I read the lawsuit the capitol police officers (Blassingame and Hemby) brought against Trump.

In a nutshell: This case is bad for Trump.

My analysis seemed too long for a thread, so I recorded a video (9 minutes).

I'll have a transcription shortly.

If, like me, you prefer to read, I put an [edited] transcription on my blog, here: terikanefield.com/blassingame-v-…

To summarize, this case is bad for Trump for a whole bunch of reasons.

🔹First, the plaintiffs sustained actual injuries . . .

Some of these tort cases are a bit weak because the plaintiffs have a hard time showing why they should have standing to sue. (Also, these are particularly sympathetic plaintiffs.)

🔹The facts are bad for Trump. The facts in this case are devastating.

January 6 from the viewpoint of these officers is harrowing. They recount in gruesome detail how they were attacked with rocks, bottles, fire extinguishers, metal poles, pepper spray.

The insurrectionists repeatedly hurled the "N" word at one of them.

It will not be good for Trump for all these facts to come into the news again.

So far, Trump's "defense" has amounted to cherry-picking the facts. "Trump told them to be peaceful!" or "There's nothing wrong with the word "fight."

You can't get away with that in court.

🔹Also the law in D.C. is bad for Trump. D.C. has a tort called "directing assault and battery." They also have a public safety ordinance against inciting a riot.

More details in the video and blog post (this is just to hit the bullet points)

Under D.C. law, to find that Trump "directed assault and battery," the plaintiffs only have to show that Trump's words “planted the seeds of action and were spoken by a person in an apparent position of authority.”

Easy peasy lemon squeezy (that's an actual legal term😆)

Moreover, Trump didn't have to know that they'd get violent when he directed them to the Capitol. He needed only to have foreseen an appreciable risk of harm to others.

And this can be proven with circumstantial evidence. Easy peasy?

Another reason this case is bad for Trump?

Discovery. Remember those "close advisors" who said Trump was sort of thrilled watching the coverage of the riot on January 6?

Imagine those witnesses on the stand under oath.

In other words, the officers in this civil case may be able to get their hands on evidence that the House Managers in the impeachment trial couldn't get.

Oh, and bonus: If Trump decides to stand on the Fifth and remain silent, the jurors can take that into account.

That's because this is a civil case and not a criminal case.

One more reason this is bad, and I'll wrap this up: The last place Trump wants to face a jury is in Washington, D.C.

I'm sure he'd rather face a jury in, say, Florida, but he has no grounds to remove the case.

The injury happened in Washington D.C.
When you hold a rally somewhere, you automatically subject yourself to the laws and courts of that jurisdiction.

I expect Trump to settle this case so he doesn't have to face discovery or a trial.

More detail on the video and transcription on my blog, but I hit the main points here.

They can't be forced to settle, unless D.C. has some weird rules I don't know about.

California has ways to pressure people into settling, but they don't have to.

I just read this thread over and I left out so much!

Particularly devastating is the sequence of events showing how Trump riled his supporters with lies over a period of months knew they were capable of violence.

You can read the complaint here:


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More from @Teri_Kanefield

31 Mar
Karen Stenner is a political psychologist who predicted the rise of a Trump figure back when the idea brought ridicule.

She understands how to neutralize the dangers posed by authoritarians.


To give you the authoritarian dynamic in a nutshell:

A certain segment of the population has an authoritarian (anti-democratic) personality. They'll never feel comfortable in a liberal democracy.

By liberal democracy, I mean ⤵️

As liberal democracy expands, those with an authoritarian personality push back. This creates an endless dynamic.

I've phrased it this way: Progressives push forward; reactionaries push back. It's an endless cycle.

Read 12 tweets
26 Mar
When they put up a barrier, we figure out a way around it.

GOP demographics are shrinking. Their policies are unpopular. They know they are on a collision course with time.

This latest piece of legislation has the potential of backfiring. Remember the Wisconsin primaries?

The Wisconsin Republicans shamelessly tried brazen voter suppression tactics. But you know what? People don't like it when they think someone is trying to make it hard for them to vote.

Wisconsin has @benwikler
Georgia has @staceyabrams

Every election matters, at every level.

What the Republicans always understood better than the Democrats was that politics (and control) is local.

That's why they were amazed when Republican legislatures couldn't overturn state election results.

Read 5 tweets
20 Mar
Hi, @JohnCollins_KP

I can answer!🙋‍♀️

The modern Republican Party + Putin = True Love because have common goals.

For decades now, Russia has been “beckoning” to America’s far right wing, presenting Russia as the savior of white majority rule. (Timothy Snyder’s word)

2/ This includes Russians infiltrating the NRA and helping radicalize the NRA as a right wing extremist group—but that’s for another post.

The GOP Russia love affair has been evident for some time.
3/ Remember when Tucker Carlson said the U.S. should “rethink America’s alliances.”

And when Sen. Rand Paul went to Moscow to “open lines of communication“? abcnews.go.com/International/…
And when Guiliani attended a pro-Russia conference? thinkprogress.org/why-is-rudy-gi…
Read 12 tweets
18 Mar
Challenging Biden to a debate is a clever way to imply that there is room to debate.

"Debate" assumes a shared set of facts. Then you debate the implications.

This⤵️ is a tactic for elevating and giving credence to a falsehood.
abcn.ws/3qX80Cl via @ABC

This tactic is extremely effective. What Russian propaganda networks do is claim to air "all sides." They publish the truth as one of many possible theories, and then crowd the airwaves with so much "noise" that nobody can figure out what's true and what isn't.

The American right wing does this by talking about their free speech right to promulgate lies. They claim that universities prohibit free speech by not allowing ALL ideas to be presented.

They want to put lies along side truth on the same stage.

Read 4 tweets
17 Mar
It’s not possible to find common ground with people who deliberately lie for political advantage. How do you meet them halfway?

Any lies undermine democracy.

The parties are no longer liberal v. conservative.

They are pro- and anti-democracy.
You fight disinformation the same way you strengthen democracy. I'll put a link in the next tweet.

This makes sense because rule of law (the authority underlying democracy) requires truth and shared facts.

Forms of government other than democracy depend on lies and myth ("The Great Leader Knows All" or "The king was chosen by the gods").

Here's how to strengthen democracy: terikanefield-blog.com/things-to-do/
Read 4 tweets
15 Mar
It's not a coincidence that the same people who spread disinformation are not interested in funding public schools.

While doing research for my book on disinformation, I learned about Kari Kivinen, a headteacher in Finland, who explained how Finland combats disinformation.


In math, they teach students how easy it is to lie with statistics.

In art, students learn how an image’s meaning can be manipulated.

In history, they analyze notable propaganda campaigns.

Language teachers show how words can be used to confuse, mislead, and deceive.

In primary schools, they use fairytales.

"Take the wily fox who always cheats other animals with his sly words. That’s not a bad metaphor for a certain kind of politician, is it?"

Read 7 tweets

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