Reading the Senate Report now on Trump's months-long attempts to subvert the election:…

The attempts involve repeated abuses of presidential power and violations of "longstanding policies" intended to prevent a president from weaponizing the DOJ.

Finding #1: Trump repeatedly asked DOJ leadership to endorse false claims about the election and to assist his efforts to overturn the election.

I seem to recall @RepAdamSchiff warning Congress that if Trump wasn't impeached and removed he'd keep abusing his power.

Finding #2: Mark Meadows similarly "violated longstanding restrictions on White House-DOJ communications about specific law enforcement matters."

Why it matters: In an autocracy, the autocrat decides who to prosecute. Independent prosecutors are a safeguard of democracy.

Finding #3, Jeffrey Bossert Clark, among other things, pushed for the DOJ to tell swing state legislatures (including GA) that they should appoint alternate slates of electors.

The evidence for all of this: The DOJ complied with the committee's request for documents.

The NARA hasn't yet complied, “given the gravity of the public record of Trump’s efforts to compromise DOJ’s independence” the committee is making their findings so far public."

Finding #4 links all of this to the Stop the Steal rally, which has interesting implications.

Here are the findings about Rep. Scott Perry and Doug Mastriano.

Why it matters: Proving intent is difficult. Evidence like this goes to intent.

The report connects Trump's efforts before the election to lay the foundation for his plans to set aside the results.

The backup plan (if weaponizing the DOJ didn't work) was to pressure Pence to set aside the electoral votes of contested states . . .

. . . which of course Pence didn't have the legal authority to do. (See my analysis of the Eastman Memo: There's also a transcript on my blog.)

The report ties all of this to the "disinformation ecosystem" that led to the insurrection.

#1: The goal appears to have been creating chaos, or what Dick Durban, called a "constitutional crisis."

#2: This one is a doozy. I've seen part of this before, but not the "can't and won't flip a switch" part.

Doesn't look good for the "[Republican] Congressmen."

As far as Trump is concerned, probably the most damning piece of evidence is what he said here⤵️

A word about evidence. Trump will probably deny he said it and some of his enablers from the meeting back him up.

So who decides? (this question is worth 10 points)

We have a winner.

What's going on here?

I know the inclination people feel is to ask "where are the criminal consequences?"

There may be a Hatch Act violation, or political coercion under 18 USC §610.

h/t @clarkkathleen and Dennis Aftergut.

What's really going on is something much more serious than any of these code violations can capture.

What you can see in this report is a blueprint for how modern-day fascists seize power.

Pinochet-style military coups when you go to sleep in a democracy and wake up in a dictatorship are very 20th century.

Modern autocrats come to power through legal means, usually an election, and then, once in power they abuse their power to subvert democratic processes.

Much of this report concerns how Trump (and Barr and others) violated longstanding democratic procedures in order to do what modern autocrats do: Once in power they figure out how to stay there.

It didn't work.

The solution is not to elect would-be autocrats to the White House. Did Americans learn their lesson?

The jury on that one is still out.

Based on the findings in this report, the committee recommends:

Guessing on the timetable: They are racing the clock to finish this by the midterms.

I would be shocked given #4 if there aren't criminal referrals.

I'll turn this Twitter talking point on its head.

An autocrat trying to stay in power won't be deterred by possible criminal liability if he fails. Therefore, none of this will matter if Americans elect would-be autocrats and autocrat enablers in 2022 and 2024.

So don't.

Well goodness, I must have needed a longer break. In Tweet #10 I mentioned the most damning piece of evidence and then didn't attach it to the tweet.

This goes to intent (including in the GA matter).

Here it is:
He didn't say "look into allegations of fraud" or any of the other weasel words he used when pressuring Raffensperger (SOS GA).

He made his intentions clear. Overturn.

(He'll deny he said it, no doubt, and so will his enablers at the meeting.)
Here's the Senate minority report, which basically argues that:

"Trump didn't use the DOJ to overturn the election."
(They didn't add that this was because the DOJ refused to do it.)…
The minority committee argues that "Trump did not exert improper influence on the DOJ" because his concerns about election fraud were "not unreasonable."

In legal terms, "reasonable" means "rational, appropriate, or usual the circumstances."
Those were the two best defenses offered by the minority report, and they were lame.

But remember what we're dealing with: Trump defenders don't have to make sense. They don't care if they don't make sense.

When you have a well-oiled propaganda loop, who cares about facts?

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More from @Teri_Kanefield

9 Oct
This is unbecoming behavior.

Make an outrageous statement not based on fact.
When people call it out as wrong, double down.
Finally, assert that following statutory procedure appears "weak."

Yes, the "bad guys" scorn people who follow the laws.
Does that mean we shouldn't?
This plays well with people who have no patience with rule of law. It also converts more people to the "rule of law is tiresome" way of thinking.

I suspect that the Do Something This Minute people will never be satisfied.

Nothing will ever be enough.
A strongman has a lot of appeal.

A strongman can get things done quickly by blowing through the rules. A strongman appeals to people who dislike rule of law.

You see, a lot of people don't actually like democracy.
It's hard, slow-moving, grinding work.
Read 6 tweets
7 Oct
I think I'm going to stop for now.

Someone just told me that these reports are "meaningless unless . . . "

The truth is never meaningless.
The idea that a report is meaningless because . . . .because . .. because what? Because Trump is not in prison?

That's not how things work, people.

In fact, it sounds a bit autocratic to me.

I'm about to go on a tear . . .
I'm tired of the word "consequences" and "accountability."

Trump was removed from the White House after trying everything he could to subvert an election.

Investigations are ongoing.

If you want elected leaders who abuse their authority to be held accountable . . .
Read 5 tweets
5 Oct
And what regulations might these be?

*checks a timeline of regulations*

Regulations from this era include the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and our first affirmative action regulations.

"Insane" indeed. Image
Does anyone remember the economy tanking during the time from JFK to Nixon?

(That would be 1963 until 1968 or 1974, depending on how to count "Nixon.") Image
I recommend not arguing with such people. They use the firehose of falsehoods method: throw out lots of garbage and wear people out trying correct errors.

I retweeted because I thought the "insane" comment was interesting.

The hatred of regulations is why they hate government.
Read 4 tweets
3 Oct
Here is a foreshadowing of how the far right-wing will respond as the investigations into the January 6 Capitol attack get closer to the whole truth.

They will cast themselves as patriots and victims of government oppression. Image
Millions and millions of people will believe this.

I don't want you all discouraged when you learn that prosecution and the truth coming out will not end the threat posed by the far right-wing.

The fight will go on. See my pinned tweet.
It doesn't make sense, but it doesn't have to.
Read 4 tweets
3 Oct
Apparently Trump "plans to sue."…

Yeah, right 🥱

Not only would he lose, but such a lawsuit would likely backfire on him spectacularly.

(I first wrote about this in a Just Security piece.)

2/ It's generally accepted that the privilege is held by the sitting president, and the Biden administration already said won't assert executive privilege over this material.

(For more detail, see my Just Security article:…)
3/ So most likely his lawsuit would be thrown out on a motion to dismiss.

If the court DID consider his arguments, it would likely apply one of the exceptions and conclude that these records are not privileged.
Read 13 tweets
30 Sep
See my pinned blog post, where I discuss this.

They'll push backward. That's what reactionaries do.

A solid majority in the Senate could have solved this by allowing Congress to reform the Court.

The real problem is that the Democrats didn't pick up more Senate seats in 2020.
Biden in the White House balances this by pushing forward in other ways.

The key to the Court problem is picking up a larger majority in the Senate in 2022 and keeping the House majority.
You can't gerrymander the Senate, and the Constitution (17th Amendment) provides that Senators are picked by popular vote in each state.

Right now, we have a split Senate, which is slowing progress.

Read 6 tweets

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