New bombshells show Trump's coup threat was real and hasn't passed

(CNN) — A rush of new and shocking behind-the-scenes disclosures about how then-President Donald Trump sought to thwart the Constitution and the will of voters makes a clear case that America came closer to a coup earlier this year than previously known.

The fresh evidence also shows what many people in Trump's inner circle knew in January: His case to stay in power was meritless, but an unchained commander in chief chose to listen to acolytes pushing wild conspiracies. Some of those who knew the truth refused to speak up, even as American democracy came under attack.
Just this week, it's been revealed that:

-Trump had blueprints that the Republicans tried to use to prevent Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's clear and genuine victory, in the form of a memo that laid out a plan for then-Vice President Mike Pence to thwart Biden's Electoral College triumph. The memo was reported in the new book "Peril," by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, and was later obtained by CNN.

-Trump's own campaign staff knew that outlandish claims of fraud made by the then-President's lawyers were utterly false, according to a report in The New York Times. But they did nothing to stop his dangerous allegations.

-Trump sent a letter full of false information to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, asking him to start the process of decertifying the 2020 election.
"Peril" also contains a passage that shows Trump cared little for truth, what voters decided in November or bedrock constitutional values -- but agonized about his reputation and mused that accepting defeat would brand him as one of history's losers.

This growing paper trail, which is likely to be of intense interest to the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, appears to prove Trump's intent to stay in power illegally. The record is beginning to add up to an extraordinary indictment of the ex-President's abuses of power and one of the darkest moments in US history.

In the fraught days after the election last year and after the Capitol insurrection, many observers were unwilling initially to use the word coup -- aware of the explosive nature of such language. The surreal experience of watching an assault on constitutional guardrails once thought inviolate also was, at times, hard to process. And skeptics of the coup terminology also suggested that Trump's efforts were little more than madcap and incompetent political theater.

Yet the conspiratorial and at times clownish attempts to overturn the election -- especially by Trump's legal team -- don't make an unprecedented effort to destroy America's democratic traditions any less mendacious.

The newly disclosed information builds on what was already known about what appears to be an expansive multi-front effort to destroy a peaceful and just transfer of power. The ex-President, for instance, initiated a vast disinformation campaign that has convinced millions of voters the election was stolen, helped by a pliant conservative media pushing his lies.

Last month, it emerged that Trump had tried to pressure the Justice Department to declare election fraud and leave the business of stealing power to him and his congressional allies. Trump, of course, instigated another aspect often seen in coups against legitimate power -- a mob -- by inciting supporters who invaded the Capitol.

His corrupt behavior initiated a flurry of new election laws passed in Republican-run states that could make it easier for Trump or a like-minded constitutional arsonist to steal power in the future. And he is endorsing rafts of candidates for state offices like secretary of state, creating a potential pool of local officials who could be minded to interfere in a future election.

'The real problem for American democracy'

Perhaps the most concerning aspect of the torrent of revelations is that the danger to American democracy has not passed. It is only accelerating.

In the letter to Raffensperger, Trump made the absurd request that the official start the process of decertifying the 2020 election. There is no such mechanism to do so. Biden's win has long since been legally and constitutionally ratified. And many of Trump's allegations appear to show that he is now completely convinced of his own lies and propaganda -- a fact that surely raises questions about the mindset of a former President who may be contemplating a future run for the White House.

But Trump's conduct is already infecting the integrity of the 2022 midterm elections, since he has effectively wielded his robust standing with his party to make acceptance of his election lies a qualification for entry to GOP races. A Trump 2024 run would likely subject democratic values to an even greater assault.

All of the lies also have a tangible effect. A CNN poll last week, for instance, found that 78% of Republicans do not believe that Biden won last November and is therefore not the legitimate president.

"The real problem is we have one of the two legacy parties that is completely bought into this and doesn't want to hear anything else but a confirmation of that untruth that has been told and that, I think, is the most dangerous thing facing our democracy," Matthew Dowd, a former strategist for ex-President George W. Bush, told CNN's Erin Burnett on Tuesday.

The book by Woodward and Costa that was published on Tuesday after days of dripped-out revelations includes a new story about conservative lawyer John Eastman, who came up with a scheme to try to convince Pence to throw out electors from seven states where Republicans falsely claimed election irregularities and to declare Trump the winner during the election certification process that was ultimately disrupted by the insurrection.
The plan anticipated "howls" from Democrats -- a stunning understatement since the process effectively mandated the stealing of an election. So the memo contained a backup plan for Pence to say that no candidate had reached 270 electoral votes, so the election should be turned over to the House of Representatives, CNN's Jamie Gangel and Jeremy Herb report.

Such a step would initiate a constitutional tie-breaker in which each state delegation would get one vote. Since the GOP controlled 26 state delegations, a majority could vote for Trump to win the election.

The plan was met with great skepticism by two of Trump's allies on Capitol Hill, Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah, Costa and Woodward report. But that hasn't stopped the former President and his henchmen from continuing to claim that Pence simply elected not to use power inherent in his office.

Of course, that authority does not exist.

Eastman told CNN that the memo was only a preliminary draft. But that did not stop Trump using it to try to convince Pence to keep him in power or fueling false beliefs inside the conservative movement that Trump is the rightful president. In any event, Pence wrote a letter on the morning of January 6 saying that he did not have the authority to intervene to change the election result, even as Trump said at his pre-insurrection rally that the vice president should have the "courage" to act.

The antithesis of democracy

The most stunning aspect of these reports is that Trump and some people around him actually believed that a US election could simply be disregarded if the President didn't like the result -- the very antithesis of democracy.

While the scheme that Trump preferred did not play out, it most alarmingly appears to sketch a road map under which several states in a future race could prevent the certification of elections to deprive a candidate like Biden of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

The New York Times' report said the Trump campaign had already concluded that outlandish claims that voting machines had been interfered with -- which were aggressively pushed by the ex-President's lawyers -- were not true. But the campaign did not apparently feel a civic or moral obligation to say so. Later media appearances by Rudy Giuliani and another pro-Trump lawyer, Sidney Powell, expanded the conspiracy theories -- and Trump weaponized the claims to further his lies about election fraud.

And in another nugget from "Peril," Costa revealed Tuesday on CNN that Trump had dismissed the idea that his legacy could be best served by accepting his loss, in a conversation with his confidante Hope Hicks.

"I don't care about my legacy. My legacy doesn't matter. If I lose, that will be my legacy. My people expect me to fight and if I don't, I'll lose them," Trump said, according to the book.

That attitude -- rooted in a lie and a president's own flawed character -- is what appears to be still motivating Trump's ever more fevered claims of stolen votes, and possibly a new bid to regain power. And it explains why the danger stalking American democracy has far from passed. ... index.html

We are coming so close to losing a Democracy.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.-Huxley
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." ~ Louis Brandeis,

Re: New bombshells show Trump's coup threat was real and hasn't passed

tonguengroover wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 6:51 pm I knew that shit was coming just from his 2016 pre-election campaign and endless rallies. I started stocking up on guns and ammo as soon as he got elected.
Bat shit crazy f'ers.
I hadn't bought a gun in over 20 years when Obama elected. But watching the internet thanks to an extended great recession vacation, I saw first hand the crazed reaction to his election from RWNJs was; and realized they were the tip of a very large problem.
In the last 12+yrs. I bought probably twice as many guns as I previously had.
"its a goddamn impossible way of life"

Re: New bombshells show Trump's coup threat was real and hasn't passed

lurker wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 10:23 am
F4FEver wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:56 am toe tag,
Soon, I hope.
just try to imagine the conspiracy theories his demise will generate. :see_stars:
I look forward to the day - his demise and conspiracy theories with relish. Can't be soon enough for this nation.
"Being Republican is more than a difference of opinion - it's a character flaw." "COVID can fix STUPID!"
The greatest, most aggrieved mistake EVER made in USA was electing DJT as POTUS.

Re: New bombshells show Trump's coup threat was real and hasn't passed

Buck13 wrote:
Kagan WaPo.rtf
Kinda repetitious of the CNN piece, but Robert Kagan's lengthy WaPo editorial yesterday makes a convincing case that most people are not taking seriously enough the idea that the Rs definitely intend to steal the next election if they lose.
I agree with much of what he wrote in n the OPED. I’ve been reading Bob Kagan since college, and while he was a committed NEOCON; he’s not wrong in his analysis of a worse case scenario here. He is a bit of an alarmist, but I’d rather prepare for the worst case scenario than be overly optimistic. The Democrats seem to be internally fouling up all these bills, and they need to put some legislative wins on the board, or they will have nothing to show voters in 2022.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Re: New bombshells show Trump's coup threat was real and hasn't passed

Buck13 wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 8:12 pm Kagan WaPo.rtf

Kinda repetitious of the CNN piece, but Robert Kagan's lengthy WaPo editorial yesterday makes a convincing case that most people are not taking seriously enough the idea that the Rs definitely intend to steal the next election if they lose.
Read that. It's not "if" they lose they are going to outright steal it to begin with. pew pew pew pew
Redneck Liberal This Is The Way

Re: New bombshells show Trump's coup threat was real and hasn't passed

Former President Donald Trump could be charged with multiple crimes over election interference in Georgia, a new report says.

The report by the Brookings Institution, a leading think tank in Washington DC, analyzes publicly available evidence that shows that Trump and his allies attempted to pressure Georgia officials to "change the lawful outcome of the election."

A key piece of evidence is the now-infamous call made by Trump on January 3 to Georgia's Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger. He told him to "find 11,780 votes" to overturn Biden's win.

The report adds that Trump publicly pressured and personally contacted several other officials in Georgia to ask them to help him overturn his loss in the state. ...

Full Brookings report ... ton-county

The wheels of justice may grind slowly, but they grind.

Last fair deal in the country. Last fair deal in the town
Put your gold money where your love is baby
Before you let my deal go down

Re: New bombshells show Trump's coup threat was real and hasn't passed

The POS is pretty careful about the words he uses like, "find 11,780 votes" isn't necessary committing a crime or fraud. He didn't say forge some fake ballots. And he always gets away with it because the ole I meant this or that. I doubt any lawyer worth his salt would file a criminal action just for that.
We know what he meant. Although it could be cause for trying to falsify an election Still weak.
Redneck Liberal This Is The Way

Re: New bombshells show Trump's coup threat was real and hasn't passed

geno wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:04 pm
FrontSight wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 4:55 pm
lurker wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 4:19 pm no shit, sherlock!
RIGHT... My reaction exactly.
Usurping democracy is the new Republican MO.
Its always been Republicans MO; but before it was more behind the scenes.
I don't think that was really their MO prior to the Newt Gingrich era/calamity. But it definitely has been since.
"The upper class: keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class: pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class."--George Carlin

Re: New bombshells show Trump's coup threat was real and hasn't passed

There was a method to the madness of the Trump coup memos

By now, it should be abundantly clear that the insurrection of January 6, 2021, was not a spontaneous uprising perpetrated by an angry horde of amped-up Trump supporters. To the contrary, the insurrection was the culmination of an attempted coup designed to prevent the peaceful transition of power.

But while the insurrection failed, a new coup is brewing and gathering steam. It is being spurred by Trump's relentless promotion of the "big lie" about the stolen election, and by means of massive voter suppression and voter subversion legislation enacted since the election in key Republican-dominated states to guarantee that the GOP regains control over Congress in 2022 and that Trump is restored to the presidency in 2024.

Any lingering doubts about the premeditated nature of the first Trump coup and the events of January 6 have been laid to rest by the public disclosure of two memos written on behalf of the Trump campaign by a conservative lawyer named John Eastman, a former dean of the Chapman University Law School in Orange County, California, who once served as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Eastman was one of Trump's top legal advisers in the 2020 presidential race. He appeared at the now-infamous "Save America" rally on January 6 at the National Mall along with the disgraced former president, Rudy Giuliani, Republican Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks, and Donald Trump, Jr. Like the other rally speakers, Eastman delivered a fiery oration, denouncing the congressional certification of the Electoral College vote slated for later that day. Shortly after the rally, a mob of MAGA zealots marched from the mall and stormed the Capitol, as a stunned nation watched on live television.

Although Eastman has vigorously denied any connection between the speeches and the insurrection, his memos offered a blueprint for overturning the election results.

The first Eastman memo, a two-page document, outlined a six-point proposal aimed at pressuring Vice President Mike Pence to nullify the Electoral College votes in seven swing states, with a particular focus on Arizona. In the second memo, totaling six pages, Eastman identified the other targeted states as Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada and New Mexico.

Both memos were based on fundamental misinterpretations of the relevant law and the material facts. On the law, Eastman argued incorrectly that the 12th Amendment, ratified in 1804, gives the Vice President the authority to nullify the results of the Electoral College vote count when the results are disputed.

In fact, the 12th Amendment does no such thing, as Eastman himself asserted when he testified before a select committee of the Florida legislature in 2000. Back then, Republicans were concerned that Vice President Al Gore might nullify George W. Bush's victory in the Sunshine State. The role of the Vice President under the 12th Amendment in tabulating the votes of the Electoral College is ceremonial and mandatory. It is limited to announcing the results.

On the facts, Eastman argued that there were legitimate disputes about the election results in the seven swing states because the states had appointed dual slates of electors. In reality, none had appointed competing slates of electors. All had approved single delegations that had ratified Biden's victory.

Still, there was a certain method to the madness of Eastman's memos. If Pence lacked the authority or resolve to declare Trump the winner, Eastman offered a backup plan, also based on the 12th Amendment. The amendment stipulates that when no candidate wins a majority of the Electoral College votes, the task of naming the next president is transferred to the House. The House then conducts a "contingent election," but with each state delegation getting one vote rather than each representative casting an individual vote. Since Republicans would hold 27 House delegations in the newly convened 117th Congress, Eastman concluded Trump would emerge the winner after all.

According to a CNN poll released on September 12, 59% of Republicans still believe the big lie that the 2020 election was stolen. Knowing this, Trump and his acolytes, including many in rightwing media outlets such as Fox, One America and Newsmax, will continue to repeat and amplify the big lie. The goal is to undermine public confidence in future elections generally, and prepare the MAGA base to reject any important elections won by Democrats.

Encouraged by the big lie, Republican-controlled legislatures across the nation have enacted laws that will tilt future elections markedly in favor of the GOP. As of mid-July, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, at least 18 states had adopted laws that make "mail voting and early voting more difficult, impose harsher voter ID requirements, and make faulty voter purges more likely."

Even more troubling, a study compiled by the non-profit organization Protect Democracy has found that at least 16 states, including Texas, Florida, Arizona and Georgia, have enacted laws that shift administration and oversight of elections to Republican-controlled legislatures or highly partisan state election boards. If implemented fully, the new laws could be used to invalidate Democratic votes in the next presidential election, turning a Democratic victory into defeat, and reinstalling Trump to the Oval Office.

The Eastman memos, though a failure the first time around, provide a guide as to how the feat might be accomplished the second time at bat.

The gravity of the situation cannot be overstated. As Robert Kagan, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and a one-time advisor to John McCain, wrote in a Washington Post column published on September 23:

"The United States is heading into its greatest political and constitutional crisis since the Civil War, with a reasonable chance over the next three to four years of incidents of mass violence, a breakdown of federal authority, and the division of the country into warring red and blue enclaves. The warning signs may be obscured by the distractions of politics, the pandemic, the economy and global crises, and by wishful thinking and denial. But about these things there should be no doubt:

"First, Donald Trump will be the Republican candidate for president in 2024. The hope and expectation that he would fade in visibility and influence have been delusional. He enjoys mammoth leads in the polls; he is building a massive campaign war chest; and at this moment the Democratic ticket looks vulnerable. Barring health problems, he is running.

"Second, Trump and his Republican allies are actively preparing to ensure his victory by whatever means necessary. Trump's charges of fraud in the 2020 election are now primarily aimed at establishing the predicate to challenge future election results that do not go his way...

"Meanwhile, the amateurish "stop the steal" efforts of 2020 have given way to an organized nationwide campaign to ensure that Trump and his supporters will have the control over state and local election officials that they lacked in 2020."
The first step in thwarting the new Trump coup is to recognize that it is happening. The second is to summon the will and determination to stop it. At a minimum, we should demand that the Democrats end the Senate filibuster and pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

Our democracy, with all its flaws and many shortcomings, hangs in the balance.

The balance hangs with the states changing the voting and election rules to favor the Repugs. If the Dems can't get their Voting Act together and pass it, we will be definitely screwed in the next election when we have the Federal Courts leaning heavy Repug and especially the SCOTUS. Remember 2000 and Bush Gore when the court awarded the election to Bush.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.-Huxley
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." ~ Louis Brandeis,

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