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The Trump Insurrection: How Donald J. Trump and the right incited insurrection and sedition in an attempted a coup d'etat - Page 6
Videos of the riot and violent attack against the 117th United States Congress and the sacking of the United States Capitol.

Trump will be the only president to be impeached twice.

The most significant driver in the development of right-wing populism arises from billionaire right-wing donor networks, especially the Koch brothers’ complex.
Inderjeet Parmar

President Donald Trump’s long-advertised and planned coup d’etat and insurrection – backed by a mobilisation of armed fascists – was long in the making and is not yet over. Its repercussions in American political life are set to continue long after Trump has vacated the White House. And the fascist genie remains out of the bottle, as extremists plan protests on January 20. Right-wing extremists – in and beyond the Republican party – allied with their police and other supporters are already planning nationwide attacks and protests on January 20, the day of the inauguration of President-elect Joseph Biden. They have been emboldened by Trump’s support for their insurrectionary invasion of the Capitol building on January 6, and encouraged by somewhat diminished but largely continued loyalty to Trump among Republican leaders and voters.

From evidence emerging in the past few days, it is clear that the storming of the Capitol was coordinated from the White House and involved the Capitol police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Defence and Homeland Security. A full independent and public inquiry is required to investigate the extent of the conspiracy that enabled, facilitated, aided and abetted the fascist attempt to prevent Congress from certifying the verified results of the 2020 presidential elections.

Biden calls out Trump and GOP Big Lie technique
For all his relative passivity since his election victory, Biden has called out the Nazi character of the forces that Trump has amassed and enabled from the White House, allied to his white supremacist advisers and officials. Biden noted the ‘Big Lie’ technique Trump and his allies in the GOP have championed – the constant repetition of a lie until it so confuses people that it becomes an accepted ‘truth’ to millions. Biden has compared Trump’s mendacity machine to that of Hitler’s propaganda minister, Goebbels. more...

They tried to get Trump to care about right-wing terrorism. He ignored them.
Officials at the Department of Homeland Security waged a yearslong internal struggle to get the White House to pay attention to the threat of violent domestic extremists. Frustrated, they gave up on the Trump administration.

Elizabeth Neumann spent March 13 and 14 of 2019 at a conference in the picturesque Spanish port city of Málaga. The topic: terrorism. Western leaders were deeply worried about the dangers foreign terrorist fighters traveling back from places like Iraq, Libya and Syria would pose to their home countries. And that’s what Neumann expected to dominate the two-day event. Neumann was DHS’s assistant secretary for threat prevention and security policy at the time, handling counterterrorism work from the Department of Homeland Security’s headquarters. In Málaga, a history-drenched resort town on Spain’s Costa del Sol that once marked the fault line between the Muslim and Christian worlds, she and her counterparts from scores of countries spent long hours talking about the terrorism threats that concerned them most. After a while, she began to see a pattern: Though concerns about instability in the Middle East dominated most public discussions on counterterrorism, about 80 percent of the leaders at the conference ranked far-right extremism among their top concerns. more...

Former DHS Official: Trump Pouring 'Fuel On The Fire' Of Domestic Extremism
Steve Inskeep, Simone Popperl, Lilly Quiroz

White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah responded to NPR's request for comment on Elizabeth Neumann's charges that the White House has not addressed the threat of domestic extremism, particularly what Neumann referred to as "right-wing extremism." In an email, Farah dismissed Neumann's concerns as those of a "disgruntled employee."

"Our country is constantly facing dynamic threats ranging from domestic, to cyber, to international, to financial crimes. Our brave federal law enforcement, national security, and Intelligence officials work around the clock to monitor every range of threats facing our nation, including domestic terror," Farah said. "This sounds more like a case of this former disgruntled employee being ineffective at their job, than an indictment of the career professionals who swear an oath to work every day to protect our country from threats foreign and domestic."

Our original story:
A former top Department of Homeland Security official who resigned in April says the Trump administration is creating the conditions for domestic extremism to flourish in the United States. more...

Clara Hendrickson, Ashley Nerbovig - Detroit Free Press

Michigan Trump supporters who convened in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday united by a shared belief that the election was stolen, headed home divided on what transpired when pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol and uncertain where Trump’s movement goes from here. For months, President Donald Trump has peddled disinformation about the election, claiming there was widespread election fraud and that he won in a landslide. Trump’s unfounded lies motivated his supporters to converge on Washington at his urging the same day Congress met to certify the Electoral College results. Some heralded the day as a success despite the fact that hundreds of Trump supporters breached the perimeter around the Capitol building and many made their way inside, leading an insurrection that forced lawmakers to seek safety. The raid of the Capitol building left five people dead. At least six Michigan residents have been arrested. more...

Republicans have been torn apart by the events of the past week with no clear path forward
James Politi and Courtney Weaver in Washington January 9 2021

Marco Rubio, the Republican senator from Florida who was belittled and then defeated by Donald Trump in the 2016 election primary, came to embrace the president, defending him even after he was impeached. But on Friday morning, following the invasion of the US Capitol Building by pro-Trump supporters, Mr Rubio called for his party to chart a new course that no longer indulged the “darkest instincts” and “most destructive impulses”. more...

*** If you want to stop the steal, tell Donald J. Trump to stop trying to steal the election. ***

Jay Busbee

ATLANTA — Just two days before the Georgia runoffs that will determine the leadership of the Senate and one day before a rally on behalf of the Republican candidates, President Trump has continued to unload on the GOP officials leading the state. In an extraordinary development, Trump attempted to cajole Republican Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, according to the Washington Post, which published audio of their call on Sunday. “So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump told Raffensperger, laying bare his overriding goal of overturning the November election results. more...

Online extremists started planning the chaos of January 6 months ago.
By Rebecca Heilweil and Shirin Ghaffary

Ali Alexander, a far-right activist and conspiracy theorist, posted a video to YouTube on Christmas Day, urging people to come to Washington, DC, on the day that Congress would finalize Joe Biden’s election to the US presidency. With a triumphant soundtrack, the video features President Trump at a rally declaring, “We will never give in. We will never give up, and we will never back down. We will never ever surrender.” It urges people to register to attend on a website, WildProtest.com, directing them to get to the Capitol building by 1 pm on the day of the event. The website even offered to help people find rides to get there.

This was just one of a slew of efforts from online communities that came together for the insurrection at the United States Capitol on Wednesday that left at least five people dead and many more injured. Many of these groups had been building enthusiasm online for such an event for years. They planned Wednesday’s event on social media and, as it was happening, gleefully livestreamed the destruction.

The events represent a turning point for the nation in its reckoning with the impact of online extremism. While misinformation researchers have warned for years of the growing influence of groups like QAnon, the Proud Boys, and neo-Nazis, Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol was the clearest evidence yet that these movements threaten to destabilize American democracy. more...

Utah members report they are safe amid melee.
By Lee Davidson

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney was furious after protesters — fired up by President Donald Trump at a rally saying he was robbed in the elction — stormed the U.S. Capitol and managed to stop the official count of the Electoral College vote,. “This is what the president has caused today, this insurrection,” he told New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin after senators arrived at a secure location. Reporter David Freedlander with Politico tweeted that Romney earlier yelled in the Senate chamber, “This is what you’ve gotten” to Ted Cruz and his colleagues who raised objections to the electoral vote counts.

Protesters managed to gain entrance eventually into the Senate chamber, and even pose in senators’ chairs. Television pictures showed protesters firing tear gas, and carrying weapons. Members of Congress were evacuated by police reportedly to secure locations. Sen. Mike Lee urged the Senate to continue the electoral count, and not let protesters stop it. “Congress was elected to govern. We need to get back on the floor and gavel in the Senate as soon as possible,” he tweeted. Lee added, “Whether we get back in the chamber or convene in a different location, the Senate should continue the work of the American people immediately. This outrage cannot be allowed to disrupt that work for a minute longer.” more...

On a 3.5-hour caucus call, lawmakers criticized Capitol Police tactics and vowed to investigate what went wrong.

A growing number of House Democrats say they’re concerned that tactical decisions by some Capitol Police officers worsened Wednesday’s riots and have raised the possibility that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol might have had outside help. Lawmakers have uniformly praised most Capitol Police officers for their heroic response to the riots. Many officers suffered injuries defending members, aides and journalists from the onslaught and one, Brian Sicknick, died late Thursday. But videos have also surfaced showing a small number of officers pulling down barricades for the rioters and, in another instance, stopping for a photo with one of them. more...

The events of the past few weeks suggest the principles animating modern conservative constitutionalism are merely arguments of convenience.
By Steve Vladeck, professor at the University of Texas School of Law

There are any number of reasons to criticize the dozens of congressional Republicans who have vowed to object to duly certified slates of presidential electors Wednesday, when Congress meets to ratify President-Elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory. Among other things, there remains no substantiated evidence that the results in any states were inaccurate. Nor is that for lack of trying; in some states (including Georgia) there have been multiple audits of the final tallies using paper receipts, each of which has confirmed the results. As with any election, there have been infinitesimal discrepancies at the margins, but none of them come close to overcoming Biden's margins of victories in the tipping-point states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — and some have only increased his margins.

Rather, the goal seems to be to try to appease and appeal to the president's supporters — to whom no amount of contrary evidence and/or rejections of these claims in court have sufficiently established that 81 million Americans voted for the other guy. In the process, these objections will serve only to perpetuate conspiracy theories and delegitimize the clearly legitimate election of our country's 46th president. Worse still, they may also set the stage for similar machinations four years from now — when they might be sufficient to overturn narrower election results.

Wednesday's antics aren't just dangerous political theater; they are also a betrayal of two of the foundational legal principles conservative Republicans have pushed for decades: The first of these is "originalism" — the theory that any debate over the meaning of specific constitutional provisions should be conclusively resolved by how those provisions would have been understood when they were adopted. The second, related principle is a particular understanding of "federalism" — the division of power between state and federal governments — through which our founding charter preserves the regulatory primacy of states over most topics, including federal elections. more...

*** Trump is still trying to steal the election. Trump lost he should man up get over it, move on and admit he is a sore LOSER. ***

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

(CNN) Desperate, deluded and dangerous, President Donald Trump drove America deeper into a political abyss on Monday night in his zeal to steal an election he lost and to destroy faith in the democracy that fairly ejected him from office. The President spewed lies, conspiracy theories and nonsensically false claims of vote fraud before an angry crowd in Georgia on a trip scheduled to help two Republicans in toss up run-offs Tuesday set to seal the Senate balance of power. But as usual, and as it has been for the last four years, including during the fast-worsening pandemic that he ignored, the outgoing President's primary concern was himself. "By the way, there is no way we lost Georgia, that was a rigged election," Trump said in the first, inaccurate words out of his mouth after disembarking from his Marine One helicopter, before broadening his disinformation to the November 3 election as a whole.

"When you win in a landslide and they steal it and it's rigged, it is not acceptable," Trump said in an embittered screed, rooted in false claims that he prevailed in an election President-elect Joe Biden won 306-232 in the Electoral College. Though he often wove GOP Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue into his remarks -- and warned of the dangers of a Democratic monopoly of power in Washington if they lost -- the President's appearance was essentially a wild, on-stage prime-time TV version of Saturday's call in which he leaned on Georgia state officials to conjure votes out of thin air in order to discredit Biden's already certified Peach State victory -- a flagrant and possibly unlawful abuse of power. The President's rants on Monday night contrasted sharply with the stunning point-by-point denunciation of his case by a top GOP election official who used facts and evidence to dismiss false claims of electoral corruption. "This is all easily, provably false. Yet the President persists," Gabriel Sterling, the voting systems implementation manager for the Georgia secretary of state's office, said in a calm, reasoned news conference on Monday. more...

Dan Mangan

The District of Columbia’s attorney general said Monday that he is looking at whether to charge Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks with inciting the violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol last week by a horde of President Donald Trump’s supporters. Karl Racine also left open the door to prosecuting President Trump himself for the same conduct once he leaves office later this month. Racine’s comments came during an interview on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” after he was shown video clips of the Trumps and the president’s personal lawyer, Giuliani, whipping up a crowd at a rally outside the White House last Wednesday, and asked about the trio and Brooks, an Alabama Republican. more...

A top Georgia election official says Rudy Giuliani 'lied' about election fraud by presenting a deceptively edited video as evidence
Kelsey Vlamis

A top Georgia election official said Rudy Giuliani "lied" over election-fraud claims by presenting a deceptively edited video as evidence, despite having access to the full footage. Gabriel Sterling, the chief operating officer for Georgia's secretary of state, made the comments in a "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday, during which he described President Donald Trump's claims of voter fraud as "fantastical, unreasonable," and "lacking in any factual reality." Sterling, a Republican who voted for Trump, told the interviewer Scott Pelley that Giuliani presented a selectively edited video to Georgia state senators as evidence of election fraud. In a clip shown on "60 Minutes" of Giuliani presenting the video, he calls it a "powerful smoking gun." Giuliani's video, which also aired in national Trump campaign ads, claims to show cases of ballots removed from under a table and "added in secret." more...

The president’s team of attorneys pledged they would reverse the outcome of the 2020 White House race.

They called themselves an “elite strike force team.” But the madcap news conference by President Donald Trump’s attorneys on Thursday afternoon was more campaign farce than cogent legal argument, as Rudy Giuliani offered several conspiracy theories and a litany of false claims that he pledged would reverse the outcome of the 2020 White House race. “I guess we’re the senior lawyers,” Giuliani told a packed room of reporters inside the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., flanked by fellow Trump campaign attorneys Jenna Ellis, Joseph diGenova and Sidney Powell.

In the 90 minutes that followed, the former New York mayor and his colleagues spun a web of mistruths that made mention of the Clinton Foundation, liberal megadonor George Soros and the late Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez. And although Ellis described their remarks as merely an “opening statement” on behalf of the campaign, the discursive briefing — during which streams of what appeared to be hair dye dripped down both sides of Giuliani’s face — betrayed almost immediately the desperation of Trump’s flailing effort to undermine President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Just hours earlier on Thursday, the Trump campaign withdrew its last remaining federal lawsuit in Michigan after having no substantive success with similar pieces of litigation across other swing states. Nevertheless, the president’s legal team pushed an alternate political reality at their news conference, which seemed designed primarily to show their boss that they were still fighting on in the face of facts. more...

Non-partisan expert brought in for ‘assessment of Smartmatic and recent claims about the company’
Louise Hall

Fox has aired a series of unusual news packages debunking baseless claims of electoral fraud made on the network in the wake of a legal threat filed against the broadcaster by an electronic voting company. The segment, which aired during the shows of Fox hosts Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro and Maria Bartiromo’s over the weekend, featured an interview with voting technology expert Eddie Perez. The shows, whose hosts are ardent supporters of the president, were all mentioned in a demand letter from Smartmatic threatening legal action over an accused “disinformation campaign” against the company by Fox News.

In the clip, the nonpartisan expert from the Palo Alto-based Open Source Election Technology, debunks claims about the company platformed on the network. “There are lots of opinions of the integrity of the election, the irregularities of mail-in voting, of election voting machines and voting software,” Mr Dobbs said in a preface to the interview. more...

By Oliver Darcy, CNN Business

New York (CNN Business) A voting technology company swept up in baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 election said on Monday that it had sent legal notices to Fox News and two other right-wing media companies for participating in a "disinformation campaign" aimed at damaging it. The company, Smartmatic, said that Fox News, One America News, and Newsmax have helped spread false and defamatory claims that are not supported by real evidence and could easily have been debunked with basic research.

"They have no evidence to support their attacks on Smartmatic because there is no evidence," Smartmatic chief executive Antonio Mugica said in a statement. "This campaign was designed to defame Smartmatic and undermine legitimately conducted elections." As President Donald Trump continues to attack the integrity of the voting system, some of his allies have homed in on Smartmatic because of the services it provided Los Angeles County for the 2020 election.

The baseless conspiracy theories peddled about Smartmatic, which mimic those pushed against Dominion Voting Systems, falsely suggest that the company's technology allowed the November vote to be rigged against Trump. Some strains of the conspiracy theory have aimed to tie the company to the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez and George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist who is portrayed as a boogeyman in right-wing media. more...

By Emily Czachor

Fox News anchor Eric Shawn responded to Donald Trump's election fraud allegations on Sunday afternoon, highlighting the lack of existing evidence to support claims that unlawful conduct distorted results in his Democratic opponent's favor. Intertwining additional commentary into an interview with Axios political reporter Hans Nichols, which focused on Trump's conversation with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo hours earlier, Shawn noted that the president's efforts to challenge election results have earned widespread backlash.

"It seems that we have a president who, he can't wrap his brain or mind around the fact that, he can't process the fact that someone who he thinks is so inferior to him won the election," the Fox anchor said, after initially referencing comments from critics who "say [Trump's] claims are unsupported, reckless and incendiary."

Speaking to Bartiromo Sunday morning, Trump reiterated unproven accusations that seek to undermine the race's outcome during his first televised interview since Election Day. While addressing his campaign's efforts to challenge election procedures in court, Trump rattled off a number claims that echoed those frequently shared by his legal team as well as himself on social media. Trump suggested that ballots cast by Republican voters were discarded in parts of the country where a majority of support went to Joe Biden, and "massive dumps of votes" were illegitimately tallied after November 3. Those are two of many unfounded theories he shared during the interview. more...

*** Hannity is helping Trump steal an election that has already been decided, this sounds like Russian propaganda. ***

'If we don't fix what is a broken, corrupt election system, the country is in deep trouble' Fox News host says
By Yael Halon | Fox News

A lawsuit filed by Texas and backed by 17 other states at the Supreme Court could be our country's last hope at fixing "a broken, corrupt election system" and restoring public faith in the U.S. voting process, Sean Hannity said Wednesday. "Tonight, one thing is very clear," the "Hannity" host said at the start of his opening monologue. "If we don't fix what is a broken, corrupt election system, the country is in deep trouble." Missouri on Wednesday led the group of 17 states that filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court supporting the lawsuit aimed at delaying the appointment of presidential electors from Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. The suit is "truly significant," Hannity said, and is perceived as the Trump campaign's last-ditch legal effort to contest the 2020 election results. more...

Trump’s effort to interfere with the Electoral College count will fail — this time. But it's dangerous because it provides a blueprint for next time.
Chris Truax

You’ve got to give credit where credit is due. President Donald Trump is sparking the biggest reexamination of the nuts and bolts of our democracy since the Constitutional Convention in 1787. How many of us had contemplated the ins and outs of the Vacancies Act or the proper scope of presidential power during a national emergency before Trump came along? Unfortunately, all this is missing some of the dignity of the original discussion, and we’ve ended up with a sort of tabloid version of The Federalist Papers in which those of us concerned about American institutions don’t so much engage in learned debate as in frantically attempting to head off the next pending scandal.

Which brings us to the Electoral Count Act of 1887. Until a few weeks ago, this was one of the most obscure pieces of legislation on the books. The ECA governs how Electoral College votes are counted. In short, during a joint session of Congress, the vice president opens the envelopes containing each state’s Electoral College votes and hands them to two tellers from the House and two tellers from the Senate who read the votes aloud. Once all the votes have been read, the tellers add them up and announce the result. In 2013, the entire process took 23 minutes. more...

*** Trump is the greatest threat that our country has ever faced. ***

Nicholas Reimann Forbes Staff

President Donald Trump reportedly inquired about an idea raised by his former (and now pardoned) national security adviser, Michael Flynn, that the U.S. military be deployed to overturn the results of the presidential election—a claim shot down by his advisors at a meeting where the president appeared to embrace increasingly fringe notions about his election loss. New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman reported Saturday that the president asked about Flynn’s idea, as senior officials are reportedly becoming very unsettled by Trump’s escalating interest in crackpot plans during his last days in power.

On Thursday, Flynn said that Trump could deploy the military to swing states he lost to President-elect Joe Biden in order to “rerun” the presidential election. During the meeting, Trump also floated naming the conspiracy-theorist attorney Sidney Powell—who has pushed a baseless theory that long-dead Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez rigged voting machines—as special counsel to investigate voter fraud. Axios reported Saturday that even some of Trump’s long-loyal top officials have been dismayed by Trump’s behavior, including his interest in Flynn’s views, with one senior official saying Trump “spends his time talking to conspiracy nuts who openly say declaring martial law is no big deal.” more...

Darla Mercado, CFP®

Republican election officials in Georgia on Sunday continued to rebut Donald Trump’s false claims of voter fraud, as the outgoing president tries to pressure the governor to help overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the state. “The president’s statements are false, they’re misinformation,” Gabriel Sterling, voting system implementation manager for Georgia, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning. “They’re stoking anger and fear among his supporters.” “This undermines democracy,” said Sterling, who is a Republican. “We have got to get to a point where responsible people act responsibly.” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger also countered the president’s baseless claims of election fraud on Sunday morning in an interview on “This Week” with ABC. “We’ve never found systemic fraud, not enough to overturn the election,” he said. more...

by Will Bunch

OK, so you haven’t seen so many slam dunks since the USA “Dream Team” won the 1992 Olympics, as Team Trump’s ace legal department actually embraces My Cousin Vinny while racking up a courtroom won-loss record that rivals the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s been more than two weeks since the media and all other reputable observers called the 2020 election as a resounding win for Joe Biden, and yet President Donald Trump and his minions continue to press a case for overturning the result that’s melted faster than the stuff running out of Rudy Giuliani’s hair or his wherever.

Yes, it’s so easy to laugh at the ridiculousness of Trump’s scheme — which he telegraphed for months before Election Day — to somehow get judges, or state legislatures, or the Electoral College to anoint him the victor of an election he couldn’t win by getting the most votes, even in the battleground states that handed him the White House in 2016.

The latest proof of the pathetic nature of the president’s plot to allege widespread voter fraud, with zero actual evidence, came Saturday when a Republican, straight-outta-the-Federalist-Society jurist here in Pennsylvania — U.S. District Judge Matthew W. Brann — dismissed his campaign’s latest election challenge with prejudice,” using words like a “Frankenstein’s monster” and “unhinged” to describe the case argued by Giuliani last week. Yet as that was happening, the Trump campaign was demanding a reality-defying third recount that will surely ratify his loss in Georgia, much like the quadruple-amputated knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail continuing to insist that “it’s only a flesh wound.”

But it’s time now for all the laughter to die in outrage. Because we need to state in the clearest and most unambiguous terms what is happening in America in November 2020: The president of the United States is using the power of his office to try to overturn, by any means necessary, the fair and democratic election that will remove him from office. In a nation that stakes its claim to “exceptionalism” on 44 peaceful transfers of power (despite one that wasn’t) over 231 years, its current leader is attempting a coup. more...

Richard Wolffe

Here are some of the most slimy steps down the slippery slope towards The End of America As We Know It. Donald Trump is the kind of populist who hates the people: specifically, the clear majority of the people who voted him out of office. So he has set about one last gambit – what Dick Cheney liked to call “the last throes” – to steal the election he lost by gumming up the electoral college. He will fail in his crass attempts to corrupt the election, just as he has failed in his crass lawsuits to challenge the vote counts. Just as he has failed in his entire presidency.

But let’s not brush aside this moment because of its grotesque ineptitude and corruption. It’s not just another Trump tantrum. It may not be a coup, but it is an attempt to destroy American democracy forever. So let us count the ways this loser of a president has tried to Trumpify America’s elections. And let us never forget that he did so in cahoots with the formerly Grand Old Party that used to belong to Republicans but now belongs to the Trumpistas.

Here are some of the most slimy steps down the slippery slope towards The End of America As We Know It.
1 The founding myth of election night

It started in the bunker, with a few dozen of his closest cronies, watching the voters overrun every defensive position across a country he thought he knew well. When Trump finally spoke to the cameras in the East Room of the White House on election night, he declared that he was on track to win in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan. He claimed it would be “nice” to win Arizona, but he didn’t even need it. more...

Austin Sarat and Dennis Aftergut

This has been his plan: fracture democracy’s foundation, create chaos and see where the shards and chips fall. The red light flashing danger to democracy grew more intense on 19 November. We thought it could hardly get worse, with Trump toady Lindsey Graham sticking his nose into Georgia’s business – he asked, per Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensberger, and a witness, about tossing legal ballots. And then the president did him one better.

After calling a member of Wayne county, Michigan’s Board of Elections who had previously voted to certify that county’s pro-Biden vote, he invited Republican Michigan legislators to the White House. The same legislators who, under the Constitution’s article II, could theoretically appoint a slate of Trump electors to Congress on 3 January when the president is formally selected, in total defiance of Michigan’s 140,000 more voters who chose Joe Biden.

This has been the president’s plan all along: if he loses, fracture democracy’s foundation, the vote. Create chaos, as is his wont, and see where the shards and chips fall. Delegitimize the victor to keep Trump the center of attention, to hold his base, dominate and intimidate Republicans everywhere.

The president may be hoping that his desperate, post-election maneuvers will miraculously deliver, and that three battleground state Republican legislatures will send alternate slates. Not impossible. But the odds are somewhere south of cherries across the board on your first pull of the slot-machine arm. more...

Republicans, including Sen. Josh Hawley, have condemned violence but haven't backed down from baseless claims of fraud and irregularities.
By Jane C. Timm

After a mob stormed the Capitol based on President Donald Trump's election fraud lie, some top Republican allies have called for peace while still leveling the same baseless claims of widespread voter fraud that fanned the flames of violence. In almost the same breath as he condemned the rioters who temporarily disrupted Congress from its normal process of affirming President-elect Joe Biden's win, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., the first Republican to announce his intent to object to the certification, suggested Biden's victory was illegitimate.

“We do need an investigation into irregularities, fraud,” Hawley said, before staring directly into the camera in a video his office would promptly upload to YouTube and saying, “We do need a way forward together. We need election security reforms.” In a statement, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, condemned the violence, too. Still, he said, his calls for an investigation into voter fraud were the “right thing to do," before adding, “I very much wish Congress had not set aside these concerns.”

Allegations of voter fraud and irregularities have been used by Republicans to sow distrust in the American electoral system for decades, experts said, laying the groundwork for Trump's sweeping claim that widespread fraud denied him a second term and priming the party's base to believe him despite his inability to prove it. These same falsehoods, the experts said, will be used to restrict ballot-box access in the future.

"The same lies that drove the insurrections were also being repeated on the floor of the Congress by the people trying to upend the people’s votes," said Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. "And those are the same lies we’re going to hear in state capitols by people trying to restrict the vote." Hawley and Cruz, who are widely believed to be eyeing bids for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, have been fiercely criticized for their roles in stoking the unrest that led to the deadly clashes in the nation's capital. more...

By Chas Danner

Atlanta’s top federal prosecutor was apparently forced by the White House to resign earlier this week, ahead of the Georgia runoffs, because he didn’t do enough to help President Trump overturn the 2020 presidential election. The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney Byung J. Pak, who had cited “unforeseen circumstances” for his sudden resignation on Monday, had been told by a senior Justice Department official that he needed to step down because Trump was not satisfied with his efforts to investigate alleged voter fraud. Pak, who had originally planned to resign on January 20, was the top federal prosecutor for the Northern District of Georgia. He has refused opportunities to comment about the circumstances of his resignation from both the Journal and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Trump had complained about Pak during the recorded call he made to Georgia election officials on January 2, writing the prosecutor off as a “Never Trumper.” This was the same call in which the president attempted to pressure Georgia’s secretary of State to “find” him enough votes to overturn his loss to President-elect Joe Biden in the state. The Washington Post reported Saturday that Trump had also made an earlier call to Georgia’s top elections investigator to pressure them to “find the fraud” in late December. It’s possible, if not likely, that these were not the only direct efforts the president and his allies made in the state. The Journal additionally reports that “an official at the Georgia secretary of State’s office on Saturday said the White House called officials and staff at the office for weeks demanding proof of election fraud — long before the call to Mr. Raffensperger”: more...

The former California governor compared the deadly mob at the U.S. Capitol Building to the Nazi assault of Kristallnacht in 1938 Germany, calling Trump a failed leader.
By Doha Madani

Arnold Schwarzenegger shared words of hope on Sunday in the aftermath of the deadly mob at the U.S. Capitol, while also denouncing President Donald Trump and the "spinelessness" of his fellow Republicans. Schwarzenegger, an actor and former GOP governor of California, drew parallels to his upbringing in post-World War II Austria while discussing Wednesday's pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol Building. In a video statement released on Sunday, he compared the riot in Washington, D.C., to Kristallnacht — the 1938 assault by Nazis in Germany who began destroying Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues as thousands were rounded up for concentration camps — calling it the “day of Broken Glass here in America.”

“The broken glass was in the windows of the United States Capitol,” Schwarzenegger said. “But the mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol, they shattered the ideas we took for granted. They didn’t just break down the doors of the building that housed American democracy, they trampled the very principles on which our country was founded.” Schwarzenegger said that as a child he saw broken men who drank away their guilt over participating in the most “evil regime” in history, revealing that his father would often get drunk and hit him and his mother. “President Trump sought to overturn the results of an election, and of a fair election,” Schwarzenegger said. “He sought a coup by misleading people with lies. My father and neighbors were misled also with lies.” more...

Graig Graziosi

Donald Trump launched an expansive campaign to convince more than 150 Republican officials to overturn election results in his favour, a new report claims. A Politico report outlined the unprecedented steps Mr Trump took to convince Republican lawmakers at various levels of power to use their authority to overturn election results in his favour. In one instance, Mr Trump contacted Monica Palmer, who sits on a board that confirms the election results for Wayne County, Michigan – the state's most populous county. Shortly after the call, Ms Palmer said she wanted to rescind her vote to authorise the election results, which showed that Joe Biden had won. Though her efforts were ultimately in vain, they were just the beginning of Mr Trump's attempts to sway lawmakers into fraudulently naming him the election victor. more...

By Amy Gardner

President Trump urged Georgia’s lead elections investigator to “find the fraud” in a lengthy December phone call, saying the official would be a “national hero,” according to an individual familiar with the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the conversation. Trump placed the call to the investigations chief for the Georgia secretary of state’s office shortly before Christmas — while the individual was leading an inquiry into allegations of ballot fraud in Cobb County, in the suburbs of Atlanta, according to people familiar with the episode.

The president’s attempts to intervene in an ongoing investigation could amount to obstruction of justice or other criminal violations, legal experts said, though they cautioned a case could be difficult to prove. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had launched the inquiry following allegations that Cobb election officials had improperly accepted mail ballots with signatures that did not match those on file — claims that state officials ultimately concluded had no merit. more...

Online extremists started planning the chaos of January 6 months ago.
By Rebecca Heilweil and Shirin Ghaffary

Ali Alexander, a far-right activist and conspiracy theorist, posted a video to YouTube on Christmas Day, urging people to come to Washington, DC, on the day that Congress would finalize Joe Biden’s election to the US presidency. With a triumphant soundtrack, the video features President Trump at a rally declaring, “We will never give in. We will never give up, and we will never back down. We will never ever surrender.” It urges people to register to attend on a website, WildProtest.com, directing them to get to the Capitol building by 1 pm on the day of the event. The website even offered to help people find rides to get there.

This was just one of a slew of efforts from online communities that came together for the insurrection at the United States Capitol on Wednesday that left at least five people dead and many more injured. Many of these groups had been building enthusiasm online for such an event for years. They planned Wednesday’s event on social media and, as it was happening, gleefully livestreamed the destruction.

The events represent a turning point for the nation in its reckoning with the impact of online extremism. While misinformation researchers have warned for years of the growing influence of groups like QAnon, the Proud Boys, and neo-Nazis, Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol was the clearest evidence yet that these movements threaten to destabilize American democracy. more...

Michael Medved

The gut-wrenching spectacle of flag-waving mobs storming the Capitol building on January 6th represented more than the dangerous delusions of a few thousand radicals. Tens of millions of decent, patriotic Americans share the rioters' core conviction—an outrageous lie that serves to polarize the public and to poison our national discourse.

Shortly after the violence that threatened members of Congress and interrupted the process of officially receiving the previously certified Electoral College votes, the president himself gave renewed expression to the same toxic falsehood that provoked the unrest in the first place. After releasing a video in which he assured the protestors "I know your pain, I know your hurt" and reminded them that "we love you, you're very special," he posted a now-deleted tweet that justified the rampage. more...

Tom Porter

A man arrested during the riots at the US Capitol was carrying 11 Molotov cocktails and an assault rifle, a federal prosecutor said Thursday. Mike Sherwin, the acting US attorney for the District of Columbia, gave a press conference describing action taken by prosecutors against members of the pro-Trump mob which attacked the Capitol building on Wednesday. Sherwin told reporters that 15 federal charges had been filed against people present at the riots for offences including illegally entering the Capitol, possessing a firearm and stealing congressional property. Among those facing federal charges was the unnamed man arrested with the Molotov cocktails, a type of makeshift explosive. Sherwin described the devices as "ready to go." more...

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

(CNN) In case there was any doubt that President Donald Trump and his allies see Wednesday's votes in Congress as a pure loyalty test, Eric Trump cleared that up with a single tweet Tuesday night. "I will personally work to defeat every single Republican Senator / Congressman who doesn't stand up against this fraud - they will be primaried in their next election and they will lose," tweeted the son of the 45th president of the United States. Eric Trump's tweet is in keeping with what has been coming out of his father's political account for weeks now: Vote to object to the Electoral College results on Wednesday (with no proof of any wrongdoing!) -- or else. "The 'Surrender Caucus' within the Republican Party will go down in infamy as weak and ineffective 'guardians' of our Nation, who were willing to accept the certification of fraudulent presidential numbers!" President Trump tweeted earlier this week.

Add to that Donald Trump, Jr., who reminded Republican members of Congress during a rally Wednesday morning that in the upcoming vote, they can choose to be a "hero" or a "zero." "The choice is yours, but we are all watching," Trump Jr. said to cheers from the crowd gathered in Washington. Don't gloss over what is happening here. The President of the United States -- and his sons! -- are openly threatening sitting Republican members of Congress with political opposition. And the threat revolves around a totally and completely debunked notion: That the Electoral College votes, which have already been certified in all 50 states, are somehow tainted or wrong. more...

The former U.N. ambassador said Trump's words and actions since losing the 2020 election have been "badly wrong."

Former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley sharply criticized President Donald Trump over the Capitol riot and his behavior since the election, telling Republican National Committee members in a closed-door speech Thursday evening that Trump’s actions “will be judged harshly by history.” “President Trump has not always chosen the right words,” Haley said during an appearance at the RNC’s winter meeting on Amelia Island, Fla., according to a person familiar with her remarks. “He was wrong with his words in Charlottesville, and I told him so at the time. He was badly wrong with his words yesterday. And it wasn’t just his words. His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history.”

Haley is one of several former senior Trump administration officials to scold the president in the wake of Wednesday’s mob uprising at the U.S. Capitol. Former Attorney General Bill Barr and ex-White House chief of staff John Kelly are among those who’ve spoken out. Haley, who is widely regarded as a likely 2024 presidential candidate, called out Democrats and technology and social media companies for “inflam[ing] the American people’s passions beyond constructive boundaries.” But she also said the GOP played a role, adding that “if we are the party of personal responsibility, we need to take personal responsibility.” “We can and should talk about our major differences,” Haley said. “But we must stop turning the American people against each other — and this Republican Party must lead the way.” more...

W.G. Dunlop, AFP USA

Social media posts claim Antifa, a far-left movement, stormed the US Capitol. But Donald Trump loyalists -- some with hats or flags identifying them as such -- breached the building where Congress meets, and images provided as evidence of Antifa involvement show one man who is a supporter of the president and another who is allegedly linked to a skinhead group. “Indisputable photographic evidence that antifa violently broke into Congress today to inflict harm & do damage. NOT @realDonaldTrump supporters,” pro-Trump attorney Lin Wood wrote on January 6, 2020 in a tweet that included two images. “Do not be fooled. Trump supporters are peaceful. It was antifa that created the violence in our cities over the past several months,” said Wood, on a day when the president’s backers clashed with police in Washington. Wood’s account has since been suspended by Twitter. more...


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) reacts to pro-Trump supporters rioting at the US Capitol. video...

“Orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable,” Barr said in a statement obtained by POLITICO.

Former Attorney General William Barr accused President Donald Trump on Thursday of a “betrayal of his office” — the latest rebuke of the president by a former high-ranking administration official after pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol. “Orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable,” Barr said in a statement obtained by POLITICO. “The President’s conduct yesterday was a betrayal of his office and supporters.”

Barr’s criticism on Thursday was not his first public comment on the chaos at the Capitol. As the president’s supporters breached the building on Wednesday afternoon, he released a statement through his spokesperson that did not refer to Trump by name. “The violence at the Capitol Building is outrageous and despicable,” Barr said on Wednesday. “Federal agencies should move immediately to disperse it.” Lawmakers were forced to shelter in place as both chambers of Congress went into lockdown amid the violence, which resulted in four deaths. The rioters sought to disrupt the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory after Trump had encouraged them to march on the Capitol earlier Wednesday. more...

And I fear there’s no going back.
By Timothy Egan

Just when we thought we could sleep again. Just when we thought his malevolent reign was over, his poison bottled, that the sun was coming out tomorrow. Just when nearly 80 million Americans could shout the words of Dr. Seuss to Marvin K. Mooney: “Please go now!” Then, this: a shameless attempt to reject the will of hundreds of thousands of voters in the most populous county in Michigan and ultimately hand a state that Joe Biden won by some 157,000 votes over Donald Trump.

And this: In Nevada and Pennsylvania, Trump’s campaign asked courts to thwart the choice of a majority of voters and award their states’ Electoral College votes to the only president in history to lose the popular vote twice. It promised evidence of fraud but produced none. It was a blunt, raw, purely Trumpian move. Try to stop me. And this: Trump has invited Michigan legislators to the White House in a last-ditch — and legally dubious — effort to subvert the election.

What’s unfolding now is an attempted coup by a con. It’s a bigger political scandal than Russian interference four years ago. And yes, it is likely to fail, and the system is likely to prevail. But the American majority cannot rest, nor rely on its sense of decency, until the election hooligans are beaten back. Failing in court, this most authoritarian of presidents is pressuring Little Trumpers everywhere to overturn an election that Trump’s own cybersecurity chief, Christopher Krebs, said was “the most secure in American history.” He’s trying to force canvassers, certifiers, election board referees and state legislators to create enough chaos so that he can steal a win. more...

Opinion by Dana Milbank

So this will be President Trump’s parting gift to the nation: He is deliberately sabotaging the national security of the United States. His refusal to accept the results, even though it wasn’t a particularly close election, has taken an insidious new turn now that his political appointee in charge of authorizing the start of the Biden transition is refusing to give the okay. The delay undercuts all aspects of government’s functioning and leaves the country needlessly vulnerable to security threats.

We’ve seen this before. In 2000, the delayed transition “hampered the new administration in identifying, recruiting, clearing, and obtaining Senate confirmation of key appointees,” the 9/11 Commission concluded. To avoid a possible repeat of such a vulnerability, the commission recommended that “we should minimize as much as possible the disruption of national security policymaking during the change of administrations” so that “transitions can work more effectively and allow new officials to assume their new responsibilities as quickly as possible.” Trump is now actively undermining that recommendation — for no purpose other than ego. It would cost him nothing to begin the transition; in the extremely unlikely event that he is able to overturn the election results in several states and secure a victory, the transition authorization could easily be rescinded. more...

The former president says he's troubled by Republicans going along with President Trump's claims. See the interview, Sunday on 60 Minutes.
CBS News

In a new interview with 60 Minutes, former President Barack Obama is commenting on President Donald Trump's unfounded claims of voter fraud. "They appear to be motivated, in part, because the president doesn't like to lose and never admits loss," Mr. Obama told Scott Pelley in a clip from the interview that aired on "CBS Evening News."

Moreover, the former president says members of the president's party who "go along with" his unfounded claims of election fraud put democracy on a dangerous path. "I'm more troubled by the fact that other Republican officials who clearly know better are going along with this, are humoring him in this fashion," Obama said. "It is one more step in delegitimizing not just the incoming Biden administration, but democracy generally. And that's a dangerous path." more...

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump's administration is taking on the characteristics of a tottering regime -- with its loyalty tests, destabilizing attacks on the military chain of command, a deepening bunker mentality and increasingly delusional claims of political victory. In response, a visibly confident President-elect Joe Biden is going out of his way to project calm amid the deepening chaos, even as Trump and senior Republicans still refuse to acknowledge the President's defeat in a stunning break with America's democratic traditions.

Biden is taking calls with leaders of the country's top allies and appearing on camera, which reflects the inevitability of his ascent to power. Meanwhile the President is staying behind closed doors, tweeting in wild block capital letters and unleashing a purge of the Pentagon's civilian leadership in what one current defense official called "dictator moves." And William Cohen, former Secretary of Defense and Republican senator, told CNN's Don Lemon the administration's conduct is "more akin to a dictatorship than a democracy." The President-elect is reassuring the American people with a composure granted by an election win that Trump's threadbare legal cases baselessly alleging massive voter fraud have little chance of overturning the will of the voters. more...

Non-cooperation could slow Joe Biden’s ability to act on coronavirus and reinstatement of environmental regulations
Tom McCarthy

Donald Trump’s refusal to acknowledge his loss in the 2020 election has fed concerns that the presidential transition would be sabotaged, as a Trump appointee refused to sign off on funding for the transition and the Trump campaign announced an expanded legal strategy in a quest to reverse the election result. The Center for Presidential Transition, a nonpartisan advisory board, urged the Trump administration on Sunday to begin the handoff to staff supporting Joe Biden, whose victory continued to grow in magnitude as states completed their ballot counts.

“We urge the Trump administration to immediately begin the post-election transition process and the Biden team to take full advantage of the resources available under the presidential transition act,” the transition center said in a letter Sunday. “This was a hard-fought campaign, but history is replete with examples of presidents who emerged from such campaigns to graciously assist their successors.”

Neither Trump nor his campaign nor political appointees has the power to stop the transition, and there was no sign that the basic steps toward Biden’s installation as president were at risk of interruption. But non-cooperation by the Trump administration in the transition could slow the ability of some agencies to act on directives by Biden in essential areas such as pandemic response and the reinstatement of environmental regulations, protections for migrants and international accords. more...

‘The 45th President’: One in a series looking back at the Trump presidency
By Lisa Rein, Tom Hamburger, Juliet Eilperin and Andrew Freedman

Early in the new administration, the White House wanted a big win for President Trump on one of his top campaign promises — getting rid of poor performers at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Scott Foster got the order from his boss, a senior political appointee: Draw up a list of underachievers and give “your best 10” so the president could announce their firing at a signing ceremony for a law allowing fast dismissals at VA.

Foster, a seasoned personnel official, balked. The employees still had the right to due process, he argued. Within weeks, his boss tried to sack him. It was one of the first shots in what became an unwavering four-year war on the civil servants who have operated as the backbone of the federal government for more than a century. Career employees from diplomats to budget analysts have come under siege as they carry out the laws of Congress, attacked by a president with no government experience and portrayed as a “deep state” trying to undermine him.

Trump has targeted high-profile figures such as Anthony S. Fauci, a government scientist who has advised six presidents and whose dire warnings about the coronavirus pandemic angered him. He ridiculed Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the decorated Iraq War veteran and Ukraine expert on the National Security Council staff who testified in the inquiry that led to Trump’s impeachment — then he ordered him marched out of his office with his twin brother, another career military officer. Vindman retired in July after what his attorney called a campaign of White House intimidation and retaliation. more...

Tom Porter

President Donald Trump is fixated on mail-in ballots and spends considerable time trying to figure out how to "block" such voting, a senior administration source told The Washington Post. According to the source, the president spends considerable time "reading news reports and other materials about mail-in ballots, talking about the topic with his advisers and thinking about how to block such voting."

The Post reports that Trump recently met with congressional Republicans to air his concerns, citing a recent election fraud case in New Jersey.Election experts told NPR is very rare and highlighted the effectiveness of existing measures to guard against fraud. White House spokeswoman Sarah Matthews defended Trump in a statement to the Post, and said he's working "to ensure the security and integrity of our elections."

President Trump’s furious objection to mail-in balloting and a new Trump-allied postmaster general are raising fears about the election and the Postal Service.
By Luke Broadwater, Jack Healy, Michael D. Shear and Hailey Fuchs

DARBY, Pa. — Each day, when Nick Casselli, the president of a Philadelphia postal workers union, sits down at his desk on Main Street in this historic town where trolley cars still run and the post office is a source of civic pride, his phone is full of alarmed messages about increasing delays in mail delivery. Mr. Casselli and his 1,600 members have been in a state of high alert since Louis DeJoy, a Republican megadonor and an ally of President Trump’s, took over as postmaster general in May. Overtime was eliminated, prompting backups. Seven mail-sorting machines were removed from a nearby processing center in West Philadelphia, causing further delays. Now, post offices are being told to open later and close during lunch.

“I have some customers banging on my people’s doors: ‘Open up!’” Mr. Casselli said. “I’ve never seen that in my whole 35-year postal career.” Similar accounts of slowdowns and curtailed service are emerging across the country as Mr. DeJoy pushes cost-cutting measures that he says are intended to overhaul an agency suffering billion-dollar losses. But as Mr. Trump rails almost daily against the service and delays clog the mail, voters and postal workers warn a crisis is building that could disenfranchise record numbers of Americans who will be casting ballots by mail in November because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

(CNN) Sometimes -- OK, a lot of times -- Donald Trump says the quiet part out loud. Like during an interview on Fox Business with Maria Bartiromo on Thursday morning when Trump flatly admitted the real reason why he is blocking the inclusion of any money for the United States Postal Service in a coronavirus relief bill in Congress. Here's exactly what he said: "They want $3.5 billion for something that will turn out to be fraudulent, that's election money basically. They want $3.5 trillion -- billion dollars for the mail-in votes, OK, universal mail-in ballots, $3.5 trillion. They want $25 billion, billion, for the Post Office. Now they need that money in order to have the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots... " ... Now, if we don't make a deal, that means they don't get the money. That means they can't have universal mail-in voting, they just can't have it. So, you know, sort of a crazy thing. Very interesting." Let's be very, very clear about what Trump is saying here.

1) Democrats want funding in a coronavirus relief bill for the Postal Service.

2) They want that money so that the USPS can adequately deal with what is expected to be a major surge in mail-in and absentee balloting due to concerns about in-person voting spreading Covid-19.

3) Trump refuses to give them that money -- or include it in any sort of deal -- because, without it, there won't be the ability for the people to cast more mail-in ballots, or -- and this is really important -- for election officials to effectively count them all.

So, yeah. (And that's putting aside the fact that in blocking the coronavirus bill because of the money allotted for the Postal Service, the President is blocking a whole lot of other things, including increased education funding and rent/mortgage assistance, that many people in the country badly need.) This is the President of the United States purposely trying to make it harder for votes to be counted. Why? Because he believes that mail-in balloting is ripe for fraud. The problem with that view is that it is simply not supported by any real data. While Trump likes to focus on 500,000 absentee ballot applications being sent with the wrong return address in Virginia recently, the truth of the matter is that while mistakes like that one can get made, there's just no evidence of widespread purposeful voting fraud.

By Chauncey Devega, Salon

For four years Donald Trump has willfully and repeatedly violated the presidential oath of office and its promise to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States,” and “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”It now appears that Trump was aware — perhaps for as much as a year — that Russian agents had placed bounties on the heads of American soldiers serving in Afghanistan. That’s only the most recent example of the president’s betrayal of his oath of office.Former national security adviser John Bolton’s new book “The Room Where It Happened,” in conjunction with new investigative reporting from CNN shows Trump to be reckless, out of control, negligent, delusional, corrupt, incompetent and thoroughly unfit to lead the United States both domestically and internationally. Carl Bernstein’s reporting for CNN paints a particularly damning portrait: As many of the nation’s and the world’s leading mental health professionals have warned, Trump appears mentally unwell in the extreme. His evident mental pathologies, likely including malignant narcissism, an addiction to violence, a God complex and near-psychotic levels of delusional thinking, have only served to exacerbate his many defects of character and values. In total, Donald Trump is unfit to be president of the United States. If he is not removed from office by the 2020 election, he will continue to pose an extreme threat to the health and safety of the American people and the world.

Retired Adm. William McRaven says Trump doesn’t believe in the ideals that made America great
By Mike Murphy

The U.S. commander who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden says the U.S. is under attack again — “but from within,” and it’s the president doing it. In a scathing op-ed published Thursday by the New York Times, retired Adm. William McRaven, former chief of the U.S. Special Operations Command, said it may be time for the U.S. to get a new president, since President Donald Trump is not a capable leader. “The America that they believed in was under attack, not from without, but from within.” Retired Adm. William McRaven McRaven said he was struck by the men and women who serve — and have served — America who he said now harbor “an underlying current of frustration, humiliation, anger and fear” because of Trumps’s words and deeds. “As I stood on the parade field at Fort Bragg, one retired four-star general, grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, ‘I don’t like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!’” he wrote. McRaven said America’s greatness is reflected in its ideals. “We are the most powerful nation in the world because our ideals of universal freedom and equality have been backed up by our belief that we were champions of justice, the protectors of the less fortunate.” “President Trump seems to believe that these qualities are unimportant or show weakness. He is wrong,” he said. “And if this president doesn’t understand their importance, if this president doesn’t demonstrate the leadership that America needs, both domestically and abroad, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office — Republican, Democrat or independent — the sooner, the better. The fate of our Republic depends upon it.” more...

If President Trump doesn’t demonstrate the leadership that America needs, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office.
By William H. McRaven

Last week I attended two memorable events that reminded me why we care so very much about this nation and also why our future may be in peril. The first was a change of command ceremony for a storied Army unit in which one general officer passed authority to another. The second event was an annual gala for the Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.) Society that recognizes past and present members of the intelligence and Special Operations community for their heroism and sacrifice to the nation. What struck me was the stark contrast between the words and deeds heralded at those events — and the words and deeds emanating from the White House. On the parade field at Fort Bragg, N.C., where tens of thousands of soldiers have marched either preparing to go to war or returning from it, the two generals, highly decorated, impeccably dressed, cleareyed and strong of character, were humbled by the moment. They understood the awesome responsibility that the nation had placed on their shoulders. They understood that they had an obligation to serve their soldiers and their soldiers’ families.

They believed in the American values for which they had been fighting for the past three decades. They had faith that these values were worth sacrificing everything for — including, if necessary, their lives. Having served with both officers for the past 20 years, I know that they personified all that is good and decent and honorable about the American military with genuineness of their humility, their uncompromising integrity, their willingness to sacrifice all for a worthy cause, and the pride they had in their soldiers. Later that week, at the O.S.S. Society dinner, there were films and testimonials to the valor of the men and women who had fought in Europe and the Pacific during World War II. We also celebrated the 75th anniversary of D-Day, recognizing those brave Americans and allies who sacrificed so much to fight Nazism and fascism. We were reminded that the Greatest Generation went to war because it believed that we were the good guys — that wherever there was oppression, tyranny or despotism, America would be there. We would be there because freedom mattered. We would be there because the world needed us and if not us, then who? Also that evening we recognized the incredible sacrifice of a new generation of Americans: an Army Special Forces warrant officer who had been wounded three times, the most recent injury costing him his left leg above the knee.

He was still in uniform and still serving. There was an intelligence officer, who embodied the remarkable traits of those men and women who had served in the O.S.S. And a retired Marine general, whose 40 years of service demonstrated all that was honorable about the Corps and public service. But the most poignant recognition that evening was for a young female sailor who had been killed in Syria serving alongside our allies in the fight against ISIS. Her husband, a former Army Green Beret, accepted the award on her behalf. Like so many that came before her, she had answered the nation’s call and willingly put her life in harm’s way. For everyone who ever served in uniform, or in the intelligence community, for those diplomats who voice the nation’s principles, for the first responders, for the tellers of truth and the millions of American citizens who were raised believing in American values — you would have seen your reflection in the faces of those we honored last week. But, beneath the outward sense of hope and duty that I witnessed at these two events, there was an underlying current of frustration, humiliation, anger and fear that echoed across the sidelines. The America that they believed in was under attack, not from without, but from within. more...

*** Glenn Beck may or may not be part of the Trump coup attempt but does what is in to the minds of some Republicans. ***

By Aila Slisco

Conservative pundit and talk show host Glenn Beck floated the possibility of an armed insurrection if the election is "stolen" with a final vote tally showing that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has won. Beck made the remarks during election night coverage on TheBlaze, the conservative network he founded in 2012. Before all ballots in several key states had been counted, the host suggested that any effort to continue counting would be equivalent what the U.S. Founding Fathers described as tyranny leading to armed conflict in the Revolutionary War. "If you truly believe that this was stolen, I'm not saying it is at this point," Beck said in a clip surfaced by Right Wing Watch. "But if you really truly believe in the end that it was stolen... it would destroy our Constitution and fundamentally transform us into something that we are not."

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