Go to page:

Trumps Indictment: Historical and Future Implications II

Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States 116awards
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 13833

MidnightSonneteer said:It's nothing less than astonishing how much shitty behavior the courts are letting Trump get away with. If any working class slob tried to say the things that Trump has said he would have been hammered with multiple contempt of court charges and jailing. There's definitely a two tiered justice system in this country, and Trump's cases are the proof of that, and ironically, solid validation of proletarian expostulations.

I could NOT agree more. It's as though the judges are breaking their backs not to appear prejudiced.

Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States 116awards
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 13833

Lawsuits against Trump over Jan. 6 riot can move forward, appeals court rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawsuits against Donald Trump over the U.S. Capitol riot can move forward, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday, rejecting the former president’s bid to dismiss the cases accusing him of inciting the violent mob on Jan. 6, 2021.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit court knocked down Trump’s sweeping claims that presidential immunity shields him from liability in the lawsuits brought by Democratic lawmakers and police officers. But the three-judge panel said the 2024 Republican presidential primary frontrunner can continue to fight, as the cases proceed, to try to prove that his actions were taken in his official capacity as president.

Trump has said he can’t be sued over the riot that left dozens of police officers injured, arguing that his words during a rally before the storming of the Capitol addressed “matters of public concern” and fall within the scope of absolute presidential immunity.

https://apnews.com/article/jan-6-riot-lawsuits-donald-trump-capitol-14b219df31b3a5ebec43e979ad36587a

Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States 116awards
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 13833

I really hope Robert Kagan is wrong.

December 1, 2023
HEATHER COX RICHARDSON
DEC 2, 2023


Former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court, died today. Named to the court by President Ronald Reagan to honor a campaign promise, O’Connor was known as a pragmatist who paid attention to the real-world consequences of the court’s decisions and who was willing to rethink her positions.

Traditionally, this understanding of how court decisions affect lives has come from justices who have held elective office before their elevation, and O’Connor fit the bill: she served in the Arizona state senate for 5 years, eventually becoming majority leader. Since she stepped down in 2006, there have been no judges on the court with that elective experience, and the court has swung hard to the right.

For the sixth time in U.S. history, the House of Representatives today voted to expel one of its members, Representative George Santos (R-NY). Expulsion requires two thirds of the House. The resolution to expel Santos passed by a vote of 311 to 114, with 105 Republicans voting with all but four Democrats (two voted no and two voted present).

Representative Max Miller (R-OH) told his colleagues that Santos’s campaign had charged both Miller’s credit card and that of his mother for contributions that exceeded legal limits and of which they were both unaware. “You, sir, are a crook,” he told Santos.

But the top four members of the Republican leadership—Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN), and Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY)—and more than 100 other Republicans voted against expelling Santos, who is under criminal indictment and by whom a House Ethics Committee report suggested even more “uncharged and unlawful conduct.”

Santos was a reliable right-wing vote, and losing him will make the Republicans' majority even slimmer than it already was, suggesting that Republican leadership and much of the rank and file were more interested in power than concerned about criminal behavior among their conference.

“To hell with this place,” Santos said after the expulsion.  

The quest for power also showed up this week when a federal appeals court released secret text messages from Representative Scott Perry (R-PA) to other participants in the attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, revealing his frantic attempts to end the right of the American people to choose their president.

In that attempt, Perry communicated with Justice Department attorney Jeff Clark, Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, many of Trump’s lawyers, and numerous Pennsylvania state lawmakers including Doug Mastriano, none of whom contacted authorities about the attempt to overthrow our democratic system.  

Perry also contacted other Republican representatives, including Jody Hice (R-GA), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Chip Roy (R-TX), and representative-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) about the effort. They didn’t alert anyone to the anti-democratic effort, either.

Stopped by a gag order from attacking the staff of Judge Arthur Engoron, who is overseeing the fraud trial of the Trump Organization in Manhattan, former president Trump has turned to attacking Engoron’s family. Trump has alleged on social media that Engoron’s wife has been posting about him on social media, but she has not: the posts Trump has identified are not from her, although blog posts by far-right extremist Laura Loomer said they were.

Trump seems to be trying to get out from under the legal cases against him by threatening participants in the legal system and by delaying the trials until next year’s election. It is his position that if he wins the presidency in 2024, Trump’s lawyer told a judge in Georgia today, Trump cannot be tried as part of the racketeering case of those who tried to overturn the 2020 election until at least 2029.

In the Washington Post yesterday, neoconservative scholar Robert Kagan warned that “a Trump dictatorship is increasingly inevitable,” and today in The Bulwark, Jonathan V. Last agreed. He pointed to a conversation neoconservative thinker William Kristol had this week with journalist Jonathan Karl, in which Karl described a dystopian future painted not by Democrats but by former Trump employees: a government full of Trump loyalists who understand “that they are free to break the law because they will be pardoned” as Trump seeks retribution against those he sees as his enemies.

“The storm is coming,” Last warned readers. “The world looks normal right now, but it is not. Forces are in motion that will bring us to a point of national crisis one year from now.”

And yet, in Washington, D.C., the federal judge overseeing the case concerning Trump’s attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election today rejected Trump’s request to throw the case out on the grounds that, as president, he had absolute immunity for anything he did while in office.

Judge Tanya Chutkan wrote that being president “does not confer a lifelong ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ pass.” Trump’s “four-year service as Commander in Chief did not bestow on him the divine right of kings to evade the criminal accountability that governs his fellow citizens,” she added.

Trump is not exactly going out of its way to attract voters, either. He has once again embraced the idea of getting rid of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. More than 40 million Americans get their health coverage under the ACA, and as many as one out of every two people too young for Medicare have a pre-existing health condition that, without the protection of the ACA, could make healthcare insurers discriminate against them.

Trump says he will replace the ACA with something better, but his advisors acknowledge that they have no plans to do more than chip away at the existing law.

President Joe Biden and Democratic leaders are calling attention to Trump’s threats against the ACA and today are touting that under Democratic governor Roy Cooper, North Carolina has become the 40th state to expand Medicaid under the ACA. This means that 600,000 North Carolinians are now eligible for healthcare coverage.

“Despite this progress, MAGA Republicans still want to get rid of the Affordable Care Act,” Biden said, “just like my predecessor tried and failed to do repeatedly.”

Other Republican leaders don’t seem terribly worried about attracting anyone but their base, either. House speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) was in the news today for having written the foreword for and promoted a book that advanced conspiracy theories against Democrats and attacked poor voters as “unsophisticated and susceptible to government dependency.”

And perhaps even the base will be dismayed by news out of Florida, where the chair of the state Republican Party, Christian Ziegler, is under investigation for sexual battery and rape. Ziegler is married to Bridget Ziegler, the co-founder of Moms for Liberty; she has said public schools are “indoctrination centers for the radical left,” and that she wants to bring “religious values” into them.

The Florida Center for Government Accountability, which broke the story, calls the Zieglers “one of Florida’s top political power couples,” close to both governor Ron DeSantis and Trump.



Notes: https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/december-1-2023

Robert
Robert Oliva
Twisted Dreamer
United States
Joined 25th Nov 2023
Forum Posts: 42

The level of chosen architecture stands out sublimely. The piece is long but never tired or stalked and has a sorta infrastructure serving and reminding of astrong  backbone.

Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States 116awards
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 13833

I have wondered where you were, Robert! I was about to send out a posse for ya!

Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States 116awards
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 13833

December 2, 2023
HEATHER COX RICHARDSON
DEC 3, 2023


On Wednesday, November 29, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) delivered a landmark speech on American antisemitism, inspired by the fact that protests against Israel’s assault on Gaza after the October 7 attack by Hamas have descended into an embrace of Hamas’s stated goal of the complete destruction of Israel. From there it has, for some people, been a short step to attacking Jewish people in general.

“I feel compelled to speak because I am the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in America; in fact, the highest-ranking Jewish elected official ever in American history,” Schumer said. “And I have noticed a significant disparity between how Jewish people regard the rise of antisemitism, and how many of my non-Jewish friends regard it. To us, the Jewish people, the rise of antisemitism is a crisis—a five-alarm fire that must be extinguished. For so many other people of good will, it is merely a problem, a matter of concern. Today, I want to use my platform to explain why so many Jewish people see this problem as a crisis.”

Schumer anchored his speech in the long history of civil rights advocacy on the part of American Jews. In 1909, New York Jew Henry Moskowitz was a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and Jack Greenberg, whose family fled pogroms in Europe, served 23 years at the head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund after its founder, famous Black jurist Thurgood Marshall, stepped down.

In 1958, in a speech to the American Jewish Congress, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “My people were brought to America in chains. Your people were driven here to escape the chains fashioned for them in Europe. Our unity is born of our common struggle for centuries, not only to rid ourselves of bondage, but to make oppression of any people by others an impossibility.”

Five years later, the president of the American Jewish Congress, New Jersey rabbi Dr. Joachim Prinz, spoke before King at the March on Washington. “I speak to you as an American Jew,” he told the crowd. “As Americans we share the profound concern of millions of people about the shame and disgrace of inequality and injustice which make a mockery of the great American idea. As Jews we bring to this great demonstration, in which thousands of us proudly participate, a two-fold experience—one of the spirit and one of our history…. It…is not merely sympathy and compassion for the Black people of America that motivates us. It is above all and beyond all such sympathies and emotions a sense of complete identification and solidarity born of our own painful historic experience.”

It was that painful historic experience and an attempt to make oppression impossible that led Jewish activists to support the civil rights movement. In the Freedom Summer of 1964, half the civil rights workers who traveled to Mississippi were Jewish, including Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, murdered alongside Black activist James Chaney outside of Philadelphia, Mississippi.

That history of Jewish support for civil rights is written across the landscape of our country: the main bridge dominating the Boston skyline is named for civil rights worker Leonard P. Zakim in memory of his work to “build bridges of understanding between different ethnic, racial, and religious groups,” as his wife said at the bridge’s dedication.

In his speech, Schumer tied into that history, saying that “bigotry against one group of Americans is bigotry against all” and noting that he had worked to protect Asian-Americans and Arab-Americans, as well as to protect houses of worship for all religions from extremists. He also noted, at some length, that it is possible both to abhor Hamas and to deplore the destruction that has rained down on the Palestinian people.

But Schumer expressed dismay that as hatred toward American Jews is rising dangerously—the Anti-Defamation League estimates that antisemitic incidents have increased nearly 300 percent since October 7—some Americans, people that Jews believed were “ideological fellow travelers,” are celebrating the October 7 attack as an assault on “colonizers.”

“Not long ago,” Schumer said, “many of us marched together for Black and Brown lives, we stood against anti-Asian hatred, we protested bigotry against the LGBTQ community, we fought for reproductive justice out of the recognition that injustice against one oppressed group is injustice against all. But apparently, in the eyes of some, that principle does not extend to the Jewish people.”

“Many, if not most, Jewish Americans, including myself, support a two-state solution,” he said, “We disagree with Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu and his administration’s encouragement of militant settlers in the West Bank, which has become a considerable obstacle to a two-state solution.” But “the most extreme rhetoric against Israel has emboldened antisemites who are attacking Jewish people simply because they are Jewish.”

These attacks, Schumer said, conjure up the history of millennia in which Jews were slaughtered. “[W]hen Jewish people hear chants like ‘From the river to the sea,’ a founding slogan of Hamas, a terrorist group that is not shy about their goal to eradicate the Jewish people, in Israel and around the globe, we are alarmed.”

“More than anything, we are worried—quite naturally, given the twists and turns of history—about where these actions and sentiments could eventually lead. Now, this is no intellectual exercise for us. For many Jewish people, it feels like a matter of survival, informed once again by history.”

“Can you understand why Jewish people feel isolated when we hear some praise Hamas and chant its vicious slogan?” Schumer asked. “Can you blame us for feeling vulnerable only 80 years after Hitler wiped out half of the Jewish population across the world while many countries turned their back? Can you appreciate the deep fear we have about what Hamas might do if left to their own devices? Because the long arc of Jewish history teaches us a lesson that is hard to forget: ultimately, that we are alone.”

Schumer begged the American people “of all creeds and backgrounds” to defend the “pluralistic, multiethnic democracy” that has enabled Jewish people in the United States “to flourish alongside so many other immigrant groups.”

He asked them to “learn the history of the Jewish people, who have been abandoned repeatedly by their fellow countrymen—left isolated and alone to combat antisemitism—with disastrous results,” and to “reject the illogical and antisemitic double standard that is once again being applied to the plight of Jewish victims and hostages, to some of the actions of the Israeli government, and even to the very existence of a Jewish state.”

Schumer asked all Americans “to understand why Jewish people defend Israel.” They do not “wish harm on Palestinians,” he said, but instead “fear a world where Israel is forced to tolerate the existence of groups like Hamas that want to wipe out all Jewish people from the planet. We fear a world where Israel, the place of refuge for Jewish people, will no longer exist. If there is no Israel,” he said, “there will be no place, no place for the Jewish people to go when they are persecuted in other countries.”

cont below

Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States 116awards
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 13833

In view of history and of rising antisemitism, Jewish Americans are afraid of what the future might bring, Schumer said. “And perhaps worst of all,” he said, “many Jewish Americans feel alone to face all of this, abandoned by too many of our friends and allies in our greatest time of need.”

He implored “every person and every community and every institution to stand with Jewish Americans and denounce antisemitism in all of its forms.”

“We are stewards of the flames of liberty, tolerance, and equality that warm our American melting pot, and make it possible for Jewish Americans to prosper alongside Palestinian Americans, and every other immigrant group from all over the world,” he concluded.

“Are we a nation that can defy the regular course of human history, where the Jewish people have been ostracized, expelled, and massacred over and over again?” he asked. Then he answered his own question: “Yes. And I will do everything in my power—as Senate Majority Leader, as a Jewish American, as a citizen of a free society, as a human being—to make it happen.”

“Ken Y-hi Ratzon,” he concluded. “May it be his will.”



Notes: https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/december-2-2023

Robert
Robert Oliva
Twisted Dreamer
United States
Joined 25th Nov 2023
Forum Posts: 42

You write with feeling and bravery. The preponderance of hateful anti-srmetic acts saddens me on the surface but my real depth of remorse derives from the legions that font notice or worse, don’t care.

Josh
Joshua Bond
Tyrant of Words
Palestine 40awards
Joined 2nd Feb 2017
Forum Posts: 1588

Robert said:You write with feeling and bravery. The preponderance of hateful anti-srmetic acts saddens me on the surface but my real depth of remorse derives from the legions that font notice or worse, don’t care.

Indifference to suffering contributes to its continuance.

Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States 116awards
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 13833

The last I read, Social Security isn't an "entitlement". We paid into it all our lives. And wow at SCOTUS.

December 4, 2023
HEATHER COX RICHARDSON
DEC 5, 2023


When my friend Joanne Freeman and I were hosting the Now & Then podcast, it became a joke at our weekly planning meetings that I almost always suggested we should focus the following week’s episode on tax policy. Since it appeared that other people have a lower tolerance for tax policy than I do, we usually didn’t end up landing on that topic.

But I remain fascinated by it. Tax policy shows what a society values.

Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case of Moore v. United States. The case illustrates today’s Supreme Court’s tendency to hear cases based on fictional stories in order to shape society to a right-wing ideology.

As Lisa Needham points out in Public Notice today, the plaintiffs in the case, Charles and Kathleen Moore, have presented themselves as “minority shareholders without any role in” the management of an Indian company that works to provide power tools to small farmers in India. But according to Ann E. Marimow and Julie Zauzmer Weil of the Washington Post, Charles Moore was a director of the company from April 2012 until March 2017, had contributed about $250,000 to the company and been repaid at 12% interest, and in 2019, the year after he filed the lawsuit, sold about 20% of his holdings for close to $300,000.

The court is supposed to decide cases based only on facts, not fiction, but this court has shown a willingness to overlook fictions that enable actions the majority wants to take. As Needham notes, earlier this year it decided 303 Creative v. Elenis protecting a web designer from having to make a wedding website for a gay couple, even though it turned out that the alleged gay client in the case was actually a man who had been married to a woman for years, had never asked anyone to design a website for a wedding, and had no idea he had been named in the case.  

Such lies permit these test cases to get before the court, Needham writes, teeing up court decisions to change the United States.

These cases, based on fictional accounts, dovetail with the fictional history in amicus briefs. These are so-called friend-of-the-court briefs from someone who is not a party in the case to offer analysis of the issues. Yesterday, Heidi Przybyla of Politico showed how right-wing lawyers connected to Leonard Leo, co-chair of the board of the activist right-wing Federalist Society, have filed amicus briefs that invent a past that the right-wing justices then lift into the decisions themselves to shape modern society.

The Moore v. U.S. case concerns the federal government’s ability to tax wealthy people. The Moores argue that the federal government cannot tax wealth until it has been “realized.” That is, increased value of stock, for example, cannot be taxed until it is realized through that stock’s sale.

According to Ian Millhiser of Vox, what is really at stake is the ability of the government to tax the wealthy to begin to address the extremes of wealth that have expanded since 1981.

Forestalling the use of tax policy to address how drastically our laws have redistributed wealth upward fits with Republican lawmakers’ exclusive focus on addressing the nation’s budget deficit by cutting services. At last month’s Republican presidential primary debate, for example, the candidates expressed support for cutting Social Security benefits, with former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley telling the audience that “any candidate who tells you that they’re not going to take on entitlements is not being serious.”

But it is tax cuts, primarily those of presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump, that have been the primary drivers of the budget deficit, so it would seem logical to end them, especially since they have never boosted the economy as promised. And yet, rather than ending them, the Republicans are eager to extend them. They embrace the idea that the best course for the nation is to slash taxes and services and to concentrate wealth at the top of the economy.

Ironically, it was the early Republican Party that set out the blueprint for rejecting that idea. When the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 created a crisis in the cash-strapped U.S. Treasury, Republicans in Congress invented the nation’s first national income tax.

Initially, they levied a 3% tax on income over $800; in 1862, concerned that the level of taxation necessary to pay for the war would be too much for most Americans to bear, they created a progressive income tax, taxing income over $600 at 3% and income over $10,000 at 5%. “The weight must be distributed equally,” Representative Justin Smith Morrill (R-VT) said, “not upon each man an equal amount, but a tax proportionate to his ability to pay.” In 1864, Congress revised those numbers upward.

Morrill claimed that the federal government had a right to “demand” 99% of a man’s property for an urgent necessity. When the nation required it, he said, “the property of the people…belongs to the Government.”

With their money behind the war effort, Americans became more and more committed to their nation. As the war costs mounted, far from objecting to taxes, Americans concerned about the growing national debt asked their congressmen to raise them. In 1864, Senator John P. Hale (R-NH) said: “The condition of the country is singular…I venture to say it is an anomaly in the history of the world. What do the people of the United States ask of this Congress? To take off taxes? No, sir, they ask you to put them on. The universal cry of this people is to be taxed.”

The Civil War income tax expired in 1872, and by the 1890s, after money had concentrated at the top of the economy, wealthy industrialists and others thriving in the new economy rejected their earlier understanding of tax policy.

In 1894, in the midst of a depression that was crushing farmers and workers, Democrats in Congress levied a 2% tax on incomes over $4,000. Immediately, Republicans said the measure was unconstitutional because it gave too much power to the federal government and would force states like New York, which had financial centers, to pay more in taxes than states like Mississippi. “The income tax was born of a mixture of sectionalism, communism, and demagogy,” wrote the Pittsburgh Gazette.

In 1895 a staunchly pro-business Supreme Court agreed with opponents of the tax, deciding in Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Company that the income tax was unconstitutional, giving far too much power to the federal government. In 1909, as Democrats and progressive Republicans continued to call for an income tax to address the concentration of wealth, those hoping to kill the idea once and for all proposed a constitutional amendment for one, thinking it could never be ratified.

They were wrong. State legislatures backed the Sixteenth Amendment, which became part of the U.S. Constitution in 1913, an important symbol of the Progressive Era.



Notes: https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/december-4-2023-c67

Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States 116awards
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 13833

Robert said:You write with feeling and bravery. The preponderance of hateful anti-srmetic acts saddens me on the surface but my real depth of remorse derives from the legions that font notice or worse, don’t care.

Robert, these are written by Heather Cox Richardson. But I will pass along your sentiments to her. She will be thrilled!

MidnightSonneteer
Dangerous Mind
United States 6awards
Joined 13th May 2022
Forum Posts: 71

The reason our nation's revolutionarily anti-aristocratic foundational principles are now so heinously jeopardized by so-called originalist judicial "thinkers" (a term I hesitate to apply to anybody with a conservative taint) has a lot to do with the propensity that the legal community has always had to whore themselves out to whatever aristocrat was seen to pay for whatever was labeled as a legal expense, which increasingly evolved from valid secretarial services in calligraphic times on up into the Clarence Thomas bribery friendly court of the here and now, and when the very top of the national legal pyramid is corrupted, we can fully expect the legitimately ethical validation of all legal code to surely crumble thereafter. We may already be too late to salvage the republic due to the intentional maelstrom of conservative legal, ethical, and cultural sabotage.

Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States 116awards
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 13833

MidnightSonneteer said:The reason our nation's revolutionarily anti-aristocratic foundational principles are now so heinously jeopardized by so-called originalist judicial "thinkers" (a term I hesitate to apply to anybody with a conservative taint) has a lot to do with the propensity that the legal community has always had to whore themselves out to whatever aristocrat was seen to pay for whatever was labeled as a legal expense, which increasingly evolved from valid secretarial services in calligraphic times on up into the Clarence Thomas bribery friendly court of the here and now, and when the very top of the national legal pyramid is corrupted, we can fully expect the legitimately ethical validation of all legal code to surely crumble thereafter. We may already be too late to salvage the republic due to the intentional maelstrom of conservative legal, ethical, and cultural sabotage.

I couldn't agree ( nor articulate more succinctly ) this line of thought.  Last month SCOTUS adopted a 'Code of Ethics'; however, it lacks an avenue of enforcement, making it a public ploy to dissuade unpopular opinion/belief that the court answers to no one.

They still don't.

It can be read here: https://www.npr.org/2023/11/13/1212708142/supreme-court-ethics-code

Robert
Robert Oliva
Twisted Dreamer
United States
Joined 25th Nov 2023
Forum Posts: 42

This is fun to read. It’s intelligent and on point w depth.

Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States 116awards
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 13833

December 5, 2023
HEATHER COX RICHARDSON
DEC 6, 2023


A new filing today by Special Counsel Jack Smith in the case United States of America v. Donald J. Trump for his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election shows Smith’s office establishing that Trump has a longstanding pattern of refusing to accept election results he dislikes.

As early as 2012, the filing notes, Trump baselessly alleged that voting machines had switched votes intended for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. In the 2016 campaign he “claimed repeatedly, with no basis, that there was widespread voter fraud,” and publicly refused to commit to accepting the results of that election. This pattern continued in 2020, but in that election he took active steps to seize power.

The filing introduced information that Trump, an agent, and an unindicted co-conspirator tried to start a riot at the TCF Center in Detroit as vote counting showed Biden taking the lead. As Josh Kovensky of Talking Points Memo points out, this scheme sounds much like the Brooks Brothers Riot of 2000 that stopped vote counting in Miami-Dade County in Florida. Roger Stone was a participant in the Brooks Brothers Riot; in 2020 he was working to keep Trump in office.

Smith’s team shows how this pattern continued to play out in the 2020 election, with Trump urging supporters like the Proud Boys to back him, falsely asserting that the election had been stolen, and attacking former supporters who denied that the election had been stolen. The pattern has continued until the present, with Trump calling those who were found guilty of offenses related to the attack on the U.S. Capitol “hostages” and claiming they were “treated horribly.”

Smith recounts these facts to establish Trump’s motive and intent on January 6, but his identification of a longstanding pattern indicates it would be a grave mistake to think Trump has any intention of campaigning fairly or accepting any result in 2024 other than his return to the White House.

New House speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), who has endorsed Trump for president and was a key organizer of the congressional effort to keep Trump in office, has promised to release all the surveillance footage from the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Trump supporters insist that the full tapes will reveal that the attack was not as bad as the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol showed. Johnson said that the tapes must be shared publicly for “transparency.”

Today, Johnson supported Trump’s message about January 6 when he said that he was making sure the faces of rioters are blurred in the surveillance footage. "We have to blur some of the faces of persons who participated in the events of that day because we don't want them to be retaliated against and to be charged by the DOJ [Department of Justice] and to have other, you know, concerns and problems," he said. Johnson’s spokesperson quickly walked back the comment, saying Johnson meant to say that faces were blurred to prevent “all forms of retaliation against private citizens from any non-governmental actors.”

Also today, Kash Patel, who served on Trump’s national security team and is widely expected to return in a second Trump administration, expanded the authoritarian threats Trump people have been making to include the media. On former Trump ally Steve Bannon’s podcast, Patel promised that the Trump team would fill government positions from top to bottom with loyalists and would use the Department of Justice to go after those perceived to be Trump’s enemies.

“We will go out and find the conspirators, not just in government but in the media,” Patel said. “Yes, we’re going to come after the people in the media who lied about American citizens, who helped Joe Biden rig presidential elections—we’re going to come after you. Whether it’s criminally or civilly, we’ll figure that out.”

Yesterday, former representative Liz Cheney (R-WY), who is promoting her new book, Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning, called out Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) for his continuing hold on military appointments that kept more than 450 routine promotions from taking effect over the past ten months. Tuberville claimed his refusal to permit the nominees’ confirmations was an attempt to change Pentagon policy of permitting leave for service members in states that ban abortion to obtain abortion care elsewhere. But on NPR yesterday, Cheney wondered: “Why is Tommy Tuberville doing that? Is he holding those positions open so that Donald Trump can fill them?”

Today, under great pressure from members of his own party who worried the Democrats would change the rules to weaken the power of the Senate minority, Tuberville released his hold on most of the nominees. The Senate promptly confirmed 425 of them.

Still, Tuberville retained holds on 11 officers of the most senior rank. According to congressional reporter for Punchbowl News Andrew Desiderio, the positions left vacant are commander of Pacific Air Forces, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, Air Component Command for the United States Indo-Pacific Command, commander for Air Combat Command, the head of the Navy’s Nuclear Propulsion Program, the head of Northern Command (which defends the United States and coordinates defenses with Canada, Mexico, and the Bahamas), the head of the U.S. Cyber Command, vice chief of staff of the Army, vice chief of staff of the Air Force, vice chief of Space Operations, and vice chief of Naval Operations.

Last night, Cheney explained to political commentator and television host Rachel Maddow exactly what a second Trump presidency would look like, Cheney said: "He would take those people who are the most radical, the most dangerous, who had the proposals that were the most dangerous, and he will put them in positions of supreme power. That's a risk that we simply cannot take."

Mark Joyella of Forbes took note of Maddow’s introduction last night, in which the host stressed the importance of protecting democracy. She began by emphasizing how much she and Cheney disagreed about everything in politics, so much so that it was as if they were on different planets at war with each other.

Maddow made that point, she said, because “in civic terms, in sort of American citizenship terms, I think it's really important how much we disagree. It's important how far apart we are in every policy issue imaginable. It is important that Liz Cheney is infinity and I am negative infinity on the ideological number line. It's important because that tells you how serious and big something has to be to put us, to put me and Liz Cheney, together on the same side of something in American life.”

The Rachel Maddow Show was the most watched news show on cable television last night, with 3.15 million viewers. The Fox News Channel’s show Hannity, hosted by personality Sean Hannity, had just under 2 million viewers.

It seems clear Americans are waking up to Trump’s threats to stack the government with loyalists, weaponize the Justice Department and military, deport 10 million people, and prosecute those he perceives to be his enemies in politics and the media. Interviewing Trump tonight, Hannity tried to downplay Trump’s statements about his authoritarian plans for a second term by getting him to commit to staying within the normal bounds of a president should he be elected in 2024. The first time he was asked, Trump sidestepped the question. So Hannity asked again. “Under no circumstances, you are promising America tonight, you would never abuse power as retribution against anybody?” he asked.

Except for day one,” Trump responded.

Go to page:
Go to: