🔴 The Trump Files 2022

 
Permalink: https://wp.me/PDKwi-6Kc
 

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 For Recent (2022) Articles

🇷🇺 Press Here For 2021

🇷🇺 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 Podcasthttp://bit.ly/2PgTKWs  or Press   ⇊  ⇊
 
Other Podcasts:

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

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

Russian Intelligence Services:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

By @WendySiegelman
 

Key Documents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 
⭕ Feb 2021 Second Trump #Impeachment Trial

Day One: Rules etc

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Twitter Threads

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 
 
⭕ 16 Jan 2022

WaPo, Clint Watts: We’re training our own insurrectionists http://wapo.st/3nww681 “While I learned [Army infantryman] terms and tactics with the express goal of defending my country, Rhodes and his Oath Keepers … used them in pursuit of overthrowing it”
// The Oath Keepers are among those who use their military skills to advance their extremist plots. ⋙ Indictment: [pdf] http://bit.ly/3IaCERL 48p

Sprinkled through the 48-page indictment of Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and 10 others for their alleged role in the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol last year is terminology I learned as a U.S. Army infantryman. According to the indictment: Oath Keepers used a “stack,” a formation designed to breach a building or room, as they entered the Capitol. The group prepared a “QRF”— quick reaction force — in Virginia and conducted a “recce,” or reconnaissance, to Washington for their operation that fateful day. They organized “military style basic” training to get recruits “fighting fit for inauguration,” and Florida members participated in “unconventional warfare” training.

While I learned these terms and tactics with the express goal of defending my country, Rhodes and his Oath Keepers, according to the indictment that charges the 11 with seditious conspiracy, used them in pursuit of overthrowing it. The Oath Keepers logo looks a lot like the black-and-gold half-moon shape of the Army Ranger Tab — what soldiers receive for completing Ranger school — and the lingo they allegedly used in encrypted communications channels as they coordinated preparations has military origins. Alongside military terminology and doctrine, those reviewing Thursday’s indictment will find a group seeking armament and transport — purchasing night vision goggles, rifles and assault weapons, and planning transportation and escape routes.

None of this is coincidence; many of the Oath Keepers present at the Capitol were military veterans. The U.S. government is unintentionally training its own insurrectionists — providing the specialized and strategic-thinking skills needed to carry out an insurrection with any hope of success. …

International military coups have occurred many times over the past century, and at the moment, I still do not worry about one coming from within our current force. But what about America’s former military and law enforcement members? Long before the insurrection were violent extremist attacks from former Army members Timothy McVeigh in the heinous 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Eric Rudolph in the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing and Kevin Harpham in his failed IED plot at a 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in Spokane, Wash. Fears of extremists using military training and skills in violence and terrorism arose in a Department of Homeland Security warning in 2009 before vanishing amid political pushback.

Some have claimed the events of Jan. 6 were not a coup attempt but a largely peaceful protest or even a false flag. The Thursday indictment, however, alleges in some detail how the Oath Keepers prepared to carry out terrorism — violence in pursuit of political change — unlike anything the United States has witnessed in recent history. Never in two decades working on international counterterrorism did I encounter in research or in person an armed al-Qaeda or Islamic State cell that came close to breaching the halls of the Capitol or killing the vice president or members of Congress — a possible outcome that has to be taken seriously since numerous members of the Capitol mob and those who planned for the day said that part out loud. In a post on Nov. 10, 2020, titled “Call to Action! March on DC, Stop the Steal, Defend the President, & Defeat the Deep State,” Rhodes wrote that on Nov. 14, the Oath Keepers militia would be “sending some of our most experienced LEO [law enforcement officers] and military combat veterans into D.C. … and in the days to come.” Rhodes called on “all our LEO, military, Fire, EMS, and search and rescue brothers and sisters nationwide” — those who would be “eminently capable if things turn physical.”

The problem of domestic extremists relying on military training, tactics and knowledge is bigger than the Oath Keepers. Take the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). The Wolverine Watchmen militia charged in the plot conducted firearms training and combat drills in preparation. Constitutional Sheriffs, whose members are drawn from the ranks of current law enforcement officers, some of whom reportedly have ties to extremist groups, may or may not enforce the laws. The military and law enforcement, two essential stalwart institutions of a strong democracy, have been gravely challenged in the era of Donald Trump. The Justice Department’s new charges against the Oath Keepers simply add some of the most alarming details yet to the deeply troubling picture of the political instability that has manifested in this country. …

[I]n recent weeks, we’ve seen Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin seeking to rid the military’s ranks of extremists, but the military’s response is lacking clarity about which groups should be deemed extremist and what behavior might be considered incitement to violence or dangerous. ¤ Unlike in the case of international terrorism, where the U.S. State Department designates foreign terrorist organizations so that the Justice Department can then preemptively pursue investigations based on affiliations, no such designation process exists for domestic terror groups; there’s nothing similar to provide the basis for policing extremism in our own country or in the military’s ranks.

At the moment, extremist groups like the Oath Keepers are not trying to overthrow the government violently — they’re trying to take it over at the ballot box. Oath Keepers have been running for local offices in states like New Jersey and New York. Members of the far-right group the Proud Boys, white supremacists and neo-Nazis are running in elections, too. What is extreme when extremists are in power? ¤ And what needs to happen now? In a less-talked-about move this week, the Justice Department stood up a unit focused on countering domestic extremism. But if members of Congress continue claiming those who participated in last year’s insurrection were peaceful when they were clearly not, or if those elected to office are members of the same extremist groups participating in insurrections, the silent majority will be overtaken by a violent minority.

The federal government must decide beyond cases at the individual level which ideologies and corresponding groups conducting or advocating violence to overthrow the government — in plain sight — are domestic terror groups. And only in the face of consequences will we see domestic terrorists and those inciting them curb their activity. If the evidence of extremist violence is available openly on social media, we must allow our federal investigators to preemptively open inquiries into organizations clearly intending to overturn democratic processes and overturn institutions. Both of these changes require Congress to pass legislation and the Justice Department to update regulations. If such changes are not made, we should not be surprised if the next insurrection succeeds in effectively ending our democracy.

⭕ 15 Jan 2022

🧵 RT @atrupar things are going well at the Trump rally [sarcasm] 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1482539709951881217?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar […] “The only thing we didn’t win was the election” — whoops
💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1482545429183139843?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @JohnWDean This is correct. The midterms and 2024 will determine if our democracy survives. And I am not inclined toward hyperbole!
⋙ 🐣 RT @MeidasTouch There is only one issue that truly matters in the midterm elections: do we want to live in a democracy or are we ok being ruled by a far right authoritarian government.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @MeidasTouch New polling shows that most Americans now believe US democracy is “at risk of extinction.” ¤ It is up to us to expose how the GOP is systematically destroying democracy from the inside out. ¤ We must be ruthlessly honest with what is at stake and pull no punches.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance This is an Oathkeepers attorney. He suggests they were waiting for Trump to activate them after declaring some form of martial law. If he maintains that position, the next question is, who were they talking to that lead them to believe that would happen?
⋙ 🐣 RT @NewDay The DOJ charged the Oath Keepers leader, Stewart Rhodes, with ‘seditious conspiracy’ related to Jan. 6 riot. ¤ The group’s planning “was about their fanciful idea that … Trump was going to activate them as a militia under the insurrection act,” says his attorney Jon Moseley.

🐣 RT @BillKristol The forged electoral certificates show coordination across seven states. Those fake certificates were key to the plan of the Eastman memo and to the Jeffrey Clark DOJ draft letter to Georgia. The conspiracy involved fraud and force. At the head of the conspiracy: Donald Trump.

🐣 RT @john_sipher “Russia is targeting our elections, our social media, our parliaments and our citizens, and it is become more obvious now that Russia is not part of our value system…”
⋙ NYT, Steven Erlanger: Fear of Russia Brings New Purpose and Unity to NATO, Once Again http://nyti.ms/3zZkqQo
// After years of drift, Trumpian ridicule and failure in Afghanistan, Russian demands for a new Iron Curtain in Europe have created unity in the alliance, at least for now.

… Russian President Vladimir V. Putin’s extraordinary new demands and threats, following his military buildup on the borders of Ukraine, has brought NATO back to basics — containing Russian power and imperium. ¤ Mr. Putin’s insistence that NATO stop enlargement and remove allied forces from member states bordering Russia would draw a new Iron Curtain across Europe, and that threat has concentrated minds. It may be just what a lagging alliance has needed. ¤ “NATO relies on momentum, and a lot of the momentum is generated by a sense of threat and fear,” said Andrea Kendall-Taylor, a former senior intelligence officer dealing with Russia, now with the Center for a New American Security.

[I]n talks this week with the Russians, NATO leaders spoke with exceptional unity for a 30-member alliance whose commitment to collective defense was increasingly in question. ¤ The talks allowed Mr. Putin to revisit Russian grievances over how the Cold War ended, in hopes of placing them back on the table for renegotiation 30 years later. His deputy foreign minister, Aleksandr V. Grushko, even warned the alliance off [sic] a “policy of containment” of Russia and insisted that “free choice does not exist in international relations” — suggesting that Ukraine would have to bow to Russian wishes.

But the more the discussion evoked the Cold War — with its firm dividing line through Europe, and its competing Russian and Western systems and spheres of influence — the more it reminded European and American allies of NATO’s purpose. ¤ “Deterring Russia is in the DNA of NATO, because Russia is what can bring existential threats to European nations,” said Anna Wieslander, chair of Sweden’s Institute for Security and Development. ¤ That threat now is more than territorial, she said. Russia is also trying to undermine NATO’s democratic cohesion. “Russia is targeting our elections, our social media, our parliaments and our citizens, and it is become more obvious now that Russia is not part of our value system,” Ms. Wieslander said.

As it drafts a new strategic concept to be ready this year, NATO is concentrating on “resilience” against new hybrid and cyberthreats, highlighting its defense of the democratic institutions of member states, not just their territory. ¤ “NATO is its member states, and it’s what allies make of it,” said Sophia Besch, a defense analyst in Berlin for the Center for European Reform. “It’s not out of business because we didn’t let it, and we’ve changed its raison d’être to what are the major strategic concerns of the day.”

NATO is especially important now for those states bordering Russia, like the Baltic nations and Poland, a country which has had deepening strains with its European partners over the protection of core democratic principles, which Brussels has accused the government in Warsaw of eroding.

But the current crisis is a reminder, even in Poland, of the importance of the alliance as a whole, and not just the country’s bilateral relationship with the United States, said Piotr Buras, head of the Warsaw office of the European Council on Foreign Relations. ¤ “In Poland there was concern that NATO would lose its focus on Russian security threats, but now it’s obvious that this is the only framework that can protect us and provide long-term security,” Mr. Buras said.

There was also anxiety that President Biden, in trying to stabilize relations with Russia to pivot toward China, would bargain away forward-based NATO troops in Poland and the Baltics that were deployed after 2014. ¤ “But there is no sign that the United States will give in on fundamental issues to NATO,” like its open-door policy and its right to deploy forces in any member state, Mr. Buras said, and Washington has been rigorous in briefing its allies about all of its discussions with Russia. ¤ Still, he said, the current crisis “is a very clear consequence of the U.S. pivot to Asia and the realization of Russia that it might now take advantage of that reorientation of U.S. fundamental security interests,” he said. “And that issue will not go away soon.”

As the security situation in Central Europe has worsened with Russian aggression and threats, Poland “got what we finally wanted when we joined NATO, which is allied and American troop presence on our soil — to finally bring NATO deployments beyond Germany,” said Michal Baranowski, who heads the Warsaw office of the German Marshall Fund. ¤ That is precisely one of Russia’s current demands — that those deployments in Poland and the Baltic States be removed, a demand rejected by Mr. Biden and by NATO, to Poland’s relief.

Ms. Kendall-Taylor believes that Mr. Putin saw an opportunity to take advantage of a shakier trans-Atlantic alliance, a divided Europe and a polarized America with a weakened president. ¤ NATO unity is real but untested, she said. “It’s too early to declare all restored, because Russia not done anything yet,” Ms. Kendall-Taylor said. “It’s a bit the calm before the storm.”

🧵 RT @AshaRangappa THREAD. Since there’s so much [waves hands everywhere] crazy coming up all of a sudden, let me break down the theory of how the overturning of the election was supposed to go down: 📌 https://twitter.com/AshaRangappa_/status/1482384084433313795?s=20

⭕ 14 Jan 2022

🐣 RT @YahooNews Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., says the upcoming hearings by the Jan. 6 select committee probing the riot at the U.S. Capitol staged by supporters of former President Donald Trump will “blow the roof off the House.”
⋙ YahooNews: Jan. 6 hearings ‘are going to blow the roof off the House,’ Raskin says http://yhoo.it/33n3OGm

“We are going to do everything we can to subpoena all the information we need and to enforce our subpoenas. But even if we don’t get every last person in there, we are going to have hearings that I believe will be compared to the Watergate hearings, because they are going to blow the roof off the House in terms of explaining to America what actually happened in the attack on our democracy,” Raskin, who sits on the select committee, told an audience of approximately 40,000 people who watched his remarks on Facebook. 

While former Trump administration figures and supporters have defied subpoenas for information and testimony, Raskin said the committee had spoken with more than 400 witnesses to date who have already laid the groundwork for explosive hearings. 

“I hope everybody will watch and I hope everybody will discuss it and then it will lead to a report that, I hope again, will be a game changer in terms of American history,” Raskin said. 

In response to questions about holding Trump personally accountable for pushing the disproven claim that he lost the 2020 presidential election due to voter fraud, which served as the motivation for the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, Raskin promised “a reckoning.”

“But you know, the guy’s a walking crime wave, and he has committed crimes all over the country, including sexual harassment and assault on a lot of people. There’s bank fraud and there’s real estate fraud and there’s tax fraud,” Raskin said. 

“And there are prosecutors all over the country, looking at all that stuff. I don’t want us to fetishize Donald Trump that much — he will meet you know, his maker, one place or another, there will be accountability and a reckoning with the law.”

The committee has already made headlines by releasing text messages it has obtained that it says show that Fox News host Sean Hannity “had advance knowledge regarding President Trump’s and his legal team’s planning for January 6th,” and that Ivanka Trump had urged her father to stop the violence at the Capitol. 

The committee also said this week that it had interviewed Trump supporter Ray Epps and released a statement that attempted to discredit the assertion made by some conservatives that he was acting as an FBI agent or informant when encouraging people to enter the Capitol. Epps appeared on the FBI’s Most Wanted list shortly after the Jan. 6 riot, only to be later removed, a fact that some Republicans say points to his involvement with the FBI. 

“I’m not certain the FBI is totally competent with everything, but I’m totally certain that they would not be so incompetent as to put their own agent on the Most Wanted list,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans serving on the committee, told Yahoo News. 

The Jan. 6 select committee has been conducting its investigation for nearly seven months, and plans to hold televised, primetime hearings to lay out its findings in the coming months. Raskin said he understood that many Republicans were simply trying to “run out the clock” on the investigation until the midterm election, when many political observers expect the Democrats to lose control of the House and, as a result, the Jan. 6 committee. 

For now, though, Raskin, who served as a manager during Trump’s second impeachment, sounded confident that the hearings that were soon to commence would have an impact. 

“This is the most bipartisan committee I’ve ever been on, with a great Democratic chair and a great Republican vice chair and what I see is constitutional patriots working every single day and every single evening to get the truth out to the American people before it’s too late.”

WaPo: Everything we know about Kevin McCarthy’s conversations with Trump concerning the Jan. 6 attacks http://wapo.st/3ns3GfI
// “Here’s a timeline, based in part on news reports but also McCarthy’s own words at the time — he was quite forthcoming in the days after the attack about his conversations with Trump. Today, he is claiming ignorance about much of this.”

WaPo: Russia planning potential sabotage operations in Ukraine, U.S. says http://wapo.st/3I38KyT “We have information that indicates Russia has already prepositioned a group of operatives to conduct a false-flag operation in eastern Ukraine” ~ U.S. official

CNN: ‘Massive’ cyber attack hits Ukraine government websites http://cnn.it/3nqldF4

“Ukrainian! All your personal data has been uploaded to the public network. All data on the computer is destroyed, it is impossible to restore them,” the message, published in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish, read.

“All information about you has become public, be afraid and wait for the worst. This is for you for your past, present and future. For Volhynia, for the OUN UIA [Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists Ukrainian Insurgent Army], for Galicia, for Polesie and for historical lands,” the web page read.

🐣 RT @nytimes Hackers brought down several Ukrainian government websites, posting a message on the Foreign Ministry’s site saying, “Be afraid and expect the worst.” ¤ The cyberattack came a day after high-stakes talks intended to forestall a Russian invasion.
⋙ NYT: Hackers Bring Down Government Sites in Ukraine http://nyti.ms/3zW0CNT
// A cyberattack defaced the Foreign Ministry website with a message saying “Be afraid,” a day after the latest round of high-stakes talks intended to forestall a

🐣 RT @ A source with knowledge of recent cybersecurity initiatives in Ukraine told BuzzFeed News hours before the cyberattack that Kyiv & Washington had recently seen a “substantial uptick” in Russian cyber activity targeting Ukrainian systems & planting malware.
⋙ BuzzfeedNews: Ukraine Was Hit By A Massive Cyberattack And The Hackers Warned To “Be Afraid And Expect Worse” http://bit.ly/3qtDvao

After days of unsuccessful negotiations between the US, NATO, and Russia, hackers took down more than a dozen Ukraine government websites and posted an ominous warning for the country to “be afraid and expect worse.”

The cyberattack occurred overnight on Thursday and Friday morning, and it took down more than a dozen official websites, disrupting government work and raising questions about whether Russia was signaling that a new offensive against Ukraine was getting underway.

Oleh Nikolenko, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s foreign ministry told BuzzFeed News that government specialists were working to restore the websites Friday morning and the Ukrainian Cyberpolice Department had opened a criminal investigation. “It’s too early to draw conclusions. We are assessing the damage caused by the attack,” he said.

But some in Ukraine’s government see Russian fingerprints all over the attack and are already blaming Moscow, which has massed around 100,000 soldiers near the Ukrainian borders and threatened a “military response” against its neighbor unless the US and NATO concede to its demands.

“It’s pretty obvious [Russia is responsible], because hardly anyone else has the motive for such actions,” a Ukrainian official told BuzzFeed News on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak on the sensitive matter.

Officials in Russia didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

Ukrainian and US officials have warned that if Russia were to launch a fresh invasion of Ukraine it would likely do so in conjunction with cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns. White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters Thursday that the US intelligence community has information that suggests Russia is laying the groundwork to fabricate a pretext for invading Ukraine.

A source with knowledge of recent cybersecurity initiatives in Ukraine told BuzzFeed News hours before the cyberattack that Kyiv and Washington had recently seen a “substantial uptick” in Russian cyber activity targeting Ukrainian systems and planting malware.

The source said there was evidence to show the malware was designed to be planted and remain idle until a command would be given by the hackers behind it. “So they don’t need to hack anything when the [shooting] war starts… The hack already happened,” the source explained. “They just push the button.”

“We call this preparing the battlefield,” the source said.

Most of the Ukrainian websites targeted late Thursday and early Friday registered error messages when visited. But hackers replaced the homepage on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website with amessage written in Ukrainian, Russian, and Polish. “[Every] Ukrainian!” it said. “All information about you has become public, be afraid and expect the worst. This is for your past, present and future.”

The message also included references to Ukrainian nationalist fighters in World War 2 and atrocities committed by them against Poles at the time, which has been a point of tension between the two countries despite their close relationship. Some Ukrainians saw that as a ruse to blame Warsaw for the attack.

The Cyberpolice Department said it is working with the State Special Communications Service and the Security Service of Ukraine “to collect digital evidence and identify those involved in the cyber attacks.” No personal or official government data was stolen in the attack, it added.

Ukraine has been the target of several large-scale cyberattacks since 2014, the year Russia forcibly annexed Crimea and fomented the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. Kyiv has repeatedly insisted that the attacks are part of Moscow’s “hybrid war” – a combination of cyberwarfare, disinformation, and conventional military warfare – against it. Russia has denied responsibility for the cyberattacks.

Past incidents saw attacks on the Ukrainian power grid, government agencies, transportation systems, and businesses. A 2017 attack known as NotPetya emanated in Kyiv but quickly spread to companies across the globe, causing significant damage.

The New York Times reported last month that the US and UK had sent experts to Kyiv to help Ukraine on the cyber front, foreseeing the likelihood of cyberattacks as Russia ratcheted up tensions with its neighbor.

President Vladimir Putin has massed some 100,000 troops and heavy artillery around the border of Ukraine, raising concern in Kyiv and Western capitals that the Kremlin might be preparing to invade anew. Moscow has denied it is prepping for an attack and said that what it does with its military within its borders is its business.

High-stakes discussions between the US, NATO, and Russia in Geneva, Brussels, and Vienna this week failed to secure a deal to see Moscow pull back its troops and military equipment.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters Thursday that Washington and NATO “are not ready to meet our key requirements.” Among those is a guarantee that Ukraine can never join the western military alliance. The US and Ukraine have called the demand a non-starter.

🐣 RT @anneapplebaum As Russian state media mock international negotiations as a farce, as Russian diplomats hysterically threaten to move troops to Cuba and Venezuela, remember why this is all happening: Because Putin is personally threatened by the idea of a free, prosperous Ukraine https://twitter.com/anneapplebaum/status/1481872331681275913?s=20

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand 👀National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan says the admin will be sharing with press “in the next 24 hours” what US officials have seen Russia doing in terms of disinfo to create a pretext to invade Ukraine

⭕ 13 Jan 2022

🐣 RT @marceelias “Right-wing media are lashing out in panic over the possibility that a little known provision of the 14th Amendment could prevent Republican incumbents involved in the January 6 insurrection from holding federal office.”
⋙ MMFA: Conservative media attack constitutional argument over insurrection, whining about idea of holding GOP incumbents accountable http://bit.ly/3nlcO5y

🐣 RT @saletan .@SykesCharlie on Cheney: “At a certain point, who gives a fuck whether you’re [#3] in the House caucus?” ¤ Republicans say “they need to stay in the room, so they that can sound the alarm, but they refuse to sound the alarm so they can stay in the room.”

🐣 RT @brianklaas There’s an unprecedented, systematic authoritarian attack on American democracy and there’s now little hope currently of even modest reforms to help protect democracy. This is a watershed moment that America will come to regret—as our democracy faces serious, existential risk.

WaPo: Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes charged with seditious conspiracy in Jan. 6 Capitol riot http://wapo.st/3tr2Fs4

The 56-year-old, who was at the Capitol that day but has said he did not enter the building, is the most high-profile person charged in the investigation so far. He is charged with seditious conspiracy, along with 10 other Oath Keepers members or associates, officials said.

Most of those individuals were previously arrested, but one, 63-year old Edward Vallejo of Phoenix, Arizona, is also facing charges as part of the case against the Oath Keepers for the first time. Officials said Rhodes was arrested this morning in Little Elm, Texas, and Vallejo was taken into custody in Phoenix.

A federal grand jury in the District leveled the new charges focusing on what prosecutors say is a core group of Oath Keepers adherents who allegedly planned for and participated in obstructing Congress on the day lawmakers certified President Biden’s 2020 election victory.

The indictments unsealed Thursday mark the first time anyone has faced charges of seditious conspiracy for the Jan. 6 attacks, though prosecutors have long signaled they were considering using that rarely-applied section of federal law.

In interviews with The Washington Post over the past year, Rhodes — a former Army paratrooper and Yale Law graduate who has become one of the most visible figures of the far-right anti-government movement — has repeatedly denied wrongdoing. ¤ He said he was communicating with members of his group on Jan. 6, 2021 in an effort to “keep them out of trouble,” and emphasized that Oath Keepers associates who did go into the Capitol “went totally off mission.”

An earlier indictment charged 19 of alleged Oath Keepers adherents with conspiracy and aiding and abetting the obstruction of Congress. Two of those individuals have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with investigators. The rest have pleaded not guilty and are preparing for trials later this year.

In cases in which people have pleaded guilty, defendants acknowledged they were among a group that forced entry through the Capitol’s East Rotunda doors after marching single-file in tight formation up the steps wearing camouflage vests, helmets, goggles and Oath Keepers insignia. ¤ Some defendants also admitted to stashing guns in a nearby Arlington, Va., hotel for possible use by what they called a “Quick Reaction Force.”

In court filings related to the original conspiracy case, prosecutors alleged that the group came to Washington at Rhodes’ urging. Rhodes began discussing plans to keep Trump in the White House by force as early as Nov. 9, the filings state.

Prosecutors allege that before and during the riot, Rhodes exchanged dozens of encrypted messages, phone calls and other communications with members of the Oath Keepers group that breached the Capitol. Rhodes has accused prosecutors of trying to manufacture a nonexistent conspiracy.

Prosecutors say the Oath Keepers, a loose network of groups founded in 2009 that includes some self-styled citizen militias, seeks to recruit current or former members of law enforcement and the military, promoting an apocalyptic vision of the government careening toward totalitarianism and societal collapse.

🐣 RT @QuintForgey .@ChrisMurphyCT says “the consequence of doing nothing” on filibuster reform “is potentially the end of the republic.” ¤ “I know that sounds so hyperbolic. People think that we’re exaggerating the stakes. But let’s remember what Donald Trump tried to do.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @QuintForgey .@ChrisMurphyCT says Democrats should bring voting rights bills to the Senate floor, even if they don’t have enough support: “I think we just have to vote. I mean, I think there’s a chance that we can get all 50 of us behind rules reform. But even if we don’t, let’s put this up.”

⭕ 12 Jan 2022

🐣 RT @usatodayopinion From @BarackObama in his first column since leaving the White House: ¤ Now is the time for Americans everywhere to follow John Lewis’s example and fight for our democracy. Now is the time for the U.S. Senate to do the right thing.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @usatodayopinion 1/ Our democracy isn’t a given. It isn’t self-executing. We, as citizens, have to nurture and tend it. We have to work at it. And in that task, we have to vigilantly preserve and protect our most basic tool of self-government, which is the right to vote.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @usatodayopinion 2/ At the time, various state legislators across the country had already passed a variety of laws designed to make voting harder. It was an attack on everything John Lewis fought for, and a challenge to our most fundamental democratic freedoms.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @usatodayopinion 4/ …members of one of our two major political parties – spurred on by the then-sitting president – denied the results of that election and spun conspiracy theories that drove a violent mob to attack our Capitol.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @usatodayopinion 5/ Although initially rejected by many Republicans, those claims continued to be amplified by conservative media outlets, and have since been embraced by a sizable portion of Republican voters – not to mention GOP elected officials who do, or at least should, know better.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @usatodayopinion 6/ We’ve seen state legislatures try to assert power over core election processes including the ability to certify election results.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @usatodayopinion 7/ These partisan attempts at voter nullification are unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times, and they represent a profound threat to the basic democratic principle that all votes should be counted fairly and objectively.
⋙ USAToday: Former President Barack Obama: We need to follow John Lewis’ example and fight for our democracy http://bit.ly/3qowZBw
// “The world, and future generations, will be watching,” Obama writes as he calls on Senate to “do the right thing” and pass legislation to protect voting rights.
⇈ ⇊
🐣 RT @BarackObama Now is the time for the U.S. Senate to do the right thing and call a vote on crucial voting rights legislation. Future generations are counting on us to protect our democracy. I wrote out some thoughts about why this is so important.
⋙ 🐣 RT @BarackObama The filibuster has no basis in the Constitution, and in recent years, it has become a routine way for the Senate minority to block important progress on issues supported by the majority of voters. But we can’t allow it to be used to block efforts to protect our democracy.
⋙ 🐣 RT @BarackObama That’s why I fully support @POTUS’s call to modify Senate rules as necessary to make sure pending voting rights legislation gets called for a vote. And every American who cares about the survival of our most cherished institutions should support the President’s call as well.

🐣 RT @NAChristakis An attempted coup: ‘Installing slates of “alternate electors” was an integral part of the ill-fated plan conceived by Trump allies to usurp power on January 6 by pressuring VP Mike Pence to throw out the pro-Biden electors that had been chosen by voters.’
⋙ CNN: Trump allies’ fake Electoral College certificates offer fresh insights about plot to overturn Biden’s victory http://cnn.it/3FlOHtF

In the weeks after the 2020 election, then-President Donald Trump’s allies sent fake certificates to the National Archives declaring that Trump won seven states that he actually lost. The documents had no impact on the outcome of the election, but they are yet another example of how Team Trump tried to subvert the Electoral College — a key line of inquiry for the January 6 committee.

The fake certificates were created by Trump allies in Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Mexico, who sought to replace valid presidential electors from their states with a pro-Trump slate, according to documents obtained by American Oversight.

The documents contain the signatures of Trump supporters who claimed to be the rightful electors from seven states that President Joe Biden won. But these rogue slates of electors didn’t have the backing of any elected officials in the seven states — like a governor or secretary of state, who are involved in certifying election results — and they served no legitimate purpose.

The documents were first posted online in March by the government watchdog group. But they received renewed attention this week, as the January 6 committee ramps up its investigation into Trump’s attempted coup, including how his allies tried to stop states from certifying Biden’s victory, in part, by installing friendly slates of electors who would overturn the will of the voters. …

The real certificates, which have been posted to the National Archives website, correctly stated that Biden won the seven battleground states. They also list the legitimate group of electors from each state, rather than the rogue pro-Trump slate included on the unofficial documents.

Some of the fake certificates with pro-Trump electors were sent to the National Archives by top officials representing the Republican Party in each state, according to the documents.

They sent these fake certificates after Trump himself failed to block governors from signing the real certificates. Specifically, Trump encouraged Republican governors in states like Georgia and Arizona not to certify the election results, and falsely claimed the elections were fraudulent. But these GOP officials ignored Trump, followed the law, and awarded the electors to Biden.

Installing slates of “alternate electors” was an integral part of the ill-fated plan conceived by Trump allies to usurp power on January 6 by pressuring Vice President Mike Pence to throw out the pro-Biden electors that had been chosen by voters. The idea was promoted by Trump advisers inside and outside the White House, including controversial right-wing lawyer John Eastman.

Eastman, who has been subpoenaed by the January 6 committee, authored a memo outlining a six-step plan for Pence to overturn the election and award Trump a second term. The plan included throwing out results from seven states because they allegedly had competing electors.

In truth, no state actually had two slates of competing electors. The pro-Trump electors were merely claiming without any authority to be electors, as documented in the fake certificates sent to the National Archives. The certificates were essentially an elaborate public relations stunt.

The new documents weren’t the only fake certificates sent to the National Archives. Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, told CNN’s Don Lemon that a second group called the “Sovereign Citizens of the State of Arizona” sent a rogue document to the National Archives in 2020, and she said they improperly used the Arizona state seal on their fake certificate. ¤ “They used this fake seal to make it look official, which is not a legal activity,” Hobbs said.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance No matter what DOJ has been doing up until now, there’s every reason to open investigation into what appears to be a highly coordinated effort to obstruct the election. Multiple possible crimes in the heartland of election protection work Garland committed to. Follow the facts.
⋙ 🐣 RT @brahmresnik NEW In Arizona, journalism can be a team sport. GOP State Rep. Jake Hoffman refused to answer 12News photojournalist’s question (which I provided) re why he signed phony declaration in 2020 that Arizona electors voted for Trump. Watch as AZRepublic’s @ruelaswritings folos up…
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @brahmresnik THE DOCS Here’s bogus declaration signed 12/14/20 by Arizona’s 11 Trump electors, inc. Hoffman. US Senate candidate @jim_lamon also signed. On same day, top AZ Senate Republican announced he’d subpoena Maricopa County’s election equipment for an audit. https://twitter.com/brahmresnik/status/1481443561597857794?s=20/photo/1 -3

🐣 RT @pbump I crunched the numbers, gang, and the odds are pretty good that Mike Lindell has enough evidence to send you to prison for life.
⋙ WaPo, Philip Bump: Are you one of the 1 in 11 Americans Mike Lindell doesn’t want to arrest? http://wapo.st/3HZX6Vw 😂

🐣 RT @allinwithchris Rep. Schiff on Rep. Jordan refusing to cooperate with the Jan. 6 probe: “I assume that he reached the conclusion that if he came in and told the truth, it would put him at odds with the former president. And he just doesn’t have the courage to do that.”
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, AllIn: Schiff on Jordan stonewalling 1/6 probe: He decided he has ‘a lot to hide’ http://on.msnbc.com/3tpt7Ce
// Rep. Adam Schiff on Rep. Jim Jordan refusing to cooperate with the Jan. 6 probe: “I assume that he reached the conclusion that if he came in and told the truth, it would put him at odds with the former president. And he just doesn’t have the courage to do that.”

🐣 📊 RT @polialertcom The latest POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows the provisions in the ‘Freedom To Vote Act’ has overwhelmingly broad support among voters.

– Expanding access to early voting: 65% support, 23% oppose
– Prohibiting partisan gerrymandering: 64% support, 19% oppose
– Making it illegal to prevent someone from registering to vote: 62% support,24% oppose
• Making Election Day a federal holiday: 61% support, 26% oppose
– Expanding same-day voter registration: 56% support, 30% oppose
– Expanding access to voting by mail: 55% support, 35% oppose
• Allowing Americans with prior criminal convictions to vote: 54%support, 32% oppose
– Expanding automatic voter registration: 51% support, 33% oppose

WaPo: House Jan. 6 committee asks Kevin McCarthy for information about communications with Trump, Mark Meadows http://wapo.st/3rgb0vH

🔆 This❗️⋙ January6thComm: Select Committee Seeks Information from Minority Leader McCarthy | Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol http://bit.ly/3noMZlg
⋙ ▧ Letter: [pdf] http://bit.ly/3qnNQV4 6p

⭕ 11 Jan 2022

🐣 RT @weareoversight We obtained the fake “electoral certificates” submitted to Congress by Trump supporters in seven states as part of the failed attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election. ¤ See the files here: http://bit.ly/ https://twitter.com/weareoversight/status/1481090180983537669?s=20/photo/1
⋙ AmericanOversight: American Oversight Obtains Seven Phony Certificates of Pro-Trump Electors http://bit.ly/3JZzOkt
// 3/2/2021

American Oversight has obtained copies of phony electoral vote certificates from seven states that were submitted to Congress as part of the failed attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

The fake electoral certificates were assembled by groups of Trump supporters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin who sought to replace the valid presidential electors from their state — who had been chosen by voters in free and fair elections — with bogus slates of pro-Trump electors. ¤ None of the certificates contains any indication that they list illegitimate slates of electors not chosen by those states’ voters.

🐣 RT @mkraju New – McConnell told me he agrees with Rounds, as GOP senators come to their colleague’s defense and push back on Trump. “I think Sen. Rounds told the truth about what happened in the 2020 election,” McConnell said. “And I agree with him.”
⋙ CNN: Top Republicans stand up for Rounds after Trump’s attack: He ‘told the truth’ http://cnn.it/3Gm9vTe

Senior Republicans are closing ranks behind Sen. Mike Rounds after he endured a scathing attack from former President Donald Trump for acknowledging the reality that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election.

“I think Sen. Rounds told the truth about what happened in the 2020 election,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN on Tuesday. “And I agree with him.”

The back-and-forth is the latest sign that many Republicans — particularly in the Senate — are eager to move past the former President’s obsession with the 2020 elections and instead focus on more fertile ground: The Biden agenda and their efforts to take back both houses of Congress in 2022.

Yet, Trump continues to hover over the party given his outsize influence with the base, his close hold over House Republicans and his ability to generate attention over his outright falsehoods and conspiracies over the outcome of the 2020 election. That has prompted concerns among senior Republicans that his claims over the election could depress GOP voter turnout in the fall, something that a number of senators blame for costing them the two Georgia Senate seats — and the majority — last January.

The latest blowup came over the weekend after Rounds said that any voting “irregularities” in 2020 wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the race. ¤ “The election was fair, as fair as we have seen. We simply did not win the election, as Republicans, for the presidency,” Rounds told ABC News.

That fact-based comment prompted a broadside from the former President, who called Rounds a “jerk” and “ineffective” and vowed “never” to endorse Rounds for reelection, though he’s not facing voters again until 2026. ¤ “Is he crazy or just stupid?” Trump said in a statement.

Rounds, who has a low-key and genial demeanor and is well-regarded by his colleagues, stood by his comments — and said he was “disappointed but not surprised” by Trump’s statement. Rounds told CNN on Tuesday that Republicans need to speak the truth to voters about 2020 so they can have trust in the results of free and fair elections in 2022 and beyond. ¤ “Nobody is out looking for confrontations,” Rounds said, defending his remarks. “What we are looking for is to be able to provide good information in a timely fashion, but to be seen as being responsible and being honest. I think that’s what the American people deserve. And I think that’s what many of us want to do. We’re not looking to fight. What we’re looking is, is to say here are the facts, and they’re not going to change.”

Rounds added: “Why are we having that discussion today? I think because we’re getting closer and closer to 2022, in which we want people to get out and vote. We want them to have faith in the election process. We want them to feel like they’re a part of it and that their vote really matters.”

Even some Trump allies came to Rounds’ defense on Tuesday. ¤ “I’ve always said I agree that the election was not stolen — at least to the degree that it was illegal theft,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer, a North Dakota Republican who contended Democrats took advantage of more voting rules eased during the pandemic. “I’ve moved on a long time ago, and most members of Congress have, including Mike.”

Other Republicans said it was time to focus on something other than 2020. ¤ “I say to my colleague, welcome to the club,” Sen. John Thune, the senior South Dakota Republican said of the Trump attack on Rounds — something he has endured himself in the past. “I don’t think re-litigating or rehashing the past is a winning strategy. If we want to be a majority in 2023, we’ve got to get out and articulate what we’re going to do with respect to the future the American people are going to live and the things they’re going to care about when it comes to economic issues, national security issues.”

Many Republicans were angered over the personal nature of Trump’s attacks against Rounds, who lost his wife in November after a battle with cancer. ¤ “I take great exception to anybody that calls Mike Rounds a jerk,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican. “Because he’s one of the kindest, nicest, most sincere members that we have.”

Still, some Republicans wanted to stay above the fray. ¤ “Nothing to add to what’s already out there,” Sen. John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican and member of GOP leadership, said when asked about the episode.

🐣 RT @ “To protect our democracy, I support changing the Senate rules in whichever way they need… to prevent a minority of Senators from blocking action on voting rights. ¤ When it comes to protecting majority rule in America – a majority should rule in the U.S. Senate.” -@POTUS
// Biden in Georgia

🐣 RT @drhodes Former Soviet Republics are all different. But wherever and whenever people can freely express their views, one thing is consistent: they don’t want Putin’s autocracy and kleptocracy. That’s a reality he can’t change.

WaPo: House Jan. 6 committee dismisses ‘unsupported’ claim of FBI involvement in riot http://wapo.st/3r7T86l The Jan 6 committee debunked claims made to The Senate Judiciary Comm by Sens Cruz & Cotton positing that the Jan 6 insurrection was a “false flag” operation by the FBI
// The panel interviewed Ray Epps, an Arizona man who was on the Capitol grounds on the day of the attack and who is at the center of a baseless, right-wing theory accusing the FBI of planting agents to incite violence that day

WaPo: Justice Dept. forms new domestic terrorism unit to address growing threat http://wapo.st/3GoogFc “The [FBI] assessed racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism and anti-government violent extremism as being the most “lethal” terrorism threats”

⭕ 10 Jan 2022

🐣 RT @JohnBonifaz BREAKING: We are proud to be representing North Carolina voters in this challenge to Madison Cawthorn’s eligibility to appear on the 2022 ballot based on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. @FSFP @OurRevolution http://14point3.org First such challenge since Reconstruction.
⋙ 🐣 RT @FSFP BREAKING: ¤ We are representing North Carolina voters in a challenge to Madison Cawthorn’s candidacy for re-election under Sec 3 of the 14th Amendment, which disqualifies insurrectionists from re-election. #CawthornIsDisqualified – http://14point3.org http://ow.ly/Ss3m50HqZRm

CNN, Chris Cillizza: This Republican senator just admitted the 2020 election wasn’t rigged http://cnn.it/33czzSr

On Sunday, South Dakota Republican Sen. Mike Rounds was asked a blunt question by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos: “What do you say to all those Republicans, all those veterans who believe the election was stolen, who have bought the falsehoods coming from former President Trump?”

Here’s how Rounds responded … : ¤ “We looked — as a part of our due diligence, we looked at over 60 different accusations made in multiple states.

“While there were some irregularities, there were none of the irregularities which would have risen to the point where they would have changed the vote outcome in a single state.

“The election was fair, as fair as we have seen. We simply did not win the election, as Republicans, for the presidency. And moving forward — and that’s the way we want to look at this — moving forward, we have to refocus once again on what it’s going to take to win the presidency.

“And if we simply look back and tell our people don’t vote because there’s cheating going on, then we’re going to put ourselves in a huge disadvantage. So, moving forward, let’s focus on what it takes to win those elections. We can do that. But we have to let people know that they can — they can believe and they can have confidence that those elections are fair.”

This is, of course, all perfectly accurate. There is simply no evidence of any sort of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. Some states in which the vote between Joe Biden and Donald Trump was very close have recounted the vote multiple times, with no change in result. In Georgia, for example, the vote was recounted three times — including once by hand — and no significant irregularities or changes were found.

Given all of that, it should not be terribly newsworthy when a Republican elected official acknowledges that Biden won fair and square. “Dog bites man” isn’t usually a story.

But, we are in very unusual times. And, for Republicans, Trump has made believing in the Big Lie that the election was stolen a loyalty litmus test. Despite all of the objective facts pointing to a fair election, the former President remains utterly obsessed with relitigating 2020.

“‘Senator’ Mike Rounds of the Great State of South Dakota just went woke on the Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020. He made a statement this weekend on ABC Fake News, that despite massive evidence to the contrary, including much of it pouring in from Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and other states, he found the election to be ok — just fine. Is he crazy or just stupid?” Trump said in a statement Monday morning.

(Trump has also been openly critical of Rounds’ home state Senate colleague — John Thune. Thune, after weighing retirement, announced over the weekend that he is running for another term in 2022.)

Unfortunately for the health and future of the GOP, many of its elected leaders — and rank in file — are falling in line with Trump’s falsehood. ¤ A December 2020 survey of Republicans in Congress by The Washington Post revealed that only 27 members acknowledged that Biden had won the election. ¤ And, on January 6, 2021, 139 Republican House members and 8 Republican senators voted to object to challenges to either the Arizona and Pennsylvania results.

The following month, when asked whether the election was stolen, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise responded this way: “Joe Biden’s the President. There were a few states that did not follow their state laws. That’s really the dispute that you’ve seen continue on.”

In the interim, Republican candidates — for Senate and House — from all over the country have put election denialism at the center of their campaigns as they try to attract an endorsement from the former President. “I get attacked by my opponents for saying this, but I believe it very strongly and so I want to say it up here: I believe the election was stolen from Donald J. Trump,” said Josh Mandel, one of the leading GOP candidates in the Ohio Senate race.

All of which makes what Rounds said — aka the objective truth — a bit of an outlier within his party. Which, well, stop and think about that for a minute. Acknowledging a fact that has been proven time and time and time again in swing states across the country makes you an exception within one of the country’s two main political parties. ¤ That’s what Republicans — like Rounds — who are trying to steer their party back toward a more fact-based reality are up against.

⋙ 🧵 RT @maddowblog NEWS: Attorneys for Donald Trump have met in person with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in Georgia. 💽 📌 https://twitter.com/MaddowBlog/status/1480728158479474690?s=20/photo/1
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @maddowblog MORE: A Trump statement in which he railed against “DA’s, AG’s, and Dem Law Enforcement” came within days of his lawyers meeting with prosecutors in Fulton County, Georgia, who are investigating Trump criminally for his alleged actions to pressure election officials there. 💽 https://twitter.com/MaddowBlog/status/1480728158479474690?s=20/photo/1
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @maddowblog Gwen Keyes Fleming, former DeKalb County, GA district attorney points out that it is more likely that Donald Trump is pre-spinning what could be coming from the Fani Willis investigation than that he’s any kind of victim of political prosecution. Watch: 💽 https://twitter.com/MaddowBlog/status/1480738936452530177?s=20/photo/1

Politico: Jan. 6 panel ramps up investigation into Trump’s state-level pressure http://politi.co/3GfuAP9
// POLITICO has identified the information the committee has received from key swing states, as lawmakers prepare to take their findings public.

The House committee investigating the Capitol attack has gathered thousands of records from state officials and interviewed a slate of witnesses as it attempts to retrace former President Donald Trump’s attempts to subvert the 2020 election, particularly in four key states that swung the presidency to Joe Biden. They’re getting ready to take their work public, possibly as soon as the spring.

“We want to let the public see and hear from those individuals who conducted elections in those states,” select panel chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said in an interview. He described those witnesses as particularly important given their mandates to keep elections “fair and impartial” while hailing from one political party.

The voluminous documents state election officials have sent the Jan. 6 committee, obtained by POLITICO through open records requests, underscore the depth of Trump’s pressure campaign directed at the typically lower-level administrators of presidential balloting. The emails, texts and phone recordings also add consequential context to previously reported incidents, such as Trump’s call to Georgia’s top elections investigator and Mark Meadows’ outreach to Georgia election officials.

The select panel asked states for any scrap of evidence to justify allegations of election fraud that Trump baselessly promoted, focusing much of its efforts on officials in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Those states found virtually no evidence of fraud, according to Thompson.

Among the officials who spoke with the committee was Kathy Boockvar, Pennsylvania’s secretary of state during the 2020 election, according to a source familiar with the situation not authorized to speak publicly. A spokesperson for the Pennsylvania secretary of state declined to comment on whether the panel had been in touch with the state’s officials.

Mainly, the records show state officials trying to either mollify or ignore Trump and his allies without distorting election results or embracing debunked claims of vote tampering. A spokesperson for the select panel declined to comment on the documents.

As Trump’s team pushed its discredited voter fraud narrative, the National Archives received forged certificates of ascertainment declaring him and then-Vice President Mike Pence the winners of both Michigan and Arizona and their electors after the 2020 election. Public records requests show the secretaries of state for those states sent those certificates to the Jan. 6 panel, along with correspondence between the National Archives and state officials about the documents.

Spokespeople for the Michigan and Arizona secretaries of state declined to comment on the documents. The offices confirmed that Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, both Democrats, and their staff met with the panel in November.

The National Archives sent emails to the Arizona secretary of state on Dec. 11, 2020, passing along the forged certificates “for your awareness” and informing the state officials the Archives would not accept them.

Arizona then took legal action against at least one of the groups who sent in the fake documents, sending a cease and desist letter to a pro-Trump “sovereign citizen” group telling them to stop using the state seal and referring the matter to the state attorney general.

“By affixing the state seal to documents containing false and misleading information about the results of Arizona’s November 3, 2020 General Election, you undermine the confidence in our democratic institutions,” Hobbs wrote to one of the pro-Trump groups.

That group’s leader, Lori Osiecki, had told the Arizona Republic in December 2020 that she decided to send in the certificates after taking part in post-election rallies and after attending a daylong meeting in Phoenix that had included Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

The group that forged the Michigan certification had not used the state seal, and it appears state officials there took no further action after the Archives rejected it.

🐣 RT @radiksikorski Get this, @RussianEmbassy, once and for all, in a language you can grasp. We were not orphaned by you because you were not our daddy. More of a serial rapist. Which is why you are not missed. And if you try it again, you’ll get a kick in the balls.
⋙ 🐣 RT @RussianEmbassy FM #Lavrov: #NATO has become a purely #geopolitical project aimed at taking over territories orphaned by the collapse of the Warsaw Treaty Organisation and the Soviet Union.

NYT: Pence and Jan. 6 Committee Engage in High-Stakes Dance Over Testimony http://nyti.ms/330yaOT
// Getting the former vice president to answer questions under oath could be crucial as the House panel focuses on Donald Trump’s responsibility for the Capitol riot.

⭕ 9 Jan 2022

🐣 RT @peterbakernyt While Putin accuses the US of breaking an agreement it never made, Russia has violated an agreement it actually did make with regard to Ukraine.
⋙ NYT: In Ukraine Conflict, Putin Relies on a Promise That Ultimately Wasn’t http://nyti.ms/3zFHu6D
// The current confrontation turns partly on what, if any, commitments Secretary of State James A. Baker III made about NATO’s expansion in the waning days of the Cold War.

Nearly 30 years after James A. Baker III stepped down as secretary of state, the current confrontation over Ukraine turns in part on a long-running argument about what, if any, commitments he made to Moscow in the waning days of the Cold War and whether the United States fulfilled them.

President Vladimir V. Putin and other Russian officials have asserted that Mr. Baker ruled out NATO expansion into Eastern Europe when he served as President George H.W. Bush’s top diplomat. The West’s failure to live up to that agreement, in this argument, is the real cause of the crisis now gripping Europe as Mr. Putin demands that NATO forswear membership for Ukraine as the price of calling off a potential invasion.

But the record suggests this is a selective account of what really happened, used to justify Russian aggression for years. While there was indeed discussion between Mr. Baker and the Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev in the months after the fall of the Berlin Wall about limiting NATO jurisdiction if East and West Germany were reunited, no such provision was included in the final treaty signed by the Americans, Europeans and Russians.

“The bottom line is, that’s a ridiculous argument,” Mr. Baker said in an interview in 2014, a few months after Russia seized Crimea and intervened in eastern Ukraine. “It is true that in the initial stages of negotiations I said ‘what if’ and then Gorbachev himself supported a solution that extended the border that included the German Democratic Republic,” or East Germany, within NATO. Since the Russians signed that treaty, he asked, how can they rely “on something I said a month or so before? It just doesn’t make sense.”

In fact, while Mr. Putin accuses the United States of breaking an agreement it never made, Russia has violated an agreement it actually did make with regard to Ukraine. In 1994, after the Soviet Union broke apart, Russia signed an accord along with the United States and Britain called the Budapest Memorandum, in which the newly independent Ukraine gave up 1,900 nuclear warheads in exchange for a commitment from Moscow “to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine” and “to refrain from the threat or use of force” against the country.

Russia trampled Ukrainian sovereignty when it annexed Crimea and sponsored proxy forces to wage war against the Kyiv government in eastern Ukraine. And it is once again threatening the use of force by assembling 100,000 Russian troops along its border to extract guarantees that Ukraine will never be allowed to join NATO.

The dispute traces back to the final years of the Cold War, when East and West were negotiating the framework of what Mr. Bush would call the new world order. The fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989, led to negotiations over unifying the two Germanys formed after World War II.

… On Jan. 31, 1990, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, the West German foreign minister, said in a speech that there would not be “an expansion of NATO territory to the east, in other words, closer to the borders of the Soviet Union.”

He was talking about whether NATO troops would be stationed in territory then constituting East Germany, not whether other countries would eventually be considered for membership in the alliance. Nonetheless, Mr. Baker picked up on Mr. Genscher’s formulation during a Feb. 9 visit to Moscow.

As an inducement for agreeing to German unification, Mr. Baker offered what he called “ironclad guarantees that NATO’s jurisdiction or forces would not move eastward,” according to a declassified memorandum recording the discussion. ¤ “There would be no extension of NATO’s jurisdiction for forces of NATO one inch to the east,” Mr. Baker told Mr. Gorbachev, coming back to the formula three times during the conversation.

Back in Washington, the National Security Council staff was alarmed. The word “jurisdiction” could imply that the NATO doctrine of collective defense would apply only to part of German territory, limiting German sovereignty. It was one thing to agree not to move troops into the East right away, as far as American officials were concerned, but all of Germany had to be part of NATO.

“The N.S.C. got to him pretty quickly and said that language might be misinterpreted,” Condoleezza Rice, then a Soviet adviser to Mr. Bush and later secretary of state under President George W. Bush, remembered in an interview for a biography of Mr. Baker.

Mr. Baker got the message and began walking back his words by ditching the term “jurisdiction” from all future discussions. Chancellor Helmut Kohl of West Germany likewise rejected Mr. Genscher’s formulation. ¤ “I may have been a little bit forward on my skis on that, but they changed it and he knew that they changed it,” Mr. Baker recalled of Mr. Gorbachev. “He never once again in all the months that followed ever raised the question of NATO expanding its jurisdiction eastward. He then signed documents in which NATO did expand its jurisdiction.”

No less a witness agreed than Mr. Gorbachev. “The topic of ‘NATO expansion’ was not discussed at all, and it wasn’t brought up in those years,” he told an interviewer after Russia’s intervention in Ukraine seven years ago. The issue was foreign troops in eastern Germany. “Baker’s statement” about not one inch “was made in that context,” Mr. Gorbachev said. “Everything that could have been and needed to be done to solidify that political obligation was done. And fulfilled.”

Having said that, Mr. Gorbachev agreed that NATO expansion was unnecessarily provocative. “It was definitely a violation of the spirit of the statements and assurances made to us in 1990,” he said.

As it happens, one of those who suggested a different approach was Mr. Baker. In 1993, as NATO was contemplating admitting Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, he proposed in an op-ed in The Los Angeles Times that the alliance consider another possible member: Russia itself.

The idea would be to force democratic change before it could join, while making clear that Russia was not an enemy. “For our relations with Russia, it can both encourage reform and hedge our bets against a return to authoritarianism and expansionism,” Mr. Baker wrote. That obviously never happened.

🐣 RT @HeathMayo Four pages to say two words: “I’m scared.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @Jim_Jordan https://twitter.com/Jim_Jordan/status/1480329304936529921?s=20/photo/1 -4
// letter

WaPo: Trump’s cable cabinet: New texts reveal the influence of Fox hosts on previous White House http://wapo.st/3t8F3YY

🐣 RT @McFaul I met Putin in 1991. I’ve written about him for 2 decades. I sat in the room with him for 5 years during the Obama administration. Those who believe that Putin will stop undermining Ukrainian sovereignty & democracy with a non-expansion NATO “guarantee” don’t know Putin.

⭕ 8 Jan 2022

🔄 🌎 NYT: How Russia’s Military Is Positioned to Threaten Ukraine http://nyti.ms/3tasuw4
// Russian forces now surround Ukraine on three sides, and Western officials fear a military operation could start as soon as this month.

🔄 NYT: [ Ukraine Articles Index ] http://nyti.ms/3zCNahA

🐣 RT @McFaul Putin does not want a stable and predictable relationship with the United States or the West. And we don’t have the means to force him into a stable and predictable relationship. So we should stop stating this unobtainable outcome as a goal of U.S. foreign policy.
⋙ 🐣 RT @john_sipher We are halfway there. Predictable but not stable. Putin is predictably unstable. He needs chaos, lies and threats. Asymmetric and political warfare. ¤ The sooner we realize it’s impossible, the better. He will always create a crisis if he’s being ignored.

NYT: U.S. Details Costs of a Russian Invasion of Ukraine http://nyti.ms/3taQSO7
// The Biden administration and its allies are developing new possible sanctions ahead of a series of meetings to defuse the crisis with Moscow.

yoWaPo: The future of Europe hinges on the coming talks between the West and Russia http://wapo.st/3zN0XCs

A brutal dictator, having staked a claim to power based on conspiracy theories and promises of imperial restoration, rebuilds his military. He begins threatening to seize his neighbors’ territory, blames democracies for the crisis and demands that, to solve it, they must rewrite the rules of international politics — and redraw the map — to suit him. The democracies agree to peace talks, hoping, as they must, to avoid war without unduly rewarding aggression.

What happened next at Munich in 1938 is a matter of history: Britain and France traded a piece of Czechoslovakia to Adolf Hitler’s Germany in return for his false pledge not to make war. The Munich analogy can be, and has been, overused and overstated. But given how closely the first paragraph of this editorial describes Russian President Vladimir Putin’s current bellicosity toward Ukraine, and given that the United States and its allies enter negotiations with Mr. Putin in the coming week, it’s worth reflecting on any and all relevant experience. The Biden administration and European allies must approach the talks with corresponding gravity: If Mr. Putin comes out ahead — either at the bargaining table or on the battlefield — the continent could be lastingly destabilized. …

What the United States cannot do is allow Mr. Putin to win concessions at the point of a gun. In the — all-too-likely — event that he is not bargaining in good faith, and does invade Ukraine, President Biden will have to help that country defend itself, rally NATO and ensure that Russia pays a heavy price.

⭕ 7 Jan 2022

🔄 🌎 NYT: How Russia’s Military Is Positioned to Threaten Ukraine http://nyti.ms/
// Russian forces now surround Ukraine on three sides, and Western officials fear a military operation could start as soon as this month.

NYT, Lilia Shevtsova: Ukraine Is Only One Small Part of Putin’s Plans http://nyti.ms/3GdOiuz

⭕ 6 Jan 2022 ~ Anniversary of Insurrection

WaPo, EJ Dionne: Biden tells the truth in the best speech of his presidency http://wapo.st/3q2jvLH “[I]n one important moment of truth-telling, Biden changed the direction of his presidency…”

[I]n one important moment of truth-telling, Biden changed the direction of his presidency by setting his face against a denialism that has distorted our nation’s debate since the day he was inaugurated. He insisted that Republicans could not be treated as a normal opposition as long as most of them — in their leadership and in their ranks — refuse to break unreservedly with an odious, democracy-wrecking liar.

When Biden was asked by a reporter as he left the Capitol whether his address had been “divisive,” he did not back down. “To heal,” he said, “you have to recognize the extent of the wound. You can’t pretend.”

🧵 🖼 RT @LeahMillis One year ago at 5:04pm, I took this photo of law enforcement using flash bang grenades & tear gas on a violent mob trying to break into the U.S. Capitol. It was hr 4 in my gas mask, helmet & bulletproof vest photographing hand-to-hand combat between police and American citizens. 📌 https://twitter.com/LeahMillis/status/1479124282244579332?s=20/photo/1
// thread of well known iconic photos from Jan 6 by Reuters photographer

🐣 RT @allinwithchris “This last text I am going to read you indicates he was worried Trump was not done on the 6th,” says Hayes on the Hannity texts released by the Jan. 6 panel. ¤ “The idea that Sean Hannity was truly worried about what Trump would do should scare all of us.”
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, AllIn: Jan. 6 committee releases ‘explosive’ texts from Sean Hannity http://on.msnbc.com/3t2Zlmu
// The Jan. 6 committee released private text messages sent from Fox News host Sean Hannity to Mark Meadows and others in the days before and during the [insurrection]

WaPo: Ted Cruz grovels to Tucker Carlson over Jan. 6 ‘terrorist attack’ remark http://wapo.st/32WSgt1 Carlson “instantly made clear who had the real power in their relationship”

WaPo, Aaron Blake: How Jan. 6 — and Republicans — enabled Trump’s domination of the GOP http://wapo.st/3tklRYv

When the dust settled on Jan. 6, 2021, even many prominent allies of President Donald Trump agreed that he was responsible — in some measure, and often in large measure — for the first major attack on the U.S. Capitol since the War of 1812:

● The No. 1 House Republican, Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), said Trump bore “responsibility,” while suggesting a historic censure of a sitting president.
● The No. 1 Senate Republican, Mitch McConnell (Ky.), said, “There’s no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking” the attack.
● Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) said Trump’s rhetoric about a stolen election had been “irresponsible” and “reckless.” He added that Trump “went way too far over the line.”
● Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) called on Trump to “quit misleading the American people and repudiate mob violence” and said Jan. 6 was “in part a result of” such misleading claims.
● Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said Trump’s call for protesters to march to the Capitol “was inciting.”
● Even Fox News host Tucker Carlson said on Jan. 7 that Trump had “recklessly encouraged” the events of the day.

Exactly one year later, the Jan. 6 Capitol riot has basically served only to cement the very same former president’s hold on the same party. And that’s because of this: It was the most significant stress test on Trump’s hold on the party to date, and Trump’s hold bent but didn’t break.

GOP leaders thought they might be able to break with Trump, only to be proved very wrong. The lesson for all of them was that there’s virtually nothing Trump could do to lose the base, and they should act accordingly.

Today, Republican leaders barely bother with discussing Trump’s culpability for what Cruz has repeatedly labeled (including this week) a “terrorist attack”; instead, they are drowned out by those in their midst downplaying the events of the day, likening those who were charged and jailed to political prisoners, and assuring that this is still Trump’s party and that it’s time to move on from the historic attack on U.S. government (often for transparently political reasons).

They also stand by silently as fellow Republicans who push the same “big lie” they blamed for fomenting the Jan. 6 attack run for high-profile offices — including those that control elections — with Trump’s backing. ¤ It is indeed still Trump’s party, and in rather remarkable measure.

The Washington Post’s David Byler this week spotlighted [ ⇊ ] a telling chart from FiveThirtyEight. Some Republicans have fallen out of favor in their party after Jan. 6; it just happens to be the Republicans who found themselves on other side of Trump on Jan. 6. The favorability ratings of McConnell and former vice president Mike Pence, who declined entreaties to help overturn the election on Jan. 6, dropped sharply almost immediately — and have stayed down. …
⋙ ◕ FiveThirtyEight: http://53eig.ht/3qYeEu2 https://twitter.com/databyler/status/1478751990096150528?s=20/photo/1
// “Republicans remain loyal to Trump even after Jan. 6 attack. Net favorability ratings of Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and Mitch McConnell among Republican registered voters, from Jan 1, 2020 to Jan 1, 2022”

For Republicans, though, the calculation is less about what’s ideal than what’s realistic and manageable. They — or at least their leaders — thought the play was to turn the page on the Trump era after the Capitol attack, whether out of principle or something else. They decided this was the moment to come at the party’s king, and they missed. They’ve since reversed course out of political ambition and self-preservation, effectively disowning or ignoring the supposedly principled stand they took earlier against a man they blamed for a historic attack.

🚫 USNews: READ: Trump Statement Marking Jan. 6 http://bit.ly/3F9Pga4
// not posted for obv; Former President Donald Trump on Thursday issued a statement marking one year since the the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday issued a statement marking one year since the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, calling President Joe Biden’s speech on the event “political theater.” Read the statement in full below.

Biden, who is destroying our Nation with insane policies of open Borders, corrupt Elections, disastrous energy policies, unconstitutional mandates, and devastating school closures, used my name today to try to further divide America. This political theater is all just a distraction for the fact Biden has completely and totally failed. Our Country no longer has Borders, has totally and completely lost control of Covid (record numbers!), is no longer Energy Independent, Inflation is rampant, our Military is in chaos, and our exit, or surrender, from Afghanistan was perhaps the most embarrassing day in the long and distinguished history of the United States – and so much more.

Why is it that the Unselect Committee of totally partisan political hacks, whose judgment has long ago been made, not discussing the rigged Presidential Election of 2020? It’s because they don’t have the answers or justifications for what happened. They got away with something, and it is leading to our Country’s destruction. They want all conversation concerning the Election “Canceled.” Just look at the numbers, they speak for themselves. They are not justifiable, so the complicit media just calls it the Big Lie, when in actuality the Big Lie was the Election itself.

The Democrats want to own this day of January 6th so they can stoke fears and divide America. I say, let them have it because America sees through theirs lies and polarizations.

🐣 RT @RepLizCheney “The importance of January 6th as an historic event cannot be overstated. I was honored & proud to join my daughter on the House floor to recognize this anniversary, to commend the heroic actions of law enforcement that day, & to reaffirm our dedication to the Constitution. (1/2)
⋙ 🐣 RT @ I am deeply disappointed at the failure of many members of my party to recognize the grave nature of the January 6 attacks and the ongoing threat to our nation.” ¤ – Former VP Dick Cheney (2/2)

🐣 RT @POTUS Here is the truth: The former president of the United States has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election. ¤ He’s done so because he values power over principle. Because his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or Constitution.

🐣 RT @MorrisonCSIS Such a strange surreal configuration.
⋙ WaPo: Dick Cheney returns to the House and receives a warm welcome . . . from Democrats http://wapo.st/3JQnzX0 “‘It was great coming back. I think Liz is doing a hell of a job, and I’m here to support her,’ Cheney told reporters upon leaving the House floor”

🐣 RT @allinwithchris Remembering the reality of the Jan. 6 attack, one year later: “In order to really comprehend what happened one year ago, you have to bring yourself back to the terror of that day,” says Chris Hayes.
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, AllIn: January 6, 2021: The day as it happened http://on.msnbc.com/3HGXUOW
// Remembering the reality of the Jan. 6 attack, one year later: “In order to really comprehend what happened one year ago, you have to bring yourself back to the terror of that day,” says Chris Hayes. 

WaPo: Supreme Court is set to review Biden’s vaccine rules for businesses, health-care workers. Here’s what to know. http://wapo.st/33bnmwJ

🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom And if you’re still supporting Trump, even now – and making excuses for the Republican Party that he now owns and that enables him – you know exactly what you’re doing and what you’re getting. And that means you are, at the least, a poor excuse for a citizen of a democracy.
⋙ 🐣 RT @BillKristol “The truth about January 6th was clear then, and it is clear today: the insurrection at the Capitol was not a grotesque outlier in the story of Trump’s tenure but the horrible, logical outcome of it.”
⋙⋙ NewYorker, Susan Glasser: Biden, Back Into the Breach http://bit.ly/3n5IsUq
// A year after the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol, the President delivered the speech that he never wanted to give.

💙 🧵 RT @January6thCmte On January 6th, 2021, our democracy was on the brink of catastrophe. The American people witnessed a violent attempt to overturn an election that came perilously close to succeeding. ¤ Today, we highlight some of the events that threatened the peaceful transfer of power. 📌 https://twitter.com/January6thCmte/status/1479077472356470786?s=20

🐣 RT @POTUS Last year, for the first time in our history, a president who just lost an election tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the Capitol. ¤ But they failed. ¤ And on this day of remembrance we must make sure that such an attack never happens again.

🐣 RT @BeerHallProject History has shown what happens when attempted insurrections are left unpunished so we’ve founded the Beer Hall Project with a single focus – to fight on the front lines against the far-right’s campaign to erase & revise the events of #January6th Learn more https://beerhallproject.com 💽 https://twitter.com/BeerHallProject/status/1479074224790814720?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @RepSwalwell For me Jan 6 started as I presided to gavel the House into session. I asked Chaplain Margaret Kibben to lead us in prayer. A few hours later she’d abruptly return to the podium, as the mob descended on the chamber, to pray for all of us. It felt like a last rites for democracy.

🐣 RT @ForeignAffairs Jan-Werner Müller discusses how the weaknesses of the United States’ two-party system and the Republican Party’s devolution into a cult of personality threaten American democracy itself—and what democracy’s defenders can do about it.
⋙ ForeignAffairs, Jan-Werner Müller: The Party Is the Problem http://bit.ly/3G14DTq
// Trump, the GOP, and the long road to January 6.

💙 🧵 RT @AndyKimNJ A year later, the most vivid memory I have of Jan 6 is the moment I returned to the House chamber after the riot had been quelled. I stepped over broken glass to get into the chamber. What ensued over the next hour was the most powerful experience of my career. THREAD 📌 https://twitter.com/AndyKimNJ/status/1479084320719622151?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @acyn https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1479139007019700225?s=20/photo/1
// CNN Chryon: FORMER VP CHENEY AND REP. CHENEY ON HOUSE FLOOR

🐣 RT @MittRomney Text Block: https://twitter.com/MittRomney/status/1479086160127442949?s=20/photo/1

Text: Today, we call to mind the memory of those who were tragically lost on the 6th and in the following days, and we reflect with gratitude on the heroic efforts of those who protected the U.S. Capitol and all of us inside the building. It is because of their courage that Congress ultimately fulfilled its responsibility to count the votes and that the transfer of power continued unimpeded.

We ignore the lessons of January 6 at our own peril. Democracy is fragile; it cannot survive without leaders of integrity and character who care more about the strength of our Republic than about winning the next election. said last year that the best way we can show respect for voters who are upset is by telling them the truth. The responsibility that elected officials have in this regard is fundamental to reversing the malaise gripping our current politics and ensuring that our democracy endures.

💽 NBCNews, Today: Watch President Biden’s full speech marking the anniversary of Jan. 6 attack http://on.today.com/3HDvB3O
// President Joe Biden speaks from Statuary Hall to mark one year since rioters attacked the U.S. Capitol. He calls upon the nation to reflect on the events of Jan. 6 while looking forward, and calls out the “three big lies” being pushed by former President Donald Trump.

🐣 RT @therecount During Donald Trump’s impeachment trial — the second one @RepRaskin (D-MD) played a 13-minute video montage of the Capitol insurrection. Here it is in full: https://twitter.com/therecount/status/1479132981637824518?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @Acyn Grisham: All I know about that day is that he was in the dining room gleefully watching on his TV as he often did… “look at all of the people fighting for me” ¤ hitting rewind, watching again

🐣 RT @atrupar Biden: “We must be absolutely clear about what is true & what is a lie. And here’s the truth. The former POTUS created & spread a web of lies about the 2020 election. He’s done so because he values power over principle … he can’t accept he lost.”
💽 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1479105483554189317?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @marceelias Trump and his allies lost 64 of 65 post election lawsuits.
⋙ 🐣 RT @jonkarl Trump didn’t just lose the election.
He lost 60-plus legal challenges.
He lost in his efforts to get Republican state legislatures to undo the results
He lost the votes in Congress challenging the results
He lost his effort to get his VP to overturn the results
He lost… 📌
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @jonkarl He lost three separate counts in Georgia
He lost an audit conducted by his allies in Arizona
He lost audits in Michigan
He lost in his multiple efforts to get the Supreme Court to intervene
No candidate ever found more ways to lose an election than Donald Trump.

🧵 RT @TheRickWilson 1/ A year ago this morning the plan was in place. The conspiracy was in action. The players knew their lines and marks. ¤ They had worked for weeks to contrive a ludicrous legal argument based on specious reasoning to retain Trump’s hold on office.
📌 https://twitter.com/TheRickWilson/status/1479081186014244867?s=20

⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 2/ It ran deep, far across the entire right-wing ecosystem. Near the center was a putrid slurry of Trump, his crime family, his goon squad sycophants, cosplay lawyers, leathery degenerate Roger Stone…
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 3/ …pernicious little ratfuckers like Ali Alexander, conspiracy loons like Alex Jones, and of course the throbbing, cancerous gristle of Steve Bannon.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 4/ One ring out was the Fox apparatus and all sniping gulls that follow the sewage barge of its daily content. For weeks, the most powerful normative force in GOP politics blasted out the Big Lie, as they do to this very moment. Its handmaiden Facebook fed algorithmically…
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 5/ …crafted poison to millions of Americans as the kinetic parts of the plot to overthrow the election spoke openly as to their intentions. ¤ But the most important parts of the plot to break American the Republic were elected Republicans bred to a new era.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 6/ In the House and the Senate, a cadre of Republicans was eager for that day. Ready for it. Praying for the short, sharp shock of their nationalist revolutionary fantasies to come to be. ¤ Democracy for them is a hindrance to power. An obstacle.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 7/ Their evolution from oh-God-not-Trump in 2016 to “All hail the Great Leader’s shock troops” in 2021 was complete. Not every Republican felt that way, but the ones who didn’t were worse. ¤ They lived in fear, and after a brief vote went back to living in fear.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 8/ The “good Republicans” still spent the majority of the Trump era — and that fateful day — saying one thing and voting with him. Backing him. ¤ Why were (and are) they so scared of his mob and his enforcers? ¤ Because the purpose of terror is to terrorize.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 9/ Bannon and his ilk would have danced a merry jig if the mob had murdered a Representative or Senator. They would’ve loved it. ¤ Pour encourager les autres, bro. ¤ If not for luck, providence, and the courage of the MCPD and Capitol Police, they would have.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 10/ This was an act of terror, as even Fat Wolverine now admits. It was one more in a chain of crimes and sins by Trump and his movement to break this nation into an authoritarian kleptocracy based on fear and violence. ¤ And the GOP still won’t have a moment of clarity on it.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 11/ Oh, in private they still acknowledge it, but the fear of the mob is with them still. The frisson of a bullet passing close by but missing. The narrowly averted car crash. It sticks. They’re trapped in a political and media ecosystem built for mob rule.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 12/ I’ll spare you a discourse on how fundamentally anti-conservative the Trump movement is, but the GOP is ruled now by criminals, cowards, and opportunists. ¤ The fact only two Members stood up to serve on the 1/6 committee is all you need to know.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 13/ One of the great gifts of the GOP is a relentless commitment to staying on message, no matter how absurd it looks in either the moment or in retrospect. (QED my old twitter feed lol). ¤ What will their message be about 1/6?
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 14/ “Democrats are exaggerating because they’re Marxist communist Antifa revolutionaries who want mandatory socialism and sharia gay marriage to your dog.” ¤ “It was a protest that got a little out of hand.” ¤ “But BLM was worse.” ¤ “But Russiagate was worse.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 15/ “Hunter’s Laptop was worse.” ¤ “Trump didn’t do anything wrong.” ¤ You know the drill. You’ve seen the movie. ¤ Now, many do-gooders still believe we can live in a harmonious, bipartisan land of soft cuddles and cute puppies.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 16/ With respect…you’re out of your fucking minds. The conspiracy goes on. The plot to reinstall Trump is alive and kicking. Bannon walks free. Stone walks free. The DOJ said the right words, but the top of the chain of an attempt to overthrow the election is still in play.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 17/ The elected plotters and supporters of 1/6, the Insurrection Caucus are doing great — they’re still receiving millions in corporate donations from companies that promised they’d never give to them again.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 18/ The DC Republican media ecosystem — defined more by their hatred of people who oppose Trump and his authoritarian statism than by any remnant of conservatism — shrugged off their qualms and have largely forgiven 1/6.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 19/ And God love the Democrats, but when they straight-facedly say shit like “This election is about BBB and prescription drugs” they deserve to lose to these fuckers. ¤ The Trump side treats this as a cold civil war, and they’re planning and ready for a more kinetic iteration.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 20/ Just as 2020 was at every level a referendum on Trump, 2022 is a referendum on democracy. It’s a stark, hard choice. The work we put in in 2022 will determine just how much the fuckery of 2024 can be contained. ¤ It’s a choose-you-own-adventure for the Republic.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 21/ I’ll wrap this up. ¤ When authoritarians take over, everyone is shocked. ¤ “Wait…those clowns?” ¤ But the other side isn’t working in secret. They’re telling you exactly what they’ll do. ¤ They’ve promised — and executed — political violence.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 22/ Once you cross that Rubicon, all bets are off. ¤ No, it’s not an excuse to imitate them, but unless and until the majority of Americans who don’t believe in the very dark future Bannon, Trump, and Fox are painting get brutally tough in their response to it…
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 23/ …then the bad guys have a powerful advantage. The rule of law and tradition is nice until they’re marching you up the steps of the gibbet. ¤ An unpunished coup is a training exercise. ¤ End.

⭕ 5 Jan 2022

WaPo, George Conway III: Trump must have his day in court for his crimes on Jan. 6 http://wapo.st/3G3GRG7 “As the pawns meet their fates, the man who led them to try to stop the peaceful, democratic transfer of power remains safe in his Palm Beach palace”
// As president, Donald Trump had the duty to intervene and stop the violence he unleashed.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said all the right things. His speech marking the anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection was a studied call for patience — and a promise of full justice. He explained how massive, complex criminal investigations proceed: Prosecutors work from the bottom up, from the small fry to the big fish.

Above all, he pledged that the Justice Department has “no higher priority” and would do “whatever it takes for justice to be done — consistent with the facts and the law.” Most important, he made clear that “the Justice Department remains committed to holding all January 6th perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law — whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy.” (Emphasis mine.)

If Garland means what he says, then the investigative road must lead prosecutors to the individual most responsible for the events of Jan. 6: former president Donald Trump. To be sure, the Justice Department deserves plaudits for what it has done already: More than 725 people have been charged, and 165 have pleaded guilty. Seventy defendants have been sentenced, 31 to prison.

But however guilty they might be, these defendants do not and should not bear the ultimate responsibility for the attack on Congress and the Constitution. As Judge Amit B. Mehta told defendant John Lolos at his sentencing, “I think you are a pawn. You are a pawn in a game that’s played and directed by people who should know better.”

As the pawns meet their fates, the man who led them to try to stop the peaceful, democratic transfer of power remains safe in his Palm Beach palace. As Mehta put it, “People like Mr. Lolos were told lies, falsehoods, told the election was stolen when it really wasn’t.” Those lies were Trump’s.

And not only did Trump deceive the mob, but also he directed it. Trump urged the rioters to come to Washington on Jan. 6, promising it would be “wild!” On that day, he told his supporters to march on the Capitol, to “fight like hell” — and warned that “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” He told the crowd that “our country will be destroyed” if Joe Biden took office, and that “we’re not going to stand for that.”

Trump’s intent was obvious well before Jan. 6. I tweeted on Dec. 26, 2020, “It’s pretty clear now that @realDonaldTrump’s next desperate play is to encourage disruption, if not violence, in Washington on January 6.” I wasn’t being prescient; I had just listened to what Trump had been saying. As Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said in announcing her vote to impeach, “The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.” He did it all in plain sight.

So now the question is, will the Justice Department hold Trump responsible for his role in the attack? If Garland truly means that perpetrators at any level will be held accountable, and that “there cannot be different rules for the powerful and the powerless,” then the department can, it should, and it must.

Garland must not fear that prosecuting Trump would be viewed as a partisan act. He need only look to the words of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who, after voting against an impeachment conviction on the (meritless) ground that Trump had left office, all but called for Trump’s prosecution. “We have a criminal justice system in this country,” McConnell said. “President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office,” McConnell added. “He didn’t get away with anything yet. Yet.”

The Justice Department has plenty of statutory tools available to make sure Trump doesn’t get away with what he did. Most notably, it could invoke one of the same provisions it has applied to individual rioters: Title 18, section 1512(c)(2) of the U.S. Code punishes “whoever corruptly … obstructs … or impedes any official proceeding.” The statute makes clear that an “official proceeding” includes one “before the Congress.” At least one judge handling Jan. 6 cases has already held that it includes Congress’s joint session for counting electoral votes.

That Trump himself wasn’t present at the Capitol doesn’t shield him from liability for obstructing the electoral vote count or for any other crimes committed that day. The criminal code provides that whoever “aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures” the commission of an offense, or “willfully causes … another” to commit an offense, “is punishable as a principal,” as though they had directly committed the deed himself.

A number of criminal law experts have noted that you can aid and abet a crime simply by doing nothing — if you have a duty to intervene but don’t. A bystander who watches a store break-in and does nothing hasn’t committed a crime. The store security guard who sees the break-in and does nothing, knowing that his dereliction is allowing the crime to proceed, has.

As president, Trump had the duty to intervene. Instead, as the Jan. 6 select congressional committee is learning, he spent hours watching the mayhem on TV. And that dereliction of duty, along with his open and manifest desire to stop the electoral-vote count, should suffice to make him guilty of a crime. The evidence is already bad for him, and it can only get worse. ¤ If the attorney general means what he says, Trump’s day in the dock will come — if not soon, then soon enough.

Reuters: Biden to call out Trump’s ‘singular responsibility’ for Jan. 6 attacks http://reut.rs/3HF9MRh Press Secretary Psaki said that President Biden sees the deadly attacks as the “tragic culmination of what those four years under President Trump did to our country”

▧ 📋 WaPo: Transcript: Attorney General Garland’s Speech on the Anniversary of January 6th 2021 Insurrection [pdf] http://bit.ly/31y01oM 7p

Tomorrow will mark the first anniversary of January 6th, 2021 — the day the United States Capitol was attacked while lawmakers met to affirm the results of a presidential election.

In the early afternoon of January 6th — as the United States Senate and House of Representatives were meeting to certify the vote count of the Electoral College — a large crowd gathered outside the Capitol building.

Shortly after 2 p.m., individuals in the crowd began to force entry into the Capitol, by smashing windows and assaulting U.S. Capitol police, who were stationed there to protect the members of Congress as they took part in one of the most solemn proceedings of our democracy. •••

In the aftermath of the attack, the Justice Department began its work on what has become one of the largest, most complex, and most resource-intensive investigations in our history. ¤ Only a small number of perpetrators were arrested in the tumult of January 6th itself. Every day since, we have worked to identify, investigate, and apprehend defendants from across the country. And we have done so at record speed and scale — in the midst of a pandemic during which some grand juries and courtrooms were not able to operate.

Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, DOJ personnel across the department — in nearly all 56 field offices, in nearly all 94 United States Attorneys’ Offices, and in many Main Justice components — have worked countless hours to investigate the attack. Approximately 70 prosecutors from the District of Columbia and another 70 from other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and DOJ divisions have participated in this investigation.

● So far, we have issued over 5,000 subpoenas and search warrants, seized approximately 2,000 devices, pored through over 20,000 hours of video footage, and searched through an estimated 15 terabytes of data.

● We have received over 300,000 tips from ordinary citizens, who have been our indispensable partners in this effort. The FBI’s website continues to post photos of persons in connection with the events of January 6th, and we continue to seek the public’s assistance in identifying those individuals.

● As of today, we have arrested and charged more than 725 defendants, in nearly all 50 states and the District of Columbia, for their roles in the January 6th attack.

In charging the perpetrators, we have followed well-worn prosecutorial practices.
¤ Those who assaulted officers or damaged the Capitol face greater charges.
¤ Those who conspired with others to obstruct the vote count also face greater charges.
¤ Those who did not undertake such conduct have been charged with lesser offenses — particularly if they accepted their responsibility early and cooperated with the investigation.

In the first months of the investigation, approximately 145 defendants pled guilty to misdemeanors, mostly defendants who did not cause injury or damage. Such pleas reflect the facts of those cases and the defendants’ acceptance of responsibility. And they help conserve both judicial and prosecutorial resources, so that attention can properly focus on the more serious perpetrators.

In complex cases, initial charges are often less severe than later charged offenses. This is purposeful, as investigators methodically collect and sift through more evidence.

By now, though, we have charged over 325 defendants with felonies, many for assaulting officers and many for corruptly obstructing or attempting to obstruct an official proceeding. Twenty defendants charged with felonies have already pled guilty.

Approximately 40 defendants have been charged with conspiracy to obstruct a congressional proceeding and/or to obstruct law enforcement. In the months ahead, 17 defendants are already scheduled to go to trial for their role in felony conspiracies.

A necessary consequence of the prosecutorial approach of charging less serious offenses first is that courts impose shorter sentences before they impose longer ones. ¤ In recent weeks, however, as judges have sentenced the first defendants convicted of assaults and related violent conduct against officers, we have seen significant sentences that reflect the seriousness of those offenses — both in terms of the injuries they caused and the serious risk they posed to our democratic institutions.

The actions we have taken thus far will not be our last. ¤ The Justice Department remains committed to holding all January 6th perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law — whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy. We will follow the facts wherever they lead. ¤ We follow the physical evidence. We follow the digital evidence. We follow the money. ¤ But most important, we follow the facts — not an agenda or an assumption. The facts tell us where to go next.

Over 40 years ago in the wake of the Watergate scandal, the Justice Department concluded that the best way to ensure the department’s independence, integrity, and fair application of our laws — and, therefore, the best way to ensure the health of our democracy — is to have a set of norms to govern our work. ¤ The central norm is that, in our criminal investigations, there cannot be different rules depending on one’s political party or affiliation. There cannot be different rules for friends and foes. And there cannot be different rules for the powerful and the powerless. ¤ There is only one rule: we follow the facts and enforce the law in a way that respects the Constitution and protects civil liberties.

We conduct every investigation guided by the same norms. And we adhere to those norms even when, and especially when, the circumstances we face are not normal. ¤ Adhering to the department’s long-standing norms is essential to our work in defending our democracy, particularly at a time when we are confronting a rise in violence and unlawful threats of violence in our shared public spaces and directed at those who serve the public.

In a democracy, people vote, argue, and debate — often vociferously — in order to achieve the policy outcomes they desire. But in a democracy, people must not employ violence or unlawful threats of violence to affect that outcome. Citizens must not be intimidated from exercising their constitutional rights to free expression and association by such unlawful conduct.

The Justice Department will continue to investigate violence and illegal threats of violence, disrupt that violence before it occurs, and hold perpetrators accountable. ¤ We have marshaled the resources of the department to address the rising violence and criminal threats of violence against election workers, against flight crews, against school personnel, against journalists, against members of Congress, and against federal agents, prosecutors, and judges. ¤ In 2021, the department charged more defendants in criminal threat cases than in any year in at least the last five.

As we do this work, we are guided by our commitment to protect civil liberties, including the First Amendment rights of all citizens. ¤ The department has been clear that expressing a political belief or ideology, no matter how vociferously, is not a crime. We do not investigate or prosecute people because of their views. ¤ Peacefully expressing a view or ideology — no matter how extreme — is protected by the First Amendment. But illegally threatening to harm or kill another person is not. There is no First Amendment right to unlawfully threaten to harm or kill someone.

As Justice Scalia noted in R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, true “threats of violence are outside the First Amendment” because laws that punish such threats “protect[] individuals from the fear of violence, from the disruption that fear engenders, and from the possibility that the threatened violence will occur.” ¤ The latter point hits particularly close to home for those of us who have investigated tragedies ranging from the Oklahoma City bombing to the January 6th attack on the Capitol. The time to address threats is when they are made, not after the tragedy has struck.

In the midst of Reconstruction following the Civil War, the department’s first principal task was to secure the civil rights promised by the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. This meant protecting Black Americans seeking to exercise their right to vote from acts and threats of violence by white supremacists.

The framers of the Civil War Amendments recognized that access to the ballot is a fundamental aspect of citizenship and self-government. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 sought to make the promise of those amendments real. To do so, it gave the Justice Department valuable tools with which to protect the right to vote.

In recent years, however, the protections of the Voting Rights Act have been drastically weakened. ¤ The Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in the Shelby County case effectively eliminated the preclearance protections of Section 5, which had been the department’s most effective tool for protecting voting rights over the past half-century. Subsequent decisions have substantially narrowed the reach of Section 2 as well.

Since those decisions, there has been a dramatic increase in legislative enactments that make it harder for millions of eligible voters to vote and to elect representatives of their own choosing. ¤ Those enactments range from: practices and procedures that make voting more difficult; to redistricting maps drawn to disadvantage both minorities and citizens of opposing political parties; to abnormal post-election audits that put the integrity of the voting process at risk; to changes in voting administration meant to diminish the authority of locally elected or nonpartisan election administrators. ¤ Some have even suggested permitting state legislators to set aside the choice of the voters themselves.

As I noted in an address to the Civil Rights Division last June, many of those enactments have been justified by unfounded claims of material vote fraud in the 2020 election. ¤ Those claims, which have corroded people’s faith in the legitimacy of our elections, have been repeatedly refuted by the law enforcement and intelligence agencies of both the last administration and this one, as well as by every court — federal and state — that has considered them.

The Department of Justice will continue to do all it can to protect voting rights with the enforcement powers we have. It is essential that Congress act to give the department the powers we need to ensure that every eligible voter can cast a vote that counts.

But as with violence and threats of violence, the Justice Department — even the Congress — cannot alone defend the right to vote. The responsibility to preserve democracy — and to maintain faith in the legitimacy of its essential processes — lies with every elected official and with every American.

● All Americans are entitled to free, fair, and secure elections that ensure they can select the representatives of their choice.

● All Americans are entitled to live in a country in which their public servants can go about their jobs of serving the public free from violence and unlawful threats of violence.

● And all Americans are entitled to live in a country in which the transition from one elected administration to the next is accomplished peacefully.

The Justice Department will never stop working to defend the democracy to which all Americans are entitled.

As I recognized when I first spoke with you all last March, service in the Department of Justice is more than a job and more than an honor. It is a calling. Each of us — you and I — came to work here because we are committed to the rule of law and to seeking equal justice under law. We came to work here because we are committed to ensuring the civil rights and civil liberties of our people. We came to work here because we are committed to protecting our country — as our oath says — from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Together, we will continue to show the American people, by word and by deed, that these are the principles that underlie our work. ¤ The challenges that we have faced, and that we will continue to face, are extraordinary. But I am moved and humbled by the extraordinary work you do every single day to meet them.

🐣 RT @SenWhitehouse The Attorney General has committed to a fearless investigation that follows the money behind Jan. 6th. That’s good. We must have a thorough inquiry that extends beyond the individuals who stormed the Capitol to the planners & funders who stoked the violence.

🐣 RT @gtconway3d .@JoyceWhiteVance: “Garland is saying that no one is above the law, not even a former president. He’s also answering concerns that his focus is limited to events on Jan. 6, not to the ongoing effort to prevent the transfer of power.” https://twitter.com/gtconway3d/status/1478926324978925572?s=20

WaPo: Another post-Soviet ‘ruler for life’ faces upheaval, as enormous protests sweep Kazakhstan http://wapo.st/3qVeFPs

💽 MSNBC, TheLastWord: ‘I’m very worried’: What really happened on the eve of the insurrection http://on.msnbc.com/3pZk6h4
// MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell looks at the concern coming from Trump allies before the events of January 6, 2021, and details what the Jan. 6th Select Committee has revealed about the events the night before the Capitol insurrection.

WaPo, Jason Crow (D-CO) and Susan Wild (D-PA): We survived Jan. 6 locked in the House chamber. Will our democracy survive, too? http://wapo.st/31tsXhx “We were afraid — not just about what the mob might do to us, but what they were planning to do to our democracy”

A year ago Thursday, along with dozens of our colleagues, we were trapped in the gallery above the House floor making what we thought could be our final calls to our loved ones.

We will never un-hear the sound of a gunshot just outside the House chamber, the mob trying to break down the doors, or the fear in our loved ones’ voices on the phone. We scrambled to find gas masks under our seats, and we can still recall the masks humming loudly around the chamber as members tried to put them on their heads.

We saw brave officers desperately pile chairs and benches into a barricade. Members who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan prepared to dust off skills honed on the battlefield to protect their country, not from foreign enemies but from homegrown terrorists.

Several checked to make sure the many doors to the chamber were locked; others gathered together in clusters on the floor to defend themselves in case the mob broke through. Lawmakers removed their lapel pins to be less identifiable as members of Congress. For many of us, the day resurfaced old wounds of trauma.

We weren’t special. Other Americans won’t forget that day, either — whether they were frightened citizens watching as extremists pulled down American flags outside the Capitol, journalists who risked their safety to report the story in real time, or heroic police officers who held back the mob long enough for lawmakers to escape.

We were afraid — not just about what the mob might do to us, but what they were planning to do to our democracy. We knew this violent attempt to overturn an election was unlike any threat our nation had faced — because it was coming from within.

In the past few years, the United States has witnessed substantial growth in a domestic extremist movement committed to using violence to overturn our democracy. The warped ideas that motivated the insurrection — the demonization of our fellow Americans, the unwillingness to accept the results of an election unless your side wins and racially motivated conspiracy theories — are growing. Astonishingly, recent polling suggests as much as 34 percent of Americans would condone the use of violence against the government for political purposes.

We must respond to this threat with strength and unity. ¤ This begins with a commitment to a new type of American patriotism, one rooted in a humility and honesty that recognizes our faults. We will overcome our challenges as a nation only by recognizing the problems of our past and how they shape our future. This requires an unrelenting commitment to the truth.

And that starts with protecting the right to vote. In 2021, the House of Representatives passed bills to protect voting rights, ensure those votes are counted, and make fair and free elections more difficult to overturn. In 2022, we need the Senate to pass those bills so that President Biden can sign them into law.

In the coming year, every American will have the opportunity to protect the Republic from authoritarian rule. ¤ First, our country needs volunteer poll workers to help our elections run fairly and smoothly. It needs people committed to democracy to run for the local offices that administer elections to ensure that every eligible American can cast a ballot and have it counted. ¤ Second, Americans must get involved in local organizations and show our capacity for honest, respectful discussions and our ability to bridge divisions between neighbors. Ultimately, our democracy must be reinvigorated on main streets, diners, school meetings and neighborhood barbecues — not in Washington, D.C.

American democracy is not inevitable. It exists because, throughout our history, Americans have stood up and fought for it. Now, it’s our turn. We could have lost it last year. This must be the year that we save it.

🐣 RT @pbump Peter Navarro would like you to know that the Trump team’s plan to steal the presidency DID NOT involve breaking any windows or anything and that it was simply meant to be a bloodless coup.
⋙ WaPo: Peter Navarro wants you to know they only intended to overthrow the government peacefully http://wapo.st/3n07ODr
// The former top Trump aide is on a media blitz with the odd aim of differentiating Trump’s plot from the Jan. 6 violence.

🐣 RT @danielsgoldman Strong, emphatic, and determined speech by Garland. The key quote is when he referred to perpetrators who may not have been at the Capitol on Jan 6. But open question remains whether investig has or will extend to efforts to overturn the election, separate from Jan 6 culpability.
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @tribelaw Sorry, I’m just not buying it, Garland’s focus on the Jan 6 attack conspicuously omits any hint of concern with the seditious conspiracy that was designed in Nov & Dec 2020 to pull off a bloodless coup. The attack was Plan B. Plan A violated 18 USC sec. 2384.
⋙ 🐣 RT @BarbMcQuade Money quote from AG Garland: DOJ commits to holding accountable all perpetrators of the Jan 6 attack “whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the attack on our democracy. We will follow the facts wherever they lead.”

NewYorker, David Rohde: The January 6th Criminal Case Against Donald Trump http://bit.ly/3n1caKm “Ultimately, the decision about whether to prosecute Trump lies with Garland … [I]t is increasingly clear that investigating Trump is becoming the defining issue of his tenure”

In hindsight, Donald Trump’s intentions could not appear clearer. During the final months of the 2020 Presidential race, he systematically conducted a disinformation campaign that convinced many of his supporters the election would be stolen by Democrats. After losing, he doubled down on those false claims and repeatedly pressured state election officials, Justice Department prosecutors, federal and state judges, members of Congress, and the Vice-President to overturn the results. After those efforts failed, he appeared at a rally in Washington, D.C., where he urged tens of thousands of his supporters to stop Congress from certifying his defeat. For hours, as they stormed the Capitol, he failed to act.

Those steps, the leaders of the congressional committee investigating the January 6th attack on the Capitol contend, seemingly constitute a crime. But, based on the evidence made public so far, the unprecedented nature of Trump’s actions—together with the vagueness of laws regarding the certification of Presidential elections, legal loopholes, and his manipulation of others—could allow the former President to escape being criminally charged for his role in events surrounding the attack.

A congressional staffer with knowledge of the committee’s investigation said that it is ongoing and “too early to say” what it will yield. The staffer pointed out that Trump has a history of trying to avoid explicitly implicating himself in wrongdoing over the years, as he did in the Oval Office call with Ukraine’s President—which, nevertheless, led to his first impeachment. “Trump seems to have been very careful never to give an order—to strongly insinuate what should happen rather than giving an order,” the staffer told me, comparing Trump with Henry II of England, who famously (perhaps apocryphally) engineered the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury by signalling to subordinates his desire to be free of the religious leader without explicitly ordering it. The staffer, who asked not to be named, invoked a phrase said to have been uttered by the twelfth-century king: “ ‘Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?’ ”

Recent statements by the committee chair, Bennie Thompson, and the vice-chair, Liz Cheney—one of only two Republicans on the panel—have raised expectations that the panel will refer Trump to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution. Such a step would increase the political pressure on Attorney General Merrick Garland to prosecute Trump. In a television interview on Sunday, Thompson said that the panel is examining whether Trump committed a crime: “If there’s any confidence on the part of our committee that something criminal we believe has occurred, we’ll make the referral.” And Cheney, in a speech last month, mentioned a specific charge: “Did Donald Trump, through action or inaction, corruptly seek to obstruct or impede Congress’s official proceeding to count electoral votes?”

Federal prosecutors in Washington have charged dozens of rioters who stormed the Capitol with felony counts of obstructing an official proceeding of Congress, which carry a potential sentence of up to twenty years. But legal experts said that convicting Trump of such a charge could be difficult. Ilya Somin, a libertarian legal scholar at George Mason University and a critic of the former President, told me that Trump’s lawyers would likely argue that it did not apply to him because he did not enter the Capitol on January 6th. “I think it is very clear that it applies to the people who entered the building,” Somin said. “If Trump did enter the building and lead the attack in person, it would be much easier to convict him of this and other offenses.”

The congressional staffer with knowledge of the committee’s work said that the media had exaggerated Thompson and Cheney’s statements. “The criminal-referral stuff has gotten blown out of proportion,” the staffer cautioned. “It has become the shiny new object.” (Another shiny new object emerged on Tuesday, when the committee asked the Fox News host Sean Hannity to voluntarily testify about text messages that he’d sent which show he had “advance knowledge regarding President Trump’s and his legal team’s planning for January 6th.” Hannity warned against Republicans in Congress trying to overturn the results, writing on January 5th that he was “very worried about the next 48 hours.”) The staffer said that the committee is primarily focussed on creating a definitive history of events on January 6th and recommending laws and reforms that would prevent future attempts to overturn elections—“giving the American people the full picture of what happened and making recommendations to help insure that nothing like January 6th happens again.”

Ultimately, the decision about whether to prosecute Trump lies with Garland, a former federal judge who has made restoring public faith in the political neutrality of the Justice Department his core goal. Despite Garland’s attempts to divorce the Justice Department from politically charged prosecutions, it is increasingly clear that investigating Trump is becoming the defining issue of his tenure. The continued defiance of Trump and his allies is forcing Garland to make a decision faced by none of his predecessors: whether to prosecute a former President who tried to subvert an election and appears ready to do so again. Democrats are demanding that Garland move more aggressively, with Representative Ruben Gallego, of Arizona, declaring his effort so far “weak” and “feckless,” and contending that there are “a lot more of the organizers of January 6th that should be arrested by now.”

David Laufman, a former senior Justice Department official, said he disagreed with criticism of the Justice Department for not having already charged Trump criminally. “Notwithstanding the horrors of January 6th, D.O.J. should not be pursuing criminal investigations or prosecutions against former President Trump or others connected to the attack on the Capitol unless both the facts and the law support doing so under established policy,” he said. “It’s the ‘Department of Justice’—not the ‘Department of Retribution’—and we don’t want to see the rule of law eroded just to make us feel good.” But Laufman also called for prosecutors to not go easy on Trump, adding that the department shouldn’t “be shying away from using the full weight of its enforcement authorities against Trump or anyone else simply because doing so could be perceived as politically motivated.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Garland gave a speech that was clearly designed to reassure the public and counter critics. The twenty-five-minute address was vintage Garland. He pledged political neutrality and declared that “we follow the facts—not an agenda or an assumption.” He promised equal justice for all: “There cannot be different rules depending on one’s political party or affiliation. There cannot be different rules for friends and foes.” And he vowed further measures. “The actions we have taken thus far will not be our last,” he said, adding that “the Justice Department remains committed to holding all January 6th perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law—whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy.”

In an era when the majority of Republicans falsely believe that the 2020 election was fraudulent and the majority of Democrats think that it was not, Garland will be demonized no matter what action he takes regarding Trump. The Attorney General, based on his speech, continues to believe that he can restore “normal order”—a Justice Department term for basing decisions on whether to charge defendants strictly on the facts of a case. He continues to believe that the majority of Americans still support the principle that all people should be treated fairly under the law, including Donald Trump. And that the majority will reject political violence and trust the judicial system. At the moment, that belief, for Garland and all Americans, is an enormous political gamble.

NYT: Jimmy Carter: I Fear for Our Democracy http://nyti.ms/3mZzJmR “Without immediate action, we are at genuine risk of civil conflict and losing our precious democracy” ~ Five things we must do:

One year ago, a violent mob, guided by unscrupulous politicians, stormed the Capitol and almost succeeded in preventing the democratic transfer of power. All four of us former presidents condemned their actions and affirmed the legitimacy of the 2020 election. There followed a brief hope that the insurrection would shock the nation into addressing the toxic polarization that threatens our democracy.

However, one year on, promoters of the lie that the election was stolen have taken over one political party and stoked distrust in our electoral systems. These forces exert power and influence through relentless disinformation, which continues to turn Americans against Americans. According to the Survey Center on American Life, 36 percent of Americans — almost 100 million adults across the political spectrum — agree that “the traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it.” The Washington Post recently reported that roughly 40 percent of Republicans believe that violent action against the government is sometimes justified.

Politicians in my home state of Georgia, as well as in others, such as Texas and Florida, have leveraged the distrust they have created to enact laws that empower partisan legislatures to intervene in election processes. They seek to win by any means, and many Americans are being persuaded to think and act likewise, threatening to collapse the foundations of our security and democracy with breathtaking speed. I now fear that what we have fought so hard to achieve globally — the right to free, fair elections, unhindered by strongman politicians who seek nothing more than to grow their own power — has become dangerously fragile at home. …

For American democracy to endure, we must demand that our leaders and candidates uphold the ideals of freedom and adhere to high standards of conduct.

First, while citizens can disagree on policies, people of all political stripes must agree on fundamental constitutional principles and norms of fairness, civility and respect for the rule of law. Citizens should be able to participate easily in transparent, safe and secure electoral processes. Claims of election irregularities should be submitted in good faith for adjudication by the courts, with all participants agreeing to accept the findings. And the election process should be conducted peacefully, free of intimidation and violence.

Second, we must push for reforms that ensure the security and accessibility of our elections and ensure public confidence in the accuracy of results. Phony claims of illegal voting and pointless multiple audits only detract from democratic ideals.

Third, we must resist the polarization that is reshaping our identities around politics. We must focus on a few core truths: that we are all human, we are all Americans and we have common hopes for our communities and our country to thrive. We must find ways to re-engage across the divide, respectfully and constructively, by holding civil conversations with family, friends and co-workers and standing up collectively to the forces dividing us.

Fourth, violence has no place in our politics, and we must act urgently to pass or strengthen laws to reverse the trends of character assassination, intimidation and the presence of armed militias at events. We must protect our election officials — who are trusted friends and neighbors of many of us — from threats to their safety. Law enforcement must have the power to address these issues and engage in a national effort to come to terms with the past and present of racial injustice.

Lastly, the spread of disinformation, especially on social media, must be addressed. We must reform these platforms and get in the habit of seeking out accurate information. Corporate America and religious communities should encourage respect for democratic norms, participation in elections and efforts to counter disinformation.

Our great nation now teeters on the brink of a widening abyss. Without immediate action, we are at genuine risk of civil conflict and losing our precious democracy. Americans must set aside differences and work together before it is too late.

WaPo: Garland: DOJ will hold those responsible for Jan. 6 riot accountable, whether they were present or committed other crimes http://wapo.st/3mVg5IH “[I]nvestigators are methodically building more complicated and serious cases and would prosecute people ‘at any level’”

DailyBeast, Anna Nemtsova: Putin’s Next Door Nightmare Just Came True Right Under His Nose http://bit.ly/3mZz4Ss
// The revolution gripping Russia’s neighbor has sent Moscow into a frenzy, and it all happened while the Kremlin wasn’t looking.

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote This speech by Garland is so much better than I thought it would be. He’s affirmed everything I’ve been saying, and addressed everyone’s real and reasonable concerns. WELL DONE, @TheJusticeDept #MerrickGarland

⭕ 4 Jan 2022

🐣 RT @brianschatz There was an attempted overthrow of American democracy. And it’s not over. They are organizing the next one, not as a secret conspiracy, but as a central organizing principle for the next election. 💽 https://twitter.com/brianschatz/status/1478533620562378755?s=20/photo/1

🧵 RT @gtconway3d Hannity’s not a journalist. And he certainly wasn’t acting as a journalist when he engaged in these communications. Text Block: 📌 https://twitter.com/gtconway3d/status/1478525661715304450?s=20/photo/1
// Text Block: A lawyer for Mr. Hannity, Jay Sekulow, said on Tuesday that the committee’s request “would raise serious constitutional issues including First Amendment concerns regarding freedom of the press.” Fox News referred inquiries to Mr. Sekulow’s statement.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @nytpolitics Breaking News: The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack has asked Sean Hannity, the Fox News host, to cooperate by answering questions about his communications with Donald Trump before and after the riot.
⋙⋙⋙ NYT: House Panel Asks Sean Hannity of Fox News to Cooperate in Jan. 6 Inquiry http://nyti.ms/3mY3gx0
// The committee told Mr. Hannity it had obtained “dozens of text messages” he exchanged with senior Trump White House officials around the time of the riot.
⋙ 🐣 RT @gtconway3d […] Hannity wasn’t reporting. He was giving political advice. He has no journalistic First Amendment or similar privilege to invoke.

CNN: Here’s what a subpoena is — and what happens if you ignore one http://cnn.it/330hYN1

🐣 RT @greenspaceguy The letter to Hannity from the House January 6 Committee was meant for the audience of one. They wanted Donald Trump to see what his “friends” were saying behind his back. He just cancelled his Jan 6 celebration.
🔆 This❗️⋙ CNN: January 6 committee seeks cooperation from Fox News’ Hannity and releases texts between host and White House http://cnn.it/3HGhuuF

Fox News host Sean Hannity was concerned about former President Donald Trump’s strategy and conduct before, during and after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, according to a letter sent to him on Tuesday by the House select committee probing the insurrection.

The committee asked Hannity for his voluntary cooperation with its investigation, noting it had received “dozens” of his text messages sent to and from former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows that indicate that he had “advance knowledge regarding President Trump’s and his legal team’s planning for January 6th.” In the letter, the panel said it wants to speak with Hannity specifically about his communications with Trump, White House staff and his legal team between December 31, 2020, and January 20, 2021, when President Joe Biden was inaugurated. …

The committee said it has text messages from Hannity pushing back on the plan to urge Congress to challenge the certification of the election on January 6 and urging Trump to prepare for his departure from office. ¤ On January 5, Hannity wrote that he was “very worried about the next 48 hours.” ¤ In its letter the committee asked Hannity, “With the counting of the electoral votes scheduled for January 6th at 1 p.m., why were you concerned about the next 48 hours?”

The committee also cited a separate December 31, 2020, exchange in which Hannity wrote to Meadows, “We can’t lose the entire WH counsel’s office. I do not see January 6 happening the way he is being told. After the 6th. [sic] He should announce will lead the nationwide effort to reform voting integrity. Go to Fl and watch Joe mess up daily. Stay engaged. When he speaks people will listen.

The committee said it appeared that Hannity has “detailed knowledge regarding President Trump’s state of mind,” and engaged with the former President numerous times. The committee noted that Hannity spoke directly with Trump on January 5 about “his planning for January 6th” and on January 10, when Hannity “may have raised a number of specific concerns about his possible actions in the days before the January 20th inaugural.”

The committee referenced messages from January 10 that Hannity sent to Meadows and Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan: “Guys, we have a clear path to land the plane in 9 days. He can’t mention the election again. Ever. I did not have a good call with him today. And worse, I’m not sure what is left to do or say, and I don’t like not knowing if it’s truly understood. Ideas?” ¤ Trump told CNN in a statement Tuesday evening, “I disagree with Sean on that statement and the facts are proving me right.”

In a text to Meadows on January 5, Hannity wrote that he was “very worried about the next 48 hours” and referred to then-Vice President Mike Pence, who oversaw the certification of the 2020 election, saying: “Pence Pressure. WH counsel will leave.” ¤ And on January 6, Hannity urged Meadows to tell Trump he should “ask people to peacefully leave the [C]apit[o]l.”

Before sending its letter, the committee revealed it had text messages from Hannity to Meadows on the day of the attack, calling for Trump to take action. ¤ According to the previously released text, Hannity said to Meadows: “Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol?”

In its letter, the panel also made clear that it wants to learn more about the communications Hannity had as the riot was underway. ¤ “We are aware of and interested in your communications to Mr. Meadows and others during the violent attack on January 6th, as the rioters were attempting to occupy the Capitol building,” the letter reads, specifically referencing a text message sent to Meadows about “a potential effort by members of President Trump’s cabinet to remove him from office under the 25th Amendment.” …

Hannity was not the only Fox News host urging Meadows to get Trump to take action.
According to documents on file, the committee has a message from Laura Ingraham to Meadows saying, ” ‘Mark, the President needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy.” ¤ Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade texted Meadows stating, “‘Please get him on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished.”
GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who serves as vice chairwoman of the panel, revealed the text messages last month when the committee was going through its process of holding Meadows for a possible charge of criminal contempt of Congress. ¤ “Indeed, according to the records, multiple Fox News hosts knew the President needed to act immediately,” Cheney said then. “They texted Mr. Meadows, and he has turned over those texts.”

🐣 RT @stuartpstevens .@AriMelber just gets how to do this. So good.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Acyn “Do you realize you are describing a coup?” 💽 https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1478522771093082112?s=20/photo/1
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @Acyn Navarro says he never got to talk to Pence because of “Never-Trumper” Marc Short and describes Pence’s actions as a betrayal of Trump. ¤ Ari: We have an entire system designed to thwart people like you 💽 https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1478524925711323139?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @HillaryClinton “How can we in good conscience allow for a situation in which the Republican Party can debate and pass voter suppression laws at the State level with only a simple majority vote, but not allow the United States Senate to do the same?”
⋙ 🐣 RT @SenSchumer Make no mistake: This week, @SenateDems will make clear what happened on January 6th is directly linked to the one-sided, partisan actions being taken by GOP-led state legislatures across the country. We can and must take strong action to stop this anti-democratic march. https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/1478418376955502599?s=20/photo/1 -2

🐣 RT @gtconway3d Not even a broad shield law like New York’s that probably goes beyond what the 1A provides (a SCOTUS majority never having actually recognized such a journalistic privilege) would help Hannity even if it could be invoked against a congressional subpoena (which it can’t).
⋙ 🐣 RT @harrylitman Really interesting first amendment issue with Hannity. The whole point here, and a huge theme of Trump rule generally, is he’s acting as a sort of shadow insider and not as a journalist. It’s the improper alliance between press and government.

WaPo, Kathleen Parker: We were lucky more people weren’t killed on Jan. 6 http://wapo.st/3zpnTY2

🐣 RT @RVAwonk Sean Hannity went on his radio show tonight and launched a verbal attack on the January 6 committee, saying: ¤ “It’s a phony committee, it’s a rigged investigation with a predetermined outcome.”
⋙ MMFA: Sean Hannity launches unhinged verbal attack on January 6 committee http://bit.ly/3HxZXEM
// Hannity: “It’s a phony committee, it’s a rigged investigation with a predetermined outcome”

🐣 RT @duty2warn “People like you are who the constitution is trying to stop.” – Ari Melber to Peter Navarro, who I absolutely cannot stand. Navarro tried to say he was stopped from giving Pence “evidence” of voter fraud. Melber was having none of it. Next time maybe, don’t have this idiot on.

🐣 RT @January6thCmte The Committee is seeking information from Sean Hannity. ¤ Chair @BennieGThompson and Vice Chair @RepLizCheney request Hannity answer questions about matters including communications between Hannity and the former President, Mark Meadows, and others in the days surrounding Jan 6th. https://twitter.com/January6thCmte/status/1478489150357651458?s=20/photo/1 -3
⋙ 🐣 RT @January6thCmte “The Select Committee is in possession of dozens of text messages you sent to and received from former White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows and others related to the 2020 election and President Trump’s efforts to contest the outcome of the vote.”
⋙⋙ January6th.house.gov: Thompson & Cheney Request Information from Sean Hannity http://bit.ly/3sYlt1i
// Washington—Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) today announced that the Select Committee is seeking o

⭕ 3 Jan 2022

TheAtlantic, Anne Applebaum: The U.S. Is Naive About Russia. Ukraine Can’t Afford to Be. http://bit.ly/3qGirfm
// Putin is right about one thing: A free, prosperous, democratic neighbor is a threat to his autocratic regime.

… Back in 2008, the Russian president told leaders gathered at a NATO summit that Ukraine is “not a state.” Last summer, he published a long essay arguing, among other things, that Russians and Ukrainians are “one people.” He then sent that essay to every soldier in the Russian army. Putin’s interest in invading, occupying, dividing, or otherwise destroying Ukraine—a country that has no nuclear weapons and could not invade Russia—is not strategic. It is emotional. The collapse of the Soviet Union was, in his words, “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.” An expanded Russian occupation of Ukrainian territory might, in his view, help right that wrong.

Putin’s interest is also ideological. Every year, Ukraine becomes more confident, more united, more European. Every year, Ukraine inches a little bit closer to democracy and prosperity. What if it gets there? The idea of a flourishing, democratic Ukraine right on Russia’s doorstep is, for Putin, personally intolerable. Just as Ukrainian independence once seemed to Stalin to be a dire threat to his Bolshevik regime, so too would a successful modern Ukraine pose too great a challenge to Putin’s autocratic, sclerotic, kleptocratic, and ever more brutal political system. What if Russians start envying their Ukrainian neighbors? What if they decide they want a system like that too?

What the pessimists in Kyiv fear is this scenario: If Putin believes that Ukraine must be destroyed sooner or later; if he believes that historical wrongs must be righted; even if he just wants to gain back some of the popularity he has lost to COVID, corruption, and a poor economy, then he might have reasons to think that this is a good moment to do it. The Russians can see that the U.S. is divided, that Europe is exhausted by the pandemic and in need of Russian gas, that nobody is interested in new military adventures. They can also see that pro-Russian political forces in Ukraine are slowly losing ground, that Ukraine continues to invest in its military, and that others are doing so too.

… [T]he best time to give Ukraine more significant military support would have been eight years ago. Or five years ago. Or three years ago. If the U.S. had done so, then there would be a lesser threat, or no threat, of Russian invasion now, because Putin would calculate the risks differently. But Americans didn’t step in, because President Barack Obama never took Russia seriously, because Trump was on Putin’s side in the global contest between autocracy and democracy, and because Democrats and Republicans alike have had other things to think about since Biden took office.

As a nation, the U.S. has also started to forget the most important strategic lesson of the Cold War: Deterrence works. The idea that you invest in weapons in order to create peace has always sounded paradoxical, but decades of stability in Europe, thanks to both the creation of NATO in the 1950s and the expansion of NATO in the 1990s, prove this to be true. If you share a land mass with a bully, then make sure you are well armed enough to keep him at a safe distance.

… [A]lthough Putin varies his tactics, his longer-term goals have been very clear for a very long time. He might use disinformation one year, gas-pipeline blackmail another, bribery or violence the next, but the endgame is always the same: reinforce his autocracy, undermine democracies—all democracies—and push Russian political influence as far as it will go. Break up NATO. Destroy the European Union. Remove American influence from Europe and everywhere else, forever.

… A successful, prosperous, Western-facing democratic Ukraine would indeed pose a dire ideological threat to Russia, as well as to Belarus and to other autocracies in the region and around the world. It would prove to the inhabitants of other autocracies that they can escape the influence of their greedy, brutal leaders. Losing Ukraine, by contrast, would reinforce dictators in Moscow, Minsk, and even Beijing.

Biden has said he wants to “prove that American democracy can still do big things and take on challenges that matter most.” Mostly, he means domestic challenges. But some challenges abroad will also affect American confidence and credibility well into the future. Helping Ukrainians defend Ukrainian democracy is one of them.

WaPo, Eugene Robinson: If we are to save our democracy, there must be a reckoning for the Jan. 6 attack http://wapo.st/3FT8aTL “What happened last Jan. 6 was much bigger and more important than politics. [Accountability] must take precedence over any political concerns”

[T]here are three simultaneous accountability projects whose success the American people must demand.

The House select committee investigating the attack (appointed by Pelosi only after Republicans refused to form a proper blue-ribbon commission) appears to be doing an admirable job of collecting new information, including about Trump’s actions that day. The committee must not let stonewalling by Trump and his inner circle cause delay — a full year has already passed. It is good that the committee plans to issue an interim report this summer but, in the meantime, it should hold public hearings and release as much information as possible. Their work is not just important but also urgent.

Simultaneously, Congress as a whole must shore up the weaknesses in our transfer-of-power process exposed by the insurrection. The mob’s aim was to halt the official counting of electoral votes — and the mob succeeded, at least for several hours. Even the libertarian Cato Institute agrees that the 1876 Electoral Count Act is “a mess of ambiguities and contradictions” and needs to be reformed. Legislation to do so should begin making its way toward Biden’s desk.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department must continue to press criminal charges against the insurrectionists. It is not enough to prosecute and sentence those who participated bodily in the assault. The puppet masters who assembled the crowd and sent it off to sack the Capitol must be held to account as well. ¤ And no one, including Trump, can be considered above the law.

NYT, Jedediah Britton-Purdy: The Republican Party Is Succeeding Because We Are Not a True Democracy http://nyti.ms/3JEUBJD “Majorities of the people, not the Electoral College, should be able to pick the president and decide who controls the House and Senate”
// What’s often called the crisis of American democracy is the result not of too much democracy but of too little. 

NYT: The Jan. 6 Committee’s Consideration of a Criminal Referral, Explained http://nyti.ms/3EZ7laM
// The House panel does not have the authority to pursue criminal charges, but it can provide the Justice Department with evidence of any wrongdoing it unearths in its investigation.

🐣 RT @danielsgoldman I am familiar with DOJ policy from working in the SDNY for a decade. But there is no point in making this speech if it’s just repeating platitudes. If DOJ is investigating the coup to overturn the election, the AG can and should confirm that. This is bigger than Jan 6.
⋙ 🐣 RT @hugolowell New: Justice Dept official confirms to me that AG Merrick Garland will speak Wednesday about how DOJ will hold accountable those responsible for the Capitol attack. Won’t speak about individuals or charges.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @hugolowell DOJ: “While he will not speak to specific individuals or charges, the Attorney General will discuss the department’s solemn duty to uphold the Constitution, follow the facts and the law”

🐣 RT @duty2warn The “1st Amendment Praetorian” is a shadowy paramilitary that guarded Flynn on 1/6 and passed data to Stop the Steal lawyers. ¤ Sure hope Chris Wray is on it…??
⋙ NYT: Another Far-Right Group Is Scrutinized in Effort to Aid Trump http://nyti.ms/3EL6SbW
// The organization, called 1st Amendment Praetorian, is not as well known as the Oath Keepers or the Proud Boys, but it worked closely with pro-Trump forces in the months after the 2020 election.

WaPo: New York attorney general seeks depositions from Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr. http://wapo.st/3sZWqLD “Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. filed a motion to quash the subpoenas — or to delay them until a parallel criminal probe is completed”

🐣 RT @JohnWDean Pay attention on Jan. 5, 2022: While this will not be a barn burner the fact that he is speaking says volumes. He will be measured, and judicious. The fact he is doing it reassures that he understands DOJ’s responsibility, and that they are on the case!
🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: AG Merrick Garland plans speech on Jan. 6 investigation for Wednesday http://wapo.st/3EKNtba “… stressing the department’s ‘unwavering commitment to defend Americans and American democracy from violence and threats of violence’”

Attorney General Merrick Garland will give a speech Wednesday about the Justice Department’s efforts to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, stressing the department’s “unwavering commitment to defend Americans and American democracy from violence and threats of violence,” a Justice Department official said.

In the address, scheduled for the day before the anniversary of the attack, Garland will not speak about specific people or charges, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the speech had not yet been officially announced. ¤ Rather, Garland, the nation’s top law enforcement officer, will offer broad remarks about “the department’s solemn duty to uphold the Constitution, follow the facts and the law and pursue equal justice under law without fear or favor.”

The remarks will be directed at Justice Department employees and the public, the official said, at a time when the agency has been under growing pressure — especially from the political left — to hold former president Donald Trump and others in his orbit criminally responsible for efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Federal prosecutors in D.C. announced last week that they have charged more than 725 people with crimes in connection with the events of Jan. 6, including 225 with assault or resisting arrest and some 640 people with entering a restricted federal building or its grounds.

About 165 people have pleaded guilty to a variety of federal charges, the U.S. attorney’s office said. A Washington Post review of court records late last year found that the vast majority of those charged federally were not part of far-right groups or premeditated conspiracies to attack the Capitol.

The Justice Department’s investigation is running parallel to a House committee probe of the Capitol breach and efforts to nullify Joe Biden’s victory at the polls. ¤ Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), the chair of that committee, recently told The Post that lawmakers are particularly interested in why it took Trump so long to call on his supporters to stand down after they stormed the Capitol. ¤ Thompson said the delayed response could be a factor in deciding whether to make a criminal referral, which is when Congress tells the Justice Department it believes a crime has been committed.

💙 WaPo: Since Jan. 6, the pro-Trump Internet has descended into infighting over money and followers http://wapo.st/3sUTn75 ‘The battles center not on policy or doctrine but on the treasures of online fame: donations & subscriptions; paid appearances & crowds of followers’
// Far-right influencers and QAnon devotees are battling over online audiences in the power vacuum created by Trump’s departure from office

The far-right firebrands and conspiracy theorists of the pro-Trump Internet have a new enemy: each other. ¤ QAnon devotees are livid at their former hero Michael Flynn for accurately calling their jumbled credo “total nonsense.” Donald Trump superfans have voiced a sense of betrayal because the former president, booed for getting a coronavirus immunization booster, has become a “vaccine salesman.” And attorney Lin Wood seems mad at pretty much everyone, including former allies on the scattered “elite strike-force team” investigating nonexistent mass voter fraud.

After months of failing to disprove the reality of Trump’s 2020 presidential election loss, some of the Internet’s most popular right-wing provocateurs are grappling with the pressures of restless audiences, saturated markets, ongoing investigations and millions of dollars in legal bills.

The result is a chaotic melodrama, playing out via secretly recorded phone calls, personal attacks in podcasts, and a seemingly endless stream of posts on Twitter, Gab and Telegram calling their rivals Satanists, communists, pedophiles or “pay-triots” — money-grubbing grifters exploiting the cause.

The infighting reflects the diminishing financial rewards for the merchants of right-wing disinformation, whose battles center not on policy or doctrine but on the treasures of online fame: viewer donations and subscriptions; paid appearances at rallies and conferences; and crowds of followers to buy their books and merchandise.

But it also reflects a broader confusion in the year since QAnon’s faceless nonsense-peddler, Q, went mysteriously silent. ¤ Without Q’s cryptic messages, influencers who once hung on Q’s every “drop” have started fighting to “grab the throne to become the new point person for the movement,” said Sara Aniano, a Monmouth University graduate student of communication studying far-right rhetoric and conspiracy theories on social media.

“In the absence of a president like Trump and in the absence of a figure like Q, there’s this void where nobody knows who to follow,” Aniano said. “At one point it seemed like Q was gospel. Now there’s a million different bibles, and no one knows which one is most accurate.” …

The feud carved a major rift between Wood and his former compatriots in the pro-Trump “stop the steal” campaign, with an embattled Wood attacking Rittenhouse supporters including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.); Flynn, a former national security adviser to Trump; Sidney Powell, Flynn’s attorney; and Patrick Byrne, the Overstock founder who became a major “stop the steal” financier.

Each faction has accused the opposing side of betraying the pro-Trump cause or misusing the millions of dollars in funds that have gone to groups such as Powell’s Defending the Republic. ¤ Wood has posted recordings of his phone calls with Byrne, who can be heard saying that Wood is “a little kooky,” and Flynn, a QAnon icon who can be heard telling Wood that QAnon’s mix of extremist conspiracy theories was actually bogus “nonsense” or a “CIA operation.”

Beyond the infighting, both sides are also staring down the potential for major financial damage in court. A federal judge last month ordered Wood and Powell to pay roughly $175,000 in legal fees for their “historic and profound abuse of the judicial process” in suing to overturn the 2020 presidential election. And Powell and others face potentially billions of dollars in damages as a result of defamation lawsuits filed by Dominion Voting Systems, which they falsely accused of helping to rig the 2020 race.

To help cover their legal bills, the factions have set up online merchandise shops targeting their most loyal followers. Fans of Powell’s bogus conspiracy theory can, for instance, buy a four-pack set of “Release the Kraken: Defending the Republic” drink tumblers from her website for $80. On Flynn’s newly launched website, fans can buy “General Flynn: #FightLikeAFlynn” women’s racerback tank tops for $30. And Wood’s online store sells $64.99 “#FightBack” unisex hoodies; the fleece, a listing says, feels like “wearing a soft, fluffy cloud.”

Their arguments increasingly resemble the performative clashes of pro wrestling, said Mike Rothschild, a conspiracy theory researcher and author of a book on QAnon: full of flashy, marketable story lines of heroes conquering their enemies. The drama, he said, gives the influencers a way to keep their audiences angry and engaged while also offering them a chance to prove their loyalty by buying stuff.

QAnon is “the easiest money that you could possibly make if you don’t have a conscience, but there’s only a certain number of people you can fleece. It’s not a renewable resource,” said Rothschild (who has no relation to the famous banking family targeted in antisemitic conspiracy theories).

“The fact that they’re all mad at each other, that’s all a byproduct of the fact that they’re just desperate for money, and there’s only a certain amount,” he added. So now, he said, the us-vs.-them argument for many QAnon influencers is: “They’re the pedophiles, the Freemasons, the illuminati. I’m the truth-teller. I’m the one who’s trying to save the world.”

QAnon’s credibility didn’t exactly climb when its long-heralded promise — that Trump’s long-secret war against a Satan-worshiping “deep state” would culminate in a righteous apocalyptic battle known as the “storm” — collapsed last January. As Joe Biden entered the White House, Trump took refuge in Palm Beach, Fla., and most of Trump’s enemies were left unvanquished.

Many believers have sought since then to distance themselves from the QAnon name, which they’ve called a “moniker created by [them] to attack us,” though Q is still their central prophet, devotees still call themselves “anons” and the theories remain the same.

Fans of Flynn have argued that, in his caught-on-tape conversation, he was merely disavowing the QAnon media creation, not them, leaving the sanctity of Q intact. On Telegram last month, Wood said that while “Q speaks truth” in the fight against “pedophilia and satanic rituals,” the broader QAnon movement is “likely a Deep State operation.”

But the movement has far from evaporated. Dozens of candidates who have boosted QAnon talking points are running for Congress this year, including Ron Watkins, the longtime administrator of Q’s favorite message board, 8kun, (who, as one unproven theory argues, was perhaps once even Q himself.) And Q-inspired offshoots are promoting anti-vaccine propaganda and other bizarre theories: One group in Dallas has camped out for weeks awaiting the second coming of President John F. Kennedy’s long-dead son.

WaPo: Fear, anger and trauma: How the Jan. 6 attack changed Congress http://wapo.st/3JCoQkw But there are some hints of a new bipartisanship in the Senate

🐣 RT @olgaNYC1211 Kremlin Insider Klyushin Is Said to Have 2016 Hack Details ¤ This is so fascinating because the Kremlin is still very quiet about his arrest despite his access. He is very close to Defense minister Shoigu and Deputy Head of Presidential admin Gromov.
⋙ Bloomberg: U.S. Catches Kremlin Insider Who May Have Secrets of 2016 Hack http://bloom.bg/3eOUuxc
// IT executive Vladislav Klyushin’s journey into U.S. custody is a blow to the Kremlin, say people familiar with a Russian intelligence assessment of what he [did]

TheGuardian: US could be under rightwing dictator by 2030, Canadian professor warns http://bit.ly/3Hvbox3 “Trump … will have only two objectives, vindication and vengeance of the lie that his 2020 defeat by Joe Biden was the result of electoral fraud”
// Canadian political scientist warns in op ed of Trumpist threat to American democracy and possible effect on northern neighbor

“We mustn’t dismiss these possibilities just because they seem ludicrous or too horrible to imagine,” Thomas Homer-Dixon, founding director of the Cascade Institute at Royal Roads University in British Columbia, wrote in the Globe and Mail. ¤ “In 2014, the suggestion that Donald Trump would become president would also have struck nearly everyone as absurd. But today we live in a world where the absurd regularly becomes real and the horrible commonplace.”

Homer-Dixon’s message was blunt: “By 2025, American democracy could collapse, causing extreme domestic political instability, including widespread civil violence. By 2030, if not sooner, the country could be governed by a rightwing dictatorship.” ¤ The author cited eventualities centered on a Trump return to the White House in 2024, possibly including Republican-held state legislatures refusing to accept a Democratic win. ¤ Trump, he warned, “will have only two objectives, vindication and vengeance” of the lie that his 2020 defeat by Joe Biden was the result of electoral fraud.

A “scholar of violent conflict” for more than four decades, Homer-Dixon said Canada must take heed of the “unfolding crisis”. ¤ “A terrible storm is coming from the south, and Canada is woefully unprepared. Over the past year we’ve turned our attention inward, distracted by the challenges of Covid-19, reconciliation and the accelerating effects of climate change.

“But now we must focus on the urgent problem of what to do about the likely unraveling of democracy in the United States. We need to start by fully recognising the magnitude of the danger. If Mr Trump is re-elected, even under the more optimistic scenarios the economic and political risks to our country will be innumerable.”

⭕ 2 Jan 2022

💙 Globe and Mail, Thomas Homer-Dixon: The American polity is cracked, and might collapse. Canada must prepare http://tgam.ca/3qCI6al
// Canadian political scientist; The U.S. is becoming increasingly ungovernable, and some experts believe it could descend into civil war. What should Canada do then?
// Thomas Homer-Dixon is executive director of the Cascade Institute at Royal Roads University. His latest book is Commanding Hope: The Power We Have to Renew a World in Peril.

By 2025, American democracy could collapse, causing extreme domestic political instability, including widespread civil violence. By 2030, if not sooner, the country could be governed by a right-wing dictatorship.

We mustn’t dismiss these possibilities just because they seem ludicrous or too horrible to imagine. In 2014, the suggestion that Donald Trump would become president would also have struck nearly everyone as absurd. But today we live in a world where the absurd regularly becomes real and the horrible commonplace.

Leading American academics are now actively addressing the prospect of a fatal weakening of U.S. democracy.

This past November, more than 150 professors of politics, government, political economy and international relations appealed to Congress to pass the Freedom to Vote Act, which would protect the integrity of US elections but is now stalled in the Senate. This is a moment of “great peril and risk,” they wrote. “Time is ticking away, and midnight is approaching.”

I’m a scholar of violent conflict. For more than 40 years, I’ve studied and published on the causes of war, social breakdown, revolution, ethnic violence and genocide, and for nearly two decades I led a centre on peace and conflict studies at the University of Toronto.

Today, as I watch the unfolding crisis in the United States, I see a political and social landscape flashing with warning signals.

I’m not surprised by what’s happening there – not at all. During my graduate work in the United States in the 1980s, I sometimes listened to Rush Limbaugh, the right-wing radio talk show host and later television personality. I remarked to friends at the time that, with each broadcast, it was if Mr. Limbaugh were wedging the sharp end of a chisel into a faint crack in the moral authority of U.S. political institutions, and then slamming the other end of that chisel with a hammer.

In the decades since, week after week, year after year, Mr. Limbaugh and his fellow travellers have hammered away – their blows’ power lately amplified through social media and outlets such as Fox News and Newsmax. The cracks have steadily widened, ramified, connected and propagated deeply into America’s once-esteemed institutions, profoundly compromising their structural integrity. The country is becoming increasingly ungovernable, and some experts believe it could descend into civil war.

How should Canada prepare?

In 2020, president Donald Trump awarded Mr. Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The act signalled that Mr. Limbaugh’s brand of bullying, populist white ethnocentrism – a rancid blend of aggrieved attacks on liberal elites, racist dog-whistling, bragging about American exceptionalism and appeals to authoritarian leadership – had become an integral part of mainstream political ideology in the U.S.

But one can’t blame only Mr. Limbaugh, who died in early 2021, and his ilk for America’s dysfunction. These people and their actions are as much symptoms of that dysfunction as its root causes, and those causes are many. Some can be traced to the country’s founding – to an abiding distrust in government baked into the country’s political culture during the Revolution, to slavery, to the political compromise of the Electoral College that slavery spawned, to the overrepresentation of rural voting power in the Senate, and to the failure of Reconstruction after the Civil War. But successful polities around the world have overcome flaws just as fundamental.

What seems to have pushed the United States to the brink of losing its democracy today is a multiplication effect between its underlying flaws and recent shifts in the society’s “material” characteristics. These shifts include stagnating middle-class incomes, chronic economic insecurity, and rising inequality as the country’s economy – transformed by technological change and globalization – has transitioned from muscle power, heavy industry, and manufacturing as the main sources of its wealth to idea power, information technology, symbolic production and finance. As returns to labour have stagnated and returns to capital have soared, much of the U.S. population has fallen behind. Inflation-adjusted wages for the median male worker in the fourth quarter of 2019 (prior to the infusion of economic support owing to the COVID-19 pandemic) were lower than in 1979; meanwhile, between 1978 and 2016, CEO incomes in the biggest companies rose from 30 times that of the average worker to 271 times. Economic insecurity is widespread in broad swaths of the country’s interior, while growth is increasingly concentrated in a dozen or so metropolitan centres.

Two other material factors are key. The first is demographic: as immigration, aging, intermarriage and a decline in church-going have reduced the percentage of non-Hispanic white Christians in America, right-wing ideologues have inflamed fears that traditional U.S. culture is being erased and whites are being “replaced.” The second is pervasive elite selfishness: The wealthy and powerful in America are broadly unwilling to pay the taxes, invest in the public services, or create the avenues for vertical mobility that would lessen their country’s economic, educational, racial and geographic gaps. The more an under-resourced government can’t solve everyday problems, the more people give up on it, and the more they turn to their own resources and their narrow identity groups for safety.

America’s economic, racial and social gaps have helped cause ideological polarization between the political right and left, and the worsening polarization has paralyzed government while aggravating the gaps. The political right and left are isolated from, and increasingly despise, each other. Both believe the stakes are existential – that the other is out to destroy the country they love. The moderate political centre is fast vanishing.

And, oh yes, the population is armed to the teeth, with somewhere around 400 million firearms in the hands of civilians.

Some diagnoses of America’s crisis that highlight “toxic polarization” imply the two sides are equally responsible for that crisis. They aren’t. While both wings of U.S. politics have fanned polarization’s flames, blame lies disproportionately on the political right.

According to Harvard’s renowned sociologist and political scientist Theda Skocpol, in the early 2000s fringe elements of the Republican party used disciplined tactics and enormous streams of money (from billionaires like the Koch brothers) to turn extreme laissez-faire ideology into orthodox Republican dogma. Then, in 2008, Barack Obama’s election as president increased anxieties about immigration and cultural change among older, often economically insecure members of the white middle-class, who then coalesced into the populist Tea Party movement. Under Mr. Trump, the two forces were joined. The GOP became, Dr. Skocpol writes, a radicalized “marriage of convenience between anti-government free-market plutocrats and racially anxious ethno-nationalist activists and voters.”

Now, adopting Mr. Limbaugh’s tried-and-true methods, demagogues on the right are pushing the radicalization process further than ever before. By weaponizing people’s fear and anger, Mr. Trump and a host of acolytes and wannabees such as Fox’s Tucker Carlson and Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene have captured the storied GOP and transformed it into a near-fascist personality cult that’s a perfect instrument for wrecking democracy.

And it’s not inaccurate to use the F word. As conservative commentator David Frum argues, Trumpism increasingly resembles European fascism in its contempt for the rule of law and glorification of violence. Evidence is as close as the latest right-wing Twitter meme: widely circulated holiday photos show Republican politicians and their family members, including young children, sitting in front of their Christmas trees, all smiling gleefully while cradling pistols, shotguns and assault rifles.

Those guns are more than symbols. The Trump cult presents itself as the only truly patriotic party able to defend U.S. values and history against traitorous Democrats beholden to cosmopolitan elites and minorities who neither understand nor support “true” American values. The Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. capitol must be understood in these terms. The people involved didn’t think they were attacking U.S. democracy – although they unquestionably were. Instead, they believed their “patriotic” actions were needed to save it.

Democracy is an institution, but underpinning that institution is a vital set of beliefs and values. If a substantial enough fraction of a population no longer holds those beliefs and values, then democracy can’t survive. Probably the most important is recognition of the equality of the polity’s citizens in deciding its future; a close runner up is willingness to concede power to one’s political opponents, should those equal citizens decide that’s what they want. At the heart of the ideological narrative of U.S. right-wing demagogues, from Mr. Trump on down, is the implication that large segments of the country’s population – mainly the non-white, non-Christian, and educated urban ones – aren’t really equal citizens. They aren’t quite full Americans, or even real Americans.

This is why Mr. Trump’s “Big Lie” that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him – a falsehood that nearly 70 per cent of Republicans now accept as true – is such potent anti-democratic poison. If the other side is willing to steal an election, then they don’t play by the rules. They’ve placed themselves outside the American moral community, which means they don’t deserve to be treated as equals. There’s certainly no reason to concede power to them, ever.

Willingness to publicly endorse the Big Lie has become a litmus test of Republican loyalty to Mr. Trump. This isn’t just an ideological move to promote Republican solidarity against Democrats. It puts its adherents one step away from the psychological dynamic of extreme dehumanization that has led to some of the worst violence in human history. And it has refashioned – into a moral crusade against evil – Republican efforts to gerrymander Congressional districts into pretzel-like shapes, to restrict voting rights, and to take control of state-level electoral apparatuses.

When the situation is framed in such a Manichean way, righteous ends justify any means. One of the two American parties is now devoted to victory at any cost.

Many of those with guns are waiting for a signal to use them. Polls show that between 20 and 30 million American adults believe both that the 2020 election was stolen from Mr. Trump and that violence is justified to return him to the presidency.

In the weeks before the November, 2016, U.S. election, I talked to several experts to gauge the danger of a Trump presidency. I recently consulted them again. While in 2016 they were alarmed, this last month most were utterly dismayed. All told me the U.S. political situation has deteriorated sharply since last year’s attack on Capitol Hill.

Jack Goldstone, a political sociologist at George Mason University in Washington, D.C., and a leading authority on the causes of state breakdown and revolution, told me that since 2016 we’ve learned that early optimism about the resilience of U.S. democracy was based on two false assumptions: “First, that American institutions would be strong enough to easily withstand efforts to subvert them; and second, that the vast majority of people will act rationally and be drawn to the political centre, so that it’s impossible for extremist groups to take over.”

But especially after the 2020 election, Dr. Goldstone said, we’ve seen that core institutions – from the Justice Department to county election boards – are susceptible to pressure. They’ve barely held firm. “We’ve also learned that the reasonable majority can be frightened and silenced if caught between extremes, while many others can be captured by mass delusions.” And to his surprise “moderate GOP leaders have either been forced out of the party or acquiesced to a party leadership that embraces lies and anti-democratic actions.”

Mr. Trump’s electoral loss has energized the Republican base and further radicalized young party members. Even without their concerted efforts to torque the machinery of the electoral system, Republicans will probably take control of both the House of Representatives and Senate this coming November, because the incumbent party generally fares poorly in mid-term elections. Republicans could easily score a massive victory, with voters ground down by the pandemic, angry about inflation, and tired of President Joe Biden bumbling from one crisis to another. Voters who identify as Independents are already migrating toward Republican candidates.

Once Republicans control Congress, Democrats will lose control of the national political agenda, giving Mr. Trump a clear shot at recapturing the presidency in 2024. And once in office, he will have only two objectives: vindication and vengeance.

A U.S. civil-military expert and senior federal appointee I consulted noted that a re-elected president Trump could be totally unconstrained, nationally and internationally.

A crucial factor determining how much constraint he faces will be the response of the U.S. military, a bulwark institution ardently committed to defending the Constitution. During the first Trump administration, members of the military repeatedly resisted the president’s authoritarian impulses and tried to anticipate and corral his rogue behaviour – most notably when Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley, shortly after the Capitol insurrection, ordered military officials to include him in any decision process involving the use of military force.

But in a second Trump administration, this expert suggested, the bulwark could crumble. By replacing the civilian leadership of the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs with lackeys and sycophants, he could so infiltrate the Department with his people that he’ll be able to bend it to his will.

After four years of Mr. Trump’s bedlam, the U.S. under Mr. Biden has been comparatively calm. Politics in the U.S. seems to have stabilized.

But absolutely nothing has stabilized in America. The country’s problems are systemic and deeply entrenched – and events could soon spiral out of control.

The experts I consulted described a range of possible outcomes if Mr. Trump returns to power, none benign. They cited particular countries and political regimes to illustrate where he might take the U.S.: Viktor Orban’s Hungary, with its coercive legal apparatus of “illiberal democracy”; Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil, with its chronic social distemper and administrative dysfunction; or Vladimir Putin’s Russia, with its harsh one-man hyper-nationalist autocracy. All agreed that under a second Trump administration, liberalism will be marginalized and right-wing Christian groups super-empowered, while violence by vigilante, paramilitary groups will rise sharply.

Looking further down the road, some think that authority in American federalism is so disjointed and diffuse that Mr. Trump, especially given his manifest managerial incompetence, will never be able to achieve full authoritarian control. Others believe the pendulum will ultimately swing back to the Democrats when Republican mistakes accumulate, or that the radicalized Republican base – so fanatically loyal to Mr. Trump – can’t grow larger and will dissipate when its hero leaves the stage.

One can hope for these outcomes, because there are far worse scenarios. Something resembling civil war is one. Many pathways could take the country there – some described in Stephen Marche’s new book The Next Civil War: Dispatches from the American Future. The most plausible start with a disputed 2024 presidential election. Perhaps Democrats squeak out a victory, and Republican states refuse to recognize the result. Or conversely, perhaps Republicans win, but only because Republican state legislatures override voting results; then Democratic protestors attack those legislatures. In either circumstance, much will depend on whether the country’s military splits along partisan lines.

But there’s another political regime, a historical one, that may portend an even more dire future for the U.S.: the Weimar Republic. The situation in Germany in the 1920s and early 1930s was of course sui generis; in particular, the country had experienced staggering traumas – defeat in war, internal revolution and hyperinflation – while the country’s commitment to liberal democracy was weakly rooted in its culture. But as I read a history of the doomed republic this past summer, I tallied no fewer than five unnerving parallels with the current U.S. situation.

First, in both cases, a charismatic leader was able to unify right-wing extremists around a political program to seize the state. Second, a bald falsehood about how enemies inside the polity had betrayed the country – for the Nazis, the “stab in the back,” and for Trumpists, the Big Lie – was a vital psychological tool for radicalizing and mobilizing followers. Third, conventional conservatives believed they could control and channel the charismatic leader and rising extremism but were ultimately routed by the forces they helped unleash. Fourth, ideological opponents of this rising extremism squabbled among themselves; they didn’t take the threat seriously enough, even though it was growing in plain sight; and they focused on marginal issues that were too often red meat for the extremists. (Today, think toppling statues.)

To my mind, though, the fifth parallel is the most disconcerting: the propagation of a “hardline security doctrine.” Here I’ve been influenced by the research of Jonathan Leader Maynard, a young English scholar who is emerging as one of the world’s most brilliant thinkers on the links between ideology, extremism and violence. In a forthcoming book, Ideology and Mass Killing, Dr. Leader Maynard argues that extremist right-wing ideologies generally don’t arise from explicit efforts to forge an authoritarian society, but from the radicalization of a society’s existing understandings of how it can stay safe and secure in the face of alleged threats.

Hardline conceptions of security are “radicalized versions of familiar claims about threat, self-defence, punishment, war, and duty,” he writes. They are the foundation on which regimes organize campaigns of violent persecution and terror. People he calls “hardliners” believe the world contains many “dangerous enemies that frequently operate in and through purported ‘civilian’ groups.” Hardliners increasingly dominate Trumpist circles now.

Dr. Leader Maynard then makes a complementary argument: Once a hardline doctrine is widely accepted within a political movement, it becomes an “infrastructure” of ideas and incentives that can pressure even those who don’t really accept the doctrine into following its dictates. Fear of “true believers” shifts the behaviour of the movement’s moderates toward extremism. Sure enough, the experts I recently consulted all spoke about how fear of crossing Mr. Trump’s base – including fear for their families’ physical safety – was forcing otherwise sensible Republicans to fall into line.

The rapid propagation of hardline security doctrines through a society, Dr. Leader Maynard says, typically occurs in times of political and economic crisis. Even in the Weimar Republic, the vote for the National Socialists was closely correlated with the unemployment rate. The Nazis were in trouble (with their share of the vote falling and the party beset by internal disputes) as late as 1927, before the German economy started to contract. Then, of course, the Depression hit. The United States today is in the midst of crisis – caused by the pandemic, obviously – but it could experience far worse before long: perhaps a war with Russia, Iran or China, or a financial crisis when economic bubbles caused by excessive liquidity burst.

Beyond a certain threshold, other new research shows, political extremism feeds on itself, pushing polarization toward an irreversible tipping point. This suggests a sixth potential parallel with Weimar: democratic collapse followed by the consolidation of dictatorship. Mr. Trump may be just a warm-up act – someone ideal to bring about the first stage, but not the second. Returning to office, he’ll be the wrecking ball that demolishes democracy, but the process will produce a political and social shambles. Still, through targeted harassment and dismissal, he’ll be able to thin the ranks of his movement’s opponents within the state – the bureaucrats, officials and technocrats who oversee the non-partisan functioning of core institutions and abide by the rule of law. Then the stage will be set for a more managerially competent ruler, after Mr. Trump, to bring order to the chaos he’s created.

A terrible storm is coming from the south, and Canada is woefully unprepared. Over the past year we’ve turned our attention inward, distracted by the challenges of COVID-19, reconciliation, and the accelerating effects of climate change. But now we must focus on the urgent problem of what to do about the likely unravelling of democracy in the United States.

We need to start by fully recognizing the magnitude of the danger. If Mr. Trump is re-elected, even under the more-optimistic scenarios the economic and political risks to our country will be innumerable. Driven by aggressive, reactive nationalism, Mr. Trump “could isolate Canada continentally,” as one of my interlocutors put it euphemistically.

Under the less-optimistic scenarios, the risks to our country in their cumulative effect could easily be existential, far greater than any in our federation’s history. What happens, for instance, if high-profile political refugees fleeing persecution arrive in our country, and the U.S. regime demands them back. Do we comply?

In this context, it’s worth noting the words of Dmitry Muratov, the courageous Russian journalist who remains one of the few independent voices standing up to Mr. Putin and who just received the Nobel Prize for Peace. At a news conference after the awards ceremony in Oslo, as Russian troops and armour were massing on Ukraine’s borders, Mr. Muratov spoke of the iron link between authoritarianism and war. “Disbelief in democracy means that the countries that have abandoned it will get a dictator,” he said. “And where there is a dictatorship, there is a war. If we refuse democracy, we agree to war.”

Canada is not powerless in the face of these forces, at least not yet. Among other things, over three-quarters of a million Canadian emigrants live in the United States – many highly placed and influential – and together they’re a mass of people who could appreciably tilt the outcome of coming elections and the broader dynamics of the country’s political process.

But here’s my key recommendation: The Prime Minister should immediately convene a standing, non-partisan Parliamentary committee with representatives from the five sitting parties, all with full security clearances. It should be understood that this committee will continue to operate in coming years, regardless of changes in federal government. It should receive regular intelligence analyses and briefings by Canadian experts on political and social developments in the United States and their implications for democratic failure there. And it should be charged with providing the federal government with continuing, specific guidance as to how to prepare for and respond to that failure, should it occur.

If hope is to be a motivator and not a crutch, it needs to be honest and not false. It needs to be anchored in a realistic, evidence-based understanding of the dangers we face and a clear vision of how to get past those dangers to a good future. Canada is itself flawed, but it’s still one of the most remarkably just and prosperous societies in human history. It must rise to this challenge.

🐣 RT @BillKristol “A third option…would require filibustering senators to talk continuously…It would guarantee the minority could offer amendments But it would ultimately allow the majority to end debate and force final action with 51 votes, not 60.”
⋙ CNN, John Harwood: Why Democrats haven’t given up on Joe Manchin and voting rights http://cnn.it/3EQ1xjM

PhiladelphiaInquirer, Trudy Rubin: The global legacy of the Jan. 6 insurrection: Foreign friends and adversaries believe U.S. power is in decline http://bit.ly/3sZFWTL
// As the anniversary of Jan. 6 approaches, Trump’s continuing advocacy of the Big Lie about a stolen election has convinced Beijing and Moscow that U.S. democracy is fatally wounded.

🐣 RT @tedlieu More than a year later, not a single one of these Republicans can identify who purportedly stole the election nor how it was done. ¤ That’s because the election was not stolen. The former President got crushed in the popular vote & lost the electoral college. Those are the facts.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @SykesCharlie Bookmark. ¤ The 147 Republicans Who Voted to Overturn Election Results – The New York Times
⋙⋙⋙ NYT: The 147 Republicans Who Voted to Overturn Election Results http://nyti.ms/32UZmxU
// 1/7/2021
⋙ 🐣 RT @danielsgoldman Nor can they explain how their own electoral victory was perfectly fine, even though they were on the same ballot as the “stolen” presidential election.

🐣 RT @thedailybeast EXCLUSIVE: Former National Archivist says Trump is hiding his Jan. 6 records to avoid prison time
⋙ DailyBeast, Jose Pagliery: Ex-National Archivist Thinks Trump Is Hiding His Records to Avoid ‘Prison Time’ http://bit.ly/3qI7av9
// “There are things in those records that are going to make real trouble.”

“Given how frantic they are… there are things in those records that are going to make real trouble. I’m talking about prison time,” Carlin mused to The Daily Beast. “It reinforces the fact that they know they’re in real trouble if these things are released—particularly if they’re released soon.”

Those records could show whether the Trump White House plotted to use the Department of Justice to intimidate states to reject 2020 election results, schemed with rogue Republicans in Congress to halt certification of Electoral College votes that reflected Biden’s win at the polls, and interacted with rally organizers who brought the crowds that violently attacked the U.S. Capitol building.

“It’s important that records are used to get the truth out. Nothing highlights that more than the controversy we’re going through. Records are going to have a huge impact in determining who did what, particularly as you get to the Justice Department,” Carlin said.

Carlin compares Trump’s reticence to the secrecy of Richard Nixon, who resigned in 1974 rather than turn over White House tapes documenting his crooked tactics. For perspective, Carlin points to his decade at the archives from 1995 to 2005, when he battled the Nixon family over control of records.

“Nixon knew that tapes were going to kill him, and so he obviously fought and said they weren’t records. They were, because they were created in the Oval Office,” said Carlin, a former governor who now lectures at Kansas State University. …

Another fight over presidential records might come from former Vice President Mike Pence. In the book Betrayal by reporter Jon Karl, the ABC News chief Washington correspondent details how an official White House photographer captured images of Pence hidden for hours in the bowels of the Capitol while it was under attack. During a guest appearance on The Late Show, Karl told host Stephen Colbert, “They refused to let me publish the photographs. But I have a suspicion that the January 6th Committee is going to want to see those photos.” ¤ “And those aren’t his photos,” Colbert responded. “We paid for those photos. Those are part of the national archives.”

Wilson and Carlin concur. ¤ “There’s no question about that. The vice president, as he leaves office, doesn’t get to say, ‘They can’t see this.’ They’re creating records, and they’re all permanent. And they belong to the United States of America,” Carlin told The Daily Beast. “I’m really kind of glad to see the special committee and the archives’ role in the middle of this. It does bring attention to presidential records and how important they are—not just for current events but for the future of the country,” Wilson said. “Archives aren’t just a repository. It’s preserving our national history.”

The Daily Beast has filed a public records request with the National Archives seeking the Pence photographs—if they were turned over—and related material. But the agency said the photograph collection is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act until 2026.

🐣 RT @TheHill GOP @GovLarryHogan on 01/06: “We were trying to send the national guard and we kept requesting up and down the flagpole. […] We were repeatedly denied the approval to send the guard. […] It took 2.5 hours.” 💽 https://twitter.com/thehill/status/1477712355106643973?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @RepLizCheney The Republican Party has to make a choice. ¤ We can either be loyal to our Constitution or loyal to Donald Trump, but we cannot be both. 💽 https://twitter.com/RepLizCheney/status/1477723817200041988?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @marceelias If anyone tells you that our democracy will be protected, and election subversion prevented, simply by “fixing” the Electoral Count Act they are either uninformed or acting in bad faith. ¤ Don’t be fooled, Congress must pass the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Advancement Act.

🐣 RT @saletan “The committee has firsthand testimony that President Trump was sitting in the dining room next to the Oval Office, watching on television as the Capitol was assaulted,” says @Liz_Cheney on FTN. “We know that that is clearly a supreme dereliction of duty.”
⋙ CBSNews, FaceTheNation: Full transcript: Representative Liz Cheney on “Face the Nation,” January 2, 2022 http://cbsn.ws/3HkI5x8

MARGARET BRENNAN: We know Democrats are planning a vigil. We know the former president is planning a news conference. Are you concerned about the country being at risk of political violence this week and in the years ahead?
REP. CHENEY: Look, I think that if- if what he has been saying since he left office is any indication, former President Trump is likely again this week to make the same false claims about the election that he knows to be false and the same false claims about the election that he knows caused violence on Jan 6. I think that it is indeed very concerning, given what we know happened in the lead up to the sixth and what the committee is finding out about the events of that day. But I think that it- it’s not surprising. But again, he knows these claims caused violence and we’ve seen now people who were in the Capitol, people who’ve been arrested because of their activities on that day, they themselves have told us in court filings, they’ve told us on social media, we’ve seen it on videos; that they were here because Donald Trump told them to be here. And so, he’s very- he’s doing this press conference on the sixth. Again, if he makes those same claims, he’s doing it with complete understanding and knowledge of- of what those claims have caused in the past.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You’ve raised in the past the possibility of criminal culpability for the president. Is that the consensus view of the committee?
REP. CHENEY: Look, the committee is obviously going to follow the facts wherever they lead. We’ve made tremendous progress. We have had now- if you just think about, for example, what we know now about what the former president was doing on the 6th while the attack was underway. The committee has firsthand testimony that President Trump was sitting in the dining room next to the Oval Office, watching on television as the Capitol was assaulted as the violence occurred. We know that that is clearly a supreme dereliction of duty. One of the things that the committee is looking at from the perspective of our legislative purpose is whether we need enhanced penalties for that kind of dereliction of duty. But we’ve certainly never seen anything like that as a nation before.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But one of the things that we’ve seen in CBS polling is that there is just a hard percentage of the population that believes what the former president is claiming. Eight million people believe in violence to restore him to office. Seven out of 10 Republicans still believe President Biden’s illegitimate 66% believe there was widespread voter fraud. So, these numbers are pretty hard here. Why hasn’t this conviction abated within your party?
REP. CHENEY. Look, I think that- that we are in a situation where people have got to understand the danger of President Trump and the danger that he posed on that day. You know, if you think MARGARET, he- he could have simply walked a few feet to the White House briefing room, he could have gone immediately on live television and asked his supporters to stop what was happening, ask them to go home. He failed to do that. He- he instead, we know, had the motivation, at the same time, the violent assault was happening, he’s watching television, he’s also calling at least one senator urging delay of the electoral vote. So, this is a man who has demonstrated that he is at war with the rule of law. He’s demonstrated that he’s willing to blow through every guardrail of democracy, and he can never be anywhere near the Oval Office again. He’s demonstrated a complete lack of fitness for office. I think one of the really important things that our committee has to do is lay these facts out for the American people so that they really have a sense of the truth of what happened that day.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
REP. CHENEY: –And so that they inform us in terms of our legislative activity going forward.

MARGARET BRENNAN: That assumes facts can actually persuade. What happens with this committee if Republicans take the majority in 2022? Have you asked Kevin McCarthy to keep it?
REP. CHENEY: Look, Leader McCarthy has said a variety of things. He has both acted to obstruct the operations of the committee, but he’s also, on a couple of occasions, said that he’s willing to come talk to the committee. I think that the- the American people again and particularly the Republican Party, you know, we as Republicans, have a choice to make. I am a conservative Republican. I believe strongly in the policies of low taxes and limited government and a strong national defense. I think the country needs a strong Republican Party going forward, but our party has to choose. We can either be loyal to Donald Trump or we can be loyal to the Constitution, but we cannot be both. And right now, there are far too many Republicans who are trying to enable the former president, embrace the former president. Look the other way and hope that the former president goes away, trying to obstruct the activities of this committee. But we won’t be deterred. At the end of the day, the facts matter, and the truth matters.

MARGARET BRENNAN: It goes beyond the former president, in a number of state capitals around the country in 19 different states, election laws are being changed and in some there is concern that Republican controlled legislatures could be able to change certification of an election if they don’t like the outcome of it. This is undermining confidence among some in the public about the integrity of our elections. Would you ask your fellow Republicans in states around the country to stop trying to do that?
REP. CHENEY: Absolutely. I think that again, you know, as a nation, we’ve got to be founded on the rule of law. We’ve got to be founded on fidelity to the Constitution. And when you look at what former President Trump continues to do to this day in terms of trying to undermine our belief in our democratic process, in terms of trying to undermine the rule of law, in terms of trying to find local officials who will help him do that. One of the really important lessons we learned on January 6th was how important it was that we had a few individuals who stood up. We had individuals at the Department of Justice before Jan. 6 who stood up to the president who said, absolutely not, we will not claim that this election was stolen, who told him the truth. And we had local officials in the party, the Republican Party, who did the same. And so, I think for people all across the country, they need to recognize how important their vote is, how important their voice is. They’ve got to elect serious people who are going to defend the Constitution, not simply do the bidding of Donald Trump.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But this is happening in 19 different states. As we mentioned there, there are efforts underway, but I want to come to the future in 2022 as we face elections, this isn’t just about the presidential election, right? We have congressional races in 2022. You yourself are running out in Wyoming. We know the former president endorsed your primary opponent. He’s promised to help campaign against you. You have one of his biggest donors, Peter Thiel, a billionaire throwing money behind your primary opponent. This is a direct challenge here. Given how red your state is, how do you expect to win that primary?
REP. CHENEY: Look, I am absolutely honored and privileged to be able to represent the people of Wyoming in Congress. I absolutely anticipate that we will have a very energetic and hard-fought campaign this year. But at the end of the day, I am also incredibly privileged to be able to stand up and defend the Constitution of the United States, and I’m confident that the people of Wyoming will not choose loyalty to one man. One man as dangerous as Donald Trump is, you know, imagine a man who, while the violent assault was underway, while he was watching television, watching it unfold, not telling his supporters to stop and go home instead was sending out a tweet saying that Mike Pence was a coward. This is a man who is simply too dangerous ever to play a role again in our democracy, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to help the American people see the facts about what happened and to continue to make the case at home about the kind of representation that we need in Washington for the people of Wyoming.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Would you be willing to run against him in 2024?
REP. CHENEY: I’m very focused right now on my re-election and on the work of the select committee, and I can tell you that that the single most important thing, though, is to ensure that the Donald Trump is not the Republican nominee and that he certainly is not anywhere close to the Oval Office ever again.

🐣 RT @TrumpRussiaTies Chilling Trump Letter Calling For ‘Seizure’ Of Election Material Revealed In Log To Jan. 6 Probers
⋙ HuffPo: Chilling Trump Letter Calling For ‘Seizure’ Of Election Material Revealed In Log To Jan. 6 Probers http://bit.ly/32SZT3B
// The letter was created a day before Trump discussed naming conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell “special counsel” to probe baseless election fraud claims.

Among the documents withheld is one described as a “Draft Letter from POTUS to Seize Evidence in the Interest of National Security for the 2020 Elections.”

Though Trump ultimately didn’t take action to seize election materials, such a letter could be a key piece of information in the investigation into Trump’s strategy to undermine a legitimate election. ¤ Authorities have found no evidence of any notable fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

The letter was created Dec. 17, 2020, a day before Trump met in the Oval Office with advisers including retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and discussed seizing election equipment in states Trump lost. ¤ Trump also discussed naming controversial far-right attorney and conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell as a “special counsel” to investigate alleged election fraud, The New York Times reported, but Trump didn’t follow through with it.

Flynn had already suggested Trump could invoke martial law to seize control of the election.
The Dominion Voting Systems has since sued Powell for $1.3 billion for the “unprecedented harm” it says Powell wreaked with her “wild,” baseless allegations of voter fraud. ¤ Powell and other attorneys were ordered to pay $175,000 in sanctions to Michigan officials they had unsuccessfully sued over baseless claims of election fraud. ¤ A U.S. District judge said the lawyers had engaged in “a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process,” and called some of the claims “fantastical.”

Kerik has agreed to a voluntary interview with the House select committee, possibly on Jan. 13. He was subpoenaed by the panel in November.

⭕ 1 Jan 2022

NYT Editorial: Every Day Is Jan. 6 Now http://nyti.ms/3qIyARA

One year after from the smoke and broken glass, the mock gallows and the very real bloodshed of that awful day, it is tempting to look back and imagine that we can, in fact, simply look back. To imagine that what happened on Jan. 6, 2021 — a deadly riot at the seat of American government, incited by a defeated president amid a last-ditch effort to thwart the transfer of power to his successor — was horrifying but that it is in the past and that we as a nation have moved on.

This is an understandable impulse. After four years of chaos, cruelty and incompetence, culminating in a pandemic and the once-unthinkable trauma of Jan. 6, most Americans were desperate for some peace and quiet.

On the surface, we have achieved that. Our political life seems more or less normal these days, as the president pardons turkeys and Congress quarrels over spending bills. But peel back a layer, and things are far from normal. Jan. 6 is not in the past; it is every day.

It is regular citizens who threaten election officials and other public servants, who ask, “When can we use the guns?” and who vow to murder politicians who dare to vote their conscience. It is Republican lawmakers scrambling to make it harder for people to vote and easier to subvert their will if they do. It is Donald Trump who continues to stoke the flames of conflict with his rampant lies and limitless resentments and whose twisted version of reality still dominates one of the nation’s two major political parties.

In short, the Republic faces an existential threat from a movement that is openly contemptuous of democracy and has shown that it is willing to use violence to achieve its ends. No self-governing society can survive such a threat by denying that it exists. Rather, survival depends on looking back and forward at the same time.

Truly grappling with the threat ahead means taking full account of the terror of that day a year ago. Thanks largely to the dogged work of a bipartisan committee in the House of Representatives, this reckoning is underway. We know now that the violence and mayhem broadcast live around the world was only the most visible and visceral part of the effort to overturn the election. The effort extended all the way into the Oval Office, where Mr. Trump and his allies plotted a constitutional self-coup.

We know now that top Republican lawmakers and right-wing media figures privately understood how dangerous the riot was and pleaded with Mr. Trump to call a halt to it, even as they publicly pretended otherwise. We know now that those who may have critical information about the planning and execution of the attack are refusing to cooperate with Congress, even if it means being charged with criminal contempt.

For now, the committee’s work continues. It has scheduled a series of public hearings in the new year to lay out these and other details, and it plans to release a full report of its findings before the midterm elections — after which, should Republicans regain control of the House as expected, the committee will undoubtedly be dissolved.

This is where looking forward comes in. Over the past year, Republican lawmakers in 41 states have been trying to advance the goals of the Jan. 6 rioters — not by breaking laws but by making them. Hundreds of bills have been proposed and nearly three dozen laws have been passed that empower state legislatures to sabotage their own elections and overturn the will of their voters, according to a running tally by a nonpartisan consortium of pro-democracy organizations.

Some bills would change the rules to make it easier for lawmakers to reject the votes of their citizens if they don’t like the outcome. Others replace professional election officials with partisan actors who have a vested interest in seeing their preferred candidate win. Yet more attempt to criminalize human errors by election officials, in some cases even threatening prison.

Many of these laws are being proposed and passed in crucial battleground states like Arizona, Wisconsin, Georgia and Pennsylvania. In the aftermath of the 2020 election, the Trump campaign targeted voting results in all these states, suing for recounts or intimidating officials into finding “missing” votes. The effort failed, thanks primarily to the professionalism and integrity of election officials. Many of those officials have since been stripped of their power or pushed out of office and replaced by people who openly say the last election was fraudulent.

Thus the Capitol riot continues in statehouses across the country, in a bloodless, legalized form that no police officer can arrest and that no prosecutor can try in court.

This isn’t the first time state legislatures have tried to wrest control of electoral votes from their own people, nor is it the first time that the dangers of such a ploy have been pointed out. In 1891, President Benjamin Harrison warned Congress of the risk that such a “trick” could determine the outcome of a presidential election.

The Constitution guarantees to all Americans a republican form of government, Harrison said. “The essential features of such a government are the right of the people to choose their own officers” and to have their votes counted equally in making that choice. “Our chief national danger,” he continued, is “the overthrow of majority control by the suppression or perversion of popular suffrage.” If a state legislature were to succeed in substituting its own will for that of its voters, “it is not too much to say that the public peace might be seriously and widely endangered.”

A healthy, functioning political party faces its electoral losses by assessing what went wrong and redoubling its efforts to appeal to more voters the next time. The Republican Party, like authoritarian movements the world over, has shown itself recently to be incapable of doing this. Party leaders’ rhetoric suggests they see it as the only legitimate governing power and thus portrays anyone else’s victory as the result of fraud — hence the foundational falsehood that spurred the Jan. 6 attack, that Joe Biden didn’t win the election.

“The thing that’s most concerning is that it has endured in the face of all evidence,” said Representative Adam Kinzinger, one of the vanishingly few Republicans in Congress who remain committed to empirical reality and representative democracy. “And I’ve gotten to wonder if there is actually any evidence that would ever change certain people’s minds.”

The answer, for now, appears to be no. Polling finds that the overwhelming majority of Republicans believe that President Biden was not legitimately elected and that about one-third approve of using violence to achieve political goals. Put those two numbers together, and you have a recipe for extreme danger.

Political violence is not an inevitable outcome. Republican leaders could help by being honest with their voters and combating the extremists in their midst. Throughout American history, party leaders, from Abraham Lincoln to Margaret Chase Smith to John McCain, have stood up for the union and democracy first, to their everlasting credit.

Democrats aren’t helpless, either. They hold unified power in Washington, for the last time in what may be a long time. Yet they have so far failed to confront the urgency of this moment — unwilling or unable to take action to protect elections from subversion and sabotage. Blame Senator Joe Manchin or Senator Kyrsten Sinema, but the only thing that matters in the end is whether you get it done. For that reason, Mr. Biden and other leading Democrats should make use of what remaining power they have to end the filibuster for voting rights legislation, even if nothing else.

Whatever happens in Washington, in the months and years to come, Americans of all stripes who value their self-government must mobilize at every level — not simply once every four years but today and tomorrow and the next day — to win elections and help protect the basic functions of democracy. If people who believe in conspiracy theories can win, so can those who live in the reality-based world.

Above all, we should stop underestimating the threat facing the country. Countless times over the past six years, up to and including the events of Jan. 6, Mr. Trump and his allies openly projected their intent to do something outrageous or illegal or destructive. Every time, the common response was that they weren’t serious or that they would never succeed. How many times will we have to be proved wrong before we take it seriously? The sooner we do, the sooner we might hope to salvage a democracy that is in grave danger.

🐣 RT @bandyxlee1 Someone is finally speaking of mass psychosis! Mass psychosis is the state I warned the spread of “shared psychosis” would lead to, as a consequence of a mentally-impaired “leader” going unchecked (and who is still unchecked, even out of the presidency).
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @carolinabonita @P_McCulloughMD stated, “Dr. #Malone as a dedicated physician scientist builds upon my clinical interview with @JoeRogan to tell Americans the truth about mass formation psychosis, big pharma, and how Americans are being harmed with each & every administration.” @carolina_bonita 💽 https://twitter.com/carolina_bonita/status/1477331851324837888?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 RT @bandyxlee1 I have written about it here:
⋙⋙ SciAm, Bandy X. Lee (2021): The ‘Shared Psychosis’ of Donald Trump and His Loyalists http://bit.ly/3nJ212F
// 1/11/2021; Forensic psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee explains the outgoing president’s pathological appeal and how to wean people from it

Do you think Trump is truly exhibiting delusional or psychotic behavior? Or is he simply behaving like an autocrat making a bald-faced attempt to hold onto his power?

I believe it is both. He is certainly of an autocratic disposition because his extreme narcissism does not allow for equality with other human beings, as democracy requires. Psychiatrists generally assess delusions through personal examination, but there is other evidence of their likelihood. First, delusions are more infectious than strategic lies, and so we see, from their sheer spread, that Trump likely truly believes them. Second, his emotional fragility, manifested in extreme intolerance of realities that do not fit his wishful view of the world, predispose him to psychotic spirals. Third, his public record includes numerous hours of interviews and interactions with other people—such as the hour-long one with the Georgia secretary of state—that very nearly confirm delusion, as my colleague and I discovered in a systematic analysis.

What do you predict he will do after his presidency?

I again emphasize in Profile of a Nation that we should consider the president, his followers and the nation as an ecology, not in isolation. Hence, what he does after this presidency depends a great deal on us. This is the reason I frantically wrote the book over the summer: we require active intervention to stop him from achieving any number of destructive outcomes for the nation, including the establishment of a shadow presidency. He will have no limit, which is why I have actively advocated for removal and accountability, including prosecution. We need to remember that he is more a follower than a leader, and we need to place constraints from the outside when he cannot place them from within.

 
 

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