The Outlines Of Trump's Coup Come Into Clearer-- If Darker-- Perspective

Select Committee co-chair Liz Cheney (R-WY): "We have learned that President Trump and his team were warned, in advance and repeatedly, that the efforts they undertook to overturn the 2020 election would violate the law and our Constitution... They were warned that January 6th could, and likely would, turn violent." Uhhh... yeah; isn't that the idea when you're staging a coup?

In fact, this morning, a trio of top NY Times reporters wrote about how Trump's December 19 tweet "was the first time he publicly urged supporters to come to Washington on the day Congress was scheduled to certify the Electoral College results showing Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the winner of the presidential vote. His message-- which concluded with, 'Be there, will be wild!'-- has long been seen as instrumental in drawing the crowds that attended a pro-Trump rally on the Ellipse on Jan. 6 and then marched to the Capitol. But the Justice Department’s criminal investigation of the riot and the parallel inquiry by the House select committee have increasingly shown how Trump’s post was a powerful catalyst, particularly for far-right militants who believed he was facing his final chance to reverse defeat and whose role in fomenting the violence has come under intense scrutiny."

Extremist groups almost immediately celebrated Trump’s Twitter message, which they widely interpreted as an invitation to descend on the city in force. Responding to the president’s words, the groups sprang into action, court filings and interviews by the House committee show: Extremists began to set up encrypted communications channels, acquire protective gear and, in one case, prepare heavily armed “quick reaction forces” to be staged outside Washington.
They also began to whip up their members with a drumbeat of bellicose language, with their private messaging channels increasingly characterized by what one called an “apocalyptic tone.” Directly after Trump’s tweet was posted, the Capitol Police began to see a spike in right-wing threats against members of Congress.
Prosecutors have included examples in at least five criminal cases of extremists reacting within days-- often hours-- to Trump’s post.
...The House committee has also sharpened its focus on how the tweet set off a chain reaction that galvanized Trump’s supporters to begin military-style planning for Jan. 6. As part of the congressional inquiry, investigators are trying to establish whether there was any coordination beyond the post that ties Trump’s inner circle to the militants and whether the groups plotted together.
...Trump’s post came as his efforts to hang onto power were shifting from the courts, where he had little success, to the streets and to challenging the certification process that would play out on Jan. 6.
...[B]ehind closed doors, outside advisers to Trump were scrambling to pitch him on plans to seize control of voting machines across the country. The debate over doing so came to a head in a contentious Oval Office meeting that lasted well into the evening on Dec. 18, 2020, and ended with the idea being put aside.
Hours later, the president pushed send on his tweet.
“Big protest in D.C. on January 6th,” he wrote at 1:42 a.m. on Dec. 19. “Be there, will be wild!”
Almost at once, shock waves rippled through the right.
...On Dec. 21, the intelligence arm of the Capitol Police issued a 7-page report tracking an increase in activity on, which made threatening references to potentially trapping lawmakers in the tunnels of the Capitol. The report listed militia groups expected to descend on Capitol Hill for Jan. 6, including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.
The report also stated that Trump supporters were promoting “confronting members of Congress and carrying firearms during the protest.”
It included more than two dozen comments from posters, including:
“Forget the tunnels. Get into Capitol Building.”
“Surround every building with a tunnel entrance/exit. They better dig a tunnel all the way to China if they want to escape.”
And: “Bring guns. It’s now or never”

At Vanity Fair this morning, Bess Levin put this into some context: "Hey, remember when Joe Biden won the 2020 election? And Donald Trump, who has the emotional maturity of a four-year-old, couldn’t stand the idea of admitting he’d lost? So instead of delivering a concession speech, wrapping up his time in Washington, and heading down to Mar-a-Lago like a normal person, he engaged in a monthslong plot to block the certification of Biden‘s win and remain in the White House? A plot that included making endless baseless allegations of voter fraud, pressuring his vice president not to certify Biden’s win, and then unleashing a mob of violent supporters on the U.S. Capitol in an attempted coup that left five people dead? We don’t want to shock anyone, but it turns out that the former president probably broke some laws when he did that. Yeah, really! In a ruling issued Monday, federal judge David Carter, who was appointed by Bill Clinton, said that Trump and lawyer John Eastman very likely committed felonies when they tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election and stop Biden from becoming president. 'The illegality of the plan was obvious,' Carter wrote. 'Our nation was founded on the peaceful transition of power, epitomized by George Washington laying down his sword to make way for democratic elections. Ignoring this history, President Trump vigorously campaigned for the vice president to single-handedly determine the results of the 2020 election.'"

This morning, CNN was reporting that Trump's January 6 plot appears darker anymore dangerous by the day. Of course, like any would-be autocrat would, Trump moved to "cancel" CNN as soon as Putin put him in the White House and Trump supporters are unlikely to even hear about the narrative the network in exposing or about a sharpening "national dilemma of if and how he could ever be held to account."

They wrote that "a flurry of new details in recent days about the ex-President's behavior justifies continued investigations into the worst attack on American democracy in decades. Those revelations also explain why pro-Trump Republicans [enabled by Kevin McCarthy] were so keen to prevent the House select committee investigating January 6, 2021, from ever getting off the ground. And they inject a new political dimension into Trump's attempted comeback as he casts the 2022 midterm elections as a referendum on the lie that he won in 2020 and seeks to build a return to the White House on the same falsehoods that have drawn in millions of his supporters."

There could be few hotter political potatoes for an attorney general already facing political pressure to deal with Trump aides who are obstructing the committee.
Failing to pursue Trump in such circumstances would send a signal of impunity for presidents who seek to destroy American democratic institutions, even as Trump's supporters who ransacked the US Capitol begin to be convicted and face prison terms for apparently acting on their political hero's wishes.
But moving against Trump would ensure that the dark history of the 2020 election continues to dominate American politics for years to come because it would offer the ex-President new material for his claims that he's persecuted by the political establishment. Tapping into that theme on Monday, Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich slammed Carter's ruling as "just another example of how the left is weaponizing every branch of government against President Trump."
But the panel hit back.
"The Court's opinion also includes a warning: that a failure to pursue accountability could set the stage for a repeat of January 6th," Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, and Vice Chair Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, said in a statement on Monday.
"America must not allow what happened on that day to be minimized and cannot accept as normal these threats to our democracy," they said, clearly trying to emphasize the enduring relevance of the Capitol riot as the political clock races on.
Monday's developments rocked Washington as it was still coming to terms with the implications of last week's revelations that Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, had aggressively tried to support Trump's attempts to cling to power in late 2020 and early 2021. There's no indication her husband was involved in attempts to subvert a legal election.
But the reputation of the Supreme Court relies on the assumption of impartiality and avoiding any appearance of ethical issues. This issue has now dragged the top bench directly into the aftermath of January 6, an outrage that is tainting every branch of the American government. And it came as Republican senators spent last week smearing Biden's Supreme Court pick, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, with misleading claims she was soft on child pornography offenders, which could damage her reputation among some voters for years to come. Ironically, many of those same senators were among Trump's most fervent enablers and apologists when he tore at the rule of law in the White House.
Multiple sources said Monday that the committee will seek an interview with Ginni Thomas over texts in its possession that show her pleading with then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to double down on efforts to block Biden's victory.

And then there was this morning's Washington Post blockbuster by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Jan. 6 White House Logs Given To House Show 7-Hour Gap In Trump Calls: a 7 hour an 37 minute gap in the Trumpnazee phone logs including the violent insurrection Trump had called for. So presumably he was using burner phones to communicate with coup lieutenants like Gym Jordan during the riot, obviously part of a coverup. Yesterday, Señor Trumpanzee lied "I have no idea what a burner phone is, to the best of my knowledge I have never even heard the term."

The records show that Trump was active on the phone for part of the day, documenting conversations that he had with at least eight people in the morning and 11 people that evening. The seven-hour gap also stands in stark contrast to the extensive public reporting about phone conversations he had with allies during the attack, such as a call Trump made to Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)-- seeking to talk to Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL)-- and a phone conversation he had with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
...The records show that former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon-- who said on his Jan. 5 podcast that “all hell is going to break loose tomorrow”-- spoke with Trump twice on Jan. 6. In a call that morning, Bannon urged Trump to continue to pressure Pence to block congressional certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, according to people familiar with the exchange.
...The documents obtained by the committee show Trump having several previously unreported exchanges on Jan. 6, including brief calls with Bannon and personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani that morning, before Trump had a final call with Pence, in which the vice president told him he was not going to block Congress from formalizing Biden’s victory. The call to the vice president was part of Trump’s attempt to put into motion a plan, advocated by Bannon and outlined in a memo written by conservative lawyer John Eastman, that would enable Trump to hold on to the presidency, as first reported in the book Peril.

Among the traitors and coup-plotters Trump called, aside from Bannon and Giuliani, were about to be defeated Senator David Perdue (R-GA), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Gym Jordan (R-OH), White House Nazi Stephen Miller and far right media shills William Bennett and Sean Hannity. He also attempted calling Mitch McConnell, who refused to take his call. So far there is no record that Señor T consulted with Kid Rock on that fateful day.