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2021 American Political Scene

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  • 2021 American Political Scene

    Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert Calls for Street Violence as Another Legal Loss Sends MAGA World Spiraling

    Far-right conspiracy theorists and ultra conservative members of the GOP—who have less and less daylight between them as the days go by—have gone into collective meltdown mode, apparently triggered, at least in part, by calls for violence by Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Trump-allied lawyer L. Lin Wood.

    On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Kernodle, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, dismissed a hail-mary lawsuit filed by Gohmert and 11 Arizona Republicans that attempted to give Vice President Mike Pence the ability to overturn the results of the November presidential election won by Joe Biden.

    As the president of the Senate, Pence will preside over the ceremonial counting of the Electoral College votes, which have already certified Biden as the clear winner, on Wednesday.

    In an interview Friday evening on pro-Trump news network Newsmax, Gohmert falsely claimed that letting the will of the voters stand would “mean the end of our republic, the end of the experiment in self-government."

    Gohmert then seemed to encourage violence as a means to this end. “But bottom line is, the court is saying, ‘We’re not going to touch this. You have no remedy’—basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you gotta go the streets and be as violent as Antifa and BLM.”

    Gohmert, a former judge, sits on the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees federal courts and law enforcement.

    At the same time, pro-Trump lawyer Wood fanned the flames by suggesting Friday that Pence could “face execution by firing squad” for “treason” if he doesn’t go along with the attempt to subvert the election—which Trump’s own former Attorney General, William Barr, declared free of any fraud that could have potentially swung the results.

    This prompted some key Trump loyalists like Jenna Ellis, a Trump campaign attorney, to swiftly distance themselves from Wood.

    “I do not support the statements from Attorney Lin Wood,” Ellis said in a tweet late Friday. “I support the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution.”

    Trump-loving Newsmax host Greg Kelly, who called Wood a “legend” for “getting to the bottom of this mess in Georgia” just two weeks ago, apparently woke up to reality on Friday.

    “This WHIPE just called for the arrest of Mike Pence,” he tweeted. “Wood is doing a crazy man act.”

    In another, he wrote: “His heart may be in the right place but his BRAIN is either TOTALLY FRIED. Or OWNED BY CHINA.”

    Trump himself has gleefully poured gasoline on the fire, tweeting his support for street protests planned for Jan. 6 in D.C., during which his supporters will reportedly try to stop lawmakers from getting to the Capitol and finalizing the election results. Pence’s role is merely a constitutional formality.

    Eleven Republican senators also said Saturday they would object to certifying the Electoral College vote on Wednesday—a stunt that will most likely have no impact on the result but will perpetuate Trump’s claim that the election was somehow stolen from him.

    Wood’s broadsides are only the latest in his increasingly unhinged—and so far unsuccessful—attempts to undermine Biden's victory.

    He has filed lawsuits in Georgia and Michigan to stop the states from certifying their results, all to no avail. He recently suggested that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is a pedophile and was behind Justice Antonin Scalia's 2016 death from natural causes, and has publicly embraced the QAnon conspiracy movement.

    His Friday remarks had QAnon types excitedly welcoming "the great awakening," a mass delusion that expects “criminally corrupt government leaders, celebrities, religious leaders, media figures, and corporate heads [to] be tried and punished for crimes involving treason, human trafficking, ritual sacrifice and unspeakable perversions.”

    Wood fired back at Ellis on Twitter, saying that he has been “fighting” for the rule of law since “7 years before you were born.” Following questions about Wood’s mental state, he posted another tweet saying that he was “fine,” signing off his message with a quote from Vernon Linwood Howard, author of, among other things, The Mystic Path to Cosmic Power.

    “A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.”

    The Daily Beast was unable to reach Gohmert for comment, and left a phone message at Wood’s home. He did not reply.

    Trump is the first sitting president to lose a re-election campaign in nearly three decades. He continues to blame his loss on nebulous claims of voter fraud, and has since lost every court challenge but one.

    The president is now attempting to convince supporters that next week’s special Senate election in Georgia is “both illegal and invalid” because of another nonsensical conspiracy theory involving what he claims are “massive changes made to the voting process.”

    Could this be the first splinters in a Republican civil war that ultimately destroys the "Grand Old Party"?

    One can but hope...

    Say, I wonder if the Republicans in the Senate are going to stand firm against this treason and support the Constitution?
    Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

  • #2
    11 Senate Republicans say they will oppose Electoral College results Wednesday

    Eleven Senate Republicans on Saturday announced that they will vote for objections to the Electoral College results Wednesday, when Congress convenes in a joint session to formally count the vote.

    GOP Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Ron Johnson (Wis.), James Lankford (Okla.), Steve Daines (Mont.), John Kennedy (La.), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) and Mike Braun (Ind.) and Sens.-elect Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Roger Marshall (Kan.), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.) and Tommy Tuberville (Ala.) said in a joint statement that they will vote against accepting the election results until there is a 10-day audit.

    "Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states," they said. "Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed.

    "Accordingly, we intend to vote on Jan. 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not 'regularly given' and 'lawfully certified' (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed," they added.

    The senators didn't say in their joint statement if they plan to object to the results from specific states, how they would divvy up those objections or if they would just vote in support of challenges to the Electoral College results if they reach the Senate.

    The group's announcement means that at least a dozen GOP senators, or almost a quarter of the caucus, will challenge the election resultsWednesday. GOP Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.) was the first senator to announce he would be joining a band of House conservatives to force a debate and vote on the Electoral College results.

    Cruz, like Hawley, is considered to be a potential 2024 White House contender. Saturday's letter came together after Cruz pitched the idea to his colleagues and the Texas senator was spotted huddling with some of the eventual signers during a rare New Year's session of the Senate.

    President Trump, who has endorsed efforts to challenge the election results in Congress, has claimed that the election was "rigged" or that there was widespread voter fraud. And the 11 senators, in their joint statement, alleged that the 2020 election included "unprecedented allegations of voter fraud."

    Dozens of attempts by Trump's legal team to challenge the results in key states have been dismissed by the courts and election experts have repeatedly rejected claims of widespread voter fraud. Then-Attorney General William Barr also said last month that his department had found no widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the election.

    The objection on Jan. 6 will not change President-elect Joe Biden's win, but it is putting GOP incumbents up for reelection in 2022 in a political bind because they will have to pick between supporting claims of fraud, which many of them have spoken out against, or voting against the president and potentially fueling a primary challenge.

    If an objection has the support of a member of the House and a member of the Senate, the two chambers separate and debate it for up to two hours. Both the House and Senate would then vote on whether to uphold the objection, which would require a majority in both chambers to be successful.

    Some GOP lawmakers have estimated that more than 100 House Republicans could support challenging the election results on Wednesday.

    Braun, one of the 11 senators who said Saturday that he would support challenging the results, previously predicted the effort wouldn't go anywhere in Congress and on Friday compared it to a "protest vote."

    "In my opinion there’s zero chance that anything will come from it. The House is not going to overturn and I don’t think you’ll even get close in the Senate," he said on Friday.

    Braun and the other 10 Republicans in their joint statement on Saturdayacknowledged that their efforts would ultimately fall short.

    "We are not naïve. We fully expect most if not all Democrats, and perhaps more than a few Republicans, to vote otherwise," they said. "A fair and credible audit — conducted expeditiously and completed well before Jan. 20 — would dramatically improve Americans' faith in our electoral process and would significantly enhance the legitimacy of whoever becomes our next President."

    The decision to support challenging the election results comes even as GOP leaders and several of their colleagues have publicly dismissed the effort, underscoring frustration within the caucus.

    "I don’t think anybody is anxious to do this, maybe with a few exceptions, obviously, but I think that, you know, now that we're locked into doing it, we’ll give air to the objections, and people can have their day in court, and we’ll hear everybody out, and then we’ll vote," said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), asked about frustration from GOP senators. "But like I said, in the end, I don’t think it changes anything."
    Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), in an open letter to constituents, accused the lawmakers of trying to win over the president's supporters, adding, "Adults don’t point a loaded gun at the heart of legitimate self-government."

    Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) added that objecting during the Wednesday joint session "continues to spread the false rumor that somehow the election was stolen."

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has not publicly weighed in on decisions by GOP senators to object to the election results. But he and other top Senate Republicans urged the caucus during a conference call last month to not object, warning that it would be a tough vote for in-cycle senators that would not change the election result.

    McConnell, during a separate call on Thursday, told Republican senators that he viewed the vote on the election results as the most important vote he has taken during his decades in Congress.

    "He said it was the most consequential vote," Romney recounted to reporters. "I see that as a statement that he believes ... it's a referendum on our democracy."

    So glad these scumbags hold our democratic institutions in such high regard.
    Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


    • #3
      Lindsay Graham slammed Mitch McConnell for delaying $2,000 stimulus payments: 'Going from $600 to $2,000 doesn't make you a socialist'

      Sen. Lindsay Graham on Friday urged the Republican-led Senate to avoid delaying passing a bill that includes $2,000 direct checks to Americans, a move that's been shut down by the top leaders in the upper chamber.

      In a Thursday floor session, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said increasing stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000 would be "socialism for the rich."

      "Borrowing from our grandkids to do socialism for rich people is a terrible way to get help to families who actually need it," he said.

      McConnell's characterization struck Graham, who pushed back against it in a tweet Friday.

      "With all due respect to my Republican colleagues, a $2k direct payment for individuals and families who are struggling is not socialism," Graham said. "In my view, it is necessary in the times in which we live."

      "The country is being overwhelmed by #COVID, hospitals are full, and business are hanging by a thread. Direct payments may not be the most efficient way to help people in need but, given the situation we face are extremely necessary," he continued.

      In December, after monthslong negotiation and delays, lawmakers finally reached a deal on another coronavirus stimulus package. It came with $600 direct checks for taxpayers, in an effort to offset some of the financial devastation brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. This was the second relief package since March, when President Donald Trump signed a bill that included $1,200 direct payments to Americans.

      Since the second bill, Trump has urged Congress to come to an agreement that includes $2,000 checks for Americans. House Democrats immediately pounced on the suggestion, but McConnell has repeatedly shut it down. Friday became the fourth day in a row that Senate Republicans, led by McConnell, blocked the House-passed bill that includes $2,000 checks.

      "Going from $600 to $2,000 doesn't make you a socialist," Graham said in a tweet. "Mr. President, keep fighting for the American people who are suffering. Insist on a standalone vote.

      The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

      Suddenly Graham grows a spine and a brain...I wonder how long this will last...
      Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


      • #4
        Does anyone have the list of congressional representatives, sitting and newly elected, who are backing this nonsense?
        Trust me?
        I'm an economist!


        • #5
          Originally posted by DOR View Post
          Does anyone have the list of congressional representatives, sitting and newly elected, who are backing this nonsense?
          Yeah I'm sure there's a list somewhere. They're up to an even dozen GOP Senators.

          No such thing as rock bottom with this cult.
          Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


          • #6
            As Pelosi scrambles for her job, McConnell loses control

            WELCOME to the 117th Congress!

            The new session starts at noon—yes, on a Sunday — and it promises to be a fascinating opening day.

            THE MAIN EVENT is the speaker’s vote, and Nancy Pelosi’s circle is 100% confident she’s got this — even if it takes a few hours to get there because of the pandemic-era voting procedures. But with her razor-thin majority, Pelosi has little room for error.

            Back to that in a moment, because the speaker’s vote intrigue is being overshadowedby an all-out GOP civil war in the Senate. Three days after Mitch McConnell told his colleagues that the vote to certify the presidential election results on Jan. 6 would be “the most consequential I have ever cast,” a dozen Republican senators have now publicly endorsed objecting to the Electoral College tallies that will make Joe Biden’s victory official.

            In short, there’s a growing rebellion inside the GOP conferenceinstigated by President Donald Trump, who promises more GOP senators will join the effort and also called for mass protests in D.C. on Wednesday. (Yes, the Proud Boys and right-wing militias will be there, and, yes, there is cause for concern about the prospect of violence.)

            We can’t say this emphatically enough: This does not happen to Mitch McConnell. For four years, the Senate leader has managed to maintain order in his ranks as Trump unleashes daily mayhem on the GOP from the White House. That’s all gone to hell.

            As a reminder, here’s how this happened: Trump manufactured election fraud claims, which led his supporters to believe those false claims, which led these Republican senators to cite “unprecedented allegations of voter fraud” and “deep distrust of our democratic processes” as justification for their Wednesday plan. Circle of life.

            The latest names of the objectors, via our Burgess Everett: Sens. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Mike Braun (Ind.), Ted Cruz (Texas), Steve Daines (Mont.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), John Kennedy (La.) and James Lankford (Okla.), as well as Sen.-elects Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Roger Marshall (Kan.) and Tommy Tuberville (Ala.).

            Some perhaps surprising names NOT on the list: Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul.

            BUT … we hear that Rand Paul is likely to join the objectors. Others will surely follow. Stay tuned …

            Yep, sounds like a GOP civil war to me...and even Snappy Turtle can't bring the cult to heel to anymore.

            Popcorn...must obtain more popcorn!

            I wonder what's going on with the House Republicans...
            Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


            • #7
              Fox News: Trump, House Republicans held call to discuss Electoral College rejection: Brooks
              Brooks says his aim to overturn the election's results is gaining 'momentum'

              House Republicans held a rare Saturday night conference call to address their goal of overturning certain state's Electoral College results on Jan. 6, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., told Fox News.

              Brooks said 50 lawmakers including Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, President Trump and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows were on the call.

              He said the members on the call reflected only "some" of the members of Congress who have committed to challenging the Electoral College results, which favored Democrat Joe Biden. Brooks did not identify the other House members who were on the call.

              "The momentum to fight against voter fraud and election theft is rapidly gaining," Brooks told Fox News. "And as a consequence, the numbers that we had who were supportive yesterday are almost always supplemented by reinforcements today and the next day."

              Brooks told Fox News he was "confident there will be many, many more congressman" who will support objecting to certain states' Electoral College results.

              Whether the House will reach a simple majority needed to overturn a state's results remains to be seen, Brooks explained to Fox News.

              "In my judgment, the primary reason so many congressmen and senators are now coming forward to fight this fight is because so many American citizens have made it known that this fight is critical to America's future," Brooks said.

              Trump has applauded Republican lawmakers who have said they will reject the Electoral College votes. He has also expressed frustration with those who have accepted the Biden victory, calling them "weak and tired" in a Tuesday tweet.

              In order for an objection to be considered, it must be endorsed by at least one senator and one representative, which is looking more likely as a dozen senators came forward Saturday publicly following Sen. Josh Hawley’s announcement that he would object to Pennsylvania’s results.

              The senators announced Saturday they would object unless an emergency 10-day audit was conducted to review allegeations of voter fraud by an electoral commision.

              Following an endorsed objection, the House and Senate would be required to suspend their joint session and separate to debate objections for two hours.

              The House and Senate would then need to vote on certifying the results; the objections must maintain a simple majority, otherwise they will be dismissed and the existing results finalized.

              Brooks said he was not convinced the latest push was enough to dive into the "mechanics" of what an investigation would involve, adding that House and Senate leadership should have launched one earlier into "voter fraud and election theft."

              The movement also has caused a divide within the Republican Party, with several GOP senators condemning the move Saturday.

              Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, has been a critic of the president throughout his tenure and called GOP senators' plan to reject the Electoral College results an "egregious ploy."

              "The congressional power to reject electors is reserved for the most extreme and unusual circumstances. These are far from it. More Americans participated in this election than ever before, and they made their choice," Romney added.

              Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., also condemned the move by defending the integrity of his state’s voting accountability, saying Trump's loss was "explained by the decline in suburban support."

              Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell previously urged GOP senators to accept the Biden win, but neither he nor Senate Majority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., could be reached for comment on the GOP’s latest advances in attempting to overturn the election.

              Trump repeatedly has claimed the election was fraudulent, despite former Attorney General William Barr announcing that the Department of Justice could find no evidence to support widespread voter fraud.

              The Supreme Court has refused two Trump campaign-led lawsuits, and more than 50 cases have been dismissed from lower courts across the country.

              But Brooks dismissed this argument saying that lawyers have been unable to conduct proper discovery. "These cases are not being dismissed because of a lack of evidence, they are being aborted before the trial process was even birthed."

              Geez, look at those typos lol. Good ol Fox News is just as edumuhcated as Donald Trump
              Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


              • #8
                Here's a nice New Years Day phone call and it wasn't to say Happy New Year.

                Washington Post: In call, Trump demands Georgia officials 'find' votes to tilt election

                (CNN)President Donald Trump pushed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" votes to overturn the election results after his loss to President-elect Biden, according to an audio recording of a phone call obtained by The Washington Post.

                In excerpts of the stunning one-hour phone call Saturday, Trump lambasted his fellow Republican for refusing to falsely say that he won the election in Georgia and repeatedly touted baseless claims of election fraud.

                "The people of Georgia are angry, the people in the country are angry. And there's nothing wrong with saying that, you know, um, that you've recalculated," Trump said in one excerpt of the call. Raffensperger responded, "Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong."

                In another excerpt, Trump said, "So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state."The White House, the Trump campaign and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows did not immediately respond to a request for comment by the Post. The White House declined to comment to CNN.
                CNN has reached out to Raffensperger.

                The Post also reported that Meadows, lawyer Cleta Mitchell and other Republican allies of the President were also on the call.

                The Trump tweeted Sunday that he spoke to Raffensperger on the phone in an attempt to convince him to look into unfounded conspiracy theories about the November election. According to Trump, Raffensperger refused to do so. Raffensperger responded to Trump later in a tweet: "Respectfully, President Trump: What you're saying is not true. The truth will come out."

                __________________________________________________ _____________

                Raffensperger continues to push Trump off. Good for him in not going down into the hole filled with assorted conspiracy nuts, fascists, white supremacists, and Nazi nut cases.

                Trump's fascination with Georgia puzzles me as though shifting that state does nothing to the end result. Although I have to admit I'm a little disappointed in that Trump did not quite act like an African, Middle East, or South American dictator claiming I got 98% of the vote, easy...

                Wonder how long before some Senators try to pass some bills making Federal elections safer by restricting the right to vote. Maybe we will go back to having to own property in order to vote or even be white. Color me crazy but if you live in this country then you get to vote, period.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post
                  Color me crazy but if you live in this country then you get to vote, period.
                  Well, yeah, if you're a citizen, sure.
                  Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

                    Well, yeah, if you're a citizen, sure.
                    Well, of course, as it goes without saying except if one doesn't believe in it and wants to construe that I meant illegals by that statement.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post

                      Well, of course, as it goes without saying except if one doesn't believe in it and wants to construe that I meant illegals by that statement.
                      Eh, you know how people are these days
                      Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


                      • #12
                        Not that it'll make any difference to him but...


                        In Op-Ed, 10 Ex-Defense Secretaries Say Military Has No Role In Election Dispute

                        Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper joined nine other former defense secretaries in calling for an end to challenges to the presidential election.

                        Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

                        The U.S. presidential election, and the time for questioning its results, are over, all 10 living former secretaries of defense wrote in a forceful op-ed published on Sunday.

                        "Our elections have occurred. Recounts and audits have been conducted. Appropriate challenges have been addressed by the courts. Governors have certified the results. And the electoral college has voted," the 10 men from both Republican and Democratic administrations wrote.

                        "The time for questioning the results has passed; the time for the formal counting of the electoral college votes, as prescribed in the Constitution and statute, has arrived," they said.

                        The bipartisan group of leaders published the letter in The Washington Post as President Trump continues to deny his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden. On Saturday, during a one-hour phone call, Trumpeven pressuredGeorgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" votes to overturn his defeat.

                        Former Secretaries of Defense Ashton Carter, Dick Cheney, William Cohen, Robert Gates, Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, William Perry and Donald Rumsfeld signed the opinion piece.

                        Two Pentagon heads who served under Trump — Jim Mattis and Mark Esper — also signed it. Trump removed Esper in November as part of a major shakeup at the Department of Defense.

                        The op-ed comes as some Republican lawmakers in Congress plan this week to formally object to the certification of the Nov. 3 presidential election results.

                        Since the vote, Trump and his attorneys have repeatedly asserted false claims of voter fraud and blamed, without evidence, that his loss to Biden was due to widespread irregularities. But his insistence that the election was stolen has led to some speculation he could somehow use the military to remain in office past Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration.

                        The 10 signatories made it clear that any effort to involve U.S. armed forces in resolving election disputes would take the country "into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory."

                        They wrote, "Civilian and military officials who direct or carry out such measures would be accountable, including potentially facing criminal penalties, for the grave consequences of their actions on our republic."

                        Former Defense Secretary Perry, who served under President Bill Clinton, wrote on Twitter that the idea for the statement originated with Cheney, a Republican who served under President George W. Bush as vice president and President George H.W. Bush as secretary of defense.

                        "Each of us swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We did not swear it to an individual or a party," Perry tweeted, reiterating the op-ed's lines.

                        At the op-ed's conclusion, the former secretaries also appeared to address Biden's claims that his transition team has faced roadblocks put up by the Trump White House in meeting Pentagon leaders ahead of his inauguration.

                        "Acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller and his subordinates — political appointees, officers and civil servants — are each bound by oath, law and precedent to facilitate the entry into office of the incoming administration, and to do so wholeheartedly," they wrote. "They must also refrain from any political actions that undermine the results of the election or hinder the success of the new team."
                        Last edited by Albany Rifles; 04 Jan 21,, 14:39.
                        “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                        Mark Twain


                        • #13
                          Donald Trump Should Be Prosecuted for His Shakedown of Georgia’s Brad Raffensperger

                          President Donald Trump likely broke both federal and state law in a Saturday phone call during which he encouraged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn the state’s election results. The president certainly committed an impeachable offense that is grounds for removing him from the office he will be vacating in less than three weeks, or disqualifying him from future elected office. His tumultuous term will end as it began, with questions as to the legality of conduct connected to manipulating American elections, and a defense based squarely on the idea that Trump’s mind is so warped that he actually believes the nonsense he spews. Trump may never be put on trial for what he did, but a failure to prosecute him may lead to a further deterioration of American democracy.

                          The Washington Post’s bombshell report and audio recording of a Saturday conversation between Trump, his chief of staff Mark Meadows, Republican election attorney Cleta Mitchell, and Georgia election officials featured a litany of unproven and debunked claims of voter fraud in Georgia. Trump claimed he had actually won the state by hundreds of thousands of votes, and suggested Raffensperger could face criminal liability for not going after this phantom fraud.

                          In the course of describing such fraud, Trump attempted fraud of his own, asking Raffensperger to engage in belated ballot box stuffing to benefit him. (Never mind that Georgia certified its vote totals weeks ago and has submitted its electoral college votes for counting by Congress on Wednesday.) Among the most damning things Trump said was the following:
                          "It is more illegal for you than it is for [election officials] because, you know, what they did and you’re not reporting it. That’s a criminal, that’s a criminal offense. And you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan [Germany], your lawyer. And that’s a big risk. But they are shredding ballots, in my opinion, based on what I’ve heard. And they are removing machinery, and they’re moving it as fast as they can, both of which are criminal finds. And you can’t let it happen, and you are letting it happen. You know, I mean, I’m notifying you that you’re letting it happen. So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state."
                          Make no mistake. In that last sentence, Trump was asking Raffensperger to manufacture enough votes to overturn the results in Georgia based upon nothing but Trump’s false accusations of fraud and irregularities. In the previous passage, it sounded very much as though he were threatening Raffensperger with some sort of criminal offense if he did not do as Trump commanded. (In ensuring that Georgia’s election results were counted properly, no evidence has emerged that Raffensperger has committed any crime). This request is easily the kind of corrupt conduct that could serve as a “high crime and misdemeanor” subjecting him to removal from office, though with his departure imminent it seems unlikely that Congress would take up the case. The conduct, though, is much more egregious than the Ukraine threats that got Trump impeached one year ago, conduct that was also aimed at manipulating the election by pressuring Ukrainian officials to come up with fake dirt on Joe Biden. Trump, of course, also entered office under a cloud of suspicion over his campaign’s links to Russia and Vladimir Putin’s successful efforts to manipulate the 2016 election on his behalf. In the unlikely event that Congress were to make him the first president ever to be impeached twice—impeachments can happen even after elected officials leave office—then he could be disqualified from running for high office again in the future. When not attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election, it has been reported that Trump has been planning a possible third run for president in 2024.

                          Aside from being impeachable conduct, Trump’s actions likely violate federal and Georgia law. A federal statute makes it a crime when one “knowingly and willfully … attempts to deprive or defraud the residents of a State of a fair and impartially conducted election process, by … the procurement, casting, or tabulation of ballots that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held.” A Georgia statute similarly provides that a “person commits the offense of criminal solicitation to commit election fraud in the first degree when, with intent that another person engage in conduct constituting a felony under this article, he or she solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or otherwise attempts to cause the other person to engage in such conduct.”

                          For both statutes, the easy part for prosecutors would be proving that there was no basis in fact for Georgia election officials to flip the lead in Georgia to Trump by adding 11,780 votes to his totals, giving him one more vote than Biden’s margin of victory. The ballots in that state have been counted, and recounted both by hand and by machine, and Biden’s victory is certain. And as Raffensperger pointed out repeatedly on the call, every court that has investigated Trump’s fraud claims has found them to be completely spurious. Adding 11,780 votes to Trump’s column—or removing legal Biden ballots—would defraud Georgia voters of the actual outcome they chose. Counting fake ballots or removing lawful ones would deprive Georgia voters of a fair and impartially conducted election process. That is the definition of election fraud.

                          The hard part for prosecutors would be proving Trump’s state of mind, because the statutes require proof of knowledge and intent. Prosecutors would have to show that Trump knew that Biden fairly won the election, and Trump was asking for Georgia officials to commit election fraud. And it’s not clear prosecutors could make that case.

                          As with so many things in this presidency and president, the question is whether Trump is drinking his own Kool-Aid. Reading the entire one-hour rambling call transcript, it is hard to know if Trump actually believes the fever swamp of debunked conspiracy theories about the election or whether he’s just using the false claims as a cover to get the political results he wants. It’s not much different than Trump’s statements denying Russian election hacking in 2016, his professed ignorance of the aims of QAnon and the Proud Boys, and whether ingesting bleach can protect against coronavirus. And during the Ukraine impeachment saga, of course, nearly every Republican Senator voted to acquit the president on the implausible basis that Trump was merely asking Ukraine to legitimately investigate Joe Biden for possible criminal conduct rather than seeking to corruptly advance his own electoral interests. In all of these cases, Trump’s conspiratorial rantings display either profound ignorance, deep cynicism, or both.

                          Trump is the rare potential criminal defendant to have plausible deniability about whether he accepts truths as clear as gravity, making any prosecution difficult. Add onto that concerns of prosecutorial discretion for both the new Biden administration and Georgia officials, possible claims of legal immunity, a presidential self-pardon that could relieve Trump of liability under federal law, and other political hurdles, and a prosecution of Trump is unlikely.

                          Despite the long odds, I would hope at least Georgia prosecutors will consider going after Trump, or that the House of Representatives might impeach him again with the goal of disqualifying from running in 2024. Lack of prosecution or investigation demonstrates that there’s little to deter the next would-be authoritarian—perhaps a more competent one—from trying to steal an election. Trump came a lot closer than he should have this time, and next time we may not be so lucky.
                          Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


                          • #14
                            Feel free to contribute to the list ...

                            Vichy Republicans


                            Tommy Tuberville (Alabama), newly elected
                            Tom Cotton (Arkansas)
                            Kelly Loeffler (Georgia)
                            David Perdue (Georgia)
                            Mike Braun (Indiana)
                            Chuck Grassley (Iowa)
                            Roger Marshall, (Kansas), newly elected
                            Rand Paul (Kentucky)
                            John Kennedy (Louisiana)
                            Roger Wiker (Mississippi)
                            Cindy Hyde-Smith (Mississippi)
                            Josh Hawley, (Missouri)
                            Steve Daines (Montana)
                            James Lankford (Oklahoma)
                            Jim Inhofe (Okalahoma)
                            Lindsey Graham (South Carolina)
                            Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee)
                            Bill Hagerty (Tennessee), newly elected
                            Ted Cruz, (Texas)
                            Ron Johnson, (Wisconsin)
                            Cynthia Lummis, (Wyoming), newly elected
                            John Barrasso (Wyoming)

                            Mo Brooks (AL-5)
                            Gary Palmer (AL-6)
                            Jerry Carl (AL-1), newly elected
                            Barry Moore (AL-2), newly elected
                            Bruce Westerman (AR-4)
                            Paul Gosar (AZ-4)
                            Andy Biggs (AZ-5)
                            Tom McClintock (CA-4)
                            Kein McCarthy (CA-4), House Minority Leader
                            Devin Nunes (CA-22)
                            Lauren Boebert (CO-3), newly elected
                            Matt Gaetz (FL-1)
                            Neal Dunn (FL-2)
                            John Rutherford (FL-4)
                            Michael Waltz (FL-6)
                            Bill Posey (FL-8)
                            Dan Webster (FL-11)
                            Gus Bilirakis (FL-12)
                            Greg Steube (FL-17)
                            Mario Biaz-Balart (FL-25)
                            Drew Ferguson (GA-6)
                            Jody Hice (GA-10)
                            Andrew Clyde (GA-9), newly elected
                            Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA-14), newly elected
                            Steve King (IA-4)
                            James Comer (KY-1)
                            Andy Barr (KY-6)
                            Steve Scalise (LA-1), House Minority Whip
                            Clay Higgins (LA-3)
                            Mike Johnson (LA-4)
                            Ralph Abraham (LA-5)
                            Andy Harris (MD-1)
                            Bill Huizenga (MI-2)
                            John Moolenaar (MI-4)
                            Vicky Hartzler (MO-4)
                            Sam Graves (MO-6)
                            Billy Long (MO-7)
                            Jason Smith (MO-8)
                            Jim Hagedorn (MN-1)
                            Tim Lawberg (MI-9)
                            Tom Emmer (MN-6)
                            Trent Kelly (MS-1)
                            Michael Guest (MS-3)
                            Steven Palazzo (MS-4)
                            Madison Cawthorn, NC-11), newly elected
                            David Rouzer (NC-7)
                            Richard Hudson (NC-8)
                            Dan Bishop (NC-9)
                            Ted Budd (NC-13)
                            Kelly Armstrong (ND-AL)
                            Jeff Van Drew (NJ-2)
                            Yvette Herrell (NM-2), newly elected
                            Mark Amodel (NV-2)
                            Elise Stefanik (NY-21)
                            Jim Jordan (OH-4)
                            Dave Joyce (OH-14)
                            Markwayne Mullin (OK-2)
                            Scott Perry (PA-10)
                            Lloyd Smuker (PA-11)
                            Fred Keller (PA-12)
                            Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14)
                            Glenn Thompson (PA-15)
                            Mike Kelly (PA-16)
                            Joe Wilson (SC-2)
                            Jeff Duncan (SC-3)
                            William Timmons (SC-4)
                            Ralph Norman (SC-5)
                            Tim Burchett (TN-2)
                            Diana Harshbarger (TN), newly elected
                            Louie Gohmert (TX-1)
                            Lance Gooden (TX-5)
                            Ronny Jackson (TX-13), newly elected
                            Roger Williams (TX-25)
                            Brian Babin (TX-36)
                            Burgess Ownes (UT-4), newly elected
                            Tom Tiffany (WI-7)
                            Ben Cline (VA-6)
                            Bob Good (VA-5), newly elected

                            Other officials
                            Kayleigh McEnany, White House Press Secretary
                            Stephen Miller, Senior Advisor to the President
                            Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State
                            Mike Dunleavy, Alaska Governor
                            Ron DeSantis, Florida Governor
                            Kristi Noem, South Dakota Governor
                            Bill Lee, Tennessee Governor
                            Ronna McDaniel, Republican National Committee Chair

                            Retired /Former Officials
                            Lou Barletta, former representative (PA-1)
                            Newt Gingrich, former representative (GA-06) and Speaker of the House
                            Rudy Giulani, former Mayor of New York City
                            Bradley Byrne, former representative (AL-1)
                            Ross Spano former representative (FL-15)
                            Ted Yoho former representative (FL-3)
                            Doug Collins former representative (GA-9)

                            Steve Bannon, former Counselor to the President
                            Linda McMahon, former Small Business Administration Administrator

                            Trust me?
                            I'm an economist!


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

                              Despite the long odds, I would hope at least Georgia prosecutors will consider going after Trump, or that the House of Representatives might impeach him again with the goal of disqualifying from running in 2024. Lack of prosecution or investigation demonstrates that there’s little to deter the next would-be authoritarian—perhaps a more competent one—from trying to steal an election. Trump came a lot closer than he should have this time, and next time we may not be so lucky.
                              After a reading of the transcript one can clearly see that the man is 100% unhinged. Is is boiled down in a Trump for Dummies article below puling out his best unhinged claims.
                              The 37 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's call with the Georgia secretary of state

                              1. "We won very substantially in Georgia. You even see it by rally size, frankly. We'd be getting 25-30,000 people a rally and the competition would get less than 100 people."

                              Well, I'm convinced! Trump has always been entirely convinced that having large rallies = winning. Of course, even if Trump had 30,000 people at a rally, that's roughly .6% of the 4.9 million votes cast in Georgia this fall. Math! And away we go!