Fiona Hill: "I’ve been studying authoritarian regimes for three decades, and I know the signs of a coup when I see them.

Technically, what Trump attempted is what’s known as a “self-coup” and Trump isn’t the first leader to try it." 1/n…
There’s a standard coup “checklist” analysts use to evaluate coups. We can evaluate Trump’s moves to prevent the peaceful transfer of executive power against it." 2/n
"To successfully usurp or hold power, you need to control the military and paramilitary units, communications, the judiciary, government institutions, and the legislature; and mobilize popular support." 3/n
"For the past 4 years, Trump has been stress testing the U.S. democratic system to see if anyone will rein him in." 4/n
"Consider how many times Trump stated that he “deserved” two or even three terms in office because he was treated “unfairly” or “cheated” out of first two years of his presidency by the “Russia hoax,” the Mueller investigation, and the January 2020 impeachment trial." 5/n
"Throughout 2020, when his poll ratings faltered, the president laid the groundwork for what would become the Big Lie that he won the election. He said in advance that the ballot was “rigged” that he could only lose if “they” stole the election." 6/n
"“They” was a domestic enemy that he manufactured in broad strokes for his grassroots base to rise up against: Democrats, liberals, globalists, radical socialists, Communists, Antifa leftists, the Black Lives Matter movement, the mainstream media, George Soros, [etc]....” 7/n
"After the election was declared in favor of Joe Biden, Trump refused to concede. He never stopped lying about the outcome to his base and the rest of America." 8/n
"He deployed Rudy Giuliani and his legal team to contest every single post-election juncture. He harangued state election officials in phone calls and in person to intimidate them into repudiating or even changing the vote tallies." 9/n
"He told Vice President Mike Pence to block the formal election certification process in Congress, which was beyond his constitutional authority. When Pence refused, Trump rallied thousands of his supporters to “stop the steal” on Capitol Hill." 10/n
"So, what thwarted Trump’s slow motion, in-plain-sight attempt at a self-coup? Fortunately, there was pushback from all the key institutions you need for a coup." 11/n
"First, the military and other parts of the government resisted Trump’s efforts to personalize their power. Second, major media outlets reported the facts truthfully. Third, the judiciary and courts held firm." 12/n
"Fourth, state + local government officials refused to be swayed. They repeatedly called out the lie that Trump had won the election. Finally, in the legislature, the VP performed his constitutional role, as did the Republican Senate majority leader and most of the Senate." 13/n
"The only two elements that rallied behind the president’s coup attempt were the handful of senators and the majority of House Republicans and his popular support, in the form of an insurgency—the mob that stormed the Capitol." 14/n
"The good news for the United States is that Trump’s “self-coup” failed. The bad news is that his supporters still believe the false narrative, the Big Lie that he won the election." 15/n
"the president’s actions have put us on the brink of civil war. Trump did not overturn the election results, but, just as he intended, he disrupted the peaceful democratic transition of executive power." 16/n
"Unless the Big Lie is thoroughly refuted, we can expect more attempts to subvert the constitutional order from Trump’s supporters—and we still have to get through the January 20 Inauguration." 17/n
"The president’s actions and his falsehoods have shattered America’s democratic norms, exacerbated its political divisions, and put people’s lives at risk." 18/n
"Five people died during events surrounding the storming of the Capitol, including a member of the Capitol police force. Many of the members of Congress who backed Trump’s efforts were themselves at risk of injury or death." 19/n
"If we are to restore democratic norms and make sure this does not happen again, these congressional Republicans will have to take personal responsibility for their actions in support of Trump’s coup attempt." 20/n
"Congressional Republicans must tell the truth to their constituents about the election and what the president tried to do in January 2021. They owe it to the people they represent as well as the country they serve." 21/n
Refresher: Dr Fiona Hill's testimony to Congress:

Refresher: Fiona Hill rebukes conspiracy theory – and emerges as a heroine for our times

The Russia expert’s opening statement, delivered in her north-east England accent, stood out for its bluntness…

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