Trump bombshell quietly dropped. And it should shock us all
The notes of a phone call between President Trump and Jeffrey Rosen, who was serving as acting attorney general at the time, were made public on Friday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In the call, Trump instructed Rosen to “Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen.” Richard Donoghue, Rosen’s deputy, was also present on the call and he was the one who jotted down the notes.
The dissemination of these notes hasn’t caused much of a commotion at all. This past weekend’s news was focused on more pressing matters, specifically infrastructure. The strain of the Delta! Inflation! Wildfires! The bizarre efforts that Trump has been making in the final weeks of his presidency appear to be utterly pointless in light of everything else that has been going on. Shouldn’t we have anticipated how desperate he would be? No, to put it succinctly. This piece of information is extremely significant.
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Rosen very obviously declined to comply with Trump’s request. What would have happened, however, if Rosen had followed Trump’s orders and told the American public that the election was tainted with fraud, and then “left the rest” to Trump and the other Republican congressmen? What would have been the next step for Trump and the Republicans if they had taken it? And which members of Congress’s Republican majority were conspiring with Trump to carry out this attempted overthrow of the government? There should be no confusion about the fact that this was an attempted coup.
Trump was aware of it. Just a few short weeks earlier, the attorney general at the time, William Barr, stated that the Justice Department had not discovered any evidence of widespread fraud that could have caused the results to be invalidated. And on January 2, just a few days after Trump’s call to Rosen, Trump spoke with Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and instructed him to “find” votes in an effort to change the outcome of the election. He chastised Raffensperger for his lack of effort in challenging the election’s results.
Emails that were released the previous month show that Trump and his allies put pressure on the Justice Department during the final weeks of Trump’s presidency to investigate completely unsubstantiated claims of widespread election fraud. They did this by sending the Justice Department conspiracy theories and even a draft legal brief that they hoped would be filed with the Supreme Court. Some people, particularly those holding Republican office, are of the opinion that we ought to just forget about these sleazy particulars. It is not permitted.
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We did not have a peaceful transfer of power for the very first time in the history of the United States. It is the first time in the history of the United States that an incumbent president has refused, and continues to refuse, to concede defeat and continues to assert, without any factual support, that the election was “stolen” from him. A president actively planned a coup for the very first time in the annals of American history.
It would have been bad enough if Trump were merely a crackpot acting on his own pathetic stage. He could have been a would-be dictator who accidentally became president and then, when he lost re-election, went bonkers. After that, he would have been swept into the garbage can of history. But he is not. Then, all we can do is lament this momentary setback in the annals of presidential politics in the United States. At best, Trump would be considered an idiot, and the entire situation would be a source of embarrassment for the nation.
However, Donald Trump was not the result of a random event, nor can he be found in any trash can. He has established his personal cult within one of the two major parties in the United States. He has framed the major political divide in the United States as a contest between those who believe him about the 2020 election and those who do not believe him about the election. He has provided the state Republicans with the confidence they needed to carry out the most audacious assault on voting rights since Jim Crow.
The majority of Republican senators and representatives do not have the courage to challenge him. A number of his followers still maintain that they will carry out their threats of violence against the government. According to all available information, he will be running for president again in 2024. Since the end of the Civil War, Donald Trump’s proto-fascism has posed the greatest internal threat to democratic institutions in the United States.
What exactly should we do about it? Fight it, and the sooner you start, the better off you will be. This final revelation – Trump’s call to the acting attorney general on December 27 in which he begged, “Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me” – should trigger section 3 of the 14th amendment, which prohibits anyone from holding office who “engaged in the insurrection” against the United States. , the Attorney General of the United States Merrick Garland, ought to issue an advisory opinion stating this point unequivocally. If President Trump wants to take this all the way to the Supreme Court, that is his right.