Trump’s Coup – BillMoyers.com

The attack on American democracy is an inside job. Trump’s one-hour rant directed at Georgia officials who have certified President elect Joe Biden’s win isn’t an isolated event. It’s just one front in a battle to make Trump king. The scary part is that he has a lot of people helping him.
The tape of Trump’s conversation on Saturday, January 2, is akin to listening to a delusional mob boss. Let’s put it in context.
Trump Lost the Election
Biden won in a landslide – by seven million popular votes and 74 electoral votes. To change the Electoral College outcome, Trump needed to win at least three swing states that he lost. In 60 cases that he and his allies subsequently filed challenging the results in those states, he lost all but one insignificant lawsuit in Pennsylvania. (That case related to a state-ordered deadline extension for submitting personal identification for mailed-in ballots.) In that sole Trump victory, there was no claim of voter fraud and the affected ballots had no impact on the outcome. Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes.
There are no facts to the contrary. None.
Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, and Christopher Krebs, the person who led the federal government’s efforts to secure the election, confirmed that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud or cheating. Trump fired Krebs. Barr resigned.
There are no facts to the contrary. None.
Trump Lost Georgia
Biden won Georgia. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who voted for Trump, had the ballots counted three times, including once by hand. Trump then lost every lawsuit that he and his allies filed to challenge the outcome. His final margin of defeat was 11,779 votes.
There are no facts to the contrary. None.
So after pushing false conspiracy theories that every court rejected, Trump told Raffensperger on Saturday to reverse the will of Georgia voters:
“I mean, I’m notifying you that you’re letting it happen. So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.”
But Trump’s demand came with a threat.
“You know, and I watched you this morning and you said, uh, well, there was no criminality.  But I mean, all of this stuff is very dangerous stuff. When you talk about no criminality, I think it’s very dangerous for you to say that.”
You watched me? Dangerous to tell the truth? Raffensperger has previously reported threats to himself and his family.
Trump has been down this road before – calling election officials in Michigan and summoning Pennsylvania state legislators to the White House while his ally, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), made curious phone calls to election officials in Georgia and Nevada. None of that worked either.
Trump Has Ambitious Enablers
Now Trump is seeking anything that might aid the futile publicity stunt that more than 140 Republican members of the House are planning for January 6. That’s when Congress will convene to recognize officially President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. In every election for the last 150 years, it has been a non-event. Notwithstanding the oath that every member of Congress takes to uphold the US Constitution, Trump’s congressional enablers plan to turn the proceeding into a dangerous, anti-democratic circus.
The Trump infection in the House has spread to the Senate where Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) was the first to declare his support for what promises to be the most undemocratic spectacle in the history of that body. Hawley knows better. He attended a private boys’ prep school in Kansas City, graduated from Stanford University in 2002, and got his law degree from Yale in 2006. He clerked for Chief Justice John Roberts and served as an appellate litigator at one of the world’s biggest law firms, Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells). Before winning his Senate seat in 2018, he was Missouri’s attorney general.
Not willing to cede Trump’s base of support for a future presidential run to Hawley, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) corralled 10 Republican senators to join him in the farce. He knows better too. Cruz attended private high school, graduated from Princeton University in 1992, and got his law degree from Harvard in 1995. He clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist and then served as Texas solicitor general, arguing cases in the US Supreme Court.
As of this writing, the Hawley-Cruz group comprises a “Dirty Dozen” for which Vice President Mike Pence has provided his stamp of approval. Pence has his eye on Trump’s anti-democratic base of support too and will perform the ceremonial role of Congress’ presiding officer when all electoral votes opened, cast, and counted on January 6.
Whenever the Republican nonsense ends, Pence will declare Biden the winner. He has no choice. On January 20, Trump will leave office. The US Constitution sets that non-negotiable date.
So What’s Trump’s Plan B?
In the race to the bottom, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) – one of the 140 House Republicans spearheading Trump’s drive to autocracy – complained about his federal appellate court loss Saturday. His lawsuit sought to give Pence the power to throw out the election results and keep Trump in power. Rather than respect the judicial outcome, he told Newsmax that it was time to take to the streets:
“The bottom line is the court is saying, ‘We’re not going to touch this. You have no remedy. Essentially, the ruling would be ‘You have to go to the streets and be as violent as antifa, BLM.’”
Facing the reality of becoming just another citizen with overwhelming legal and financial problems on Inauguration Day, Trump was encouraging supporters to follow Gohmert’s suggestion long before he made it.
“Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!” he tweeted on December 19.
On Sunday, January 3, Trump tweeted again: “I will be there. Historic day!”
So will Proud Boys – the far-right white chauvinists linked to violence at other Trump rallies. But their chairman says they may attend “incognito” and wearing “all black” – mimicking the antifa protesters with whom they frequently clash. An organizer for Proud Boys posted a video saying,
“We will be blending in as one of you. You won’t see us. You’ll even think we are you. We are going to smell like you, move like you, and look like you. The only thing we’ll do that’s us is think like us! Jan 6th is gonna be epic.”
Trump’s gambit to remain in office will fail. The final outcome of his effort to burn down the house of democracy on his way out the door is less certain. He has ignited a fire that cannot easily be contained.

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