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  • TopHatter
    replied
    New records show how fiercely Trump DOJ loyalists fought to help — and resist — his effort to steal the 2020 election

    With much of the news media focused on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) Tuesday night, ABC News published a Dec. 28, 2020, letter from Jeffrey Clark, then the acting head of the Justice Department's civil division, to acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and his acting deputy, Richard Donoghue. Clark's letter is "the single most damning piece of evidence yet" on former President Donald Trump's "comprehensive" and "dangerous" attempt to overturn his 2020 loss, Chris Hayes said on MSNBC Wednesday night.

    Clark wanted Rosen and Donoghue to sign his draft letter telling Georgia's leaders the Justice Department "is investigating various irregularities in the 2020 election" and has "identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple states." If Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) declined to call a special session to address "this important and urgent matter," Clark's draft letter claimed, the Justice Department believes "the Georgia General Assembly has implied authority under the Constitution of the United States to call itself into special session" and appoint its own presidential electors.

    Clark's letter was, "in other words, a road map to overthrowing the will of voters," The Washington Post's Philip Bump wrote Wednesday. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) told MSNBC on Wednesday night that Clark had drafted similar letters to six states Trump lost, encouraging Republicans to overturn President Biden's win.

    Rosen and Donoghue flatly refused. "There is no chance that I would sign this letter or anything remotely like this," Donoghue emailed Clark a few hours after receiving the draft. Rosen added later he "confirmed again today that I am not prepared to sign such a letter."

    "By itself, this back-and-forth is probably without precedent," Bump writes. "But slotted into the other events we know were occurring at the same time, we see just how desperately Trump was scrambling to gain a toehold in his efforts to upend a Biden presidency" — and how close he came.

    On Jan. 3, for example, Trump nearly replaced Rosen with Clark in a fraught Oval Office meeting. On Wednesday, Politico published an email senior DOJ official Patrick Hovakimian wrote in preparation for Rosen's expected ouster. Rosen had "repeatedly refused the president's direct instructions" to misuse the DOJ's "law enforcement powers," so he and Donoghue "resign from the department, effusively immediacy," Hovakimian's unsent email said.

    University of Texas Law professor Steve Vladeck said "Clark's (insane) draft letter lays bare" that Trump's legal effort was always just a "thinly veiled cover for overturning the result of a democratic election."

    MSNBC's Hayes was more dramatic, arguing Clark should face consequences for having "aimed a nuclear weapon at the United States of America's democracy."
    _______

    Leave a comment:


  • tbm3fan
    replied
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    No one has ever gone up to Trump and just told him he lost the election - author Michael Wolff

    It seems as if your theory of Trump is that he's a not-bright insane person with a gift for reading a crowd.

    Yes. He's like many actors I have known in my time: not too bright in their own particular reality, with extraordinary gifts for getting on the wavelength of their audience.

    Does he know that he lost the election fair and square?

    He does not know. Now, whether he has managed to successfully convince himself or whether from the get-go he was so focused on hearing what he wanted to hear, he is absolutely certain. Absolutely certain that he won the election and that if he did not win it, it could only be that it was stolen from him. And that everybody else also sees it that way. So this is delusional, which is the word I use fairly often in the book.

    You also say he's mentally deranged.

    Yes. I would say that seems the obvious conclusion.

    I kept waiting for someone in the book to just go out to him and say "You lost."

    When you haven't been in his presence, it's very hard then to actually describe for someone the fact that he is incapable of listening. He just doesn't hear anything that he doesn't want to hear. He's unable to acknowledge any deviation, any slightest departure, any merest qualification of something different than what he thinks or wants to think.

    So no one has just gone up to him and said, "Sir, you lost this election"?

    Exactly so. You cannot say anything to Trump that he doesn't want to hear. Everybody knows that. So to do that would mark you as incompetent or a fool or a silly person. It just doesn't happen.

    Now, there's a set of billionaire types - sort of what passes for friends - who have at least described to me instances in which they have tried to, if not exactly level with him, bring him around to a new understanding. But also the feeling that you come away from those descriptions is that even these people can't get over the barrier of saying: "You're an idiot. You're a fool. You don't know what you're talking about."

    Partly because it would require that kind of extreme language. And, given that he was the president of the United States, and given that everybody knows he doesn't listen anyway.

    And given, of course, that people who are talking to him want to remain in his favor.

    It's almost another power of his, if every time he encounters someone they can't bring themselves to be direct about the circumstances.

    Completely. But just think of it as talking to a crazy person, a person whose capacity to parse reality in some logical way is so diminished that you have to humor them, essentially. Everybody knows that reality can't get through here, so the best you can do is work at the edges.
    ___________

    Pretty good summation of Trump and his cult: Mentally deranged.
    So I guess "you lost you f..kin moron" is out of the question? I'd be more than happy to tell him that one New Yorker to another nose to nose.

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    No one has ever gone up to Trump and just told him he lost the election - author Michael Wolff

    It seems as if your theory of Trump is that he's a not-bright insane person with a gift for reading a crowd.

    Yes. He's like many actors I have known in my time: not too bright in their own particular reality, with extraordinary gifts for getting on the wavelength of their audience.

    Does he know that he lost the election fair and square?

    He does not know. Now, whether he has managed to successfully convince himself or whether from the get-go he was so focused on hearing what he wanted to hear, he is absolutely certain. Absolutely certain that he won the election and that if he did not win it, it could only be that it was stolen from him. And that everybody else also sees it that way. So this is delusional, which is the word I use fairly often in the book.

    You also say he's mentally deranged.

    Yes. I would say that seems the obvious conclusion.

    I kept waiting for someone in the book to just go out to him and say "You lost."

    When you haven't been in his presence, it's very hard then to actually describe for someone the fact that he is incapable of listening. He just doesn't hear anything that he doesn't want to hear. He's unable to acknowledge any deviation, any slightest departure, any merest qualification of something different than what he thinks or wants to think.

    So no one has just gone up to him and said, "Sir, you lost this election"?

    Exactly so. You cannot say anything to Trump that he doesn't want to hear. Everybody knows that. So to do that would mark you as incompetent or a fool or a silly person. It just doesn't happen.

    Now, there's a set of billionaire types - sort of what passes for friends - who have at least described to me instances in which they have tried to, if not exactly level with him, bring him around to a new understanding. But also the feeling that you come away from those descriptions is that even these people can't get over the barrier of saying: "You're an idiot. You're a fool. You don't know what you're talking about."

    Partly because it would require that kind of extreme language. And, given that he was the president of the United States, and given that everybody knows he doesn't listen anyway.

    And given, of course, that people who are talking to him want to remain in his favor.

    It's almost another power of his, if every time he encounters someone they can't bring themselves to be direct about the circumstances.

    Completely. But just think of it as talking to a crazy person, a person whose capacity to parse reality in some logical way is so diminished that you have to humor them, essentially. Everybody knows that reality can't get through here, so the best you can do is work at the edges.
    ___________

    Pretty good summation of Trump and his cult: Mentally deranged.

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Trump urged Justice officials to declare election ‘corrupt’

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump urged senior Justice Department officials to declare the 2020 election results “corrupt” in a December phone call, according to handwritten notes from one of the participants in the conversation.

    The notes of the Dec. 27 call, released Friday by the House Oversight Committee, underscore the lengths to which Trump went to try to overturn the results of the election and to elicit the support of law enforcement officials and other government leaders in that effort. Emails released last month show that Trump and his allies in the last weeks of his presidency pressured the Justice Department to investigate unsubstantiated claims of widespread 2020 election fraud, and the department’s inspector general is looking into whether department officials tried to subvert the results.

    “Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen,” Trump said at one point to then-Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, according to notes taken by Richard Donoghue, a senior Justice Department official who was on the call.

    The pressure is all the more notable because just weeks earlier, Trump’s own Attorney General William Barr, had declared that the department had found no evidence of widespread fraud that could have overturned the results.

    The Dec. 27 call took place just days after Barr had resigned, leaving Rosen in charge of the department during a turbulent final weeks of the administration that also included the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in which pro-Trump loyalists stormed the building as Congress was certifying the election results.

    “These handwritten notes show that President Trump directly instructed our nation’s top law enforcement agency to take steps to overturn a free and fair election in the final days of his presidency,” committee chairman Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat, said in a statement.

    She said the committee had begun scheduling interviews with witnesses. The Justice Department earlier this week authorized six witnesses to appear before the panel, citing the public interest in the “extraordinary events” of those final weeks.

    _____

    Leave a comment:


  • GVChamp
    replied
    "The US would never do that: we're not that crazy/stupid!" would have a touch of credibility if the US hadn't just spent a generation stomping in Afghanistan to accomplish diddly squat, especially when SecDef under the last superpower withdrawal was VP under the next superpower entry: this isn't "within living memory," this is "basically the same men are in charge."

    21st Century America is quite hubristic, 21st Century Europe similarly so in its own way.

    I also don't see how not taking Crimea is valuable to Russia's strategic situation, not taking it makes it likely makes it EU territory by the 2030s and there's fuck-all Russia can do about that. The situation is entirely reversed now, Crimea is now Russian territory and there is fuck-all Europe can do about it. What exactly is the proposed counter-strategy? 2001-2009 is not viewed as success for Russia, it is viewed as a complete collapse, which it is: Moscow's weakness in the 1990s resulted in the West's solidification in the 2000s.

    I don't know what you think "pulling a Deng" is going to do, because Russia isn't as strong as China, and China took decades to get where it is at. In that time, Russia concedes all relevant strategic areas.

    In this case, whatever, we'll see what happens in 20 years. It's not great, but from Russia's perspective, it sucked to begin with. If your counter is "but it doesn't have to suck, you can partner with us and everything will better," uhhhh...okay...Free Tibet, too, I guess...

    Leave a comment:


  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post

    Isn't it amazing how people can be so stupid and blind with a grifter so obvious.
    Siri, what is the political equivalent of von Munchausen's syndrome?

    Leave a comment:


  • statquo
    replied
    It's tough to see where rock bottom is with the state of today's current discourse. Is this what decline looks like from the inside? Anyone with any experience abroad? Help lol

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Nancy Mace Called Herself a 'New Voice' for the GOP. Then She Pivoted.

    MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — Rep. Nancy Mace had just delivered the kind of red-meat remarks that would ordinarily thrill the Republican voters in attendance here on a recent sweltering evening, casually comparing liberal Democrats to terrorists — the “Hamas squad,” she called them — and railing against their “socialist” spending plans.

    But asked to give an assessment of her congresswoman, Mara Brockbank, a former leader of the Charleston County Republican Party who previously endorsed Mace, was less than enthusiastic.

    “I didn’t like that she back-stabbed Trump,” Brockbank said. “We have to realize that she got in because of Trump. Even if you do have something against your leaders, keep them to yourself.”

    Brockbank was referring to Mace’s first weeks in office immediately after the Jan. 6 riot, as the stench of tear gas lingered in the halls of the Capitol and some top Republicans were quietly weighing a break with President Donald Trump. Mace, a freshman congresswoman, placed herself at the forefront of a group of Republicans denouncing Trump’s lies of a stolen election that had fueled the assault and appeared to be establishing herself as a compelling new voice urging her party to change its ways.

    But these days, as Republicans in Congress have made it clear that they have no intention of turning against Trump, Mace has quietly backpedaled into the party’s fold. Having once given more than a dozen interviews in a single day to condemn Trump’s corrosive influence on the party, Mace now studiously avoids the subject, rarely if ever mentioning his name and saying it is time for Republicans to “stop fighting with each other in public.”

    After setting herself apart from her party during her first week in office by opposing its effort to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory, Mace has swung back into line. She joined the vast majority of Republicans in voting to oust Rep. Liz Cheney from leadership for denouncing Trump and his election lies. She also voted against forming an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the Capitol riot.

    And rather than continuing to challenge party orthodoxy, Mace has leaned in to the most combative Republican talking points, castigating Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top health official who is a favorite boogeyman of the right, accusing Democrats of forcing critical race theory on children, and publicly feuding with progressives.

    Her pivot helps explain why the Republican Party’s embrace of Trump and his brand of politics is more absolute than ever. It is not only the small but vocal group of hard-right loyalists of the former president who are driving the alliance, but also the scores of rank-and-file Republicans — even those who may disagree with him, as Mace has — who have decided it is too perilous to openly challenge him.

    “She’s a little bit like a new sailor; she tried to get her sea legs, but she’s also looking out over the horizon, and what she saw was a storm coming in from the right,” said Chip Felkel, a veteran Republican strategist in South Carolina. “So she immediately started paddling in another direction. The problem is, is that everything you say and do, there’s a record of it.”

    Mace declined through a spokeswoman to be made available for an interview, but said in a statement that “you can be conservative and you can be a Republican and be pissed off and vocal about what happened on Jan. 6.” (Mace’s most recent statements regarding the Capitol attack have been explanations of why she opposed commissions to investigate it.)

    “You can agree with Donald Trump’s policies and be pissed off about what happened on Jan. 6,” Mace said. “You can think Pelosi is putting on a sideshow with the Jan. 6 commission and still be pissed off about Jan. 6. These things are not mutually exclusive.”

    Mace is facing a particularly difficult political dynamic in her swing district centered in Charleston, which she won narrowly last year when she defeated Joe Cunningham, a Democrat. Her immediate problem is regaining the trust of the rock-ribbed conservatives who make up her base. It is all the more pressing because political observers expect Republicans to try to redraw Mace’s district to become more conservative, and possible primary challengers still have a year to decide whether to throw their hats in the ring.

    Her predicament bubbled below the surface on a recent evening here at a pork-themed “End Washington Waste” reception overlooking the Charleston Harbor and the docked Yorktown, a decommissioned Navy aircraft carrier. Voters signed the hocks of a paper pig urging Democrats to cut extraneous spending from the infrastructure bill and exchanged printed-out “Biden bucks” for cocktails, as some reflected on Mace’s balancing act.

    Francis and Clea Sherman, a married couple who braved the 90-degree heat to attend, praised her for being “unafraid to speak out” and “tackling tough issues.”

    “We absolutely think that is the most horrifying thing — not to ever happen, but certainly one of them,” Clea Sherman said of the Capitol breach, quickly adding that she was just as outraged by racial justice protests around the country that had grown violent. “All those riots that went along in all those cities — they’ve got to stop.”

    Francis Sherman, a Korean War veteran, nodded along. “It was a shame it had to happen,” he said of the Jan. 6 assault, adding that he used to “get very upset” with some of Trump’s remarks.

    But the former president had been effective, he said. “In my whole life I’ve never been able to see someone accomplish so much,” Francis Sherman added, citing low unemployment rates and a strong economy. “The bottom line was, did he get the job done?”

    Penny Ford, a Mount Pleasant resident who attended the event with her husband, Jim Ford, gave a more grudging assessment, explaining that they had winced at Mace’s comments about the former president. Still, she said, the congresswoman was “the best we have at the moment.”

    Penny Ford said they would prefer to be represented by someone like Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio — a staunch Trump loyalist who helped plan the challenge to Biden’s election in the House — or Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas — who led the effort to invalidate it in the Senate — and said they would consider voting against Mace next year “if I had a choice for someone else.”

    The first woman to graduate from the Citadel, Mace based her winning 2020 campaign on her up-from-the-bootstraps biography, detailing her journey from scrappy Waffle House waitress to statehouse representative. She bested Cunningham, who had been the first Democrat to hold the seat in nearly four decades, by just over 1 percentage point.

    On the campaign trail, Mace walked a careful line, balancing her libertarian streak with a more pragmatic approach, playing up a history of “speaking up against members” of her own party and “reaching across the aisle.”

    And in the days after the Jan. 6 attack, she was unsparing in her language. What was necessary, Mace said then, was nothing short of a comprehensive rebuilding of the party. It was a time for Republicans to be honest with their voters, she said: “Regardless of the political consequences, I’m going to tell the truth.”

    She could not stay silent, Mace insisted.

    “This is a moment in history, a turning point where because of my passion for our country, for our Constitution, for the future of my children — I don’t have that option anymore,” she said in an interview the day after the attack. “I can pick up the mantle and try to lead us out of this crisis, or I can sit idly by and watch our country go to waste. And I refuse to do the latter.”

    Less than a week later, her tone abruptly changed. After joining Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., in a bipartisan request to provide congressional staff aides with more resources to cope with the “trauma” of the Jan. 6 attack, she criticized her colleague for recounting how she feared that rioters had broken into her office building.

    “No insurrectionists stormed our hallway,” Mace wrote on Twitter, touching off a heated back-and-forth.

    She then fundraised off the feud, arguing that “the actions of the out-of-control mob who forced their way into the Capitol” were “terrifying” and “immediately condemned by the left and right,” but that “the left,” particularly Ocasio-Cortez, had “run wild because they will never let a crisis go to waste.”

    More recently, when she voted against the formation of the proposed bipartisan Jan. 6 inquiry, Mace called the endeavor a “partisan, duplicate effort by Speaker Pelosi to divide our nation.”

    And after initially refusing to tell reporters whether she voted to oust Cheney, of Wyoming, from her No. 3 leadership post, Mace’s team issued a statement affirming that she had, saying that Republicans “should be working together and not against one another during some of the most serious socialist challenges our nation has ever faced.”

    Mace has, in some ways, retained her independent streak. She verbally slapped down Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., for comparing mask mandates to Nazism. And she has continued to work across the aisle with Democrats on issues like presidential war powers and cybersecurity.

    Her still-frequent appearances on television, though — now mostly on a variety of Fox News shows, as well as the conservative networks OAN and Newsmax — tend to stick to some of the party’s most well-tread political messages. In a recent interview on Fox News, she asserted that strident liberals had seized control of the Democratic Party.

    “They’re in charge,” she said, “which is why we’re seeing what we thought would be a moderate administration take a sharp left turn all of a sudden.”
    __________

    With the iron grip that Trump holds on the Trump Party and their false recitation of recent history, the worst is yet to come.

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post

    Isn't it amazing how people can be so stupid and blind with a grifter so obvious.
    There comes a certain point of no return where they can't admit that they're supporting or defending a colossal piece of shit that doesn't care about them and never did.

    Leave a comment:


  • tbm3fan
    replied
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

    And that my friends, is how you milk a flock of sheep indefinitely
    Isn't it amazing how people can be so stupid and blind with a grifter so obvious.

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Trump's PAC has spent no money on ballot audits as he pushes his election-fraud claims, but it has funded his flights and other personal expenses, a report says

    A PAC formed to fund Donald Trump's attempt to challenge last year's presidential election result has not spent any money on audits or other election-review measures, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

    Trump founded the Save America leadership PAC last year as he pushed his "big lie" that the election had been stolen from him as a result of an elaborate plot by Democrats. The PAC, which "has few limits on how it can spend its money," The Post said, has raised $75 million.

    Sources familiar with the PAC's finances told The Post that barely any of the money had been spent, apart from a small portion used for some of Trump's travel and legal expenses and for paying staff.

    The sources said none of the money had been channeled into concrete attempts to challenge last year's election result such as the ballot audit in Arizona's Maricopa County.

    While Trump has issued statements in support of that audit and attempts by other GOP-led legislatures to cast doubt on the integrity of the election, he hasn't used the money from his PAC war chest to support the reviews, the report said.


    The deadline for the PAC to make public its financial statements in compliance with federal laws is July 31.

    A Trump spokesperson did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

    Arizona's audit, which county election officials have characterized as a shambolic partisan stunt, is being funded partly by Arizona taxpayers and partly by private donations. A lawsuit seeking to launch a similar election review in Georgia's Fulton County is also said to be funded by private donations, The Post reported.

    The PAC has continued to fundraise mainly by appealing to donors to fund the campaign to ensure election integrity, The Post reported.

    Trump's election-fraud claims have been thrown out in court cases and twice refused a hearing in the US Supreme Court.

    He has continued to push them, however, despite their role in inciting his supporters to attack the Capitol on January 6 and amid suggestions that he's gearing up for another presidential bid in 2024.

    ________

    And that my friends, is how you milk a flock of sheep indefinitely

    Leave a comment:


  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    Putin turned Russia into a threatening entity not because Russian power was threatened, but because -his- power was threatened.
    I was thinking about this. Think your timeline is off. George and UKR started consultations about NATO membership before Putin turned on NATO.

    Leave a comment:


  • astralis
    replied
    What? You forget that Chechnya expanded the war into Russia herself and Georgia struck first. In both cases, it is because they thought Russia was too weak. And you're blaming Putin for turning the tables around?
    I think it's important to note that there was zero sympathy for the Chechens within NATO -- no one lifted a finger when Yeltsin and Putin rampaged around Chechnya. everyone recognized Chechnya as part of the Russian state.

    Georgia in 2008 got a bit more sympathy but we all know what sympathy's worth. Putin essentially had a free hand.

    Russia had fairly significant leeway throughout the 1990s and early 2000s because the US was so invested in the idea of new democratic Russia as a partner, and later on at Russia as a partner against terrorism/and or the PRC.

    Putin turned Russia into a threatening entity not because Russian power was threatened, but because -his- power was threatened.



    Leave a comment:


  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    I think that's really the crux of it. If Putin hadn't turned Russia into a threatening entity, there would be no discussion of Russia being kicked out of the Crimea nor of a NATO army in Georgia or Ukraine.
    What? You forget that Chechnya expanded the war into Russia herself and Georgia struck first. In both cases, it is because they thought Russia was too weak. And you're blaming Putin for turning the tables around?

    Leave a comment:


  • astralis
    replied
    Which does not change the fact that Putin could not allow being kicked out of Crimea nor allow a NATO army in Georgia and the UKR even if they are Georgian or Ukrainian troops.
    I think that's really the crux of it. If Putin hadn't turned Russia into a threatening entity, there would be no discussion of Russia being kicked out of the Crimea nor of a NATO army in Georgia or Ukraine.

    And if Putin wasn't paranoid about NATO intentions or wedded to the USSR impulse to have puppet states, then none of the post '89 NATO expansion would have mattered.

    I mean, is Germany still sore at France for taking back Alsace Lorraine? Is France still scared at the prospect of an unified Germany?

    Putin chose confrontation both because he's paranoid and because he wanted to bolster his polling figures. he could have pulled off a mini DXP doing the whole "hide and bide" thing. but, well, he chose otherwise.

    Leave a comment:

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