https://twitter.com/MuellerSheWrote/status/1459993233694474241?s=20/photo/1

ABCNews: Memo from Trump attorney outlined how Pence could overturn election, says new book http://abcn.ws/3nfs30o
// ABC News’ Jonathan Karl covers the story in his new book on Trump’s presidency.

In a memo not made public until now, then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows emailed to Vice President Mike Pence’s top aide, on New Year’s Eve, a detailed plan for undoing President Joe Biden’s election victory, ABC News’ Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl reports.

The memo, written by former President Donald Trump’s campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis, is reported for the first time in Karl’s upcoming book, “Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show” — demonstrating how Pence was under even more pressure than previously known to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Ellis, in the memo, outlined a multi-step strategy: On Jan. 6, the day Congress was to certify the 2020 election results, Pence was to send back the electoral votes from six battleground states that Trump falsely claimed he had won. ¤ The memo said that Pence would give the states a deadline of “7pm eastern standard time on January 15th” to send back a new set of votes, according to Karl. ¤ Then, Ellis wrote, if any state legislature missed that deadline, “no electoral votes can be opened and counted from that state.”

Such a scenario would leave neither Biden nor Trump with a majority of votes, Ellis wrote, which would mean “Congress shall vote by state delegation” — which, Ellis said, would in turn lead to Trump being declared the winner due to Republicans controlling the majority of state delegations with 26.

The day after Meadows sent Ellis’ memo to Pence’s aide, on Jan. 1, Trump aide John McEntee sent another memo to Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, titled, “Jefferson used his position as VP to win.” ¤ Although McEntee’s memo was historically incorrect, Karl says, his message was clear: Jefferson took advantage of his position, and Pence must do the same.

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Distinguished person of the week: Trump is still not a king http://wapo.st/3C9qhSE “For reminding us of Congress’s power to investigate [Jan. 6] & of Trump’s status as a lowly former president w/o the powers of … office, we can say well done, Judge Chutkan”

U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan issued a 39-page opinion on Tuesday rejecting former president Donald Trump’s attempt to block the Jan. 6 House select committee’s demand for hundreds of documents relating to the violent insurrection that Trump incited.

Chutkan’s factual recounting was a helpful reminder that Trump deliberately unleashed his supporters in an effort to overturn the election:

On January 6, Plaintiff spoke at the rally at the Ellipse, during which he (1) repeated claims, rejected by numerous courts, that the election was “rigged” and “stolen”; (2) urged then Vice President [Mike] Pence, who was preparing to convene Congress to tally the electoral votes, “to do the right thing” by rejecting certain states’ electors and declining to certify the election for President Joseph R. Biden; and (3) told protesters to “walk down to the Capitol” to “give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country,” “we fight. We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” and “you’ll never take back our country with weakness.”

In a rebuke to Trump’s consistently inflated view of presidential power and delusion that these powers are his personally, Chutkan held, “Plaintiff does not acknowledge the deference owed to the incumbent President’s judgment. His position that he may override the express will of the executive branch appears to be premised on the notion that his executive power ‘exists in perpetuity.’ . . . But Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President.”

In responding to challenges regarding the constitutionality of the National Records Act and of Congress’s right to investigate, the court found multiple legislative purposes for the document request. The most serious that Chutkan listed was enacting legislation to enforce Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which bars anyone involved with an insurrection of rebellion from running for public office — including anyone who “gave ‘aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.’ ” That warning should remind Trump and his accessories of the legal peril they may be facing.

Chutkan also underscored reforms to prevent future coups that Congress may want — or must — address, such as “imposing structural reforms on executive branch agencies to prevent their abuse for antidemocratic ends, amending the Electoral Count Act, and reallocating resources and modifying processes for intelligence sharing by federal agencies charged with detecting, and interdicting, foreign and domestic threats to the security and integrity of our electoral processes.” Such reforms would certainly be forthcoming, were if not for Republicans’ resistance to any protection of our democracy that might prevent future abuse of power by their cult leaders.

The opinion is tightly reasoned. Moreover, it is one likely to be looked upon favorably even by a right-wing Supreme Court. In applying the test from the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Trump v. Mazars, which rebuffed Trump’s claim of absolute privilege, the judge reminds the high court that its own ruling affirmed the powers of Congress to investigate as part of its legislative functions.

Trump predictably appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which temporarily stayed the ruling to allow an accelerated briefing and hearing schedule. The former president is likely to lose there as well.

For reminding us of Congress’s power to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection and of Trump’s status as a lowly former president without the powers of the office, we can say well done, Judge Chutkan.

⭕ 13 Nov 2021

🐣 RT @tribelaw Bannon should be indicted again, this time for criminal sedition. He can serve his 20 years under 18 USC 2384 and his term for contempt of Congress concurrently.
⋙ 🐣 RT @UROCKlive1 He knew.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @RexChapman Please never forget Steve Bannon on January 5th, 2021… 💽 https://twitter.com/RexChapman/status/1459314849524109318?s=20/photo/1
// clip from Bannon‘s podcast ⇈

WaPo Editorial: Fresh reporting on Jan. 6 is a powerful rebuke to those minimizing events of that terrible day http://wapo.st/2YK6fAz

One hundred and eighty-seven minutes. That is the length of time between when President Donald Trump called on his followers to march to the Capitol on Jan. 6, as Congress was convening to certify the results of the presidential election he had lost, and when he belatedly and begrudgingly released a video telling them to go home. Those harrowing 187 minutes — during which the nation’s commander in chief sat back and watched television coverage of his supporters attacking the Capitol, even as his advisers, allies, elder daughter and besieged lawmakers begged him to intervene — were chronicled with troubling new detail in a Post investigation. The fresh reporting is a powerful rebuke to those who have sought to minimize, distort or forget the events of that terrible day.

Thanks to the work of a team of more than 75 Post journalists who interviewed more than 230 people and examined thousands of pages of court documents and internal law enforcement reports, along with hundred of videos, photographs and audio recordings, we now have the fullest understanding to date of what was going on not just on Jan. 6 but also in the days leading up to the assault and its aftermath.

Among the findings: A cascade of warnings — including explicit threats targeting Congress — was ignored by law enforcement. Some Pentagon leaders feared Mr. Trump might misuse the National Guard to remain in power and placed guardrails on deployment that may have hampered response to the insurrection. Efforts to strong-arm Vice President Mike Pence into using his ceremonial role to reject the results of the presidential election continued even after the assault on the Capitol when the shaken Congress reconvened.

New details about the pressure brought to bear on Mr. Pence make his steadfastness all the more admirable. Unfortunately, the former vice president has tarnished the record of his Jan. 6 courage with subsequent toadying to Mr. Trump, including criticizing the media for what he called overplaying the significance of Jan. 6. Mr. Pence is not alone in bending under Mr. Trump’s tightening grip on the Republican Party; as was reported in the third part of the series, nearly a third of the 390 Republicans around the country who have expressed interest in running for statewide office this cycle have supported a partisan audit of the 2020 vote, played down Jan. 6 or directly questioned the victory of President Biden.

Those continuing efforts to undermine elections and the peaceful transfer of power are why The Post’s investigation, albeit rigorous and thorough, must not be the last word. As the Post team itself noted, a number of critical questions remain. How seriously did Mr. Trump or his allies inside the government consider using emergency powers to remain in office? How did rioters know what unsecured windows would give them entry into the Capitol? Who built those gallows on the West Front of the building? And what else did Mr. Trump say or do during those horrific 187 minutes?

The special House committee investigating Jan. 6 has powers that reporters lack. It can compel testimony and subpoena documents to address the still unanswered questions — and assure that nothing like Jan. 6 will happen again.

⭕ 12 Nov 2021

Carnegie, Rumer & Weiss (2021): Ukraine: Putin’s Unfinished Business http://bit.ly/3xfD3Qz “[T]he annexation of Crimea and the undeclared war in eastern Ukraine have only reinforced the Ukrainian people’s resolve to leave Russia’s orbit and to seek closer ties to the West”
// 11/12/2021

Politico, Erin Banco: Emails reveal new details of Trump White House interference in CDC Covid planning http://politi.co/3c7QVRp
// The documents released by a congressional committee lay out a timeline for how the Trump White House began to downplay the dangers posed by Covid-19.

The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis has conducted interviews over the last several months about how former President Donald Trump and his closest confidantes, including former White House adviser Scott Atlas and son-in-law Jared Kushner, tried to steer the course of the federal response, sidestepping the interagency process.

The emails and transcripts detail how in the early days of 2020 Trump and his allies in the White House blocked media briefings and interviews with CDC officials, attempted to alter public safety guidance normally cleared by the agency and instructed agency officials to destroy evidence that might be construed as political interference.

The documents further underscore how Trump appointees tried to undermine the work of scientists and career staff at the CDC to control the administration’s messaging on the spread of the virus and the dangers of transmission and infection.

Several top former Trump officials, including Deborah Birx, the former White House Covid-19 task force coordinator, have answered committee questions. Former National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Director Nancy Messonnier and former CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat also appeared for questioning. Both stepped down from their posts at the CDC in the spring.

The documents released by the committee — and the corresponding interviews with witnesses — lay out a timeline for how the Trump White House began to downplay the dangers posed by Covid-19. Several former high-level Trump officials who worked on the administration’s response have said publicly after the fact that they did not want to panic the American public.

But scientists at the CDC, well aware that the virus was transmitting at a high rate and could infect easily, stepped in early to speak to the American people directly in an attempt to warn the public about what was coming.

In a press conference in February 2020, Messonnier told reporters that she expected community spread within the U.S. and that the disruptions to everyday life could be “severe.” It was one of the first blunt assessments from a high-level CDC official about what was in store for the U.S. ¤ That warning frustrated Trump, according to documents released by the congressional committee Friday.

“I believed that my remarks were accurate based on the information we had at the time,” Messonnier told the committee in her interview. “I heard that the President was unhappy with the telebriefing.”

Following Messonnier’s comments in the Feb. 25 briefing, the leadership at the Department of Health and Human Services called yet another press conference.

“The impression that I was given was that the reaction to the morning briefing was quite volatile and having another briefing — you know, later I think I got the impression that having another briefing might get — you know, there was nothing new to report, but get additional voices out there talking about that situation,” Schuchat told the committee in her testimony.

From that point, the White House took the lead on the federal response and controlling all communications and messaging about the virus, denying CDC requests to hold its own briefings.

“We would submit a request to the others to do a briefing and it was declined, and then — or we didn’t get approval to be able to do one,” Schuchat said, referring to specific requests she received from the media for an interview. Schuchat said the White House also denied several agency telebriefings in the spring of 2020 that would have allowed CDC scientists to explain emerging evidence about how the virus moved and infected different populations.

As CDC scientists continued to try and push out their field reporting on Covid-19, White House officials attempted to morph messaging and at times downplay the significance of the spread of the virus.

Christine Casey, one of the leaders of the CDC team that publishes weekly scientific reports, also known as Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, told the House committee that at one point in August 2020 she received instructions to delete an email reflecting political interference.

Casey said Paul Alexander, the former temporary senior policy adviser to the assistant secretary for public affairs at HHS, instructed her to stop publishing the weekly reports, insinuating her team was trying to make Trump look bad in public.

After conversations with leadership at the CDC, including then-Director Robert Redfield, Michael Iademarco, one of the CDC’s leaders overseeing epidemiology and laboratory services, told Casey to delete the email.

“I believe he said that the director [Redfield] said to delete the email and that anyone else who had received it, you know, should do as well,” Casey said in her testimony.

Schuchat told the committee that the interference in the CDC’s scientific process went even further and affected the agency’s public health guidance from the beginning of the pandemic.

In one instance, Schuchat said there was a directive in March 2020 to the White House to suspend the introduction of certain persons from countries where a communicable disease exists. Martin Cetron, the director for the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at the CDC, refused to sign the order.

“His view was that the facts on the ground didn’t call for this from a public health reason and that the decision wasn’t being made based on criteria for quarantine. It may have been initiated for other purposes,” Schuchat said. “ I don’t think he was comfortable using his authority to do that because it didn’t meet his careful review of what the criteria are.” ¤ Redfield eventually signed the order despite Cetron’s opposition.

On several instances, Schuchat said Alexander tried to change the wording of the MMWR, adding that it took “active effort” from career CDC staff to preserve the integrity of the scientific reports. …

Birx, then the White House Covid-19 task force coordinator, told the House committee in her testimony that Atlas, a radiologist and White House adviser who frequently disagreed with the CDC, attempted to alter the agency’s testing guidance.

He pressed the agency to rewrite its guidelines to underscore that only symptomatic individuals needed to get tested. His argument, at the time, was that the U.S. only needed to worry about those individuals who had Covid-19 and were experiencing symptoms such as fever and coughing because those were the people who could more easily spread the virus. But scientists through the administration argued that asymptomatic individuals could still spread Covid-19 even if they did not exhibit symptoms and it was important to track both categories.

The wording in the testing guidelines was eventually tweaked to say: “You do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable individual or your healthcare provider or state or local public health officials recommend you take one.”

“This document resulted in less testing and less — less aggressive testing of those without symptoms that I believed were the primary reason for the early community spread,” Birx said, adding that the change in the guidance was not based on science.

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote BEANS: I’m willing to bet Bannon won’t cooperate or cut a deal for the minimum sentence in exchange for truthful testimony. I think he will fight it and risk prison, become a martyr, and fundraise off calling himself a Solzhenitsyn-style political prisoner.
NYT: Menace Enters the Republican Mainstream http://nyti.ms/3Hg2Smd “Such views, routinely expressed in warlike or revolutionary terms, are often intertwined with white racial resentments and evangelical Christian religious fervor”
// Threats of violence have become commonplace among a significant part of the party, as historians and those who study democracy warn of a dark shift in American politics.

🔆 This❗️⋙ DOJ: Stephen K. Bannon Indicted for Contempt of Congress http://bit.ly/31YkxPe “Bannon, 67, is charged with one contempt count involving his refusal to appear for a deposition and another involving his refusal to produce documents, despite a subpoena”
// Two Charges Filed for Failing to Honor House Subpoena From Select Committee Investigating Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
⋙ DOJ: Indictment [pdf] http://bit.ly/3CidfCw 9p
⋙ 2 U.S. Code § 192 – Refusal of witness to testify or produce papers: “Every person who having been summoned as a witness by the authority of either House of Congress to give testimony or to produce papers upon any matter under inquiry before either House, or any joint committee established by a joint or concurrent resolution of the two Houses of Congress, or any committee of either House of Congress, willfully makes default, or who, having appeared, refuses to answer any question pertinent to the question under inquiry, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 nor less than $100 and imprisonment in a common jail for not less than one month nor more than twelve months.
(R.S. § 102; June 22, 1938, ch. 594, 52 Stat. 942.)”

🐣 RT @jonlemire WASHINGTON (AP) — Ex-Trump aide Steve Bannon indicted on contempt of Congress charges after defying Jan. 6 committee subpoena.

WaPo: Trump says it was ‘common sense’ for Jan. 6 rioters to chant ‘Hang Mike Pence!’ http://wapo.st/3qsVgXE “Audio of Trump’s comments to ABC News’s Jonathan Karl were published Friday by Axios in advance of a forthcoming book by Karl.” 1/2
⋙ “Trump … took issue with Pence for not intervening to change the results as he presided over the count of electoral college votes by Congress. The count was … interrupted after rioters breached the Capitol and Pence was whisked out of the chamber amid threats on his life.” 2/2
⋙ “In the interview, Trump made clear that he wanted Pence to invalidate the electoral college votes of five states in which Joe Biden had prevailed.”

WaPo: The Washington Post corrects, removes parts of two stories regarding the Steele dossier http://wapo.st/3nbm2BF

The newspaper’s executive editor, Sally Buzbee, said The Post could no longer stand by the accuracy of those elements of the story. It had identified businessman Sergei Millian as “Source D,” the unnamed figure who passed on the most salacious allegation in the dossier to its principal author, former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.

The Post’s reassessment follows the indictment on Nov. 4 of Igor Danchenko, a Russian American analyst and researcher who helped Steele compile the dossier. Danchenko was arrested as part of an investigation conducted by attorney John Durham, the special counsel appointed by Trump’s attorney general William P. Barr to probe the origins and handling of the FBI’s inquiry into Trump’s alleged Russian connections.

WaPo: Backlash to school books centering on race, sex and LGBTQ people turns into conservative rallying cry http://wapo.st/3F9nCKA

Objections to books are nothing new, but they seem to have intensified over the past year, according to advocates of free access — with isolated complaints giving way to more concerted efforts that quickly spread to other areas, often propelled by social media. Caldwell-Stone from ALA traced an apparent rise in challenges to political outrage over topics such as LGBTQ sexuality and “critical race theory” — a college-level academic framework that examines systemic racism in America but has become a catchall for conservative concerns about the way schools discuss race.

Citing fears that teachers are laying guilt on White children, some states have passed laws banning classes from broaching the idea that anyone should feel “discomfort” or “anguish” on account of their race or sex. Republican leaders have also sought to cut funding for schools that teach the New York Times’ 1619 Project, and they have advocated “patriotic education” instead of what they call an excessive focus on the United States’ past and present wrongs.

⭕ 11 Nov 2021

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: A sobering, new report shows how much work is needed to protect democracy http://wapo.st/3wLhPYG

Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan group that has done yeoman’s work in litigating against the lawless Trump administration, devising software tools to enhance election integrity and battling election disinformation, is out with a comprehensive report of the status of democracy. It makes for a sobering read.

If nothing else, the report highlights that the danger of election subversion and the ensuing constitutional crisis is immediate and real. Republicans have pushed more than 200 bills around the country that would enable Republican legislatures to dislodge neutral election officials, challenge and overturn results and undermine confidence in election outcomes. For other elections they do not win, expect Republicans to try to delegitimize the results.

The effort to prevent delegitimization of elections also requires the debunking and challenging of phony elections “audits,” such as the one conducted in Maricopa County, Ariz. (which turned out to confirm President Biden’s victory). These are the preseason warm-ups to anticipated GOP efforts in 2022 and 2024 to sabotage vote tabulation and certification.

It is worth noting that such efforts must also include fixes to the Electoral Count Act to prevent a possible Republican House majority in January 2025 from accomplishing what the MAGA rioters could not: Overthrowing the will of voters by refusing to certify electoral college votes.

To combat the near-term threat, Protect Democracy also insists on accountability for attempted intimidation and manipulation of election officials in 2020 through civil and criminal litigation. The report warns that “if there is no accountability for past abuses, they will only repeat themselves more dangerously.”

As essential as the short- and intermediate-term reforms may be, a more fundamental threat looms. Protect Democracy calls this the “structural and cultural factors that inflate the political power and appeal of authoritarianism.” The “socio-cultural drivers” of a mass movement seeking to challenge the foundations of a multiracial democracy demand solutions well beyond the political realm.

This entails confronting the White evangelical crusade to prioritize White power and Christian ideology over democracy. Right-wing pseudo-intellectuals, unabashed champions of nativism in right-wing media and cynical Republican politicians have heightened racial resentment and undermined the building blocks of democracy. In many instances, however, they are merely racing to catch up with the mob.

It is worth noting that such efforts must also include fixes to the Electoral Count Act to prevent a possible Republican House majority in January 2025 from accomplishing what the MAGA rioters could not: Overthrowing the will of voters by refusing to certify electoral college votes.

To combat the near-term threat, Protect Democracy also insists on accountability for attempted intimidation and manipulation of election officials in 2020 through civil and criminal litigation. The report warns that “if there is no accountability for past abuses, they will only repeat themselves more dangerously.”

The prevalence of conspiracy theories, flight from science and fear of marginalization point to a greater crisis in rural, White and evangelical communities. White evangelicals’ Faustian bargain with Trump and his movement meant that these communities sacrificed their religious virtues and principles for power and the false sense of security that a ruthless warrior could push back the tide of secularism and racial diversification. As evangelical conservative and pro-democracy advocate David A. French writes, “[T]he pursuit of Christian power led to prominent Christian voices endorsing nation-cracking litigation and revolutionary efforts to overturn a lawful election — the Christian ‘deal’ looks bad indeed. When push came to shove, all too often the pursuit of justice yielded to the pursuit of power.”

Reinvigoration of democratic values, inculcation of tolerance, renewed respect for diversity and acceptance of science must come from authentic voices with credibility in those communities. The rest of Americans must recognize that excusing the plague of racist authoritarianism and unhinged — sometimes violent — rhetoric as the result of “economic dislocation” or “lack of respect from elites” misses the mark and infantilizes millions of Americans.

These Americans need to decide if they believe in the American creed or simply want to impose their will on a nation in which they no longer represent a majority. The answer to that fundamental question will in large part determine the fate of our democratic experiment.

🐣 RT @tribelaw This temporary injunction was accompanied by an ultrafast DC Circuit argument set for Nov 30. The panel will certainly affirm Judge Chutkan’s order demanding that Trump’s documents be turned over to the Jan 6 Committee, and SCOTUS will agree.
⋙ WaPo: Appeals court temporarily bars release of Trump White House records to House Jan. 6 committee http://wapo.st/3wFQ9V5

A federal appeals court on Thursday blocked the imminent release of records of President Donald Trump’s White House calls and activities related to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack after a lower court found that President Biden can waive his predecessor’s claim to executive privilege.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted a temporary injunction while it considers Trump’s request to hold off any release pending appeal, and fast-tracked oral arguments for a hearing Nov. 30.

🔄 💙 ❤️ 🔆 This❗️⋙ Newsweek, William Arkin: ‘We Are On the Way to a Right-wing Coup,’ the CIA Director Privately Warned http://bit.ly/3ktbDQ2 //➔ Part of a day-by-day recounting of what took place beginning Nov 3, 2020
// Daily Series of Post-Election Events

⭕ 10 Nov 2021

NBCNews: Domestic extremists pushing violence against Congress, school and health officials, DHS bulletin says http://nbcnews.to/3C7nJ7i
// A new DHS anti-terror bulletin also noted how both foreign Islamic terrorists and domestic extremists want to exploit the U.S. exit from Afghanistan.

NYT: Swift Ruling Tests Trump’s Tactic of Running Out the Clock http://nyti.ms/3n5K2pQ
// The former president has leveraged the slow judicial process in the past to thwart congressional oversight, but the Jan. 6 case may be different.

WaPo: N.J. man sentenced to 41 months for assaulting officer, stiffest punishment yet in Jan. 6 cases http://wapo.st/309cWfK
// Scott Fairlamb is the first person sentenced for assaulting a police officer in the Capitol attack.

⭕ 9 Nov 2021

🧵 RT @sethabramson The far right disinformation campaign on the Steele dossier is as aggressive a disinformation campaign as America has ever seen. ¤ The indictments they cite don’t say what they say they do; the dossier doesn’t say what they say it does; they’re rewriting our history in scary ways. 📌 https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1458227627236511745?s=20

WaPo: Jan. 6 committee subpoenas more Trump aides, including Miller, McEnany and McEntee http://wapo.st/3DhFanr

WaPo: Trump White House records can be turned over to House Jan. 6 investigative committee, judge rules http://wapo.st/3C1CHMj

The decision by U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan clears the way for the release of government records requested by Congress beginning Friday. Attorneys for former president Donald Trump immediately appealed and moved to bar release of the documents by the National Archives pending a ruling by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The House panel and the Justice Department “contend that discovering and coming to terms with the causes underlying the January 6 attack is a matter of unsurpassed public importance because such information relates to our core democratic institutions and the public’s confidence in them,” Chutkan wrote in a 39-page opinion. “The court agrees.”

[From Opinion:] “Plaintiff does not acknowledge the deference owed to the incumbent President’s judgment. His position that he may override the express will of the executive branch appears to be premised on the notion that his executive power “exists in perpetuity.” Hearing Tr. at 19:21-22. But Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President. He retains the right to assert that his records are privileged, but the incumbent President “is not constitutionally obliged to honor” that assertion. Public Citizen v. Burk, 843 F.2d 1473, 1479 (D.C. Cir. 1988).4”

⭕ 8 Nov 2021

WaPo: Can Biden’s nuts-and-bolts infrastructure pitch overcome cultural divides? http://wapo.st/3H0SE9n
// The president’s sales push on infrastructure will test whether his strategy of delivering tangible benefits still resonates in a polarized political environment where cultural issues are powerful

WaPo: Capitol rioter Evan Neumann applies for asylum in Belarus, local media says http://wapo.st/3DdRUeN

Evan Neumann, who appears to have sat down for an interview with Belarusian state television in a segment titled “Goodbye, America,” is wanted in the United States on charges of violent entry and disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds, as well as for assaulting, resisting and obstructing law enforcement during civil disorder.

Both Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and his close ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin, have frequently referenced the Capitol riot, calling the prosecution of those involved an example of “double standards” by the United States because it frequently criticizes crackdowns on anti-government protests abroad.

◕ NYT: U.S. Covid Deaths Get Even Redder http://nyti.ms/3mWfx5Fhttps://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1457887369877667840?s=20/photo/1
// The partisan gap in Covid’s death toll has grown faster over the past month than at any previous point.

💙 TheBulwark, Christian Vanderbrouk: Notes on an Authoritarian Conspiracy: Inside the Claremont Institute’s “79 Days to Inauguration” Report http://bit.ly/2YtQPjN
// Claremont’s post-election war game provides a window into the group’s ambitions.

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: House Jan. 6 committee issues subpoenas to 6 top Trump advisers, including pair involved in Willard hotel ‘command center’ http://wapo.st/3o8ecIh

Those subpoenaed to provide testimony and documents include scholar John Eastman, who outlined a legal strategy in early January to delay or deny Joe Biden the presidency, and former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik, who led efforts to investigate voting fraud in key states. Both were present at the Willard during the first week in January.

The list also includes three members of the Trump reelection campaign: campaign manager Bill Stepien; Jason Miller, a senior adviser to the campaign; and Angela McCallum, the national executive assistant to Trump’s campaign. The committee also issued a subpoena for Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

⭕ 7 Nov 2021

🐣 RT @thedailybeast Rep. Liz Cheney went on Fox News Sunday and took an apparent swipe at Tucker Carlson, claiming that anyone who spreads “false flag” conspiracies about the Jan. 6 insurrection is “un-American” and “dangerous.”
⋙ DailyBeast: Liz Cheney to Fox News: ‘Un-American’ to Call Jan. 6 a ‘False Flag’ http://bit.ly/3qlQD1o
// While not naming Tucker Carlson explicitly, Cheney’s comments on Fox News definitely appeared to reference the Fox star’s recent docu-series sowing doubt about Jan. 6.

WaPo: Defying Trump, Rick Scott backs McConnell and Murkowski, tiptoes around false claims about election fraud http://wapo.st/3kbRWMw
// The interview was typical of the balancing act Scott has tried to maintain as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the group that works to elect Republicans to the Senate

⭕ 6 Nov 2021

WaPo: A spin doctor with ties to Russia allegedly fed the Steele dossier before fighting to discredit it http://wapo.st/3omQsR5 “The dossier was tangential to the official inquiry led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III but nonetheless captured public imagination”
// Charles Dolan Jr., a PR executive who cut his teeth in Democratic politics, provided anti-Trump information, according to the special counsel probing the Russia investigation

⭕ 5 Nov 2021

🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi Tonight, I proudly signed the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework and sent it to @POTUS to be signed into law. This bill delivers a once-in-a-century investment in our infrastructure, creates good-paying jobs and takes a crucial step to #BuildBackBetter For The People. https://twitter.com/SpeakerPelosi/status/1456852294444765184?s=20/photo/1-2
⋙ 🐣 RT @wandaransom Happy Infrastructure Week! 💽 https://twitter.com/wandaransom/status/1456852808926474242?s=20/photo/1
// video by MeidasTouch: promises NOT kept by Trump admin

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Congress approves $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, sending measure to Biden for enactment http://wapo.st/3EPhCX9
// To secure passage, moderates and liberals agreed to act soon to adopt the rest of President Biden’s economic agenda

⭕ 4 Nov 2021

WaPo: U.S. judge appears set to reject Trump bid to block records requested by Jan. 6 committee http://wapo.st/3kaA84p

TheGuardian: Russian source for Steele’s Trump dossier arrested by US authorities http://bit.ly/3wgBHmi
// Five-page indictment released by justice department accuses analyst Igor Danchenko of lying to FBI

🧵 RT @SethAbramson (THREAD) I’m going to itemize every factual inaccuracy in this NYT article—while telling you in advance that none of them will be fixed. I wrote a NYT bestseller on the subject these men have written a story on, so I know *exactly* what needs correcting.
📌https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/1456299800735870976?s=20
⋙⋙ NYT: Authorities Arrest Analyst Who Contributed to Steele Dossier http://nyti.ms/3EMEdDP
// Igor Danchenko, a Russia analyst who worked with Christopher Steele, the author of a dossier of rumors and unproven assertions about Donald J. Trump, was indicted as part of the Durham investigation.
⋙ 🐣 RT @medit8now Did you see @petestrzok on Maddow @SethAbramson?
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @medit8now Pete Strzok on @maddow: The people Durham indicted are peripheral to Mueller cases. Today’s indictment seems to be a dog whistle to Trump’s conspiracy theories. The subtle 1-sided portrayal of the facts isn’t unintentional & seeks to lay out a false narrative to what Mueller did

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote The interviews during which the Steele source “lied” to the FBI took place a YEAR after the trump-Russia probe was opened, but Durham wants you to believe his lies have to do with the origin of crossfire hurricane.
⋙ 🐣 RT @DiogenesLamp0 Durham has been investigating for 3 and a half years and all he found were process crimes unrelated to Trump’s collusion. Meanwhile, Trump still colluded with Russia. His campaign manager gave 75 pgs of campaign data to a Russian spy.

WaPo: Igor Danchenko arrested, charged with lying to FBI about information in Steele dossier http://wapo.st/3k3UEDK “[T]he 39-page indictment unveiled Thursday paints a more detailed picture of claims that were allegedly built on exaggerations, rumors and outright lies”

Politico: Committee interviews Jan. 6 rioter who witnessed state GOP contacts with Trump allies http://politi.co/3whpGNi
// Investigators are trying to connect the dots between protesters who broke into the Capitol and whether they coordinated with Republican officials.

🐣 RT @gavinmuellerphd am I correct that CRT as the shambolic-but-nevertheless-consolidated emblem of BLM backlash was midwifed through the debate on the 1619 Project?

⭕ 3 Nov 2021

⭕ 2 Nov 2021

WaPo, Greg Sargent: Glenn Youngkin’s repulsive final push reveals a dark truth for Democrats http://wapo.st/3wgY76Y

⭕ 1 Nov 2021

⭕ 31 Oct 2021

🐣 RT @FrankFigliuzzi Flynn as a continuing domestic terror threat -GOP candidate: Michael Flynn trying to run extortion plot on U.S. officials to reinstall Trump | http://Salon.com
⋙ Salon, Brett Bachman: GOP candidate claims Michael Flynn hoped to blackmail U.S. officials into pro-Trump “audits” http://bit.ly/3EsBrTS
// Pennsylvania Senate candidate Everett Stern made the bombshell accusation in a press conference Saturday

🧵RT @MuellerSheWrote THREAD: There were major clues that dropped this weekend indicating DoJ is prepping to pursue a Bannon indictment for criminal contempt of congress that the MSM isn’t talking about. 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/MuellerSheWrote/status/1454911842556399618?s=20

WaPo: Key Findings of the Report http://wapo.st/3qhlhsV

President Donald Trump’s assault on American democracy began in the spring of 2020, when he issued a flurry of preemptive attacks on the integrity of the country’s voting systems. The doubts he cultivated ultimately led to a rampage inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, when a pro-Trump mob came within seconds of encountering Vice President Mike Pence, trapped lawmakers and vandalized the home of Congress in the worst desecration of the complex since British forces burned it in 1814. Five people died in the Jan. 6 attack or in the immediate aftermath, and 140 police officers were assaulted.

The consequences of that day are still coming into focus, but what is already clear is that the insurrection was not a spontaneous act nor an isolated event. It was a battle in a broader war over the truth and over the future of American democracy.

Since then, the forces behind the attack remain potent and growing. Trump emerged emboldened, fortifying his hold on the Republican Party, sustaining his election-fraud lie and driving demands for more restrictive voting laws and investigations of the 2020 results, even though they have been repeatedly affirmed by ballot reviews and the courts. A deep distrust in the voting process has spread across the country, shaking the foundation on which the American experiment was built — the shared belief that the nation’s leaders are freely and fairly elected.

BEFORE THE ATTACK

Law enforcement officials did not respond with urgency to a cascade of warnings about violence on Jan. 6
● Alerts were raised by local officials, FBI informants, social media companies, former national security officials, researchers, lawmakers and tipsters.
● The FBI received numerous warnings about Jan. 6 but felt many of the threatening statements were “aspirational” and could not be pursued. In one tip on Dec. 20, a caller told the bureau that ● Trump supporters were making plans online for violence against lawmakers in Washington, including a threat against Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah). The agency concluded the information did not merit further investigation and closed the case within 48 hours.
● One of the biggest efforts to come out of Sept. 11, 2001 — a national network of multi-agency intelligence centers — spotted a flood of Jan. 6 warnings, but federal agencies did not show much interest in its information.
● The FBI limited its own understanding of how extremists were mobilizing when it switched over its social media monitoring service on the last weekend of 2020.

Pentagon leaders had acute fears about widespread violence, and some feared Trump could misuse the National Guard to remain in power
● Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy was left rattled by Trump’s firing of senior Pentagon officials just after the election and sought to put guardrails on deployment of the National Guard.
● Then-acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller did not believe Trump would misuse the military but worried that far-right extremists could bait soldiers into “a Boston Massacre-type situation.” Their fears contributed to a fateful decision to keep soldiers away from the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The Capitol Police was disorganized and unprepared
● The U.S. Capitol Police had been tracking threatening social media posts for weeks but was hampered by poor communication and planning.
● The department’s new head of intelligence concluded on Jan. 3 that Trump supporters had grown desperate to overturn the election and “Congress itself” would be the target. But then-Chief Steven Sund did not have that information when he initiated a last-minute request to bring in National Guard soldiers, one that was swiftly rejected.

Trump’s election lies radicalized his supporters in real time
● As the president exerted pressure on state officials, the Justice Department and his vice president to overturn the results, his public attacks on the vote mobilized his supporters to immediately plot violent acts — discussions that researchers watched unfold online.

DURING THE ATTACK

Escalating danger signs were in full view hours before the Capitol attack but did not trigger a stepped-up security response
● Hundreds of Trump supporters clashed with police at the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial on the morning of Jan. 6, some with shields and gas masks, presaging the violence to come.
● D.C. homeland security employees spotted piles of backpacks left by rallygoers outside the area where the president would speak — a phenomenon the agency had warned a week earlier could be a sign of concealed weapons.

Trump had direct warnings of the risks but stood by for 187 minutes before telling his supporters to go home
● For more than three hours, the president resisted entreaties from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, other Republican lawmakers and numerous White House advisers to urge the mob to disperse, a delay that contributed to harrowing acts of violence.

His allies pressured Pence to reject the election results even after the Capitol siege
● John C. Eastman, an attorney advising Trump, emailed Pence’s lawyer as a shaken Congress was reconvening to argue that the vice president should still reject electors from Arizona and other states.
● Earlier in the day, while the vice president, his family and aides were hiding from the rioters, Eastman emailed Pence’s lawyer to blame the violence on Pence’s refusal to block certification of Biden’s victory.

The FBI was forced to improvise a plan to help take back control of the Capitol
● After the breach, the bureau deployed three tactical teams that were positioned nearby, but they were small, specialized teams and did not bring overwhelming manpower.
● As the riot escalated, acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen scrambled to keep up with the deluge of calls from senior government officials and desperate lawmakers.
● Senior Justice Department officials were so uncertain of what was occurring based on chaotic television images that Rosen’s top deputy, Richard Donoghue, went to the Capitol in person to coordinate with lawmakers and law enforcement agencies.

AFTER THE ATTACK

Republican efforts to undermine the 2020 election restarted immediately after the Capitol attack
● Eight days after the violence, state Republicans privately discussed their intention to force a review of ballots cast in Maricopa County, Ariz., setting in motion a chaotic process that further sowed doubt in the results and a wave of similar partisan investigations in other states.

False election claims by Trump that spurred the Capitol attack have become a driving force in the Republican Party
● Nearly a third of the 390 Republicans around the country who have expressed interest in running for statewide office this cycle have publicly supported a partisan audit of the 2020 vote, downplayed the Jan. 6 attack or directly questioned Biden’s victory.
● They include 10 candidates running for secretary of state, a position with sway over elections in many states.

Trump’s attacks have led to escalating threats of violence
● Election officials in at least 17 states have collectively received hundreds of threats to their personal safety or their lives since Jan. 6, with a concentration in the six states where Trump has focused his attacks on the election results.
● Ominous emails and calls have spiked immediately after the former president and his allies raised new claims.

First responders are struggling with deep trauma
● Those who tried to protect the Capitol are contending with serious physical injuries, nightmares and intense anxiety. “Normal is gone,” said one Capitol Police commander.

⇈ ⇊
🔄💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: RED FLAGS: BEFORE, DURING, AFTER http://wapo.st/3bpliSW “For the first time, from coast to coast, the centers were blinking red. The hour, date and location of concern was the same: 1 p.m., the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 6.”
// book length book-length; As Trump propelled his supporters to Washington, law enforcementagencies failed to heed mounting warnings about violence on Jan. 6.

WaPo: Russian troop movements near Ukraine border prompt concern in U.S., Europe http://wapo.st/3GH1vgi

BostonGlobe, Timothy Snyder (11/11/2020‼️): Trump’s big election lie pushes America toward autocracy http://bit.ly/3boygAg “A coup is under way, and the number of participants is not shrinking but growing”
// Clinging to power by claiming you are the victim of internal enemies is a very dangerous tactic. Don’t underestimate where this can go. “A coup is under way, and the number of participants is not shrinking but growing”

⭕ 30 Oct 2021

🐣 RT @RepRaskin It’s now clear: Trump’s henchmen used the violent siege of the Capitol to turn up the heat on Pence to complete their political coup in the electoral college. And then Eastman blamed the violent “siege” of the Capitol on Pence’s refusal to succumb to their plan.
⋙ 🧵 RT @jdawsey1 As Pence fled for life, Trump lawyer John Eastman told Pence’s lawyer in email that VP caused “siege.” He later pushed Pence’s team to not certify, even after riot. And Pence lawyer drafted op-Ed calling for him to be disciplined by bar. Our latest: 📌https://twitter.com/jdawsey1/status/1454275258614169611
// 10/29/2021; article below

WaPo: Trump seeking to block hundreds of pages of documents from Jan. 6 committee, court filing shows http://wapo.st/3w35IpG

⭕ 29 Oct 2021

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: During Jan. 6 riot, Trump attorney John Eastman told Pence team the vice president’s inaction caused attack on Capitol http://wapo.st/3bpbRTC

As Vice President Mike Pence hid from a marauding mob during the Jan. 6 invasion of the Capitol, an attorney for President Donald Trump emailed a top Pence aide to say that Pence had caused the violence by refusing to block certification of Trump’s election loss.

The attorney, John C. Eastman, also continued to press for Pence to act even after Trump’s supporters had trampled through the Capitol — an attack the Pence aide, Greg Jacob, had described as a “siege” in their email exchange.

“The ‘siege’ is because YOU and your boss did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so that the American people can see for themselves what happened,” Eastman wrote to Jacob, referring to Trump’s claims of voter fraud.

Eastman sent the email as Pence, who had been presiding in the Senate, was under guard with Jacob and other advisers in a secure area. Rioters were tearing through the Capitol complex, some of them calling for Pence to be executed.

Jacob’s draft article, Eastman’s emails and accounts of other previously undisclosed actions by Eastman offer new insight into the mind-sets of figures at the center of an episode that pushed American democracy to the brink. They show that Eastman’s efforts to persuade Pence to block Trump’s defeat were more extensive than has been reported previously, and that the Pence team was subjected to what Jacob at the time called “a barrage of bankrupt legal theories.”

In the days before the attack, Eastman was working to salvage Trump’s presidency out of a “command center” in rooms at the Willard hotel near the White House, alongside such top Trump allies as Rudolph W. Giuliani.

Jacob wrote in his draft article that Eastman and Giuliani were part of a “cadre of outside lawyers” who had “spun a web of lies and disinformation” in an attempt to pressure Pence to betray his oath of office and the Constitution. …

That evening, Eastman told Jacob in another email that Pence should still not certify the results, according to Eastman and one of the people familiar with the emails. That email from Eastman came after the rioters had been cleared from the Capitol and Pence had returned to the chair to preside over the proceedings and vowed to continue.

🧵 RT @BBooTop The covert communications btwn Russian Alpha Bank servers, Spectrum Health & the Trump Org are real. Tonight, Rachel Maddow read a letter to Garland from a lawyer of one of the computer scientists confirming that the data is real. Durham knew but targeted the ppl who exposed it. 📌 https://twitter.com/BBopTop/status/1454257693070352389?s=20

🧵 RT @stellahaley20 Rachel Maddow reports that Durham and Barr intentionally ignored emails that prove Trump was in direct communication with the Russian Alpha Bank, A covert Communication channel existed during the 2016 campaign that Barr & Durham knew was real but that they covered up! BOOMERANG! 📌 https://twitter.com/StellaHaley20/status/1454262331496599563?s=20

NBCNews: GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an outspoken Trump critic, will not seek re-election http://nbcnews.to/3Cvnu74 He basically is being redistricted out of his seat in Illinois but will be able to focus on the Jan 6 investigation
// While Kinzinger was a vocal opponent of Trump and his governing style, the GOP congressman voted along party lines and on most issues that the former president supported.

⭕ 28 Oct 202

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Beware those peddling fear and rage. Fear is easy to sell. It’s addictive, but it leads to despair & apathy. Hope in the face of reality is hard. It takes work and courage. But as @RepAdamSchiff says: we don’t have the luxury of despair. I will not give up on us. I’m here to work
⋙ 🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote To be clear, I do not think everything is fine. Hope wouldn’t take courage if everything were fine. I think we’re probably in some of the darkest times in our history. But fear and apathy aren’t the way out, and they never will be.

⭕ 27 Oct 2021

Salon, Alan Blotcky: Donald Trump’s “slow-motion coup” is becoming a runaway train http://bit.ly/3pTfpWD
// Trump and his sycophants are working on many fronts to subvert democracy — America’s turning point is here and now

//➔ 🐣 RT @lawindsor Join us! https://twitter.com/lawindsor/status/1453496116457078788?s=20
// Lauren Windsor ⇊ ; undercover investigative journalist
⋙ Executive Director of @AFVhq Creator/EP of political reporting web-show http://TheUndercurrent.tv Support our journalism: http://americanfamilyvoices.org/donate

⭕ 26 Oct 2021

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: The world needs to cut its emissions seven times as fast to hit climate goals, U.N. report finds http://wapo.st/3EbbuZ4 ¤ 🚨@Sen_JoeManchin 🚨
// ‘We’re just so far off track,’ says one co-author, noting that vague long-term promises and insufficient short-term plans overshadow signs of progress

WaPo: The hotel where Trump allies plotted to overturn the election has a wild and sometimes violent history http://wapo.st/3vM6kj4 The Willard “more justly could be called the center of Washington than either the Capitol or the White House … ” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

⭕ 25 Oct 2021

WaPo: God, Trump and the Closed-Door World of a Major Conservative Group http://wapo.st/3jP1v40
// What internal recordings and documents reveal about the Council for National Policy — and the future of the Republican Party

TheGuardian: How a secretive conservative group influenced ‘populist’ Trump’s tax cuts http://bit.ly/316gaBn “The cuts have been blamed for widening inequality, and worsening deficits, with a large amount of the savings going to stock buybacks”
// Recordings from a 2019 panel discussion of the Council for National Policy reveal tax cuts were sparked by personal conversations

🐣 RT @richsignorelli By now, Trump should be an indicted criminal, under strict supervision by courts, detained at home, enforced by electronic monitoring, subject to gag orders prohibiting him from further harming our democracy. Instead, this deranged & dangerous career criminal continues his harm.

SCOTUSblog, Mary Ziegler: Supreme speed: The court puts abortion on the rocket docket http://bit.ly/3jEmxC9

… Last week, the court took up two challenges to S.B. 8. One, brought by abortion providers, asked the justices to weigh in on “whether a state can insulate from federal-court review a law that prohibits the exercise of a constitutional right” by delegating enforcement to private citizens.

The court also granted a separate petition from the Justice Department. The United States, which until now had never brought a challenge to a state abortion restriction, argued that S.B. 8 interferes with its sovereign interest in ensuring that states recognize federal constitutional rights. DOJ also argued that the law raises preemption concerns by threatening the work of federal agencies, employees, and contractors who might offer abortion services. …

What seems clear is that the justices are taking S.B. 8 seriously now. Respect for the gravity of the issue had long been the hallmark of the court’s abortion jurisprudence, which recognized the dignity of life in the womb and the importance of pregnant women’s interests in equality and autonomy. In the court’s response to S.B. 8, that respect was nowhere to be found. The court’s indifference was even more breathtaking because of what S.B. 8 represents — other states could easily use a similar scheme to frustrate the exercise of everything from the right to bear arms to religious liberty.

Many dismissed the justices’ promises to be above politics, and with reason. In its first iteration at the high court, the S.B. 8 litigation suggested not only that politics influenced the outcome but that the justices treated abortion, an issue of great concern to many Americans, with a mixture of contempt and nonchalance. The court’s rocket-docket response to last week’s developments might change the narrative. It was clear for decades that Americans on either side of the abortion issue treated the fate of Roe as a matter of grave concern. Now, it seems, the Supreme Court may once again agree.

🧵 RT @MuellerSheWrote Stockton is one of the people that can confirm Kremer warned the White House via @MarkMeadows about the unpermitted March to the capitol by Stop the Steal. Ellipse rally organizers weren’t expecting a march to the capitol. Then trump announced one on the ellipse. He knew. 📌 https://twitter.com/MuellerSheWrote/status/1452738758583984130?s=20
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @woodruffbets NEW: Dustin Stockton is answering questions from the 1/6 committee today, per two sources. ¤ Story TK
⋙⋙⋙ Politico: Jan. 6 investigators privately question Bannon associate http://politi.co/3men0Nh
// The panel investigating the Capitol attack brought in a conservative activist linked to Steve Bannon’s We Build The Wall effort.
⋙ 🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Source: ¤ ProPublica: New Details Suggest Senior Trump Aides Knew Jan. 6 Rally Could Get Chaotic http://bit.ly/3hdx7Oz
// 6/25/2021; Text messages and interviews show that Stop the Steal leaders fooled the Capitol police and welcomed racists to increase their crowd sizes, while White House officials worked to both contain and appease them.

WaPo: Nevertheless, Warren’s wealth tax idea persisted http://wapo.st/3mlzzGF “It would tax financial gains on all tradable assets annually, even if they have not been sold.” //➔ Acc to Thomas Picketty, this is the only way to halt skyrocketing inequality w/o depression or war

🐣 RT @cwebbonline This. 100% THIS 👇
Sen. King: “If you take the states that those 41 senators represent, add up all the population together, you get 24% of the American people. So the situation we’re in now is that 24% of the American people have an effective veto.”
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, RachelMaddow: Continued Republican abuse of filibuster begins to change minds on reform in Senate http://on.msnbc.com/3jB0rAD
// Senator Angus King, who had previous voiced opposition to getting rid of the Senate filibuster rule, talks with Rachel Maddow about how Republican abuse of the rule to block everything without even any debate, even on matters critical to the health of democracy in the United States, is changing his perspective on reforming the filibuster.

⭕ 24 Oct 2021

🐣 RT @DavidJollyFL 🚨 Rolling Stone out with a huge story, reporting tonight that multiple members of Congress were intimately involved in planning the violent Jan. 6 events, that Meadows had an opportunity to prevent it, and that Gosar dangled ‘blanket pardons’.
🐣 RT @stuartpstevens [Romney’s campaign manager] What everyone needs to grasp is that elements throughout the Republican Party were involved in 1/6th : Trump, WH staff, Senators and Members of Congress, their staffs, major donors, the Republican AG’s Association. It was a coordinated, desperate attempt to end democracy.
🔆 This❗️⋙ RollingStone, Hunter Walker: Jan. 6 Protest Organizers Say They Participated in ‘Dozens’ of Planning Meetings With Members of Congress and White House Staff http://bit.ly/3jv4heA “It’s clear that a lot of bad actors set out to cause chaos. … They made us all look like shit” 
// Two sources are communicating with House investigators and detailed a stunning series of allegations to Rolling Stone, including a promise of a “blanket pardon” from the Oval Office

As the House investigation into the Jan. 6 attack heats up, some of the planners of the pro-Trump rallies that took place in Washington, D.C., have begun communicating with congressional investigators and sharing new information about what happened when the former president’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Two of these people have spoken to Rolling Stone extensively in recent weeks and detailed explosive allegations that multiple members of Congress were intimately involved in planning both Trump’s efforts to overturn his election loss and the Jan. 6 events that turned violent. 

Rolling Stone separately confirmed a third person involved in the main Jan. 6 rally in D.C. has communicated with the committee. This is the first report that the committee is hearing major new allegations from potential cooperating witnesses. While there have been prior indications that members of Congress were involved, this is also the first account detailing their purported role and its scope. The two sources also claim they interacted with members of Trump’s team, including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who they describe as having had an opportunity to prevent the violence. 

The two sources, both of whom have been granted anonymity due to the ongoing investigation, describe participating in “dozens” of planning briefings ahead of that day when Trump supporters broke into the Capitol … “I remember Marjorie Taylor Greene specifically,” the organizer says. “I remember talking to probably close to a dozen other members at one point or another or their staffs.”

… Some members of the audience at the Ellipse began walking the mile and a half to the Capitol as Trump gave his speech. The barricades were stormed minutes before the former president concluded his remarks.

Along with Greene, the conspiratorial pro-Trump Republican from Georgia who took office earlier this year, the pair both say the members who participated in these conversations or had top staffers join in included Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas). ¤ “We would talk to Boebert’s team, Cawthorn’s team, Gosar’s team like back to back to back to back,” says the organizer.  

The organizer claims the pair received “several assurances” about the “blanket pardon” from Gosar. ¤ “I was just going over the list of pardons and we just wanted to tell you guys how much we appreciate all the hard work you’ve been doing,” Gosar said, according to the organizer.

Both Brooks and Cawthorn spoke with Trump at the Ellipse on Jan. 6. In his speech at that event, Brooks, who was reportedly wearing body armor, declared, “Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.” Gosar, Greene, and Boebert were all billed as speakers at the “Wild Protest,” which also took place on Jan. 6 at the Capitol. ¤ … Ali Alexander, who helped organize the “Wild Protest,” declared in a since-deleted livestream broadcast that Gosar, Brooks, and Biggs helped him formulate the strategy for that event. 

“I was the person who came up with the Jan. 6 idea with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks, and Congressman Andy Biggs,” Alexander said at the time. “We four schemed up on putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting so that — who we couldn’t lobby — we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body hearing our loud roar from outside.”  

Alexander led Stop the Steal, which was one of the main groups promoting efforts to dispute Trump’s loss. In December, he organized a Stop the Steal event in Phoenix, where Gosar was one the main speakers. At that demonstration, Alexander referred to Gosar as “my captain” and declared “one of the other heroes has been Congressman Andy Biggs.”

“The reason I’m talking to the committee and the reason it’s so important is that — despite Republicans refusing to participate … this commission’s all we got as far as being able to uncover the truth about what happened at the Capitol that day,” the organizer says. “It’s clear that a lot of bad actors set out to cause chaos. … They made us all look like shit.” ¤ And Trump, they admit, was one of those bad actors. …

“The breaking point for me [on Jan. 6 was when] Trump starts talking about walking to the Capitol,” the organizer says. “I was like. ‘Let’s get the fuck out of here.’ ” ¤  “I do kind of feel abandoned by Trump,” says the planner. “I’m actually pretty pissed about it and I’m pissed at him.”

According to both sources, members of Trump’s administration and former members of his campaign team were involved in the planning. Both describe Katrina Pierson, who worked for Trump’s campaign in 2016 and 2020, as a key liaison between the organizers of protests against the election and the White House. ¤ “Katrina was like our go-to girl,” the organizer says. “She was like our primary advocate.” ¤ Pierson spoke at the Ellipse rally on Jan. 6. …

Both sources also describe Trump’s White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, as someone who played a major role in the conversations surrounding the protests on Jan. 6. Among other things, they both say concerns were raised to Meadows about Alexander’s protest at the Capitol and the potential that it could spark violence.

A separate third source, who has also communicated with the committee and was involved in the Ellipse rally, says Kylie Kremer, one of the key organizers at that event,  boasted that she was going to meet with Meadows at the White House ahead of the rally.

Both the organizer and the planner say Alexander initially agreed he would not hold his “Wild Protest” at the Capitol and that the Ellipse would be the only major demonstration. When Alexander seemed to be ignoring that arrangement, both claim worries were brought to Meadows. ¤ “Despite making a deal … they plowed forward with their own thing at the Capitol on Jan. 6 anyway,” the organizer says of Alexander and his allies. “We ended up escalating that to everybody we could, including Meadows.” …

“We had also been coordinating with some of our congressional contacts on, like, what would be presented after the individual objections, and our expectation was that that was the day the storm was going to arrive,” the organizer says, adding, “It was supposed to be the best evidence that they had been secretly gathering. … Everyone was going to stay at the Ellipse throughout the congressional thing.” ¤ … “The Capitol was never in play,” insists the planner.”

“A whole host of people let this go a totally different way,” the senior Republican staffer says. “They fucked it up for a lot of people who were planning to present evidence on the House floor. We were pissed off at everything that happened .”

The two sources claim there were early concerns about Alexander’s event. They had seen him with members of the paramilitary groups 1st Amendment Praetorian (1AP) and the Oath Keepers in his entourage at prior pro-Trump rallies. Alexander was filmed with a reputed member of 1AP at his side at a November Stop the Steal event that took place in Georgia. The two sources also claim to have been concerned about drawing people to the area directly adjacent to the Capitol on Jan. 6, given the anger among Trump supporters about the electoral certification that was underway that day. ¤ “They knew that they weren’t there to sing “Kumbaya” and, like, put up a peace sign,” the planner says. “These frickin’ people were angry.”

⭕ 23 Oct 2021

WaPo: Ahead of Jan. 6, Willard hotel in downtown D.C. was a Trump team ‘command center’ for effort to deny Biden the presidency http://wapo.st/3pvB1YF

They called it the “command center,” a set of rooms and suites in the posh Willard hotel a block from the White House where some of President Donald Trump’s most loyal lieutenants were working day and night with one goal in mind: overturning the results of the 2020 election.

The Jan. 6 rally on the Ellipse and the ensuing attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob would draw the world’s attention to the quest to physically block Congress from affirming Joe Biden’s victory. But the activities at the Willard that week add to an emerging picture of a less visible effort, mapped out in memos by a conservative pro-Trump legal scholar and pursued by a team of presidential advisers and lawyers seeking to pull off what they claim was a legal strategy to reinstate Trump for a second term.

They were led by Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani. Former chief White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon was an occasional presence as the effort’s senior political adviser. Former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik was there as an investigator. Also present was John Eastman, the scholar, who outlined scenarios for denying Biden the presidency in an Oval Office meeting on Jan. 4 with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

They sought to make the case to Pence and ramp up pressure on him to take actions on Jan. 6 that Eastman suggested were within his powers, three people familiar with the operation said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. Their activities included finding and publicizing alleged evidence of fraud, urging members of state legislatures to challenge Biden’s victory and calling on the Trump-supporting public to press Republican officials in key states.

The effort underscores the extent to which Trump and a handful of true believers were working until the last possible moment to subvert the will of the voters, seeking to pressure Pence to delay or even block certification of the election, leveraging any possible constitutional loophole to test the boundaries of American democracy.

“I firmly believed then, as I believe now, that the vice president — as president of the Senate — had the constitutional power to send the issue back to the states for 10 days to investigate the widespread fraud and report back well in advance of Inauguration Day, January 20th,” one of those present, senior campaign aide and former White House special assistant Boris Epshteyn, told The Washington Post. “Our efforts were focused on conveying that message.”

In May, Eastman indicated that he was at the hotel with Giuliani on the morning of Jan. 6. “We had a war room at the at the Willard . . . kind of coordinating all of the communications,” he told talk show host Peter Boyles, comments first reported in the newsletter Proof.

Also present was One America News reporter Christina Bobb, a lawyer by training who was volunteering for the campaign at the time, according to people familiar with the operation. Bobb declined to comment.

The three people familiar with the operation described intense work in the days and hours leading up to and even extending beyond 1 p.m. on Jan 6, when Congress convened for the counting of electoral votes.

In those first days in January, from the command center, Trump allies were calling members of Republican-dominated legislatures in swing states that Eastman had spotlighted in his memos, including Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona, encouraging them to convene special sessions to investigate fraud and to reassign electoral college votes from Biden to Trump, two of the people familiar with the operation said.

On Jan. 2, Trump, Giuliani and Eastman spoke to 300 state legislators via a conference call meant to arm them with purported evidence of fraud and galvanize them to take action to “decertify” their election results. “You are the real power,” Trump told the state lawmakers, according to a Washington Examiner report. “You’re the ones that are going to make the decision.”

A participant on the call, Michigan state Sen. Ed McBroom (R), recalled listening as Trump, Giuliani, Eastman and others described the power state legislators have over the certification of electors. “I didn’t need any convincing about our plenary powers,” McBroom told The Post. “I was listening to hear whether they had any evidence to substantiate claims” of significant voter fraud that could change the results in Michigan. The callers did not provide additional information, he said, and he did not support a delay in the electoral vote count.

But others appear to have been persuaded. Three days after the call, dozens of lawmakers from Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin wrote to Pence. They asked that he delay certification of Biden’s victory for 10 days to allow “our respective bodies to meet, investigate, and as a body vote on certification or decertification of the election.”

Also on Jan. 2, Eastman, Giuliani and Epshteyn appeared on Bannon’s podcast to make the case directly to Bannon’s pro-Trump listeners. They discussed what Bannon called that day’s “all-hands meeting with state . . . legislators that the Trump campaign and also others are putting on.” The comments were first highlighted by Proof.

They argued that state lawmakers were legally bound to reexamine their election results. “It’s the duty of these legislatures to fix this, this egregious conduct, and make sure that we’re not putting in the White House some guy that didn’t get elected,” Eastman said. He contended that Congress could itself decide on Jan. 6 to select Trump electors in contested states, but that “it would certainly be helped immensely if the legislatures in the states looked at what happened in their own states and weigh in.”

Eastman was not the first or the only person in Trump’s sphere to argue that Pence was empowered to block or delay certification of Biden’s victory. Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn — and Trump himself — suggested as much on Dec. 23, retweeting a post about the possibility of invoking “the Pence card.”

But after other efforts failed, as Jan. 6 neared, the Eastman strategy came into bloom. Eastman, a Federalist Society member, law professor and former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, had the conservative legal credentials to burnish the argument.

Eastman’s first memo, only two pages long, described a six-point plan by which Pence could effectively commandeer the electoral counting process and enable Trump to win. The memo was first revealed last month in the book “Peril,” by Washington Post writers Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. ¤ Eastman has said it was a “preliminary draft” of a more complete and nuanced memo that outlined multiple possible outcomes following the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6. The ideas in the memos were the basis for a discussion of options Pence had with Eastman and Trump in the Oval Office on Jan. 4, he has said.

Eastman has more recently distanced himself from the memos, telling the National Review on Friday that the options he outlined did not represent his advice. He said he wrote the memos at the request of “somebody in the legal team” whose name he could not recall.

When the violence erupted a short time later, forcing Congress into recess, some of the most ardent Trump supporters saw an opportunity. ¤ “Congress is adjourned. Send the elector choice back to the legislatures,” Kelli Ward, chair of the Arizona GOP, tweeted at 3:30 p.m., more than half an hour after insurrectionists in tactical gear made their way to the floor of the Senate. ¤ Ward did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Epshteyn told The Post, “In line with President Trump’s position and message, the Trump legal team immediately made it clear that any and all violence is not acceptable.” At 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 6, shortly after the Capitol was breached, Epshteyn tweeted: “To all those protesting, please stay PEACEFUL and respect the LAW.”

After the violence began, Trump used his Twitter account to ask his supporters to “Stay peaceful,” but notably did not tell them to go home until 4:17 p.m., when he tweeted a video of himself addressing the Capitol rioters. “I know your pain. I know your hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us,” he said. “We have to have peace. So go home. We love you, you’re very special.”

While the lawyers at the Willard were focused on promoting the legal strategy Eastman outlined, Kerik helped head up efforts to sift through allegations of election fraud. Phil Waldron, a retired Army colonel who specialized in psychological operations, led a team of people who provided Kerik with analyses of state data, which purported to show fraudulent voting, according to two of the people familiar with activities at the Willard.

Waldron was working closely with Russell Ramsland, a Texas Republican who had been spreading election-fraud conspiracy theories for months before the election and submitted sworn affidavits to multiple post-election lawsuits claiming fraud, The Post has previously reported. Ramsland was present in one of the Willard rooms on the evening of Jan. 6, according to photographs posted to Instagram that circulated widely after the congressional committee’s mention of the “war room.” ¤ Waldron and Ramsland did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Kerik said he had been working alongside Giuliani since Nov. 5, two days after the election, and that they continued until Jan. 19. “I believed until Inauguration Day that something could be done — that’s why the fight was still going on,” Kerik told The Post. “There were a lot of people who thought on the 6th that it was over, but I didn’t believe that because the evidence seemed so overwhelming to me.”

Kerik and Giuliani set up shop in Washington in early November at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, according to Kerik, and in the third week in December moved to the Willard, closer to the White House. The Willard attracted many pro-Trump figures around that time, including “Stop the Steal” provocateur Roger Stone. Stone was not part of the Giuliani team at the Willard and did not participate in the team’s efforts, according to the three people with knowledge of the matter.

On Jan. 8, Kerik billed the Trump campaign for $66,371.54 in travel expenses, including $55,295 on rooms for legal team members at the Willard from Dec. 18 to Jan. 8, according to Kerik and documents reviewed by The Post. The legal team members referenced in the documents include Kerik, Giuliani and Eastman.

Documents also show that Kerik paid for rooms for William Ligon, a Georgia state senator who had chaired two hearings in Atlanta at which Giuliani aired false claims of election fraud, and Preston Haliburton, an Atlanta attorney who had represented a Coffee County Republican leader who claimed to be a whistleblower with evidence about Dominion voting machines. ¤ Ligon and Haliburton did not respond to messages seeking comment. ¤ The RNC has previously said that it did not pay the legal bills because neither Giuliani nor Kerik were hired by or represented the organization.

Eastman stayed at the Willard from Jan. 3 until after breakfast on Jan. 8, according to records showing that the hotel charged $1,407 for his lodging and meals during that time. ¤ His arrival at the Willard came on the same day that Trump convened an Oval Office meeting to discuss replacing then-acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen with Jeffrey B. Clark, a Justice Department official friendly with Eastman who proposed that the department encourage investigation of Trump’s election fraud claims in Georgia and other states. The three-hour meeting with Trump ended after Rosen, other department officials and White House counsel Pat Cipollone threatened to resign if Clark were appointed. ¤ Clark has been subpoenaed by the House panel investigating Jan. 6 and is required to appear for questioning at the end of next week. He did not respond to requests for comment.

Although Clark’s proposal was rebuffed, those working in the Willard command center continued to push the idea that Pence could intervene on Jan. 6 itself. Other legal scholars disagreed.

Two experts — former federal Judge J. Michael Luttig and former Justice Department official John Yoo, both known as stalwart conservatives — advised Pence’s staff that there was no basis for the vice president to intervene in the counting of electoral votes on Jan. 6.
“I advised that there was no factual basis for Mike Pence to intervene and overturn the results of the election,” said Yoo, who now teaches law at the University of California at Berkeley. “There are certain limited situations where I thought the Vice President does have a role, for example in the event that a state sends two different electoral results. . . . But none of those were present here.”

Luttig, a former federal appellate judge well known to Trump and for whom Eastman had clerked early in his career, told Pence’s staff on Jan. 4 that the analysis Eastman offered in his first memo was “incorrect.” Luttig said subsequently that Eastman’s advice was wrong “at every turn,” including his suggestion that the vice president could delay the electoral vote count. ¤ Kerik initially sought reimbursement from the Republican National Committee, but said he was told the party would not foot the bills. The bills were eventually submitted to the Trump campaign, which agreed to pay them. ¤ Kerik told The Post he was “furious” with the RNC because it collected tens of millions of dollars in support of Trump’s legal battle, “yet didn’t spend a dime on [Giuliani’s] legal team or their expenses.”

⭕ 22 Oct 2021

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Inside Facebook, Jan. 6 violence fueled anger, regret over missed warning signs http://wapo.st/3E6oTRX omg
// A trove of internal documents turned over to the SEC provides new details of the social media platform’s role in fomenting the storming of the U.S. Capitol

On Jan. 6, Facebook staffers expressed their horror in internal messages as they watched thousands of Trump supporters shouting “stop the steal” and bearing the symbols of QAnon — a violent ideology that had spread widely on Facebook before an eventual crackdown — thronged the U.S. Capitol. Many bashed their way inside and battled to halt the constitutionally mandated certification of President Biden’s election victory.

… [T]housands of pages of internal company documents disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission by the whistleblower Frances Haugen offer important new evidence of Facebook’s role in the events. This story is based on those documents, as well on others independently obtained by The Washington Post, and on interviews with current and former Facebook employees. The documents include outraged posts on Workplace, an internal message system.

A company after-action report concluded that in the weeks after the election, Facebook did not act forcefully enough against the Stop the Steal movement that was pushed by Trump’s political allies, even as its presence exploded across the platform. ¤ The documents also provide ample support that the company’s internal research over several years had identified ways to diminish the spread of political polarization, conspiracy theories and incitements to violence but that in many instances, executives had declined to implement those steps.

The documents and interviews with former employees make clear that Facebook has deep, highly precise knowledge about how its users are affected by what appears on its sites. Facebook relentlessly measures an astonishing array of data points, including the frequency, reach and sources of falsehoods and hateful content and often implements measures to suppress both.

WaPo: Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted in campaign finance fraud case http://wapo.st/3m6c9Vl That was fast
// Parnas, a Florida business executive who played a role in the activities in Ukraine that led to then-president Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, was convicted Friday.

Lev Parnas, a Florida businessman who is an associate of Rudolph W. Giuliani’s, was found guilty on Friday of using funds from a foreign investor to try to influence political candidates through campaign donations.

It took the federal jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan less than a day to find that Parnas committed fraud through donations to several state and federal candidates that were bankrolled by a Russian financier. Parnas was also found guilty on counts related to a $325,000 donation in 2018 to a joint fundraising committee that supported then-President Donald Trump.

Prosecutors told the jury that the illegal fundraising efforts documented in text messages and other trial evidence gave Parnas access to elected officials and candidates. They showed photos of Parnas with Trump and Giuliani, who was the president’s personal lawyer, schmoozing at high-end political fundraisers.

While Parnas’s trial did not directly relate to Giuliani or Trump, the guilty verdict still provides a legal coda to a precarious moment in Trump’s presidency: his first impeachment trial. Parnas, a Ukrainian native, was recruited to help Giuliani seek damaging information on Joe Biden and his son Hunter prior to the 2020 election. Trump was accused of threatening to withhold badly needed aid to Ukraine if officials there did not announce a criminal investigation into the Bidens.

One donation at issue in the trial was $10,000 in Fruman’s name that went to Adam Laxalt, the former attorney general in Nevada, who had ties to Trump and filed lawsuits on his behalf to try to overturn the election results in his state.

⭕ 21 Oct 2021

🐣 RT @RepLizCheney Listen to Steve Bannon talking about #January6th. The American people deserve to hear his testimony. 💽 https://twitter.com/RepLizCheney/status/1451229856407113733?s=20/photo/1

NYT: House Finds Bannon in Contempt for Defying Jan. 6 Inquiry Subpoena http://nyti.ms/3B4Z6YL
// The vote came after a bitterly partisan debate over the Capitol attack and as Republicans sought to deflect questions about Donald J. Trump’s role in the violence.

⭕ 20 Oct 2021

NYT: Adam Schiff: What He Saw at the Trump Revolution http://nyti.ms/3ncuJL1

⭕ 19 Oct 2021

NBCNews: Rock or relic? Diver finds 900-year-old sword thought to belong to Crusader knight http://nbcnews.to/3AYXZd1
// Haifa sword; The artifact was found in an area thought to have been used as a temporary anchorage as early as the Late Bronze Age.

The sword, which has been preserved in perfect condition, is a beautiful and rare find and evidently belonged to a Crusader knight,” Nir Distelfeld, inspector for the Israel Antiquities Authority’s robbery prevention unit, said in the statement. ¤ “It is exciting to encounter such a personal object, taking you 900 years back in time to a different era, with knights, armor and swords.” 

The discoveries also show that the area served as a small, temporary anchorage for ships seeking shelter as early as the Late Bronze Age, 4,000 years ago, according to Sharvit, of the marine archaeology unit. ¤ “The recent discovery of the sword suggests that the natural cove was also used in the Crusader period, some 900 years ago,” Sharvit added. 

Katzin received a certificate of appreciation for good citizenship for reporting the sword to the Israel Antiquities Authority, which said the sword would be displayed to the public once it had been cleaned and researched. 

The Holy Land has been a religious and historical hotspot for millennia, and Israeli archaeologists and members of the public often report rare and ancient discoveries. ¤ In March, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced that a new set of Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient fragments of biblical texts dating back almost 2,000 years, had been found in an Israeli desert. It was the first such discovery in 60 years.

🐣 RT @Acyn “Mr. Bannon’s and Mr. Trump’s privilege arguments do however appear to reveal one thing. They suggest that President Trump was personally involved in the planning and execution of January 6th” 💽 https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1450611114929115141?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: FBI searches D.C., NYC homes connected to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska http://wapo.st/3B05ost

NYT: House Panel Recommends Contempt Charge Against Bannon http://nyti.ms/2Z7Phvu
// The committee scrutinizing the Jan. 6 Capitol riot said the former White House counselor had “multiple roles relevant to this investigation.”

In a report recommending the House find Mr. Bannon in contempt, the committee repeatedly cited comments he made on his radio show on Jan. 5 — when Mr. Bannon promised “all hell is going to break loose tomorrow” — as evidence that “he had some foreknowledge about extreme events that would occur the next day.”

Investigators wrote that Mr. Bannon appeared to “have had multiple roles relevant to this investigation,” including in constructing the “Stop the Steal” public relations effort to spread the lies of a fraudulent election that motivated the attack, and participating in events from a ‘‘war room” organized at a Washington, D.C., hotel with other allies of Mr. Trump who were seeking to overturn the election.

The group included members of the Trump campaign’s legal team, including Rudolph W. Giuliani and John C. Eastman; and prominent proponents of false election fraud claims, including Russell Ramsland Jr. and Boris Epshteyn; as well as Trump ally Roger J. Stone Jr., who left the hotel with members of the Oath Keepers militia group acting as bodyguards, the committee wrote.

“It’s not going to happen like you think it’s going to happen,” Mr. Bannon told his audience on Jan. 5. “It’s going to be extraordinarily different. And all I can say is: Strap in.”

During the Tuesday committee meeting, Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and the committee’s vice chairwoman, directed a comment to her Republican colleagues, warning them that following Mr. Trump’s lies was a prescription for “national self-destruction.”

“Almost all of you know in your hearts that what happened on Jan. 6 was profoundly wrong,” she said. “You know that there is no evidence of widespread election fraud sufficient to overturn the election; you know that the Dominion voting machines were not corrupted by a foreign power. You know those claims are false.”

⭕ 18 Oct 2021

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 WASHINGTON (AP) — Trump files lawsuit to block release of documents to Jan. 6 committee, challenging Biden decision.

🐣 RT @RepRaskin The idea that ‘executive privilege’ would shield a private citizen from turning over evidence about a violent insurrection against the govt because he knows a twice-impeached former president is farcical and insulting. Bannon has no right to defy a subpoena. Get with it, Steve.

🧵 RT @BarbMcQuade THREAD. If a subpoena means anything, the Jan 6 Committee should refer Bannon to DOJ for prosecution for refusing to comply with their subpoena. Here’s why. 1/
📌 https://twitter.com/BarbMcQuade/status/1450207198936711170?s=20

⭕ 17 Oct 2021

🧵 RT @Teri_ Kanefield Pretty much what I’ve been struggling to explain on Twitter for a long time. ¤ Why Republicans are breaking laws. Why “fighting like Republicans” is a terrible idea. ¤ Why, even though democratic institutions are imperfect, we have to support them. ¤ 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/Teri_Kanefield/status/1449917528633872386?s=20

🧵 RT @jennycohn1 “”Before organizing Jan 6 buses, “Scavo organized the bus that transported some protesters from Scranton to Lancaster County on Dec. 30. The group included members of an off-shoot of the [Moonie] Unification Church…” 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/jennycohn1/status/1449631345643118592?s=20
⋙⋙ LancasterOnline: Latest Pennsylvanian charged in Capitol attack led election protests in Lancaster County http://bit.ly/3FUEbuU
// 3/26/2021
⋙ 🐣 RT @jennycohn1 “The trip was organized after Scavo and others listened to a podcast in which Stephen Bannon,.., encouraged listeners in swing states like Pennsylvania to pressure their lawmakers to decertify the presidential election results, Scavo told LNP | LancasterOnline at the time.” 2/

⭕ 16 Oct 2021

⭕ 15 Oct 2021

WaPo: Capitol Police officer charged with obstruction, accused of warning Jan. 6 riot suspect to remove Facebook posts http://wapo.st/3AKPr9y

WaPo: Biden says Justice Department should prosecute those who refuse Jan. 6 committee’s subpoenas http://wapo.st/3DK2QjY

⭕ 14 Oct 2021

TheAtlantic, Henry Olsen: McConnell can’t avoid it. He must directly refute Trump’s election fraud claims. http://bit.ly/3padTPo ain’t gonna happen

NewYorker, Susan Glasser: The Trump Presidency Is Still an Active Crime Scene http://bit.ly/3j6FJIx Of all the books Glasser mentions, Fiona Hill’s and Adam Schiff’s are highlighted (she also mentions she and husband Peter Baker are working on one)
// It’s hard to consign the Trump years to the history books when we remain in the middle of the crisis that it sparked.

… There were so many books seeking to explain Trump and his times that the book critic of the Washington Post wrote his own book about all of the books. Trump’s fired executive assistant—ousted because she claimed, at a boozy dinner with reporters, that the President had said nasty things about his daughter Tiffany—wrote a book. Trump’s first two press secretaries wrote books. First Lady Melania Trump’s former best friend wrote a book. Trump’s third national-security adviser, John Bolton, wrote an explosive book with direct-from-the-Situation-Room allegations of Presidential malfeasance that might have turned the tide in Trump’s first impeachment trial had Bolton actually testified in it. And none of those even covered the epic, Presidency-ending year of 2020.

Dozens of books have now been published or are in the works which address the covid pandemic, the 2020 Presidential election, and the violent final days of Trump’s tenure. The history of the Trump Presidency that I am writing with my husband, Peter Baker, of the Times, already has eighty-nine books in its bibliography; many are excellent reported works by journalists, in addition to the first-person recollections, such as they are, by those who worked with and for Trump. This month, Stephanie Grisham became the third former Trump Administration press secretary to publish her account. Grisham, who has the distinction of being the only White House press secretary never to actually hold a press briefing, has written a tell-all that includes such details as the President calling her from Air Force One to discuss his genitalia. Still to come are promised memoirs by former Vice-President Mike Pence, former Attorney General William Barr, and the former White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway, among others. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is writing an account of his Middle East peacemaking efforts. A book from the former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, “The Chief’s Chief,” is due out in December; Trump promoted it the other day as “an incredible Christmas present” that will explain how his Administration “did things that no other administration even thought they could do.”

Trump, of course, meant this as a bragging point, not as an ironic commentary on all the norm-busting and lawbreaking that occurred during his four years in office. “Remember,” he said in the statement, “there has never been an administration like ours.” In that, he’s right. The rapidly accumulating pile of books on the history of the Trump Administration is different in a crucial respect: they are not helping to explain the past so much as they are attempting to explain a present and very much ongoing crisis. Meadows, for example, is a crucial witness in the investigation by the House select committee into the events of January 6th. The panel subpoenaed him and several other Trump advisers to give testimony and hand over documents, with a deadline of Thursday. Not one has done so, setting the stage for a new and potentially protracted series of court battles. The panel announced on Thursday that it will seek to hold Steve Bannon, Trump’s fired White House strategist (the two later reconciled), in criminal contempt; it said that it is still negotiating with Meadows and the former Pentagon official Kash Patel. How many months or years will we have to wait to find out what they and others knew, and did, as a pro-Trump mob tried to stop Congress from certifying Trump’s defeat?

The bottom line is that the story of the Trump Presidency still has important unanswered questions that the forthcoming pile of books cannot answer. And they have an urgency about them that unanswered questions about past Administrations usually don’t, given the ongoing threat to our democracy: Trump is not only preparing to run again but is determined to mold the G.O.P. into a single-issue Party, the ideology of which consists solely of disputing the legitimacy of the election that turned him out of office. The Trump Presidency is not yet, alas, simply a matter for booksellers and book writers; it’s an active crime scene.

Several of the more interesting new books come from participants in one of Congress’s earlier efforts to investigate and hold Trump accountable—his first impeachment, in 2019, for withholding several hundred million dollars in security assistance to Ukraine to force its President to conduct politically motivated investigations of Joe Biden and the 2016 election. Two of the trial’s witnesses, Alexander Vindman and Fiona Hill, recently released memoirs that cover their roles in Trump’s National Security Council—which led them to unexpected public fame, given that Trump tried to stop their testimony. Hill’s book, “There Is Nothing for You Here,” is one of the most compelling to emerge from inside the Trump White House. She observes, at first hand, how Trump’s “autocrat envy” led not only to open admiration of anti-democratic figures such as Vladimir Putin and Victor Orbán but to Trump’s adoption of their anti-democratic agenda inside America.

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and the lead impeachment manager, Adam Schiff, released his contribution to the Trump bookshelf this week, “Midnight in Washington,” the title of which comes from one of the many eloquent speeches that Schiff made during the first impeachment trial. In the proceedings, he presciently warned that a failure to convict and remove Trump from office would result in even worse abuses. His book ends with a new warning embedded in the subtitle: “How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could.” The Washington Post, in its review, called it a “500-page closing statement on an era that has not yet closed.”

Schiff’s book is a valuable part of the historical record in part because it details how Democrats pursued impeachment—why they ruled out a broader set of charges, for example, and how they had to quickly investigate the Ukraine matter on their own, something that traditionally would have been handled by an independent prosecutor. But the main takeaway from the book, and the entire experience of the past few years, is that Congress, with one chamber controlled by Democrats and the other by Republicans who were unified in Trump’s defense, is not set up to investigate a rogue President like Trump—a disconcerting fact, considering the challenges still posed by the ongoing Trump crisis.

Throughout his Presidency, Trump and his aides flouted congressional subpoenas and demands for information; he is once again instructing them to do so with the January 6th investigation, even though he is out of office and it is unclear if any executive privilege would still apply. Schiff, a former federal prosecutor, is now a member of the January 6th select committee. The test, once again, he told me, is whether and how Congress can find a way of “enforcing the rule of law” and its own subpoenas. It is a great crisis, he said, if “a coequal branch of government cannot get the information it needs, both to legislate and to keep an Administration from becoming corrupt.” This is no wonky procedural matter but a test of American democracy’s ability to self-correct. The true history of the Trump Administration can’t be written without it.

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson Bannon 1/5/21: “All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. It’s all converging, and now we’re on the point of attack tomorrow. And all I can say is: Strap in. You have made this happen, and tomorrow it’s game day.” ¤ Bannon today: “But muh executive privilege.”

⁉️ 🐣 RT @AaronBlake “I’m not into golden showers,” Trump told the crowd. “You know the great thing, our great first lady–‘That one,’ she said, ‘I don’t believe that one.’ ”
⋙ WaPo: Trump asserts his dominance inside GOP, pushing Republicans to embrace his false claims of fraud http://wapo.st/2YJAh73

At the NRSC conference in Palm Beach … the former president focused on re-litigating grievances he has retained since leaving office. ¤ He called Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) “maniacs” and described his presidency as a fight for survival.

“It was all phony s—, okay. All phony stuff,” he said of the Democratic impeachment efforts and the investigation of his ties to Russia. ¤ Unprompted, he brought up an unsubstantiated claim he had interactions with prostitutes in Moscow before he ran for president. ¤ “I’m not into golden showers,” he told the crowd. “You know the great thing, our great first lady — ‘That one,’ she said, ‘I don’t believe that one.’ ”

After extensively praising Chinese President Xi Jinping for his intellect and touting his good relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he also returned to his long-standing hatred of windmills, referencing a new plan by the Biden administration to expand the number of offshore wind turbines. ¤ “It’s so sad when you see that they are approving these windmills — worst form of energy, the most expensive,” he said. “You talk about carbon emissions, well they are making them. More goes into the air than if you ran something for 30 years.” ¤ When operating properly, wind turbines do not create carbon emissions as a result of electricity generation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

🐣 RT @danielsgoldman Inherent contempt is not currently an option for congressional subpoena enforcement because there is no existing process that would meet constitutional due process standards. Both houses should create task forces to examine the issue and propose a constitutional process for it.

DailyBeast, Matt Lewis: Trump Tells GOP: Back My Big Lie or I’ll Burn the Party Down http://bit.ly/3aFcVCk “Nice elections you got there. Be a shame if something happened to them”

🐣 RT @BradMossEsq Nope. Stay home! Don’t show up until the “real” audits by MAGA patriots show that Donald Trump won with 99.9% of the vote!
⋙ 🐣 RT @govchristie For years I have worked with thousands of Republicans across this country to make sure people turned out & voted. Given what President Biden and the Democrats are trying to do to this country, Republicans will and must vote in big numbers in ‘22 & ‘24-no matter what anyone says.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance AG Jeff Sessions rush to fire McCabe late night, over a weekend, just before he would have been retirement/benefits eligible, in order to to assuage Trump has been called out for the abuse of power it was.
🐣 RT @NPRPolitics #BREAKING: The Justice Department has agreed to restore full law enforcement benefits for former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired by the Trump administration hours before his retirement in 2018.
⋙ NPR: Fired FBI official Andrew McCabe wins retirement benefits and back pay in settlement http://n.pr/3BEE5VI

WaPo: Jan. 6 committee will move to hold former Trump aide Bannon in criminal contempt for not complying with subpoena http://wapo.st/3p4BoJQ

🐣 RT @MilesTaylor I have to admit, this will make our strategy of defeating pro-Trump extremists a lot easier. Will discuss later this morning on @Morning_Joe.
⋙ 🐣 RT @jonkarl Trump is now calling on Republicans not to vote — declaring “Republicans will not be voting in ‘22 or ‘24” if his election fraud hoax is not “solved” first. He helped Republicans lose two Georgia Senate seats in January. Now he seems ready to try it again in the midterms. https://twitter.com/MilesTaylorUSA/status/1448593645897195522?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 13 Oct 2021

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH “The referrals from the committee could come instantaneously. Once the deadline has passed, they are not in compliance with their subpoenas and the referrals should go to DOJ… The dept. can conduct a very quick investigation” – @matthewamiller w/ @NicolleDWallace 💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1448413305018765315?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @joshtpm Can someone ask @GlennYoungkin why he allowed a celebration of the Jan 6 insurrection at his campaign event tonight?

🚫 Donald Trump Off-The-Rails (Statements) 9/13/2021 http://bit.ly/3oYwKg7
// What a strangely designed website

1. COVID is raging out of control, our supply chains are crashing with little product in our stores, we were humiliated in Afghanistan, our Border is a complete disaster, gas prices and inflation are zooming upward—how’s Biden doing? Do you miss me yet?
~~~~~~~~~~
2. Big rally in Michigan yesterday, unbelievable spirit and knowledge of what went on with respect to voting and vote counting in the 2020 Presidential Election. Detroit, considered for many years to be one of the most corrupt places in the United States for elections (and many other things!), had large-scale irregularities so much so that two officials, at great risk to themselves and their families, refused to certify the results, and were sadly threatened. Wasn’t it a fact that aside from other things, there were far more votes than voters? Even the RINOs on the Senate Committee found 289,866 absentee ballots that were sent to people who never requested them, “something that would be illegal.” Why did they viciously kick out the Republican poll watchers? Seventy percent of Detroit’s mail-in ballot counting boards didn’t match, it was a total mess. Why won’t they give respected professionals and representatives at yesterday’s rally the right to do a Forensic Audit of Wayne County (Detroit) and Macomb County? That includes the RINOs in the State Senate and House who for, whatever reason, do nothing but obstruct instead of seeking the truth. Hopefully, each one of these cowardly RINOs, whose names will be identified and forthcoming, will be primaried, with my Complete and Total Endorsement, in the upcoming election. Congratulations on the great rally yesterday!
~~~~~~~~~~
3. Why isn’t the January 6th Unselect Committee of partisan hacks studying the massive Presidential Election Fraud, which took place on November 3rd and was the reason that hundreds of thousands of people went to Washington to protest on January 6th? Look at the numbers now being reported on the fraud, which we now call the “Really Big Lie.” You cannot study January 6th without studying the reason it happened, November 3rd. But the Democrats don’t want to do that because they know what took place on Election Day in the Swing States, and beyond. If we had an honest media this Election would have been overturned many months ago, but our media is almost as corrupt as our political system!
~~~~~~~~~~
4. If we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in ‘22 or ‘24. It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do.

WhiteHouse[.]gov: Second Letter from Dana A. Remus, Counsel to the President, to David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, dated October 8, 2021 http://bit.ly/3aCuYJq

… President maintains his conclusion that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the United States, and therefore is not justified as to any of the documents provided to the White House on September 8, 2021. Accordingly, President Biden does not uphold the former President’s assertion of privilege. ¤ The President instructs you, in accord with Section 4(b) of Executive Order 13489, to provide the pages identified as privileged by the former President to the Select Committee.

📋 WaPo: Judge calls for Justice Dept. civil rights probe into D.C. jail’s treatment of Jan. 6 detainees http://wapo.st/3vhM6xt “As of Sept. 2, about 37 Capitol riot defendants were jailed in Washington, a small fraction of the roughly 700 defendants held pending trial and 400 in federal custody.”

WaPo: Trump calls in to rally hosted by Bannon for Virginia GOP candidates http://wapo.st/3lAW6Pc

MotherJones: Evidence of Armed Trump Extremists Continues to Emerge in January 6 Cases http://bit.ly/30pqwvI
// An Oath Keeper faces gun charges, a defendant reportedly said a Proud Boys leader carried a gun at the Capitol, and more.

WaPo: Georgia judge dismisses lawsuit alleging voter fraud in 2020 presidential election http://wapo.st/3iVkjOv

Robb Pitts, chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, welcomed the decision, describing it as “a win for democracy.” ¤ “This lawsuit was the result of the Big Lie, which is nothing more than a meritless conspiracy theory being spread by people who simply cannot accept that their side lost,” Pitts said in a statement. “Its defeat here today should echo throughout the nation.”

WaPo, Aaron Blake: How close were we to an actual stolen election — stolen by Trump? http://wapo.st/2YJxmv5

The picture of Donald Trump’s scheme to get the Justice Department to help him overturn the 2020 election has been significantly filled out in recent weeks. First came the disclosure that conservative lawyer John Eastman had authored a memo outlining the steps by which this would take place on Jan. 6. Then came a major report from the Senate Judiciary Committee detailing Trump’s pressure campaign to get the Justice Department to lay a predicate for that Jan. 6 plot.

So just how close did we come to an actual stolen election — stolen by Trump? ¤ One thing has become pretty clear in recent weeks: This plot was foiled in large part because the Justice Department and Vice President Mike Pence opted not to go along with it. But what if they had? Or what if Trump had followed through on firing acting attorney general Jeffrey A. Rosen and replacing him with the Justice Department official who was willing to do his bidding, Jeffrey Clark?

First, here’s what we know: The idea was pretty clear. Courts had routinely rejected Trump’s claims of fraud or misdeeds in states’ administration of their elections, so he and the White House turned to the Justice Department to legitimize the claims so Congress might have a reason to overturn the election on Jan. 6.

They barraged top Justice Department officials with wild claims they wanted investigated. And while that was taking place, Clark cooked up a draft letter stating that the Justice Department had “significant concerns” about the election results in Georgia, where Joe Biden was declared the winner. The letter would call on the state to convene a special legislative session to consider the matter. Clark also wanted to push for similar things in other states won by Biden.

Clark’s effort was rejected out of hand. And as Justice Department officials continued to resist, Trump and Clark floated the idea that Trump would replace Rosen with Clark just ahead of Jan. 6. Rosen and his deputy, Richard Donoghue, testified that there was a connection between installing Clark and getting his letter out. But Rosen and Donoghue held fast, threatened mass Justice Department resignations, and Trump backed down, complaining that the whole thing wasn’t going to work anyway.

Turning Point No. 1: The Justice Department refuses to legitimize Trump’s claims

There is no reason to believe that Rosen and Donoghue ever truly considered releasing Clark’s letter, but what if the pressure had got to them? What if they had offered even a watered-down version — similar to what many administration officials had done in the name of pacifying Trump?

Or maybe Rosen and Donoghue would have continued to resist, and Trump would have pushed forward with firing Rosen and installing Clark. There would have been mass resignations at the Justice Department — triggering another Saturday Night Massacre-esque controversy — but at least the letter would have gone out.

Turning Point No. 2: Pence refuses to use his ceremonial role to reject certain states’ electors

Pence’s refusal to go along with Trump’s entreaties and the ideas later detailed in Eastman’s memo made him, in the eyes of some Trump administration critics, somewhat of an unlikely hero of Jan. 6. ¤ But we’ve since learned that Pence agonized over this decision more than we previously knew. “You don’t know the position I’m in,” he told former vice president Dan Quayle …

This is where Eastman’s memo comes in. The idea was not to get Pence to overturn the election himself — that’s the straw-man defense used by Eastman’s employer this week — but rather to declare the outcome in doubt and kick the decision to the House. ¤ We won’t dwell too much on the details of the Eastman memo here, but basically Pence was to set aside certain states’ electors and maybe try to declare Trump the winner of a majority of a smaller amount of electoral votes. At that point, Democrats would predictably cry foul, and Pence would cite the constitutional process of the House deciding an election in which no candidate has a majority of electors, with one vote per delegation.

Turning Point No. 3: What the House would have done

Despite Eastman’s breezy assertion, there is a real question about whether even a House vote in which the GOP controlled more delegations would have gone according to plan. ¤ Let’s break down the numbers. After members were sworn in to the new Congress on Jan. 3, the GOP had a majority in 26 of 50 delegations, while Democrats had a majority in 20. The other four were tied.

But some of those delegations were close calls. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was one of the earliest members to criticize Trump’s fraud claims, as far back as November, and as the only member in Wyoming’s delegation, she would have controlled her state’s one vote. Eight other GOP-majority delegations would no longer have had a majority if even one Republican chose Biden. And the four tied states included Michigan, where Republican congressmen Fred Upton and Peter Meijer wound up supporting Trump’s impeachment, with Upton also criticizing Trump’s fraud claims in November. ¤ The process requires the winner to get a majority of states, not just the most states.

Turning Point No. 4: The alternate-elector problem

One thing hasn’t been dwelt upon enough in all of this. And that’s that even Eastman’s plan relied upon something come Jan. 6 that the Trump team didn’t have: alternate slates of pro-Trump electors in the states at issue.

Eastman in recent interviews explaining himself emphasized that the plot would have been “foolish” without those state legislatures designating alternate electors. That’s certainly convenient for him to say now, as he’s downplaying just how brazen the plot was. But it does reinforce how many pieces needed to fall into place for the plot to work.

We’ll never know how close we came to that being truly tested. But as we continue to sort through what became of Jan. 6, it’s worth taking stock of what a few more pieces falling into place might have meant — and the pressure points in our democracy they reveal.

Alternet: Jan. 6 committee issues a scathing subpoena to a Trump official implicated in plot to overturn the election http://bit.ly/3mM5aA6
⋙ ≣ Letter [pdf] http://bit.ly/3AzCqQ5 2p

🔆 This❗️⋙ DemocracyDocket, Marc Elias: How the GOP Will Try To Subvert Our Elections http://bit.ly/3BAreE1 “We are one, maybe two, elections away from a constitutional crisis”

WaPo: Jan. 6 committee preparing to aggressively enforce subpoenas, targets former Trump DOJ official http://wapo.st/3lClG6k The committee is seeking records and testimony from Jeffrey Clark, author of the ‘6-step plan’ to delay certification of the 2020 election

The committee said it is seeking records and testimony from Jeffrey Clark, a Trump-era Justice Department official who sought to deploy department resources to support President Donald Trump’s false claims of massive voting fraud in the 2020 election.

“The Select Committee needs to understand all the details about efforts inside the previous administration to delay the certification of the 2020 election and amplify misinformation about the election results,” committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) said in a statement. “We need to understand Mr. Clark’s role in these efforts at the Justice Department and learn who was involved across the administration. The Select Committee expects Mr. Clark to cooperate fully with our investigation.”

🐣 RT @duty2warn (1/2) Today, we saw Trump’s desperation ratchet to a level we’ve not seen since January. He released multiple memos. In one, he attacked every GOP elected official in Michigan. In another, he suggested unless election fraud is exposed, Republicans WILL NOT VOTE in 2022 or 2024.
⋙ 🐣 RT @duty2warn (2/2) When Trump ratchets to new levels of rage and desperation, his malignancy and narcissism dominate. You have to look for triggers. Today you had an abrupt dismissal of the last election case in Georgia, you had Rosen testify, Clark get subpoenaed, and maybe – something else.

🐣 RT @Fraude_101 This is Trump is pulling rank. Republicans have to get behind his Big Lie or he pulls the rug from under their feet.
⋙ 🐣 RT @jonkarl Trump is now calling on Republicans not to vote — declaring “Republicans will not be voting in ‘22 or ‘24” if his election fraud hoax is not “solved” first. He helped Republicans lose two Georgia Senate seats in January. Now he seems ready to try it again in the midterms. https://twitter.com/jonkarl/status/1448393517424943112?s=20/photo/1
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @mareelias Trump is taunting McConnell and McCarthy to promote the Big Lie even more. He knows that his threat will result in more voter suppression, bogus audits and efforts to subvert the 2022 election. ¤ This is very serious and dangerous.
⋙❗🐣 RT @sahilkapur Trump just threatened to have Republican voters stay home in 2022 and 2024 unless the party is able to “solve” (by which he seems to mean overturn) the result of the last presidential election, which he lost. https://twitter.com/sahilkapur/status/1448386456406347786?s=20/photo/1.

🐣 RT @kpolantz My latest: The circle of lawyers available to help Donald Trump and his advisers to respond to the House’s Jan 6. investigation is getting smaller. ¤ 4 big names have turned him down. His current team: disjointed and without a central coordinator
⋙ CNN: Top conservative lawyers steer clear of Trump’s latest legal fight http://cnn.it/3DA8kxJ

⭕ 12 Oct 2021

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: A step-by-step guide to heading off the next coup attempt http://wapo.st/3iV7iEu

⭕ 11 Oct 2021

CNN, Zachary Wolf: Here’s why you should be worried about US democracy right now http://cnn.it/3Avv9k8

🔆 This❗️⋙ RawStory/Salon, Chauncey Devega: ‘Beyond our current worst nightmares’: Mental health experts warn about the likely effects of a Trump comeback http://bit.ly/3BulAmO We must face the nightmare scenario with open eyes

Donald Trump’s presidency and the destructive forces it unleashed are a mental health emergency — as well as a public health emergency in general. Trump may no longer be president, but his fascist political movement and the political party he controls continues to cause harm.

Trumpism is both a political cult and a manifestation of collective narcissism. Tens of millions of his followers now live in an alternate reality sustained by the Big Lie, an upside-down world in which Donald Trump is still the “real” president of the United States. Many of Trump’s followers believe that he should be returned to power by any means available, including terrorism and other political violence.
The Trump regime and Republican policies more generally have literally caused trauma — physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual — for millions of Americans, including of course the deaths of at least 700,000 people from the coronavirus pandemic.

In a recent essay, author and pastor John Pavlovitz addresses this:

“[F]or the first time in America’s history the latent ugliness in people was revealed and validated and celebrated by a sitting president — it was officially normalized. And what we’re experiencing now; this staggering, insensitive posturing in the face of so many people’s suffering, is the late-ripening fruit of something that has been set into the bedrock of half our nation. It is the malicious entitlement that MAGA was designed to nurture from the beginning….

“This quickly metastasizing moral cancer is something we’ve never experienced on this level in our lifetimes and it’s something we’re going to have to reckon with regardless of the political outcomes of the next four years. If the former president somehow takes that office again, these stories will surely grow exponentially more violent and more commonplace, but either way, the ugliness is here now.

“The Trump Effect on America, is that once reasonable, rational human beings whose prejudices, fears, and phobias were all bound by some baseline decorum and common courtesy that kept them from intentionally harming others — have been empowered to revel in the worst of themselves. They believe cruelty is their birthright.”

As early as 2015, many mental health experts began to warn that a Trump presidency would be disastrous for America and the world. They were correct in nearly all of their predictions.

It is likely that Donald Trump will be the Republican Party’s presidential nominee in 2024. (In fact, the only unknown variable is whether he will actually decide to run.) Contrary to the naïve thinking of those Americans who believed Trump might magically go away, as president or otherwise he will be a fixture in American life for the foreseeable future.

What will happen to the American people’s collective mental and emotional health if Donald Trump runs for president again — or if he is elected? What kind of damage would Trump inflict on America and the world in a second term? And how do we explain why so many Americans — both ordinary citizens and members of the political and media classes — continue to be “surprised” by the torrent of revelations about Trump’s mental pathologies and his antisocial, anti-democratic behavior?

I recently asked several leading mental health experts — all of whom I have previously interviewed for Salon — to offer their warnings and predictions.

Dr. Lance Dodes is a retired assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a training and supervising analyst emeritus at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute:

The latest revelations about Trump confirm what we have known for years. Stephanie Grisham, his former press secretary, says, “The truth was that pretty much everyone eventually wore out their welcome with the president.” This points to Trump’s inability to comprehend or value other people; he can only use them while they serve his endless need to aggrandize himself, then discard them when they do not.

Grisham says, “When I began to see how his temper wasn’t just for shock value or the cameras, I began to regret my decision to go to the West Wing.” Here, she finally sees that Trump is not “crazy like a fox” but is truly a severely disordered person, in poor control and a danger to others. In Bob Woodward’s book, as reported in the Guardian [and elsewhere], on Trump’s way out of office, he drops F-bombs, “spewing expletives” and screaming at cabinet colleagues: “I don’t care a fuck. You’re all fucked up. You’re all fucked.”

This is an example of his paranoia, in which he denies responsibility for his multiple failures and losses, projecting these to others whom he condemns as worthless. Each of these revelations points to one or another aspect of Trump’s delusional sociopathy: his absence of a conscience, incapacity to care about or empathize with others, projection of blame to others (paranoia) and his psychotic distortion of reality in order to maintain his belief that he has a godlike superiority.
Trump’s primitive emotional state make him an enormous danger to democracy, which he cannot abide. As a consequence, if he were to again become president, the end of democracy in this country would become a realistic possibility.

Dr. Justin Frank is a former clinical professor of psychiatry at the George Washington University Medical Center. He is the author of “Bush on the Couch” and “Obama on the Couch.” His most recent book is “Trump on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President”:

Trump once had an internal conflict between being a builder and a destroyer. No longer is it a conflict; he is a destroyer, plain and simple. Unconsciously, his destructive force was originally directed against his tyrannical and punitive father, displaced onto investors, the media, banks, etc. But his ultimate displacement has been on the founding fathers of America’s democratic experiment.

He attacks basic institutions, from the CIA to the FBI to Congress itself. And since November 2020, he has put our entire electoral process in his crosshairs. If he were nominated and elected in 2024 — accounting for skewed results, in the event that right-wing voter suppression tactics are successful — it would mean that more Americans than ever embrace authoritarianism, and that would deliver the deepest blow to our democratic process in our history.

Psychologically, people yearn for strong leadership. However, they fail to understand that sorrow is the vitamin of growth, of strength. President Biden has been strengthened over his lifetime by facing sorrow and loss. Trump denies loss by triumphing over it with powerful defensive grandiosity. A leader who breaks things is also admired, interestingly, by adoring followers. They admire his ability to say and do things they themselves could never say or do in public. Trump fills that need perfectly.

The other major effect of a Trump victory in 2024 would be the likely apathy and despair felt by those who fought against him.

Elizabeth Mika is a psychotherapist and contributor to the 2017 bestseller “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump”:

The “revelations” really just confirm what we have known about Trump for years, long before he was elected. People with his character defect, malignant narcissism, are sadly predictable: They are driven by insatiable drives for adulation and power, and an unceasing desire for revenge on those who may interfere (or be perceived as interfering) with the realization of those drives.

It is really too bad that our media, broadly speaking, has remained in the dark about Trump’s well-defined character pathology. Therefore, many journalists, mostly among the mainstream news media, continue to be shocked by these “revelations” as if unable and/or unwilling to finally arrive at an understanding of Trump’s disordered character.

If Trump runs and wins in 2024, we will see an accelerated continuation of our demise. Every negative trend we are experiencing now will be augmented, especially our polarization, inequality and violence.

As of now, 21 million Americans believe that Trump, whose presidency was stolen from him, should be restored by violent force — and they are ready to make it happen.

Dr. David Reiss is a psychiatrist, expert in mental fitness evaluations and contributor to “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump”:

I am totally unsurprised. But vindication does not soothe the national tragedy or my personal frustration and even bitterness (which are of much less significance) at having been ignored by those who had power to intervene.

No one could have predicted Trump’s specific actions while in office or now: His specific behaviors are inherently unpredictable. But the nature of his behaviors, the irrationality of his behaviors, the immaturity of his behaviors and the dangers brought about those behaviors were all quite predictable and in fact, were predicted.

You asked: What do I think will happen to America if Trump runs for office and wins in 2024? In my opinion, the even more frightening question is this: “What would it mean had happened to the American people and American society if Trump were returned to office in 2024?”

It would mean there had been: 1) a complete breakdown of rationality within the social order; 2) the destruction of our democratic system of elections and government; or 3) that something so horrible had transpired that all hope was lost and, due to fear and desperation, totalitarianism or fascism had been embraced.

As to what would happen afterward, it would depend upon who was actually “pulling the strings” of the totalitarian/fascist regime for which Trump was the figurehead. Trump himself, at age 78 certainly would not actually be in command. I cannot begin to predict the exact manner or type of dystopia that would be enacted. I can predict that it would be beyond our current worst nightmares.

Dr. John Gartner is a psychologist, psychoanalyst and former professor at the Johns Hopkins University Medical School, and the founder of Duty to Warn. He was also a contributor to “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump”:

Democracy would be dead, and the coup complete. All future “elections” would be Putin-style shams, where the electorate never actually has the power to remove the Republicans from power.

We could expect criminal prosecutions against Democratic leaders, the press and anyone who opposed the regime. Experts of all types would be persecuted. “Patriots” would be encouraged to expose, punish and marginalize citizens at all levels of society who are not MAGA. Fox would become de facto state-TV propaganda. Only loyal “party members” would be allowed to work in government.

Hate crimes would skyrocket. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants would be incarcerated in concentration camps.

Thousands of ordinary citizens would join cells of an “underground resistance,” which would become progressively more violent. This “terrorism” would be used to justify martial law and heavy surveillance. Millions would flee to Canada and Europe.

Internationally, the U.S. would become a Russian puppet state. NATO and our international alliances would crumble. The economy would contract. Global warming would spiral out of control. And we might well stumble into war.

Dr. Seth D. Norrholm is a translational neuroscientist and one of the world’s leading experts on PTSD and fear. He is currently scientific director at the Neuroscience Center for Anxiety, Stress, and Trauma (NeuroCAST) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Wayne State University School of Medicine:

The revelations that are merging from various sources who had access to the Trump White House are not at all surprising. As I and others have commented on for years now, no matter how you label or classify the former president’s behavior (malignantly narcissistic, sociopathic, psychopathic, abusive), there is an underlying thread of immaturity. This immaturity plays itself out as an inability to regulate emotion, a behavioral profile typically seen in children and adolescents. It is therefore not surprising to hear about the former president’s uncontrollable rage and the allegation that he had a handler specifically tasked with soothing him like a toddler. I expect similar stories to continue to come out.

What happens if the former president runs for office again in 2024 – and possibly wins? This would be a complete failure of several social, political, governmental, ethical and professional “guardrails.”

From the perspective of the former president as an abuser, a future Trump candidacy and potential presidency would be a psychological slap in the face to all of his victims from the past six years. I’ve often used the analogy of an abusive relationship when it comes to the former president and his approach to governing. If the watering-down of the Mueller investigation and the acquittal following evidence-heavy impeachment proceedings was akin to the arrest and subsequent release of a criminally abusive spouse, a return to office would indicate zero accountability for, and an acceptance of, physical and emotional abuse from our leadership; a trend that has been gathering steam for some time now.

Considering the former president incited an attack on his own country and has continued to push the Big Lie undermining our electoral process, our democracy (already on life support) would suffer likely irreversible damage if this is further ignored and already eroded norms are obliterated beyond repair.

Moreover, considering that more than 700,000 Americans have died from a pandemic that could have been better controlled, which the former president downplayed to protect his political future, allowing a return to the campaign trail and potentially the White House would frankly forgive an accessory to negligent homicide on an unprecedented scale.

Taken together, the nation and the world would be presented with the psychologically untenable position of having to accept the worst that humanity has to offer, according to almost all of the “standards” established by modern society, as its leader once again.

🐣 RT @LannyDavis “A study by Media Matters showed that ABC, NBC, and CBS all chose not even to mention the [Eastman] memo [for Trump to implement a coup]. They reach more than 20 million Americans.”—Heather Cox Richardson. ¤ I ask news directors of all 3 networks and their nightly anchors – Why?
⋙ 🐣 RT @cuzkristoff Here’s his follow up which is worse!
⋙ SacBee: John Eastman: Here’s the advice I actually gave Vice President Pence on the 2020 election http://bit.ly/3lsFCsh
// 10/7/2021

I have been debating constitutional law with Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law and Bee contributor, for over 20 years.

We disagreed on almost every issue, but always with civility. One thing I hoped we shared from our respective Catholic and Jewish faith traditions is the biblical command that one “shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Judging from his recent scurrilous attack on me http://bit.ly/3mIWACi, we do not share even that.

The memo on which Chemerinsky relied for his accusation that I tried to “overthrow the government” and “stage a coup” was a preliminary and incomplete one, a draft of a more complete memo that outlined all the scenarios that had become topics of discussion following the November 2020 election. The Washington Post and other media organizations had access to the complete memo http://cnn.it/3v2xbqM, but they focused on the preliminary version to advance their “coup” narrative.

Neither version of the memo reflects the advice I gave to then-Vice President Mike Pence (though, to be precise, the final scenario laid out in the complete memo does).

The issue is whether the 12th Amendment https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxii gives the vice president any authority to determine the validity of electoral votes.

In 1796, Vice President John Adams made such a determination regarding contested electoral votes from Vermont, confirming his own election as president. In 1800, Vice President Thomas Jefferson did the same with improper electoral votes from Georgia, throwing that election to the House, where Jefferson eventually prevailed. Richard Nixon did the same thing in 1960, accepting from Hawaii the subsequently certified John Kennedy electors rather than the initially certified Nixon electors.

These precedents, and several scholarly articles written after the 2000 election, served as the basis for some of the scenarios discussed in my memo.

But as the New York Times confirmed through thorough investigation and reporting on this critical issue, I did not advise Pence to exercise such authority. Indeed, responding to a direct question from the vice president during a meeting in the Oval Office on Jan. 4, I noted that even if he had that authority, it would be foolish to exercise it in the absence of certifications of alternate Trump electors from the contested states’ legislatures.

Here’s how the Times accurately portrayed that exchange, apparently citing one of the two Pence aides also in attendance:

“Mr. Eastman said that Mr. Pence then turned to him and asked, ‘Do you think I have such power?’

“Mr. Eastman said he told Mr. Pence that he might have the power, but that it would be foolish for him to exercise it until state legislatures certified a new set of electors for Mr. Trump — something that had not happened.

“A person close to Mr. Pence, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the Oval Office conversation, said that Mr. Eastman acknowledged that the vice president most likely did not have that power, at which point Mr. Pence turned to Mr. Trump and said, ‘Did you hear that, Mr. President?’”

So what did I actually advise? As The Times quoted me as saying, “What we asked him (Pence) to do was delay the proceedings at the request of these state legislatures so they could look into the matter.”

Hardly an attempt to “overthrow the government” or “stage a coup.”

WaPo, Michael Gerson: The Trump nightmare looms again http://wapo.st/3FvUA8S “Every new tranche of information released about Trump’s behavior following the 2020 election … reveals a serious and concerted attempt to overthrow America’s legitimate incoming government.
// The most likely scenario in 2025 is catastrophic: Trump back in the White House and Republicans in charge of the House and Senate.

It is increasingly evident that the nightmare prospect of American politics — unified Republican control of the federal government in the hands of a reelected, empowered Donald Trump in 2025 — is also the likely outcome. ¤ Why this is a nightmare should be clear enough. Every new tranche of information released about Trump’s behavior following the 2020 election — most recently an interim report from the Senate Judiciary Committee — reveals a serious and concerted attempt to overthrow America’s legitimate incoming government.

At roughly the same time that Trump was gathering and unleashing his goons to intimidate members of Congress on Jan. 6, he was pressuring Justice Department leaders to provide legal cover for his effort to prevent certification of the election. When they refused, Trump conspired with a lower-level loyalist to take over the department and run it according to the president’s dictates. Under the threat of mass resignations, Trump eventually backed off.

… The thing that matters most is this: The current front-runner for the 2024 Republican nomination would have broken the constitutional order if he could have broken the constitutional order. ¤ Meanwhile, it is clear that this same lawless, reckless man has a perfectly realistic path back to power. The GOP is a garbage scow of the corrupt, the seditious and their enablers, yet the short- and medium-term political currents are in its favor.

This is not simply a problem of the Biden administration’s messaging. It reflects deeper political challenges, recently and vividly described by Ezra Klein and David Shor. In my woefully condensed version of Klein’s column based on his interviews with the data analyst: American voters are increasingly polarized by education (which is really a proxy for complex issues of class and race). Whites with a college education have lurched Democratic. Whites without a college education have lurched Republican.

This presents Democrats with disadvantages. Significantly more voters lack a college education than have one. And voters with a college education tend to be located in urban areas, which centralizes and thus diminishes their influence. Both the electoral college and the constitutional method of Senate representation reward those who control wide open spaces.

What does this mean in practice? It means Democrats need to significantly outperform Republicans in national matchups to obtain even mediocre results in presidential and Senate races. It means that Democrats, to remain competitive, need to win in places they don’t currently win, draw from groups they don’t currently draw and speak in cultural dialects they don’t currently speak.

This analysis has sparked a predictable intramural debate. Some Democratic activists want the party to relentlessly pound its support for popular policies while de-emphasizing its association with divisive issues (such as immigration and climate change). Others discount the possibility that policy messaging can change many minds, putting their faith instead in stoking Democratic enthusiasm.

Klein’s main complaint, however, is that few Democratic lawmakers at the national level — who mostly live among like-minded, college-educated, liberal peers — are paying attention to the urgency of the task. This type of shift in electoral focus would likely involve major ideological and strategic adjustments. But who in the national debate among Democrats over budget priorities has demonstrated the slightest interest in these matters?

This is a national, not just a Democratic, emergency. Trump has strengthened his identification with the seditious forces he unleashed on Jan. 6. He has embraced ever more absurd and malicious conspiracy theories. He has shown even less stability, humanity, responsibility and restraint. And his support among Republicans has grown. Trump and his strongest supporters are in a feedback loop of radicalization.

If Trump returns to the presidency, many of the past constraints on his power would be purposely loosed. Many of the professionals and patriots who opposed him in his final days would have been weeded out long before. There is no reason Trump would not try to solidify personal power over military and federal law enforcement units to employ as a bully’s club in times of civil disorder. There is no reason he would refrain from using federal resources to harass political opponents, undermine freedom of the press and change the outcome of elections. These are previously stated goals.

What attitudes and actions does this require of us? Any reaction must begin with a sober recognition. Catastrophe is in the front room. The weather forecast includes the apocalypse.

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: The media are finally waking up to the ‘rolling coup.’ We must take the side of democracy. http://wapo.st/3FFPAOW While cable news outlets like CNN and MSNBC have raised the alarm, the primetime news that most people watch have been lacking

WaPo, Toomas Hendrik Ilves: Why the West has itself to blame for Russian corruption http://wapo.st/3ABg2pg “We have become partners in crime, colluding with the enemies of liberty, of our Enlightenment heritage of rule of law and human rights”
// Toomas Hendrik Ilves is the former president of Estonia

The Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been hounded, persecuted, beaten, poisoned and jailed for standing up to a thuggish autocracy that is well on its way to classic totalitarian rule. His crime? Peacefully using his fundamental human right of freedom of expression to challenge a regime held together by stormtroopers, violence and murder.

Navalny’s story is not a new one. In the decade before the collapse of communism, we saw this tale unfold over and over again. Joseph Brodsky, Natan Sharansky, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Andrei Sakharov and hundreds of others were persecuted for their beliefs by that real-life Mordor, the U.S.S.R.

There is a difference, however. Back in those days, we in the West at least had the moral clarity to stand up to the thugs, and to raise these issues with our governments, in our parliaments, in all possible international forums.

Paradoxically, it helped that our foes were ideologically anti-capitalist. Commissars and Politburo members could hardly buy villas on the Riviera, ski chateaus in St. Moritz, Switzerland, or apartments in a skyscraper owned by a U.S. president. They did not dock their 470-foot yachts in Saint-Tropez, France, or Piraeus, Greece. On our side, taking money from totalitarians counted as bribery or as espionage — bringing severe criminal penalties and social disgrace.

Today, the liberal democratic West has abandoned that one-time clarity. We have become partners in crime, colluding with the enemies of liberty, of our Enlightenment heritage of rule of law and human rights. We are the unindicted co-conspirators of our own demise and the destruction of Russia, collapsing under the weight of its corruption and thievery.

That stench swirls from our own corrupt politicians and political parties, from our naive and greedy governments, and even the most prestigious, centuries-old universities. It swirls from businesses who prize profit over justice, truth and freedom. It swirls from bankers, lawyers and accountants who launder money and reputations. The revelations of the Pandora Papers, like the other tales of financial skulduggery that have come before, once again demonstrate that we ourselves are systematically complicit in the thievery and corruption that plague so many societies.

It is this corruption, our corruption, that aids, abets and sustains, indeed nourishes the murderous looting of the Kremlin’s boyars and their minions, as well as other odious regimes around the globe.

Where there is no rule of law, where the autocrat can steal or take away anyone’s property, his overriding fear is that someone will do to him what he has done to enrich himself. Thus, the despot’s only recourse is ship his money to a place that enjoys the benefits of a well-established legal system, be it London or Dubai, New York or Tallinn, Estonia — anywhere there are secure legal protections for those earn their wealth through work, rather than through theft or pumping it out of land that belongs to the population, which is just a more indirect form of theft.

This rule of law has made us prosperous. We know the state cannot illegally take away our property. But it also allows authoritarian regimes to maintain their stolen treasure and persecute people such as Navalny, as well countless others. If we genuinely care about freedom, therefore, it is time to change our own laws.

There is much we can do. We must impose transparency on anonymous shell companies. We must impose visa bans on corrupt officials who aim to benefit from our institutions (and the spies who aim to undermine them). The United Kingdom’s unexplained wealth orders, which unfortunately are not widely or strictly applied, should be copied and rigorously enforced across our rule-of-law-based West.

We should honor Navalny not only because he exposes the grotesque thievery and destruction of human rights in Russia. He also holds a mirror up to our own complicity in his persecution and in the backwardness and poverty of Russia. It is time we did something about it.

NYT, Miles Taylor and Christine Todd Whitman: We Are Republicans With a Plea: Elect Democrats in 2022 http://nyti.ms/3mKCGXh
// Mr. Taylor served at the Department of Homeland Security from 2017 to 2019, including as chief of staff, and was the anonymous author of a 2018 guest essay for The Times criticizing President Donald Trump’s leadership. Ms. Whitman was the Republican governor of New Jersey from 1994 to 2001.

After Donald Trump’s defeat, there was a measure of hope among Republicans who opposed him that control of the G.O.P. would be up for grabs, and that conservative pragmatists could take back the party. But it’s become obvious that political extremists maintain a viselike grip on the national G.O.P., the state parties and the process for fielding and championing House and Senate candidates in next year’s elections.

Rational Republicans are losing the G.O.P. civil war. And the only near-term way to battle pro-Trump extremists is for all of us to team up on key races and overarching political goals with our longtime political opponents: the Democratic Party.

Earlier this year we joined more than 150 conservatives — including former governors, senators, congressmen, cabinet secretaries, and party leaders — in calling for the Republican Party to divorce itself from Trumpism or else lose our support, perhaps by forming a new political party. Rather than return to founding ideals, G.O.P. leaders in the House and in many states have now turned belief in conspiracy theories and lies about stolen elections into a litmus test for membership and running for office.

Breaking away from the G.O.P. and starting a new center-right party may prove in time to be the last resort if Trump-backed candidates continue to win Republican primaries. We and our allies have debated the option of starting a new party for months and will continue to explore its viability in the long run. Unfortunately, history is littered with examples of failed attempts at breaking the two-party system, and in most states today the laws do not lend themselves easily to the creation and success of third parties.

So for now, the best hope for the rational remnants of the G.O.P. is for us to form an alliance with Democrats to defend American institutions, defeat far-right candidates, and elect honorable representatives next year — including a strong contingent of moderate Democrats.

It’s a strategy that has worked. Mr. Trump lost re-election in large part because Republicans nationwide defected, with 7 percent who voted for Mr. Trump in 2016 flipping to support Joe Biden, a margin big enough to have made some difference in key swing states.

Even still, we don’t take this position lightly. Many of us have spent years battling the left over government’s role in society, and we will continue to have disagreements on fundamental issues like infrastructure spending, taxes and national security. Similarly, some Democrats will be wary of any pact with the political right.

But we agree on something more foundational — democracy. We cannot tolerate the continued hijacking of a major U.S. political party by those who seek to tear down our Republic’s guardrails or who are willing to put one man’s interests ahead of the country. We cannot tolerate the leaders of the G.O.P. — in 2022 or in the presidential election in 2024 — refusing to accept the results of elections or undermining the certification of those results should they lose.

In addition to these leaders, this week we are coming together around a political idea — the Renew America Movement — and will release a slate of nearly two dozen Democratic, independent and Republican candidates we will support in 2022.

These “renewers” must be protected and elected if we want to restore a common-sense coalition in Washington. But merely holding the line will be insufficient. To defeat the extremist insurgency in our political system and pressure the Republican Party to reform, voters and candidates must be willing to form nontraditional alliances.

For disaffected Republicans, this means an openness to backing centrist Democrats. It will be difficult for lifelong G.O.P. members to do this — akin to rooting for the other team out of fear that your own is ruining the sport entirely — but democracy is not a game, which is why when push comes to shove, patriotic conservatives should put country over party.

One of those races is in Pennsylvania, where a bevy of pro-Trump candidates are vying to replace the outgoing Republican senator, Pat Toomey. The only prominent moderate in the G.O.P. primary, Craig Snyder, recently bowed out, and if no one takes his place, it will increase the urgency for Republican voters to stand behind a Democrat, such as centrist Representative Conor Lamb, who is running for the seat.

For Democrats, this similarly means being open to conceding that there are certain races where progressives simply cannot win and acknowledging that it makes more sense to throw their lot in with a center-right candidate who can take out a more radical conservative.

Utah is a prime example, where the best hope of defeating Senator Mike Lee, a Republican who defended Mr. Trump’s refusal to concede the election, is not a Democrat but an independent and former Republican, Evan McMullin, a member of our group, who announced last week that he was entering the race.

We need more candidates like him prepared to challenge politicians who have sought to subvert our Constitution from the comfort of their “safe seats” in Congress, and we are encouraged to note that additional independent-minded leaders are considering entering the fray in places like Texas, Arizona, and North Carolina, targeting seats that Trumpist Republicans think are secure.

More broadly, this experiment in “coalition campaigning” — uniting concerned conservatives and patriotic progressives — could remake American politics and serve as an antidote to hyper-partisanship and federal gridlock. ¤ To work, it will require trust-building between both camps, especially while fighting side-by-side in the toughest races around the country by learning to collaborate on voter outreach, sharing sensitive polling data, and synchronizing campaign messaging.

A compact between the center-right and the left may seem like an unnatural fit, but in the battle for the soul of America’s political system, we cannot retreat to our ideological corners.

A great deal depends on our willingness to consider new paths of political reform. From the halls of Congress to our own communities, the fate of our Republic might well rest on forming alliances with those we least expected.

⭕ 10 Oct 2021

TheGuardian: A xenophobic autocrat’: Adam Schiff on Trump’s threat to democracy http://bit.ly/2YBi3EG

Forty years on, after Donald Trump entered the White House mining what Adam Schiff calls “a dangerous vein of autocratic thought” in the Republican party, the then little-known California Democrat did more than anyone else to unravel and excoriate the high crimes of a charlatan destined to be the only president twice impeached.

His work as a federal prosecutor who got the conviction of the first FBI agent accused of spying for Russia was crucial to his understanding of how thoroughly Trump was manipulated by the Russians. He understood that Michael Cohen’s efforts during the campaign to close a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow would make Trump vulnerable to blackmail if his lawyer’s calls had been recorded. And he was astonished when he realized that that kind of kompromat wouldn’t even be necessary.

When Trump “did become president, there would be no need for the Kremlin to blackmail him into betraying America’s interests”, Schiff writes. “To a remarkable degree, he would prove more than willing to do that on his own.”

There’s lots more in the book, from Schiff’s unsuccessful effort to convince New York Times editors to remind readers the emails they were publishing to undermine Hillary Clinton had been stolen by the Russians for that very purpose, to Schiff’s revelation that if he had known how poorly Robert Mueller would perform as a witness after he completed his stint as special counsel, he would not have demanded his testimony.

“I haven’t said this before this book,” he told the Guardian. “That was one of the difficult sections of the book to write because I have such reverence for Mueller. I wanted to be respectful but accurate.”

Eureka Moment.
On the page, Schiff records an airport exchange with a Republican stranger, who said: “You can tell me – there’s nothing to this ‘collusion stuff’, is there?” ¤ It is a conversation which should put that question permanently to rest.

Schiff said: “What if I was to tell you that we had evidence in black and white that the Russians approached the Clinton campaign and offered dirt on Donald Trump, then met secretly with Chelsea Clinton, John Podesta and Robby Mook in the Brooklyn headquarters of the campaign … then Hillary lied about it to cover it up. Would you call that collusion?

“Now what If I also told you that after the election, former national security adviser Susan Rice secretly talked with the Russian ambassador in an effort to undermine US sanctions on Russia after they interfered to help Hillary win. Would you call that collusion?”

The Republican was convinced: “You know, I probably would.”For Schiff, it was a “eureka moment”. ¤ “Now,” he thought, “if I can only speak to a couple hundred million people.” ¤ Schiff’s book should convince a few million more that everything he said about Trump was true – and that the country was exceptionally lucky to have him ready and willing to defend the tattered concept of “truth”.

Salon: “Absolutely false”: Fox News brutally fact checks Mike Pence after he whitewashes the Capitol riot http://bit.ly/3BwpwUe
// “Saying ‘one day in January’ is kind of like calling 9/11 one day in September,” said Fox News’ Howard Kurtz

🐣 📋 RT @michaelkruse “If you draw a district that’s safe, the party no longer cares about recruiting a broadly appealing candidate,” says @Redistrict. “This is a vicious cycle in that the decline of competitive seats leads to a more extreme and dysfunctional Congress.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @michaelkruse “There are really only about three dozen truly competitive seats anyway and partisans have realized in these polarized times the best way to flip a district is to gerrymander it after the Census,” says @davedaley3. “Now partisans are coming back for more.”
⋙⋙ WaPo: The imminent impact of redistricting: sharper partisan elbows, less compromise by both sides in the House https://wapo.st/3v0iggT

WaPo, EJ Dionne: Biden needs a reboot. Fighting for democracy is the key. http://wapo.st/3v1HBXW “Biden must insist that Republicans can’t have it both ways on Trump’s election subversion. They are either for it or against it”

… [T]he other unavoidable fight before us: the battle for democracy itself. Protecting democracy requires both the more socially effective government Biden champions and strenuous resistance to Trump’s democracy-wrecking efforts.

This certainly means adopting the voting reforms endorsed by Sen. Joe Manchin III, which will require bypassing the filibuster the West Virginia Democrat regularly extols. And Biden must insist that Republicans can’t have it both ways on Trump’s election subversion. They are either for it or against it. Those who quietly tell reporters they bemoan what Trump is doing should be called upon to say so out loud, forcefully, and act accordingly.

By recognizing that rallying the nation behind the cause of democracy is now his most important task, Biden would do more than reboot his presidency and give his party a fighting chance in 2022. He’d be doing what he was elected to do.

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: FBI Searches the Home of the Guy Who Said, “I want to see thousands of normies burn that city to ash” on January 6 http://bit.ly/3FxNgtC

⭕ 9 Oct 2021

🐣 RT @mccaffreyr3 Trump will try to overthrow the election in 2024. He’s now laying the groundwork in plain sight. It will be the end of our Constitutional democracy if he succeeds. Only a massive voter turnout for local, state, and Federal elections can protect us.
⋙ 🐣 RT @jimsciutto Sadly, he’s right.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @billmaher 💽 My dark prediction for the 2024 U.S. presidential election. https://twitter.com/billmaher/status/1446700866778456066?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @danielsgoldman There is no possible executive privilege claim regarding Bannon, who was not a government employee. ¤ Any lawyer who files a document in court claiming such a privilege should immediately be referred to the state bar disciplinary committee.

🧵 ⇈ ⇊ RT @atrupar Trump is sprinkling the big lie throughout his rally speech in Des Moines, Iowa. His specific claim tonight is that Democrats “used Covid in order to cheat and rig,” even though red states use mail voting and there’s no evidence of election fraud in 2020. 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1447006949665611781?s=20

WaPo Editorial: Without these changes, U.S. democracy will remain vulnerable to Trump and other bad actors http://wapo.st/30dy30w Trump “was trying to hold on to power against the wishes of the American people… Anyone seeking to play down that fact today is complicit”

“One thing we know is you, Rosen, aren’t going to do anything to overturn the election.” These, according to a new Senate Judiciary Committee report, were the words of President Donald Trump, pressuring the acting attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen, to upend a free-and-fair vote. Three days after Mr. Trump uttered them, a mob he had inflamed with lies ransacked the Capitol as lawmakers met to count duly cast electoral votes.

The Senate report details how Mr. Trump tried persistently to enlist the Justice Department in his scheme to overturn the 2020 election results. His pressure campaign, after Attorney General William P. Barr resigned in December, featured calls and meetings with Mr. Rosen and other top Justice Department staff. It continued as Mr. Trump sent them a preposterous petition he wanted them to file with the Supreme Court asking the justices to void Joe Biden’s victory. It reached its zenith in a cockamamie plot to force Mr. Rosen to pressure state governments to cook the results or be replaced by Jeffrey Clark, a lower-ranking Justice official who would go along with the scheme.

Mr. Trump failed because Mr. Rosen and other officials in key positions refused to cooperate and threatened to resign. But they could not stop Mr. Trump from forcing the resignation of the U.S. attorney in Atlanta and replacing him with a lawyer the then-president thought would pursue the fraud investigations he wanted to see.

Senate Republicans played down these revelations, arguing that, following the Russia investigation, it was reasonable for Mr. Trump to mistrust the Justice Department and the FBI. But, leaving aside the fact that the Russia probe was a well-founded and legitimate counterintelligence investigation, Mr. Trump, in this case, was not exercising reasonable skepticism; he was trying to hold on to power against the wishes of the American people, based on widely debunked mistruths about the 2020 vote. Anyone seeking to play down that fact today is complicit in his plot to undermine U.S. democracy.

⭕ 8 Oct 2021

🐣 RT @RepLizCheney This is not true. 1/6 Committee is making significant progress and we will enforce subpoenas. Committee statement coming soon.
⋙ RT 🧵 @TheRickWilson 1/ I have some bad news. After multiple calls I have some extremely grim news. ¤ As of now 1/6 commission is dead already, and will not enforce the subpoenas. ¤ Trump wins. ¤ The 1/6 terror plot will go unexamined and unpunished. ¤ To say I’m livid is putting it mildly. 📌 https://twitter.com/RepLizCheney/status/1446530469936472069?s=20
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson ¤ 2/ This is staffed wrong, led wrong, and a gutless exercise to get back to talking about infrastructure. ¤ They’re not taking the risk seriously, they’re not taking the data before them seriously, and they’re eager to run out the clock. ¤ Livid.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 3/ I’m told that the whole plan is to bring in academics to examine the information from that day, when it should be a LE/IC style counterterrorism investigation. ¤ The leadership has already decided to slow roll it and write a tsk tsk memo at the end.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 4/ “They’re afraid of 1A implications.” The FUCK? ¤ How about being afraid of a mob coming to fucking kill you? ¤ Democrats, never tell me
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 5/ Stay locked in your bubble that the modern GOP won’t have a mob of Bannon’s terrorists burn you to the ground and piss on the ashes. ¤ An unpunished coup is a training exercise. ¤ End.

💙 ⏳ WaPo, Philip Bump: The hollowness of the ‘but it didn’t work’ defense of Trump’s attempt to retain power http://wapo.st/3oM23uw “His was a spaghetti-at-the-wall presidency; his was a spaghetti-at-the-wall coup”
// Entire

Distilled to its essence, the United States held an election last year in which it elected a new president who took office on Jan. 20. This sequence of events has happened dozens of times before. It is how power is and always has been transferred in our nearly 250-year-old republic.

But, of course, this is not the entire story. The period between the election and that inauguration was an unusually turbulent one, in which the incumbent president flailed against his loss, welcoming the assistance of various allies and deploying myriad tactics in his effort to prevent Joe Biden from assuming his elected position.

That effort peaked on Jan. 6 but began hours after polls closed. Early in the morning of Nov. 4, President Donald Trump spoke to the media from the White House, appearing beside large screens emblazoned with his campaign logo — itself an abuse of his position. He pushed for states to stop counting legally cast votes, a continuation of his deliberate months-long effort to raise doubts about the validity of mail-in ballots. He followed up this demand with tweets — “STOP THE COUNT!” — encouragement to his supporters, some armed, who protested outside vote-counting centers in close states or who interrupted the count by insisting that they had a right to observe the process.

Each time a benchmark toward the finalization of Trump’s loss approached, tensions rose. Prior to the Nov. 7 determination that Biden would carry enough states to win the electoral college, Trump and his allies filed legal challenges aimed at halting the count. When the races had been called, Trump and his allies sought to disrupt the certification of results. In Michigan, this nearly worked, with Republican (and at least one overtly pro-Trump) members of the election board in Wayne County initially refusing to finalize vote totals from Detroit. After relenting under public pressure, the board members confirmed the vote totals though later (after speaking with Trump) they tried to rescind that decision.

The next benchmark was Dec. 14, when presidential electors met and cast ballots. State legislators began holding hearings to elevate the unfounded claims of fraud, inviting Trump allies and lawyers to offer testimony, rarely under oath. By this point, Trump’s serious legal challenges had mostly evaporated, leaving just wild conspiracy theories about international vote-rigging and nonsense about vote-dumps.

In some states, electors who would have voted for Trump had he won did so anyway on Dec. 14, hoping to produce alternate slates of electors for Congress to consider. Again, though, Trump came closer than people might recognize: one conservative justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court was the deciding vote in rejecting Trump’s effort to throw out a number of votes from Democratic strongholds in that state.

It was also on Dec. 14 that Trump announced that Attorney General William P. Barr would be leaving his administration, soon after Barr acknowledged publicly that Trump’s fraud claims were meritless. That helped launch the most dangerous phase of Trump’s effort, the one that culminated in the counting of electoral votes on Jan. 6.

Trump entertained the idea of replacing acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen with a Justice Department official who eagerly echoed Trump’s false fraud claims, Jeffrey Clark. Clark had a plan for the department to inform Georgia that its results were suspect (they weren’t) and to encourage the state legislature to reconvene to consider whether to submit an alternate slate of electors. The intent was to establish a pattern that could be repeated in other states.

Ultimately, faced with the threat of a mass desertion of senior staff that would reveal the intent of his plan (as The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake reported on Thursday), Trump backed down.

This was only one of several aspects of his last-ditch attempt to hold power, though. He also tried to simply cajole states into rejecting vote results, as he did in calling Georgia’s secretary of state and asking him to “find” votes. The most visible component of Trump’s plan, of course, was to encourage his supporters to come to Washington on that day, where there would be a “wild” rally in support of his presidency and in defense of his ongoing claims of electoral fraud. This meant thousands of angry Trump supporters milling around the National Mall, hundreds of whom later beat back law enforcement to storm the Capitol and block the electoral-vote counting.

The component that’s spurred the most discussion in recent weeks was Trump’s elevation of an assertion from a right-wing lawyer named John Eastman in which Vice President Mike Pence, overseeing the counting, could simply declare that Trump had won. The idea was that Pence could ignore the law that establishes the vote-counting process by deeming it to be unconstitutional.

Eastman wrote two versions of a memo explaining how, in his estimation, this might work. The first was glib and reportedly met with skepticism from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) when it was presented to him. The second was lengthier, seeking to present this idea as one of several paths forward for the vote-counting. Republican officials eager to appeal to Trump’s base, like Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), announced their intentions to object to the counting of votes, helping set the stage for the sorts of conflict that would give Pence more space to ignore submitted votes or to throw the election results back to the states, if he chose to do so. He did not make that choice.

That he didn’t and that Trump gave up on replacing Rosen and that the physical violence at the Capitol didn’t derail the electoral-vote counting for long have all been elevated as reasons to shrug at Trump’s efforts. He tried all these things and they didn’t work, this line of argument goes, so why should we be concerned about their working in the future? The threat that existed was overstated and has largely passed.

This argument has two critical flaws, though. The first is that it misunderstands Trump’s intent. The second is that it underestimates the assistance he received.

Imagine what would have happened if Pence had gone along with Eastman’s plan. In his memo, Eastman games out what happens next: Pence throws out some votes and Trump wins or it goes to the House where Trump likely wins thanks to the established tiebreaking process (each state gets one vote, determined by its collective delegation).

But all of this is ludicrous to consider in the abstract. The immediate effect of any effort by Pence to subvert the process would have been instantaneous outrage from Democrats in the chamber and in the streets. Eastman waves this off in his initial memo as partisan “howls,” but it’s obvious that such an overt attempt to undercut the will of the electorate would face enormous opprobrium and outcry. We simply can’t say what would happen, any more than we could have accurately predicted what followed when Florida was a toss-up in 2000. At least then, there was real uncertainty about the winner of a close race. Here, there was no such uncertainty, meaning far more likelihood of extreme reactions.

What Trump was trying to do from Nov. 3 to Jan. 6 was slapdash and ad hoc. But it was all directed in the same way: throw as much nonsense as possible in Biden’s path to the presidency. That his pre-Jan. 6 effort included Eastman’s memo and calling Georgia and replacing Rosen and encouraging a rally is a sign of an incoherent strategy except that it was wide-ranging. This is what he always did, saying or doing whatever he thought might convince people to do what he wanted. His was a spaghetti-at-the-wall presidency; his was a spaghetti-at-the-wall coup.

We can use the loaded analogy of the American Revolution itself. The colonists engaged British regulars on Lexington Green, losing quickly and decisively. Then, as the Brits marched forward, the colonists shot at them from the woods, an unfair and unexpected attack on the British army. But it worked. That’s why the analogy is loaded, of course; Trump’s guerrilla effort didn’t succeed. It was nonetheless similar, an asymmetric attack on American institutions that failed in part because there were still enough people in place to keep it from working.

And this is why it’s important not to underestimate the breadth of support Trump’s effort enjoyed. Legislators in multiple states eagerly endorsed and bolstered his claims prior to the inauguration — and afterward, as we’ve seen in Arizona. State legislators held those hearings and signed letters demanding action in Washington on Trump’s behalf. Attorneys general from a number of Republican-run states signed on to an at-times laughable legal effort to challenge his loss at the Supreme Court. The majority of the House Republican caucus voted to object to the ballots submitted by several states. His efforts came down to a handful of people — Pence, the judge in Wisconsin, the capitulation of those board members in Wayne County, Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger — who stood in his way.

All of that was before the months-long post-inauguration effort to rationalize and bolster Trump’s efforts. States have changed voting laws and increased the power of political partisans to evaluate the results of elections. Prominent Republicans like Pence and Raffensperger have been targeted for ouster or criticism. There has been an effort to populate positions within the Republican Party and in election-organizing bodies with people sympathetic to Trump’s claims of fraud. One of the Wayne County officials had publicly endorsed Trump’s claims before the election, in case you’re wondering what effect that might have.

The violence on Jan. 6, once anathema to Republicans, has become increasingly dismissed as overstated by members of Trump’s party. That violence has been downplayed and rationalized, the perpetrators described as political prisoners. Most Republicans continue to incorrectly think that Biden was elected illegitimately, smoothing the runway for future challenges to election results.

Ad hoc efforts can become formal ones. The colonists banded together to form the Continental Army, equipped and trained.

It is certainly true that, in 2024, Mike Pence will not be the person overseeing the counting of electoral votes. It is true that at that point Trump will not be in a position to fire the head of the Justice Department anyway. But it is also true that there will be enormous pressure on officials in various states both to constrain how voting is conducted and how those votes are counted and certified from a fervent Republican base looking to preemptively stop the fraud that it incorrectly believes happened in 2020. It may be the case that Vice President Harris is forced to consider whether to accept electoral votes submitted from a state in which legislators have dubiously decided that the Republican, perhaps even Trump himself, won.

It didn’t work in 2020, no. Happily. But guerrilla efforts are strengthened by probing defenses. You learn where the opponent is weak and where it’s strong. Maybe that involved a sloppy effort to throw things at the wall. But if you learned where the wall was weak, it was worth it.

WaPo, Carlos Lozada: Adam Schiff points to a second insurrection — by members of Congress themselves http://wapo.st/3oLHcYn
// In his memoir, MIDNIGHT IN WASHINGTON: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could (10/12), the House Intelligence Committee chair argues America barely passed Trump’s “stress test” of American democracy

🐣 RT @SecBlinken .@POTUS has made official the U.S. commitment to resettle up to 125k refugees, demonstrating that the United States will continue to lead in providing refuge to those fleeing persecution so they can start new lives in safety.

Law&Crime: A Desperate Play for Time’: Lawyers Dismiss Steve Bannon’s ‘Nonsense’ Refusal to Comply With Congressional Subpoena http://bit.ly/2Yvuyll

⭕ 7 Oct 2021

‼️ 🐣 RT @glennkirshner Just look at Trump’s statement from the newly released Senate Judiciary report, “Subverting Justice: How the Former President & His Allies Pressured DOJ to Overturn the 2020 Election.” For gosh sakes, indict him already! The criminal conduct is beyond dispute. And #JusticeMatters https://twitter.com/glennkirschner2/status/1446104578089496583?s=20/photo/1
// It says: “According to testimony Rosen gave to the Committee, Trump opened the meeting by saying ‘One thing we know is you, Rosen, aren’t going to do anything to overturn the election.’” …

🐣 RT @ProjectLincoln Obstruction of justice.
⋙ Politico: Trump tells 4 former aides to defy Jan. 6 committee’s subpoena http://politi.co/3Dzkbw5
// The House panel probing the Capitol attack had demanded documents and testimony from the former president’s former aides by Thursday.

🖼 WaPo Mag: What Wyoming Really Thinks of Liz Cheney http://wapo.st/3aml3r0
// photo essay; I traveled 2,100 miles across the state to figure out if she is doomed — and to glimpse the future of the Republican Party.

💙 🧵 RT @maricopacounty BREAKING: @maricopavote responds to faulty assumptions & inaccurate claims made by Cyber Ninjas and other Senate contractors re: the Nov. election. Major claims are debunked. ¤ Key points: ⬇️ 📌 https://twitter.com/maricopacounty/status/1446210850142896148?s=20

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff The former president is still trying to stonewall subpoenas. ¤ But this time, we have a Justice Department devoted to the rule of law. ¤ This time, lawbreaking witnesses must weigh the prospect of criminal prosecution. ¤ Americans deserve answers. We will make sure they get them. https://twitter.com/RepAdamSchiff/status/1446207086556295173?s=20

🐣 RT @AndrewFeinberg Former President calls on @SenateGOP to vote for crashing the economy to own the libs. Text Block: https://twitter.com/AndrewFeinberg/status/1446248580939923460?s=20/photo/1

🧵 RT @Teri_Kanefield Reading the Senate Report now on Trump’s months-long attempts to subvert the election: CNN: http://cnn.it/3Fr8MAc
The attempts involve repeated abuses of presidential power and violations of “longstanding policies” intended to prevent a president from weaponizing the DOJ. ¤ 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/Teri_Kanefield/status/1446115941440364555?s=20

WaPo: House Jan. 6 committee issues subpoenas for more ‘Stop the Steal’ rally organizers, including Ali Alexander http://wapo.st/2YvtQVa Alexander claimed he had help from Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Mo Brooks (Ala.) and Paul A. Gosar (Ariz.).

WaPo, Greg Sargent: Bernie Sanders erupts at Joe Manchin, and a deeper dispute is revealed http://wapo.st/3oFHcZM Sanders’ beef is over Manchin’s disparagement of an “entitlement society.” Here’s Sanders on Rachel @Maddow’s Show: Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1446206838882570241?s=20/photo/1

“I believe all Americans are entitled as human beings to health care. I believe people are entitled to quality education regardless of their income. I believe that people are entitled to affordable housing. I don’t believe that two people are entitled to own more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of American society. ~ Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT)

🔆 This❗️⋙ SenateJudiciaryComm: Subverting Justice: How the Former President and His Allies Pressured DOJ to Overturn the 2020 Election http://bit.ly/3Bk7tQU
⋙ 📔 Report [pdf]: http://bit.ly/3uYVndO Core Report: 43p; w attachments: 394p

● FINDING 1: President Trump repeatedly asked DOJ leadership to endorse his false claims that the election was stolen and to assist his efforts to overturn the election results.

● FINDING 2: White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows asked Acting Attorney General Rosen to initiate election fraud investigations on multiple occasions, violating longstanding restrictions on White House-DOJ communications about specific law- enforcement matters.

Between December 29 and January 1, Meadows asked Rosen to have DOJ:
~ Investigate various discredited claims of election fraud in Georgia that the Trump campaign was simultaneously advancing in a lawsuit that the Georgia Supreme Court had refused to hear on an expedited basis;
~ Investigate false claims of “signature match anomalies” in Fulton County, Georgia, even though Republican state elections officials had made clear “there has been no evidence presented of any issues with the signature matching process.”5
~ Investigate a theory known as “Italygate,” which was promoted by an ally of the President’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and which held that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and an Italian IT contractor used military satellites to manipulate voting machines and change Trump votes to Biden votes. Meadows also asked DOJ to meet with Giuliani on Italygate and other election fraud claims.
~ Investigate a series of claims of election fraud in New Mexico that had been widely refuted and in some cases rejected by the courts, including a claim that Dominion Voting Systems machines caused late-night “vote dumps” for Democratic candidates.

● FINDING 3: After personally meeting with Trump, Jeffrey Bossert Clark pushed Rosen and Donoghue to assist Trump’s election subversion scheme—and told Rosen he would decline Trump’s potential offer to install him as Acting Attorney General if Rosen agreed to aid that scheme.

● FINDING 4: Trump allies with links to the “Stop the Steal” movement and the January 6 insurrection participated in the pressure campaign against DOJ.

In addition to Trump White House officials, including the President himself, outside Trump allies with ties to the “Stop the Steal” movement and the January 6 insurrection also pressured DOJ to help overturn the election results. They included:
~ U.S. Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District, who led the objection to counting Pennsylvania’s electoral votes on the House floor in the hours immediately following the January 6 insurrection. Perry has acknowledged introducing Clark to Trump, and documents and testimony confirm that he directly communicated with Donoghue about his false Pennsylvania election fraud claims.
~ Doug Mastriano, a Republican State Senator from Pennsylvania who participated in Rudy Giuliani’s so-called election fraud “hearings,” spent thousands of dollars from his campaign account to bus people to the January 6 “Save America Rally,” and was present on the Capitol grounds as the insurrection unfolded. Documents show that, like Perry, Mastriano directly communicated with Donoghue about his false election fraud claims.
~ Cleta Mitchell, a Trump campaign legal adviser, early proponent of Trump’s false stolen election claims, and participant the January 2, 2021 call where Trump pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes.” Mitchell emailed Meadows a copy of Trump’s lawsuit against Raffensperger and offered to send DOJ 1,800 pages of supporting exhibits; Meadows sent the materials to Rosen, asking DOJ to investigate.

FINDING 5: Trump forced the resignation of U.S. Attorney Byung Jin (“BJay”) Pak, whom he believed was not doing enough to address false claims of election fraud in Georgia. Trump then went outside the line of succession when naming an Acting U.S. Attorney, bypassing First Assistant U.S. Attorney Kurt Erskine and instead appointing Bobby Christine because he believed Christine would “do something” about his election fraud claims.

FINDING 6: By pursuing false claims of election fraud before votes were certified, DOJ deviated from longstanding practice meant to avoid inserting DOJ itself as an issue in the election.

The Committee’s investigation to date underscores how Trump’s efforts to use DOJ as a means to overturn the election results was part of his interrelated efforts to retain the presidency by any means necessary. As has been well-documented by other sources, Trump’s efforts to lay the foundation of the “Big Lie” preceded the general election by several months; Attorney General Barr inserted DOJ into that initial effort through various public remarks and actions prior to November 3, 2020 that cast doubt on voting by mail procedures implemented to facilitate exercise of the franchise during the worst public health crisis in a century.

Concurrent with Trump’s post-election attempts to weaponize DOJ, Trump also reportedly engaged in a separate and equally aggressive pressure campaign on Vice President Mike Pence to set aside the electoral votes of contested states. This “back-up plan,” as it were, culminated on January 4— one day after Clark’s final attempt to wrest control of DOJ from Rosen, and again in the Oval Office—when Trump and outside attorney John Eastman attempted to convince Pence that he could circumvent the certification through a procedural loophole in the Electoral Count Act.7 All of these efforts, in turn, created the disinformation ecosystem necessary for Trump to incite almost 1,000 Americans to breach the Capitol in a violent attempt to subvert democracy by stopping the certification of a free and fair election.

⭕ 6 Oct 2021

💽 MSNBC, LastWord: Fiona Hill on American democracy: ‘Everything we have taken for granted is up for question’ http://on.msnbc.com/
//: Fiona Hill, a former National Security Council Russia expert under Donald Trump and an impeachment witness against Donald Trump, tells Lawrence O’Donnell that “the United States has started to converge in a rather terrifying manner to the Russia of the present.”

18 U.S. Code § 2384 – Seditious conspiracy

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
[Emphasis added]

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 808; July 24, 1956, ch. 678, § 1, 70 Stat. 623; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(N), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.)

🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Senate Report Cites New Details of Trump Pressure on Justice Dept. Over Election http://nyti.ms/3iFqmGO //➔ rhymes with “seditious conspiracy”
// A Senate panel fleshed out how Donald Trump pursued his plan to install a loyalist as acting attorney general to pursue unfounded reports of fraud.

Players:
● Jeffrey A. Rosen, acting attorney general for Mr. Trump’s last month in office
● Richard P. Donoghue, acting deputy attorney general
● Byung J. Pak, until early January was U.S. attorney in Atlanta
● Bobby L. Christine, Trump’s preference to replace Pak
● Pat A. Cipollone, White House counsel
● Patrick F. Philbin, top deputy to the White House counsel
● Representative Scott Perry, Republican of Pennsylvania

Even by the standards of President Donald J. Trump, it was an extraordinary Oval Office showdown. On the agenda was Mr. Trump’s desire to install a loyalist as acting attorney general to carry out his demands for more aggressive investigations into his unfounded claims of election fraud.

On the other side during that meeting on the evening of Jan. 3 were the top leaders of the Justice Department, who warned Mr. Trump that they and other senior officials would resign en masse if he followed through. They received immediate support from another key participant: Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel. According to others at the meeting, Mr. Cipollone indicated that he and his top deputy, Patrick F. Philbin, would also step down if Mr. Trump acted on his plan.

Mr. Trump’s proposed plan, Mr. Cipollone argued, would be a “murder-suicide pact,” one participant recalled. Only near the end of the nearly three-hour meeting did Mr. Trump relent and agree to drop his threat.

Mr. Cipollone’s stand that night is among the new details contained in a lengthy interim report prepared by the Senate Judiciary Committee about Mr. Trump’s efforts to pressure the Justice Department to do his bidding in the chaotic final weeks of his presidency.

The report draws on documents, emails and testimony from three top Justice Department officials, including the acting attorney general for Mr. Trump’s last month in office, Jeffrey A. Rosen; the acting deputy attorney general, Richard P. Donoghue, and Byung J. Pak, who until early January was U.S. attorney in Atlanta. It provides the most complete account yet of Mr. Trump’s efforts to push the department to validate election fraud claims that had been disproved by the F.B.I. and state investigators.

The interim report, expected to be released publicly this week, describes how Justice Department officials scrambled to stave off a series of events during a period when Mr. Trump was getting advice about blocking certification of the election from a lawyer he had first seen on television and the president’s actions were so unsettling that his top general and the House speaker discussed the nuclear chain of command.

“This report shows the American people just how close we came to a constitutional crisis,” Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois and chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement. “Thanks to a number of upstanding Americans in the Department of Justice, Donald Trump was unable to bend the department to his will. But it was not due to a lack of effort.”

Mr. Durbin said that he believes the former president, who remains a front-runner for the Republican nomination in 2024, would have “shredded the Constitution to stay in power.”

But, drawing in particular on interviews with Mr. Rosen and Mr. Donoghue, both of whom were at the Jan. 3 Oval Office meeting, it brings to light new details that underscore the intensity and relentlessness with which Mr. Trump pursued his goal of upending the election, and the role that key government officials played in his efforts. ●●●

The report is not the Senate Judiciary Committee’s final word on the pressure campaign that was waged between Dec. 14, when Attorney General William P. Barr announced his resignation, and Jan. 6, when throngs of Mr. Trump’s supporters fought to block certification of the election.

The panel is still waiting for the National Archives to furnish documents, calendar appointments and communications involving the White House that concern efforts to subvert the election. It asked the National Archives, which stores correspondence and documents generated by previous presidential administrations, for the records this spring.

It is also waiting to see whether Mr. Clark will sit for an interview and help provide missing details about what was happening inside the White House during the Trump administration’s final weeks. Additionally, the committee has asked the Washington D.C. Bar Association to open a disciplinary investigation into Mr. Clark based on its findings.

The report recommended that the Justice Department tighten procedures concerning when it can take certain overt steps in election-related fraud investigations. As attorney general, the report said, Mr. Barr weakened the department’s decades-long strict policy of not taking investigative steps in fraud cases until after an election is certified, a measure that is meant to keep the fact of a federal investigation from impacting the election outcome

On Dec. 1, just two weeks before saying he would step down, Mr. Barr said that the Justice Department had found no evidence of voter fraud widespread enough to change the fact that Mr. Biden had won the presidency.

The report underscored how Mr. Trump kept coming back to unsubstantiated accounts of election fraud and demanding that the Justice Department jump on them.

Soon after the completion of the Oval Office meeting on the night of Jan. 3, the committee’s report said, Mr. Trump reached out to Mr. Donoghue, asking him to look into reports that the Department of Homeland Security had taken possession of a truck full of shredded ballots outside of Atlanta. ¤ The report turned out to be false.

↥ ↧
NYT (Jan/Aug 2021): Trump and Justice Dept. Lawyer Said to Have Plotted to Oust Acting Attorney General http://nyti.ms/3v1VtkZ ⋘ originally published 1/22/2021; updated 8/11/2021
// Trying to find another avenue to push his baseless election claims, Donald Trump considered installing a loyalist.

TheGuardian: Top Trump aides set to defy subpoenas in Capitol attack investigation http://bit.ly/3uQdUc7
// Source says Meadows, Bannon and others will move to undercut House select committee inquiry – under instructions from Trump

🐣 RT @Phil_Mattingly Bipartisan group of 6 former SecDefs send letter to Hill urging debt ceiling action, warning of “catastrophic consequences for the Defense Department, our military families, and our position of leadership in the world.” ¤ Signed by Panetta, Mattis, Cohen, Perry, Carter & Hagel https://twitter.com/Phil_Mattingly/status/1445759623378522115?s=20/photo/1-2

🐣 RT @Steve_Vladeck #BREAKING: In United States v. Texas (challenging the constitutionality of #SB8), Judge Pitman has issued a preliminary injunction temporarily barring enforcement of the controversial six-week #abortion ban by “the State” — *including* judges and clerks: [JustSecurity:] http://bit.ly/2YpjE0P

🐣 RT @TaylorPopielarz
A real statement from former Pres. Trump:
“…the real insurrection happened on November 3rd, the Presidential Election, not on January 6th—which was a day of protesting the Fake Election results.”
Reminder:
– People died and were hurt on Jan. 6
– The election was free and fair

⭕ 5 Oct 2021

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Garland said yesterday he can’t comment on “pending investigations” when asked about trump and the insurrection. He didn’t say he couldn’t “confirm or deny” the existence of an investigation. I may be reading too much into it, but he’s pretty deliberate with words.

⭕ 4 Oct 2021

PhysicsWorld: Coming soon to a field near you http://bit.ly/3a4vejY
//8/4/2021; Serious studies of crop circles have long been hampered by conspiracy theories and the secretive nature of circle-makers – plus scientists’ reluctance to engage with a “fringe” topic. But, as Richard Taylor argues, discovering how circle artists create their most complex patterns could have implications for biophysics

🐣 RT @MaryLTrump Amendment 14, Sec. 3 ¤ No Person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President . . . who, having previously taken an oath . . . to support the Constitution of the U.S., shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same.

BuzzfeedNews: A Judge Sent A Capitol Rioter To Prison, Rejecting The Government’s Lighter Recommendation http://bit.ly/3mm0EIt
// “There have to be consequences for participating in an attempted violent overthrow of the government, beyond sitting at home,” Judge Tanya Chutkan said.

🐣 RT @JaxAlemany News: Group files complaint with California bar association against John Eastman, lawyer who advised Trump on election challenges. From @thamburger & me:
⋙ WaPo: Group files complaint with California bar association against John Eastman, lawyer who advised Trump on election challenges http://wapo.st/3l9XYyf

WaPo, Greg Sargent: The revelations about Mike Pence’s role in Jan. 6 keep getting worse http://wapo.st/3isHBen “The structural weaknesses exposed by this episode are a looming danger for the republic” – Rep Jamie Raskin (D-MD), member Jan 6 select committee

⭕ 3 Oct 2021

⭕ 2 Oct 2021

WaPo: Key findings from the Pandora Papers investigation https://wapo.st/3D5EG32

🐣 RT @gregpmiller An alleged affair with Putin.
A child born with no father listed. A shell company in Monaco.
A $4-million apartment. ¤ Amazing story w/ @PaulSonne @ICIJorg
⋙ WaPo: Putin’s Monte Carlo mystery, secret money and swanky real estate https://wapo.st/3Ff5m3i

There is little about the humble background of Svetlana Krivonogikh to indicate that she had the means to acquire property overlooking this playground for the world’s elite. The Russian woman reportedly grew up in a crowded communal apartment in St. Petersburg, and held jobs that included cleaning a neighborhood shop.

But previously undisclosed financial records combined with local tax documents show that Krivonogikh, 46, became the owner of the apartment in Monaco through an offshore company created just weeks after she gave birth to a girl. The child was born at a time when, according to a Russian media report last year, she was in a secret, years-long relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

WaPo: Pandora Papers reveal secret offshore financial system for global elites http://wapo.st/3mq5bK1 “The Post is publishing eight articles, as well as video and audio pieces, based on material in the Pandora trove” (Tax the rich and make it stick. This should help)
// Trove of secret files details opaque financial universe where global elite shield riches from taxes, probes and accountability

The revelations include more than $100 million spent by King Abdullah II of Jordan on luxury homes in Malibu, Calif., and other locations; millions of dollars in property and cash secretly owned by the leaders of the Czech Republic, Kenya, Ecuador and other countries; and a waterfront home in Monaco acquired by a Russian woman who gained considerable wealth after she reportedly had a child with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The files provide substantial new evidence, for example, that South Dakota now rivals notoriously opaque jurisdictions in Europe and the Caribbean in financial secrecy. Tens of millions of dollars from outside the United States are now sheltered by trust companies in Sioux Falls, some of it tied to people and companies accused of human rights abuses and other wrongdoing.

The details are contained in more than 11.9 million financial records that were obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and examined by The Post and other partner news organizations. The files include private emails, secret spreadsheets, clandestine contracts and other records that unlock otherwise impenetrable financial schemes and identify the individuals behind them.

The trove, dubbed the Pandora Papers, exceeds the dimensions of the leak that was at the center of the Panama Papers investigation five years ago. That data was drawn from a single law firm, but the new material encompasses records from 14 separate financial-services entities operating in countries and territories including Switzerland, Singapore, Cyprus, Belize and the British Virgin Islands.

The files detail more than 29,000 offshore accounts, more than double the number identified in the Panama Papers. Among the account owners are more than 130 people listed as billionaires by Forbes magazine and more than 330 public officials in more than 90 countries and territories, twice the number found in the Panama documents.

As a result, the Pandora Papers allow for the most comprehensive accounting to date of a parallel financial universe whose corrosive effects can span generations — draining significant sums from government treasuries, worsening wealth disparities, and shielding the riches of those who cheat and steal while impeding authorities and victims in their efforts to find or recover hidden assets.

“The offshore financial system is a problem that should concern every law-abiding person around the world,” said Sherine Ebadi, a former FBI officer who served as lead agent on dozens of financial-crimes cases. ¤ Ebadi pointed to the role that offshore accounts and asset-shielding trusts play in drug trafficking, ransomware attacks, arms trading and other crimes. “These systems don’t just allow tax cheats to avoid paying their fair share. They undermine the fabric of a good society,” said Ebadi, now an associate managing director at Kroll, a corporate investigations and consulting firm.

The Post is publishing eight articles, as well as video and audio pieces, based on material in the Pandora trove. Stories being published today focus on revelations about Abdullah and Putin. Stories tomorrow will more closely explore U.S. aspects of this system, including the harm caused by U.S. tax havens and how Americans accused of wrongdoing can escape financial consequences by using offshore entities. In subsequent days, stories will examine the looting of Asian artifacts, survey the hidden wealth of billionaires who appear in the files, and trace the impact of U.S. sanctions on Russian oligarchs.

These are part of a global package of stories based on the Pandora Papers — a project involving 150 news organizations in 117 countries and territories. The package includes reports by the BBC and the Guardian that reveal new details about foreign donors contributing millions to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party. The ICIJ has collaborated with foreign partners on stories about a scandal-plagued Catholic order in Mexico, millions of dollars held offshore by members of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government, as well as the secret holdings of leaders from Europe to Latin America.

🐣 🖼 🌎 RT @Mill226 Map of which Republican got the highest % of the vote in each county, 1972-2020 Presidential Elections. Nixon (green) set records in 1972 thru much of the South, Reagan (blue) with strength in the West, & Trump in 2020 (orange) in many rural areas despite a much lower national %: https://twitter.com/Mill226/status/1347638318758989827?s=20/photo/1
// 1/8/2021; awesome map

🐣 RT @tribelaw “The two teamed up in an Oval Office meeting to pressure Mr. Pence to intervene to help Mr. Trump remain in power by delaying the Jan. 6 certification of Biden’s victory.” Teamed up? Legally, that’s a conspiracy. A seditious conspiracy at that.18 USC 2384
⋙ NYT, Michael Schmidt and Maggie Haberman: The Lawyer Behind the Memo on How Trump Could Stay in Office http://nyti.ms/3oufMWI “‘I won’t be cowed by public opposition to it,’ Mr. Eastman said”
// John Eastman was a little-known but respected conservative lawyer. Then he became influential with Donald Trump — and counseled him on how to retain power after losing the election.

🐣 RT @brianklaas Anytime someone tries to say it’s “both sides,” show them this video. This guy advised President Trump. He’s saying 9/11 involved missiles being fired at the World Trade Centers and the images we all saw of the planes were just CGI. It’s deranged lunacy. A presidential advisor.
⋙ 🐣 RT @AccountableGOP Lin Wood says that the planes that hit the twin towers and the Pentagon on 9/11 were fake CGI. https://twitter.com/AccountableGOP/status/1444130224493445124?s=20/photo/1

🐣 🌎 CNBC (2020): Democratic counties represent 70% of U.S. GDP, 2020 election shows http://cnb.cx/3A7H9rH Analysis by the Brookings Institute (11/10/2020) ● /photo/1
// 11/10/2020; economy

⭕ 1 Oct 2021

NYT, Paul Krugman: Biden Should Ignore the Debt Limit and Mint a $1 Trillion Coin http://nyti.ms/3D3ukRg Or “Biden could simply declare that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which says that the validity of federal debt may not be questioned, renders the debt ceiling moot”

… U.S. politics aren’t what they once were. The Republican Party has become both radical and ruthless; let’s not forget that most G.O.P. legislators refused to certify President Biden’s election. And while this radicalized party cheerfully authorizes trillions in borrowing whenever it holds the White House, it weaponizes the debt limit whenever a Democrat is president.

During the Obama years, Republicans used the debt limit for blackmail, refusing to raise it unless President Barack Obama agreed to spending cuts — spending cuts the G.O.P. wouldn’t have been able to get passed through the normal legislative process, despite having partial control of Congress.

What’s happening now is even worse. Democrats control both houses of Congress, but Republicans are using the filibuster to block an increase in the debt ceiling with only weeks to go before we hit a wall and default on payments — and they aren’t even making specific demands. They simply don’t want to share any responsibility for governing. “There is no chance Republicans will help lift Democrats’ credit limit so they can immediately steamroller through a socialist binge that will hurt families and help China,” declared Mitch McConnell. If that sounds to you like meaningless word salad, that’s because it is. …

Look, the reason we’re in this situation is that Republicans have learned a terrible truth: Voters don’t know or care about process; they only react to how things are going. The G.O.P. believes that it can benefit from outright, naked sabotage; Democrats shouldn’t worry about undoing that sabotage through whatever tricks they can deploy.

WaPo, Aaron Blake: Pro-Trump conspiracy theorists increasingly face legal consequences http://wapo.st/3oqkpkx
// Whether it will change things for a movement built on misinformation is another matter entirely.

Politico: Thompson: Jan. 6 panel will issue ‘criminal referrals’ for subpoena defiers http://politi.co/39ZTfsk
// Thompson’s threat to issue criminal referrals to recalcitrant witnesses underscores the select committee’s resolve to seek quick answers from people inside former President Donald Trump’s orbit.

WaPo, Benjamin Ginsberg: Don’t be afraid of the election audits http://wapo.st/3orOXTg “As a Republican election lawyer who has participated in more than 30 post-election recounts, contests and audits, I am extremely confident: They won’t find anything”
// Rest of title: “— they may be our only ticket out of this mess”
// From Twitter subtitle: “Trump’s “big lie” undermines democracy and will hurt Republicans more than Democrats”

🐣 RT @PoliticsWolf After California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill making universal mail voting permanent, this cartogram shows that 1/5 of Americans now live in vote-by-mail states. All of those states except Vermont are in the western U.S., where 83% of people are now residents of VBM states https://twitter.com/PoliticsWolf/status/1443975365840441349?s=20/photo/1
// Actually, it’s more, if you count no-excuse states; the only difference is whether ballots are sent out automatically vs you have to request one

💙 🐣 RT 📋 @brianklaas The original estimates from that infamous Imperial College study was that there would be 2.2 million US deaths from Covid if no action was taken and no precautions or adjustments made. Republicans said it was alarmist hyperbole. Seems like it was actually a pretty good estimate.
⋙ 🐣 RT 📋 @kylegriffin1 NBC News: There are now more than 700,000 total deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic. @NBCNews

🧵 RT @tomiahonen Trump General Ledger Thread 1/ ¤ In criminal case of Allen Weisselberg we knew that Weisselberg kept double bookkeeping for Trump. That is the ultimate evidence against any fraudulent accountant. Allen will lose his trial. It is game over
Now we learned about Trump General Ledger 📌 https://twitter.com/tomiahonen/status/1443836242593001507?s=20

⭕ 30 Sep 2021

MotherJones: Trump Extremists Brought Numerous Guns on January 6, Evidence Shows http://bit.ly/3A3hCjx
// Rioters at the Capitol carried concealed pistols, allegedly stockpiled weapons nearby, and called for overthrowing the US government.

🐣 RT @JillWineBanks This is dynamite reporting on use if misleading quotes by Trump special Counsel Durham in indictment of Sussman. It is even weaker now than I originally thought. Questions remain about connections between Trump server and Russian Alpha Bank.
⋙ NYT: Trump Server Mystery Produces Fresh Conflict http://nyti.ms/2Wx4UMb
// A recent indictment suggested that researchers who found strange internet links between a Russian bank and the Trump Organization did not really believe their own work. They are pushing back.

WaPo, Margaret Sullivan: A Trump lawyer wrote an instruction manual for a coup. Why haven’t you seen it on the news? http://wapo.st/2WoOrJU

🖼 Dems right about now … https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1443478362383691781?s=20/photo/1
(Painting by Albert Pinkham Ryder, Jonah (detail), Smithsonian Museum of American Art)

⭕ 29 Sep 2021

💙 NewYorker, Andrea Bernstein: Donald Trump Still Faces a Reckoning in New York http://bit.ly/3B4lBh5
// Court documents and interviews indicate that the Manhattan District Attorney is accumulating evidence of pervasive tax fraud.

TheGuardian: Trump plans to sue to keep White House records on Capitol attack secret http://bit.ly/3imvDTA
// Legal strategy could delay and possibly stymie efforts by House select committee into Capitol attacks to see key documents

As president, Biden retains the final authority over whether to assert the protection for specific documents, meaning that he can instruct the White House counsel, Dana Remus, to allow their release even over Trump’s objections after an additional 60 days has passed.

The former president, however, can then file lawsuits to block their release – a legal strategy that Trump and his advisers are preparing to pursue insofar as it could tie up the records in court for months and stymie evidence-gathering by the select committee.

It was not immediately clear how Trump would approach such legal challenges, and whether it would, for instance, involve individual suits against the release of specific records.

AtlantaSentinel (2014): How Culture and Geography Divided the United States http://bit.ly/3urHQLf //➔ This could have been written yesterday; based in part on the 1989 book Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett Fischer
// 4/25/2014; The cultural heritage of America’s settlers and the nation’s diverse geography shaped its political divides.

CtrPublicIntegrity, Wendell Potter (2015): Elimination of the ‘public option’ threw consumers to the insurance wolves http://bit.ly/3DdApeb “Big firms & their campaign cash found a friend in Joe Lieberman” //➔ One senator killed one of the most popular provisions of Obamacare
// 2/26/2015

🐣 RT @Acyn Psaki on Infrastructure Vote: It’s like an episode of a TV show. Maybe The West Wing if something good happens, maybe VEEP if not

⭕ 28 Sep 2021

🐣 RT @tribelaw This repeats much we’ve already heard, but it can’t be said too often: We are at the brink of losing our democracy. Imperfect though it is, it sure beats one-man rule, which is what the Trumpsters seek to install and are busy setting up for 2024.
⋙ WaPo: As Trump hints at 2024 comeback, democracy advocates fear a ‘worst-case scenario’ for the country http://wapo.st/3AUatDg “If you look at how democracies get in trouble in other places, it’s how executives once in office abuse their office” ~ Daniel Ziblatt, Harvard

WaPo: Woman who said she wanted to shoot Pelosi in the ‘brain’ pleads guilty to misdemeanor http://wapo.st/3igUYhu Judge Emmet G. Sullivan is one of several judges “who have publicly questioned whether participants in the Capitol assault are being treated too leniently”

A woman who said as she left the U.S. Capitol during the riot on Jan. 6 that she had hoped to murder House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge. ¤ “I would like to accept my responsibility for what I did, for my part in January 6,” Dawn Bancroft, 59, of suburban Philadelphia said in federal court in Washington as she admitted to illegally demonstrating.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan questioned why Bancroft was not being asked to take more responsibility, given the comment she admits making in a video as she left the building during the storming of the Capitol: “We were looking for Nancy to shoot her in the friggin’ brain, but we didn’t find her.” ¤ Calling those words “horrible” and “clearly troubling,” Sullivan asked prosecutors why Bancroft was not charged with threatening a government official, which is a felony.

Noting that on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, former president George W. Bush had compared the danger of “violent extremists at home” to international terrorism, the judge said, “I agree with him.”

Sullivan, a federal judge since 1991, was appointed to the district court in 1994. He is one of several members of the bench who have publicly questioned whether participants in the Capitol assault are being treated too leniently by the Justice Department. ¤ “You disgraced this country in the eyes of the world, and my inclination would be to lock you up. But the government is not asking for me to lock you up,” Judge Reggie B. Walton told another misdemeanor defendant on Friday. “Because it was an attack on our government . . . to see someone trying to destroy the Capitol of our country, and to see what you did is very, very troubling.”

🐣 📊 KaiserFamFdn: Adults who have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine:
All 72%, Dems 90%, GOP 58% ➔ on @Maddow

⭕ 27 Sep 2021

🐣 RT @MSNBC ‘They concluded, across the board, there was zero evidence to support this’: Bob Woodward explains what happened when the Trump Admin. looked into baseless claims of a stolen election
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, TheBeatWithAri: MAGA insiders admit Trump was lying in new book http://on.msnbc.com/3uy7U7G
// As Americans learn more of Donald Trump’s attacks on democracy and the dangers these attacks present for future elections, iconic journalist Bob Woodward joins MSNBC’s Ari Melber to discuss the situation and his latest book “Peril,” which details new revelations about Trump’s “big lie.”

🧵 RT @SteveSchmidtSES Below is the difference between a Million, a Billion and a Trillion. It is helpful to understand when thinking about the 7 trillion of debt Trump and the GOP ran up on the National credit card that the entire GOP Senate just voted to default on. 1 million seconds is 11 days from 📌https://twitter.com/SteveSchmidtSES/status/1442664125893513219?s=20

WaPo (2018): ‘It’s insanity!’: How the ‘Brooks Brothers Riot’ killed the 2000 recount in Miami http://wapo.st/3AOjmOI
// 11/15/2018; tag: Roger Stone; Eighteen years after a chaotic recount, debate still rages over whether the antics went too far.

⭕ 26 Sep 2021

🐣 RT @anneapplebaum the details of the coup plot become clearer
🔆 This❗️⋙ 🧵 RT @RonFilipkowski This new interview by [Sydney] Powell is interesting. It suggests that the purpose of the insurrection was to DELAY the electoral college certification to give Alito time to intervene on this legal challenge. But, Powell says they didn’t anticipate Pelosi reconvening Congress that day. 💽 📌 https://twitter.com/RonFilipkowski/status/1441958869442260994?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 RT @RonFilipkowski Interviewer take on Powell: “That insurrection might have played to her advantage by delaying the final resolution of the election. But Nancy Pelosi one-upped her by reconvening Congress and finishing the tally in the middle of the night. The next day, Alito dismissed the case.” 💽 https://twitter.com/RonFilipkowski/status/1442113732952293379?s=20/photo/1
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @JayCee86137684 Giuliani voicemail message addressed to Tuberville at approx 7pmsaying that wanted to discuss how congress leaders were “trying to rush this hearing and how we need you, our Rep friends, to try to just slow it down so we can get these legislatures to get more information to you.”
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @JayCee86137684 “And I know they’re reconvening at 8 tonight, but it … the only strategy we can follow is to object to numerous states and raise issues so that we get ourselves into tomorrow—ideally until the end of tomorrow,” he added.
⋙⋙⋙ TheHill (1/7/2021): Giuliani calls wrong senator in last-ditch effort to delay certification of Biden’s win http://bit.ly/3obBG0I

💙 Politico Mag, Jack Stanton: What If 2020 Was Just a Rehearsal? http://politi.co/2Y5SzPP
// American democracy is in the midst of a waking nightmare, says Rick Hasen. And Democrats aren’t taking it seriously enough.

📊 NBCNews: As abortion debate heats up, perceptions of Supreme Court change http://nbcnews.to/3itFYNF https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1442281117705326593?s=20/photo/1
// A part of the GOP may strongly favor overturning Roe, but data suggest that if it actually attained its goal, political backlash could be immense.
// Roe v Wade: Overturn/Let It Stand: Overall: 28/65%; Republ: 40/58%; Democ: 17/77%

WaPo: Democrats outside D.C. worry party will blow its chance of enacting historic agenda — a failure with grave political consequences http://wapo.st/3kI2rI8

WaPo, EJ Dionne: Democrats: Political suicide is not a strategy http://wapo.st/3i9BkEc “What would not be okay: for Democrats to walk away from the best opportunity they have had in at least two generations to repair and reconstruct our nation’s social contract”

💙 🧵 ◕ RT @DrEricDing MISCALCULATION BY GOP—As an epidemiologist, I think Republicans might be killing off their voter base faster than they think. The #COVID19 death rate since June 30 in counties where Trump got >90% of the vote are 9.5x higher than where he got <10%—pretty strong. HT @charles_gaba 📌 https://twitter.com/DrEricDing/status/1442089484011687937?s=20/photo/1 ⭕ 25 Sep 2021 ✅ WSJ Editorial: Trump Loses Arizona—Again http://on.wsj.com/3m5aPRm //➔ WSJ did it’s own fact-checks — one of the best I’ve seen — and concludes: “The GOP should quit chasing [Trump] down rabbit holes” // He still cries ‘fraud’ even after the audit he demanded found none. WaPo, EJ Dionne: Democrats: Political suicide is not a strategy http://wapo.st/3i9BkEc “What would not be okay: for Democrats to walk away from the best opportunity they have had in at least two generations to repair and reconstruct our nation’s social contract” WaPo: Fallout begins for far-right trolls who trusted Epik to keep their identities secret http://wapo.st/3AMJx8z // The colossal hack of Epik, an Internet-services company popular with the far right, has been called the “mother of all data lodes” for extremism researchers. Some of those named in the data have already lost their jobs. Newsweek: Trump Committed 'Multiple Crimes' With Georgia Election Interference, Brookings Suggests http://bit.ly/3zGWjnU Including “criminal solicitation to commit election fraud; … conspiracy to commit election fraud; criminal solicitation; and state RICO violations" // Legal experts believe Trump faces "substantial risk" of state charges due to him pressuring Georgia Republicans to block Biden's win.

“We conclude that Trump’s post-election conduct in Georgia leaves him at substantial risk of possible state charges predicated on multiple crimes,” said the report released Friday by the Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington, D.C.

“These charges potentially include criminal solicitation to commit election fraud; intentional interference with performance of election duties; conspiracy to commit election fraud; criminal solicitation; and state RICO violations,” the legal analysis explained.

“Our view is anchored by a close reading of the relevant portions of Georgia’s legal code, an unpacking of the extant case law defining the stated crimes, and a searching examination of the main likely defenses,” the report authors explained.

“He knows in his heart that he lost the election,” Raffensperger told the Washington Examiner in a Friday interview. ¤ “He’s continued to promote the Big Lie, and then he’s also fundraising off this issue…” the GOP official lamented.

🧵 RT @atrupar “Most people would say they were doing one hell of a job, don’t you think?” — Trump on Border Patrol agents who were photographed using horse reins to threaten Haitian migrants 💽 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1441911469906481153?s=20/photo/1
// Trump rally in Georgia

⭕ 24 Sep 2021

🐣 RT @SecretaryHobbs The presentations we have heard today lack both expertise and overall understanding of election administration. Their conclusions are not only inaccurate, but dangerous. My statement on the Senate’s partisan ballot review of Maricopa County’s 2020 general election: Text Block: https://twitter.com/SecretaryHobbs/status/1441523368579125250?s=20/photo/1

💽 MSNBC, Maddow: Schmidt: Republicans are driving chaos, promising order with easy scapegoats http://on.msnbc.com/3o3avoY
// Steve Schmidt, political consultant, talks with Rachel Maddow about the ominous radicalization of the Republican Party as it turns against democracy and is swept up in an autocratic movement beholden to Donald Trump.

🐣 RT @ KyungLahACNN House Oversight Cmte “requests” Cyber Ninja’s Doug Logan to testify. Letter reads: “As a result of your obstruction, your participation in a Committee hearing is necessary for the Committee to advance the investigation of the questionable audit your company performed” #azaudit Text Block [letter]: https://twitter.com/KyungLahCNN/status/1441395241102180358?s=20/photo/1

🐣 📋 ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1441632413667450880?s=20/photo/1
// OccupyDemocrats: Neil DeGrasse Tyson: ‘Every 10 days in the US, 8000 (unvaccinated) Republican voters are dying of COVID-19. That’s FIVE TIMES the rate for Democrats’

🐣 RT @kyledcheney PSAKI says Biden has decided he will NOT invoke executive privilege on Trump’s behalf to shield any of his White House records from the Jan. 6 committee.

💙🐣 ✅ RT @ maricopacounty NEW: Here’s round two of our #FactCheck on several of the claims Cyber Ninjas identified as the most serious in their report: 🧵 https://twitter.com/maricopacounty/status/1441490472430489615?s=20
💙🐣 ✅ RT @maricopacounty NEW: After a preliminary review of the draft #azaudit report, we can provide a #FactCheck on several of the claims Cyber Ninjas identified as the most serious in their report: 🧵 https://twitter.com/maricopacounty/status/1441470629538983945?s=20
💙🐣 ✅ RT @maricopacounty A thread about election audits ahead of the Senate hearing today: 🧵 https://twitter.com/maricopacounty/status/1441408943650050059?s=20
// Cyber Ninjas fraudit

CNN: Draft report from partisan Arizona review confirms Biden defeated Trump in Maricopa County last November http://cnn.it/3zF5kxJ
// thorough

⭕ 23 Sep 2021

TheAtlantic, Adam Serwer (9/23): Trump’s Plans for a Coup Are Now Public http://bit.ly/3icdbNb
// Some of the plots to overturn the election happened in secret. But don’t forget the ones that unfolded in the open.

WaPo, Robert Kagan: Our constitutional crisis is already here http://wapo.st/3CIw960
// “Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation.” — James Madison

🔆 More❗️⋙ CitizenFreePress: Maricopa Audit — Draft Report has been leaked… http://bit.ly/3lU8wR6 Draft claims:❗“KEY RESULT — More than 55,000 potentially illegal ballots” (they question the topline). Here’s the link to the draft (still being finalized): http://bit.ly/3o1jHKn
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1441371906901487616?s=20/photo/1

🔆 This❗️⋙ AZCentral: Arizona audit draft report confirms Biden beat Trump http://bit.ly/3ENfcZZ //➔ THIS ISN’T OVER: The top line results appear LATE in the report. Cyber Ninjas use most of the report to question the legitimacy of large batches of votes, “raising bogus concerns”

Benny White, a prominent Pima County elections consultant, also provided a line-by-line analysis of a draft report he received. It had no connection with the county.

The presidential and Senate results from the recount were found in the third volume of the draft. The first volume, the executive summary, focuses on pointing out concerns Cyber Ninjas and its subcontractors have with the county’s election, raising questions about whether there was election fraud and further casting doubt on the integrity of the process.

Election consultants from across the country warned before the release of the results to be skeptical of the findings because they say the methods were sloppy, insecure, lacked bipartisan oversight and were unlikely to produce accurate results.

Those who obtained copies of the draft report were already dissecting it.

White said the Senate is raising bogus concerns in a way that will shift focus from the fact that the audit found Trump lost the election by numbers that closely matched the county’s.

I’m outraged at what the Senate has done, what it is doing here,” he said Thursday. “They have not involved any election officials in this audit. They have not involved any county officials.” 

White is part of a three-man team dubbed “The Audit Guys,” who have analyzed election and voting processes nationwide. He said that his team is preparing a rebuttal to the report that will demonstrate section by section how the Cyber Ninjas got it wrong.

“The Ninjas don’t understand Arizona’s voting laws,” he said. “They don’t understand the structure of voting systems.”

He called out the draft report’s failure to provide specific breakdowns of the count in the report, including key voting elements such as boxes, batches and precinct information that would allow experts to burrow into the data.

“We’ve demonstrated in the past that if they produce those counts, we are going to destroy those reports,” he said. “They have wasted $6-$7 million and months of people’s time on something that is just not credible.”

One of the most significant problems is the Cyber Ninjas’ reliance on a commercial database to verify voters. White said. He called the methodology sloppy and said experts who do this for a living instead would use data directly from the County Recorder’s Office, not data from a third party.

White disputes Senate President Karen Fann’s claim that she launched the audit to improve election integrity. He said the draft report went out of its way to ensure findings would raise doubts about the process when the counts didn’t show fraud. 

“It was a conspiracy to keep Donald Trump in power by extraconstitutional means,” he said.

Sellers said he suspects the supervisors will be “accused once again of not cooperating, failing to fill holes in the knowledge of the Senate’s chosen contractor.”

“How could we cooperate with an inquiry that was led by people who have no idea how to run any election, let alone one in the second-largest voting district in the United States?” he said. “The Board approved the election plan, we hired and supported our election experts, and they produced a well-run and accurate election in accordance with Arizona law.”

🐣 RT @maricopacounty Chairman @jacksellers on #azaudit draft: “This means the tabulation equipment counted the ballots as they were designed to do, and the results reflect the will of the voters. That should be the end of the story. Everything else is just noise.” Full statement below: Text Block: https://twitter.com/maricopacounty/status/1441247867268599810?s=20/photo/1
// “But I’m sure it won’t be”

WaPo: House Jan. 6 committee issues subpoenas for Trump aides and advisers, including Meadows and Scavino http://wapo.st/3zAjjER

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has issued subpoenas to two top Trump White House officials, former chief of staff Mark Meadows and former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, as well as to Kash Patel, who was serving as chief of staff to the acting defense secretary that day. An additional subpoena targets longtime Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon. … ¤ Along with asking Meadows, Scavino, Patel and Bannon to hand over records, the committee is instructing the four men to appear for depositions in mid-October.

Trump issued a lengthy statement that said he would fight the subpoenas by invoking executive privilege. In the statement, he also made the type of false claims about the 2020 election that were embraced by the mob of his supporters as they ransacked the Capitol on Jan. 6 and engaged in violent clashes with the police.

“Hopefully the Unselect Committee will be calling witnesses on the Rigged Presidential Election of 2020, which is the primary reason that hundreds of thousands of people went to Washington, D.C. in the first place,” he said.

On the day of the attack, Meadows and Scavino were firsthand witnesses to the president’s state of mind and hopes for his speech on the Ellipse, where he urged thousands of protesters to go up Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol and to “fight like hell” for their country. After violence broke out at the Capitol and police shot a rioter, Meadows, working with Scavino and with help from Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, repeatedly tried to get Trump to issue a public message to tell his supporters to stop their protest and leave the Capitol grounds. These details were first reported in the book “I Alone Can Fix It” by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.

In a letter accompanying the subpoena to Meadows, the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), writes that the panel has obtained “credible evidence” of Meadows’s involvement within “the scope of the select committee’s inquiry.” The letter cites several examples of Meadows’s communication and proximity to the former president leading up to and on the day of the insurrection.

Thompson also notes that Justice Department documents reveal that Meadows “directly communicated with the highest officials at the Department of Justice requesting investigations into election fraud matters in several states” and made contact with “several state officials to encourage investigation of allegations of election fraud.”

Thompson wrote to Scavino that “it appears you were with or in the vicinity of former president Trump on January 6 and are a witness to his activities that day. You may also have material relevant to his video taping and tweeting messages on Jan 6.” The letter cites reports in a new book, “Peril,” by Washington Post writers Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, that Scavino was also with Trump on Jan. 5 “when he and others were considering how to convince Members of Congress not to certify the election for Joe Biden.”

In its letter to Bannon, the select committee writes that the longtime activist and adviser has “information relevant to understanding important activities that led to and informed the events at the Capitol” on Jan. 6.

“For example, you have been identified as present at the Willard Hotel on January 5, 2021, during an effort to persuade Members of Congress to block the certification of the election the next day, and in relation to other activities on January 6,” Thompson writes. “You are also described as communicating with then-President Trump on December 30, 2020, and potentially other occasions, urging him to plan for and focus his efforts on January 6.”

Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), worked in White House national security positions under Trump before transferring to the Pentagon. When the panel requested documents from the Pentagon in August, it mentioned Patel specifically. The committee requested “documents and communications concerning possible attempts by President Donald Trump to remain in office after January 20, 2021.” The panel also asked for communications about martial law.

On Thursday, the committee subpoenaed Patel for “all documents and communications to, from, or referring to Patel, relating to civil unrest, violence, or attacks at the U.S. Capitol; challenging, overturning, or questioning the validity of the 2020 election results; or the counting of the electoral college vote on January 6, 2021.”

🐣 RT @RWPUSA The White House needs to release ALL information it has about what happened in the White House on January 6. No more of this “executive privilege” nonsense. Insurrection is not a presidential privilege.
⋙ CNN: White House moving to release information on Trump to congressional investigators http://cnn.it/39ylQVv

🧵 RT @maricopacounty BREAKING: The #azaudit draft report from Cyber Ninjas confirms the county’s canvass of the 2020 General Election was accurate and the candidates certified as the winners did, in fact, win. 📌 https://twitter.com/maricopacounty/status/1441228176600952839?s=20

🐣 RT @tribelaw Even if DOJ decides to spare Trump, the gang that plotted the coup, probably Eastman & Bannon & Giuliani & Powell & Flynn & McCarthy & Donald Jr., all need to be held criminally accountable. Without them to prop him up, Trump will be an impotent sore loser.

⭕ 22 Sep 2021

WaPo, Philip Bump: Somehow, we’re still learning the depths of Trump’s dishonesty http://wapo.st/3zxlPf3

Of all of the things that might crystallize a sense of despair about the ruthless effectiveness of Donald Trump’s habitual dishonesty, I wouldn’t have expected it to be a legalistic six-page memo about the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution.

This week, following reporting from the newly published book “Peril,” by The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, we learned new details about the conversations that were unfolding in the White House in the days before the counting of electoral votes at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. We’ve learned the extent to which Trump’s insistences about the election having been stolen were predicated on information that his team and his allies knew were unfounded. We’ve learned from the aforementioned memo that Trump seized upon a fringe opinion about constitutionality as a rationale to pressure his vice president into doing something that he couldn’t do and shouldn’t have done even if he could. We’ve learned more, in other words, about just how shoddy Trump’s claim to a second term was — a claim that has held a tight grip on his base well after it expended all of its usefulness for keeping him in office.

There is largely no point in trying to rationally rebut an irrational or emotional belief. But I hold the irrational belief that it can’t hurt, and I will not be rationalized out of it. So let’s walk through what we know about why Trump’s claims are false and were known to be false when he offered them. …

We know now that even Trump allies asked for proof that his claims about fraud were warranted. In “Peril,” Woodward and Costa describe a meeting in the White House between Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a former Trump foe who became one of the president’s most stalwart defenders. Giuliani made sweeping claims about fraud, and Graham demanded he prove them. Giuliani assured Graham he’d provide the direct evidence of specific fraudulent votes.

A few days later, Giuliani provided Graham a memo that the senator’s team began to review, the book reports. The claims of dead people voting in Georgia were found to consist mostly or entirely of people who voted legally but died before the election itself. A slew of other numbers making claims about illegal votes were unsupported by specifics and ones for which Graham’s team couldn’t figure out any provenance. Some of the figures came from an employee of the Trump-obsequious One America News. Another claimed that there were more than 11,000 “overvotes” in Arizona — though that overstated the number of such votes in the presidential race by a factor of 100.

This was the genesis of Graham’s much-reported disparagement of the evidence as being “third-grade” level. Yet these claims about dead voters, surplus votes and other things still pepper discussions of what occurred in 2020. Yes, the media has repeatedly shown these things to be unsubstantiated (should you choose to seek out that reporting), but so did a Republican Trump ally. Because they are unsubstantiated. Or, more accurately, they’re simply noncredible, given the multiple internal and external reviews of the vote in contested states and the utter lack of reason to think that anything suspect happened.

Nor was it just Trump. The New York Times reported Tuesday that Trump’s campaign had prepared an internal memo in November undercutting various extreme claims about electronic voting in the election. Yet Trump’s attorneys and the president himself were undeterred, nonetheless presenting these wild assertions of an international conspiracy to throw the election as valid and credible. They were neither. No evidence has emerged to suggest that there was any nonaccidental problem with votes cast on voting machines. What’s more, there’s never even been a credible argument made for why or how vote totals might somehow be routed overseas for manipulation.

Again, all of this happened before Jan. 6. Trump put his allies in a difficult position, stoking false claims and demanding action. Many of those allies — Graham included — clearly wanted to be able to encourage Republican voters by supporting Trump but he also wanted to not expose himself by embracing obviously dubious information. Some found a middle ground: insisting that their objections to the election were rooted in technical debates over the way votes were cast. Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) made such claims a feature of their pre-Jan. 6 objections to the counting of electoral votes.

The culmination of this argument, though, came in that six-page memo. It was a lengthier version of a two-page memo written by a legal expert named John Eastman, a document presented to a bemused Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) who was “shocked” when he read it, according to Woodward and Costa. After all, the two-page memo simply stated that Vice President Mike Pence could ignore established precedent for counting electoral votes and try to declare certain electoral-vote tallies unacceptable out-of-hand, essentially pushing the finalization of the election to a legal decision from the courts.

In the lengthier memo, published in full this week, Eastman takes a slightly less aggressive tack. It begins by delineating various ways in which “state election laws were altered or dispensed with altogether in key swing states and/or cities and counties.” In essence, he’s arguing that Pence would be warranted in throwing out the results in some states not because people cast illegal votes but because states allowed people to vote in ways they shouldn’t have. It’s an argument for throwing out the demonstrated will of the people based on the way they were told to express that will. (A court in Pennsylvania, hearing such a claim before Jan. 6, had rejected the idea that votes cast using a process that shouldn’t have been authorized should stand, calling a rejection of them an “extreme and untenable” remedy.)

Even here, though, Eastman oversteps. For example, why should bringing “[p]ortable ‘polling places’ targeted to heavily democrat” areas be considered a rationale for rejecting the results of those votes? Or: “[f]ederal court reduced Arizona’s 29-day-before-election registration requirement”? Because a federal court changed a rule, no votes from Arizona should count? It’s quite simply a rejection of the will of the voters for no reason other than that Eastman didn’t like how they voted.

The memo also falls victim to a logical flaw that we see repeatedly in fraud allegations: Because Eastman identified a way in which he thinks fraud might have been committed, we should assume it has been committed. It’s like finding a crowbar in someone’s garage and assuming they are part of a burglary ring. Not a fair assumption. A better crime-fighting technique would be to identify actual jimmied locks on actual houses and then trying to figure out who did it and how. That’s what Graham wanted, and he was simply told that there might be thousands of houses somewhere that had been broken into.

There was no rampant fraud, but that didn’t deter Eastman. He, like so many others, expressed the same false belief that animated everything else after the election. His memo operates from the assumption that there had been “outright fraud (both traditional ballot stuffing, and electronic manipulation of voting tabulation machines),” claims that remain untrue. But that was the foundation of his delineation of the laws that he found unacceptable (though many had been validated by courts) and, therefore, for having Pence simply ignore the election results. It all, once again, flowed from false claims about fraud.

People still say that fraud occurred. Most Republicans, in fact, say it did. Trump is still hammering on it, nailing new planks on his sunken ship. Those looking for his endorsement in 2022 are amplifying such claims, jockeying to be the loudest voice to earn Trump’s approval. People such as MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell — who has himself been repeatedly shown to have no actual evidence of fraud — continue to nonetheless claim that something illegal occurred. (He’s moved on to falsely alleging massive fraud in red states, somewhat missing the point.) In Lindell’s case, he insists that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear his evidence and somehow overturn the election. He’d predicted that would happen in August; the timeline now is November.

The story of the Trump presidency, a story still being fleshed out, is one of a cadre of yes-men facing off against realists. Then and now, Trump used the power of his large, loud and credulous base to tip the scales in his favor, forcing the Grahams, Pences and Rep. Liz Cheneys (R-Wyo.) to consider the costs of going not just against him but against all of those supporters as well. Trump’s dishonesty helped create a political army that he used bluntly.

There’s a scene recounted in “Peril” that speaks to this. On Jan. 5, Pence spoke to Trump in the Oval Office and told him that he would not deploy Eastman’s strategy of rejecting the results of the election. Woodward and Costa describe what happened next.

“Once Pence left, Trump opened a door near the Resolute Desk. A rush of cold air blasted the room. The temperature was around 31 degrees Fahrenheit outside, with the wind making it feel even colder,” they write. “Trump stood there, still, and listened. Through the din of police sirens and the whir of a city, he could hear his people. They sounded joyful. He breathed in the cold air and smiled.” ¤ Those supporters, at least, were doing what he wanted.

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Democrats are seeking to restrain the executive branch. Will Republicans really oppose them? http://wapo.st/3lJl5Pa //➔ sure they will; they are getting everything ready for the next GOP presidency, which will happen if Dems don’t get their act together

🐣 RT @SwainForSenate 🚨President Trump Statement: Text Block:👇 https://twitter.com/SwainForSenate/status/1440862768437993473?s=20/photo/1
// Tim Swain is running for SC Senate; this is Trump’s rant against Lindsey Graham and Mike Lee for telling Pence there were no grounds for aborting the counting of electoral votes, as described in Woodward/Costa’s book Peril

NYT, Peter Coy: It’s Not Really a ‘$3.5 Trillion’ Bill http://nyti.ms/3EMMUPs “[I]f Donald Trump’s signature legislative achievement, the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017, had been measured the same way as Biden’s plan…, it would have been called a $5.5 trillion package”

🐣 RT @BillKristol “Of the 15 Republican candidates for secretary of state in 5 battleground states — AZ, GQ [GA?], WI, MI, NV–10 have declared the 2020 election stolen or called for results to be invalidated or further investigated. Only 2 of the 9 interviewed said Biden won.”
🔆 This❗️⋙ Reuters: Special Report: Backers of Trump’s false fraud claims seek to control next elections http://reut.rs/3o3hpKP
// Democrats and nonpartisan election experts say it appears that Trump allies – having been foiled in their attempt to reverse Biden’s victory – are now trying to make it easier to overturn future results.

RawStory/Warroom: BUSTED: Steve Bannon admits he helped plot Jan. 6 Trump rally to ‘Kill Biden presidency in the crib’ http://bit.ly/3AEcJyw

Conservative broadcaster Steve Bannon admitted on Wednesday that he had plotted with President Donald Trump to “kill the Biden presidency in the crib” ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

During his Warroom broadcast, Bannon played clips of journalist Robert Costa and Bob Woodward explaining how events unfolded prior to the Jan. 6 riot.

“You look at January 5th, we discovered that Steve Bannon, the former White House strategist, was there at the Willard Hotel blocks from the White House with Rudy Giuliani, having an almost war-room-type meeting with other Trump allies the eve before the January 6th insurrection,” Costa recently explained to MSNBC. “And Bannon had actually been in close touch with President Trump for days before January 6th. Based on our reporting, he privately told President Trump to have a reckoning on January 6th. And he said to the president, it’s time to kill the Biden presidency in the crib.”

Bannon seemed proud to confirm that the conversation had taken place. ¤ “Yeah, because his legitimacy,” Bannon said of Biden. “42% of the American people think that Biden did not win the presidency legitimately.”

◕ 📋 WaPo (2020): Trickle-down’ tax cuts make the rich richer but are of no value to overall economy, study finds http://wapo.st/2ZbRQgc The rich got richer but “they had no effect on economic growth or employment.” ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1440617314903150597?s=20/photo/1
// 12/23/2020; Data spanning 50 years and 18 countries shows lowering rates for the wealthy increases inequality

[T]he tax cuts succeeded at putting more money in the pockets of the rich. The share of national income flowing to the top 1 percent increased by about 0.8 percentage points. (For comparison, in the United States the bottom 10 percent of earners capture only 1.8 percent of the country’s income).

But they had no effect on economic growth or employment. Though those quantities fluctuated slightly after the major tax cuts that were studied, the effect was statistically indistinguishable from zero. The “rocket fuel” so often promised by supporters of these tax cuts? It fizzles out time and time again.

“In the last decade, especially with the pioneering work of Thomas Piketty and his co-authors, there has been a growing consensus that tax cuts for the rich lead to higher income inequality,” Hope and Limberg said. Piketty, a French economist, wrote “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” a book on the growth of inequality in rich nations.

Given the evidence, why are such targeted tax cuts perennially popular among policymakers, especially Republicans? The authors point to one major reason — the power of wealthy individuals and corporations to set policy agendas through lobbying and campaign contributions.

⭕ 21 Sep 2021

ForensicNews, Scott Stedman: Decorated Russian Naval Veteran Funneled Thousands to Trump, RNC http://bit.ly/3ltjb6a
// @ScottMStedman

Esquire, Charles Pierce: It Shouldn’t Be This Easy to Overthrow the American Republic http://bit.ly/39BxJtH
// CNN got hold of a Trump lawyer’s memo that describes a precise six-point plan for then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

🧵 RT @stevanzetti [Steve Monacelli] Here’s a thread of some of the things Joseph A. Camp has sent me since breaking the Epik hack. 📌 https://twitter.com/stevanzetti/status/1440410039798304776?s=20

🐣 I switch to Erin Burnett. on CNN during Joy’s show. It’s called “White woman is a better journalist syndrome”

🐣 RT @ConsWahoo Do other plaintiffs cite their former jobs when bringing suit?
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @ZoeTillman Here is Donald Trump’s new breach of contract/tortious interference lawsuit against Mary Trump and the New York Times: [pdf] http://bit.ly/3zvt4Ec 27p
HT @maxwelltani DailyBeast: Trump Sues NYT and Niece—Who Calls Him ‘F*cking Loser’ http://bit.ly/3hV2K0s
// The ex-president claims there was an “insidious plot to obtain confidential and highly-sensitive records.”
⋙ 🐣 “cannot be understated” ~ as pointed out by @maddow
⋙ 🐣 “The defendants’ actions were motivated by a personal vendetta and their desire to gain fame, notoriety, acclaim and a financial windfall and were further intended to advance their political agenda” ~ sounds familiar

🧵 RT @brianklaas 1. I’ve devoted much of my career to understanding authoritarianism and the breakdown of democracy. And I’m growing increasingly pessimistic about the prospects for American democracy, because of one simple question: what could slow down the GOP march toward authoritarianism? 📌 https://twitter.com/brianklaas/status/1440345037141778447?s=20

🐣 RT @NotHoodlum Remember when the world laughed in his face? 💽 https://twitter.com/NotHoodlum/status/1440430348488245255?s=20/photo/1
// Trump at the United Nations

WaPo: Al Franken has a new comedy tour. His targets? Former Senate colleagues. http://wapo.st/2XxRIH8 “The Only Former U.S. Senator Currently on Tour Tour”
// Also: “Did he slam former president Donald Trump? Indeed, but not nearly as much as Cruz or the minority leader: ‘Mitch McConnell has systematically ruined the Senate.’”

🐣 RT @AdamKinzinger ‘The Party is already lost. And victory meant two more years trapped in a hellscape of crazified school board meetings, Trump rallies, My Pillow Guy insanity, Newsmax and Fox News hits, and a caucus run by Kevin McCarthy, a man without any principle….”
⋙ Politico Mag, Charlie Sykes: Why Sane Republicans Are Purging Themselves http://politi.co/3CArlzv
// It looks like they’re giving up, but for politicians like Anthony Gonzalez, a party run by Trump is not worth fighting for.

DailyBeast: Donald Trump Sues New York Times and His Niece Over Tax Story http://bit.ly/39reJ1i “He is a f***ing loser” ~ Mary Trump
// The ex-president claims there was an “insidious plot to obtain confidential and highly-sensitive records.”
Esquire, Charles Pierce: It Shouldn’t Be This Easy to Overthrow the American Republic http://bit.ly/39BxJtH
// CNN got hold of a Trump lawyer’s memo that describes a precise six-point plan for then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

🐣 RT @RBReich Just wanted to remind you that Republicans added $7 trillion to the national debt under the former guy, which is most of the debt now requiring a higher debt ceiling.

🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind I worry how numb we have become to our near brush with authoritarianism – when it is revealed that there was a memo with a 6 step plan for a coup, and it doesn’t even get top of the hour news coverage – let alone consequences for all involved. We are in danger of a repeat folks!

WaPo: Huge hack reveals embarrassing details of who’s behind Proud Boys and other far-right websites http://wapo.st/3u1nrwt
// Researchers say it will allow them to gain important new insights into how extremists operate online

Epik long has been the favorite Internet company of the far-right, providing domain services to QAnon theorists, Proud Boys and other instigators of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol — allowing them to broadcast hateful messages from behind a veil of anonymity.

But that veil abruptly vanished last week when a huge breach by the hacker group Anonymous dumped into public view more than 150 gigabytes of previously private data — including user names, passwords and other identifying information of Epik’s customers.

Extremism researchers and political opponents have treated the leak as a Rosetta Stone to the far-right, helping them to decode who has been doing what with whom over several years. Initial revelations have spilled out steadily across Twitter since news of the hack broke last week, often under the hashtag #epikfail, but those studying the material say they will need months and perhaps years to dig through all of it.

Online records show those sites have included 8chan, which was dropped by its providers after hosting the manifesto of a gunman who killed 51 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019; Gab, which was dropped for hosting the antisemitic rants of a gunman who killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018; and Parler, which was dropped due to lax moderation related to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

[Epik founder Robert] Monster has defended his work as critical to keeping the Internet uncensored and free, aligning himself with conservative critics who argue that leading technology companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and YouTube have gone too far in policing content they deem inappropriate.

//➔ “The company played such a major role in keeping far-right terrorist cesspools alive,” said Rita Katz, executive director of SITE Intelligence Group, which studies online extremism. “Without Epik, many extremist communities — from QAnon and white nationalists to accelerationist neo-Nazis — would have had far less oxygen to spread harm, whether that be building toward the Jan. 6 Capitol riots or sowing the misinformation and conspiracy theories chipping away at democracy.”

A Twitter account, @epikfailsnippet, that is posting unverified revelations from the leaked data, included a thread purporting to expose administrators of the Proud Boys sites.

Technology news site the Daily Dot reported that Ali Alexander, a conservative political activist who played a key role in spreading false voter fraud claims about the 2020 presidential election, took steps after the Jan. 6 siege to obscure his ownership of more than 100 domains registered to Epik. Nearly half reportedly used variations of the “Stop the Steal” slogan pushed by Alexander and others. Alexander did not reply to requests for comment from the Daily Dot or, on Tuesday, from The Post.

Extremism researchers urge careful fact-checking to protect credibility, but the data remains tantalizing for its potential to unmask extremists in public-facing jobs.

Emma Best, co-founder of Distributed Denial of Secrets, a nonprofit whistleblower group, said some researchers call the Epik hack “the Panama Papers of hate groups,” a comparison to the leak of more than 11 million documents that exposed a rogue offshore finance industry. And, like the Panama Papers, scouring the files is labor intensive, with payoffs that could be months away.

“A lot of research begins with naming names,” Best said. “There’s a lot of optimism and feeling of being overwhelmed, and people knowing they’re in for the long haul with some of this data.”

🐣 RT @SahilKapur NEWS: House votes 220-211 on a bill to fund the government through 12/3/2021, extend the debt ceiling to 12/2022, and provide funding for disaster relief and to assist Afghan evacuees. ¤ A straight party line vote. All Republicans vote no.

🚫 WaPo: U.S. careens toward shutdown, financial crisis amid stalemate in Congress http://wapo.st/2ZazsnU
// Democrats have tied an increase in the debt ceiling with a bill that funds the government into December, setting off a war with Republicans, who refuse to raise the cap out of opposition to President Biden’s agenda — even if it means grinding the country to a halt.
⋙ WaPo: U.S. default this fall would cost 6 million jobs, wipe out $15 trillion in wealth, study says http://wapo.st/2XLKGyY
// GOP signals refusal to help Democrats raise debt ceiling, in opposition to President Biden’s spending plans
// too alarmist to RT

🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Trump Campaign Knew Lawyers’ Voting Machine Claims Were Baseless, Memo Shows http://nyti.ms/3lJiaWB “The release of the documents was only the latest legal trouble for Mr. Giuliani and Ms. Powell, both of whom have been sued directly by Dominion for defamation”
// Days before lawyers allied with Donald Trump gave a news conference promoting election conspiracy theories, his campaign had determined that many of those claims were false, court filings reveal.

Two weeks after the 2020 election, a team of lawyers closely allied with Donald J. Trump held a widely watched news conference at the Republican Party’s headquarters in Washington. At the event, they laid out a bizarre conspiracy theory claiming that a voting machine company had worked with an election software firm, the financier George Soros and Venezuela to steal the presidential contest from Mr. Trump.

But there was a problem for the Trump team, according to court documents released on Monday evening. ¤ By the time the news conference occurred on Nov. 19, Mr. Trump’s campaign had already prepared an internal memo on many of the outlandish claims about the company, Dominion Voting Systems, and the separate software company, Smartmatic. The memo had determined that those allegations were untrue.

The court papers, which were initially filed late last week as a motion in a defamation lawsuit brought against the campaign and others by a former Dominion employee, Eric Coomer, contain evidence that officials in the Trump campaign were aware early on that many of the claims against the companies were baseless.

The documents also suggest that the campaign sat on its findings about Dominion even as Sidney Powell and other lawyers attacked the company in the conservative media and ultimately filed four federal lawsuits accusing it of a vast conspiracy to rig the election against Mr. Trump.

Even at the time, many political observers and voters, Democratic and Republican alike, dismissed the efforts by Ms. Powell and other pro-Trump lawyers like Rudolph W. Giuliani as a wild, last-ditch attempt to appease a defeated president in denial of his loss. But the false theories they spread quickly gained currency in the conservative media and endure nearly a year later.

It is unclear if Mr. Trump knew about or saw the memo; still, the documents suggest that his campaign’s communications staff remained silent about what it knew of the claims against Dominion at a moment when the allegations were circulating freely.

“The Trump campaign continued to allow its agents,” the motion says, “to advance debunked conspiracy theories and defame” Mr. Coomer, “apparently without providing them with their own research debunking those theories.”

But at the time that the internal report was prepared, Mr. Giuliani and Ms. Powell were both “active supervisors,” as he put it in his deposition, in the Trump campaign’s broader plan to challenge the election results — an effort that eventually included more than 60 failed lawsuits filed across the country. While Ms. Powell soon went her own way in claiming that Dominion had conspired to steal the election, Mr. Giuliani continued working closely with Mr. Trump and his campaign, ultimately changing strategies and seeking to persuade state legislatures to overturn the popular vote.

NYT: In his U.N. debut, Biden calls for global unity against common threats. http://nyti.ms/3hOEVr9 “Biden called for a new era of global unity against the coronavirus, emerging technological threats and the expanding influence of autocratic nations”
⋙ 🐣 RT @JohnFeehery Australia?
⋙⋙ 🐣 Australia dumped a bad deal for a good one, after warning the French they were unhappy with the technology and schedule slippages. The French are acting out – and not for the first time. ¤ Biden gave a great speech.

❗WaPo: Biden, at U.N., calls for unity in addressing the pandemic and climate change http://wapo.st/3tYyQgt //➔ barely covers his speech at all; most is just the usual beltway litany of gripes; can’t they remember what it was like to have a would-be tyrant as president?

Challenges that require a united response include “ending this pandemic, addressing the climate crisis, managing shifts in global power dynamics, shaping the role of the world on vital issues like trade, cyber and emerging technologies and facing the threat of terrorism as it stands today,” Biden said.

WaPo, Catherine Rampell: Once again, Democrats must be the grown-ups and keep Republicans from causing a global catastrophe http://wapo.st/2VXxHcy

⭕ 20 Sep 2021

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 A lawyer for Trump Org. CFO Allen Weisselberg revealed in open court that prosecutors have found more evidence and that more indictments are expected.
⋙ DailyBeast: Trump Org Prosecutors Find New Evidence—in a Basement http://bit.ly/3hV8XJE
// A lawyer for Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg revealed in open court that prosecutors have found more evidence and that more indictments are expected.

🧵 RT @gabriel_zucman Fun fact: an annual 0.3% wealth tax on the top 10% — similar to the one that exists in Switzerland — would fund the entire $3.5 trillion bill 📌 https://twitter.com/gabriel_zucman/status/1440100208730279940?s=20
⋙ 🐣 ◕ RT @gabriel_zucman Using he Federal Reserve Distributional Financial Accounts:
● The top 10% owns $90 trillion (of which $41.5 is owned by the top 1%) = 400% of GDP
● So if well enforced the tax would raise ~1.2% of GDP (~like in Switzerland) — which is $3.5t over 10 years https://twitter.com/gabriel_zucman/status/1440102976366862336?s=20/photo/1
⋙⋙ 📋 BoardofGovsFED: Distribution of Household Wealth in the U.S. since 1989 http://bit.ly/3ArVRuU
⋙ 🐣 RT @gabriel_zucman If, as if likely, there was some tax avoidance/evasion then you need to increase the rate a bit: ¤ With 15% avoidance/evasion, you need to increase the rate to 0.35% to generate 1.2% of GDP in revenue ¤ (Or if you keep 0.3% you only get $3 trillion — still decent)
⋙ 🐣 RT @gabriel_zucman With this small tax, Elon Musk would pay about $600 million this year — making it impossible for billionaires to pay ~0 tax anymore
⋙⋙ 🧵 RT @gabriel_zucman (9/18) The richest man in the world, Elon Musk, paid $8,410 in income tax in 2018. 📌 https://twitter.com/gabriel_zucman/status/1439296433807499267?s=20/photo/1
// 9/18/2021

🐣 RT @FrankFigliuzzi Here we go: Longtime GOP operatives charged with funneling Russian national’s money to Trump, RNC
⋙ Politico: Longtime GOP operatives charged with funneling Russian national’s money to Trump, RNC http://politi.co/3CAyQ9N
// Jesse Benton and Doug Wead pleaded not guilty to six felony charges, including facilitating a campaign contribution by a foreign national.

The grand jury indictment alleges that Benton and Wead worked together to accept $100,000 from an unidentified Russian national in order to get the foreigner a meeting with then-candidate Trump at a fundraiser in Philadelphia on Sept. 22, 2016. … … The indictment suggests that Benton and Wead hoped to make money from the scheme and did — taking $100,000 from the Russian, but paying only $25,000 to Trump Victory, a joint venture between the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee.

NYT: Democrats to Pair Spending Bill With Raising Debt Ceiling, Pressuring G.O.P. http://nyti.ms/3kxDIGB McConnell and moderate Republicans voted for the $900B pandemic relief bill but now are refusing to pay for it, despite voting for $1.9Tr in Trump tax cuts for the rich
// The approach essentially dares Republicans to follow through on their threats to oppose increasing the debt limit, by coupling it with urgently needed federal spending.

🐣 RT @BillKristol As of a few months ago (and still?), John Eastman, the author of the White House six-point plan for overturning the election, was chair of the Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group of @FedSoc. Any statement by them about one of their leading lights plotting usurpation?
⋙⋙ 🚫🐣 RT @APMC1985 I mean they hosted this event, don’t see why they’d have a problem with Eastman. Text Block: https://twitter.com/APMC1985/status/1440113732873453577?s=20/photo/1
// Flyer: “The Originalist Case for Insurrection” [authentic?]
⋙ 🐣 RT @BillKristol I don’t follow as many Republicans and conservatives on this website as I once did. But I assume if I did follow them, I’d see them all expressing horror at the Trump White House usurpation plan, and insisting the GOP and conservatives cut all ties with those associated with it.

🐣 RT @marceelias If he sent this, he should be disbarred.
⋙ 🧵 RT @UrbanAchievr This is the six-point plan advanced by Trump lawyer John Eastman for VP Pence to overturn the election on January 6th.Text Block: 📌https://twitter.com/UrbanAchievr/status/1440062663967461387?s=20/photo/1

🔆 This❗️⋙ CNN: Memo shows Trump lawyer’s six-step plan for Pence to overturn the election http://cnn.it/3nNTjDT
⋙ Memo: CNN: [pdf] http://cnn.it/3hR1YBL p2

The scheme put forward by controversial lawyer John Eastman was outlined in a two-page memo obtained by the authors for “Peril,” and which was subsequently obtained by CNN. The memo, which has not previously been made public, provides new detail showing how Trump and his team tried to persuade Pence to subvert the Constitution and throw out the election results on January 6.

The effort to sway Pence was just one of several behind-the-scenes attempts that Trump’s team undertook ahead of January 6 in a desperate bid to overturn the 2020 election loss, after dozens of lawsuits were thrown out of the courts. “Peril,” which will be released Tuesday, details how Eastman’s memo was sent to GOP Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and how Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani tried to convince fellow Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina of election fraud. But both Lee and Graham scoffed at the arguments and found they had no merit.

You might as well make your case to Queen Elizabeth II. Congress can’t do this. You’re wasting your time,” Lee said to Trump’s lawyers trying to overturn the results in Georgia, according to the book.

The Eastman memo laid out a six-step plan for Pence to overturn the election for Trump, which included throwing out the results in seven states because they allegedly had competing electors. In fact, no state had actually put forward an alternate slate of electors — there were merely Trump allies claiming without any authority to be electors.

“You really need to listen to John. He’s a respected constitutional scholar. Hear him out,” Trump said to Pence at that meeting, Woodward and Costa write in “Peril.”

In the memo, Eastman went so far as to suggest Pence should take action without warning.

“The main thing here is that Pence should do this without asking for permission — either from a vote of the joint session or from the Court,” Eastman wrote. “The fact is that the Constitution assigns this power to the Vice President as the ultimate arbiter. We should take all of our actions with that in mind.”

In the end, Pence didn’t go along with Eastman’s scheme, concluding that the Constitution did not give him any power beyond counting the Electoral College votes. He did his own consultations before January 6, according to the book, reaching out to former Vice President Dan Quayle and the Senate parliamentarian, who were both clear in telling him he had no authority beyond counting the votes.

When Pence refused to intervene, Trump turned on his vice president, attacking him on Twitter even as the insurrection at the Capitol was unfolding on January 6.

The memo could be of interest to the House select committee now investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, which recently requested documents from the National Archives that specifically included communications involving Eastman.

“It shows intent, a sophisticated plan, a blueprint to illegally and unconstitutionally overturn and steal the election” by Trump and his team based on false and misleading information and legal arguments, a source familiar with the investigation told CNN.

Eastman spoke at the January 6 rally that preceded the attack on the Capitol. He retired from his position as a professor at Chapman University a week after January 6, which occurred amid protests from faculty at the Southern California university over his participation in Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.

Eastman told the Washington Post that his memo merely “explored all options that had been proposed.” CNN has contacted Eastman for comment through the Claremont Institute, where he is a senior fellow.

As part of the efforts of Trump’s team to convince Congress not to certify the election, the Eastman memo was given to Lee, one of the Senate’s top Republican constitutional authors. At the same time, Giuliani sent multiple memos to Graham trying to convince him that the claims of election fraud coming from Trump’s team were legitimate.

The memos show how even some of Trump’s closest allies balked at the measures Trump’s team was taking behind the scenes to try to overturn his loss to Biden. But while Lee and Graham heard out the cases from Trump’s lawyers, they soundly rejected their claims, Woodard and Costa write.

Lee was shocked by the claims the memo was making, since no state had considered, let alone put forward, any alternate slates of electors. “Lee’s head was spinning,” the authors write. “No such procedure existed in the Constitution, any law or past practice. Eastman had apparently drawn it out of thin air.”

Lee also dismissed the Trump team’s arguments that it had a case to overturn the election results in Georgia, saying they had to be made in court.

🐣 📊 Monmouth Poll: Public Pans Texas Abortion Law http://bit.ly/3lOa13s (9/9-13/2021)
// Most say leave Roe v. Wade as is

62/31% say leave Roe v Wade as it is
70/22% disapprove of Texas law

Abortion should be:
● Always Legal 33%
● Legal w Limitations 29%
● Illegal w Exceptions 24%
● Always Illegal 11%

🐣 RT @JakeTapper CNN: More than 675,000 people have died of Covid-19 in the United States, surpassing the country’s estimated death toll from the 1918 flu pandemic.
⋙ 🐣 RT @SethroM31 The population of the US was 100 million in 1918. Meaning per capita COVID is still only 1/3 as deadly.

🐣 The number of Deaths Per Day from COVID-19 has almost DOUBLED in less than a month.
From: 1,010 a day for the week ending 8/21
To: 1,968 a day for the week ending 9/18
Source: IHME ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1439817798050623491?s=20/photo/1
// 🖼 photo from Nature of close-up of coronavirus (electron microscopic)

⭕ 19 Sep 2021

WaPo, EJ Dionne: Anthony Gonzalez gets what Democrats need to know http://wapo.st/2XDUNWo “[L]ast week could well mark … a turning point in how Democrats, including Biden, approach the next phase of political combat”
// President Biden, call Anthony Gonzalez.

One of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 riot, Gonzalez called the former president “a cancer for the country.” He told the New York Times he did not want any part of a 2022 GOP that will “make Trump the center of fund-raising efforts,” adding that “most of my political energy will be spent” preventing Trump from being president again.

For all of Biden’s honorable efforts to pull the nation together, and his earlier habit of downplaying the radical nature of today’s Republicanism, our politics remain as dangerously abnormal as Gonzalez warns.

For at least two more elections — next year’s midterms and the 2024 presidential contest — the central issue before voters will be whether to reward or punish the GOP’s extremism and, particularly in the case of the House Republican leadership, the party’s embrace of Trump.

This is not an abstract question. In the here and now, Republican-controlled states have embraced voter suppression and election subversion, justified in the name of doubts sown by Trump’s preposterously false claims about the 2020 election outcome.

With some honorable exceptions, Republican governors in the party’s strongholds have blocked sensible actions to prevent tens of thousands of deaths from the spread of covid-19.

Gonzalez’s decision in combination with the outcome of the California recall, the continuing deadly spread of the delta variant and the introduction of the Freedom to Vote Act in the Senate could well mark last week as a turning point in how Democrats, including Biden, approach the next phase of political combat.

It begins by accepting that calls for unity of purpose will, for some time, continue to fall on deaf Republican ears. Biden signaled on Thursday that he accepts the new terms of the struggle. He said some Republican governors were playing “the worst kind of politics” by opposing his vaccination and testing mandates, singling out Govs. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas.

“The governors of Florida and Texas,” Biden said, “are doing everything they can to undermine the lifesaving requirements that I proposed.”

This is fertile ground. Large majorities of Democrats and independents and a significant minority of Republicans support Biden’s vaccine mandates. A poll released in Florida last week found the state’s voters unhappy with DeSantis’s virus policies and preferring Biden to DeSantis in a hypothetical presidential matchup.

And the defeat of the recall effort against California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) by a nearly 2-to-1 margin demonstrated the power of a campaign waged in favor of tough action to curb the virus — and against Trump and Republican extremism.

But the case for confronting Trumpist zealotry is moral, not just political. Our democracy will be in peril as long as the vast majority of Republican leaders refuse to join Gonzalez in battling what he rightly sees as a growing cancer in their party. And Democrats will be complicit if they act as if business-as-usual remains possible.

🐣 RT @leahmcelrath In the past year and a half:
● More Americans have died from COVID-19 than total military deaths on both sides in the Civil War.
● Five times as many as US military deaths in WWI.
● 200,000 more than US military deaths in WWII.
● Ten times as many as US military deaths in Vietnam.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ryanjreilly Quite stunning to see the COVID death toll represented like this. 💽 https://twitter.com/ryanjreilly/status/1439749388843327495?s=20/photo/1
// white flags on the Mall

🐣 RT @IlhanMN Big News: Mask and vaccine mandates are supported my a sizable majority according to this Fox News Poll, sorry Fox.
**Also the poll indicates 56% of voters support an infrastructure bill that has spending to address climate change, health care, and childcare. ¤ Let’s pass it https://twitter.com/IlhanMN/status/1439716003651391488?s=20/photo/1
// 📊 FoxNews Poll (9/12-15/2021, registered voters)
Favor/Oppose
67/31 Teachers/Students wear masks
66/31 Workers/Customers wear masks
61/36 Teachers be vaccinated
58/40 All govt employees be vaccinated
56/41 Biz 100+ employees vaxed/tested

🐣 RT @kikiallus Could these nano-drones be utilized to vaccinate the anti-vaxxers? https://twitter.com/kikiallus/status/1439756002895622146?s=20/photo/1
// flying insect drones
⋙ 🐣 Now there’s an idea!

NYT: Merkel’s Children: Living Legacies Called Angela, Angie and Sometimes Merkel http://nyti.ms/2VSqdre
// For some refugee families who traveled to Germany during the migrant crisis of 2015 and 2016, gratitude for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to welcome them comes via a namesake.

WaPo Editorial: If Republicans can’t get behind an issue as fundamental as voting, Democrats must push through their bill http://wapo.st/39mWgCK

⭕ 18 Sep 2021

WaPo: ‘Justice for J6’ rally starts and ends with small crowds and tight security http://wapo.st/3tWfgBx “Capitol Police said Saturday afternoon that between 400 and 450 people had been observed … . But many of them were journalists and other bystanders”

NYT Editorial: Joe Manchin Got the Voting Bill He Wanted. Time to Pass It. http://nyti.ms/3CoplKC

🐣 RT @DerpaDe54172274 #JusticeforJ6 #TraitorParade
💙 🌀 https://twitter.com/DerpaDe54172274/status/1439260249203122186?s=20/photo/1
// people running into a hole lemmings to the sea

⭕ 17 Sep 2021

RawStory/TexasTrib, Kate Mcgee: Emergency contraception funds sent to Texas by Biden admin following GOP’s near-total abortion ban http://bit.ly/2XojzcK $ sent to Every Body Texas, distributor for fed Title X program which provides family planning services for low income people

WaPo Editorial: John Durham’s zombie Russia investigation produces an iffy indictment. Is this all there is? http://wapo.st/2Xmovih “So far here are no indications he has uncovered anything suggesting an illegitimate government plot to subvert the 2016 Trump campaign”

🐣 RT @MSNBC Gen. McCaffrey on fmr. President Trump: “If we were looking at a third world country, we would have said ‘this guy is going to conduct a coup against his constitution'”
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, DeadlineWH: Gen. McCaffrey: If we looked at US from the outside, we’d think Trump was going to ‘conduct a coup’ http://on.msnbc.com/3zi5P0q
// Retired National Security Council member General Barry McCaffrey and Atlantic contributing writer Tom Nichols dissect the inner workings inside the Trump White House and why the military was extremely concerned that Trump was a “threat to the republic”

⭕ 16 Sep 2021

NYT: ‘It’s Always Going to Haunt Me’: How the Capitol Riot Changed Lives http://nyti.ms/3nFBdDS

🐣 ◕ 📋 RT @TheDailyEdge Biden has created 7.5 million more jobs in 8 months than Trump created in 4 years. https://twitter.com/TheDailyEdge/status/1438683781423157248?s=20/photo/1
// Trump -3M, Biden +4.5M

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance A few legal issues of note: the statute requires the gov’t to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Sussman knew the statement was false & made it with an improper purpose, that the statement was actually false & that it was “material.” Can’t convict without all of that. And 1/2
⋙⋙ 🧵 RT @CBS_Herridge #Durham NEW: Indictment “..on Sept. 19, 2016, Sussman, a lawyer at a large international law firm, met with the FBI General Counsel at FBI HQ… Sussman had requested the meeting to provide the GC with certain data files + “white papers” that allegedly demonstrated a covert… 📌 https://twitter.com/CBS_Herridge/status/1438605566356692992?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Bad facts make bad law & that has happened with this statute in the past, 1st courts added a materiality requirement & more recently that defendant knew lying to agents was a crime. Given inconsistent treatment of Sussman & Mike Flynn, lots of risk on appeal to the gov’t. [2/2]
⋙⋙ 🐣 … but just enough for Trumpists to claim that the entire Russia investigation was based on data planted by the Clinton campaign; damage already done, doesn’t matter how it plays out in the courts; unfortunate

WaPo: Roger Stone served ‘a big, big stack of papers’ from Capitol riot lawsuit during radio interview http://wapo.st/3CfgWcr “‘This is a big, big stack of papers, which is good, because we’re out of toilet paper,’ he said, as the radio hosts laughed.”

🧵 RT @jimsciutto Note this: Milley’s communications with China were not unusual. As I reported in Aug 2020, Trump’s advisers warned Iran and North Korea over fears he would start a war. See here: 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/jimsciutto/status/1438487506555744258?s=20
⋙⋙ CNN (2020): Trump advisers hesitated to give military options and warned adversaries over fears he might start a war http://cnn.it/3gEP8nw
// 8/6/2020
⋙ 🐣 RT @jimsciutto 2/From “The Madman Theory”: “We used to only think of Kim Jong Un as unpredictable. Now we had Trump as unpredictable,” Joseph Yun, who served as President Trump’s special representative for North Korea policy until 2018, told me. “And I would communicate that.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @jimsciutto 3/And on Iran: “We told allies that we did not know what the President would be willing to do against Iran,” Mick Mulroy, deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East until 2019, recalled. “It was possible he could make a decision that would lead to an escalation..”
⋙ 🐣 RT @jimsciutto 4/ “…of the conflict, and that escalation could lead to war, so they needed to relay that to Iran so they realized not even his staff knew what would happen if they attacked another oil facility, for instance.”

WaPo: Roger Stone served ‘a big, big stack of papers’ from Capitol riot lawsuit during radio interview http://wapo.st/3CfgWcr “‘This is a big, big stack of papers, which is good, because we’re out of toilet paper,’ he said, as the radio hosts laughed.”

🧵 RT @jimsciutto Note this: Milley’s communications with China were not unusual. As I reported in Aug 2020, Trump’s advisers warned Iran and North Korea over fears he would start a war. See here: 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/jimsciutto/status/1438487506555744258?s=20
⋙⋙ CNN (2020): Trump advisers hesitated to give military options and warned adversaries over fears he might start a war http://cnn.it/3gEP8nw
// 8/6/2020
⋙ 🐣 RT @jimsciutto 2/From “The Madman Theory”: “We used to only think of Kim Jong Un as unpredictable. Now we had Trump as unpredictable,” Joseph Yun, who served as President Trump’s special representative for North Korea policy until 2018, told me. “And I would communicate that.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @jimsciutto 3/And on Iran: “We told allies that we did not know what the President would be willing to do against Iran,” Mick Mulroy, deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East until 2019, recalled. “It was possible he could make a decision that would lead to an escalation..”
⋙ 🐣 RT @jimsciutto 4/ “…of the conflict, and that escalation could lead to war, so they needed to relay that to Iran so they realized not even his staff knew what would happen if they attacked another oil facility, for instance.”

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 At least seven conservative radio hosts and high-profile anti-mask and anti-vaccine advocates have died from COVID-19 in recent weeks.
⋙ BusinessInsider: At least seven conservative radio hosts and high-profile anti-mask and anti-vaccine advocates have died from COVID-19 in recent weeks http://bit.ly/3EorszW
// Misinformation around the COVID-19 and vaccines remains widespread as cases are rising in the US, especially in states like Florida and Texas.

⭕ 15 Sep 2021

WaPo: Second alleged Oath Keeper in largest Capitol riot conspiracy case pleads guilty and will cooperate http://wapo.st/3kcVD4T “Jason Dolan, 45, of Wellington FL, admitted Wednesday to two federal counts of conspiracy and aiding and abetting the obstruction of Congress”

Slate, Mary Harris: Bannon’s Counterrevolution by Podcast http://bit.ly/3zaS83m “Bannon has started promoting a novel idea, encouraging his listeners to flood the very lowest levels of the Republican party”
// The former Trump strategist’s ridiculously popular podcast could influence the 2024 election.

🐣 RT @duty2warn Here, fyi, is a statement on the Milley revelations (per the Woodward book) by John Bolton. Text Block: https://twitter.com/duty2warn/status/1438237241759846401?s=20/photo/1
// Statement in support

WaPo: Biden says he has ‘great confidence’ in Milley after book reveals top general, fearing Trump, conferred with China to avert war http://wapo.st/3lqnYEp

Law&Crime: Federal Judge Denies Trump’s Request to Further Delay E. Jean Carroll’s Lawsuit Pending Appeal http://bit.ly/2XuDQxx

NYT, Thomas Edsall: Abortion Has Never Been Just About Abortion http://nyti.ms/2XiypBu “There is a persistent association between abortion views and ethnoracial exclusion” ~ Bart Bonikowski, professor of sociology at NYU

🧵 RT @kyledcheney A 40-year friend of a Capitol Police officer reported the officer for disclosing the secure location he evacuated lawmakers to on Jan. 6. ¤ The friend believed the officer was aligned with the rioters, per USCP discipline reports obtained by McClatchy. Text Block: 📌 https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1438122188280893443?s=20/photo/1
// Source: MiamiHerald: http://hrld.us/3tWgVr3

⭕ 14 Sep 2021

CNN, Chris Cillizza: How Dan Quayle saved democracy. Yes, really. http://cnn.it/3AknIwY

Quayle served as a sort-of sounding board for Vice President Mike Pence in the final days of the administration as President Donald Trump leaned hard on him to overturn the 2020 presidential election. ¤ The back-and-forth is documented in “Peril,” a soon-to-be released book by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.Here’s the key bit: 

“Over and over, Pence asked if there was anything he could do.
“‘Mike, you have no flexibility on this. None. Zero. Forget it. Put it away,’ Quayle told him.
“Pence pressed again.
“‘You don’t know the position I’m in,’ he said, according to the authors.
“‘I do know the position you’re in,’ Quayle responded. ‘I also know what the law is. You listen to the parliamentarian. That’s all you do. You have no power.'”

If you think I’m exaggerating about the role Quayle played, consider how things might have gone had he taken a different tact with Pence, telling him to do what Trump asked.

🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Newsom Survives California Recall Vote and Will Remain Governor http://nyti.ms/3tLbv1J

🐣 RT @digby A majority of Californians said that they aren’t going to put up with this anti-Democratic BS from Republicans. Let’s hope the national Dems take heed and motivate their voters the same way the “No on Recall” campaign did. It is potent. ¤ Newsom’s speech hits those notes.

🐣 Perfect victory speech! Congrats California and Gov @GavinNewsom

DailyBeast: Trump Calls Allies to Demand Gen. Mark Milley Be ‘Arrested’ for ‘Treason’ http://bit.ly/396zLlk ¤ “[A]t an August rally in Alabama, the former president publicly blasted Milley, saying ‘This guy doesn’t have what it takes.’” ¤ Apparently, he does.
// The former president hit the phones, and then went on his former press secretary’s Newsmax show to make the case himself.

🐣 RT @POTUS The sacred right to vote is under attack across the country — and we need to take urgent action to protect it. I strongly support The Freedom to Vote Act and thank the eight Senators who came together to draft it. ¤ Let’s get this passed.

🐣 RT @marceelias “The reality is that there will either be a law passed only with Democratic votes or we will not have any voting rights legislation. We cannot afford to sacrifice our free and fair elections because of Republican intransigence.”
⋙ DemocracyDocket, Marc Elias: On Voting Rights, There Are No Moderates in the GOP http://bit.ly/3nwld7d

🐣 RT @BarackObama The Freedom to Vote Act just introduced in the Senate would strengthen our democracy by making it easier for people to vote and harder for politicians and special interests to drown out the voices of ordinary Americans. I support it, and every Senator should do the same.

🐣 RT @EricHolder Republican attempts to suppress the vote, the voice of the people, and subvert our democracy have only worsened. The #FreedomToVoteAct is our best chance at stopping them and preserving our democracy ¤ The Senate has a moral obligation to act now.  Reform the filibuster.

CNN: Democrats cut deal with Manchin to get party behind long-shot voting overhaul bill http://cnn.it/3tDpVkA

🐣 RT @DanRather The Rule of Trump: No matter how bad you think it is. It’s worse. Much worse. As in a dumpster fire inside of a nuclear reactor worse.

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Top general was so fearful Trump might spark war that he made secret calls to his Chinese counterpart, new book says http://wapo.st/3k94CUM //➔ So Dan Quayle ~ Mr “Potatoe” ~ saved the Republic? I’ll take it
// ‘Peril,’ by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, reveals that Gen. Mark A. Milley called his Chinese counterpart before the election and after Jan. 6 in a bid to avert armed conflict.

Twice in the final months of the Trump administration, the country’s top military officer was so fearful that the president’s actions might spark a war with China that he moved urgently to avert armed conflict.

In a pair of secret phone calls, Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, assured his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, that the United States would not strike, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward and national political reporter Robert Costa.

One call took place on Oct. 30, 2020, four days before the election that unseated President Donald Trump, and the other on Jan. 8, 2021, two days after the Capitol siege carried out by his supporters in a quest to cancel the vote.

The first call was prompted by Milley’s review of intelligence suggesting the Chinese believed the United States was preparing to attack. That belief, the authors write, was based on tensions over military exercises in the South China Sea, and deepened by Trump’s belligerent rhetoric toward China.

“General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay,” Milley told him. “We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you.”

In the book’s account, Milley went so far as to pledge he would alert his counterpart in the event of a U.S. attack, stressing the rapport they’d established through a backchannel. “General Li, you and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.”

Li took the chairman at his word, the authors write in the book, “Peril,” which is set to be released next week.

In the second call, placed to address Chinese fears about the events of Jan. 6, Li wasn’t as easily assuaged, even after Milley promised him, “We are 100 percent steady. Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes.”

Li remained rattled, and Milley, who did not relay the conversation to Trump, according to the book, understood why. The chairman, 62 at the time and chosen by Trump in 2018, believed the president had suffered a mental decline after the election, the authors write, a view he communicated to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a phone call on Jan. 8. He agreed with her evaluation that Trump was unstable, according to a call transcript obtained by the authors.

Believing that China could lash out if it felt at risk from an unpredictable and vengeful American president, Milley took action. The same day, he called the admiral overseeing the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the military unit responsible for Asia and the Pacific region, and recommended postponing the military exercises, according to the book. The admiral complied.

Milley also summoned senior officers to review the procedures for launching nuclear weapons, saying the president alone could give the order — but, crucially, that he, Milley, also had to be involved. Looking each in the eye, Milley asked the officers to affirm that they had understood, the authors write, in what he considered an “oath.”

The chairman knew that he was “pulling a Schlesinger,” the authors write, resorting to measures resembling the ones taken in August 1974 by James R. Schlesinger, the defense secretary at the time. Schlesinger told military officials to check with him and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs before carrying out orders from President Richard M. Nixon, who was facing impeachment at the time.

Though Milley went furthest in seeking to stave off a national security crisis, his alarm was shared throughout the highest ranks of the administration, the authors reveal. CIA Director Gina Haspel, for instance, reportedly told Milley, “We are on the way to a right-wing coup.”

The book also provides new reporting on President Biden’s campaign — waged to unseat a man he told a top adviser “isn’t really an American president” — and his early struggle to govern. During a March 5 phone call to discuss Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, his first major legislative undertaking, the president reportedly told Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va), “if you don’t come along, you’re really f—ing me.” The measure ultimately cleared the Senate through an elaborate sequencing of amendments designed to satisfy the centrist Democrat.

The president’s frustration with Manchin is matched only by his debt to House Majority Whip Rep. James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, whose endorsement before that state’s primary propelled Biden to the nomination and gave rise to promises about how he would govern.

When Clyburn offered his endorsement in February 2020, it came with conditions, according to the book. One was that Biden would commit to naming a Black woman to the Supreme Court, if given the opportunity. During a debate two days later, Clyburn went backstage during a break to urge Biden to reveal his intentions for the Supreme Court that night. Biden issued the pledge in his final answer, and the congressman endorsed him the next day.

“Peril,” the authors say, is based on interviews with more than 200 people, conducted on the condition they not be named as sources. Exact quotations or conclusions are drawn from the participant in the described event, a colleague with direct knowledge or relevant documents, according to an author’s note. Trump and Biden declined to be interviewed.

On Afghanistan, the book examines how Biden’s experience as vice president shaped his approach to the withdrawal. Convinced that President Barack Obama had been manipulated by his own commanders, Biden vowed privately in 2009, “The military doesn’t f— around with me.”

“Peril” also documents how Biden’s top advisers spent the spring weighing, but ultimately rejecting, alternatives to a full withdrawal. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin returned from a NATO meeting in March envisioning ways to extend the mission, including through a “gated” withdrawal seeking diplomatic leverage. But they came to see that meaningful leverage would require a more expansive commitment, and instead came back around to a full exit.

Milley, for his part, took what the authors describe as a deferential approach to Biden on Afghanistan, in contrast to his earlier efforts to constrain Trump. The book reveals recent remarks the chairman delivered to the Joint Chiefs in which he said, “Here’s a couple of rules of the road here that we’re going to follow. One is you never, ever ever box in a president of the United States. You always give him decision space.” Referring to Biden, he said, “You’re dealing with a seasoned politician here who has been in Washington, D.C., 50 years, whatever it is.”

His decision just months earlier to place himself between Trump and potential war was triggered by several important events — a phone call, a photo op and a refusal to rule out war with another adversary, Iran.

Milley’s resolve was deepened by the events of June 1, 2020, when he felt Trump had used him as part of a photo op in his walk across Lafayette Square during protests that began after the killing of George Floyd. The chairman came to see his role as ensuring that, “We’re not going to turn our guns on the American people and we’re not going to have a ‘Wag the Dog’ scenario overseas,” the authors quote him saying privately.

Trump’s posture, not just to China but also to Iran, tested that promise. In discussions about Iran’s nuclear program, Trump declined to rule out striking the country, at times even displaying curiosity about the prospect, according to the book. Haspel was so alarmed after a meeting in November that she called Milley to say, “This is a highly dangerous situation. We are going to lash out for his ego?”

Trump’s fragile ego drove many decisions by the nation’s leaders, from lawmakers to the vice president, according to the book. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was so worried that a call from President-elect Biden would send Trump into a fury that the then-Majority Leader used a backchannel to fend off Biden. He asked Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, formerly the No. 2 Senate Republican, to ask Sen. Christopher A. Coons, the Democrat of Delaware and close Biden ally, to tell Biden not to call him.

So intent was Pence on being Trump’s loyal second-in-command — and potential successor — that he asked confidants if there were ways he could accede to Trump’s demands and avoid certifying the results of the election on Jan. 6. In late December, the authors reveal, Pence called Dan Quayle, a former vice president and fellow Indiana Republican, for advice.

Quayle was adamant, according to the authors. “Mike, you have no flexibility on this. None. Zero. Forget it. Put it away,” he said.

But Pence pressed him, the authors write, asking if there were any grounds to pause the certification because of ongoing legal challenges. Quayle was unmoved, and Pence ultimately agreed, according to the book.

When Pence said he planned to certify the results, the president lashed out. In the Oval Office on Jan. 5, the authors write, Pence told Trump he could not thwart the process, that his role was simply to “open the envelopes.”

“I don’t want to be your friend anymore if you don’t do this,” Trump replied, according to the book, later telling his vice president, “You’ve betrayed us. I made you. You were nothing.”

Within days, Trump was out of office, his governing power reduced to nothing. But if stability had returned to Washington, Milley feared it would be short-lived, the authors write.

The general saw parallels between Jan. 6 and the 1905 Russian Revolution, which set off unrest throughout the Russian Empire and, though it failed, helped create the conditions for the October Revolution of 1917, in which the Bolsheviks executed a successful coup that set up the world’s first communist state. Vladimir Lenin, who led the revolution, called 1905 a “dress rehearsal.”

A similar logic could apply with Jan. 6, Milley thought as he wrestled with the meaning of that day, telling senior staff: “What you might have seen was a precursor to something far worse down the road.”

🐣 RT @nytimesbusiness George Soros’s Open Society Foundations have embarked on a painful restructuring to refocus on the fight against rising authoritarianism.
⋙ NYT: George Soros Is Making Changes at His Foundation While He Still Can http://nyti.ms/3kbiCxv The changes are a move back to the foundation’s roots in fighting authoritarianism and away from funding the cacophany of identity -isms within democracies
// The result is a painful restructuring to focus on the fight against rising authoritarianism around the world.

The left-leaning foundation — started by the billionaire investor George Soros and today the second-largest private charitable foundation in the United States — was beginning a transformation, as officials there refer to their restructuring plan. So, the email said, “the nature of many partnerships will shift.”

Grant recipients in public health said they were stunned to be told during a global pandemic that they would be losing funding. Others supporting refugees were similarly surprised given the worldwide needs of the refugee population and the fact that Mr. Soros himself was a refugee from communism.

For years, Mr. Soros watched the world march in fits and starts toward the vision of open, pluralistic democracy that he has embraced since he was a young Hungarian Holocaust survivor studying philosophy.

The changes at the Open Society Foundations are a painful but necessary adjustment, its leaders say, because that march has halted. Now, with its founder in his 90s, the foundation — and the world — confronts rising authoritarianism and deeply divided civil societies. In the United States, that means that Mr. Soros’s work on progressive causes has made him a target of right-wing conspiracy theories.

And in 2018, in his native Hungary, Open Society was forced to close its office under intense pressure from the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a onetime recipient of a grant from the group.

“From a high-water mark in the early 2000s, we’ve really seen a recession of democracy and human rights,” Mark Malloch-Brown, the president of the foundation, said in an interview. “We’ve been a little bit peacetime generals at a time where, actually, we’re in a war again.”

The plan is to concentrate bigger philanthropic bets at the global level. The restructuring will give more power to the regional offices, in places like Africa and Latin America, including $75 million in additional funding.

None of this was quite what people expected when the news emerged in 2017 that Mr. Soros had transferred $18 billion of his fortune to the Open Society Foundations, making it the second-largest private charitable foundation by resources in the United States after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Mr. Gaspard left last year and is now the president of the Center for American Progress in Washington. He was replaced by Mr. Malloch-Brown, who was already on the board and had a close relationship with Mr. Soros dating back more than three decades.

The transformation comes at a delicate moment for large philanthropies. Debates over diversity and inclusion have grown louder and more pointed, as have discussions about how much deference should be shown to billionaire donors over the disposition of donated money. After all, they receive what amounts to a public subsidy for that money in the form of tax breaks.

Many left-leaning, progressive staff members have questioned privately why Mr. Soros’s son, who is just 35, should be his successor as chairman. At the same time, the replacement of Mr. Gaspard, who is Black, with an older white man who is a member of Britain’s House of Lords, struck some employees as out of touch with the times.

Leaders on the regional level say the changes will give more independence and authority to the staff members where the work is being performed.

⭕ 13 Sep 2021

WaPo, Dana Milbank: George W. Bush reminds us that Republicans once believed in democracy http://wapo.st/3hvrADY “In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson forecast that the young nation would ‘unite in common efforts for common good.’” That’s what Trump broke.

In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson forecast that the young nation would “unite in common efforts for the common good” after the bitter election of 1800.

“Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle,” he said in the new Senate chamber. “We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.”

Americans have, at our best, upheld that creed over two centuries. We are all republicans. We are all democrats.

George W. Bush reminded us of those sacred ties in his magnificent speech Saturday contrasting the warm courage of national unity after the 9/11 attacks with the domestic terrorism Donald Trump has unleashed. …

On cue spoke the Malign Force himself. Trump, rejecting invitations to attend 9/11 memorials with other former presidents, used the solemn anniversary to stoke resentment. “We won the election,” he told firefighters in New York. “The election was rigged.” He lashed out at President Biden — “surrender,” “disgrace,” “total embarrassment” — and Democrats: “They only do bad stuff. You wonder whether or not they love our country.”

Even Fox News cut away, as the anchor noted that Trump was “claiming that the election was rigged, which it was not. It has been proven in court multiple times.” …

“At a time when religious bigotry might have flowed freely, I saw Americans reject prejudice and embrace people of Muslim faith. That is the nation I know,” Bush said Saturday. “At a time when nativism could have stirred hatred and violence against people perceived as outsiders, I saw Americans reaffirm their welcome to immigrants and refugees. That is the nation I know,” he continued.

This America, Bush said, “is the truest version of ourselves. It is what we have been — and what we can be again.”

Embracing Muslims? Welcoming immigrants? This is the antithesis of Trump’s Republican Party. Bush, the only Republican to win the presidential popular vote in 32 years, has no place in that party. Neither does Dick Cheney, nor Liz Cheney — nor anybody else who still believes that being a Republican also means being a democrat.

WaPo: With big tax push, Democrats aim to tackle enormous gains of top 1 percent http://wapo.st/396Ha4q
// The package is a central component of their $3.5 trillion economic package, but they can’t proceed unless almost all Democrats coalesce.

WaPo: Trump takes aim at George W. Bush, saying he shouldn’t ‘lecture’ about threat of domestic terrorism http://wapo.st/3Eeu0Re

⭕ 12 Sep 2021

Newsweek: Pro-Trump Rally Expecting 10,000 Attendees Sees Only a Few Hundred Show Up: Report http://bit.ly/3EtFekW

The event’s description explained: ¤ “The Biggest Patriot Rally Of The Year – A True Reunion Of We, The People, combining the biggest names in the conservative patriot movement including Gen. Flynn, Lin Wood, Candace Owens, Mike Lindell, and many others along w/top notch Christian & Country Music Entertainment! Simply put: This will be THE ‘Event Of The Year’ for American Patriots!” …

Local channel WFIE 14 News sent a team to shoot video at the event on Friday but was later asked to leave, according to a report broadcast by the NBC News affiliate. The news channel reported that promoters had expected a crowd of about 10,000 people but less than 300 were in attendance from what their journalists saw. Event organizers reportedly refused to speak to WFIE about the rally.

WaPo, EJ Dionne: A make-or-break moment for our democracy http://wapo.st/3tF7yeX “Failing to enact Democrats’ social policy plan would be a big problem. Failing to protect democratic rule would be catastrophic.”

⭕ 11 Sep 2021 😪✈️🏙💥✈️🏙💥 20 ✈️🏛💥✈️🏘💥😪

💙 💽 ≣ BushCenter: Remarks by President George W. Bush at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania http://bit.ly/3htA2U3
// Video and ranscript of remarks from September 11, 2021 commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11
// tags: Bush speech 9/11/2021 Shanksville PA

Thank you very much. Laura and I are honored to be with you. Madam Vice President, Vice President Cheney. Governor Wolf, Secretary Haaland, and distinguished guests:

Twenty years ago, we all found – in different ways, in different places, but all at the same moment – that our lives would be changed forever. The world was loud with carnage and sirens, and then quiet with missing voices that would never be heard again. These lives remain precious to our country, and infinitely precious to many of you. Today we remember your loss, we share your sorrow, and we honor the men and women you have loved so long and so well.

For those too young to recall that clear September day, it is hard to describe the mix of feelings we experienced. There was horror at the scale – there was horror at the scale of destruction, and awe at the bravery and kindness that rose to meet it. There was shock at the audacity – audacity of evil – and gratitude for the heroism and decency that opposed it. In the sacrifice of the first responders, in the mutual aid of strangers, in the solidarity of grief and grace, the actions of an enemy revealed the spirit of a people. And we were proud of our wounded nation.

In these memories, the passengers and crew of Flight 93 must always have an honored place. Here the intended targets became the instruments of rescue. And many who are now alive owe a vast, unconscious debt to the defiance displayed in the skies above this field.

It would be a mistake to idealize the experience of those terrible events. All that many people could initially see was the brute randomness of death. All that many could feel was unearned suffering. All that many could hear was God’s terrible silence. There are many who still struggle with a lonely pain that cuts deep within.

In those fateful hours, we learned other lessons as well. We saw that Americans were vulnerable, but not fragile – that they possess a core of strength that survives the worst that life can bring. We learned that bravery is more common than we imagined, emerging with sudden splendor in the face of death. We vividly felt how every hour with our loved ones was a temporary and holy gift. And we found that even the longest days end.

Many of us have tried to make spiritual sense of these events. There is no simple explanation for the mix of providence and human will that sets the direction of our lives. But comfort can come from a different sort of knowledge. After wandering long and lost in the dark, many have found they were actually walking, step by step, toward grace.

As a nation, our adjustments have been profound. Many Americans struggled to understand why an enemy would hate us with such zeal. The security measures incorporated into our lives are both sources of comfort and reminders of our vulnerability. And we have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within. There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them.

After 9/11, millions of brave Americans stepped forward and volunteered to serve in the Armed Forces. The military measures taken over the last 20 years to pursue dangers at their source have led to debate. But one thing is certain: We owe an assurance to all who have fought our nation’s most recent battles. Let me speak directly to veterans and people in uniform: The cause you pursued at the call of duty is the noblest America has to offer. You have shielded your fellow citizens from danger. You have defended the beliefs of your country and advanced the rights of the downtrodden. You have been the face of hope and mercy in dark places. You have been a force for good in the world. Nothing that has followed – nothing – can tarnish your honor or diminish your accomplishments. To you, and to the honored dead, our country is forever grateful.

In the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks, I was proud to lead an amazing, resilient, united people. When it comes to the unity of America, those days seem distant from our own. A malign force seems at work in our common life that turns every disagreement into an argument, and every argument into a clash of cultures. So much of our politics has become a naked appeal to anger, fear, and resentment. That leaves us worried about our nation and our future together.

I come without explanations or solutions. I can only tell you what I have seen.

On America’s day of trial and grief, I saw millions of people instinctively grab for a neighbor’s hand and rally to the cause of one another. That is the America I know.

At a time when religious bigotry might have flowed freely, I saw Americans reject prejudice and embrace people of Muslim faith. That is the nation I know.

At a time when nativism could have stirred hatred and violence against people perceived as outsiders, I saw Americans reaffirm their welcome to immigrants and refugees. That is the nation I know.

At a time when some viewed the rising generation as individualistic and decadent, I saw young people embrace an ethic of service and rise to selfless action. That is the nation I know.

This is not mere nostalgia; it is the truest version of ourselves. It is what we have been – and what we can be again.

Twenty years ago, terrorists chose a random group of Americans, on a routine flight, to be collateral damage in a spectacular act of terror. The 33 passengers and 7 crew of Flight 93 could have been any group of citizens selected by fate. In a sense, they stood in for us all.

The terrorists soon discovered that a random group of Americans is an exceptional group of people. Facing an impossible circumstance, they comforted their loved ones by phone, braced each other for action, and defeated the designs of evil.

These Americans were brave, strong, and united in ways that shocked the terrorists – but should not surprise any of us. This is the nation we know. And whenever we need hope and inspiration, we can look to the skies and remember.

God bless.

🧵 RT @ Photos from 9/11. We were very close. My roommate took each of these photos. Horrific day beyond words. #NeverForget /1 📌 https://twitter.com/DonLew87/status/1436729393804632067?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @FrankFigliuzzi More facts please. Breaking on a Saturday? Capitol Police discipline 6 officers for conduct related to Jan 6. United States Capitol Police
⋙ USCP: USCP’s January 6 Internal Investigations http://bit.ly/3ljHOkw
// Capitol Police

In 20 of the cases, no wrongdoing was found. ¤ Violations were sustained and disciplinary action was recommended in six cases;
● Three for conduct unbecoming
● One for failure to comply with directives
● One for improper remarks
● One for improper dissemination of information

Another case about an official who is accused of unsatisfactory performance and conduct unbecoming is still pending. The administrative investigation started after a criminal investigation, in which charges were not filed. ¤ The Department is committed to accountability when officers fail to meet the standards governed by USCP policies and the Congressional Community’s expectations.

The six sustained cases should not diminish the heroic efforts of the United States Capitol Police officers. ¤ On January 6, the bravery and courage exhibited by the vast majority of our employees was inspiring.

Politico, Garrett Graf (2016): ‘We’re the Only Plane in the Sky’ http://politi.co/3z4RbJZ
// 9/9/2016; book excerpt; Where was the president in the eight hours after the Sept. 11 attacks? The strange, harrowing journey of Air Force One, as told by the people who were on board.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance But seriously, why are we debating whether Biden’s vaccine mandates are constitutional? All he has to do is enforce them using private citizen vigilantes who get a bounty for turning in the unvaxxed & according to SCOTUS, the courts’ hands are tied. https://twitter.com/JoyceWhiteVance/status/1436780559984889857?s=20

🐣 RT @Potus We never forget. ¤ We never forget the children who have grown up without parents. Parents who have suffered without children. Husbands and wives who had to find a way forward without their partners. Brothers, sisters, loved ones. ¤ Jill and I hold you close in our hearts.

🐣 RT @tribelaw This clearly meritorious DOJ complaint is brilliantly crafted and should withstand the strongest defenses Texas and its agents, including the private vigilantes the State sought to deputize through SB-8, can possibly mount against it. Great job by the AG. http://bit.ly/3hn7NX8

Reuters: George W. Bush calls out threat of domestic terrorism on 9/11 anniversary http://reut.rs/3lhDB0F “We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come, not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within”

SHANKSVILLE, Pa., Sept 11 (Reuters) – On the 20th anniversary of the deadliest attack on U.S. soil, George W. Bush, who was U.S. president at the time, warned of a new danger coming from within the country.

“We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come, not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within,” Bush said on Saturday at the 9/11 memorial site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania during a ceremony to mark the anniversary of the Sept 11, 2001 attacks.

“There is little cultural overlaps between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home … they are children of the same foul spirit, and it is our continuing duty to confront them.”

Bush, recalling the unity of the American people after the attacks, appealed for a return to that spirit amid growing political division in the country.

“When it comes to unity of America, those days seem distant from our own,” he said. “Malign force seems at work in our common life … so much of our politics has become a naked appeal to anger, fear and resentment.”

“In the sacrifice of the first responders, in the mutual aid of strangers, in the solidarity of grief and grace, the actions of an enemy revealed the spirit of a people,” Bush said, describing the country’s reaction. “We were proud of our wounded nation.”

Speaking about U.S. veterans who served in Afghanistan, Bush said “you have been a force for good in the world and nothing that has followed can tarnish your honor.”

Reuters: George W. Bush calls out threat of domestic terrorism on 9/11 anniversary http://reut.rs/3lhDB0F “We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come, not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within”

SHANKSVILLE, Pa., Sept 11 (Reuters) – On the 20th anniversary of the deadliest attack on U.S. soil, George W. Bush, who was U.S. president at the time, warned of a new danger coming from within the country.

“We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come, not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within,” Bush said on Saturday at the 9/11 memorial site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania during a ceremony to mark the anniversary of the Sept 11, 2001 attacks.

“There is little cultural overlaps between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home … they are children of the same foul spirit, and it is our continuing duty to confront them.”

Bush, recalling the unity of the American people after the attacks, appealed for a return to that spirit amid growing political division in the country.

“When it comes to unity of America, those days seem distant from our own,” he said. “Malign force seems at work in our common life … so much of our politics has become a naked appeal to anger, fear and resentment.”

“In the sacrifice of the first responders, in the mutual aid of strangers, in the solidarity of grief and grace, the actions of an enemy revealed the spirit of a people,” Bush said, describing the country’s reaction. “We were proud of our wounded nation.”

Speaking about U.S. veterans who served in Afghanistan, Bush said “you have been a force for good in the world and nothing that has followed can tarnish your honor.”

🐣 RT @NBCNews FULL SPEECH: Former President George W. Bush speaks at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on the 20th anniversary on 9/11. https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/1436706817250320388?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @dcexaminer https://twitter.com/dcexaminer/status/1436568335949484042?s=20
⋙ 🐣 Is requiring kids to be vaccinated before pre-school “authoritarian”? ¤ It‘s not authoritarian. It’s public health. ¤ My husband is immunocompromised. HIS freedom is severely compromised by stubborn jerks who won’t get vaccinated.

🐣 On 9/12/2001, a Royal Saudi 747 took off from the small Rochester MN airport, reportedly carrying an unknown number of Middle Easterners. My husband, an administrator at Mayo Clinic told me this. I knew doctors who had to rent a car to get back from DC due to the air shutdown
⋙ 🐣 RT @prahme I remember hearing about that plane
⋙⋙ 🐣 We used to have a large number of people from Saudi & UAE who came here each summer, even invested in the community. I miss them. There was talk about opening a clinic in the UAE. After 9/11 that changed of course. We still have many MDs from South Asia and the Middle East.
⋙⋙ 🐣 I read that Bush had allowed members of Bin Laden’s family to leave the US, but I don’t know if they were among those evacuated from Rochester.

🐣 Watching the replay of NBC news the night of 9/11/2001, they showed some Palestinians celebrating (in Palestine); guessing this is what tfg “remembered” as happening in the US. (NBC also showed Arafat expressing horror and support for US)

◕ TheConversation: COVID-19 hospitalizations of U.S. adults disproportionately among the unvaccinated http://bit.ly/3km6iuthttps://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1438497066574024709?s=20/photo/1
// COVID-19 Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network
Source: 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic – a retrospective in 7 charts

⭕ 10 Sep 2021

🐣 ◕ RT @CohoKelly A pretty massive gap in COVID case rates has opened up between counties that voted for Trump last Nov and those that voted for Biden. It’s the largest such gap of the pandemic thus far. Right now, counties Trump carried by 10 or more points have over 2x higher case rates https://twitter.com/CohoKelly/status/1436515303324848132?s=20/photo/1

NYT Editorial: Biden Is Right: Vaccine Refusal ‘Has Cost All of Us’ http://nyti.ms/3hnn0HA “As incursions on bodily autonomy go, this is pretty mild stuff. No one, the Times columnist David Brooks wrote in May, is being asked to storm the beaches of Iwo Jima”

As Americans contemplate the prospect of a second winter trapped in the grip of Covid-19, remember that it didn’t need to be this way. Vaccines were developed in record time, and have proved to be both incredibly safe and stunningly effective. Nearly two-thirds of eligible Americans have accepted these facts and done their part by getting fully vaccinated.

Yet tens of millions more have not, allowing the more contagious Delta variant to sweep across the country, where it is now killing more than 1,500 people in the United States daily. Right now, the list of the very sick and the dead is made up almost entirely of the unvaccinated. But as long as the virus continues to spread widely, it can and will evolve in ways that put everyone at risk.

Faced with this avoidable catastrophe, President Biden is right to order tighter vaccine rules, which he did for roughly two-thirds of the nation’s work force on Thursday. “We’ve been patient,” Mr. Biden told vaccine holdouts. “But our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us.”

The president moved to require all executive branch employees, federal contractors and millions of health care workers to be vaccinated. Workers at private businesses with 100 or more employees will have to either get vaccinated or take a weekly Covid test. Any business covered by the order must offer its employees paid time off to get their shots or recover from any side effects.

As incursions on bodily autonomy go, this is pretty mild stuff. No one, the Times columnist David Brooks wrote in May, is being asked to storm the beaches of Iwo Jima.

📋 WaPo: Ohio submits updated hate-crime figures to FBI that would make 2020 U.S. tally highest since 2001 http://wapo.st/3Eboqz4

The state of Ohio said it has sent an updated tally of hate crimes to the FBI that would dramatically increase the nationwide total for 2020 to 8,305, the most since 2001 and third-highest since the federal government began tracking such data nearly three decades ago.

The FBI issued its annual hate crimes report Aug. 30 and said it had tallied 7,759 incidents. But Ohio reported just 34 bias crimes, less than 10 percent of the previous year, which state officials now attribute to a technical glitch.

The state’s new figures show that 580 hate crimes were reported last year, according to Bret Crow, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Public Safety, representing a 41 percent increase over 2019.

The data would mean that the number of hate crimes across the country spiked by nearly 14 percent in 2020, with the increase driven largely by more attacks on people who are Black or Asian. In Ohio, crimes targeting Black people rose from 92 in 2019 to 129 last year, while attacks targeting Asians held roughly the same at 10, one fewer than the previous year.

🐣 RT @SecBlinken An additional two U.S. citizens and 11 Lawful Permanent Residents departed Afghanistan today overland, while another 19 U.S. citizens traveled out on Qatar Airways. We continue to work to uphold our commitment to assist departures for those to whom we have a special commitment.

NYT, Kevin Williamson: The Trump Coup Is Still Raging http://nyti.ms/3ntqX1g “When it comes to a coup, you’re either in or you’re out. The Republican Party is leaning pretty strongly toward in.” (Mr Williamson is the roving correspondent for National Review)
// Kevin D. Williamson is the roving correspondent for National Review and the author of “Big White Ghetto: Dead Broke, Stone-Cold Stupid, and High on Rage in the Dank Woolly Wilds of the “Real America.”

What happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was not a coup attempt. It was half of a coup attempt — the less important half.

The more important part of the coup attempt — like legal wrangling in states and the attempts to sabotage the House commission’s investigation of Jan. 6 — is still going strong. These are not separate and discrete episodes but parts of a unitary phenomenon that, in just about any other country, would be characterized as a failed coup d’état.

The attempted coup’s foot soldiers have dug themselves in at state legislatures. For example, last week in Florida State Representative Anthony Sabatini introduced a draft of legislation that would require an audit of the 2020 general election in the state’s largest (typically Democratic-heavy) counties, suggesting without basis that it may show that these areas cheated to inflate Joe Biden’s vote count. ¤ … The obviously political object is to legitimize the 2020 coup attempt in order to soften the ground for the next one — and there will be a next one.

In the broad strategy, the frenzied mobs were meant to inspire terror — and obedience among Republicans — while Rudy Giuliani and his co-conspirators tried to get the election nullified on some risible legal pretext or another. Republicans needed both pieces — neither the mob violence nor an inconclusive legal ruling would have been sufficient on its own to keep Mr. Trump in power.

True to form, Mr. Trump was able to supply the mob but not the procedural victory. His coup attempt was frustrated in no small part by a thin gray line of bureaucratic fortitude — Republican officials at the state and local levels who had the grit to resist intense pressure from the president and do their jobs.

Current efforts like the one in Florida are intended to terrorize them into compliance today or, short of that, to push such officials into retirement so that they can be replaced with more pliant partisans. The lonely little band of Republican officials who stopped the 2020 coup is going to be smaller and lonelier the next time around.

That’s why the Great Satan for the Republican Party right now is not Mr. Biden but Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, one of a small number of Republicans willing to speak honestly about Jan. 6 and to support the investigation into it — and willing to contradict powerful people like Kevin McCarthy of California, who has falsely (and preposterously) claimed that the F.B.I. has cleared Mr. Trump of any involvement in Jan. 6.

The emerging Republican orthodoxy on Jan. 6 is created by pure political engineering, with most party leaders either minimizing, halfheartedly defending or wholeheartedly celebrating the coup, depending on their audience and ambitions. Pragmatic party leaders like Mitch McConnell, and others like him who were never passionately united with Mr. Trump but need his voters, are hoping that the memory of the riot gets swept away by the ugly news from Afghanistan and the usual hurly-burly. But other Republicans have praised the rioters: Representative Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina insisted that those who have been jailed are “political prisoners” and warned that “bloodshed” might follow another “stolen” election. The middle-ground Republican consensus is that the sacking of the Capitol was at worst the unfortunate escalation of a well-intentioned protest involving legitimate electoral grievances.

The authors of the coup attempt remain embedded in the Republican Party and in the conservative movement. Some are officeholders, like Representative Marjorie Taylor-Greene of Georgia, while others continue profitable associations with institutions ranging from the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a right-leaning public-interest litigation group, to Fox News and other media outfits.

The Trump administration was grotesque in its cruelty and incompetence. But without the coup attempt, it might have been possible to work out a modus vivendi between anti-Trump conservatives and Mr. Trump’s right-wing nationalist-populists. Conservatives were not happy with Mr. Trump’s histrionics, but many were reasonably satisfied with all those Federalist Society judges and his signature on Paul Ryan’s tax bill. Trump supporters, who were interested almost exclusively in theater, enjoyed four years of Twitter-enabled catharsis even as the administration did very little on key issues like trade and immigration.

In the normal course of democratic politics, people who disagree about one issue can work together when they agree about another. We can fight over taxes or trade policy. ¤ But there isn’t really any middle ground on overthrowing the government. And that is what Mr. Trump and his allies were up to in 2020, through both violent and nonviolent means — and continue to be up to today.

When it comes to a coup, you’re either in or you’re out. The Republican Party is leaning pretty strongly toward in. That is going to leave at least some conservatives out — and, in all likelihood, permanently out.

⭕ 9 Sep 2021

MotherJones: FBI Seizes Oath Keeper Lawyer’s Phone in “Seditious Conspiracy” Investigation http://bit.ly/391KAoI
// The move suggests an expansion of the January 6 case against members of the militia network.

Kellye SoRelle, the Oath Keepers’ general counsel, tweeted Wednesday that the FBI had seized her phone. The action would seem unusual, since SoRelle is a lawyer who says she has provided advice to defendants facing prosecution or investigation due to their actions on January 6. “[T]hey have all my clients and my comms,” she commented in a message to Mother Jones. “[It’s] unethical as shit on their part.”

SoRelle is close to Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, who has not been charged with crimes related to the siege of Congress, but who remains a subject of investigation and was with Sorelle on January 6 in Washington. Prosecutors have charged 17 Oath Keeper members with conspiring to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory; Rhodes is not named, but is identifiable as “PERSON ONE” in court documents detailing his extensive online and phone communications with Oath Keeper members ahead of and during the siege of Congress. FBI agents seized Rhodes’ phone in May as part of their investigation. Rhodes had stated previously that he believes he may “go to jail” over the events of January 6, but he denies wrongdoing and has accused prosecutors of trying to build a false case against him and fellow Oath Keepers.

[A]ccording to the search warrant, an image of which SoRelle provided to Mother Jones, the phone seizure is about suspected crimes connected to January 6. The warrant says the search is related to potential violations of nine criminal statutes: Those include crimes with which many people who entered the Capitol have been charged, from destruction of government property to trespassing and obstruction of Congress. The agents are also seeking evidence of false statements and obstruction of justice, including destruction of evidence, the warrant says.

Notably, the warrant also lists “seditious conspiracy” among the suspected crimes.

Last March, the acting US Attorney for the District of Columbia, Michael Sherwin, said during an interview on 60 Minutes that he believed federal investigators had found evidence that would likely allow the government to file sedition charges against some January 6 defendants. “I personally believe the evidence is trending towards that, and probably meets those elements,” said Sherwin, who has since retired from the Justice Department. Sherwin’s comments, which were not authorized by Justice Department leaders, drew a rebuke from a federal judge and a review by DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility.

Meanwhile, prosecutors have charged no one with sedition. The reference to such charges in the SoRelle warrant, which is dated August 30, does not mean anyone will face sedition charges. But it does indicate officially that FBI agents are actively investigating that possible crime.

😅 RT @ConorLambPA I guess Trump & Robert E. Lee both know how it feels to suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of pro-democracy forces in Pennsylvania. https://twitter.com/ConorLambPA/status/1435742722808287238?s=20

🐣 RT @CBS President Biden says the U.S. is “in the tough stretch” of the pandemic “and it could last for a while.” ¤ He blames the Delta variant, unvaccinated Americans and “elected officials actively working to undermine the fight against COVID-19,” which he says is “totally unacceptable” 💽 https://twitter.com/CBSNews/status/1436074491726155786?s=20/photo/1

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Biden unveils sweeping new vaccine mandates http://wapo.st/3lesLbZ “Biden expresse[d] frustration over the unvaccinated, says ‘a distinct minority’ is keeping the U.S. from overcoming the coronavirus”

NYT: The Justice Dept. sues Texas over its new restrictive abortion law. http://nyti.ms/38TQHLR “It is settled constitutional law that ‘a state may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability,’” the lawsuit said.

🐣 RT @LawrenceGostin Biden’s best speech. My take
* Biden’s plan to vaccinate fed workforce, contractors, & businesses is bold, audacious, & unprecedented
* Biden has full legal power
* @OSHA_DOL can set safety rules, incl #COVIDVaccines
* Soon vaccines will be the norm for virtually every worker

Reuters: New Biden plan could mandate COVID shots or tests for two-thirds of U.S. workers http://reut.rs/3BTVMAr “The new measures … would apply to about two-thirds of all U.S. employees, those who work for businesses with more than 100 workers”

WSJ: Taliban to Allow 200 Americans, Other Foreigners to Fly Out of Kabul http://on.wsj.com/3tp8Af8
// No Afghans without foreign citizenship are expected to be allowed on the flight to Qatar

⭕ 8 Sep 2021

💙 WaPo, Greg Sargent: What should the Jan. 6 probe examine? A veteran Sept. 11 investigator weighs in. http://wapo.st/3IKzAwS “I talked to Richard Ben-Veniste, a veteran D.C. lawyer who served on the 9/11 Commission”

🐣 RT @sgurman NEW: The Biden administration is preparing to sue Texas as soon as Thursday over a new law banning most abortions, an action that would set off a federal-state clash as the future of abortion rights becomes an ever-more-pressing question before the courts.
⋙ WSJ: Biden Administration Prepares to Sue Texas Over Abortion Law http://on.wsj.com/3jTrhUT
// Lawsuit challenging restrictions limiting procedure to first six weeks of pregnancy set to be filed in coming days

WaPo: Man accused of bringing molotov cocktails, five loaded firearms to Capitol on Jan. 6 to plead guilty http://wapo.st/3A1HHAk Earlier a judge cited evidence Lonnie Leroy Coffman of Falkville LA had potential plans to coordinate with others and was prepared for political violence

Lonnie Leroy Coffman of Falkville, Ala., was charged in a 17-count indictment with possessing some of the deadliest unregistered weapons and explosives found on the day of the pro-Trump riot that led to assaults on nearly 140 police officers, breached the Capitol and forced the evacuation of Congress.

FBI charging papers alleged that on Coffman’s person and in his truck, authorities found 11 homemade molotov-cocktail-type incendiary devices; a rifle, a shotgun, two 9mm pistols and a .22-caliber pistol, all loaded; as well as a crossbow, several machetes, a stun gun and smoke devices.

Prosecutors alleged that the 11 jars held substances made with gasoline and melted plastic foam to produce a dangerous “napalm-like” explosion of sticky, flammable liquid.

In ordering Coffman’s detention pending trial, a judge in May cited evidence that he had potential plans to coordinate with others and was prepared for political violence.

NYT, Thomas Edsall: One Thing We Can Agree On Is That We’re Becoming a Different Country http://nyti.ms/3ngkrec “Most college students believe efforts at diversity and inclusion ‘frequently’ (27%) or ‘occasionally’ (49%) come into conflict with free speech rights”

📋 NYT, Nate Cohn: Educational Differences Are Widening America’s Political Rift http://nyti.ms/3ngeBJS “[T]he growing power of liberal college graduates helps alienate working-class voters, leaving college graduates as an even larger share of the party” ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1435749530750918659?s=20/photo/1
// College graduates are now a firmly Democratic bloc, and they are shaping the party’s future. Those without degrees, by contrast, have flocked to Republicans. http://nyti.ms/

As they’ve grown in numbers, college graduates have instilled increasingly liberal cultural norms while gaining the power to nudge the Democratic Party to the left. Partly as a result, large portions of the party’s traditional working-class base have defected to the Republicans.

The changing demographic makeup of the Democrats has become a self-fulfilling dynamic, in which the growing power of liberal college graduates helps alienate working-class voters, leaving college graduates as an even larger share of the party.

President Biden won about 60 percent of college-educated voters in 2020, including an outright majority of white college graduates, helping him run up the score in affluent suburbs and putting him over the top in pivotal states.

This was a significant voting bloc: Overall, 41 percent of people who cast ballots last year were four-year college graduates, according to census estimates. By contrast, just 5 percent of voters in 1952 were college graduates, according to that year’s American National Elections Study.

Yet even as college graduates have surged in numbers and grown increasingly liberal, Democrats are no stronger than they were 10, 30 or even 50 years ago. Instead, rising Democratic strength among college graduates and voters of color has been counteracted by a nearly equal and opposite reaction among white voters without a degree.

WaPo: Florida judge rules against DeSantis again, allows schools to require masks http://wapo.st/2X1913d

⭕ 7 Sep 2021

WaPo: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs law creating new voting restrictions as opponents sue http://wapo.st/2WYbaN4

WaPo (1/7/2021): Pentagon placed limits on D.C. Guard ahead of pro-Trump protests due to narrow mission http://wapo.st/2MKISAt The tick tock

WaPo: What the Sturgis rally shows us about the delta variant http://wapo.st/3DYXQbY More than 250,000 attended this year: since the rally began in early August, infection numbers have shot up more than 600 percent in South Dakota; nearby states have also seen increases
// South Dakota has high population immunity — and still saw a huge covid surge in August.

The annual Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota is America’s largest bike rally, a 10-day blowout, with attendance this year exceeding 250,000. It was also a serious pandemic stress test. ¤ The best data suggests that at least 75 percent of the entire South Dakota population has some degree of immunity against the virus: About half of South Dakotans have immunity because they’ve been infected by covid-19, and about half of the population has been vaccinated — some of whom have already had covid-19 when they got their shot, so there is some overlap between these two groups. South Dakota, despite its middling vaccination rates, probably has among the highest levels of population immunity in the nation

That’s what makes Sturgis an important test. If it had gone off without big spikes in covid cases, it would have provided strong evidence that this level of population immunity — around 75 percent — would allow us to get back to the way we did things in 2019. But unfortunately, that’s not what happened. In the weeks since the rally began in early August, infection numbers have shot up more than 600 percent in South Dakota. We can expect to see big increases in other states, too, since bikers returned home from the event. Last year, after Sturgis, we saw massive outbreaks across the Dakotas, Wyoming, Indiana, even Nevada. Much of the region was aflame because of Sturgis, probably causing thousands of deaths.

[W]e can look to other examples where high levels of vaccinations or other tools helped prevent a lot of illness and death. ¤ The first example is what happened in Provincetown, Mass., over the July 4 weekend. Provincetown unfortunately also led to a spike in cases — but the infection numbers peaked quickly, dwindled and were gone three weeks later. There were very few hospitalizations and no deaths. Why? Because most of the people in Provincetown were vaccinated. That may be an indicator that population immunity from vaccinations is better and more protective than immunity from infections.

⭕ 6 Sep 2021

⭕ 5 Sep 2021

🐣 RT @NornOrnstein I want to say that I am not canceling my subscription to the New York Times. It is still the paper of record, and a hugely important force. That is why its flaws, and its reporters and editors’ failure to recognize or respond to them, to show any introspection, is so infuriating

WaPo, Lawrence Tribe: What the Justice Department should do to stop the Texas abortion law http://wapo.st/3yTmY0o Sect 242 of the fed criminal code makes it a crime to deprive individuals “of any rights, privileges or immunities secured or protected by the Constituion or laws”

… Section 242 of the federal criminal code makes it a crime for those who, “under color of law,” willfully deprive individuals “of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.”

This statute — originally designed to go after the Ku Klux Klan — fits the Texas situation perfectly: The bounty seekers, entitled under the Texas law to collect penalties of at least $10,000, have been made, in effect, private attorneys general of Texas. They act “under color of state law,” and unless and until Roe v. Wade is overruled, they unmistakably intend to prevent the exercise of a constitutional right.

In addition, Section 241 of the federal criminal code makes it an even more serious crime for “two or more persons” to agree to “oppress, threaten, or intimidate” anyone “in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same.” This crime may be committed even by individuals not found to be acting “under color of law” but as purely private vigilantes, as long as they’re acting in concert with others.

⭕ 4 Sep 2021

📋 WaPo: Why America has 8.4 million unemployed when there are 10 million job openings http://wapo.st/3jGk4Yh
// The economy is undergoing massive changes. There’s a big mismatch at the moment between the jobs available and what workers want.

PewResearch: Key facts about Asian Americans, a diverse and growing population http://pewrsr.ch/3h1X9oy
// 4/29/2021

🚫 UrbanWire: Increasing Racial and Ethnic Diversity Will Drive Homeownership over the Next Two Decades http://urbn.is/3h5F0Gp
UrbanWire: Chart: How Household Composition Will Change in the Next Two Decades http://urbn.is/3h5F0Gp
// 4/19/2021; households not pop.; A Study of Texas, Georgia, California and Minnesota

🐣 Mitch McConnell will take a hatchet to the filibuster the first chance he has – and laugh at the Democrats for having been such wusses

⭕ 3 Sep 2021

WaPo, Kathleen Parker: The Supreme Court rides to Biden’s rescue http://wapo.st/2VhXtIj

President Biden’s personal hell month featured the devastation of Hurricane Ida, our country’s dreadful withdrawal from Afghanistan, mounting deaths from covid-19’s delta variant, overcrowded ICUs, a dragging economy, many schools opening and some nearly closing down, and uncontrollable fires out west.

What did I forget? The president has been bouncing all over the four Horses of the Apocalypse, a reluctant gladiator trying to rein in the ruin of his presidency when, suddenly, a double rainbow appears over the U.S. Supreme Court.

The high court’s 5-to-4 refusal to block a Texas law restricting abortion to no more than six weeks of gestation was an early Christmas gift to Biden and the Democratic Party. Thanks to cultural conservatives, pro-lifers and even former president Donald Trump, Republicans finally may have overstepped.

The court certainly ended Biden’s run of bad luck. Hell is the only way to describe what many Americans are experiencing across several states, especially in Louisiana, where power is gone, temperatures are high and moist, and mosquitoes are as hungry as the folks lined up for food. One could be forgiven for thinking the world was ending.

But leave it to the GOP to shift the focus from climate devastation and the Taliban takeover to abortion and a procedural ruling that doesn’t mean as much as has been conveyed. Not yet anyway. A much bigger fight — maybe the pivotal fight — in the abortion wars is coming up soon — Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. More on that in a minute.

Meanwhile, even as other Republican states plan to follow Texas, including Florida and South Dakota, the court was very clear that procedural issues wouldn’t allow it to consider the constitutionality of the Texas Heartbeat Act. The act prohibits a physician from performing an abortion “if the physician detected a fetal heartbeat for the unborn child or failed to perform a test to detect a fetal heartbeat.” …

Bottom line: Because there were no real defendants, there was no live case and no dispute to reckon over. So, the Texas law went into effect.

Here, a brief sidebar is warranted. Much has changed since 1973, when Roe v. Wade became the law of the land. I was there. Back in the day, a woman had to wait at least six weeks to find out if she was pregnant, a process that had to involve a doctor or a lab. Today, in addition to an array of birth control options, women have access to inexpensive home pregnancy tests that can deliver results in seven to 10 days after ovulation — and before a missed period. Emergency contraception such as the “day-after pill” is also available for women who don’t want to wait for a home test.

Even so, and probably as a result, most Americans (59 percent) still think abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to the Pew Research Center. Two generations of women who’ve always had reproductive choice can’t imagine living in a world that could force them to have babies they don’t want or are unprepared to raise. The 2017 cat-hat marches to demonstrate disapproval of Trump’s “grab’ em” remark will seem like marching band practice if the Supreme Court eventually finds the votes to end Roe.

Arguments will be held this fall in the earlier mentioned Dobbs case, which challenges the constitutionality of a Mississippi law banning abortions (with exceptions) after the 15th week of pregnancy. The Supreme Court decided in Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992 that abortions could be legally performed until fetal “viability,” or about 24 weeks. But that was, it is now easy to forget, 30 years ago.

Whatever happens, the next several weeks will most certainly be a wall-to-wall abortion freakout, giving Biden a minute or two to recover from an August that he’d probably like to forget. He is surely eager to dismount from his wild ride — and Democrats can climb out from beneath the covers.

Politico, Randall Balmer (2014): The Real Origins of the Religious Right http://politi.co/3tgeiQ8 As referred to on @TheReidOut
// 5/27/2014; They’ll tell you it was abortion. Sorry, the historical record’s clear: It was segregation.

One of the most durable myths in recent history is that the religious right, the coalition of conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists, emerged as a political movement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion. The tale goes something like this: Evangelicals, who had been politically quiescent for decades, were so morally outraged by Roe that they resolved to organize in order to overturn it.

Some of these anti-Roe crusaders even went so far as to call themselves “new abolitionists,” invoking their antebellum predecessors who had fought to eradicate slavery.

But the abortion myth quickly collapses under historical scrutiny. In fact, it wasn’t until 1979—a full six years after Roe—that evangelical leaders, at the behest of conservative activist Paul Weyrich, seized on abortion not for moral reasons, but as a rallying-cry to deny President Jimmy Carter a second term. Why? Because the anti-abortion crusade was more palatable than the religious right’s real motive: protecting segregated schools. So much for the new abolitionism.

WSJ Editorial: Texas’s Abortion Law Blunder http://on.wsj.com/3DJvXEW “The law sets an awful precedent that conservatives should hate”
// The Supreme Court was right not to interfere for now, but the statute won’t survive scrutiny on the merits.

⭕ 2 Sep 2021

🐣 RT @sullydish Offering citizens bounties to hunt down other citizens for “crimes” is pure evil. It is a form of illiberalism that’s truly poisonous.

🐣 RT @brianklaas Experts who warned about authoritarianism were called alarmists. Experts who warned about Covid were called alarmists. Experts who warned about the courts and abortion were called alarmists. Experts who warned about climate were called alarmists. Perhaps it’s actually alarming?

🐣 RT @OlgaNYC1211 This is the FRIGHTENING. Bannon is pushing his cult to take over local positions to reshape America’s elections and make GOP even more radical and dangerous. ¤ This is the direct result of criminal Bannon working as a foreign agent with zero accountability 🐣 RT @iarnsdorf BREAKING: We found 1000s of Trump supporters taking over local GOP positions — an unprecedented grassroots groundswell devoted to Trump’s insistence that the 2020 election was stolen & Republicans need to stop that from happening again
🔆 This❗️⋙ ProPublica: Heeding Steve Bannon’s Call, Election Deniers Organize to Seize Control of the GOP — and Reshape America’s Elections http://bit.ly/3kQyEvC
// The stolen election myth inspired thousands of Trump supporters to take over the Republican Party at the local level, exerting more partisan influence on how elections are run.

⭕ 1 Sep 2021

NYT: Supreme Court, Breaking Silence, Won’t Block Texas Abortion Law http://nyti.ms/3yEH66f
// The law, which prohibits most abortions after six weeks and went into effect on Wednesday, was drafted by Texas lawmakers with the goal of frustrating efforts to challenge it in federal court.

🐣 But: “The Supremacy Clause … (Article VI, Clause 2), establishes that the Constitution, federal laws made pursuant to it, and treaties made under its authority, constitute the ’supreme Law of the Land’, and thus take priority over any conflicting state laws.”“@neal_katyal

🐣 RT @mjs_DC BREAKING: By a 5–4 vote, with Roberts joining the liberals, the Supreme Court REFUSES to block Texas’ six-week abortion ban. Opinions here:
⋙ 📔 SCOTUS: http://bit.ly/3yCHnGL
🐣 … RT @mjs_DC Sotomayor, dissenting: “In effect, the Texas Legislature has deputized the State’s citizens as bounty hunters, offering them cash prizes for civilly prosecuting their neighbors’ medical procedures.” Text Block: https://twitter.com/mjs_DC/status/1433282156617416704?s=20/photo/1
// Sotomayor’s dissent is seething

🐣 I try not to hold grudges, but I don’t think I can ever forgive progressives who voted third party in 2016 because ‘both sides are just as bad’

🧵 RT @neal_katyal The Court’s decision allowing the Texas law to go into effect claims it is not ruling on the merits, because it’s unclear whether any lawsuits will be brought to prevent abortion, etc. This is just weird. Everyone knows they will be brought, that’s why the clinics have stopped 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/neal_katyal/status/1433281776730914816?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @neal_katyal providing abortions. Justice Sotomayor calls it exactly right when she says it is the Ct burying its head in the sand. Chief Justice Roberts tellingly sides against Texas. And if this is the rationale, that Texas by enabling only private lawsuits 2/
⋙ 🐣 RT @neal_katyal means that cts are powerless because it’s unclear whether the law will ever be enforced by private parties, that’s dangerous for anyone who cares about constl rights. Take guns. States like NY can now create “private lawsuits” against people who carry firearms for any reason 3/
⋙ 🐣 RT @neal_katyal and say “oh it’s not clear it’ll ever be enforced, so cts you are powerless to do anything.” The list of possible ways this silliness can be used to deny people their constl rights is endless. This is a low, low moment. END

🐣 RT @AlannaVagianos BREAKING: SCOTUS declines to block extreme Texas abortion law in 5-4 ruling.
🔆 This❗️⋙ HuffPo: Supreme Court Declines To Block Extreme Texas Abortion Law In 5-4 Ruling http://bit.ly/3DxLpDU
// The ban on abortions after six weeks is the strictest in the nation. Critics have called a direct assault on Roe v. Wade.

🐣 RT @NBCPolitics President Biden and Ukrainian President Zelensky meet at the White House as Ukraine pushes for increased military aid in its war with Russia as well as entry into NATO.
⋙ NBCNews: Biden, Zelensky meet at White House amid Ukraine-Russia conflict http://nbcnews.to/3t9Rphf
// The Ukrainian president has been vocal about the U.S. decision not to intervene in the construction of a Russian natural-gas pipeline and about his desire to join NATO.

🧵 RT @ AshaRangappa_ A key feature of the TX abortion law is that it opens the door for people and orgs with deep pockets to file hundreds of frivolous lawsuits — so even doctors and providers who *comply* with the law can get financially ruined trying to defend meritless claims 1/ 📌https://twitter.com/AshaRangappa_/status/1433120423365918720?s=20

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: With ban in effect, Texas abortion clinics will no longer terminate pregnancies after 6 weeks http://wapo.st/3DD3aSd

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok What a day for Texas. Republicans passed a sweeping voter suppression law, taking civil rights back half a century. And now their insane abortion ban, allowing vigilantes to intimidate, harass & bankrupt women & doctors, goes into effect.
⋙ CNN: Texas 6-week abortion ban takes effect after Supreme Court inaction http://cnn.it/3jtXy4S
// A controversial Texas law that bars abortions at six weeks went into effect early Wednesday morning after the Supreme Court and a federal appeals court failed to rule on pending emergency requests brought by abortion providers.

🔆 This❗️⋙ 🧵 ACLU: BREAKING: The Supreme Court has not responded to our emergency request to block Texas’ radical new 6-week abortion ban, SB8. The law now takes effect. ¤ Access to almost all abortion has just been cut off for millions of people. The impact will be immediate and devastating. 📌 https://twitter.com/ACLU/status/1432935162304778242?s=20

⭕ 31 Aug 2021

VanityFair, Eric Lutz: Madison Cawthorn is Openly Talking About Civil War At This Point http://bit.ly/3jvCRp1
// The Trump acolyte warned of “bloodshed” and suggested he would “pick up arms” against Americans to defend the big lie.

🐣 RT @POTUS We must stay clearly focused on the fundamental national security interests of the United States. ¤ This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan. ¤ It is about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries.
// This is being called the “Biden Doctrine”

🐣 RT @duty2warn Republicans are really pushing the envelope when it comes to the Jan 6 phone records. They’re already at the stage of making illegal fascistic threats. Since they only care about power, we can surmise they believe that what’s in the phone records decimates their chance at power.

🐣 RT @duty2warn GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy has actually threatened telecom companies NOT to comply with the Jan. 6 Select Committee request for phone records. He even added: “A Republican majority will not forget.” This is more than obstruction. It’s extortion, vigilantism, criminal retaliation.
⋙ 🐣 RT @duty2warn Dems need to get behind an organized effort to bring McCarthy to task over this. It cannot stand. This committee cannot be cajoled, threatened, or undermined. Especially THIS committee. No weak ‘it was a joke’ or ‘that’s not what I meant’ can be allowed to stand, either.

🐣 RT @ChrisMurphyCT The foreign policy consensus loves military adventurism. The American people do not. And Joe Biden knows who he works for. ¤ Great speech, Mr. President.
⋙ 🐣 RT @lrozen Biden, in what I think were the most interesting lines in his remarks: ¤ This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan. It is about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @lrozen He is a realist, but a very multilateral/internationalist realist. It is not isolationist or populist/jingoistic.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @lrozen struck by the amount of american consensus I think there is for the fopo philosophy he lays out, even among a lot of Trump supporters; but the partisan atmospherics esp. post Benghazi are to try to demand a standard of execution that is impossible

🐣 RT @WalshFreedom “Since March, we reached out to Americans in Afghanistan 19 times, telling them to leave, warning them to leave, and offering to help them leave.”

🐣 RT @brianschatz Every President says they are against forever war, but only Joe Biden had the guts to end the longest war in American history.

🐣 I am so sick of how the media has battered Biden. My son served in Iraq. I cried when he signed up and worried every day. It’s time to end the forever wars.

🐣 RT @Lawrence Simply the smartest @ most honest speech by an American President about Afghanistan. ¤ No other president came close to the wisdom & honesty of this Biden speech.

MiamiHerald: Florida changed its COVID-19 data, creating an ‘artificial decline’ in recent deaths http://hrld.us/3Bs3EZB

WaPo, Roxanne Roberts: Hillary Clinton’s ‘deplorables’ speech shocked voters five years ago — but some feel it was prescient http://wapo.st/3mOSDO4 She said half of Trump supporters “feel abandoned & desperate”; the rest: “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic & Islamophobic“

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote I remember when my problem with republicans was that they wanted to defund social programs. Now they want people to eat horse dewormer, refuse vaccines, and violently attack democracy. Is it just me, or was the slide into a death cult rapid and ridiculous?

⭕ 30 Aug 2021

🔆 This❗️⋙ 🐣 RT @SecBrinken U.S. military flights have ended and our troops have departed Afghanistan. A new chapter of America’s engagement with Afghanistan has begun. It’s one in which we will lead with our diplomacy.

HartmannReport: These “New” Democracy-Hating, Religious-Cult-Qanon-Believing Right-Wingers are Nothing New http://bit.ly/3kTSWoj
//  It’s probably beyond the power of human nature to prevent this from happening again, but we must not resign ourselves to another authoritarian movement now rising to power in America. Get active!

WaPo: Biden admin opens civil rights investigations over bans on school mask mandates http://wapo.st/3yuz0wI Investigations are of IA OK SC TN UT, arguing for protection of the most vulnerable, but not AR AZ FL TX where court action already prevents enforcement of bans

“You can’t ‘win over’ these folks anymore. They are too far over the bend to get brought back around by Hillbilly Elegies, FDA vaccine approvals, sympathetic profiles of voters in rust belt diners, or town halls with undecided voters.” — @WajahatAli
DailyBeast, Wajahat Ali: Don’t Negotiate With Trump’s Disease-Spreading Zombie Army http://bit.ly/3BpTkRX
// Welcome to the Upside Down. Democracy might not survive, but the ratings will be great.

🐣 RT @brhodes These are related, as self-interested authoritarian political movements funded by special interests, hostile to science, and invested in conspiracy theories are not going to deal with climate change.
⋙ 🐣 RT @brianklaas Looking at the news, it’s clear that there are two emergencies facing the United States – Republican attempts to create American authoritarianism and worsening climate change. ¤ Neither is being treated like an emergency. Both are.

🐣 RT @KateBerner46 “The herculean effort to extract thousands of Americans after the Taliban seized control of the country should not go unnoticed or unappreciated.”
⋙ WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: The State Department deserves more credit for its effort to evacuate Americans from Afghanistan http://wapo.st/38nysya

OpenSecrets: Trump’s political operation paid more than $4.3 million to Jan. 6 organizers but questions remain about the full extent of its involvement http://bit.ly/3Bt2Ljk

TheAtlantic, David Rothkopf: Biden Deserves Credit, Not Blame, for Afghanistan http://bit.ly/3Drjo0Z “[A]n American leader has done the hard thing, the right thing: set aside politics and put both America’s interests and values first”
// Americans should feel proud of what the U.S. government and military have accomplished in these past two weeks.

In the days following the fall of Kabul earlier this month—an event that triggered a period of chaos, fear, and grief—critics castigated the Biden administration for its failure to properly coordinate the departure of the last Americans and allies from the country. The White House was indeed surprised by how quickly the Taliban took control, and those early days could have been handled better. But the critics argued that more planning both would have been able to stop the Taliban victory and might have made America’s departure somehow tidier, more like a win or perhaps even a draw. The chaos, many said, was symptomatic of a bigger error. They argued that the United States should stay in Afghanistan, that the cost of remaining was worth the benefits a small force might bring.

Former military officers and intelligence operatives, as well as commentators who had long been advocates of extending America’s presence in Afghanistan, railed against Biden’s artificial deadline. Some critics were former Bush-administration officials or supporters who had gotten the U.S. into the mess in the first place, setting us on the impossible path toward nation building and, effectively, a mission without a clear exit or metric for success. Some were Obama-administration officials or supporters who had doubled down on the investment of personnel in the country and later, when the futility of the war was clear, lacked the political courage to withdraw. Some were Trump-administration officials or supporters who had negotiated with and helped strengthen the Taliban with their concessions in the peace deal and then had punted the ultimate exit from the country to the next administration.

They all conveniently forgot that they were responsible for some of America’s biggest errors in this war and instead were incandescently self-righteous in their invective against the Biden administration. Never mind the fact that the Taliban had been gaining ground since it resumed its military campaign in 2004 and, according to U.S. estimates even four years ago, controlled or contested about a third of Afghanistan. Never mind that the previous administration’s deal with the Taliban included the release of 5,000 fighters from prison and favored an even earlier departure date than the one that Biden embraced. Never mind that Trump had drawn down U.S. troop levels from about 13,000 to 2,500 during his last year in office and had failed to repatriate America’s equipment on the ground. Never mind the delay caused by Trump and his adviser Stephen Miller’s active obstruction of special visas for Afghans who helped us.

Never mind the facts. Never mind the losses. Never mind the lessons. Biden, they felt, was in the wrong.

Despite the criticism, Biden, who had argued unsuccessfully when he was Barack Obama’s vice president to seriously reduce America’s presence in Afghanistan, remained resolute. Rather than view the heartbreaking scenes in Afghanistan in a political light as his opponents did, Biden effectively said, “Politics be damned—we’re going to do what’s right” and ordered his team to stick with the deadline and find a way to make the best of the difficult situation in Kabul.

The Biden administration nimbly adapted its plans, ramping up the airlift and sending additional troops into the country to aid crisis teams and to enhance security. Around-the-clock flights came into and went out of Afghanistan. Giant cargo planes departed, a number of them packed with as many as 600 occupants. Senior administration officials convened regular meetings with U.S. allies to find destinations for those planes to land and places for the refugees to stay. The State Department tracked down Americans in the country, as well as Afghans who had worked with the U.S., to arrange their passage to the airport. The Special Immigrant Visa program that the Trump administration had slowed down was kicked into high gear. Despite years of fighting, the administration and the military spoke with the Taliban many times to coordinate passage of those seeking to depart to the airport, to mitigate risks as best as possible, to discuss their shared interest in meeting the August 31 deadline.

The process was relentless and imperfect and, as we all have seen in the most horrific way, not without huge risks for those staying behind to help. On August 26, a suicide bomber associated with ISIS-K killed more than 150 Afghans and 13 American service members who were gathered outside the airport. However, even that heinous act didn’t deter the military. In a 24-hour period from Thursday to Friday, 12,500 people were airlifted out of the country and the president recommitted to meeting the August 31 deadline. And he did so even as his critics again sought to capitalize on tragedy for their own political gain: Republicans called for the impeachment of Biden and of Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Within hours of the attack at the airport, America struck back, killing two terrorists and injuring another with a missile launched from a drone. A separate drone strike targeted a vehicle full of explosives on Sunday. In doing so, Biden countered the argument that America might lack the intelligence or military resources we would need to defend ourselves against violent extremists now that our troops are leaving.

The very last chapter of America’s benighted stay in Afghanistan should be seen as one of accomplishment on the part of the military and its civilian leadership. Once again the courage and unique capabilities of the U.S. armed services have been made clear.  And, in a stark change from recent years, an American leader has done the hard thing, the right thing: set aside politics and put both America’s interests and values first.

⭕ 29 Aug 2021

TheAtlantic, Robinson Meyer: We’re Hitting the Limits of Hurricane Preparedness http://bit.ly/2Ya6tjJ
// Cities simply don’t have enough time to run from a storm like Ida.

Seventy-four hours. ¤ That’s roughly how much time separated the moment that Tropical Depression Nine formed in the Caribbean from the moment that the storm, transformed into a ruthless Category 4 hurricane named Ida, made landfall at Port Fourchon, Louisiana. Even less time—perhaps 60 hours—separated the storm’s promotion to hurricane strength and the first arrival of tropical-storm winds in Louisiana, the latter of which marks the moment that any official evacuation must be nearly complete. That’s when drivers need to start getting off the roads, and when local services are shut down until the storm passes.

It wasn’t enough time. While Ida was a well predicted storm, 60 hours of warning was too short for New Orleans officials to issue a mandatory evacuation order in the days before it landed. The limits of the city’s highways mandate that the city must issue an evacuation order at least 72 hours before tropical-storm winds make landfall. Officials said last year that the pandemic means they may need 82 hours of warning, to account for the increased difficulty of moving and sheltering people.

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: How the FBI Missed Alleged January 6 Leader Joe Biggs http://bit.ly/3jrqk67 “Joe Biggs kicked off the riot on the West side of the building. … This is the guy a couple of FBI Agents in Daytona believed was a credible informant against Antifa”

Joe Biggs kicked off the riot on the West side of the building. ¤ Then he went over to the East side to join his former employer Alex Jones and a bunch of Oath Keepers, led by fellow Floridians, to lead a mob back into the Capitol. ¤ West side. Joe Biggs. East side. Joe Biggs. ¤ This is the guy a couple of FBI Agents in Daytona believed was a credible informant against Antifa.

🐣 RT @marceelias Texas is on the verge of enacting a sweeping voter suppression bill. ¤ Texas is on the verge of being sued minutes after enacting a sweeping voter suppression bill.

📋 NYT: The U.S. reaches 100,000 average daily Covid hospitalizations for the first time since winter’s peak. http://nyti.ms/3kEADmP

WaPo, EJ Dionne: Advancing democracy abroad requires defending it at home http://wapo.st/3ymBBZG “We now know, as we should have known all along, that the future is not inevitably democratic”

One positive result of our distemper is an outpouring of perceptive books about what ails democracy and what needs to be done to save it. Writers such as Daniel Ziblatt and Steven Levitsky, Timothy Snyder, William Galston, Yascha Mounk, Edward Luce, Masha Gessen, Robert Kuttner and Anne Applebaum have offered thoughtful warnings and remedies.

🐣 Our perpetual national project seems to be cleaning up the messes of people denying the realities of disease transmission and climate change

🐣 RT @C_C_Krebs Great thread unveiling the structural & systemic forces that enable
disinfo across a range of issues over time. Doesn’t matter if it’s vax today, elections yesterday, or the next thing tmrw. Comes down to power, access, & money. Those with it will work to keep it at all costs.
❤ ⋙ 🧵 RT @michaelharriot This is a good point. ¤ When anti-vaxxers cite their freedoms, constitutional rights, and–the whitest thing of all–the Founding Fathers to rail against vaccine mandates, do they know what they’re talking about? ¤ What if I told you this happens EXACTLY every 100 years? ¤ A thread. 📌 https://twitter.com/michaelharriot/status/ 1432060194276659203?s=20
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @LibertyLumpia Mask and vaccine mandates are a threat to freedom. Our founding fathers are rolling in their graves.

🐣 RT @nils_gilman The conviction that the President could & should have foreseen everything & executed a perfect close to a lost war reflects the same sort of cognitive hubris & over-confident solutionism that led us into a multi-decade, inevitably doomed nation-building mission in the first place

🐣 RT @starsandstripes The United States has the capacity to evacuate the approximately 300 U.S. citizens remaining in Afghanistan who want to leave before President Joe Biden’s Tuesday deadline, senior Biden administration officials said.
⋙ Stars&Stripes/AP: White House: US has capacity to evacuate remaining Americans http://bit.ly/3BnyuTk
// The United States has the capacity to evacuate the approximately 300 U.S. citizens remaining in Afghanistan who want to leave before President Joe Biden’s Tuesday deadline, senior Biden administration officials said Sunday, as another U.S. drone strike against suspected Islamic State militants underscored the grave threat in the war’s final days.
⋙ 🐣 Everyone knows that if the Biden Admin and Armed Forces pull off such a Herculean feat, many on the right will be gnashing their teeth rather than celebrating ~ because that’s where we’re at as a country

🐣 RT @forwardarc “Perhaps no politician has taken the reins from Trump with more vigor & disastrous effects than @GovRonDeSantis , a man who thinks he could be the next Republican president. But to supplant the last leader of his party, he has to out-Trump Trump.”
⋙ NYT, Charles Blow: Ron DeSantis, How Many Covid Deaths Are Enough? http://nyti.ms/3Dtcp7D

RT @WHCOS [Klain] U.S., 97 other countries announce deal with Taliban to keep evacuating allies after Aug. 31
⋙⋙ AppleNews/Axios: U.S., 97 other countries announce deal with Taliban to keep evacuating allies after Aug. 31 https://apple.news/AQrzcWKoXQ8mzPQIXYAn40w
// The United States, along with 97 other countries, announced Sunday that they had reached an agreement with the Taliban to allow them to continue to get Afghan allies out of the country after the Aug….
apple.news
⋙ 🐣 RT @DrewDanzell Media pundits have called an emergency meeting. Have to pool and troubleshoot ideas on how to put a negative spin on this to make Biden administration look bad.

🧵 RT @jennycohn “All the anomalies & disparities [in the 2020 election] worked to the benefit of Republican[s] … (including Trump),” but it was Trump & his backers who claimed “fraud,” waving around sheets of “random & meaningless numbers.” By @JonathanSimon14 1/
📌 https://twitter.com/jennycohn1/status/1430921215510646788?s=20
⋙⋙ 💙 WhoWhatWhy[.]org, Jonathan Simon: The Real Steal: Electoral Forensics and the 2020 Election http://bit.ly/3mI7TvT
// 8/23/2021; Election expert says the 2020 election results may very well have been skewed. For the Republicans. He lays out his in-depth numerical analysis
⋙ 🐣 Eventually, with the Electoral College, Dems packed increasingly into urban areas, GOP gerrymandering, voter suppression, and no help from a skewed SCOTUS (thanks to two stolen seats), Democrats will effectively each count as “3/5th of a man”

😅 💽 RT @JGaffneyUSN #BringBackTrump ¤ To Music. ¤ Oh – how I miss him so.


// Trump retrospective video cringeworthy

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff Our fallen servicemembers have returned home. ¤ Their bravery helped evacuate over 100,000 people and saved countless lives. ¤ They were the best of us. And we will not forget them. ¤ May God give comfort to their families. https://twitter.com/RepAdamSchiff/status/1432025319779807236?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @ @NBCNews Dignified transfer of US service members killed in Thursday’s attack on Kabul airport. 💽 https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/1432024236923686918?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @RichSignorelli In my dealings with others, Trump is a litmus test. If you still support this psychopath, nothing else about you really matters to me.

🧵 RT @JRubinBlogger any hope of depopulating a war-torn country, and ending the suffering there (including the dismal future for millions of women and girls) is not grounded in reality. It belongs with the magical thinking that we’d create a nation state in Afghanistan. 📌 https://twitter.com/JRubinBlogger/status/1431981254895935494?s=20
⋙ WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Biden tells some hard truths few want to hear http://wapo.st/2Y1xUvT
// The war in Afghanistan has been one tragedy after another. Good riddance.

🐣 RT @BillKristol “The GOP base may be identifying less and less with Trump personally—inevitable after he left the presidency—but it is not identifying any less with the conspiracist and antidemocratic impulses that defined him…In fact, the opposite is happening.”
⋙ TheAtlantic, Peter Wehner: Trumpism Has Entered Its Final Form http://bit.ly/3gInMi5
// In today’s Republican Party, Trump is becoming what was once unthinkable—conventional, unexceptional, even something of an establishment figure.

⭕ 28 Aug 2021

NYT, Kori Schake: What Trump’s Disgraceful Deal With the Taliban Has Wrought http://nyti.ms/3kCHsoX Ms. Schake, a foreign policy expert under Bush, is director of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute

⭕ 27 Aug 2021

WaPo, Philip Bump: Biden escalates his efforts to puncture the Fox News bubble http://wapo.st/3sYBSRp “Psaki and Biden are confident in their ability to handle Doocy’s questions and eager to reframe them”

😅 RT @DanRather Fewer syllables?
⋙ 🐣 RT @mattyglesias What was the precipitating event that led to the hydroxychloroquine/ivermectin switch?

🐣 RT @RepRaskin Good news: an Arizona judge has ruled that Cyber Ninjas, the Trump-aligned firm “auditing” the AZ election, must preserve all of its “audit” records. Cyber Ninjas must also comply with the @OversightDems request for crucial docs. We have had enough lies about the 2020 election.

⭕ 26 Aug 2021

NBCNews: Officer who shot Ashli Babbitt during Capitol riot breaks silence: ‘I saved countless lives’ http://nbcnews.to/3gIrfgN
// In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Lt. Michael Byrd said he opened fire only as a “last resort” after the rioters failed to comply with his commands.

🐣 RT @stengel The Trump agreement with the Taliban was a ticking time bomb that is exploding now.

WaPo: Twin bombings at Kabul airport kill 13 U.S. service members and dozens of Afghans http://wapo.st/2XWRoBT

WaPo: ‘Dead people were everywhere’: Carnage and chaos at Kabul airport http://wapo.st/3zma6k5

🐣 RT @jdassey1 Officer who shot Ashli Babbitt breaks silence for first time, says he only opened fire as a “last resort” and saved lives.
⋙ NBCNews: Officer who shot Ashli Babbitt during Capitol riot breaks silence: ‘I saved countless lives’ http://nbcnews.to/3DvPDMz
// In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Lt. Michael Byrd said he opened fire only as a “last resort” after the rioters failed to comply with his commands.

🧵 RT @MacFarlandNews [NBC] ALERT: Seven US Capitol Police officers file federal civil suit against Donald Trump, key Trump allies & high-profile Jan 6 defendants .. in connection with US Capitol Insurrection ¤ Citing series of Trump tweets/statements, alleging conspiracy, assault, battery, seeking damages 📌 https://twitter.com/MacFarlaneNews/status/1430914949551955973?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @DanRather What the world is seeing now in Afghanistan is what the world chose to ignore for far too long. War is hell. It always has been. And it always will be. Its currency is death, dismemberment, desperation, and fear. It doesn’t end in parades. It ends in caskets.

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: U.S. service members killed in Kabul airport blasts, along with civilian casualties, Pentagon says http://wapo.st/2WrE3AO

⭕ 25 Aug 2021

🐣 RT @glennkirschner2 Sidney “The Kraken” Powell SANCTIONED: “This lawsuit represents a historic & profound abuse of the judicial process,” & “was never about fraud – it was about undermining the People’s faith in our democracy and debasing the judicial process to do so.”
⋙ Politico: Federal judge imposes sanctions on Sidney Powell, Lin Wood and other pro-Trump lawyers http://politi.co/3mAL5y8
// The court found that the plaintiffs’ attorneys in the Michigan election fraud lawsuit filed it “in bad faith and for improper purpose.”

💙 🧵 RT @drothkopf The intellectual dishonesty that we have seen in critiques of Biden’s handling of the exit from Afghanistan has been spectacular. 📌 https://twitter.com/djrothkopf/status/1430560949572878340?s=20

🧵 RT @ericgarland ¤ The January 6 Select Committee has now officially asked for records on specific issues related to the attempted coup d’état. ¤ Their requests suggest they know what they’re looking for. Let’s dig in to each letter. You’ll wanna check this stuff… Text Block: 📌 https://twitter.com/ericgarland/status/1430561329430077450?s=20/photo/1

Politico: Jan. 6 investigators include Trump White House in first document requests http://politi.co/3jh2aLx
// It’s the select panel’s first step to actually begin investigating the attack.
⋙ House[.]gov: Select Committee Issues Sweeping Demand for Executive Branch Records http://bit.ly/3DifUNY
// Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol

WaPo: House panel investigating Jan. 6 attack seeks records from agencies on insurrection, Trump in first request for information http://wapo.st/3DsI9tE

⭕ 24 Aug 2021

⭕ 23 Aug 2021

EmptyWheel: Stop the Steal: Hints of the January 5 Rallies in the January 6 Riot Investigation http://bit.ly/3DgYXng “With the charges against Owen Shroyer, the government has now charged three people who had a speaking part in several rallies tied to Stop the Steal”

⭕ 22 Aug 2021

🐣 RT @marceelias I spent 28 years at @PerkinsCoieLLP. It is a amazing place with great lawyers. I am starting a new law firm @EliasLawGroup because our democracy is at risk and it is the most effective way for me to fight back. I look forward to working with Perkins in that effort as well.

⭕ 21 Aug 2021

NYT: Former Pence aide says Trump and Miller stymied Afghan refugee efforts. http://nyti.ms/37ZZ3Bc

A top homeland security adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence accused the Trump administration of distorting the truth about Afghan refugees, writing on Twitter that the former president and Stephen Miller, his top immigration adviser, sought to prevent the refugees from entering the United States.

In an interview, Olivia Troye recalled sitting in meetings where Mr. Miller demanded restrictions on refugees, including those from Afghanistan and Iraq. She said the reductions in the refugee program during the Trump years hollowed out the government’s ability to bring the interpreters and others to the United States.

“Now we are in this crisis and they are saying Trump would have evacuated them,” Ms. Troye said. “But he didn’t in four years. You don’t get to play revisionist history here. There are people who know what the situation is.”

President Donald J. Trump and his allies have repeatedly claimed in recent days that his administration would have handled a withdrawal from Afghanistan better than President Biden, who he criticized for failing to evacuate Americans and Afghans who worked with the United States. Top conservative commentators, including Ben Domenech, have tweeted in support of Mr. Trump.
Ms. Troye rebutted those claims on Twitter and in an interview, claiming instead that Trump administration officials worked against bringing Afghan and Iraqi allies into the country by granting them a Special Immigrant Visa indicating they supported the American war effort.

Mr. Miller “& his enablers across gov’t would undermine anyone who worked on solving the SIV issue by devastating the system at DHS & State,” she wrote on Twitter.

⭕ 20 Aug 2021

🐣 RT @NeuSummits [Eliz Neumann] I can vouch for @OliviaTroye’s characterization . Will add that we have proof of what Trump would have done – he abandoned our allies in the no-notice decision to withdraw from Syria. Kurds, Iraqi SIVs, P2s, NGOs were left scrambling and many died.
⋙ 🧵 RT @OiviaTroye There were cabinet mtgs about this during the Trump Admin where Stephen Miller would peddle his racist hysteria about Iraq & Afghanistan. He & his enablers across gov’t would undermine anyone who worked on solving the SIV issue by devastating the system at DHS & State.(1/7) 📌 https://twitter.com/OliviaTroye/status/1428740865665679361?s=20/photo/1

Reuters: Texas Supreme Court rejects Governor Abbott’s ban on school mask mandates – CNN http://reut.rs/3AX5oK5

⭕ 19 Aug 2021

NYT, Michael Crowley: Trump’s Deal With the Taliban Draws Fire From His Former Allies http://nyti.ms/3z7F5QS Critics include Trump’s second national security adviser, H.R. McMaster and former Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper
// The former president and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, are attacking President Biden over Afghanistan even as their own policy faces harsh criticism.

WaPo, Michael Gerson: Govs. DeSantis and Abbott, in denial and risking lives, have betrayed the public trust http://wapo.st/3miykbB

What was supposed to be a costless, largely symbolic political commitment has led DeSantis and Abbott to a particularly vivid moral choice. Should they allow local government and community institutions to save people from harm? Or should they actively prevent those measures to appease a radical faction of their party?

The decision, it seems, wasn’t close for them. There is no public evidence of inner turmoil. If they had defied the populist base of the Republican Party, their careers (and presidential prospects) would have been as good as over.

Now these governors have a problem, as does their party. ¤ The challenge for the governors is that public health is not the same as other issues. Their actions will lead, directly and predictably, to deaths in their states. This constitutes a betrayal of public trust so grave — a violation of moral responsibilities so depraved — that I am not sure there is a word for it. Selling the lives of your fellow citizens to a foreign power is treason. What is the proper description of selling the lives of your fellow citizens to a crazed political interest group?

These governors are attempting, of course, to take refuge in principle — the traditional right not to have cloth next to your face, or the sacred right to spread nasty infections to your neighbors. But such “rights” talk is misapplied in this context. The duty to protect public health during a pandemic is, by nature, an aggregate commitment. Success or failure is measured only in a total sum. Incompetence in this area is a fundamental miscarriage of governing. Knowingly taking actions that undermine public health is properly called sabotage, as surely as putting anthrax in the water supply. ¤ So maybe that’s the right word: saboteurs.

The problem for the Republican Party is that one of the central demands of a key interest group is now an act of sociopathic insanity. Some of the most basic measures of public health have suddenly become the political equivalent of gun confiscation. It’s as if the activist wing of the GOP decided that municipal trash pickup is a dangerous socialist experiment. Or chlorine in public pools is an antifa plot. There can be no absolute political right to undermine the health and safety of your community. Or else community has no meaning.

Public health can’t be reasonably understood in culture war terms. There are no winners and losers here — because all of us, together, either win or lose. This is one area — perhaps the primary area — where we are one people. But it also shows how sick souls can result in sick and dead bodies.

⭕ 18 Aug 2021

WaPo: Biden said U.S. officials lied about Afghanistan. It’s not clear whether they’ll be held to account. http://wapo.st/3iVoA4K

🐣 📊 RT @NumbersMuncher Axios/Ipsos poll: Overall 69% of Americans support mandatory masking in school, with 44% of Republicans and 92% of Democrats supporting. ¤ This is definitely another one of those ‘Twitter isn’t real life’ data points.
// n=1,041, 8/13-16/2021; Independents 67%

TheGuardian: Rightwing lobbies and dark money funders backing assaults on voting rights http://bit.ly/3ARXQs5 //➔ The usual suspects: ALEC, Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, State Policy Network, the Koch networks, the Bradley Foundation, various rw think tanks
// Election watchdogs say rightwing groups seek to enact voting restrictions in critical states, from Arizona to Pennsylvania – states that Republicans need to win back

The state lobbying efforts feature deep pocketed conservative bastions such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), Heritage Action, FreedomWorks and the State Policy Network, a loose-knit group of rightwing thinktanks, a number of which have received grants from the donor network led by the billionaire oilman Charles Koch and the Bradley Foundation. ¤ Other influential players pushing stricter voting laws include the Honest Elections Project and the Opportunity Solutions Project.

⭕ 17 Aug 2021

🐣 RT @JLownLaw Trump gave the Taliban everything they wanted before Biden even came into office — immediate allied withdrawal; the remaining to leave in 14 mos; release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners, incl. Mullah Baradar; & removal of sanctions. There was no leverage left.
⋙ Time: President Trump’s Disgraceful Peace Deal with the Taliban http://bit.ly/2W5noTk
// The Afghanistan peace plan will strengthen the Taliban and make America less safe.

WaPo, Charles Lane: Biden’s presidency — and U.S. foreign policy — now hinge on pulling off one of the greatest airlifts in history http://wapo.st/2VWcSOT

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson Karma is a perfect bitch
She works her will from habit
For after he had banned all masks
She visited Gregg Abbott.

🐣 RT @JakeSullivan76 When I was asked about whether we’re going to get all Americans out of Afghanistan I said “that’s what we intend to do” and that’s exactly what we’ll do, and are accomplishing right now with HKIA re-opened and operational, thanks to the incredible work of our troops and diplomats

⭕ 16 Aug 2021

🐣 RT @MeidasTouch FLASHBACK: In February 2020, Donald Trump discussed how he empowered the Taliban to take over Afghanistan after America’s departure 💽 https://twitter.com/MeidasTouch/status/1427394730887811074?s=20/photo/1

🧵 RT @aahmady 1/The collapse of the Government in Afghanistan this past week was so swift and complete – it was disorienting and difficult to comprehend. ¤ This is how the events seemed to proceed from my perspective as Central Bank Governor. 📌 https://twitter.com/aahmady/status/1427265049668636674?s=20

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Biden didn’t betray the Afghan government. They betrayed US. They took 20 years of $$ and training and made a deal with the Taliban instead of fighting for their people. If anyone betrayed the Afghan government, it was Trump when he made a deal with the Taliban.

🐣 RT @McFaul I’m no expert. But I find it strange that there was not even a little skirmish in taking Kabul. Maybe its not right to say that the Afghan army refused to fight. Maybe its more accurate to say that there was an agreement with the Taliban not to fight? Thoughts? further reading?
⋙ 🐣 RT @DocLT2 Maddow reported that many of the regional warlords established non-aggression pacts with the Taliban soon after Trump announced the withdrawal.
⋙ 🐣 RT @anne5634 I am now believing there was a lot to Trump’s “deal” with the Taliban that Biden was shut out of during the transition and beyond…Putin must be very pleased

NYT, Thomas Friedman: Biden Could Still Be Proved Right in Afghanistan http://nyti.ms/2XsPOHD “Maybe on the morning after the morning after, the Taliban will just order them all back under burqas and shut their schoolrooms. But maybe they will also encounter pushback”

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok Biden has more work to do re #Afghanistan. But don’t let the Orwellian gaslighting @GOP gasbags blame Biden for Trump & #Pompeo’s Taliban fiasco. They legitimized barbaric terrorists & demoralized Afghan govt, setting in motion its inevitable collapse. @LeaderMcConnell @GOPLeader
⋙ 🐣 RT @barubin Trump wanted to have a secret meeting with the Taliban at Camp David days before 9/11. 💽 https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1427388844911915009?s=20/photo/1

🐣 Success has many fathers, but failure has a bunch of people pointing fingers at one another. ~ Apologies to Tacitus

🐣 RT @Sulliview The Afghan debacle lasted two decades. The media spent two hours deciding who to blame. …My column on the winners-and-losers, hot-take punditry we’re seeing way too much of
⋙ WaPo: The Afghan debacle lasted two decades. The media spent two hours deciding whom to blame. http://wapo.st/3xRBNQy

🐣 💽 RT @Roshan_Rinaldi “I started the process,… all the troops are coming home! They [Biden] couldn’t stop the process. 21 years is enough. They [Biden] couldn’t stop the process, they [Biden] wanted to but couldn’t stop the process!” – Trump, 1 month ago https://twitter.com/Roshan_Rinaldi/status/1427360508450119687?s=20/photo/1

📊 Forbes (7/8/2021): The War In Afghanistan: A Polling Post-Mortem http://bit.ly/3g7T2Hbhttps://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1427378701960876035?s=20/photo/1

Fifty-eight percent in an online April Economist/YouGov poll approved of the withdrawal plan, and 25% disapproved. Majorities of Democrats and independents support withdrawal, while Republicans are divided.

A May Quinnipiac poll of adults produced similar results: 62% approved of President Biden’s decision to withdraw all US troops, while 29% were opposed.

In the Economist/YouGov poll, people split evenly, 36% to 35%, about whether fighting the war there had been a mistake, while 29% said they didn’t know.

🐣 RT @toddyoung Nicole Wallace:
95% of Americans will agree with everything Biden just said.
95% of the media will not agree with what he said.
She’s 100% right.

🐣💽 RT @DRovera Afghan human beings cling to/run after a #USA Air Force plane leaving #Kabul airport with those lucky enough to have made it on board. Won’t retweet other, horrific, videos of human beings falling off the plane’s wings after it took off. #Afghanistan https://twitter.com/DRovera/status/1427229955386138625?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 15 Aug 2021

YahooNews: Muslim women are using Sharia to push for gender equality http://yhoo.it/3AU1dil “[I]n many parts of the world, Muslim women are reclaiming their rights by studying and sharing Quranic verses and prophetic teachings”

🧵 RT @tomiahonen Afghanistan Thread 1/ Afghanistan government is collapsing and the Taliban is taking over the country as USA pulls out. The Republicans are out in full force trying to hide from the blame & shame ¤ This is ALL their fault ¤ But it is not that simple. It is WORSE than that … 📌 https://twitter.com/tomiahonen/status/1427026128229871628?s=20
// history afghanistan history

🐣 RT @leahmcelrath In 1994, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar helped found the Taliban.
In 2010, ISI and CIA forces captured and imprisoned him in Pakistan.
In 2018, Trump demanded his release http://bit.ly/3yRnnRH
In 2020, Trump spoke with him WaPo: http://wapo.st/3jZSgNn
Now he leads Afghanistan.

🐣 RT @HamidHaidari* #Braking: New Message of Ashraf Ghani: Today, I have made a hard choice to leave the country, If wouldn’t leave the country, Kabul would face with a destruction and big human disaster in this six million city.
// *Editor in Chief and Current Affairs @1tvnewsaf, Kabul

NYT: The Afghan government collapses as the president flees the country and the Taliban enter Kabul. http://nyti.ms/3CSPJgy

🧵 RT @MuellerSheWrote THREAD: In 2020, trump pressured the afghan government to release 5000 Taliban fighters including some that had murdered US and allied troops. 📌 https://twitter.com/MuellerSheWrote/status/1426950474394083330?s=20
⋙ 🐣 … RT @MuellerSheWrote But the @ODNIgov should be looking into whether Putin, Trump, and the Afghan government coordinated the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. @SecPompeo knows. So does Kushner. /END

🐣 I read a lot of news, but personally, I don’t remember “the American people“ clamoring to exit Afgh, as many are claiming, some mumbling about “forever wars,” but otherwise ~ meh. People have been very exercised by a lot of things, but not so much that

🐣 RT @JonLemire KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — US Embassy in Kabul tells Americans to shelter in place, says airport reportedly taking fire.

🐣 RT @jonathanvswan New: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley told senators on Sunday that a previous assessment of how soon terrorist groups will likely reconstitute in Afghanistan will speed up because of what’s happening there now…
⋙ Axios Scoop: Joint Chiefs Chairman moves up terrorist threat in Afghanistan http://bit.ly/3jVJKiw

🐣 RT @AVindman Brilliant thread.
⋙ 🐣 RT @UrielEpshtein As humans, we have a need for definitive beginnings and endings – in other words, clarity – Whether in our professional lives, our personal lives, or the broader geopolitical world. However, clarity is in short supply and the most successful among us learn to cope. 1/5
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @UrielEpshtein We learn that sometimes an uncertain and inconclusive status quo is better than a horrific alternative. In the case of Afghanistan, we made the wrong choice. Maintaining a 2.5-3.5k troop presence in the country indefinitely in order to defend a very imperfect status quo is 2/5
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @UrielEpshtein Unsatisfying and frustrating, but it would also have been the least bad option. The Biden admin prioritized finality and clarity in its decision to withdraw these troops over the terrifying real-world implications that withdrawal would have. Sometimes the unsatisfying 3/5
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @UrielEpshtein Decision is the right one. It may not give us closure, but closure does not, in and of itself, have value. It’s all about the impact our decisions will have down the line. The cost of staying would have been less than the strategic & human cost of leaving. 4/5
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @UrielEpshtein I weep for the future of Afghanistan. 5/5

🐣 RT @MichaelJMorell What is happening in Afghanistan is not the result of an intelligence failure. It is the result of numerous policy failures by multiple administrations. Of all the players over the years, the Intelligence Community by far has seen the situation in Afghanistan most accurately.
⋙ 🐣 RT @RichardEngel The failure to anticipate the rapid fall of afghan cities, including kabul, is a huge US intelligence failure. I know some US mil commanders anticipated it. They told me. Yet somehow their voices were not heard.

🐣 RT @brianklaas Completely agree. There’s no point in sugarcoating this. It’s a disaster. For Afghans, for US foreign policy, and it’s likely to create longer term consequences that we will come to regret in a big way.
⋙ 🐣 RT @AliVelshi Whatever your opinions are of why the U.S. was in Afghanistan & whether is should have been there, the rapid takeover of the country by the Taliban is a tragedy of epic proportions. You can not want U.S. troops there and/or support a pullout, and still appreciate how bad this is.

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Taliban enters Kabul, leaving Afghan government on brink of collapse http://wapo.st/3iNQbox

⭕ 14 Aug 2021

⭕ 13 Aug 2021

CNN: US Capitol riot judges step up as the conscience of democracy while lawmakers squabble http://cnn.it/3sg105Z “Patriotism is loyalty to country, loyalty to the Constitution – not loyalty to a head of state. That is the tyranny we rejected on July 4th” ~ Judge Amy Berman Jackson
// A “disgrace to our country.” “The tyranny we rejected.” “An embarrassment to every American.”

WaPo: Family of D.C. officer who died by suicide after Capitol riot files lawsuit against alleged attacker http://wapo.st/37FmwHR “[A] report from a doctor who evaluated the case for Smith’s estate [said] a traumatic brain injury led the officer to take his own life”

💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo, Ruth Marcus: The most dangerous Trump official you’ve never heard of needs to be heard from http://wapo.st/2VTGKLC //➔ This is the smoking gun. Memorize.Every.Name.

“People tell me Jeff Clark is great, I should put him in. People want me to replace DOJ leadership,” President Donald Trump told acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen on a Dec. 27, 2020, phone call — suggesting, with typical Trumpian subtlety, that Rosen might soon find himself out of a job if he didn’t comply with Trump’s demands to “tell people that this was an illegal, corrupt election.”

The handwritten notes of the call, taken by the Justice Department’s acting No. 2 official, Richard P. Donoghue, and released recently by the House Oversight Committee, underscore the imperative of obtaining testimony from Clark about his efforts, in league with Trump, to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

No one who knew Jeffrey Bossert Clark — he was reported to be particularly insistent on having all three names on department filings in his role as assistant attorney general — took him for the kind of full-blown, conspiracy-chasing Trumpist who emerged in the aftermath of the 2020 election. The documents show Clark, among other things, demanding a classified intelligence briefing from Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe about supposed evidence that a Dominion voting machine “accessed the Internet through a smart thermostat with a net connection trail leading back to China.”

On the other hand, no one took him for a potential attorney general of the United States.

Clark was an obscure attorney in private practice (at a major law firm, Kirkland & Ellis, but a non-equity partner not entitled to share in the firm’s profits) named to a relatively obscure position at the Justice Department, assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division; then, in the waning days of the administration, tasked to head the civil division as well. A graduate of Harvard College and Georgetown Law School, Clark was a conservative, yes, a member of the Federalist Society, but not, to all appearances, a die-hard Trump loyalist.

Then came the election, and with it, Clark’s remarkable new role as improbable presidential consigliere and energetic chaser-after of crackpot rumors of election fraud. Perhaps Clark, scouring the wildest reaches of the Internet, became a true believer in the losing cause of election fraud. Perhaps he was tempted by Trump’s dangling the attorney general job before him; ambition has a way of distorting judgment. Either way, he became, for a brief time, the most dangerous Trump administration official you never heard of.

Clark was connected with Trump through Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), a member of the House Freedom Caucus, opening a highly irregular backdoor channel for the president to go around more senior officials who were frustrating his efforts to use the Justice Department to contest the election results. Clark’s lawyer did not respond to requests for comment. In January, when reports of his activities first surfaced, Clark said that “all my official communications were consistent with law.”

Clark’s involvement emerged in the Dec. 27 phone call between Rosen and Trump. The next day, he proposed sending an outlandish letter to Georgia officials asserting — incorrectly — that Justice had “identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple states,” including Georgia, and urging a special legislative session. “I think we should get it out as soon as possible,” Clark urged Rosen and Donoghue. Responded Donoghue: “There is no chance that I would sign this letter or anything remotely like this.”

On Jan. 1, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows emailed Rosen about “allegations of signature match anomalies” in Fulton County, Ga. “Can you get Jeff Clark to engage on this issue immediately to determine if there is any truth to this allegation,” Meadows asked. Rosen to Donoghue: “Can you believe this? I am not going to respond.”

But Clark was off and running in pursuit of fraud. “I spoke to the source and am on with the guy who took the video right now,” Clark reported in a Jan. 2 email to Rosen under the subject line “Atlanta.”

All the while, Clark and Trump were discussing the plan to make him attorney general — foiled in part because Clark spilled the beans to Rosen, magnanimously offering him the chance to stay on as his No. 2. At which point Rosen secured an emergency Oval Office meeting Sunday, Jan 3, with Trump, Clark and other officials, and at which Trump was dissuaded from making the switch because of the mass resignations at Justice he was told would ensue.

People, this is not normal; it is not proper. The head of the civil division, acting or not, doesn’t jump on the phone to personally interview witnesses. He doesn’t do end runs around his boss — no less participate in a scheme to topple him — with the president.

Most pertinent, lawyers at the Justice Department have a single client: the United States. They represent the president in his role as president, not in his capacity as political candidate. The president has private counsel, lawyers paid by his campaign, not the taxpayers, to do that job. The Justice Department has a legitimate role in reviewing claims of election fraud, but it doesn’t exercise that authority at the express direction of an aggrieved candidate, even one who is the sitting president or that president’s underling.

All of which leads to the fundamental point: To understand how close the country came to having the election results overturned, to know whether this activity was merely bone-chilling or rises to the level of a criminal offense, it is important to secure Clark’s testimony — and it’s not entirely clear that’s going to happen. The Justice Department inspector general is looking into the goings-on at the department but may not be able to compel Clark’s testimony, and the same is true of the Senate Judiciary Committee, before which Rosen and Donoghue testified voluntarily. The House Oversight Committee, which has the documents, has ceded authority to the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, which has other matters piled on its plate.

The questions include: How did Clark connect with Perry, the congressman? Any other members of Congress? What conversations or meetings did Clark have with White House officials? When did he speak with the president, and what was said? Did the president give him any instructions about whether to tell Rosen about the conversations? (The Justice Department has waived any claims of executive privilege, so Clark cannot refuse to answer on these grounds.) What communications did he have on his private email, on his personal phone or through secure messaging systems? (These should be subpoenaed.) With whom did he discuss the allegations of election fraud — what Trump campaign lawyers or other representatives? How did he come to draft the letter to Georgia officials? Was this done on his government computer?

I could go on, but you get the point. Someone with subpoena power needs to get Jeffrey Clark under oath. The sooner the better.

🐣 RT @marceelias My team is suing to protect voting rights and ensure fair districts in 13 states.

Arizona
Arkansas
Florida
Georgia
Iowa
Kansas
Louisiana
Michigan
Montana
North Carolina
Pennsylvania
Texas
Wisconsin
We are not done yet.

💙 NPR, Fresh Air (3/4/2021): Trump’s Deal To End War In Afghanistan Leaves Biden With ‘A Terrible Situation’ http://n.pr/2XhAtJW The original date set for US departure was May 1. According to Barry McCaffrey today on @DeadlineWH, Trump’s deal was “a joke”

WaPo, Aaron Blake: The spectacular implosion of Mike Lindell http://wapo.st/3xKa3wQ

Lindell has pushed many false, baseless and crazy theories about voter fraud, but the symposium was billed as focusing on one in particular: “irrefutable” proof that hackers backed by China stole the election for Joe Biden. Lindell had the data, and he was going to show it to you over 72 hours. What’s more, his website promised to give $5 million to anybody who could “prove that Mike’s cyber data … is not valid.”

Well, someone has stepped forward to debunk the data — or at least the claims Lindell is making about it. And it’s none other than the cyberexpert Lindell himself hired.

Josh Merritt, also known as “Spider” or “Spyder” and who was hired by Lindell for his “red team,” told the Washington Times on Wednesday at the symposium that, effectively, Lindell has sold his adherents a bill of goods. Lindell claimed that intercepted network data obtained by other hackers, also known as “packet captures,” could be unencrypted to reveal evidence of vote-switching by the Chinese-backed hackers.

But Merritt has now said that’s just not true. ¤ “So our team said we’re not going to say that this is legitimate if we don’t have confidence in the information,” Merritt said. And it apparently turns out it was not legitimate. …

Perhaps an equally damning revelation Wednesday came in something else Merritt said. He confirmed the source of the cyber-data as Dennis Montgomery. It has been suspected that Montgomery was the source, given graphics similar to the ones Lindell has used have appeared on Montgomery’s website, but Merritt confirmed it. ¤ Why is that important? Because Montgomery has, to put it kindly, a spotty history with this kind of thing. … Current and former intelligence officials told PBS in 2014 that it was one of the most elaborate and dangerous hoaxes in U.S. history.

Kirk Wiebe, a former National Security Agency analyst who has pushed claims of voter fraud, became alienated by Lindell not producing the goods — it turned out because he didn’t actually have them, the Washington Times reports:

He said the scrolling text was likely meant to resemble what the packet captures would look like in the data set but were not actual packet captures, which are vital to prove the claims.

Several cyber experts at the symposium became frustrated late into the first day with not being provided with packet captures.

Mr. Merritt and Mr. Wiebe said the missing packet captures could be a result of either the format the data was sent in or they were withheld by the source of the information, Dennis L. Montgomery. …

But the data Mr. Montgomery sent contains no packet captures and cannot be used to validate Mr. Lindell’s marquee theory, which he planned to unveil at the symposium, said the two experts [Wiebe and Merritt].

Adding insult to injury, those two experts would seem to be in line for a hefty payday — $5 million! — for revealing that Lindell’s data isn’t valid. But Merritt said the offer is no longer on the table.

Update: Lindell’s lawyer has now said that the $5 million offer, which still appears on Lindell’s website, has not been rescinded.

⭕ 12 Aug 2021

🐣 📋 RT @BrennanCenter 70.9% of white voters cast ballots compared with only 58.4% of nonwhite voters — a disparity that will worsen with new restrictive voting laws.
⋙ BrennanCenter: Large Racial Turnout Gap Persisted in 2020 Election http://bit.ly/2UhJ3Ya
// voters by race

TPM: Five Points On Mike Lindell’s Dumpster Fire ‘Cyber Symposium’ Election Fraud Event http://bit.ly/3xHSfTa //➔ Lindell needs an intervention

1. Lindell’s own experts say his numbers are bunk
2. The supposed data is from the ‘Hammer and Scorecard’ grifter
3. Lindell was reminded of the $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit he faces in the middle of the symposium
4. Out of options, Lindell mostly resorted to beefing with the media
5. Faced with failure, they’re blaming ‘radical folks’ trying to infiltrate the convention

🐣 🌎 RT @Redistrict It’s Census data day! Here’s @CookPolitical’s breakdown of which party controls the redistricting process where. Our current outlook: a GOP gain of 0-7 House seats from redistricting alone, w/ a high initial degree of uncertainty. https://twitter.com/Redistrict/status/1425807691621019654?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: A QAnon-obsessed father thought his kids would destroy the world, so he killed them with a spear gun, FBI says http://wapo.st/2VLzUrh The children were 2yr and 10mos old; “By killing them, he allegedly said, ‘he was saving the world from monsters’”

An FBI agent interviewed Coleman, and he confessed to killing his children, Bannon said in her affidavit. Coleman said he had been enlightened by QAnon and the Illuminati, both baseless theories that claim secret elites are maliciously controlling national and world affairs from the shadows. He had received visions and signs revealing his wife “possessed serpent DNA,” which she passed on to their children, according to the affidavit.

By killing them, he allegedly said, “he was saving the world from monsters.” ¤ “He knew it was wrong, but it was the only course of action that would save the world,” Bannon wrote in her affidavit.

WaPo: What Rosen told U.S. senators: Trump applied ‘persistent’ pressure to get Justice to discredit election http://wapo.st/3CJLbJC

⭕ 11 Aug 2021

💽 RawStory: ‘Terrible for our country!’ Mike Lindell throws seven-minute tantrum against judge who ruled against him in Dominion case http://bit.ly/3xA9CFD

WaPo: Republicans risk becoming face of delta surge as key GOP governors oppose anti-covid measures http://wapo.st/3iEgw8x

🐣 RT @RonFilipkowski MAGAs reporting from Lindell’s big reveal today seem like they are pretty bummed out that what was promised isn’t being delivered. “Lot of information, not a lot of evidence.. kind of a nothing-burger.” 💽 https://twitter.com/RonFilipkowski/status/1425491724189765632?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @dutytowarn Science is factual. Math is immutable. Donald Trump is a criminal, gangster and fraud. Mike Flynn is a traitor. Mike Pence is pathetic. Fox News is NOT news. Putin is an enemy. Ashli Babbitt was a domestic terrorist. DeSantis is genocidal. Lindell is loco. DeJoy deserves deJail.

🐣 RT @normative You will be shocked to learn that PillowGuy’s “Absolute Proof” doesn’t exist, according to his own cybersecurity experts. The promised “pcaps” don’t exist; they had garbage data provided by a notorious serial scam artist. Who could have predicted?
⋙ WashTimes: Cyber expert says his team can’t prove Mike Lindell’s claims that China hacked election http://bit.ly/37BbPGa
// this is a rw publication (~btwn WashEx and NewsMax)

Newsweek: ‘This Is a Mistake’: Steve Bannon Slams Mike Lindell’s Symposium for Not Proving Voter Fraud http://bit.ly/3jQxuje
// “You’ve laid a theory of the case that is very powerful, but in laying that case out, you’ve got to bring the receipts,” Bannon said.

🐣 📊 RT @USA_Polling Net Favourabilities:
Obama: +10%
Biden: +4%
DeSantis: -2%
Harris: -4%
Lindell: -4%
AOC: -8%
Schumer: -13%
Trump: -14%
Graham: -15%
Pelosi: -17%
McCarthy: -20%
McConnell: -39%
Cuomo: -48%
YouGov/Economist / August 10, 2021 / n=1500 / Online http://bit.ly/3jKq2pX

🐣 RT @JanNWolfe Someone at Mike Lindell’s “cyber-symposium” just broke the news to him that Dominion’s lawsuit is going forward. The event is being streamed, so we’re seeing him get irate in real time. He’s ranting, calling it “the worst decision a judge has made in the history of this country.”

🐣 RT @cnnbrk Defamation lawsuits from Dominion Voting Systems against MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and the right-wing lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani will move forward toward a trial, a federal judge ruled
⋙ CNN: Judge allows defamation lawsuits against Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani and MyPillow CEO to go forward http://cnn.it/2VQcnWr

WSJ: McConnell Credits Biden for Infrastructure Breakthrough, Dismisses Trump Criticism http://on.wsj.com/3Ayt2fR “I think the president deserves a lot of credit for getting the Democrats open to reaching a bipartisan agreement on this bill” ~ McConnell
// But the Senate GOP leader doesn’t anticipate many more opportunities for bipartisan deals

NYT: Former U.S. attorney in Atlanta says Trump wanted to fire him for not backing election fraud claims. http://nyti.ms/2VP6KqU Byung J Pak told investigators Trump was unhappy Pak had investigated and not found evidence of voter fraud in Fulton County, Ga.

🐣 Trump has been trying to turn Ashli Babbitt, the woman shot as the mob tried to enter the chamber, into a martyr. ¤ Hitler did this with a man named Horst Wessel. A song was written in his honor which became the party anthem. ¤ #Insurrection ¤ #January6th

NBCNews: Feds warn of potential violence fueled by false election claims http://nbcnews.to/3s94vuQ
// DHS said it has seen an uptick in calls for violence sparked by groundless claims of fraud in the 2020 election and the alleged “reinstatement” of Trump.

🐣 My favorite moment of Mike Lindell’s #CyberSynposium was when their chief tech guy said the data from Ohio 2004-2005 was ‘gone,’ indicating to him that stealing elections wasn’t just done by Democrats (et tu, @KarlRove?) ¤ @BarbaraBoxer

⭕ 10 Aug 2021

RawStory/Salon, Chauncey Devega: Follow the money: It sure looks as if Jan. 6 was planned and funded by oligarchs in the shadows http://bit.ly/3iMHrPB
// Big Lie funders 💰

WaPo, Philip Bump: The con is winding down http://wapo.st/3xDOD4K Is MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell the conman or the mark?

Lindell, who has claimed for months and months that he had definitive proof that the 2020 presidential election was stolen by China, pledged to release that information at a “cyber symposium” that is underway in South Dakota. According to Lindell, someone captured Internet traffic in the days after the election that shows how votes were shifted away from Donald Trump and to President Biden. Instead of simply presenting this evidence to the public, he withheld it, offering $5 million to anyone who can prove that the information isn’t legitimate.

[T]his seems very much like a guy who’s primed to believe fairly far-flung excuses for why bad things happen. The kind of guy who, when told that the data will be ready in a month, waits patiently for the month to pass. Maybe he’s something more sinister, engaged in an effort to willfully delude America, but observing him over time makes it seem more like he’s the mark than the hustler.

NYT: Biden Nominates Damian Williams as U.S. Attorney in Manhattan http://nyti.ms/3xG8Wyi “If confirmed, Damian Williams would be the first Black man to lead one of the most powerful prosecutor’s offices in the country” ~ the Southern District of New York (SDNY)
// The selection is part of a slate of nominations for top law enforcement posts in the country, including for three offices that tend to investigate the Justice Department’s most prominent cases.

WaPo Editorial: Putin is destroying what is left of Russian civil society http://wapo.st/3iCKMR7 A Moscow court has ruled that Alexei Navalny’s organizations are “extremist, … effectively criminaliz[ing] one of the country’s few remaining independent political movements.”

DailyBeast, Justin Baragona: MyPillow Guy Frantically Vows to ‘Stay Up Here’ for 72 Hours Straight: ‘There’s No Breaks!’ http://bit.ly/37CZLE8
// The pro-Trump pillow magnate’s latest event meant to provide evidence for his election lies has been nothing short of a total shitshow.

🐣 RT @dutytowarn Mike Lindell is talking nonstop for hours in a disorganized manic rant. “There’s no breaks! … You guys can go eat. That’s fine, but I ain’t eating! I’m staying up here for 72 hours…”
⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar This Mike Lindell “Cyber Symposium” … might be the worst political event I’ve ever seen? He’s just ranting and raving endlessly 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1425140025700847620?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @IMBaaaaack4 I’m gonna say it. Mike Lindell’s symposium is a train wreck. Why the fuck wouldn’t he use notes? He’s just rambling like last time (when he introduced http://Frankspeech.com) and he can barely finish a sentence. I’m extremely disappointed. So much for that!

🧵 RT @ZTPetrizzo I’m in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, at MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s big event! So far, no evidence! 📌 https://twitter.com/ZTPetrizzo/status/1425126928630038529?s=20

🐣 RT @SecretaryPete The bill that passed the Senate today makes some of the most meaningful investments in infrastructure we’ve ever seen in this country. 💽 https://twitter.com/SecretaryPete/status/1425272288128143367?s=20/photo/1

WaPo, Greg Sargent: The rebellion against pro-Trump, anti-mask GOP governors is gaining steam http://wapo.st/3s6WM0k

WaPo: Texas judge clears way for San Antonio to mandate masks in blow to Gov. Greg Abbott http://wapo.st/3s8hk8T

💙 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 1/ Good morning, Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea. ¤ Let’s review the bidding: the governors of two of the largest states are letting COVID burn because muh freedumb plays to an audience of a network owned by a crank Aussie billionaire. https://twitter.com/TheRickWilson/status/1425054985239339072?s=20

⭕ 9 Aug 2021

🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind A frightening and necessary read, by @JaneMayerNYer: Arizona Sos Katie Hobbs warned, “It’s dangerous. It’s feeding the kind of misinformation that led to the January 6th insurrection… I think they’re laying the groundwork to steal the 2024 elections.”
⋙ NewYorker, Jane Mayer: The Big Money Behind the Big Lie http://bit.ly/37vY0Zt
// 8/2/2021; Donald Trump’s attacks on democracy are being promoted by rich and powerful conservative groups that are determined to win at all costs.

NYT, Paul Krugman: Climate Denial, Covid Denial and the Right’s Descent http://nyti.ms/3yCMUOf “it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the paranoid, anti-rational streak in American politics isn’t as bad as we thought; it’s much, much worse”

Before the right embraced Covid denial, there was climate denial. Many of the attitudes that have characterized the right-wing response to the coronavirus pandemic — refusal to acknowledge facts, accusations that scientists are part of a vast liberal conspiracy, refusal to address the crisis — were foreshadowed in the climate debate.

Yet from the response to Covid-19 among Republican officials — especially the opposition to lifesaving vaccines — it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the paranoid, anti-rational streak in American politics isn’t as bad as we thought; it’s much, much worse.

However, while there are important similarities between the right’s response to climate change and its response to Covid-19, there are also some important differences. The pandemic has opened frontiers in destructive irrationality.

You see, while climate denial was intellectually irresponsible and morally indefensible, it also made a kind of narrow-minded sense. ¤ For one thing, warnings about climate change always involved the long run, making it easy for denialists to claim that short-run fluctuations refuted the whole concept: “See, it’s cold today, so global warming is a hoax!” This kind of evasion has gotten harder lately, now that we’re having what were supposed to be once-in-100-years fires and floods every couple of years. But it helped confuse the issue. …

How did that happen? I’d tell the story this way: America’s rapid vaccination pace during the spring was very good news for the nation — but it was also a success story for the Biden administration. So influential conservatives, for whom owning the libs is always an overriding goal, began throwing up roadblocks to the vaccination program.

This had far-reaching consequences. As I’ve written before, the modern G.O.P. is more like an authoritarian political cult than a normal political party, so vaccine obstruction — not necessarily denunciation of the vaccines themselves, but opposition to any effort to get shots into people’s arms — became a loyalty test, a position you took to prove yourself a loyal Trumpist Republican.

Presumably, the politicians who made this calculation had no idea that reality would strike back this hard and this fast — that Florida would so quickly find itself with almost nine times New York’s rate of hospitalizations, that cities in Texas would find themselves virtually out of I.C.U. beds. But it’s almost impossible for them to change course. If Ron DeSantis were to admit the deadliness of his Covid mistakes, his political ambitions would be over.

So Covid denial has turned out to be even worse than climate denial. We’ve gone from cynical catering to corporate interests to aggressive, performative anti-rationality. And the right’s descent continues, with no bottom in sight.

NBCNews: 6 unvaccinated Florida church members die of Covid within 10 days, pastor says http://nbcnews.to/3s4dHk1
// None of the victims were vaccinated, and four were healthy and under the age of 35, according to the pastor at Impact Church in Jacksonville.

WaPo: Judge asks why Capitol rioters are paying just $1.5 million for attack, while U.S. taxpayers will pay more than $500 million http://wapo.st/3lMkcXG
// Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell of Washington

‼️ 🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote WOW. Superseding indictments including conspiracy to aid and abet persons known AND unknown to obstruct electoral college verification (among other charges). Question: is it more likely they aided and abetted other insurrectionists, or bigger fish? [Indictments:] [pdf] http://bit.ly/3jBscYZ 41p
// leaders of the Oath Keepers, Eg Thomas Caldwell, Jessica Watkins, 15 others

WaPo, Greg Sargent: Shocking new Trump-DOJ revelations should shape the Jan. 6 investigation http://wapo.st/3xtJRqt “[T]hese revelations go to the core of Trump’s true intent”

🐣 RT @Msdesignerlady In 1923 Adolf Hitler attempted a failed coup, he went unpunished, then 10 years later he gained power. ¤ tRump refers to Hitler’s handbook. ¤ Seditionists must be held accountable, what happened on Jan. 6th was a dress rehearsal. ¤ #SeditionHasConsequences
// 8/7/2021
💙 ⋙ 🐣 So too with Russia 🔆 ‼️ ⋙ WaPo, Vladimir Kara-Murza (2017): Putin’s dark cult of the secret police http://wapo.st/3vJs8dr (Kara-Murza is a Russian dissident; this 2017 article not only proved prophetic for Russia but offers warnings the United States post-Jan 6) Text Block: ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1424702323167727623?s=20/photo/1

“The failure to condemn and eliminate the vestiges of the KGB in 1990s Russia is a textbook example of why it is important for post-totalitarian (or post-authoritarian) governments to fully face up to — and deal with — the past. Those who successfully opposed a full reckoning with the legacy of Soviet terror in Russia cited the alleged unwillingness of society to conduct “witch hunts.” They were warned by the most far-sighted of democrats (such as Galina Starovoitova and Vladimir Bukovsky) that “the witches will come back to hunt us.” And so they did — and continue today. A democratic post-Putin government in Russia must make every effort to fully come to terms with past crimes committed on behalf of the state — and to make an official celebration of the founding of the Cheka in Russia as unthinkable as a celebration of the founding of the Gestapo or Stasi would be in today’s Germany.”

MSN/ABCNews: Trump sees limits to his GOP sway as infrastructure advances: The Note http://bit.ly/3s3xO1J “Former President Donald Trump is warning his party to hold out, yet key GOP lawmakers either are not listening or do not care”

⭕ 8 Aug 2021

WaPo, Ruth Marcus: Trump’s coup attempt grows even more worrisome as new details emerge http://wapo.st/37sHsBD “The drip-drip-drip evolution of this story has served to mask how serious the threat was and how close it came to fruition”

WaPo: ‘Goldilocks virus’: Delta vanquishes all variant rivals as scientists race to understand its tricks http://wapo.st/3yzXw0f “The variant battles of 2021 are part of a longer war, one that is far from over”

Epidemiologists had hoped getting 70 or 80 percent of the population vaccinated, in combination with immunity from natural infections, would bring the virus under control. But a more contagious virus means the vaccination target has to be much higher, perhaps in the range of 90 percent.

Globally, that could take years. In the United States, the target may be impossible to reach anytime soon given the hardened vaccine resistance in a sizable fraction of the country, the fact that children under 12 remain ineligible and the persistent circulation of disinformation about vaccines and the pandemic.

⭕ 7 Aug 2021

NYT: For G.O.P., Infrastructure Bill Is a Chance to Inch Away from Trump http://nyti.ms/3AnNU9o “Even Mr. McConnell, who helped to orchestrate his two impeachment acquittals, now appears ready to buck the former president and embrace the infrastructure package”
// The former president’s efforts to bring down the bipartisan deal fell mostly on deaf ears among Republicans, signaling his waning influence on Capitol Hill. Can it last?

⭕ 6 Aug 2021

DailyBeast, Tim Lawrence: Sturgis Rally Death Cult Pits Nurses Against Panicked Docs http://bit.ly/2VFhI2b
// Last year was widely derided as a disaster. But health-care workers here are far from united on the eve of this year’s rally, which is fueled by a tradition of local bloodlust.

WaPo: Men from New Jersey and Washington state are first to plead guilty to assaulting police in Jan. 6 Capitol riot http://wapo.st/3CpOBRz “The agreements … set potential benchmarks for at least 165 defendants charged with assaulting or impeding officers”
// Scott K. Fairlamb and Devlyn D. Thompson face what they acknowledged in plea agreements could be three to five years in prison under sentencing guidelines.

💙 💽 CNN: CNN reporter to Mike Lindell: You have ‘proof of nothing’ http://cnn.it/2VzK3Yb
// interview

WaPo, Philip Bump: The most dangerous scam in American history http://wapo.st/2VzYhbk
// Mike Lindell’s deluded and well-financed false claims about the 2020 election are the sort of thing that led to Jan. 6.

WaPo: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally revs up, drawing thousands and heightening delta superspreader fears http://wapo.st/3lDcm2D

WaPo, Dana Milbank: We can’t let the terrorists rewrite the history of Jan. 6 http://wapo.st/3yx60Ft “In the retelling of Jan. 6, we see an echo of Lost Cause mythology”

HullaBaLoo, Digby: The coup attempt was much more serious than we knew http://bit.ly/3yyh9pu “Trump wanted the DOJ to back his Big Lie despite both Barr and Rosen telling him there was no fraud”

🐣 RT @tribelaw 56 years ago today, on August 6, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act. Rarely has a more important piece of legislation become law. We should celebrate it by carving voting rights out of the filibuster.

🐣 RT @BarackObama The Voting Rights Act, signed into law 56 years ago today, was a monumental piece of legislation. But with the Supreme Court and state legislatures making it harder to cast a ballot, we can’t take voting rights for granted. 📌 https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/1423690344798035972?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @BarackObama Congress needs to summon the same courage we saw a half century ago when the Voting Rights Act was passed and guarantee every American a voice and a vote.

⭕ 5 Aug 2021

CNN: MyPillow magnate Mike Lindell’s latest election conspiracy theory is his most bizarre yet http://cnn.it/3AjZsuy “Since Trump’s loss last fall, Lindell has been a superspreader of election misinformation”

Since the presidential election, Christina Jensen says she’s been stopped on the street several times by acquaintances who wanted to share troubling news: hackers from Beijing had switched nearly 24,000 votes for Donald Trump in their rural, GOP-leaning Wisconsin county. ¤ Jensen, the Clark County clerk and a Republican herself, has patiently explained that the local election computer system isn’t connected to the internet — and the county has less than 17,000 registered voters overall.

His latest and most operatic theory involves a sweeping conspiracy in which hackers from China and other foreign countries broke into elections office computer systems around the country to reduce the number of votes for Trump. The claim is supported, he says, by “heroes” who supposedly captured data proving the hacking and then leaked it to Lindell in January.

WaPo: ‘It was riot and mayhem’: Biden, honoring police, warns against distorting Capitol assault http://wapo.st/3rVW5qB

“It wasn’t dissent. It wasn’t debate. It wasn’t democracy,” Biden said during a somber ceremony in the Rose Garden. “It was insurrection. It was riot and mayhem. It was radical and chaotic, and it was unconstitutional. Maybe most important, it was fundamentally un-American.”

As Congress was certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election that day, a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump, many coming directly from a rally where Trump had urged them to “fight like hell,” stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop the process.

“The tragedy of that day deserves the truth above all else,” the president said. “We cannot allow history to be rewritten. We cannot allow the heroism of these officers to be forgotten. We have to understand what happened — the honest and unvarnished truth. We have to face it. That’s what great nations do.”

The violence and menace of the Jan. 6 assault, now being investigated by a special House committee, have become increasingly clear as more information and videos have emerged. Lawmakers were forced into hiding, and rioters rampaged through the building, threatening to kill Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

One Capitol Police officer, Brian D. Sicknick, died after confronting the rioters, and four other officers who were at the Capitol that day have died by suicide in the days and months since.

Trump and his supporters, meanwhile, have become more outspoken in portraying the riot as a largely peaceful gathering of supporters, justifiably upset by the election, who have been unfairly targeted by Democrats and the media. They have even started to blame Pelosi for the violence, saying it was her responsibility to protect the Capitol.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), the newly selected chair of the House GOP, recently said Pelosi “bears responsibility” for the violence, describing her as “an authoritarian who has broken the people’s house.”

Ashli Babbitt, a rioter and Trump supporter who was killed while storming the Capitol, has increasingly been transformed into a martyr among the former president’s supporters. Babbitt was shot as she attempted to jump through a door that led to the House chamber as police were trying to hold the chamber and defend those in it against the mob.

At a rally last month in Florida, Trump called the shooting “a terrible thing” and said “there was no reason for it.”

“The fallen, in my view, are casualties of a struggle literally for the soul of America,” Biden said. “A struggle that they didn’t start, a struggle we didn’t seek, and a struggle that, by the grace of God, we’ll win.”

💙 Slate, Richard Hasen: Trump Is Planning a Much More Respectable Coup Next Time http://bit.ly/2VBiVHU

WaPo: Merrick Garland: It is time for Congress to act again to protect the right to vote http://wapo.st/2VxaltY

Uprising, Hunter Walker: Exclusive: Going Down The ‘Big Lie’ Rabbit Hole With Former President Trump http://bit.ly/3yz6XgM “the workings of a complex effort to spread false election narratives”
// The Uprising obtained the former president’s purported evidence of election fraud. Trump’s statement reveals the origins of his conspiracy theories and how key conservative allies fuel them.

Politico: Jan. 6 select panel takes over House probe of Trump DOJ http://politi.co/3Cpcmt8
// The Oversight Committee’s chair said in a statement that “we look forward to the Select Committee fully exposing the former president’s unconstitutional attacks on our democracy.”

WaPo: Here’s a roadmap for the Justice Department to follow in investigating Trump http://wapo.st/3ClgKcA by Lawrence Tribe, Barbara McQuade and Joyce White Vance
// The Oversight Committee’s chair said in a statement that “we look forward to the Select Committee fully exposing the former president’s unconstitutional attacks on our democracy.”

⏳ JustSecurity: Mark Meadows Timeline: The Chief of Staff and Schemes to Overturn 2020 Election http://bit.ly/3rUWd9V

⭕ 4 Aug 2021

💽 MSNBC, Maddow: Trump DOJ official prepped to ask GOP in six states to void Biden win: Krishnamoorthi http://on.msnbc.com/3rXM6kx
// Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi discusses how close Donald Trump came to deploying Justice Department appointees to overturn the results of the 2020 election, and reveals that Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark drafted letters to six states that Joe Biden won, encouraging Republicans to overturn Biden’s win. 

CNN: Justice official accused Trump of using DOJ to push election fraud claims in draft resignation letter http://cnn.it/3yqKimC
// Patrick Hovakimian, chief of staff to then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, wrote the resignation letter January 3 in anticipation that Rosen would be fired

🐣 RT @LuluLemew “It is one thing to note how the US appears to be following the template for a slide into autocracy. It is another to quantify it.” ¤ Welp… ¤ Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Project at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden has quantified it … and it’s not good. 📌 https://twitter.com/LuluLemew/status/1423116707007287298?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 RT @LuluLemew “…how far and fast the U.S. has fallen. It adds to the body of evidence that Republicans have drifted toward authoritarianism, while their economic policies were always far to the right. The data only goes up to 2018, and does not represent the events of 2020” ¤ American Fascism[:] https://twitter.com/LuluLemew/status/1423116711696506882?s=20/photo/1
💙📔 V-Dem: Varieties of Democracy Report: Autocratization Turns Viral (2021) http://bit.ly/3irpea9
// University of Gothenburg, Sweden; “Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) produces the largest global dataset on democracy with almost 30 million data points for 202 countries from 1789 to 2020. Involving over 3,500 scholars and other country experts, V-Dem measures hundreds of different attributes of democracy. V-Dem enables new ways to study the nature, causes, and consequences of democracy embracing its multiple meanings.”

🐣 RT @allinwithchris .@chrislhayes: “The document we learned about yesterday should live in infamy in American history as a truly villainous text. And if the acting AG at the time had signed that document, it would have likely thrown the U.S. into the worst constitutional crisis since the Civil War.” 💽 https://twitter.com/allinwithchris/status/1423072954179538944?s=20/photo/1

Law&Crime: Seeking Immunity From Suit Over Jan. 6th Attack, Rep. Mo Brooks Tells Judge He Was Simply ‘Cooperating’ with the ‘White House’ http://bit.ly/3xpu1wM

WaPo, Max Boot: Yes, Trump tried to stage a coup. By denying it, the right is laying the groundwork for another one. http://wapo.st/2Vm07ws

WaPo, Philip Bump: A newly released letter tells us more about Trump’s last-ditch push to steal the election http://wapo.st/3imbWeX
// The insurrection before the insurrection

⭕ 3 Aug 2021

🐣 RT @C_C_Krebs Complete & utter madness. Rosen & Donoghue rightly rejected Clark’s anti-democratic plot. One more reminder of the former president’s insane agenda to overturn a free & fair election. We must learn. The threat remains. Those that don’t call this out for what it is are complicit.
⋙ 🐣≣ RT @alex_mallin Here’s the draft letter Jeffrey Clark wanted acting AG Rosen and Richard Donoghue to sign off on to send to officials in Georgia urging them to halt certification of Joe Biden’s election win. Rosen and Donoghue refused. https://abcn.ws/3xgKYtq https://twitter.com/alex_mallin/status/1422728769584906242?s=20/photo/1-4

⭕ 2 Aug 2021

NewYorker, Jane Mayer: The Big Money Behind the Big Lie http://bit.ly/37vY0Zt
// Donald Trump’s attacks on democracy are being promoted by rich and powerful conservative groups that are determined to win at all costs.

💙 🧵 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 1/ ¤ Most people have not yet grasped the importance of July 30 ¤ That date is when the TRAJECTORY changed on Trump path to prison ¤ And more importantly, it is a major milestone in how eventually the nation will be CURED of Trumpism, magamadness & #Cult45 📌 https://twitter.com/tomiahonen/status/1422147669636665347?s=20

⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 2/
We who are not part of Trump cult, have seen it all happening and knew Trump is a serial con artist, running a scam, there was no voter fraud, he tried to stage a coup d’etat to hold onto power etc. ¤ WE KNOW THIS. But there was plausible deniability
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 3/
Up to July 29, 2021, the Trump team & those who side with him, could cling to plausible deniability strategy
They could claim that Trump HIMSELF did not launch the attack. This could in court be claimed as a victim defense. The rioters misunderstood Trump
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 4/
Do not ARGUE this point with me. WE KNOW what is the truth. I am saying what THEIR SIDE could claim up to 29 July, 2021, on Fox, and by all corrupt defenders of Trump like Qevin McCarthy, Gym Jordan, Statutory Gaetz, Boebert = Gohmert, & Marjorie Three Toes
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 5/
That defense crumbled on Friday. Two TOPMOST attorneys at Department of Justice, the Acting Attorney General of the United States, and his immediate deputy AG, heard the President identify planners of a coup d’etat, IN CONGRESS, and that THERE WAS NO fraud
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 6/
Trump and Republicans cannot claim this is a partisan witch hunt, when a Republican President confesses to HIS appointed (acting) Attorney General, fellow Republican, that three Republican members of Congress are with him on a coup d’etat IN DECEMBER
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 7/
So Trump, a Republican President, confesses this to a Republican AG, while the Republican is the President, and the Republicans still control the Senate. It takes out ‘partisan’ in the claim of witch hunt. Because this happened WHILE HE WAS PRESIDENT
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 8/
Secondly. The witches. Are NAMED. We know there are more in Congress who participated in this plot to overturn the election, deny the vote of 81 million voters & make Trump King. Now we have a smoking gun, identifying three IN CONGRESS who plotted with him
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 9/
These 3 will be known as traitors, together with Trump, in history books:
● Corrupt R. Congressman House Rep Jim ‘Gym’ Jordan (OH)
● Corrupt R. Congressman House Rep Scott Perry (PA)
● Corrupt R. Congressman Senator Ron Johnson (WI)
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 10/
The correct course of action, for any Congressman who had sworn his oath to defend the Constitution, was at the FIRST mention of a coup, to report the other traitors to the FBI. There would have been 1,000 FBI agents in ambush at the Capitol with handcuffs
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 11/
Now we know that Trump was not a ‘victim’ of a mob that suddenly went berzerk, and rioted, against his will. Because we have CONTEMPORANEOUS notes from the phone call on 27 December, when Trump said, he KNEW there was no fraud, but he would take care of it
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 12/
This CHANGES THE TRAJECTORY
Now it was not a spontaneous riot on 6 January. It was a PLANNED attack from AT LEAST 27 December. Not only organized by Trump ‘supporters’ like Roger Stone & Giuliani, or Moron Son number 1, and the My Pillow Guy ¤ TRUMP KNEW
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 13/
We – you and I – knew Trump was planning this. but Fox could claim that Trump was innocent, and the riot went berzerk, and Trump is innocent.
That defense died 30 July. Trump KNEW there is no voter fraud, but planned an insurrection. We have smoking gun
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 14/
It is a LONG ROAD ahead, to take Trump to prison for January 6. This is a Mafia trial: the boss ALWAYS is tried last
● First rioters
● Then organizers
● Then planners
● Last Trump
Have patience, this takes YEARS. But we have a MAJOR change now, July 30, 2021
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 15/
Because the evidence will show, this was a PLANNED insurrection, terrorist attack and attempted coup d’etat, those who planned it will do LIFE SENTENCES without parole. Some who are first to flip, may do ‘only’ decades in prison
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 16/
Four elected Republicans conspired to attack America, knowing there is no fraud, but using a fake fraud claim as their excuse to try to overturn an election.
They will among other things face 14th Amendment punishment of never running for office again
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 17/
At some point, what remains of GOP, will denounce the traitors. Romney & Liz Cheney are in Congress leading that movement, supported by Republicans outside of Congress like Ana Navarro & John Kasich. ¤ This moment, July 30, is the threshold
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 18/
Republicans will have to take a side, are they with the seditionists Gym Jordan, Ron Johnson & Scott Perry, or do they stand with America & the Constitution. This is a watershed moment. Once GOP has seen the light, they will also extinguish Maga & Trumpism
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 19/
The internal civil war will likely rage inside GOP for next 3 years (past 2024 election loss) when EARLIEST timing of the purge of Trumpists & maga can start
MORE LIKELY timing is after 2028 election loss. GOP is now sick with #cult45 & damaging itself
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 20/
Understand the relevance of Friday 30 July 2021. It was a CHANGE OF TRAJECTORY for not just Trump, but for Trumpism. We caught 3 Republican traitors. They will face justice & will spend life in prison (first to flip might get out after some decades)
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen PS to everybody in this Thread ¤ THANK YOU. In just 8 hours you have helped make this one of my most-widely spread Threads, which has been read by over 210,000 people. That is more than twice my TOTAL reach. Thank you. You helped YOUR Tweeps read this and understand it.

🧵 RT @paulkrugman I’ve been doing some number-crunching on Florida, which has become the poster child for red-state Covid disaster; not only does it top the nation in hospitalizations per capita, but it’s far bigger than the other disaster states 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/1422177108298719233?s=20/photo/1

Bloomberg: Trump’s GDP Growth Was the Worst Since the Great Depression http://bloom.bg/3rNwujD
// The pandemic was partly to blame, and there are some measures that make his record look better. But it was not a stellar performance

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: The most damning evidence against Trump http://wapo.st/3ig3XzU Trump’s Dec 27 phone call with Acting AG Jeffrey Rosen and Deputy AG Richard Donoghue settles it ~ or should
// cites Lawrence Tribe, Daniel Goldman, Norman Eisen

⭕ 1 Aug 2021

⭕ 31 Jul 2021

NYT: Already Distorting Jan. 6, G.O.P. Now Concocts Entire Counternarrative http://nyti.ms/2WHTDbz
// In the Republicans’ disinformation campaign, the arrested Capitol rioters are political prisoners and Speaker Nancy Pelosi is to blame for the attack.

WaPo, Dan Balz: ‘Leave the rest to me’: New DOJ memos show there’s more to learn about Trump and Jan. 6 http://wapo.st/3rTrnOY “The latest disclosures offer a reminder that it was the president himself who was doing the most to corrupt the election results”

For months, Trump has been on a political jihad. It began the night of the election and has never ended. The latest disclosures offer a reminder that it was the president himself who was doing the most to corrupt the election results. The House select committee and other investigations are one way to begin to hold him more accountable.

These revelations are from notes kept by then-acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue, top aide to then-acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen, including a conversation the two men had with Trump on Dec. 27. The documents were provided by the Justice Department to Congress and released publicly on Friday.

Post journalists Devlin Barrett and Josh Dawsey had reported on Wednesday the existence of the notes, describing Trump as in regular, almost daily, contact with DOJ officials as he pressed them to investigate and prove various (false) claims of election irregularities. In that Dec. 27 conversation, Trump was told that the information he had about fraud claims was not accurate. Trump replied, according to the notes: “You guys may not be following the Internet the way I do.”

Trump was told further that the department would not and could not simply “snap its fingers” and change the outcome of the election. Trump said he understood but nonetheless wanted the department to “just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. congressmen,” according to Donoghue’s summary of the conversation.

Trump’s goal was to delay or disrupt the final stage in the post-election vote-counting process. That last step was to take place on Jan. 6 before a joint session of Congress, with Vice President Mike Pence presiding. That was the day Congress was to affirm the electoral college vote count, sealing the victory of Joe Biden and closing the last door on the defeated incumbent.

In the weeks after the election, Trump had pressured Rosen’s predecessor, William P. Barr, who eventually said publicly the department had investigated various allegations and found no evidence of fraud big enough to change the election results (and has since been reported to say it was all a crock). Barr resigned as attorney general just before Christmas, leaving the department in the hands of Rosen and Donoghue. …

The value of a full investigation into what happened leading up to and including Jan. 6 is to tell the story whole. It is a story that begins not with the marauders who overwhelmed law enforcement officials at the Capitol. It begins long before and with Donald Trump. If it were not for him and what he did to try to subvert the election, it is doubtful the Capitol would have needed defending on Jan. 6.

NYT Editorial: Russia’s New Form of Organized Crime Is Menacing the World http://nyti.ms/ 3zYEL7k

⭕ 30 Jul 2021

WaPo: Congress should get Trump’s tax returns, Biden Justice Department says http://wapo.st/3zVZ5WW

WaPo: It’s a good thing Republican election-stealers are so incompetent http://wapo.st/3ye8uIU “The Arizona election audit, a kind of Renaissance fair for deranged conspiracy theorists and Donald Trump dead-enders, has finally wound down its work … ”

The Arizona election audit, a kind of Renaissance fair for deranged conspiracy theorists and Donald Trump dead-enders, has finally wound down its work, returning nearly 2.1 million ballots to county officials after they were massaged, squinted at, passed under UV lights and examined for traces of bamboo to see if they might have come from Asia (I kid you not). We await the final report, which may at last reveal that it was aliens from the planet Xerpdorp, working with George Soros and D.B. Cooper, who stole the state’s election.

The Maricopa County audit, which Trump has insisted all along would show that he really won the state, has been such a farce that even many Arizona Republicans have tried to distance themselves from it. GOP state senators are feuding with one another over whose fault it is; the governor says, “I don’t think we should spend any more time thinking about 2020”; and the whole thing has proved to be a gigantic embarrassment.

To understand just how much the Republican Party has changed, it’s instructive to think back to the last contested election before 2020, in 2000. When the results in Florida were thrown into uncertainty, the GOP mobilized its smartest and most ruthless operatives to make sure the outcome was secured in George W. Bush’s favor. The enterprise was run by the cool and efficient James Baker, who had been a Cabinet secretary and chief of staff to two presidents.

Baker assembled a team of the party’s best lawyers, including three future Supreme Court justices — John G. Roberts Jr., Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — to fight the battle in state and federal courts. There was no “release the Kraken” courtroom buffoonery and no Four Seasons Total Landscaping-style face plants. The drama may have been chaotic, but inside the chaos was a highly competent group of Republican professionals who navigated it all the way to the Supreme Court, where five Republican justices handed the victory to Bush. ¤ Now imagine if people like them — rather than Rudolph W. Giuliani, a bunch of QAnon believers and the MyPillow guy — were the ones trying to steal elections today.

So it would be wrong to say that we have nothing to worry about. This is only one part of a broader picture, which is that nearly everyone in the Republican Party has committed themselves to the idea that our election system must be altered so that it’s almost impossible for them to lose. They have put together a far-reaching and comprehensive effort that includes extreme gerrymandering; voter suppression measures to make it as difficult and cumbersome as possible for certain people to make it to the polls in the first place; and, perhaps most disturbingly, the creation of new avenues for state-level Republicans, especially GOP-dominated legislatures, to seize control of election administration and create the means for them to keep a thumb on the scale from beginning to end.

That’s where the real, grave danger lies. It has to be fought via the courts, Congress (which ought to pass the For the People Act, as unlikely as that seems right now) and the Justice Department, as well as ground organizing to get as many people as possible to the polls no matter the impediments Republicans impose. ¤ But when Democrats watch a farce like the Arizona audit play itself out, they ought to say a word of thanks. If these people knew what they were doing, it could be even worse.

WaPo: Trump to acting AG, according to aide’s notes: ‘Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me’ http://wapo.st/3C8wBev

💙 📋 DOJ: Notes from phone call with Trump on 12/27/2020 http://bit.ly/3yer0AV
// pdf of notes document

💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Trump Pressed Justice Dept. to Declare Election Results Corrupt, Notes Show http://nyti.ms/37aIC4A
// “Leave the rest to me” and to congressional allies, the former president is said to have told top law enforcement officials.

⭕ 29 Jul 2021

TheAtlantic, Anne Applebaum: Mike Lindell’s Plot to Destroy America http://bit.ly/3xfeH62
// In the time I spent with Mike Lindell, I came to learn that he is affable, devout, philanthropic—and a clear threat to the nation.

⭕ 28 Jul 2021

CNN: Subpoena fight looms over Trump as House committee plots extensive January 6 probe http://cnn.it/3y76Qsp

WaPo: Justice Dept: Republican Rep. Mo Brooks may be sued over Jan. 6 speech to Trump supporters http://wapo.st/3yds3kz

⭕ 27 Jul 2021

💙 🔄 🔆 This❗️⋙ House.gov: https://january6th.house.gov ¤ https://january6th.house.gov

🐣 RT @just_security #Jan6Clearinghouse update ¤ New Documents:
Department of Justice letters to former U.S. officials authorizing testimony to Congress without executive privilege
(section on government documents)
💙 🔄 ⋙⋙ JustSecurity: January 6 Clearinghouse ¤ Congressional Hearings, Government Documents, Court Cases, Academic Research http://bit.ly/
// 7/13/2021
⋙ 🐣 RT @ 2. Justice Dept Letters Authorizing Officials to Speak to Congress on Pres Trump’s Effort to Overturn Election
Sent to:
Jeffrey Rosen
Richard P Donoghue
Patrick Hovakimian
Byung Jin Pak
Bobby L Christine
Jeffrey B Clark
Direct link to letters: http://bit.ly/3zOmCbY
Sample 👇 https://twitter.com/just_security/status/1420081752744280066?s=20/photo/1-3

🐣 RT @rgoodlaw |@AndyMcCanse draws on his deep expertise in analyzing Justice Dept letters opening up former Trump officials to testify about #Jan6/2020 election. ¤ How DOJ position works well within existing framework. ¤ How it may implicate investigations/litigation.
🐣 RT @AndyMcCanse My @just_security analysis of the DOJ letter authorizing former Trump administration officials to provide “unrestricted testimony” in the congressional investigations of post-election machinations, and what it means for executive privilege doctrine.
💙 ⋙ JustSecurity, Andy Wright: Unpacking the DOJ Letters: No “Executive Privilege” for Trump-Era Witnesses on 2020 Election Machinations http://bit.ly/3j3OjqN

💙 WaPo: As Trump pushed for probes of 2020 election, he called Attorney General Rosen almost daily http://wapo.st/3rFJjMI DOJ has informed Rosen and others that Biden will “has decided that it would not be appropriate to assert executive privilege“ over these communications

President Donald Trump called his acting attorney general nearly every day at the end of last year to alert him to claims of voter fraud or alleged improper vote counts in the 2020 election, according to two people familiar with the conversations.

The personal pressure campaign, which has not been previously reported, involved repeated phone calls to acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen in which Trump raised various allegations he had heard about and asked what the Justice Department was doing about the issue. The people familiar with the conversations spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive legal and political issues that are not yet public.

Rosen told few people about the phone calls, even in his inner circle. But there are notes of some of the calls that were written by a top aide to Rosen, Richard Donoghue, who was present for some of the conversations, these people said.

Donoghue’s notes could be turned over to Congress in a matter of days, they added, if Trump does not file papers in court seeking to block such a handover. In addition, both Rosen and Donoghue could be questioned about the conversations by congressional committees examining Trump’s actions in the days after the election.

The Justice Department recently notified Rosen, Donoghue and others who were serving there during the end of Trump’s presidency that the agency would not seek to invoke executive privilege if they are asked about their contacts with the president during that period.

That posture — which the letter to Rosen calls a departure from normal agency practice — means that individuals who are questioned by Congress would not have to say the conversations with the president were off-limits. They would be able to share details that give a firsthand account of Trump’s frantic attempts to overturn the 2020 election and involve the Justice Department in that effort.

In May, Rosen pointedly told Congress he did not do many of the things Trump supporters had demanded.

“During my tenure, no special prosecutors were appointed, whether for election fraud or otherwise; no public statements were made questioning the election; no letters were sent to State officials seeking to overturn the election results; [and] no DOJ court actions or filings were submitted seeking to overturn election results,” Rosen testified.

The phone calls came in late 2020 and early 2021, when Trump and his supporters were furiously pressing for officials at all levels of the government to intercede in the usually routine process of certifying the election results — asking them to either launch new investigations, support unverified allegations of fraud or manipulation of vote counts, or otherwise throw up roadblocks to Democrat Joe Biden becoming president.

The calls began almost immediately after William P. Barr stepped down as attorney general in late December, and ended after the Jan. 6 insurrection at Congress, people familiar with them said.

Rosen was generally noncommittal, hearing the president out, while not promising to take any specific action in response, these people said. At times, they said, he would try to change the subject, but was usually unsuccessful. “Trump was absolutely obsessed about it,” one person with knowledge of the calls said.

Trump was not the only one at the White House reaching out to the Justice Department about dubious claims of election vote tampering. Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, at times forwarded public claims of potential voter fraud to Justice Department officials, which some officials found exasperating, according to previously released emails. Meadows’s defenders have said he