Just pointing out that for a conspiracy to be a crime, the goal didn't have to be a violent attack.

A conspiracy to stop or interfere with the voting in Congress would be enough to make it a crime.

You can see this is what they're charged with: Conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding.

This, I think, is the flaw in Giuliani's First Amendment defense. He says you there isn't evidence he intended violence.

But did he intend to interfere with the counting of the votes?
Interfering with the counting of the votes is "lawless" under the Brandenburg v Ohio standard.

The standard doesn't require violence. It requires "lawlessness."

A subtle distinction, but a distinction.
Correct, but what legal means were available to the Proud Boys and Three-Percenters when Giuliani made his speech the day before the riot, on Jan. 5?

I'm trying to think of a legal way for them to do it without engaging first in some lawlessness.🤔
Congress was clearly set to count the electoral votes and certify the election, so the only legal way (I can think of) is to ask them not to.

That would have to happen earlier, not when they are set to begin.

I suspect Stone & Rudy aimed for 👇washingtonpost.com/history/2018/1…

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More from @Teri_Kanefield

12 Jun
Anti-Hardball Tactics

The GOP is an anti-system party willing to torpedo democratic institutions to retain dominance.

Q: Should Democrats fight like Republicans?

Georgetown Law prof. David Pozen offers an answer and a solution. papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf…
1/ If you haven’t noticed, Republicans have been engaging in hardball tactics.

I'm being ironic. Of course, you noticed.

Constitutional Hardball tactics are technically within the rules, but shocking, norm-breaking, and destructive.
papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf… Image
2/ Hardball tactics are carried out within the law, but subvert the spirit of the law.

Example: McConnell refusing to allow Obama to appoint a Supreme Court justice.
Read 12 tweets
11 Jun
Abusing power and assaulting the separation of powers was a hallmark of the Trump administration.

If I recall, he was even impeached for abusing his powers and the Republicans gave him a pass.
Just a friendly reminder that if the people who abused power are not held "accountable," it's because they are being shielded by a major political party that holds a lot of power.

You can't say Schiff and Swalwell haven't been doing their best.
Underestimating how entrenched the anti-democratic forces are? Unreasonable expectations? Thinking change can be swift?

Think about what would be happening right now if Trump was in the White House and compare.
Read 4 tweets
11 Jun
Wait. I thought these were the people complaining that their First Amendment rights were violated by demands for political correctness.

I'm so confused.
Mask mandates are tyranny, but teachers wearing body cameras is perfectly reasonable.

I'm making jokes, even though it isn't funny (well, it sort of is)

This is how Fox and Newsmax keep their base riled up and engaged.
Read 4 tweets
10 Jun
(Thread) Fear and Desperation

In this fabulous lecture, Harvard prof. Steven Levitsky explains that the Republicans are engaging in hardball tactics because they feel their backs are to the wall and they're desperate.
If this is the kind of thing I've been saying, it's because I've been reading Levitsky's work for years. He writes about democracies in Latin America, democratic erosion, and competitive authoritarianism. He's also a co-author of 👇

Also, 👇
His point: For most of the 20th century, American politics "worked."

That’s because through the 1970s, both parties culturally and demographically similar.

Specifically, they were white. White men controlled all major American institutions.

Read 22 tweets
9 Jun
For people asking me about Merrick Garland's decision in the defamation case, I'll refer you to this article by


This is a defamation case.

The legal question is whether Trump made the statement in the scope of his employment

In other words, this case isn't about the rape itself (except that truth is a defense to libel)

I suspect that the issue will be appealed, and the appellate court will decide whether it agrees that the defamatory statements were uttered in the scope of Trump's employment.

The legal issue, from the government's brief: documentcloud.org/documents/2079…

This is how the DOJ would answer a lot of the questions I'm getting.

It's easy to check the DOJ's legal reasoning.

Read 20 tweets
8 Jun
You can start with my list and build from there: terikanefield.com/things-to-do/

The most important thing you can do is get involved in local politics. I live in a blue city in a blue state, and right-wingers are getting a foothold at the very local level.
Dear Twitter: One way to kill democracy is to cause a majority to give up and feel like the situation is hopeless.

Democracy (like elections) requires public confidence and public engagement.

This talk becomes self-fulfilling. People hear it, believe it, give up, and disengage.
Clint Watts @selectedwisdom said that one goal of active measure was to get people to lose confidence in democratic processes.

McConnell is trying to get people to lose confidence in the democratic process by obstructing everything and rendering the process broken.
Read 4 tweets

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