18 USC § 2385 criminalizes "organizing any assembly of persons who advocate the overthrow of the government by force"—and distinguishes "force" from "violence."

The White House has organized fraudulent electors to block the democratically elected government from taking office.
(PS) I can't ascertain the scope of the word "force" in this statute (except that we can be statutorily sure it does *not* mean "violence") but creating a scenario—contra a Supreme Court ruling—in which there could be a hostile standoff at the White House on Jan. 20 may well fit.
(PS2) As a lawyer I'd tend to interpret "force" as meaning "unlawful compulsion short of violence" when it appears in a statute that deals with violence as a separate category. An unlawful attempt to retain the White House contra SCOTUS would be "force" under this interpretation.
(PS3) Arguably, creation of an "alternate slate of electors" under some color of authority—however false any such exercise of authority might be—wouldn't constitute "force." The White House has explicitly acknowledged that what it is doing isn't sanctioned by a legislature/court.
(PS4) So what Trump and his agents are doing is organizing an assembly of persons who advocate the overthrow of the democratically elected government under color of no authority whatsoever, under circumstances in which their actions—if successful—would produce a hostile standoff.
(PS5) As if conscious that he and Trump may be violating one of the suite of statutes broadly falling under the heading of sedition, Miller says the fraudulent electors have been organized in the event that *at some point in the future* they might exist under color of authority.
(PS6) The problem here is that by making this public utterance, Miller is acknowledging that this organization of persons advocating the overthrow of the democratically elected government is without color of authority *now*. There's no evidence he's protected by 18 USC § 2385.
(PS7) You don't have to be a lawyer to understand that this critical federal criminal statute would have no meaning whatsoever if you could violate it under a defense that you believed your unlawful actions could one day be made lawful by a *definitionally unlawful government*.
(PS8) Moreover, the fact that it is non-lawyer Stephen Miller making this announcement rather than someone from the White House Counsel's Office strongly suggests that no attorney in government believed this fraudulent slate of electors to be legal, and *feared* it was seditious.
(PS9) Not one American believes that Miller created these fraudulent slates of electors on his own. This is an action that would have to have been taken with the direct approval of the President of the United States. It is also not a federal crime the Biden DOJ could ever ignore.
(PS10) It is specifically the job of every attorney, including me, to stand on guard against federal crimes that destabilize our democracy—whether or not they will be politically successful. It simply *doesn't do* to say this should be ignored because *politically* it won't work.
(PS11) If there were color of authority here—if this had been authorized by a court or legislature—it'd be a strong argument that there's no unlawful compulsion involved in this scenario (the only reasonable interpretation of what the statute could mean by "[non-violent] force").
(PS12) But what Donald Trump sent Miller on Fox News to declare is that a *political campaign* has concurrent authority to that of a court or legislature to organize an assembly of persons advocating the overthrow of a democratically elected government via non-violent force.

(PS13) One of the problems we face in the law is in dealing with "matters of first impression": things that haven't happened before. Lawyers are naturally inclined to see novel situations and pretend that *the law doesn't apply to them* so they can avoid having to deal with them.
(PS14) When someone commits what is arguably a state-level misdemeanor under a fact-pattern that would be a matter of first impression, we can understand how this inclination to ignore a novel situation is comparatively harmless. It is *not* so in matters of seditious conspiracy.
(PS15) The easiest out here would be to say that the statute in question is only triggered by an overthrow-by-violence plot—but any lawyer in America will tell you that if a statute says "force or violence" then "force" *cannot* mean "violence." It's Statutory Interpretation 101.
(PS16) In a situation like this, politicians, political journalists, and lawyers who are primarily political analysts will all have the same natural—craven—inclination: let's just let this go, as Biden is going to win anyway.

That's not how attorneys are trained to think or act.
(PS17) In fact, the creation of Donald Trump in the first instance is the product of a decades-long procession of self-serving politicians and politically minded lawyers saying that we should let things go where Trump is concerned because dealing with them would be far too messy.
(PS18) But let's take Trump out of the equation. Imagine that in 2024 the GOP nominee for POTUS loses... but the GOP controls both houses of Congress. Does federal law let random GOP voters appear before Congress as a slate of electors to try to steal the election? Choose wisely.
(PS19) If the dire scenario I've just described sounds like it would be the end of American democracy and indeed the end of America—as it sure would be—ask yourself, now, which *federal statute* prohibits that scenario? It would appear to be the one I'm threading about right now.
(PS20) The act that Trump and Miller appear to have committed here—as part of a conspiracy with literally scores of others (organizing these fraudulent slates of electors and comprising these slates) is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Media must cover this story now. /end
(NOTE) Lest anyone try to be clever and claim that a January 6 Congressional vote could/would be a future grant of authority to Trump's fraudulent slates of electors, keep in mind that any such vote would be illegal and unconstitutional—so cannot clear the criminal offense here.

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More from @SethAbramson

16 Dec
QAnon is an ARG (Alternate Reality Game). It was set up that way and is managed that way. QAnoners are playing an ARG and refuse to stop for the very reason transreality gaming can be hazardous: you can forget what's game and what's reality. QAnoners are lost in a dangerous game.
The reason this matters is that Trump and his agents aim to expand the gamification of reality beyond the confines of QAnon's ARG mythology. Now they're turning the finding of evidence of "election fraud" into a transreality game with its own mythology. All of this is dangerous.
When we think of the far right as a space of "fake news" rather than the gamification of reality, we falsely accept the notion that Trumpists are interested in news. They're not. They're interested in tailored escapism, and in redefining reality as a mythology they can live with.
Read 15 tweets
15 Dec
Dr. Fauci's timeline has 100 million getting vaccinated in the first 108 days (925,000/day), then 130 million getting vaccinated in the next 91 days (1.4 million/day). No one can explain how—as we get into the population hostile to vaccination—we'll be vaccinating 50% more daily.
(PS) We were previously told that vaccine shortages may appear in May/June because Trump didn't order enough vaccine. Now we're told May and June will see *50% more daily vaccinations* than the first 108 days. Sadly, no one is out front explaining such discrepancies to Americans.
(PS2) I hope the vaccine timeline goes as planned, and that 70% is in fact enough for herd immunity. But avid news-watchers are starting to see discrepancies in the rhetoric surrounding the timeline that no one is explaining, producing concern we're being sold a too-rosy picture.
Read 8 tweets
14 Dec
235 million must be vaccinated for us to have a shot at herd immunity. Biden says we can vaccinate 1 million daily. The vaccine takes 30 days to have full effect. Herd immunity is therefore impossible until 8+ months from now.

What is Fauci talking about? nbcnews.com/news/us-news/f…
(PS) My last tweet laid out *none* of the obstacles that would make even that 8+ month timeline impossible—like vaccine shortages, people not returning for the second shot, resistance to getting vaccinated, logistical hurdles at the state level. Again—what is Fauci talking about?
(UPDATE) Reuters and the government confirm that at *best* we can vaccinate 1 million/day. Reuters reports that 109 days from now, we'll have 100 million people vaccinated. The idea we can have 235+ million vaccinated in well under 200 days makes no sense. google.com/amp/s/www.usne…
Read 4 tweets
14 Dec
UPDATE: I said that Dallas' "Allied Security Operations Group"—behind the disinformation-fueled attack on Michigan's certification for Biden—would be traced to Flynn.

Well, one of the men who headed it until days ago "served as an intelligence operations leader under DIA Flynn."
PS: So Trump *pardoned* Michael Flynn *in the midst of* a longtime Flynn associate being part of the management of an entity working to undermine Biden's win in Michigan—and found by Michigan officials to have lied about elections data. Cybersecurity-scam-for-pardon bribery case?
PS2: What I'm not sure of yet is whether any Michael Flynn associates/Donald Trump mega-donors in Dallas—where Allied Security Operations Group is headquartered—were paying ASOG to conduct this "research" or urged Kraft's name to be removed from ASOG to hide the linkage to Flynn.
Read 12 tweets
14 Dec
BREAKING: Trump Agent Stephen Miller Says Fraudulent Trump Electors Will Continue to Claim Trump Is the Rightful President Through *At Least January 20*—2 Weeks *After* Congress Votes to Accept Biden's Legally Valid Battleground-State Electors on January 6 thedailybeast.com/brian-kilmeade…
You may recall that I expressed significant alarm over former CNN analyst and current Trump campaign official Steve Cortes claiming in a Twitter-posted video that the Trump campaign considers *January 20, 2021* the only significant date with respect to electors.

Now we know why.
The reason this is significant is that it means the Trump campaign does not consider the decision of Congress on January 6, 2021 to be the final word on who will be the next President of the United States—even though by *statute and Constitution* it is. This is a seditious claim.
Read 4 tweets
13 Dec
COVID-19 reporting is getting looser, shoddier, and more confusing.

Example: actual number of Americans who will be vaccinated for COVID-19 in 2020: 0.

Vaccination isn't complete until you receive a second injection 21 days after the first, which no one will prior to next year.
Excitement over the vaccine produces misleading reports.

Example: Fauci says "open season" for the vaccine will begin in April—implying that anyone who wants it will be able to get it then.

In fact there's no plan to vaccinate more than a million people—0.3% of Americans—daily.
There's a hyperbolic optimism to much vaccine rhetoric I find unnerving.

Example: Biden has an ambitious plan to vaccinate 100 million people by April 20—which means full efficacy for those vaccinations by May 20. Good! But that's only 30% of America. Herd immunity requires 70%.
Read 16 tweets

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