Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Last Call For The Coup-Coup Birds, Con't

The Trump regime knew their conspiracy to try to defraud the United States with fake electors was illegal and wouldn't work, so they cooked up an insurrection to get Mike Pence and stop the electoral vote count. We know this because they kept taking notes on a criminal fuckin' conspiracy.

Previously undisclosed emails provide an inside look at the increasingly desperate and often slapdash efforts by advisers to President Donald J. Trump to reverse his election defeat in the weeks before the Jan. 6 attack, including acknowledgments that a key element of their plan was of dubious legality and lived up to its billing as “fake.”

The dozens of emails among people connected to the Trump campaign, outside advisers and close associates of Mr. Trump show a particular focus on assembling lists of people who would claim — with no basis — to be Electoral College electors on his behalf in battleground states that he had lost.

In emails reviewed by The New York Times and authenticated by people who had worked with the Trump campaign at the time, one lawyer involved in the detailed discussions repeatedly used the word “fake” to refer to the so-called electors, who were intended to provide Vice President Mike Pence and Mr. Trump’s allies in Congress a rationale for derailing the congressional process of certifying the outcome. And lawyers working on the proposal made clear they knew that the pro-Trump electors they were putting forward might not hold up to legal scrutiny.

“We would just be sending in ‘fake’ electoral votes to Pence so that ‘someone’ in Congress can make an objection when they start counting votes, and start arguing that the ‘fake’ votes should be counted,” Jack Wilenchik, a Phoenix-based lawyer who helped organize the pro-Trump electors in Arizona, wrote in a Dec. 8, 2020, email to Boris Epshteyn, a strategic adviser for the Trump campaign.

In a follow-up email, Mr. Wilenchik wrote that “‘alternative’ votes is probably a better term than ‘fake’ votes,” adding a smiley face emoji.

The emails provide new details of how a wing of the Trump campaign worked with outside lawyers and advisers to organize the elector plan and pursue a range of other options, often with little thought to their practicality. One email showed that many of Mr. Trump’s top advisers were informed of problems naming Trump electors in Michigan — a state he had lost — because pandemic rules had closed the state Capitol building where the so-called electors had to gather.

The emails show that participants in the discussions reported details of their activities to Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, and in at least one case to Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff. Around the same time, according to the House committee investigating Jan. 6, Mr. Meadows emailed another campaign adviser saying, “We just need to have someone coordinating the electors for states.”

Many of the emails went to Mr. Epshteyn, who was acting as a coordinator for people inside and outside the Trump campaign and the White House and remains a close aide to Mr. Trump

Mr. Epshteyn, the emails show, was a regular point of contact for John Eastman, the lawyer whose plan for derailing congressional certification of the Electoral College result on Jan. 6, 2021, was embraced by Mr. Trump.

And as I've said, the entire point of the January 6th hearings was to make the case for Trump's prosecution by the Justice Department. This evening, we've learned that Donald Trump is indeed being investigated by the Justice Department.

The Justice Department is investigating President Donald Trump’s actions as part of its criminal probe of efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, according to four people familiar with the matter.

Prosecutors who are questioning witnesses before a grand jury — including two top aides to Vice President Mike Pence — have asked in recent days about conversations with Trump, his lawyers, and others in his inner circle who sought to substitute Trump allies for certified electors from some states Joe Biden won, according to two people familiar with the matter. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

The prosecutors have asked hours of detailed questions about meetings Trump led in December 2020 and January 2021; his pressure campaign on Pence to overturn the election; and what instructions Trump gave his lawyers and advisers about fake electors and sending electors back to the states, the people said. Some of the questions focused directly on the extent of Trump’s involvement in the fake-elector effort led by his outside lawyers, including John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani, these people said.

In addition, Justice Department investigators in April received phone records of key officials and aides in the Trump administration, including his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, according to two people familiar with the matter. That effort is another indicator of how expansive the Jan. 6 probe had become, well before the high-profile, televised House hearings in June and July on the subject.

The Washington Post and other news organizations have previously written that the Justice Department is examining the conduct of Eastman, Giuliani and others in Trump’s orbit. But the degree of prosecutors’ interest in Trump’s actions has not been previously reported, nor has the review of senior Trump aides’ phone records.

A Trump spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A Justice Department spokesman and a lawyer for Meadows both declined to comment.
Trump is now a target of the investigation, as I told everyone he would be. The question of actual charges remains. But Trump himself being a grand jury target means that Merrick Garland's very plain actions indicating that the DoJ's policy on investigating sensitive political actions only if it is warranted not only remains in place, but that the evidence against Trump warrants that investigation

We'll see now what, if any, charges are leveled against these conspirators...including Trump.

Courting Supreme Disaster, Con't

CNN's Joan Biskupic gives us the strongest evidence yet that the Supreme Court Dobbs decision leak from earlier this year was done on purpose by the right in order to prevent Chief Justice John Roberts from trying to save abortion rights.
Chief Justice John Roberts privately lobbied fellow conservatives to save the constitutional right to abortion down to the bitter end, but May's unprecedented leak of a draft opinion reversing Roe v. Wade made the effort all but impossible, multiple sources familiar with negotiations told CNN. 
It appears unlikely that Roberts' best prospect -- Justice Brett Kavanaugh -- was ever close to switching his earlier vote, despite Roberts' attempts that continued through the final weeks of the session. 
New details obtained by CNN provide insight into the high-stakes internal abortion-rights drama that intensified in late April when justices first learned the draft opinion would soon be published. Serious conflicts over the fate of the 1973 Roe were then accompanied by tensions over an investigation into the source of the leak that included obtaining cell phone data from law clerks and some permanent court employees. 
In the past, Roberts himself has switched his vote, or persuaded others to do so, toward middle-ground, institutionalist outcomes, such as saving the Affordable Care Act. It's a pattern that has generated suspicion among some right-wing justices and conservatives outside the court. 
Multiple sources told CNN that Roberts' overtures this spring, particularly to Kavanaugh, raised fears among conservatives and hope among liberals that the chief could change the outcome in the most closely watched case in decades. Once the draft was published by Politico, conservatives pressed their colleagues to try to hasten release of the final decision, lest anything suddenly threaten their majority. 
Roberts' persuasive efforts, difficult even from the start, were thwarted by the sudden public nature of the state of play. He can usually work in private, seeking and offering concessions, without anyone beyond the court knowing how he or other individual justices have voted or what they may be writing.

Kavanaugh had indicated during December oral arguments that he wanted to overturn Roe and CNN learned that he voted that way in a private justices' conference session soon afterward. But the 2018 appointee of former President Donald Trump who had been confirmed by the Senate only after expressing respect for Roe has wavered in the past and been open to Roberts' persuasion. 
Again, all the evidence points to Ginni Thomas, and I'd bet money on it. The leak was done on purpose in order to sandbag CJ Roberts. It was done to kick off the beginning of the end of the civil rights era, and everyone knows it.
Count on it.


Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

Fresh from a double contempt of Congress conviction linked to his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, Steve Bannon is now calling on “4,000 shock troops” to “deconstruct” the federal government “brick by brick.”

He wants to see people “stepping forward, say[ing], ’Hey, I want to be one of those 4,000 shock troops,” Bannon said on his “War Room” podcast Monday. “This is taking on and defeating and deconstructing the administrative state,” he added.

“Shock troops” are assault forces that lead an attack.

“Suck on it,” said Bannon. “We’re destroying this illegitimate regime.”

Bannon’s incendiary comments evoked his ominous call the day before the U.S. Capitol riot, when he told supporters of then-President Donald Trump on his podcast: “All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. We’re on ... the point of attack ... strap in.”

Bannon was responding to an Axios report last week that Trump and his allies are already plotting to replace all federal officials and civil service workers with those whose key qualification would be slavish devotion to Trump if he retakes the White House in the 2024 election.

Bannon hailed the radical plot for Trump to take control of the nation. Former Trump campaign adviser Steve Cortes vowed on the podcast that Trump’s “next” term would be “far more consequential” than his last one. Both men were clearly familiar with the game plan.

Bannon had also called for “shock troops” to “immediately” seize control of the nation a month before the 2020 election, when he expected Trump to win reelection — or seize control of the vote results. “Pre-trained teams” need to be “ready to jump into federal agencies,” Bannon told NBC News then.

Bloomberg opinion columnist Jonathan Bernstein wrote Monday that “contempt for the rule of law” appeared to be a key qualification for workers in Trump’s future world in office, to fulfill his aim to “blow up the Constitution.”

Bannon was convicted Friday of two counts of contempt of Congress for blowing off a subpoena to provide documents and be interviewed by members of the House select committee about his activities linked to the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol — including plotting with Trump to overthrow presidential election results.
As I've said before, the country won't survive another Republican trifecta. Voting like your country depends on it, because it does, is your duty.
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