Author Archive for Auriandra Bonner


🔴 Script 9:8 Dr Razmik Maier 


🔴 Script 9:8 Dr Razmik Maier (№ 168)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 1/13/2022 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
EntertainmentWeekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 9:8 Dr Razmik Maier ’


🔴 Script 9:7 Between Sleep & Awake 


🔴 Script 9:7 Between Sleep and Awake

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 1/6/2022 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
EntertainmentWeekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 9:7 Between Sleep & Awake ’


🔴 Script 9:5 Benjamin T Okara


🔴 Script 9:8 Dr Razmik Maier (№ 168)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 1/13/2022 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
EntertainmentWeekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 9:5 Benjamin T Okara’


🔴 Script 9:4 The Avenging Angel


🔴 Script 9:4 The Avenging Angel (№ 49)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 11/11/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
EntertainmentWeekly Recap:
🎹 TuneFind:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 9:4 The Avenging Angel’


🔴 Script 9:3 The SPK


🔴 Script 9:3 The SPK (№ 178)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 11/4/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
EntertainmentWeekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 9:3 The SPK’


🔴 Script 9:2 The Skinner Pt 2


🔴 Script 9:2 The Skinner – Conclusion (№ 45)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 10/28/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
EntertainmentWeekly: Recap:
🎹 TuneFind:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 9:2 The Skinner Pt 2’


🔴 Script 9:1 The Skinner


🔴 Script 9:1 The Skinner (№ 45)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 10/21/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
TVLine Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 9:1 The Skinner’


🔴 Scribblings & Scuttlebutt 


🔴 Scribblings and Scuttlebutt Aug 2019 – present

My little corner: musings, comments and personal notes. This is probably the closest thing on this blog to a “blog.” I post lots of notes on things not working or behind (with explanations and apologies!). Increasingly, that’s been mostly what it is. Reverse chronological. Comments are open.
Continue reading ‘🔴 Scribblings & Scuttlebutt ’


🔴 Script 8:22 Konets


🔴 Script 8:22 Konets

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 6/23/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
Entertainment Weekly (Ending):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:22 Konets’


🔴 Script 8:21 Nachalo


🔴 Script 8:21 Nachalo

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 6/16/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:21 Nachalo’


🔴 Script 8:20 Godwin Page


🔴 Script 8:20 Godwin Page (№ 141)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 6/4/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode: [ No Songs ]
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:20 Godwin Page’


🔴 Script 8:19 Balthazar “Bino” Baker


🔴 Script 8:19 Balthazar “Bino” Baker (№ 129)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 5/28/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:19 Balthazar “Bino” Baker’


🔴 Script 8:18 The Protean


🔴 Script 8:18 The Protean (№ 36)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 5/21/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:18 The Protean’


🔴 Script 8:17 Ivan Stepanov


🔴 Script 8:17 Ivan Stepanov (№ 5)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 5/14/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:17 Ivan Stepanov’


🔴 Script 8:16 Nicholas Obenrader


🔴 Script 8:16 Nicholas Obenrader (№ 133)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 5/7/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode: [No Songs]
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:16 Nicholas Obenrader’


🔴 Script 8:15 The Russian Knot


🔴 Script 8:15 The Russian Knot

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 4/30/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode: [ No Songs ]
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:15 The Russian Knot’


🔴 Script 8:14 Misère


🔴 Script 8:14 Misère

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 4/23/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:14 Misère’


🔴 Script 8:13 Anne


🔴 Script 8:13 Anne

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 4/16/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:13 Anne’


🔴 Script 8:12 Rakitin


🔴 Script 8:12 Rakitin (№ 28)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 4/2/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:12 Rakitin’


🔴 Script 8:11 Captain Kidd


🔴 Script 8:11 Captain Kidd (№ 96)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 3/26/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:11 Captain Kidd’


🔴 Script 8:10 Dr Laken Perillos


🔴 Script 8:10 Dr Laken Perillos (№ 70)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 3/12/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:10 Dr Laken Perillos’


🔴 Script 8:9 The Cyranoid


🔴 Script 8:9 The Cyranoid (№ 35)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 3/5/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode: [No Songs]
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:9 The Cyranoid’


🔴 Script 8:8 Ogden Greeley


🔴 Script 8:8 Ogden Greeley (№ 40)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 2/26/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:8 Ogden Greeley’


🔴 Script 8:7 Chemical Mary


🔴 Script 8:7 Chemical Mary (№ 143)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 2/19/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:7 Chemical Mary’


🔴 Script 8:6 Wellstone Agency


🔴 Script 8:6 The Wellstone Agency (№ 127)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 2/12/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:6 Wellstone Agency’


🔴 Script 8:5 Fribourg Confidence


🔴 Script 8:5 The Fribourg Confidence (№ 140)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 2/5/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):’
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:5 Fribourg Confidence’


🔴 Script 8:4 Elizabeth Keen


🔴 Script 8:4 Elizabeth Keen (№ 1)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 1/29/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:4 Elizabeth Keen’


🔴 Script 8:3 16 Ounces


🔴 Script 8:3 16 Ounces

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 1/22/2021 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Script Permalink:
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode: [No songs]
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:3 16 Ounces’


🔴 Script 8:2 Katarina Rostova Pt 2


🔴 Script 8:2 Katarina Rostova – Pt 2 (№ 3)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 11/20/2020 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎹 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:2 Katarina Rostova Pt 2’


🔴 Script 8:1 Roanoke


🔴 Script 8:1 Roanoke (№ 139)

NBC’s series The Blacklist starring James Spader and Megan Boone
Series created by: Jon Bokenkamp
Program air date: 11/13/2020 in the US (7pm Central/Chicago Time)
Entertainment Weekly Recap:
🎶 Tunefind for Episode:
IMDb (Internet Movie Database):
Source: Raw Script from OurBoard: [ dump of captioning ]
Continue reading ‘🔴 Script 8:1 Roanoke’


🔴 The Trump Files 2021


🔴 The Trump Files 2021


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 Biden/Burisma/Ukraine Fact Checks

💽Recommended⋙ Mueller She Wrote Podcast  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)
// 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
// 5/11/2016, Intro
⋙ 📒 ECFR, Mark Galeotti [EU] (2016): Report: Putin’s Hydra: Inside Russia’s Intelligence Services [pdf] 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
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
// new November 2018, to be continually updated

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 Select Committee to Investigate the JANUARY 6TH Attack on the United States Capitol

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 JustSecurity: Public Document Clearinghouse: UKRAINE Impeachment Inquiry ‼️ Links to ALL documents ‼️

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 AmericanOversight: Trump-Ukraine Key Figures and Documents
AmericanOversight: The Trump Administration’s Contacts with Ukraine from FOIA requests

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 JustSecurity, Andy Wright: Just Security Launches the Russia Investigation Congressional Clearinghouse
// 8/22/2019

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 Lawfare: Full Text of the Mueller Report’s Executive Summaries
// 4/18/2019

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 Lawfare: Document: The Mueller Report
// 4/18/2019

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

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 WaPo: Trump impeachment inquiry: Latest news and updates [Continually updated]

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


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

⋙ 💙💙🔄 TheAtlantic, Yoni Appelbaum: Impeach Donald Trump
//March 2019 cover story

⋙ 💙💙🔄 Politico Mag, Darren Samuelsohn: The Only Impeachment Guide You’ll Ever Need
// 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
// 1/13/2019

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

⋙ 💙💙🔄 Wikipedia: Timeline of investigations into Trump and Russia (2018)

⋙ 💙💙🔄 Axios: Timeline: Every big move in the Mueller investigation
// 12/12/2018

@Jzikah’s Amazon page:
⋙ 💙💙🔄 Moyers&Co: Interactive Timeline: Everything We Know About Russia and President Trump
// continually updated

⋙ 💙💙🔄📒 DocumentCloud: Steele Dossier [pdf] 35p

⋙ 💙💙🔄📒 FBIRecordsVault: Records Between FBI and Christopher Steele

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ AP: Mueller Investigation documents

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ CitJourno: Trump/Russian Mob Connections

@Jzikah’s Amazon page:
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ CNN, Marshall Cohen, Tal Yellen & Liz Stark: Tracking the Russia investigations (documents)

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Russian Hacking and Influence in the U.S. Election

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ BrennanCenter: Trump-Russia Investigations

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

⋙ 💙💙🔄 TheMoscowProject: Trump’s Russia Cover-Up By the Numbers
// Center for American Progress; 80+ contacts with Russia-linked operatives

@Jzikah’s Amazon page:
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NBCNews: Russia timeline: Key players, meetings and investigation details

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ DailyBeast: Democrats Release the Fusion GPS Testimony on Trump and Russia w attachment [pdf] ⋙ via Dianne Feinstein

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Justice Department Gives Congress Comey’s Memos on Trump
// 4/19/2018 ➔ DocumentCloud:

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

@Jzikah’s Amazon page:
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Amy Siskind: The Weekly List ~ “This is How Democracy Ends”

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Mueller Has List of Questions for Trump +
// 4/30/2018, Majority Relate to if Trump Obstructed Inquiry on Russia

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


@Jzikah’s Amazon page:
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ TIME: The Arguments President Trump Has Made Against the Mueller Investigation
// 6/8/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ TIME: Wikipedia: Links between Trump associates and Russian officials

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ WaPo: Who has been charged in the Russia probe and why
// continually updated; WaPo Russia page

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ ForeignAffairs Anthology: A New Cold War? Russia and America, Then and Now 1947-


@Jzikah’s Amazon page:
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Mueller Indictment of 12 Russians in the GRU for Election Hacking [pdf] 29p
// 7/13/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Timeline of Russia Investigation
// 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

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


@Jzikah’s Amazon page:
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Manafort Plea Agreement [pdf] 17p
// 9/14/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄💽 NYT: Opinion | Operation Infektion: A three-part video series on Russian disinformation
// 11/12/2018

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

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ LawFareBlog: Document: Indictment of Roger Stone [pdf] 24p
// 1/25/2019


@Jzikah’s Amazon page:
⋙ 💙💙🔄📋 NYT: Trump and His Associates Had More Than 100 Contacts With Russians Before the Inauguration [Interactive]
// 1/26/2019

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

⋙ 💙💙🔄 WaPo: What we learned about Trumpworld outreach to Russia since Mueller’s investigation began
// 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
// 2/19/2019


@Jzikah’s Amazon page:
⋙ 💙💙🔄 ◕📋 WaPo, Philip Bump: The 81 people and organizations just looped into the Trump probe — and why they were included
// 3/4/2019

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

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: The Whistle-Blower Complaint: Read the Document [Interactive]
// 9/26/2019


@Jzikah’s Amazon page:
⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ HPSCI: Trump-Ukraine impeachment inquiry report
// 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 658p
// 10/15/2019

⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ Lawfare: House Releases Impeachment Trial Brief document 111p
// 1/18/2019

@Jzikah’s Amazon page:


@Jzikah’s Amazon page:

⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ Trial Memorandum of the US House of Representatives in the Impeachment Trial of President Donald J Trump
// 1/18/2020

⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ Trial Memorandum of President Donald J Trump 171p
// 1/20/2020


@Jzikah’s Amazon page:
⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ Vox, Matthew Yglesias and Andrew Prokop: The ultimate guide to the Donald Trump impeachment saga
// 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]


⏳WaPo: The full Trump-Ukraine impeachment timeline


@Jzikah’s Amazon page:

⭕ 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
// 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:
Day THREE: C-SPAN: Senate Impeachment Trial Day 3, Part 1
// 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
// 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
// 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
// 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:
Day FOUR: C-SPAN: Senate Impeachment Trial Day 4, Part 1
// 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
// 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
// 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
// 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
// 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
// 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:


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.” 📌
⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar Here is the entire video timeline of the January 6 insurrection as presented by the House impeachment managers 💽

⭕ 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/ 📌
🔄 💙🐣🧵 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


@Jzikah’s Amazon page:
⭕ 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 📌
// Defense
🔄 💙🧵 RT @atrupar The Thursday installment of Trump’s #ImpeachmentTrial begins with a Baked Alaska clip 📌

⭕ 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. 📌


@Jzikah’s Amazon page:

🔄 💙 🧵 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 📌
⋙ 🔄 💙 🧵 RT @atrupar [Q&A] Lindsey Graham, Kevin Cramer, and Roger Marshall use an impeachment trial question to own the libs 📌

⭕ 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/ 📌
🔄 💙 🧵 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 📌


@Jzikah’s Amazon page:

⭕ 31 Dec 2021

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

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, 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or

🐣 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
// 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
// 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

NYT: Putin Warns Biden of ‘Complete Rupture’ of U.S.-Russia Relationship Over Ukraine
// 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!

🐣 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

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 “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.

🐣 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:
// att: Trump post

⭕ 28 Dec 2021

💽 MSNBC, TheBeatWithAri: Busted: Indicted Trump aide Bannon sees Jan. 6 ‘playbook’ leaked by ally
// 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 “[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.

🐣 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

🐣 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
// 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. 💽

🐣 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.” 📌

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Trump idolatry has undermined religious faith

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
// 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’

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. 📌
⋙⋙ 🐣 … 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:

🐣 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
// “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

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 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’ “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 ‘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. “[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”
⋙ 🐣 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
// 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
// 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!
// 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 “[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. “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

🐣 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

🐣 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

⭕ 23 Dec 2021

WaPo, Greg Sargent: What Jim Jordan knows about Trump’s coup attempt — and what he may cover up

💽 MSNBC, AllInWithChris: ‘We took the Capitol’: Proud Boy pleads guilty to Jan. 6 conspiracy charges
// 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 “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 “… [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 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.
⋙ 🐣 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?

🐣 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) 📌
// 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? 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.”
⋙ 🐣 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 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:

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 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 //➔ Astounding how one person’s psychopathology can set an entire country in a tizzy

💙💙 🔄 HealthLine (2017): Stem Cell Research
// 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

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
// 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: 📌
// 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 📌

WaPo: House Jan. 6 committee requests information from and meeting with GOP Rep. Jim Jordan about his contact with Trump

🐣 📋 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

🐣 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

🧵 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.
⋙⋙ 🧵 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.
⋙ 🐣 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:

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.
// 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

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. Text Block: 📌

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
// 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

🐣 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: 📌
⋙ 🐣 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
// 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!” 💽

⭕ 20 Dec 2021

💽 MSNBC, Steve Benen: Why Michael Cohen’s new lawsuit is surprisingly important
// 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.

🐣 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.
⋙ Pentagon unveils new extremism rules, including potential punishment for social media likes or shares
// 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/ 📌

🧵 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/ 📌

🐣 💽 RT @45rape Letitia James, Psaki, Even Trump. ¤ “This Adam Schiff speech will haunt former President Trump and some Republicans forever and ever”
// 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 … 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”
// 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 … 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 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

🐣 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

🐣 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 “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

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 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 “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. 📌
⋙ 🐣 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 💽

🧵 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: 📌
⋙⋙ NYT (12/17/2020): We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated
// 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:]📌
// 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:

“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]

Forbes, Randall Lane: Forbes Testified Before The Trump Grand Jury Yesterday
// —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

💙 WaPo, Dana Milbank: ‘We are closer to civil war than any of us would like to believe,’ new study says

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
// 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’
// 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 “[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 “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 via @StarTribune #MayoClinic
⋙ StarTribune: EDITORIAL | Ethical decision is protecting patients
// 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
// 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
// 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. 📌

🧵 RT @V7VOA Delivering @SCSTATE1896 winter commencement address, @POTUS says “you’re inheriting an incredible tradition graduating from this university” (an #HBCU). 💽
// 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
// 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
// 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: 📌

TheHill: Trump sought to ‘undermine’ COVID-19 response, says panel

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?

🐣 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
// 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
// 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

NYT, Frank Bruni: The Line From Fox News to Trump’s Big Lie Is Short and Direct

… 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
⋙ WSJ: How Mark Meadows Ended Up in the Middle of the Fight Over Jan. 6
// 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 … 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.
// 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 //➔ 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
// 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

🐣 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
// 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 Also see Goldberg’s piece in The Dispatch: “Donald Trump’s Megaphone”

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

TheDispatch, Jonah Goldberg: Donald Trump’s Megaphone
// 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

‼️🐣 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
// 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
// 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

🐣 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

⭕ 15 Dec 2021

WaPo, Dana Milbank: The bulldogs of Benghazi roll over for insurrectionists “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 Life down the rabbit hole. (My head hurts)

💙 NYT: Meadows and the Band of Loyalists: How They Fought to Keep Trump in Power
// 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
// 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

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 So, it was him! ● Text Block:

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

🐣 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
// 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 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) 📌
⋙ 🐣 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:

🧵 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/ 📌
⋙ 🐣 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:

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! “[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 “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

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 ~ 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

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
// 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 💽

🐣 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
// The far-right nationalist group has become increasingly active at school board meetings and town council gatherings across the country.

🐣 RT @Hobie_SHRED
// 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

🐣 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. 📌
⋙ 🐣 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.

🐣 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] 💽

🐣 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 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 ‼️‘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 “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 “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. //➔ 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

WaPo: Fox News hosts urged Meadows to have Trump stop Jan. 6 violence, texts show
// 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. 💽 📌
⋙ 🐣 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 📌

🐣 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.
🐣 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.

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”
“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. 💽

WaPo: Fox News hosts urged Meadows to have Trump stop Jan. 6 violence, texts show “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
//. 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. 📌

🐣 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 💽

🐣 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
// 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
// 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 💽

AP: Judge refuses to toss key charge in Capitol riot case “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] 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
⋙ Index:
⋙⋙ Core Report [pdf]: 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?

⭕ 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:

🐣 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.” 💽

NYT: Meadows Was Deeply Involved in Fighting Election Outcome, Jan. 6 Panel Says
// 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. 📌

🐣 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 “[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 “‘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. 📌
⋙ 🐣 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.)
⋙ 🐣 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
-And Jenna Ellis memos (see below)
⋙ 🐣 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.

WaPo: Election denier who circulated Jan. 6 PowerPoint says he met with Meadows at White House “[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. 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
// 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

“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

NYT: U.K. Court Rules Julian Assange Can Be Extradited to U.S.
// 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
// 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 ⬇️ 📌
⋙ 🐣 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
// 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. ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️ 📌

WaPo, Nancy Gertner and Lawrence Tribe: The Supreme Court isn’t well. The only hope for a cure is more justices. “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
// 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
// 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] 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’ “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) 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
// 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 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) 📌
⋙ 🐣 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

⭕ 8 Dec 2021

NYT: Meadows Sues Pelosi in Bid to Block Jan. 6 Committee Subpoena
// 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 “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 effo