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Letters from an American by Heather Cox Richardson

Ahavati
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Heather Cox Richardson is an American historian and Professor of History at Boston College, where she teaches courses on the American Civil War, the Reconstruction Era, the American West, and the Plains Indians. She previously taught at MIT and the University of Massachusetts.

January 8, 2021
   
More information continues to emerge about the events of Wednesday. They point to a broader conspiracy than it first appeared. Calls for Trump’s removal from office are growing. The Republican Party is tearing apart. Power in the nation is shifting almost by the minute.

[Please note that information from the January 6 riot is changing almost hourly, and it is virtually certain that something I have written will be incorrect. I have tried to stay exactly on what we know to be facts, but those could change.]

More footage from inside the attack on the Capitol is coming out and it is horrific. Blood on statues and feces spread through the building are vile; mob attacks on police officers are bone-chilling.

Reuters photographer Jim Bourg, who was inside the building, told reporters he overheard three rioters in “Make America Great Again” caps plotting to find Vice President Mike Pence and hang him as a “traitor”; other insurrectionists were shouting the same. Pictures have emerged of one of the rioters in military gear carrying flex cuffs—handcuffs made of zip ties—suggesting he was planning to take prisoners. Two lawmakers have suggested the rioters knew how to find obscure offices.

New scrutiny of Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally before the attack shows Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL), Don Jr., and Trump himself urging the crowd to go to the Capitol and fight. Trump warned that Pence was not doing what he needed to. Trump promised to lead them to the Capitol himself.

There are also questions about law enforcement. While exactly what happened remains unclear, it has emerged that the Pentagon limited the Washington D.C. National Guard to managing traffic. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser requested support before Trump’s rally, but the Department of Defense said that the National Guard could not have ammunition or riot gear, interact with protesters except in self-defense, or otherwise function in a protective capacity without the explicit permission of acting Secretary Christopher Miller, whom Trump put into office shortly after the election after firing Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

When Capitol Police requested aid early Wednesday afternoon, the request was denied. Defense officials held back the National Guard for about three hours before sending it to support the Capitol Police. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, tried repeatedly to send his state’s National Guard, but the Pentagon would not authorize it. Virginia’s National Guard was mobilized when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the governor, Ralph Northam, herself.

Defense officials said they were sensitive to the criticism they received in June when federal troops cleared Lafayette Square of peaceful protesters so Trump could walk across it. But it sounds like there might be a personal angle: Bowser was harshly critical of Trump then, and it would be like him to take revenge on her by denying help when it was imperative.

Refusing to stop the attack on the Capitol might have been more nefarious, though. A White House adviser told New York Magazine’s Washington correspondent Olivia Nuzzi that Trump was watching television coverage of the siege and was enthusiastic, although he didn’t like that the rioters looked “low class.” While the insurrectionists were in the Capitol, he tweeted: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” Even as lawmakers were under siege, both Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani were making phone calls to brand-new Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) urging him to slow down the electoral count.

After Trump on Wednesday night tweeted that there would be an “orderly” transition of power, on Thursday he began again to urge on his supporters.

With the details and the potential depth of this event becoming clearer over the past two days—Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife, Virginia, tweeted her support, and state lawmakers as well as Republican attorneys general were actually involved—Americans are recoiling from how bad this attempted coup was… and how much worse it could have been. The crazed rioters were terrifyingly close to our elected representatives, all gathered together on that special day, and they were actively talking about harming the vice president.

[ continued below ]

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By Friday night, 57% of Americans told Reuters they wanted Trump removed from office immediately. Nearly 70% of Americans disapprove of Trump’s actions before the riot. Only 12% of Americans approved of the rioters; 79% of Americans described the rioters as “criminals” or “fools.” Five percent called them “patriots.”

Pelosi tonight said that she hoped the president would resign, but if not, the House of Representatives will move forward with impeachment on Monday, as well as with legislation to enable Congress to remove Trump under the 25th Amendment. The most recent draft of the impeachment resolution has just one article: “incitement of insurrection.” As a privileged resolution, it can go directly to the House without committee approval.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has no interest in further splitting the Republicans over another impeachment, or forcing them onto the record as either for or against it. Timing is on his side: the Senate is not in session for substantive business until January 19, so cannot act on an impeachment resolution without the approval of all senators. It can take up the resolution then, but more likely it will wait until Biden is sworn in, at which point the measure would be managed not by McConnell, but by the new House majority leader, Chuck Schumer (D-NY). A trial can indeed take place after Trump is no longer president, enabling Congress to make sure he can never again hold office.

Whether or not the Senate would convict is unclear, but it’s not impossible. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), for one, is so furious she is talking of switching parties. “I want him out,” she says. Still, Trump supporters are now insisting that it would “further divide the country” to try to remove Trump now, and that we need to unify. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who led the Senate effort to challenge Biden’s election, today tweeted that Biden was not working hard enough to “bring us together or promote healing” and that “vicious partisan rhetoric only tears our country apart.”

Trump, meanwhile, has continued to agitate his followers, and today began to call for more resistance, while users on Parler, the new right-wing social media hangout, are talking of another, bigger attack on Washington.

Tonight, Twitter banned Trump, stating: “we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” As evidence, it cited both his claim that his supporters would “have a GIANT VOICE long into the future,” and his tweet that he would not be going to Biden’s inauguration on January 20. Twitter says that Trump’s followers see these two new tweets as proof that the election was invalid and that the Inauguration is a good target, since he won’t be there. The Twitter moderators say that “plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021.”

Twitter also took down popular QAnon accounts, including those of Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and his former lawyer Sidney Powell, who is having quite a bad day: the company that makes election machines, Dominion Voting Systems, announced it is suing her for defamation and asking $1.3 billion in damages. After taking down 7,000 QAnon accounts in July, Twitter continued by today taking down the account of the man who hosts the posts from “Q.”

While Twitter officials might well be horrified by the insurrection, the ban is also a sign of a changing government. With the election of two Democratic senators from Georgia this week, the majority goes to the Democrats, and McConnell will no longer be Majority Leader, killing bills. Social media giants know regulation of some sort is around the corner, and they are trying to look compliant fast. When Twitter banned Trump, so did Reddit, and Facebook and Instagram already had. Google Play Store removed Parler, warning it to clean up its content moderation.  

Trump evidently couldn’t stand the Twitter ban, and tried at least five different accounts to get back onto the platform. He and his supporters are howling that he is being silenced by big tech, but of course he has an entire press corps he could use whenever he wished. Losing his access to Twitter simply cuts off his ability to drum up both support and money by lying to his supporters. Another platform that has dumped Trump is one of those that handled his emails. The San Francisco correspondent of the Financial Times, Dave Lee, noted that for more than 48 hours there had been no Trump emails: in the previous six days the president sent out 33.

This has been a horrific week. If it has a silver lining, it is that the lines are now clear between our democracy and its enemies. The election in Georgia, which swung the Senate away from the Republicans and opens up some avenues to slow down misinformation, is a momentous victory.

—-

Submitted Jan 09, 2021

Notes:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/senate-impeachment-trump-mcconnell/2021/01/08/5f650ad0-520d-11eb-b2e8-3339e73d9da2_story.html

Nuzzi:

Olivia Nuzzi
@Olivianuzzi
Donald Trump was annoyed by the violent siege on the Capitol Wednesday — which left several dead — because it looked “low class,” according to his adviser. “He doesn’t like low class things.”

January 8th 2021

4,245 Retweets17,465 Likes


https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-raffensperger-call-transcript-georgia-vote/2021/01/03/2768e0cc-4ddd-11eb-83e3-322644d82356_story.html

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-extremists/u-s-capitol-siege-emboldens-motley-crew-of-extremists-idUSKBN29D2ZY

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/nationworld/ny-trump-capitol-riot-poopers-20210108-prlsqytyabgdhnexushotl4nam-story.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/trump-protests-washington-guard-military/2021/01/07/c5299b56-510e-11eb-b2e8-3339e73d9da2_story.html

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-protesters-are-in-the-building-inside-the-capitol-stormed-by-a-pro-trump-mob-11609984654

https://news.trust.org/item/20210108210622-t35pv

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/08/politics/house-democrats-impeachment-plans/index.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/senate-impeachment-trump-mcconnell/2021/01/08/5f650ad0-520d-11eb-b2e8-3339e73d9da2_story.html

https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2020/suspension.html

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/08/tech/parler-google-play-removed/index.html      

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/twitter-bans-michael-flynn-sidney-powell-qanon-account-purge-n1253550

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/republican-ags-group-sent-robocalls-urging-march-capitol-n1253581

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/08/politics/mike-lee-tommy-tuberville-trump-misdialed-capitol-riot/index.html

https://www.adn.com/politics/2021/01/08/alaska-sen-lisa-murkowski-calls-on-president-trump-to-resign-questions-her-future-as-a-republican/


JohnnyBlaze
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* immediately subscribes to thread *




edit:

I'm glad that Heather Cox can admit that with Capitol insurrection is an event that is still being unfolded and that there is a need to stick to the irrefutable facts at this time.


Ahavati
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January 9, 2021

In 1856, work began on a replacement for the original Capitol dome in Washington, D.C.. When the Civil War broke out five years later, it was unfinished.

President Abraham Lincoln and the wartime Congresses insisted on continuing construction despite the conflict, determined to show to the world their faith that the nation would endure and that it would, eventually, grow into its ideals.

The Capitol dome was completed, for the first time, in 1866. It has needed repairs periodically ever since.

(It’s been quite a week, folks. I’ll see you tomorrow.)

Submitted Jan 10, 2021


Ahavati
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January 10, 2021

Unbelievably, it was only a week ago—last Sunday—that we learned Trump had called Georgia’s Secretary of State and pressured him to change the results of the 2020 election. Trump demanded that Brad Raffensperger “find” the 11,780 votes Trump needed to win Georgia. The news of the attempt to get an election official to overrule the will of the people was astonishing: at the time, it was the worst domestic attack on our democracy ever, coming, as it did, from a sitting president.

At the time.

Over the past several days, the picture of what happened on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, has become clearer, and it’s bad. While Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser gave a press conference Wednesday night, there has been not a single official briefing from the White House, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, or Capitol Police.

The federal government has gone dark.

What we do know is that on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, egged on by Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Alabama Representative Mo Brooks, Don Jr., and especially Trump himself, Trump supporters stormed the Capitol just as Congress was meeting in joint session to confirm Democrat Joe Biden as our new president. They overpowered the Capitol Police—perhaps with the help of some of the officers—breached the doors, and smashed their way through the historic building, shouting for Vice President Mike Pence—whom Trump insisted was at fault for not overturning the count-- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and “traitors” who were counting the electoral votes for Biden. While many of the early pictures from inside the Capitol showed rioters gawking like tourists, ones released this weekend showed violent thugs, carrying plastic handcuffs and seeming to have information about where to find specific members of Congress. They breached the Senate chamber at 2:16, just a minute after the senators made it out.

The Capitol Police got the lawmakers to safety, but were not in control of the building. Lawmakers huddled quietly behind barricaded doors waiting for police that took hours to come. When they did arrive, they cleared the area and regained control of the Capitol. After janitors had cleaned the building, lawmakers counted the electoral votes that established Democrats Biden and Kamala Harris as the next president and vice president of the USA.

As videos have emerged and timelines been established, it has become apparent we came perilously close to seeing our elected representatives taken hostage or even executed on the makeshift gallows the rioters set up outside the building.

But here’s the thing: these were not outside insurgents; they were supporters of the Republican president. Trump enflamed the insurgents but he did not create them: years of demonizing Democrats and suggesting they must not be allowed to govern did that. As NPR reporter Kirk Siegler noted, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, infamous for years of standoffs with the federal government, wrote on Facebook that Trump “pointed towards Congress and nodded his head… [and said] go get the job done.” Republicans are now caught in a vise of their own making. They have to stand either with their own voters or with democracy.

The night of the attack, more than 100 Republican members of the House of Representatives and several senators, led by Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), continued to endorse Trump’s lies by voting to reject the electoral votes for Biden in key states. The next day, Trump’s supporters tried to argue that the rioters were “Antifa,” despite their Trump garb and the fact Trump invited them, incited them, urged them to go to the Capitol, and after the riot told them he loved them. (An AP investigation establishes that they were right-wing agitators.) When that didn’t take, supporters tried “whataboutism,” comparing the Black Lives Matter protests of this summer to the storming of the Capitol.

They are trying to rewrite the history of this week to downplay that we have suffered an attempted coup that killed at least five people, and that the people behind it are still in the highest levels of our government.

The realization that we are in the midst of a coup, abetted by Trump’s use of social media, prompted Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to ban Trump permanently, and to take down QAnon accounts. That, not the Capitol attack and the murder of a police officer, has created outrage among Trump, who is allegedly “ballistic,” and Trump supporters. Republican lawmakers spent the weekend noting how many followers they were losing as Twitter took down QAnon, Nazi, and fake accounts. (Trump opponents noted that this was not actually a good thing to call attention to.) Parler has lost almost all of its supporting businesses and might go out of business itself. [ As of this morning, Parler has gone dark. ]

[ continued below ]

Ahavati
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Democrats are appalled by what Trump has wrought, and they are joined by plenty of Republicans. In the National Review, for example, Ed Whelan called the Capitol attack “an outrage that ought to have every genuinely patriotic American seething with anger.” He blamed Trump for inciting the attack, and said that “impeachment and conviction of Trump is an appropriate, and probably a necessary, response.”

In a powerful video, former Republican Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger called the Capitol attack the American equivalent to Kristallnacht, which marked the beginning of German Nazis’ systemic destruction of the Jews. To puncture the idea that the sort of behavior on display on Wednesday was manly, Schwarzenegger told the private story of his abuse at the hands of his father, who had been swept up in the Nazi movement in Austria, and celebrated the sword from his starring role in the 1982 film Conan the Barbarian as a symbol not of toxic masculinity but of democracy, tempered by adversity. He called on all Americans to rally around Biden and to work to make his administration a success.

White House appointees’ resignations show which way the wind is blowing. Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney took to Fox News Sunday to say he had no idea that people might actually do something like attack the Capitol. “People took him literally,” Mulvaney told MSNBC. “I never thought I’d see that.”

Similarly, the rioters themselves, once found and arrested, are either apologizing and saying they were swept up in the moment, or denying they were part of the mob. One man apologized for his “indiscretion.”

Both Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain, and health insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield have suspended their donations to lawmakers who voted against the counting of Biden’s electoral votes late Wednesday or early Thursday morning. The anti-Trump Lincoln Project has promised to target companies that donate to any lawmakers who voted against the counting of the electoral votes. Hitting closer to Trump, Stripe, the vendor that handles online credit card payments for Trump’s campaign, has announced it will no longer handle his account.  And tonight, the Professional Golfers Association of America Board of Directors took the 2022 PGA Championship away from Trump Bedminster, his New Jersey club.

At the end of last week, Democratic leaders set out a three-part plan to punish the president for inciting an insurrection. They gave Pence an option to begin the process of invoking the 25th Amendment, which, considering the president had tried to get him killed, was not necessarily a long shot. Pence refused. They gave McConnell the weekend to convince Trump to resign. Trump refused. They announced that, if both of those things failed, they would begin impeachment proceedings on Monday.

McConnell promptly noted that the Senate could not take up such a proceeding until the day before Biden’s inauguration at the earliest. He is bargaining. It is possible to hold an impeachment trial even after a president is out of office, but he knows that Biden does not want the beginning of his term crowded with more Trump business, especially as coronavirus is raging and Biden wants to get it under control. McConnell doesn’t want Republicans to have to vote either for or against the president because such a vote will slice the Republicans in two and make it clear that some of them stand for insurrection. In the Senate, only Republicans Mitt Romney (R-UT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Pat Toomey (R-PA) have endorsed impeachment.

McConnell is hoping Pelosi will blink and the moment will pass.

She will not, and it will not. She notes, correctly, that the president is “an imminent threat” to “our Constitution and our Democracy,” and she is trying to give the Republicans cover to do the right thing. Tonight, she announced that the House tomorrow will begin proceedings on a resolution by Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) calling on Pence to mobilize the Cabinet to activate the 25th Amendment within 24 hours. If he declines, the House will turn to impeachment. She has asked for unanimous consent for the resolution to enable the Republicans to avoid a vote. If they refuse, the measure will go forward the next day anyway.

She also fired a shot across the bow of Republican lawmakers by asking her colleagues for their views on the third section of the 14th Amendment, the one that prohibits anyone who “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States, “or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof,” from serving in Congress.

As I watch Republican lawmakers try to slip away from the crisis they have made, I think of Black Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, armed only with a nightstick, luring the insurgents in the wrong direction to buy the time Senators needed to escape with their lives.

Submitted January 11, 2021

[ Notes below ]

Ahavati
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January 11, 2021

This morning began with House Democrats filing one article of impeachment against Trump, charging him with “incitement of insurrection.” It makes its case by noting that Trump’s months of lies about the election and his inflammatory speech to the rally on January 6-- including lines like “if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore”—led directly to “violent, deadly, destructive and seditious acts.”

The article also noted Trump’s attempt to subvert the election through his phone call on January 2, 2021, to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, demanding he “find” enough votes to overturn the results of the presidential election in the state. Including this in the impeachment article will prevent Georgia Governor Brian Kemp from pardoning Trump for it.

The article says that Trump is, and will remain, “a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law.” He must be removed from office and disqualified from any future positions in the U.S. government.

This document and the procedures around it tell us far more than their simplicity suggests.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had announced the day before that the House would take up a resolution, advanced by Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD), that called on Vice President Mike Pence “to convene and mobilize the Cabinet to activate the 25th Amendment to declare the President incapable of executing the duties of his office, after which the Vice President would immediately exercise powers as acting President.” The resolution did not speak to the physical or mental health of the president, but focused on his inability to fulfill his duty to respect the legitimate results of the Presidential election, accept the peaceful transfer of power, protect the people of the United States, and see that the laws be faithfully executed.

This resolution was a generous offer to Republicans. It limited its condemnation of Trump to his quite obvious refusal to accept the election results, rather than digging deeper into his behavior. Pelosi also called for Unanimous Consent to bring up the Raskin resolution. This was a way to give cover to Republicans who didn’t want to go on the record against Trump, but who want him out of power in favor of Pence.

Although extremist Republicans are trying to argue that removing Trump shows Democratic partisanship, in fact, Pelosi was trying to give Republicans as much cover as possible.

It was a Trump Republican who shot that down. Representative Alex Mooney (R-WV) objected to Unanimous Consent, which means that when the measure comes up again tomorrow, each Republican will have to vote either for it or against it. Mooney has condemned his fellow Republicans who would not go along with Trump’s election claims, and now he is forcing them to go on record. In other words, he is making a play to force Republicans behind Trump.

The House will vote on the Raskin resolution tomorrow and will take up impeachment on Wednesday. There should be enough votes to pass both.

The tide is running strongly now against Trump and those who have supported him in his attack on our democracy. What had been shock on Wednesday is hardening into fury. Yesterday, Representative Peter Meijer (R-MI) tweeted: “I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that the President of the United States was completely MIA while the next three individuals in the lines of succession (VP, Speaker of House, Senate Pres[ident] Pro Tempore) were under assault in the Capitol. Unconscionable.”

As of tonight, the government remains MIA. We have had no briefings from the White House, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, or the Justice Department about what happened on January 6, or what has happened since. And now acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf has resigned, effective at midnight tonight. He will be replaced by FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor.

The crisis is breaking the Republican Party in two. Newly elected House members have expressed dismay that they have not gotten clear instructions from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on how they should approach this week’s votes. They say they only have the sense he would like them to support the president: pretty weak sauce to hold a coalition together.

[ continued below ]

Ahavati
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McCarthy has his own troubles. He is closely tied to the president—Trump called him “my Kevin”-- and has been telling people that the Republicans will take the House in 2022 as voters turn against Biden, who is inheriting a colossal mess that it appears Republicans are working to make as bad as possible. But suddenly Trump is toxic. All of a sudden, McCarthy is talking about unity and working across the aisle: “As leaders, we must call on our better angels and refocus our efforts on working directly for the American people.”

McCarthy is facing the same problem Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), the new chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee is: they are supposed to bring in campaign cash, but suddenly corporations are announcing they will no longer make political donations… at least to Republicans. Judd Legum and Tesnim Zekeria at Popular Information yesterday broke the story that Marriott, BlueCross BlueShield, and Commerce Bank would not contribute to the 147 Republicans who objected to the counting of the electoral votes in Congress. That’s more than half the Republicans in Congress. Verizon, AT&T, and Amazon have now joined that boycott. Citigroup, 3M, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and JPMorgan Chase have all halted political giving for several months, and a number of other companies say they are reevaluating their giving. T-Mobile told Popular Information: “The assault on the U.S. Capitol and on democracy was unacceptable.”

It is no wonder that both McCarthy and Scott are madly backpedaling from their former pro-Trump stances and now calling for an end to partisan rancor. According to Jonathan Swan of Axios, in a phone call this morning, Trump tried to tell McCarthy it was “Antifa people” who stormed the Capitol. But McCarthy was having none of it: “It’s not Antifa, it’s MAGA. I know. I was there.” When Trump tried to rant about election fraud, McCarthy interrupted: “Stop it. It’s over. The election is over.”  

But the crisis is not. Army and police forces are investigating their officers who either did participate or may have participated in the riot. The FBI warned today that online activists are planning armed protests in Washington, D.C., and at all fifty state capitols between January 16 and 20, although it is not clear that their plans will translate into mass protests. In the wake of the attack, Trump supporters are harassing lawmakers, making them fear for the safety of themselves and their families.

As Yale historian Joanne Freeman noted, threats of political violence are a means of intimidation, a way to dominate a situation when a party does not have the support of the majority. Trump’s approval rating has dropped to 33%, with 60% of voters disapproving of his job performance. Fifty-six percent of voters blame Trump for the storming of the Capitol.

Trump supporters are growing more violent perhaps because the wave against them is building. Today Hillary Clinton called for impeachment and condemned white supremacy, hardly a surprise coming from the former Democratic presidential candidate, but the news that former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a well-regarded retired four-star general and Republican senior statesman, has rejected the Republican Party sits a little harder. Perhaps even worse is that Bill Belichick, general manager of the New England Patriots and previously a Trump supporter, today declined to accept Trump’s offer of a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Insurgents now face institutional pressure, as well. The Department of Justice and the FBI are tracking down more than 150 suspects for prosecution—so far—and hackers today claimed to have captured the personal data of Parler users from Parler servers, including material that users believed they had deleted after the January 6 Capitol riot. Since rioters stole laptops and documents that included items relating to national security, they are not going to be able to drop off the radar screen.

Trump is also under pressure, the pressure of impeachment, of course, and the loss of his social media platforms. He is also under financial pressure, as Deutsche Bank, the only bank that would still lend to him, has announced it will no longer do business with him. But, according to Maggie Haberman at the New York Times, what is upsetting him most is that the PGA has pulled its 2022 golf championship from Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club.

That, not the riots, not the deaths, not impeachment, and certainly not the coronavirus--which has now killed more than 375,000 of us—has “gutted” him.  

—-

Submitted Jan 12, 2021

Notes:

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/fbi-memo-warns-law-enforcement-across-u-s-possible-armed-n1253750

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/chad-wolf-to-resign-at-midnight-as-dhs-jump-starts-biden-inauguration-prep

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/01/11/hillary-clinton-impeach-trump-capitol-white-supremacy/
https://www.npr.org/sections/trump-impeachment-effort-live-updates/2021/01/11/955631105/impeachment-resolution-cites-trumps-incitement-of-capitol-insurrection

investigating NYPD officer:

https://www.speaker.gov/sites/speaker.house.gov/files/1.10.21_25thAmendmentResolution%5BFOR%20INTRO%5D.pdf


https://www.axios.com/business-donations-capitol-riot-0b4e26df-ee16-4d5c-9604-e9a3c1e3f284.html

https://www.axios.com/kevin-mccarthy-house-speaker-republicans-d4787b31-263a-42c3-9b60-bf088e38e244.html

https://www.axios.com/newsletters/axios-sneak-peek-1c44d7d7-d31e-4879-bff1-11965803be69.html

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a35179244/republicans-call-for-unity-after-capitol-attack/

https://www.politico.com/amp/news/2021/01/11/lawmakers-fear-violence-captiol-riots-457868

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/01/11/president-trumps-job-approval-rating-plummets-after-mob-attack/6626054002/

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/11/politics/colin-powell-no-longer-republican-cnntv/index.html

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/11/us/capitol-riot-police-building

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-deutsche-bank/deutsche-bank-will-not-do-future-business-with-trump-nyt-idUSKBN29H0PM

https://popular.info/p/update-more-corporations-suspend



JohnnyBlaze
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These letters are like a ten course meal of relevant news.

Thank you for taking the time to dish them out here when we need [f]actual information the most.

xo

LunaGreyhawk
LunaGreyhawk
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I was just coming to say similar to Johnny.  I am really thankful you take the time to post these.  xo

Andres__Castro
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Ahavati, Thank you very much for posting/starting this thread and for all!

Like your energy.
Keep taking your vitamins!
Solgar Earth Source the best.

Peace,
A

Ahavati
Ahavati
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January 12, 2021

The news continues to move at a breathless pace.

After making no comments on the January 6 coup attempt since the day after, when he continued his assault on the validity of the 2020 election, Trump today refused to acknowledge he has done anything wrong. He told reporters his speech to the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C., that prompted the assault on the Capitol, was “totally appropriate.” He insisted that “other people” had said that the “real problem” was “the horrible riots in Portland and Seattle and various other places.”

Instead of addressing his role in the crisis, on his way to Alamo, Texas (not The Alamo, which is in San Antonio, Texas, about four hours away from Alamo) [ lol ], Trump blamed the Democrats for attacking him unfairly. He said that the Democrats who were pushing for impeachment were once again on a “witch hunt” that was “causing tremendous danger to our country.”

No one is buying it.[ nope ]

There are three real stories right now with regard to this crisis. The first is that what happened on January 6 when rioters stormed the Capitol, and what led to that attack, is getting clearer, and none of the details are good. The second, and related, story is that the Republicans are splitting, and their leadership is trying desperately to find a way to remain powerful. The third ties the first two together: lawmakers are preparing to throw Trump out of office.

Today the FBI finally briefed the public on the events of January 6. Contradicting reports that said there was no sign of trouble in advance, an FBI official said that on Tuesday, the bureau warned that extremists were going to muster in Washington, D.C., to launch a “war.” Today, the bureau announced 160 case files on the insurrection and said this was just the beginning. Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin said people will be shocked about some of the things that happened inside the Capitol. He also said the Department of Justice is considering filing charges of sedition against some of the riot’s participants.

A separate briefing for House Democratic committee chairs seemed to leave them shaken by the scope of the insurgency. “This was not a peaceful protest that got out of hand,” they said in a statement. “This was an attempted coup to derail our Constitutional process and intimidate our duly elected leaders through violence.” “[W]e have grave concerns about ongoing and violent threats to our democracy. It is clear that more must be done to preempt, penetrate, and prevent deadly and seditious assaults by domestic violent extremists in the days ahead.”

Calls for Trump’s impeachment continue to escalate. Today the New York Times editorial board blamed Trump and his supporters in Congress and in the right-wing media for the Capitol attack, “a crime so brazen that it demands the highest form of accountability that the legislature can deliver.” Perhaps of more interest to Trump’s accomplices is that today Walmart joined other corporations in refusing to donate money to the Republican lawmakers who voted against counting the electoral votes for Biden in the states Trump falsely insisted had voted for him.

The pressure of those two things made Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY), the third most powerful House Republican, today come out in favor of impeachment. McConnell acknowledged that Trump had committed impeachable offenses and told other Republican leaders he welcomed the House's actions. In the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy opposes impeachment personally, but has decided not to try to lobby fellow Republicans against it, turning them loose to vote as they wish. For her part, Cheney announced she will vote to impeach the president.

Cheney’s statement suggests that part of what is driving the Republican willingness to entertain impeachment is that there will be more coming out about January 6 and Republicans want to dump Trump rather than be associated with him. She wrote: “Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough. The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

[ continued below ]

Ahavati
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It is undoubtedly also of great significance to McConnell that the actions of Trump and his supporters in Congress have led major donors to close their wallets. The less money McConnell has to dole out, the less power he has, and the weaker the Republicans’ chances of retaking the Senate in 2022. McConnell wants that spigot of money to reopen.

He would also like to use this moment to get rid of Trump and his supporters from Republican leadership. Trump has led the party to a major defeat and made it so reviled that it has lost the White House and the Senate, defeats for which McConnell blames the president. Indeed, the Trump administration is so reviled that today European officials took the unprecedented step of refusing to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on a scheduled trip to Europe this week. He was forced to cancel his trip at the last minute. McConnell may have been announcing his support for impeachment to put pressure on Trump to resign, which would enable Republicans to avoid voting on the issue and head off an irreparable split.

For their part, the Trump Republicans are doubling down. Law enforcement has installed metal detectors for congress members to enter the House chamber, and Louis Gohmert (R-TX), for one, simply walked around it. “You can’t stop me; I’m on my way to a vote,” he told the police officers.

Tonight, by a vote of 223-205, the House passed the Raskin resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and begin the process of removing Trump from office. Pence had already told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that he would not do so. In a letter to Pelosi, Pence said, “I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution.” He maintains that the 25th should be used only in cases when the president is incapacitated or disabled, neither of which, he says, is the case now. Pence’s statement gave Republicans in the House cover to vote against the Raskin resolution. Only one, Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) voted in favor.

That leaves Congress to move forward with impeachment, which it will do tomorrow. As of today, five House Republicans have announced they will join the Democrats in support of the measure.

Meanwhile, all eight of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the military, including chair Mark Milley, today reminded service members of their oath to the Constitution and warned against “violence, sedition and insurrection.” They reminded members of the military that “any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our tradition, values, and oath; it is against the law.”

“On January, 20, 2021,” they wrote, “in accordance with the Constitution, confirmed by the states and the courts, and certified by Congress, President-elect Biden will be inaugurated and will become our 46th Commander in Chief.”

—-

Submitted January 13, 2021

Notes:

https://www.npr.org/sections/congress-electoral-college-tally-live-updates/2021/01/12/956018842/trump-says-his-comments-ahead-of-capitol-riot-were-totally-appropriate

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/01/12/trump-impeachment-biden-transition-live-updates/

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/11/opinion/trump-impeachment.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/01/12/trump-impeachment-biden-transition-live-updates/

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/01/13/us/pence-letter-to-pelosi.html

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/12/us/impeachment-trump-25th-amendment

Walmart:
https://twitter.com/RBReich/status/1349114986673524737

FBI briefing:
https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1349101065690632192

https://mailchi.mp/mail.house.gov/i-will-vote-to-impeach-the-president?e=dbc209c400

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/12/us/politics/mcconnell-backs-trump-impeachment.html

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/12/capitol-riot-sedition-charges-458309

https://www.npr.org/sections/congress-electoral-college-tally-live-updates/2021/01/12/956170188/joint-chiefs-remind-u-s-forces-that-they-defend-the-constitution

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/12/politics/joint-chiefs-condemn-sedition/index.html

metal detector:
https://twitter.com/yashar/status/1349163679158190081


Ahavati
Ahavati
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January 13, 2021

At 4:22 this afternoon, the House of Representatives passed the number of votes necessary to impeach Trump. In the end, 232 Representatives—222 Democrats and 10 Republicans—agreed that the president had incited an insurrection and must be removed from office. But 197 Republicans disagreed.

And so, Donald Trump makes the history books as the first president of the United States of America to be impeached twice.

This is an indictment of him, of course, but also of the Republican Party that let him off the hook a year ago for undermining the national security of the United States as he tried to steal the 2020 election. Shortly before the Senate vote on conviction almost exactly a year ago, House impeachment manager Adam Schiff (D-CA) charged his Republican colleagues to look to the future, telling them, “you know you can’t trust this President to do what’s right for this country. You can trust he will do what’s right for Donald Trump. He’ll do it now. He’s done it before. He’ll do it for the next several months. He’ll do it in the election if he’s allowed to.”

But every Republican senator other than Mitt Romney (R-UT) voted to acquit the president of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. And now, here we are.

A week ago, our Capitol was overrun by insurgents seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and install Trump in the White House for at least another term. In their fury, they murdered a Capitol Police officer and came within a hair’s breadth of getting their hands on our elected officials.

The insurgents were answering the call of their president, who urged them to fight for him and claim a victory he insisted, without evidence, had been stolen from him. As they stormed the Capitol and did not come for the besieged lawmakers, Trump watched events unfold on the television, pleased… and, as people have begun to note, curiously unsurprised.

In the week since the attack, emerging information indicates the insurgency was planned, not spontaneous, and that lawmakers might be involved. Democrats have stood up to this attack on our democracy, but Republicans are in the same bind they’ve been in for years: how can they both keep Trump’s voters and reject Trump himself? Some establishment Republicans who have their own bases of power--Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Romney, for example-- have finally said enough is enough, and have come out against the president.

But Republican lawmakers whose only base is Trump supporters have downplayed the attack that killed five people, including a police officer, and wounded many others; defended Trump; and argued that any attempt to remove him is simply a dangerous Democratic effort to create divisions in society. They warn that holding Trump accountable will anger his supporters even more, an observation that many interpret as a threat.

This Republican split showed up today. Liz Cheney (R-WY), chair of the House Republican Conference, blamed the president for the attack on the Capitol and voted to impeach him. But only nine other Republicans joined her. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) tried to split the baby by blaming the president for the attack on the Capitol but voting against impeachment. Trump loyalists like Jim Jordan (R-OH), who just received the Medal of Freedom from Trump, continued to allege that the election was tainted. They supported Trump wholeheartedly and attacked the Democrats. Refusing to acknowledge that their attacks on the election created the crisis in the first place, they called for unity and blamed the Democrats for dividing America.  

One hundred and ninety-seven Republicans voted against impeaching the president. A year ago, Schiff infuriated Republicans by repeating a rumor published by CBS News that White House officials had warned party members: “Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike.” Today, rumors swirled that a number of Republicans did not dare to vote in favor of impeachment because they feared for their safety and that of their loved ones.

While the House debated impeachment, the FBI continued to hunt down the insurgents, companies withdrew support from Republicans who supported the attacks on the election, and New York City canceled $17 million worth of contracts with the Trump administration.

The article of impeachment now goes to the Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) suggested yesterday that he supported impeachment, but today said he would not change the Senate’s schedule to permit a trial before January 19. McConnell was likely pushing impeachment to pressure Trump to resign but, having failed, will do the bare minimum to guide the Republican Party past this moment. He needs to bend just enough to loosen up the purse strings of the companies who are saying they won’t continue to support Republicans who attacked our elections and launched a coup.

[ Continued below ]

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