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Yes, It Was an Attempted Coup

Defenders of Donald Trump advance the belief that the president on January 6 did not have a coup in mind, notwithstanding his objective to have still Vice President Mike Pence overturn state elections in Congress that day, because hadn't he told the crowd "to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard"?

That became a harder case to make when the second in command at the Justice Department, Richard Donoghue, turned over to the House Oversight Committee hand-written notes of a phone call last December from President Trump to Acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen. When Rosen told Trump it "can't" and "won't snap its fingers" to change the election result, Donoghue's notes have Trump responding, "Don’t expect you to do that, just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen." The notes elsewhere cite Representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio, Pennsylvania's Scott Perry, and Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin as the likely "R. Congressmen". In testimony, Rosen said Trump had been phoning him almost daily to get him to cooperate, to appoint special counsels to investigate fraud, to look into vote flipping by Dominion Voting Systems machines, etc.

A good deal more has come out. As far back as January it was known that Rosen's refusal to do Trump's bidding led Trump to collaborate with Jeffery Clark, head of the Justice Department’s civil division. Clark had come to believe the election had been stolen (he had spent a lot of time on the Internet, he said). He must have thought the time had come to stage his own coup within the Justice Department in the service of Trump's.

Trump had badgered governors and secretaries of state and even individual state legislators to get them to overturn election results, even inviting the speaker of the Michigan House and majority leader of its Senate to the White House.

We now know that Clark put the Justice Department at Trump's disposal. He had written a letter that he proposed to send to Georgia's governor, house speaker, and senate president that went a good deal further than simply asking for another recount. It went on for seven pages, leading with a lie about his department conducting an investigation and even a promise to keep Georgia informed of its fictitious findings:

"The Department of Justice is investigating various irregularities in the 2020 election for the President of the United States…[W]e have identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome in multiple States, including the State of Georgia. No doubt many of Georgia's state legislators are aware of irregularities, sworn to by a variety of witnesses, and we have taken notice of their complaints…In light of these developments, the Department recommends that the Georgia General Assembly should convene in special session so that its legislators are in a position to take additional testimony, receive new evidence, and deliberate on the matter consistent with its duties under the U.S. Constitution".

The plan was to send the letter to all states narrowly lost by Trump. With the weight of the DOJ behind it, the letter would have probably seemed something of a threat to the states, more than just a suggestion that they should perhaps take action. That surely was the letter's intention. Neither Rosen nor Donoghue would co-sign the letter, which squashed its sending, a firing offense for Trump, who decided to replace Rosen with Clark. He backed off when he heard that firing Rosen would cause others at Justice to resign en masse, immediately bringing comparisons to Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre, when Attorney General Elliot Richardson and his deputy resigned rather than follow the president’s order to fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, who was investigating Nixon. (Nixon found the willing in Robert Bork).

2 Comments for “Yes, It Was an Attempted Coup”

  1. Dr David Barnett

    Cui bono? Anyone with half a brain would know that the sole effect of “storming” the Capitol on 6 January 2021 would be to cut short the certification challenge debates.

    There was very heavy censorship by MSM of the serious questions, and they highlighted only the crackpot theories. The CSPAN coverage of the 6 January challenges would have been the first real opportunity for the MSM consumers to learn of the very real problems.

    January 6 was not even remotely a coup attempt. Rather it was a very successful deflection of attention from what may have been the real coup in November.The sole beneficiary of the January 6 “riot” was the incoming administration.

    • Lloyd Roth

      Suggest you read again. Yes, an attempted coup, refers not to 1/6 but Trump’s attempt to use the Justice Dept. to intimidate the states to overturn their electors.

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