Triage and Impeachment: Prioritize a Legitimate Criminal Investigation into the Wider Plot over Impeachment

I want to talk about triage in the wake of the terrorist attack on Wednesday as it affects consideration of how to hold Trump accountable for his role in it.

First, some dates:

If Mike Pence were to invoke the 25th Amendment (with the approval of a bunch of Trump’s cabinet members), it could go into effect immediately for at least four days. Trump can challenge his determination, but if the same cabinet members hold with Pence, then Trump’s disqualification remains in place for 21 more days, enough to get through Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Both the House and Senate are not in session, and can’t deviate from the existing schedule without unanimous consent, meaning Mo Brooks in the House or Josh Hawley in the Senate could single-handedly prevent any business.

Because of that, impeachment in the House can’t be started until tomorrow. Right now, Pelosi is using the threat of impeachment as leverage to try to get Pence to act (or Trump to resign, though he won’t). If that doesn’t work, then the House seems prepared to move on a single article of impeachment tied to Trump’s attempts to cheat and his incitement of the insurrection. Pelosi won’t move forward on it until she’s sure it has the votes to succeed.

Even assuming a majority of the House votes to impeach Trump, that will have no impact on his authority to pardon co-conspirators, and he’ll surely attempt to pardon himself, one way or another. Because of Wednesday’s events, he will be doing that without the assistance of Pat Cipollone, which means he’s much more likely to make his plight worse.

Impeaching this week would, however, force Republicans to cast votes before it is clear how the post-insurrection politics will work out (indeed, while Trump still has the power of the Presidency). Significantly, a number of incoming members are angry that Kevin McCarthy advised them to support the insurrection. The vote may be as much an attempt to undo complicity with Wednesday’s actions as it is anything else. Done right, impeachment may exacerbate the fractures in the GOP; done wrong, it could have the opposite effect.

If the House does impeach, then the Senate will not — barring a change of heart from Hawley and everyone else who was still willing to be part of this insurrection — take up the impeachment until January 19 (the parliamentarian has already ruled on this point). That means, the trial for impeachment either happens in Joe Biden’s first week in office, or the House holds off on sending the article of impeachment over to the Senate until Chuck Schumer deems it a worthwhile time. He can also opt to have a committee consider it, calling witnesses and accruing evidence, which will provide the Senate (where there are more Republicans aiming to distance from Trump) a way to further elaborate Trump’s role in the terrorism.

Meanwhile, by losing all access to social media except Parler and with Amazon’s decision yesterday to stop hosting Parler (which will mean it’ll stay down at least a week, until January 17), Trump’s primary mouthpieces have been shut down. There’s reason to believe that the more sophisticated insurrectionists have moved onto more secure platforms like chat rooms and Signal. While that’ll pose some challenges for law enforcement trying to prevent follow-on attacks on January 17, 19, or 20, being on such less accessible platforms will limit their ability to mobilize the kinds of masses that came out on Wednesday. Trump has lost one of the most important weapons he can wield without demanding clearly criminal behavior from others. That said, the urgency of preventing those sophisticated plotters — and a good chunk of these people have military training — from engaging in more targeted strikes needs to be a priority.

But Trump is still President, with his hand on the nuclear codes, and in charge of the chain of command that goes through a bunch of Devin Nunes flunkies at DOD. Nancy Pelosi called Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley and come away with assurances that Trump won’t be able to deploy nukes.

Preventing an Unhinged President From Using the Nuclear Codes: This morning, I spoke to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike. The situation of this unhinged President could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy.

Nevertheless that still leaves Trump in charge of the vast federal bureaucracy, which has been emptied out and the filled back up with people who could pass Johnny McEntee’s loyalty oaths to Trump.

Because this is where we’re at, I have argued that there needs to be a higher priority on getting at least Biden’s operational nominees, along with Merrick Garland, confirmed over impeaching Trump — yet — in the Senate.

We have not yet heard why DOD and DHS and the FBI — on top of the Capitol Police — failed to prevent the terrorist attack on Wednesday (I’ll have more to say about this later). It will take a year to sort out all the conflicting claims. But as we attempt, via reporting, via oversight in Congress (including impeachment), and via a criminal investigation to figure that out, those same people who failed to prevent the attack remain in place. Indeed, most of these entities have offered little to no explanation for why they failed, which is a bad sign.

Because of that, I think Biden needs to prioritize getting at least Garland and Lisa Monaco confirmed as Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General at DOJ, along with a new Acting US Attorney for DC, as soon as possible. I have two specific concerns. First, while FBI has generally been good at policing white supremacists in recent months, they failed miserably here, when it mattered most. One effect of retaliating against anyone who investigated Trump for his “collusion” with Russia has been to install people who were either Trump loyalists or really skilled at avoiding any slight to Trump. Indeed, one of the most charitable possible excuses for FBI’s delayed response is that after years of badgering, otherwise reasonable people were loathe to get involved in something that Trump defined as an election issue.

I have more specific concerns about the DC US Attorney’s office. Michael Sherwin, who has been less awful as Acting US Attorney than Timothy Shea, originally said on the record all options in the investigation that will be led out of his office were on the table, including incitement by Trump. But then someone said off the record that Trump was not a focus of the investigation. I suspect that person is Ken Kohl, who as Acting First Assistant US Attorney is in charge of the investigation and has been cited in other announcements about the investigation.

Ken Kohl at least oversaw, if not participated in, the alteration of documents to help Trump get elected. I’ve been told he’s got a long history of being both corrupt and less than competent. The decisions he will oversee in upcoming weeks could have the effect of giving people the opportunity to destroy evidence that lays out a much broader conspiracy, all while rolling out showy charges against people who were so stupid they took selfies of themselves committing crimes. We want this investigation to go beyond a slew of trespassing charges to incorporate the actual plotting that made this attack possible. It’s not clear Kohl will do that.

Even assuming that people currently in DOJ are willing to collect evidence implicating Trump, short of having a confirmed Attorney General overseeing such decisions, we’re back in the same situation Andrew McCabe was in on May 10, 2017, an Acting official trying to decide what to do in the immediate aftermath of a Trump crime. Trump’s backers have exploited the fact that McCabe made the right choices albeit in urgent conditions, and they’ve done so with the willing participation of some of the people — notably, FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich — who are currently in charge of this investigation.

I’m happy to entertain a range of possible courses going forward, so long as all of them involve holding Trump accountable to the utmost degree possible. I assume Nancy Pelosi, whatever else she’ll be doing, will also be counting the votes to understand precisely what is possible, given the schedule.

But I also know that I’d far rather have Trump and those he directly conspired with criminally charged than have an impeachment delay the thorough fumigation of a government riddled with people who may have had a role in this plot. And that’s not going to happen if the investigation is scoped in such a way in the days ahead to rule out his involvement.

Update: Here’s a much-cited interview with Michael Sherwin. He adopts all the right language (pointedly disavowing labels of sedition or coup, saying he’s just looking at crimes) and repeats his statement that if there’s evidence Trump is involved he’ll be investigated.

On Thursday you were quoted saying the conduct of “all actors” would be examined, which was interpreted to mean President Trump might face charges. Is that what you meant — the man who gave the speech at the start of the day could be looking at charges?

Look, I meant what I said before. In any criminal investigation, I don’t care if it’s a drug trafficking conspiracy case, a human trafficking case or the Capitol — all persons will be looked at, OK? If the evidence is there, great. If it’s not, you move on. But we follow the evidence. If the evidence leads to any actor that may have had a role in this and if that evidence meets the four corners of a federal charge or a local charge, we’re going to pursue it.

Update: This story describes how a senior McConnell aide called Bill Barr’s Chief of Staff who called David Bowdich who then deployed three quick reaction teams in response.

The senior McConnell adviser reached a former law firm colleague who had just left the Justice Department: Will Levi, who had served as Attorney General William P. Barr’s chief of staff.

They needed help — now, he told Levi.

From his home, Levi immediately called FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich, who was in the command center in the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

Capitol police had lost control of the building, Levi told Bowdich.

The FBI official had been hearing radio traffic of aggressive protesters pushing through the perimeter, but Levi said it had gone even further: The mob had already crashed the gates and lives were at risk.

Capitol police had said previously they didn’t need help, but Bowdich decided he couldn’t wait for a formal invitation.

He dispatched the first of three tactical teams, including one from the Washington field office to secure the safety of U.S. senators and provide whatever aid they could. He instructed two more SWAT teams to follow, including one that raced from Baltimore.

These teams typically gather at a staging area off-site to coordinate and plan, and then rush together to the area where they are needed. Bowdich told their commander there was no time.

“Get their asses over there. Go now,” he said to the first team’s commander. “We don’t have time to huddle.”

Not explained: why Bowdich was watching protestors get through the perimeter without deploying teams on his own. Again, I’m not saying he was complicit. I’m saying he has spent the last four years by letting Trump’s claims about politicization direct the Bureau, and can see how that habit might have led to a delayed response here.

259 replies
    • BobCon says:

      It’s possible he was smart enough to see where this headed before he had any solid evidence that he can be forced to reveal. He is better at connecting dots than most people around Trump.

      • Amers says:

        Quick thought. Were folks like Sydney Powell using the phrase, release the kraken, to denote steps toward the events of the mob on the 6? I had been seeing it to mean the lawyering involved re elections, but just now reconsidering.

        • bmaz says:

          But what does the phrase mean? It has been a meme in popular culture almost forever. It is not the specific words, it is the specific intent. That, by nature, is a far different thing than the words.

        • BobCon says:

          I think that’s the implication — did it in fact have a meaning in the depths to start mobilizing?

          I can’t rule it out, although I am sure from a prosecutor’s standpoint use of a code phrase is extremely hard to prove, like trying to hammer down intent behind OK signs by white supremacists.

        • bmaz says:

          That evidence may yet materialize. But, in court, and with a beyond a reasonable doubt burden, and FROE, it is a lot harder than people think.

        • rg says:

          Bob, et al, A quick look at my OED indicates that the word Kraken refers to a giant sea-monster of Norwegian mythology, probably akin to the Loch Ness. So the word is not as important as the phrase, “release the K”. Here it looks to be a metaphor for some intimidating force which is under control, but can be released to do the harm of its nature. Some phrase for a lawyer to use, huh?

        • Chris.EL says:

          Recently saw a trailer featuring Liam Neeson delivering the phrase… still have no idea which film — not my thing.
          Dr. EW retweeted —
          …”Scott Greenfield
          I’ve long argued that general deterrence is largely a myth of criminal law.

          Here, it applies. Let no one believe they can incite insurrection and not be personally culpable.

          At 12:01 pm, January 20th. Trump should be taken into custody for violating 18 U.S.C. § 2383 …”
          I’m betting Trump will be GONE from U.S.

          Too much of a coward to face the music!!

          Scotland says YO! Stay away!

        • John Paul Jones says:

          The Liam line is in the 2010 version of Clash of the Titans. Given that the internet has a memory and attention span that is pretty short, I’d say that’s likely where the most recent memes are being sourced from.

        • Alan Charbonneau says:

          Laurence Olivier played Zeus in the original Clash of the Titans (1981) and uttered that line.

        • bmaz says:

          Heh Chris.El, my friend Scott and I could both, based on the current state of evidence, walk Trump on this if the trial was tomorrow. Wait to see what the real evidentiary set is before thinking this is a slam dunk, because it most assuredly is not.

        • Chris.EL says:

          Not a lawyer; heard enough legal opinions to see you get a different opinion from each mind.

          Never really think in terms of slam dunks either … my sole belief is in my gut assessment of Trump’s character: he’s a coward so I doubt he will have the grab-em-by the male genitals to “face the music” in a courtroom, with a lawyer at his side (who the ever-lovin’ FFFF would take Trump as a client??), in front of a judge, UNDER OATH !!!

    • Cynthia says:

      Interesting pros for delaying impeachment but I worry about the momentum (media & public attention, the visceral horror of the siege etc.) dissipating if it’s delayed. If a 2nd impeachment never happens, is there a path to bar trump from future public office? If a 2nd impeachment never happens, is there a likely path to comparable (or worse) consequences for trump within a year or so?

      • bmaz says:

        What exactly is “delaying” since without McConnell calling the Senate back into session, is a given?

        • Cynthia says:

          The “delay” I’m referring to is from the original post…that is, delay until after Biden administration’s gotten Merrick Garland et al confirmed… so beyond January

        • Cynthia says:

          See the original post, specifically “Because this is where we’re at, I have argued that there needs to be a higher priority on getting at least Biden’s operational nominees, along with Merrick Garland, confirmed over impeaching Trump — yet — in the Senate.”

        • bmaz says:

          Yes, I read your “original post”. First off, impeachment is an action by the House. There is no reason in the world it has anything to do with confirmation of Biden’s nominees in the Senate, it does not.

          No confirmations will occur until at least three days after Biden’s inauguration, at which point impeachment, if served up by the House would be placed before a committee in the Senate, not the full chamber, because full chamber is only for impeachment of a sitting President.

          So, thanks, but we have a grip on that here, even if you do not.

        • Cynthia says:

          The “original post”, the post all of this is in response to wasn’t mine. My reading of it, was that impeachment — the senate “trial” follow up to House impeachment that is — would distract from and delay important DOJ etc confirmations. An interesting argument for delaying impeachment, which is where my comment came in. And beyond all that, it doesn’t seem like any of this calls for rudeness.

        • bmaz says:

          Your “reading” is wrong. I am sorry if you consider it “rude” to point that out so that other readers are not under the impression it was right. Because it was not.

        • AndTheSlithyToves says:

          Cynthia was referring to Marcy’s above post (note the quotation marks–“Because this is where we’re at, I have argued that there needs to be a higher priority on getting at least Biden’s operational nominees, along with Merrick Garland, confirmed over impeaching Trump — yet — in the Senate.”), not her comment.

    • d4v1d says:

      um… i think the more likely explanation is he was given an ‘offer’ he couldn’t refuse. And he refused.

      we’ve seen enough of trump’s tawdry act, and it’s many reruns. “Russia if you’re listening” to “Come on Jan 6. it’ll be wild.” This was a rerun of the Comey episode.

  1. Badger Robert says:

    The policy is to prevent it from happening again. The strategy is fairly clear. Impeachment is a good ploy to keep the public distracted, but the administration must have full control of the Justice Department. They need to have full operational control.
    Tactically, they need to start at the bottom and work upwards. The low level participants get deals, if they give up what they know.
    Thanks for another great blog post.
    PS: The vaccine acceleration bill comes first, well before an impeachment vote.

  2. Joseph Andrews says:

    …from the piece: “I’m happy to entertain a range of possible courses going forward, so long as all of them involve holding Trump accountable to the utmost possible.”


    I guess I must have averted my eyes to many of the images resulting from the insurrection, because I was shocked this morning when seeing a nytimes image taken, I guess, from the steps of the Capitol overlooking Pennsylvania Ave. toward the White House.

    What took my breath away was the large number of people involved.

    Are there estimates of this number?

    Back to the piece:

    “…so long as all of them involve holding Trump accountable to the utmost possible.”

    I fear for the future of my country.

    • skua says:

      I can’t find any reliable source making an estimate of the number of people who attended. But there seemed to be a lot.

      • Old Antarctic Explorer says:

        I haven’t seen any estimates either, but while it was happening an ABC reporter on scene said the estimates before the rally were about 10,000, but she said the numbers walking down Constitution Avenue were much more than that; she thought maybe 30,000.

        I went to to see if anyone had found aerial photography of the crowd and didn’t find any, however, I did find a report by Robert Evans on 1/5/21, the day before entitled: “How the Insurgent and MAGA Right are Being Welded Together on the Streets of Washington D.C.”. Anyone who reads this report can’t deny that the people who showed up were expecting to overthrow the US Govt. or at least stop the counting of electoral college votes. RW blogs were quoted on how to get weapons into DC and that the mayor was shutting down businesses and govt. offices ahead of time in anticipation of what was coming. If she knew then why didn’t the rest of the law enforcement groups know what was coming? Were the not looking at RW sites? Or were they complicit? Only a real investigation will show that.

        • cavenewt says:

          I’ve read that several agencies, like the FBI, reached out to the Capitol Police ahead of time to offer help but were rebuffed. These other agencies monitor right wing blogs and social media so they knew what was coming.

          If I was in charge of one of those agencies I would have had my people lurking near the Capitol area in anticipation of pear-shaped developments.

          Hopefully we’ll find out someday what was going on.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Both NYT and WaPo have mentioned a crowd size of 8000 at the speech. I saw this number in the Times first; when it cropped up identically in the Post I figured they must be getting it from the same source, but don’t know who/what that is.

    • harpie says:

      This is the first estimate I’ve seen:

      An army of 8,000 pro-Trump demonstrators streamed down Pennsylvania Avenue after hearing Trump speak near the White House. Sund’s outer perimeter on the Capitol’s west side was breached within 15 minutes. With 1,400 Capitol Police officers on duty, his forces were quickly overrun.

      Outgoing Capitol Police chief: House, Senate security officials hamstrung efforts to call in National Guard
      Jan. 10, 2021 1:38 p.m.

  3. Alan Charbonneau says:

    I’d love to see the 25th amendment employed to keep Trump from issuing pardons. But it’s not gonna happen unless he has a stroke.

  4. John Forde says:

    25A could happen and soon. But Trump needs to do something vividly stupid to push 8 cabinet members to act. He may be doing that or have done that already behind the scenes. In an earlier post Marcy mentioned all the info Twitter has on Trump including his DMs. There might be dynamite in there.

    • chicago_bunny says:

      I don’t think it will. Two have chickened out (Devos and Chao) and simply resigned rather than step up. And if you try to count the heads of those who remain, I don’t see how you get to a majority of the Cabinet members willing to invoke the 25A.

      • ducktree says:

        The VP can also enlist a group of Congressional members to achieve the same outcome if the Cabinet members won’t.

        • cavenewt says:

          The VP can also enlist a group of Congressional members

          Isn’t the Constitution kind of vague on those details? Is there any historical precedent?

        • Robot17 says:

          I believe it states a congressionally constituted body can also invoke 25A that would look something like a commitee of health pros and former cabinet members.

        • Slappy Kincaid says:

          I believe the 25th A was adopted after Woodrow Wilson. He had a massive stroke in office and his wife and a couple others basically concealed the seriousness of his condition and ran the Executive Branch during the remainder of his term. Since enacted I do not think it has ever been invoked, other than the president-is-under-anesthesia type transfer of power for a few minutes or hours. Possibly when Reagan was shot and in surgery.

        • chicago_bunny says:

          I don’t think that’s right. 25th Amendment, Section 4, says:

          Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

          I read “or of such other body as Congress may by law provide” to mean that Congress must by statute designate or create some other body that invokes the amendment along with VP. To my knowledge, no such action has been taken.

      • J R in WV says:

        I see this idea that Chao and deVos having resigned means there are two fewer executive agencies to vote on declaring Trump unfit to serve — this is incorrect. The 25th Amendment makes no mention of Cabinet Secretaries at all, referring instead to:

        “Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”

        So whoever was left in charge of Transportation and Education are entitled to vote to hold Trump “Unable to discharge” his duties… should they desire to.

  5. dimmsdale says:

    Thanks, Marcy. I have a theory about what went down on the 6th; keeping it to myself and awaiting confirmative facts, but your post here nails some things down for me. Trumpies need to be immobilized somehow to stop them misdirecting investigations, destroying evidence and distracting the country by parading loonies in front of the cameras while the actual perps get away (thinking of the Oath Keepers and whoever directed them). But if impeachment in the Senate needs to wait for a new AG to be confirmed, it can wait. I just hope we make it that far.

    • Ravenclaw says:

      If you have a hypothesis, you should state it – especially on a forum like this one, where some of the regulars (not I) have strong legal and political research skills. And you should specify what sorts of evidence would serve to support or disconfirm your hypothesis. That second piece is important, by the way (saith the psychologist among us).

      • LeeNLP says:

        Psychologists have no corner on logic or evidence, BTW, saith another psychologist among us. :)

        One of the most astute psychological observations was by physicist Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

    • cavenewt says:

      parading loonies in front of the cameras while the actual perps get away

      Best descriptive phrase I’ve run across: Larper pawns

  6. Kevin Finnerty says:

    I’m wondering how Flynn is involved in this. He was in the Oval Office in December, advocating using the military to overturn the election. Then, on Dec 26 David Ignatius wrote that oped which describes, basically how defense officials were concerned a siege on the Capitol by maga types would be the hook for executing Flynn’s plan. Then in early January, the former Sec Defs published their oped, which Fiona Hill said “put the final nail in the coffin” for Flynn’s plan.

    But we saw paramilitary types still walking around inside the Capitol seemingly ready to take hostages. Wasn’t Flynn mixed up in an attempt to kidnap and render a Turkish cleric? Isn’t this kind of behavior kind of his MO, especially since he has now gone full blown Qanon?

  7. SteveL says:

    This is a great post, Marcy.

    I’m persuaded that prompt confirmation of key DOJ nominees should be a top priority.

    • Woodspaths says:

      I agree. Emotionally I want the impeachment but after reading this, I agree, it’s far more important to ferret out everyone involved in this coup attempt.

      • @pwrchip says:

        There’s a Q I would pose @FBI, knowing & labeling under oath that Far-Right groups, Nazis groups & racist groups to be posing a threat to the nation, surely through the years you’ve created a database of those group’s cell phones to track & trace their movements. If not, WHY NOT? It would really come in handy about now with current events.
        BTW, thank you Dr.Wheeler for yours and others reporting on current events.

  8. BobCon says:

    I think one critical role Wray and FBI could do is reinforce for the wavering GOP — and the general public — what the potential imminent risks are. They need to talk about the types of attacks they are worried about, the numbers of threats they have received, and the targets. I think they can do this in a way that won’t compromise investigations.

    I think part of the pattern of the Trump era has been a habit of the GOP to compartmentalize events, so that they are able to operate as if each extremist attack and murder was somehow not going to lead to another. Charlottesville was written off because the GOP convinced themselves it was isolated, and it’s happened all the way through the Proud Boy rampage and stabbings a few days before the Capitol attack.

    I don’t think the White House has the capacity at this point to shut down extensive briefings on this, and the FBI needs to raise the spectre for the GOP in Congress that they will be on the record for denying the risks of shootings and bombings and car attacks.

    The basic message needs to be that law enforcement thinks this is an imminent threat, that GOP colleagues are targets too, that law enforcement will do everything they can to protect members and their families, and that they don’t think walking away is an answer.

    I think Reps like Mo Brooks and Paul Gosar will not listen, Senator Tuberville is too dumb to understand, but if the compartmentalization is broken early, I think others will join the ones who are already there.

  9. Boy C says:

    Agree on the above but we need to remember, there needs to be an up and down vote in the house and senate. This is the entire point of impeachment at this point. It’s no longer about Trump. Are you pro insurgency or not? Voters and those who like to participate in whatever version of representative democracy this is would like to know so we can primary the shit out of these nut jobs. I mean, we know already but let’s make it official. There are the crimes, there are the criminals, and there are those that support them. All of it has to be aired out for all to see.

  10. BobCon says:

    Also, I won’t rule out resignation simply because I think he may be in such an irrational state that he may respond to the pressure in unexpected ways. I think there are oligarchs on the right who are nervous enough that there might be someone unexpected dangling a buyout and face-saving offer that he begins fixating on, and combined with family pleading leads him to go. Or there might be such paranoia about arrest that he makes a run for the border, or accepts a pardon trade from Pence.

    I don’t think these scenarios were remotely realistic before the election, but at this point I am very unsure what his mental state is, and I can’t say resignation has zero percent odds anymore, even if the odds are only 5-10%.

    • e.a.f. says:

      5% to 10% odds of Trump resigning, I’d agree if there was something in it for him, like money or power. Given he would be out of the game, no power so that leaves money. Who would put up that money? Perhaps corporations who are concerned that if this insurrection keeps going, their profit margins might tank. Armed insurrections in various parts of the country would put a real crimp on business and even supply chains. An insurrection in the middle of a COVID pandemic isn’t a thing to have. Hospitals are a tad crowded.

      If Trump resigns you can bet he will want a “pardon” for himself. That is all he is concerned about, himself. As I recall he or rather his companies have an outstand loan with Deutsche Bank for over $400M. If he doesn’t have that money it could be dicey, so perhaps they could buy him into resigning, but is that legal? Perhaps one of the legal scholars here could answer that one: would it be legal for someone to pay Trump to resign immediately or pay off his or his corporations debts? Sort of like a severance package.

      This article certainly gives us things to think about.

  11. Rugger9 says:

    Echoing the W administration of firing the USAs for not filing cases against Ds like Governor Siegelman, DJT forced out BJ Kim for not looking hard enough for nonexistent voter fraud in GA according to the WSJ. This kind of stuff makes it clear that an all-hands effort in the WH was orchestrating these events.

    What will be interesting to see is what Cipillone does, whether he resigns as well or sinks with DJT. As I noted earlier, Pelosi does seem to be angry enough to push impeachment now, but will need to stay within the rules (i.e. unanimous consent rejection noted above) which may take some time. Let’s also remember that the GOP caucus will have had another week of Faux/OANN/Newsmax/RWNM lies, excuses and justifications to stiffen their respective spines before having to vote on things. I do not know when the articles of impeachment can drop without the suspension of the rules, and any GOP voting for this process and supporting legislation will be primaried (and likely lose the primary) and they know it.

    Next, DJT is so petty he wouldn’t send condolences to Officer Sicknick’s family much less lowering the federal flags to half staff for his sacrifice in the line of duty. Every police union should rethink their fantasy that DJT gives a damn about them and perhaps not join on Parler like the Fort Worth police did when Parler was getting de-platformed. We’d respect the police unions more if they actually served us than themselves.

    Lastly, in spite of all of the bootlicking and “great love” by DJT for the DPRK’s Kim Jong Un, KJU just again named the USA as Pyongyang’s “biggest enemy” at their party congress.

    • bmaz says:

      Lol, KJU is not wrong, we are their biggest enemy. Iran’s too. There is a fair argument on both sides of that fact, but it is a fact.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Indeed we are, but the point I’m making there is that in spite of all of DJT’s butt-kissing, nothing changed in KJU’s mind and he scored political points by engaging with DJT.

        Also, I’m wondering why we haven’t heard from the GOP veterans like Crenshaw and Cotton about the insurrection and the petty failure to honor Officer Sicknick by DJT. If Obama had done this the whole GOP noise machine would be screaming about hating on the blue lives.

        Lastly, let’s remember how much of DJT’s empire is built with other people’s money. DJT made himself such a pill that no one but DB would loan him anything (and I suspect that was on Putin’s orders being compromised by their known money laundering), and I can’t see how DB can do that now. So, it’s on to the loan sharks which I think is marvelously karmic.

        • Raven Eye says:

          It should be almost instinctive by now, when assessing Trump’s statements and actions, to always make sure we check the OPM (Other Peoples’ Money) box.

        • dude says:

          That is what real estate developers do. It is almost a mandatory requirement. Trump is nothing else but. Always has been. The transactional worldview. The jawboning. The self-promotion. The exaggeration. It goes with the only trade he knows and has ever known.

        • John Paul Jones says:

          Trump offered Kim an irresistable deal: he would give KJU legitimacy and visibility and ask for nothing in return except a photo-op. There was no way KJU was going to turn that down, especially since, going forward, the US now has to continue to try and negotiate, except their position has been weakened by the de facto (public) acceptance of KJU’s nukes. This means that the old strategy of seeking to isolate the regime is now less viable and/or much harder to achieve.

        • Amers says:

          Did you catch Crenshaw’s action figure ad showing him skydiving down to punch thru the windshield of a car which was driven by antifa? Crenshaw approved that ad and that seems kinda crazy to me.

        • Amers says:

          this is what I was remembering

          https:// www. former-socom-head-says-rep-dan-crenshaws-video-is-embarassing-2020-12

    • e.a.f. says:

      It is not the job of police Unions to serve the public. police Unions are there to serve the members of their Union. that is it. Doesn’t matter what your Union member does, the Union has a duty to represent, unless the Union has a policy to not represent in specific cases. Now police departments are different, because they “belong” to the government, which is the public.

      some Unions only represent their members in matters as they relate to their employment and leave the criminal matters to be handled by the members’ lawyers or in some Unions the Union pays for the criminal lawyers to represent them also.

  12. madwand says:

    I don’t think they will get Pence to agree to the 25th and impeachment stands no chance of success before the 19th and that would only be if a significant number of Republican senators decided enough is enough which they don’t seem to be capable of. So I do not disagree with Marcy’s thoughts here. Get the AG, SecDef, DHS and anyone, deputies etc, involved in the security of the nation confirmed and quickly, even if you have to strap Harris to the Senate Presidents seat. Impeaching or trying to enact the 25th amendment, try tho we must, is the equivalent of guys with watch fobs and tall hats debating what to do while Lee is north of South Mountain.

    • bmaz says:

      Until the 22nd, which is the putative swearing in date for Warnock and Ossoff, McConnell remains in charge of the Senate, and it is not happening, irrespective of what other Senators think. It is seriously that simple.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Given that both Perdue and Loeffler conceded, what do you think are the chances for Tuberville, Cruz, Hawley, et al to challenge or otherwise refuse to seat Warnock and Ossoff? We have the example from the PA legislature that this action is part of the tool kit.

        • BobCon says:

          I believe it’s a privileged matter and has to come up for an up or down vote without a filibuster option. The votes aren’t there if they contest.

        • Valerie Klyman-Clark says:

          What can citizens do? How do/can we recall these congress critters who co-signed the insurrection, like Madison Cawthorn, our rep for example? I reached out to Moe Davis’s folks who said Governor Cooper would have to-what-call a special election? How can we help?

        • BobCon says:

          People are starting to pressure corporate donors, which is probably the easiest way for someone out of state or district to make a change.

          Pick a member who drives you crazy, do an online search, and send an email to their major corporate donor.

          I just found out the owners of Diamond Pet Food are big donors to Josh Hawley — tell them you don’t like it, or dig into the donors for Cruz or Brooks and so on.

        • Valerie Klyman-Clark says:

          Thank you. I’m reminded of Mark Cuban’s recent explanation to Josh Hawley how the free market works.
          “No principles. No honor. No book.”

        • e.a.f. says:

          Great idea, finding corporations who made substantial contributions to people like Hawley, Cruz, etc. Then start sending them letters, e-mails, letters to the editor, etc. Corporations don’t like bad press if they think its going to cut into their profit margin and share holders certainly don’t like to think their shares will loose value. Its always about the money one way or another.

      • pseudonymous in nc says:

        You can make them object and extract a price for their objections.

        The question for Ds is whether it’s worth doing so to tighten the screw on a Hawley or Tuberville etc. or whether pissed-off Rs like Toomey and Murkowski would feel more willing to push through with broader and disqualification on a longer timeframe.

        (You have to get domestic abuse victims out of danger before the abuser reasserts control.)

    • BobCon says:

      Even just a week ago I made the mistake of thinking too narrowly about what Trump might do and how bad he is in the head. I don’t think we have a good fix on either one.

      I’m not prepared to rule out the 25th anymore, and for that matter I’m not beyond the possibility of someone declaring the old memo on presidential immunity from prosecution is inoperative in cases of extreme criminal behavior and has him arrested, with the calculation that he can be kept locked up until his term expires because the courts will delay on issuing a judgment. In the past I would have said the Secret Service would not have allowed an arrest, but now I am not quite so sure.

      I don’t think these scenarios are likely, but if Pelosi is talking to the military about nuclear weapon safeguards and Cheney and Rumsfeld are signing letters warning the military not to intervene with the election, I can’t say the chances are zero.

      • madwand says:

        I agree with your second paragraph completely but probably won’t happen as you say. IMHO you prepare for the worst and if it’s better than that try to take advantage of it.

        We didn’t have an intelligence failure as this article shows:
        We had a failure to act on intelligence we had, quoting from the article” “There’s a big distance between having information and having a threat assessment,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a think tank. “The question is what they did with the intelligence they had. Did they make a proper threat assessment? If not, why not?” and I’m adding why didn’t they act on it, failure to act!! IMHO again they knew and deliberately didn’t act. The incompetent Trump and minions couldn’t take advantage of the control they had in the Capital. Online many of his supporters are realizing he deserted them. Again a guess, Trump didn’t have the guts to do it. He hasn’t resigned so we should not give him the chance again. Same players in charge, so plans need to be made to thwart a second attempt bypassing Trump appointees if that is necessary.

        • mass interest says:

          And how can Trump appointees be bypassed?

          I agree with you that failure to act was deliberate. There’s just too much info out there that the warning signs were at scream level. Seems pretty evident – to me – that the Capitol debacle was orchestrated right from the top and perhaps included peeps within both houses, both elected and staff.

          I worry about security around the inauguration insofar as Trump’s minions are apparently in charge. To say nothing of what may occur between now and then with Trump still in the office of President

        • P J Evans says:

          Boebert was sending text messages on her phone during the assault. Ask who else was sending information out.

        • mass interest says:

          Wasn’t Boebert the one speaking just when things got “interesting” in the chamber, when the exodus started?

        • madwand says:

          Hoyer and Hogan were talking by phone with Hoyer telling Hogan to get your Guard troops in here, Hogan waited till he got permission from the Army Secretary 1 and 1/2 hours later. Next time don’t wait.

          Preposition the Guard Troops on all roads just outside the limits of DC is another, saving enough for your own Capital. Obviously a Governor can use the intelligence to deploy his own troops. Mayor of DC might be of help by not issuing any permits from now to 10 days after the inauguration. PA and Delaware Guard might deploy in joint exercise with Maryland and Virginia Guard units. These same guys can intercept any busses or convoys of people coming their way, turn them around and deny entry. Most of that might depend on orders from above, but a Governor is allow to deploy in an emergency, what could be more of an emergency then armed insurrectionists trying to enter DC through Maryland or Virginia?

          Oh arm them and issue ammo.

        • gmoke says:

          My understanding is that Gov Hogan did NOT have the authority to send the National Guard into DC without authorization from the DOD. He tried and tried, according to the interviews I heard, and finally got a call from the Secretary of the Army, not usually in that particular chain of command, to go and he did.

        • Rugger9 says:

          I would expect that Governor Hogan’s authority with his National Guard troops stops at the state line. Absent an invitation, either expressed in real time or via a multi-state compact already existing Hogan didn’t have the authority to send troops to DC.

        • Stacey says:

          One thing to be mindful of is that those states around DC need to keep some guard members back because as I read the indications for the 17th and surrounding days, the DC capitol is not the only target. Hate to send ALL the troops to one place only to have their homes left unguarded.

        • e.a.f. says:

          Very good point, because as we saw, “protestors’ forced their way onto the grounds of the Gov. house in Washington State.
          All states ought to be ready for problems between now and the changing of the guard. Then Biden/Harris need to ensure new Cabinet Ministers, etc. are in place and have control over their departments.

          In my opinion this isn’t over. Trump isn’t going to give up, unless he is paid to. What is he without being President. He can’t see himself as a “loser”. He doesn’t understand loosing with grace.

        • dimmsdale says:

          Agree with your 2nd paragraph. It is not credible to me that the planners of the Capitol insurrection did NOT have a Plan B in their hip pocket if their Plan A went south. I can’t believe they’re all simply sitting around waiting for the FBI to knock. As to what might be next I have no idea other than ridiculously uninformed speculation, but I would HOPE that part of Nancy’s conversation with Gen. Milley had to do with levels of alertness against a second strike of some kind; it would be the prudent thing to do.

        • Doctor My Eyes says:

          I’m confused by how this insurrection seemed to have been both well-planned and idiotically executed. Given the success the seditionists achieved, I don’t understand why they failed to take the final actions necessary to have achieved profoundly more tragic results. In any case, I keep thinking of a meme that seems to have been part of the seditious speech running through the mob on January 5th and 6th before the assault: next time we’ll be shooting.

        • Rayne says:

          For the same reasons the conspirators didn’t succeed at kidnapping Michigan’s Gov. Whitmer for a mock trial and execution. Same basic problems.

          And you’re right if you’re thinking we need to worry about the next time when they may have resolved those challenges.

        • Alan K says:

          I’m wondering if the rioters were expecting more help – perhaps they got excited about Flynn’s martial law statement, but didn’t get the memo about the Defense Secretaries letter pushback?

  13. P J Evans says:

    I’ve read that after the 20th, because Trmp won’t be president, it wouldn’t need to be a trial on the Senate floor; it could be done in committee and a recommendation sent to the floor. I don’t know if that’s correct, but it *would* allow business to go on. (I would hope that Warnock and Ossoff could be sworn in *before* the 22nd.)

    • bmaz says:

      That is, indeed, correct. But before doing so, need to get Warnock and Ossoff sworn in, which appears likely to be on the 22nd.

      • P J Evans says:

        Getting it started should be done this week, so it can be built on. Otherwise, the urgency fades and we end up with the same sh*t to do over, if we survive the next time. (I am not feeling kindly toward any of the GOP-T. They supported him; they don’t get to say “it wasn’t us” now.)

        • P J Evans says:

          Would doing it in committee reduce the need for lawyers? I suspect that Dersh and Rudy wouldn’t be so interested if they couldn’t get so much media attention.

  14. phred says:

    Given that McConnell has ruled out lifting a finger until the 19th, I agree with your strategy. It is essential that a thorough investigation and prosecutions are conducted for all involved in this disaster. That said, I also think it is imperative the House votes out articles of impeachment tomorrow to keep up the pressure on the Republicans.

    In addition, the House must begin hearings immediately into the failures of law enforcement. Haul in the Acting Secretaries recently installed by Trump, get the entire leadership team of the Capitol Police in to testify about what transpired on the 6th and in the planning for that event.

    My main worry is the clear collusion of the leadership of federal law enforcement in abetting the assault on the Capitol. I don’t think it is a safe assumption that the inauguration as planned will be secure so I hope the Biden team is altering their plans. Move the inauguration inside, broadcast it, but keep it small and secure. Public celebrations can wait until the immediate dual crises of the insurrection and pandemic are in hand.

        • P J Evans says:

          The people who have been fired over the last four years: a lot of them were in groups that did advance planning for disasters (like pandemics) and were charged with looking out for them. One group was on the lookout for things like the assault on the Capitol – they got the axe last summer. Ask what the WH had in mind then.

        • Tracylynn says:

          Oooh! That sounds interesting. Do you have any links to support this? (Specifically, the group you said was tasked with looking out for assaults on the Capitol? Thanks! (I don’t know what exactly to search for.)

  15. fubar jack says:

    It’s hard to fully grasp the stupidity of Trump and his circle leading to the events on Wednesday. It had seemed the path forward for Trump would have been to resign on the nineteenth and allow Pence to issue a pardon the next day and continue whatever grift you want into the future . Since no President has ever tried to issue a self pardon and it is unlikely to work , what now?
    You sent a mob with zip ties and a makeshift gallows after the one person who can protect you from federal prosecution….fucking stupid…

      • LeeNLP says:

        Isn’t Trump’s state of mind more relevant at sentencing than at trial? I’m asking specifically because IANAL…

      • e.a.f. says:

        In my opinion, they were trying to scare Pence and ensure he doesn’t do anything like a sec. 25. these people aren’t going away. Pence may no longer be the V.P. but he will still be a person who might want to go on having a life. As I understand it former Presidents continue to have Secret Service protection for life, but I don’t know about V.P.s does any one know?

      • Mitch Neher says:

        IIRC, Flynn’s “plan” was 1) to declare martial law, 2) seize the voting machines and 3) conduct do-over elections under military control in those states with majority African-American counties that had delivered the November-3rd election to Biden/Harris.

        So, if Flynn’s plan is less stupid from Trump’s perspective than hiring The Cosplay Army to storm the U. S. Capitol . . . just because Pence pulled a Breckinridge . . .

        [Oh, bother. I have to look up the spelling on Breckinridge now . . . Sorry . . . You deserve better] . . .

        then Trump’s perspective is . . . [Sorry, again. I’m no longer qualified to complete this thought].

    • madwand says:

      CNN is saying today that Pence hasn’t completely ruled out the 25th according to a source close to him. If that is the case then Pence could use it as a bargaining chip with Trump. Resign and pardon, or the 25th. There is room here if Pence will pursue it. If he doesn’t there is no chance.

      From the article “But if Pence, in his bid to keep Trump onside until then, is counting on an outpouring of support from his old colleagues on Capitol Hill, he will be disappointed. Shortly before CNN reported the vice president is keeping the 25th Amendment on the table, Texas Rep. Kevin Brady rejected it — along any move toward impeachment — and suggested, ridiculously, that doing so was no different from Trump’s incitements.”

      • Stacey says:

        Mike Pence’s testicles have yet to descend! There’s no way he’s pulling that trigger under ANY circumstance.

        The guy is a few days past nearly being hanged publicly by the man he thought God had sent to save the country from whatever he thinks God cares about, and he’s now what, crying on Mother’s shoulder that he feels betrayed by his God’s mini-me? WTF?

        Pence is no hero because he stayed within the lines on the floor and did his duty. Pence surrounds himself with smart and persuasive people and he does whatever they tell him to do. He’s the ‘color inside the lines’ guy, the fact that the lines he colored in on the 6th were black and white constitutional lines doesn’t give him extra credit! And unless someone he trusts a LOT can convince him that he still has a pathway to the presidency in the future if he pulls the 25A trigger on Trump, that’s not happening!
        Pence doing that to Trump would be off the page for Pence, not outside the lines…In my opinion! :-)

    • John Paul Jones says:

      When Trump thinks at all, he thinks in movie images; so he was thinking of a wall of people rushing the Capitol and breaking in the doors and confronting the cowed legislators in something like a 5-minute montage of shots. And then he would come in (to applause) and praise “my people” and do a TV presentation later in the evening talking about how the people have spoken. The movies always present work as montage because work takes time and movies are short. I doubt that Trump has ever really thought about work, the work it takes to do something, at all, rather than thinking about issuing commands to “get things done.” This is why I think there’s a lot about attempts to pressure various state officials and governments that has yet to come out, since it seems doubtful the Georgia effort was a solo flight.

      • Raven Eye says:

        “5-minute montage of shots”: Trump’s attention span.

        “I doubt that Trump has ever really thought about work, the work it takes to do something”: That showed in the way he tried to run his airline. He didn’t understand how something gets done in what is probably the second-most regulated industry in the country (after nuke). He thought that changing the fittings in an airliner could just get done because he wanted it done — snap of a finger.

        And because he decided three casinos in Atlantic City would make him “great”, he never considered that the properties would be cannibalizing each other.

        In both cases, people in his organization knew, but Trump just filters out whatever he doesn’t believe.

        • John Paul Jones says:

          Agree. What sealed the intuition for me was realizing that Trump’s talking about the hacker as being some 300-pound guy in a basement. Who else could that possibly be but Kevin Smith in Die Hard 4?

    • Valerie Klyman-Clark says:

      I keep thinking about this and Jim Jones and Jonestown keeps coming to mind, but also I keep thinking of say, L. Ron Hubbard, the Rajneesh, Yogi Bhajan (founder of Akal Securities, FYI); the Q anon bullshit is a self-fulfilling ouroboros of garbage. When Keith Ham (Hare Krishna dude here in the US) died, a commenter on the Times website’s obituary stated (and this person said they knew Ham), “The cheated want to be cheated by the cheaters.”

      That stuck with me.

      • MB says:

        A generalized public education effort about cultic dynamics seems to be in order in the coming days, weeks, months, years etc. as to what emerges as the next cultural zeitgest from this current mess.

        If Trump is a cult leader (and he is), that by definition means there exists “mindless followers”. In his case, an astoundingly large number of them. Rajneesh, Elron, Yogi B, Jim Jones and Hare K’s ain’t got nothing on Trump. They would’ve all been so jealous, except they’re all dead.

        Along these lines, there’s a trending adoption of the phrase “conspirituality” these days referring to the seeming convergence of QAnon, anti-vax, anti-mask conspiracies with “social media influencers” in both the wellness, alternative medicine segments and the merely spiritual cultists that have always existed. If you’re interested in such things, I highly recommend checking out various podcasts from this site:

        • Valerie Klyman-Clark says:

          Ahh, and the Ananda Margas who I know personally. Thank you for the link-right in my wheel house.It’s fascinating in regard to the yogis who came from India during the 60s and 70s. Goenka (Vipassana) is the only one who offers the techniques for free; all the rest charged/made serious coin.

          Sharon Gans and The Word. The Cheated wanna be cheated by the cheaters. That way, none of it’s on them.

        • MB says:

          Even Goenka had his controversies.

          For ex:

          And after his death in 2013, serious coin was made by his organization holding meditation retreats which required participants to watch hours and hours of Goenka’s teachings on video.

          I was in a cult in the mid-1970s and the guru had one of his disciples run for county supervisor in the county their compound was located. A strictly practical measure for attempting to increase their local influence. It was a landslide loss, by the way.

      • ducktree says:

        A co-worker friend of mine in the late 1970s was a Premy: A follower of the Guru Majarajj Ji who was referred to as Gu’m’Raji.

        While my friend was studying at the Guru’s Ashram in India, one morning he encountered His Eminence in the hallway and dropped to the floor in full kaotao while HE passed by wearing leather wingtip shoes, in a community that considers cows holy.

        He immediately evaluated his devotions and redirected his spiritual energies.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          See also Keith Raniere, aka “Vanguard.” Another charismatic and overtly virile male cult leader who monetized access to his insights. Said insights, though anti-Trump and delivered with a cloak of poly-syllabic erudition, boiled down to The Secret + The Power of Positive Thinking + “Let’s fuck.” But as with Hubbard/Miscavige, acolytes had to fork over more and more $$$ in pursuit of revelation. My emails from Trump have stopped lately, but their rhetoric has always echoed that of cult leaders: If you really believe, you must donate. Otherwise you are not “my friend.”

    • timbo says:

      Nope, it’s really easy to grasp. There have been no significant consequences to any of them as yet. We even saw Flynn and Stone doubling down on incitement and sedition prior to the action of the 6th, that’s after they’ve already been through umpteen legal proceedings over the past four years… they didn’t appear to get that being nutty and encouraging that nuttiness in others might actually have consequences…again. (In fact, where were those two on the 6th anyways? Anyone know?)

  16. Inspector Clouseau says:

    There are three distinct groups who now are going to have to calculate their best move forward, a real life prisoner’s dilemma.
    The house pushing through impeachment is the best possible play they have, it is not political no matter how much fox news cries about unity or partisan politics – this was a direct attack on democracy. The house is full of no-names who ran on trumps coat tails and are looking at what their next election prospects would be. I think the new freshmen will be the first split in the party, a large faction will stay loyal to trump and his voters thinking they can ride them to a re-election since it “worked last time”. The others will look to move past Trump, making the case to the remainder GOP voters that they are there to reject Trump and they are the “new gop” with a focus on being a check against the Biden admin. This fissure in the house GOP makes the impeachment efforts more complicated for the senate as it now becomes a political hot potato. Right now pollsters are working overtime to project voter turnout in 2022 and where the allegiances fall with the voters. Will the trump base show up in 2022 in a non presidential election year and with no trump on the ballot? It is a big gamble to bet on his base turning out, especially after the Georgia senate loss. Do they think they can turn out his base and recruit the suburban vote at the same time? Prediction, over 50 but under 100 house GOP vote against impeachment.

    The senate is in a different boat, the GOP map for 2022 is not favorable. The senate is now grappling with the calculus of what happens next. If evidence comes out post Jan 20 that Trump et al had involvement beyond what is publicly known, their vote becomes the centerpiece in their 2022 re-election. By forcing them to be on record before the facts surrounding trumps full complicity come out, they are put in a no-win scenario. The senate is now stuck, knowing that part of their party in the house is remaining loyal to trump and his voters, continuing to give trump a voice in the gop going forward. The calculus they have to make is will trump stay loyal to them if they vote not to impeach, not only in 2022, but in 2024. The gop knows that a 3rd party run is not out of the question and trump is very moody and could still go full on frog-scorpion on them in 2024 if they don’t convict. He would use their non-conviction as evidence of a “deep state conspiracy”. Should a 3rd party run happen and the GOP is fractured, it runs the possibility of a democrat controlled senate in 2024 with a democrat president. Should that happen, the senate would likely move forward with statehood for DC and others (dont have votes now). McConnell knows if that happens the GOP in current form is toast, and his legacy will be set in stone as the leader during the parties collapse. He has to see this coming and must weigh if it is best to jettison trump now and accept any losses in 2022 and set the priority for 2024. Prediction: Enough votes in the senate are there for conviction, message relayed to trump a la nixon, trump refuses to step down, removed with 4-6 GOP senators voting to acquit, those with 2024 ambitions.

    The last group is the trump family, while they have made multiple idiotic moves, on a whole they still are smart enough to see their future options slowly disappearing. They will have to thread the needle ever so carefully to get through this and come out on the other side with some prospects. If Trump refuses to resign, he runs the risk of getting disqualified for 2024 if impeached. If he is convicted by the senate, it puts the nail in the coffin for any hope jr or ivanka had of holding any office outside of some local statehouse. If he is not convicted, it emboldens their 2022/2024 roles and makes them stars for the trump gop win and sets up the 2024 primary fight to be one on trump again. I doubt the GOP wants that battle after seeing Georgia.

    Seeing the scenarios play out, if all players in the game are smart the best move is a resignation and pardon from Pence. It pushes the GOP fight out far enough for them to evaluate how the electorate responds to Jan 6 to decide what to do with the family and platform going forward. Pence can frame his pardon as one of unity, accusing the dems of any further investigations as partisan overreach, protecting vulnerable senators from a vote they do not want to be on record for. A resignation also allows the family to run on the “liberal tech is silencing you and pushed our father out” so they might go along with it as it resonates with their base. Prediction: Family goes full crazy, digs heels in, making them persona non grata in social circles and putting a target on their back for any prosecutors looking to make their bones.

    • BobCon says:

      Redistricting is going to scramble a lot of House districts, and GOP reps can’t know how the musical chairs will work.

      Many have to worry about conservative state houses taking revenge, but some have to worry that new nonpartisan redistricting committees will take away gerrymandered district lines. Shrinking delegations for some states may well force some incumbent on incumbent battles on unfamiliar ground too.

      They also have to worry about donors. Corporations will be worrying about affiliation with extremists, and PAC money tends to flow toward power, so the turnover of the Senate and President will mean a lot of money is changing directions.

      The odds of campaign finance reform have gone up, and usual ways of hiding donations may dry up, which may also limit funding for kooks, and this may weigh on vulnerable members of Congress.

      • John Langston says:

        One idea about redistricting. How about renewing the Voters’ Rights Act that Scalia & co struck down for no reason? And then after Roberts said that courts couldn’t make a decision about gerrymandering.

        Enact a new law and all in the spirit of the 15th Amend.

      • madwand says:

        Interesting, but big money types like Rebekah Mercer are the money behind Parlor so that “conservative money” is still out there only concealed I suspect.

        • BobCon says:

          There is still a ton of money these people get from corporate donors.

          Marriott is suspending donations to Republican electors who voted to overthrow the election, and JP Morgan is taking the more cowardly approach of suspending all political donations.

          Nothing stops them from resuming, of course, and there are dodges with routing money through PACs, but it shows the heat is on.

    • J R in WV says:

      I don’t really worry about a Pence pardon for Trump. Pardons only work for past offenses, prior to the issuance of the pardon.

      Does anyone think that Trump, having escaped his befouled presidency by the tiniest of margins, would be able to suddenly stop committing crimes?

      Of course, without a pardon, Trump will probably receive multiple indictments the afternoon or evening of Jan 20th 2021. Not that he can admit that to himself.

  17. pseudonymous in nc says:

    I just go back to the cardinal rule of the American political narrative: Republicans are always the protagonists and Democrats are always the supporting players.

    The structures just don’t exist for Democrats to sustain a long inquiry: the Rs stick to bad-faith postures, the press reverts to the R perspective, D leadership gets scared of its own shadow, Ds on the left get frustrated, Dems in disarray etc. So the longer it goes on, the more likely elite media will reward Rs for their ability to sing from the “unity” hymn sheet.

    Who knows how much of a threat exists in the days to come — and even after the inauguration? Who knows how long it will take to extract the Nunes Brigade from DoD and strip their clearances to stop them from returning to HPSCI staff? We’ll learn more after the fact, perhaps even that the president has been taken out of the loop.

    I still think the Ds should try to extract a political price for the Senate standing idle, especially when Murkowski and Toomey have made their thoughts clear.

  18. Charles says:

    Thanks for highlighting the role in saving lives of Officer Goodman (who we know about thanks to the journalism of Igor Bobic) in your Twitter feed, Marcy.

    The heroes in this story, people like Officer Goodman, a number of journalists, Julie Tagen (who defended Cong. Raskin’s family), and the congressional aides who protected the electoral ballots are ultimately far more important in refuting the Big Lies than exposing and prosecuting the villains–though prosecution is critically important too.

    And, as you suggest, impeachment is urgent only as it sets up the possibility of the Senate acting swiftly if Trump goes into even more dangerous territory, like starting wars. Getting the Justice Dept functional is probably Joe Biden’s top priority as president, though the CDC is a close second.

    BMaz asks what “releasing the kraken” meant. I have come to the conclusion that this is what they were doing:

    Lots and lots of it.

    • cavenewt says:

      ‘what “releasing the kraken” meant’

      Being a voracious reader, I’m positive this predates the Titans movie + remake. I think it goes way back. A more modern take on it is the Simpsons’ Mr. Burns cackling “release the hounds.”

      If you google the phrase there are some really unsavory references in various urban dictionaries.

  19. John Langston says:

    Not on exactly on subject but thinking Occam’s Razor.

    let’s draw a line: Joe McCarthy (Roy Cohn)…..Goldwater (Richard Viguerie)…Nixon (Ailes)….Reagan (Lee Atwater)…..Bush and Bush (Rove)…….Trump (Bannon)

    OK, maybe some of the hacks weren’t direct matches to their respective politicos but pretty damned close.

  20. P J Evans says:

    When they’re investigating the insurrection, they shouldn’t forget the WH staff: Meadows, Scavino, Stephen Miller – they’d be channels for communicating to the “outside” people.

    • BobCon says:

      The campaign is another likely connection, and I would not be surprised if there are a lot of criminal violations lurking in terms of funding going for things that are expressly prohibited.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if part of Trump’s mania is an understanding of how exposed he is on this front, both in terms of potential problems that make Duncan Hunter (who he pardoned) look like a guy stealing from the Leave a Penny Take a Penny dish, and also in terms of targets for an investigation that wants to flip people for testimony on him.

      • P J Evans says:

        He’s gotten so much worse in the last year – starting well before the election. I suspect COVID did stuff to his brain.

        • Valley girl says:

          I’d say that his recovery from Covid certainly affirmed his belief that HE is invincible. (Because of course HE was totally responsible for that /s)

  21. WilliamOckham says:

    One quick technical note about Parler. It will be virtually impossible for them to migrate off AWS in a week. I’ve worked on projects moving from one cloud provider to another (or self-hosting, etc.). It’s hard. The usual strategy is to get help from the cloud provider you’re migrating to. Nobody wants Parler. I suspect the company is dead.

    • bmaz says:

      Think Russia. Parler can maintain somewhere, but it will be from a place that makes said effort obvious.

      • Raven Eye says:

        Somewhat related? If the social media lawsuit protection goes away, I’m wondering where the more mainstream companies will end up.

        In any case, there are probably a few countries (providing they have have the physical connectivity – fiber) that would welcome big server farms and could frustrate some levels of U.S. government scrutiny. An awful lot of that traffic still goes through locations like Northern Virginia, no matter where the end points actually are — I don’t know if that’s a factor. Financing by sovereign entities through a myriad of shells would be expected.

        This is a classic for risk managers; where mitigating one risk vector increases another.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        Even with a willing hosting provider, they still have to do the technical migration. If they try to bring their existing data, they are more likely than not to fail completely. If they bring up an entirely new site, they are still looking at a minimum of few weeks. Someone is going to have to extend a lot of funding to make that happen.

    • BobCon says:

      I’m not a techy, but I assume a lot of Parler’s own code was written to hook into proprietary AWS code, and so would need to be rewritten and retested for a new platform.

      Is that what is going on?

      Do they actually lose critical code or data that is owned by Amazon that would need to be recreated? I don’t have a sense if bringing back old messages requires time data for proper threading that Amazon doesn’t have to hand over, for example.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        Your first assumption is correct. If they don’t attempt to bring the data along, the rewrite to remove the AWS specific code will be infinitely easier. Even a lot of developers won’t realize that. You have to have suffered through a few projects like this to understand it.

      • Master Slacker says:

        Nothing gets lost. AWS is a proprietary code based on Linux. It was actually developed in Europe and I’m sure Russia has more than enough resources available (and knowledge) to make the move fairly efficient. If they chose to get involved. They won’t be able to make it anonymous, however.

    • Dizz says:

      I agree – it’s likely dead. It would take a lot of $/ time to recreate and the brand is toxic. The true believers will (already have) move(d) onto another existing platform.
      FB/Twitter/Parler topics: white supremacy, fascism, anti-Semitism, misogyny, anarchy, etc. have existed in chat rooms for years. It will take time for the authoritarians/ Rs to link back-up with them. Parscale was really good at creating those links.

  22. A Better Mitch says:

    Huge gratitude for the cogent analysis from so many, but I find myself unable to process much of it. I realize this doesn’t move the conversation forward, but please permit me to vent. Though I haven’t lived there in many yrs, DC is my hometown and I take the attack (irrationally) personally. I see 25th as extremely unlikely, and therefore considered impeachment as the most vital work Congress could do. When I stop seeing red, I’ll re-read and perhaps assimilate some of the wisdom herein. Meanwhile, and as an anti-authoritarian lifetime opponent of all things militaristic, I am fervently hoping for a massive show of force between now and inauguration. It boggles my mind to be writing this, but at least some of my naivete has been stripped away.

    • Chris.EL says:

      — sympathy to you on injury to your home town —

      Events of January 6, 2021 were wrong in so many ways!

      Hope they do a funeral for Officer Sicknick worthy of his sacrifice!!

    • P J Evans says:

      Some of the Capitol police…and likely some of those in Congress. Boebert was texting while it was going on, including things like Pelosi leaving the floor. Ask who follows her and read those.

    • Dizz says:

      Black Capitol Police Officers Describe Fighting Off “Racist Ass Terrorists”

      “That was a heavily trained group of militia terrorists that attacked us,” said the officer, who has been with the department for more than a decade. “They had radios, we found them, they had two-way communicators and earpieces. They had bear spray. They had flash bangs … They were prepared. They strategically put two IEDs, pipe bombs in two different locations. These guys were military trained. A lot of them were former military,”

      The officer even described coming face to face with police officers from across the country in the mob. He said some of them flashed the badges, telling him to let them through, and trying to explain that this was all part of a movement that was supposed to help.

      “I got called a nigger 15 times today,” the veteran officer shouted in the rotunda to no one in particular. “Trump did this and we got all of these fucking people in our department that voted for him. How the fuck can you support him?”

  23. David says:

    [The President] … “shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.” Are we sure this does not preclude Trump from pardoning others implicated in the insurrection that is the cause of the impeachment?

  24. yogarhythms says:

    “ Updated: January 8, 2021 – 7:05 PM
    The Republican National Committee wrapped up its four-day winter meeting at The Ritz Carlton Amelia Island Friday, just across the border from Georgia, where they lost two crucial senate seats.
    Ronna McDaniel was unanimously re-elected to lead the party for the next two years, vowing to win back the house and senate.”
    1,Attempted Coup d’etat Jan 6 2021, 2,DJT, 3,Ronna M. Three powerful republican facts that were planed
    before Jan 6 2021 and remain undiminished (social network de-platforms not withstanding ) as evidenced by quote above. Institutional inertia supporting status quo will maintain itself while 46th administration is confirmed. DrEw identifies building sustainable foundation to fight climate of corruption denier’s and win.
    Covid 19 federal leadership to address pandemic mass-casualty ravaging US society is number one priority for 46th administration.

  25. harpie says:

    Marcy retweeted:
    11:15 AM · Jan 10, 2021

    I want to reup this thread. I was cataloguing the GOP members of congress who were speaking at the capitol in support of overturning the election. 7 had spoken before the capitol was breached. This was an organized and multi-pronged coup attempt. They cannot pretend otherwise [link]

    1:25 PM · Jan 6, 2021 Minority Whip @SteveScalise […]
    1:35 PM · Jan 6, 2021 Republican congressman @Jim_Jordan […]
    1:50 PM · Jan 6, 2021 Republican congressman @RepAndyBiggsAZ […]
    1:57 PM · Jan 6, 2021 Republican congresswoman @laurenboebert […]
    2:01 PM · Jan 6, 2021 Republican congressman @BrianMastFL […]
    2:08 PM · Jan 6, 2021 Mike Johnson @RepMikeJohnson […]
    2:18 PM · Jan 6, 2021 7th Republican to speak is @RepGosar. […]
    [end of thread]

      • P J Evans says:

        I suspect that she doesn’t think of everyone in her district as being her constituents – just the ones who agree with her.
        (This seems to be a problem with a lot of the GOP-T: those who don’t agree with them don’t deserve to be represented.)

      • Stacey says:

        I’m sure this isn’t really what it could be seen as because you know, everyone and their social media updates…but if this Boebert woman is saying she thinks of herself as ‘these constituents’ voice’ could she also be their ‘eyes and ears’ inside? Meaning, she’s at the rally, clearly on their side, then she’s IN the capitol as it’s being overrun by THEM and she’s tweeting out minute by minute intel about where they are, where the speaker is, etc.?

        Someone in the after action report should seriously look at that from an operational security perspective! That’s scary as hell to realize how easy it would be for EVEN unwitting conspirators to be helping the insurgents with actionable intelligence to guide them to their targets. Gesus!

      • cavenewt says:

        What I find even more interesting is that at 7:30 AM on January 6, she tweeted “today is 1776.” It’s like she knew what was going to happen or something.

        Somehow I’m not surprised her district is western Colorado. Grand Junction, site of my nearest Home Depot, is incredibly conservative (I’m just over the state line in Utah).

  26. graham firchlis says:

    Installing Garland and many others doesn’t depend on either impeachment process status or Warnock and Ossoff taking office.

    At 12:01PM on Jan 20, Biden can – and all signs suggest he will – demote or fire all the Trumptoadies who haven’t already resigned and appoint new officials as Acting. The are plenty of honest patriotic competent officials still in government to fill subordinant voids and for DOJ to undertake fulsome Investigations.

    Once W&O are sworn in and impeachment dealt with, administrative confirmations can be moved swiftly as McConnell has been doing with judges; abbreviated hearings followed immediately with simple majority votes. Schumer can move legislation simultaneously.

    New legislation will likely all start in the House, and that can begin in committees regardless of impeachment status. By the time bills get voted out and sent to the Senate, impeachment however the outcome will be done and done.

    The Democrats should move forward as rapidly as legitimately possible on all fronts, while the Radical Reactionaries are back on thier heels. Keep pushing, hard, across the board.

  27. harpie says:

    Another little timeline by Laura Rozen from a WSJ article:
    9:02 PM · Jan 9, 2021

    1:18pm, “multiple officers reported injured at the Capitol, west side,”
    1:41pm, “Broken arrow!” citywide dispatch signalling units overrun
    2:22pm Cap Police chief Sund requests Guard support
    3pm Miller “verbally” approved DC Gd
    4pm Hogan learns Miller still NOT approved MD GD
    At 4:41 p.m., Hogan received a phone call from Army Sec McCarthy, asking if can send MD Gd ASAP. Hogan said yes, we’ve been waiting. Hogan told that Miller had verbally approved.
    5:45pm Miller formally approves deployment
    5:30[pm] first DC guard arrive

  28. laMissy says:

    If the House begins impeachment Monday and Trump resigns, can impeachment still move forward?
    What if impeachement begins and Trumps resigns and Pence pardons?
    What if impeachement begins and Pence enacts the 25th?

    Just wondering whether impeachment can be mooted by one of these – or other -scenarios.

    Thank you for the astounding resource that is this blog.

  29. pdaly says:

    I’m not a lawyer, but my understanding (as you will see in comments above) impeachment may occur after a politician has left office. And if subsequently convicted of the article(s) of impeachment by a vote by the Senate, this action will prevent this official from ever holding office again.

    Obviously, the 25th Amendment would work right away on a sitting president, and impeachment could still take place then and/or later.

    • Chris.EL says:

      It’s being reported Trump is planning a trip to The Alamo; don’t know Texas geography, so looked it up on maps.

      Right on the coast, near Mexican border.

      Does Trump know anyone with a yacht? Or have friends in Cuba or Venezuela?

      • P J Evans says:

        The town is named “Alamo” – it’s near McAllen, and north of the Santa Ana wildlife refuge.
        “The Alamo” is a location in San Antonio, a couple of hundred miles north.

        • e.a.f. says:

          Saw something about Trump visiting his wall. Don’t know if that is near the Alamo. Don’t think Mexico wants Trump as a “guest” and certainly the cartels would not be interested in having a bunch of MAGA nuts running around Mexico interfering with business.

          Some of the Russian oligarchs have very large yachts. But then it is doubtful they would lend him theirs. he is of no further use to them. if Trump is stupid enough to use one of their yachts he might wind up being bait.

        • What Constitution? says:

          Don’t forget that “Alamo” is also a car rental company; I believe they may have a lot at Dulles, probably near a crematorium and a porno shop. Trump may, after all, be looking for a way out of town.

    • cavenewt says:

      Thank you pdaly, I was wondering if they could hamstring Trump right away with the 25th — according to Marcy’s article

      If Mike Pence were to invoke the 25th Amendment (with the approval of a bunch of Trump’s cabinet members), it could go into effect immediately for at least four days…Trump’s disqualification remains in place for 21 more days, enough to get through Joe Biden’s inauguration.

      And that would get him out of the way while Biden gets his important first work done, and then impeachment could proceed.

      And then, of course, all the other looming legal problems could avalanche down on Trump.

      One can hope.

  30. Raven Eye says:

    Thinking about Biden’s triage challenge and the events and players of January 6th…

    I was looking specifically at the Oath Keepers – but extending consideration to groups like the 3 Percenters and Proud Boys. There is plenty of evidence that current members of the military and law enforcement agencies are members – the Oath Keepers in particular recruit them.

    It might be a challenge to deal with participation by civilian agency personnel, but I wonder if Biden’s team could also consider prohibiting military personnel participating in these organizations using the military’s Good Order and Discipline authority. The question to SecDef could be phrased in the context of “Why shouldn’t DoD?”

    A DoD Directive or Instruction would extend to active and reserve component personnel, ROTC, and trainees. Air and Army Guard members might be a little more difficult due to their state status. But any Guard personnel on Title 10 orders or participating in training or exercises on DoD installations would likely be covered. DHS would need to adopt the same standard for the Coast Guard.

    A wink-and-nod culture may have developed within DoD. There are certainly bigger fish to fry, but I would hate to have this slip through the cracks.

  31. pdaly says:

    This September 2020 article (link below), written by a game developer Reed Berkowitz, states QAnon appears to be the evil twin of an ARG (Alternate Reality Game), taking advantage of the phenomena of “apophenia,” the human tendency to see patterns in random information, whether that information is data or events.


Brief aside: Seeing faces in knotty pine or seeing animal shapes in a cloud floating by are examples of “visual” apophenia (aka “pareidolia”), whereas conspiracy theories are a common example of the more “general” apophenia.

    According to Berkowitz, QAnon uses puppet masters (Q) who guide a person’s apophenia “by pointing out unrelated random events and creating a meaning for them that fits the propaganda message Q is delivering. 

This method delivers propaganda in an addicting way, reinforced by a community spirit of like minded individuals:


“..this is a breadcrumb trail AWAY from reality. Away from actual solutions and towards a dangerous psychological rush. It works very well because when you “figure it out yourself” you own it. You experience the thrill of discovery, the excitement of the rabbit hole, the acceptance of a community that loves and respects you.”

    What surprised me is his conclusion that the extreme and continued growth of QAnon is NOT likely organic but rather managed with personnel and money as you would find in a media/propaganda campaign:

    “Normally, if an indie ARG or interactive story goes unexpectedly viral, the creators begin to struggle. They have less money to spend on more people, more interactions, and a story that gets consumed faster and faster. They have no more time/money/staff and eventually, they have to wrap it up. Even commercial ad-based ARGs are exhausting to run. It’s a sprint from the first post and no matter how short, it feels like a marathon.”

    Note: his article is on a secure website,, but Berkowitz’ website Curiouser Institute is not using https, just http

    • Valley girl says:

      pdaly- Thanks for that info. I don’t have time to look into it now, but I certainly will.

      Neurobiologist here. I taught a course on the neurobiology of animal behavior- focussed on a range of animals, sensory and motor behavior. How different animals have sensory structures that sense parts of the EM spectrum that we don’t.

      In one lecture, I showed them four different versions of a photograph of a sunset I had taken in Maine. I said I had taken with my Canon xx (I had). The versions were numbered. My question to them was which was the real photograph, the sunset I actually saw in Maine. I asked the students not to discuss their answers, just to make a note of their answer on a slip of paper. I tallied the results (anonymous, no names asked).

      In preparing the 4 versions, one was my photo, the other three were versions photo-shopped by me, one done with the intent of presenting the most ideal Maine sunset.

      As I rather expected, most ~25/30 students chose the “ideal” sunset. The others chose mine, or one of the others. But to my great delight one student added to his answer “but none of them were what you actually saw in Maine”. Bingo.

      But what was interesting in light of your comment was how many students chose the idealized version.

      It was a “trick” question, yes, but only for the purpose of provoking discussion.

      I know I’ve gone way off track here, but I hope you can see why your comment made me think of this.

      • madwand says:

        Your Bingo reminded of the story of the philosophy professor whose final exam contained only one word Why? Two students jotted down a word or two and walked out, the rest of the class remained for the 3 hour period writing like mad. Two students passed, all the rest flunked, one student who passed wrote “why not” and the second wrote “because” the first got an A the second a B.

        Your point about the ideal sunset is well taken. We see what we want to see in some circumstances and belief is hard to shake, once formulated over time it becomes self reinforcing.

      • Solo says:

        The Rock Man to Oblio and his faithful dog, Arrow, in Harry Nillsen’s 1970 musical, “The Point.”

        Oblio has just come tumbling downhill, rolling up to the foot of this giant man made of rocks. The man of rocks speaks. Oblio expresses his utter disbelief – outloud.

        “Thing is,” says The Rock Man, “ya see what ya want to see. And ya hear what ya want to hear.”

        “Ever see Paris?”


        “Ever see Rome?”


        “That’s right. Ya see what you want to see. And ya hear what you want to hear. You dig?”

    • skua says:

      ” conspiracy theories are a common example of the more “general” apophenia ”
      Real life is unfortunately more complicated than this.
      Early on in a rational investigation, say into the jailing of a suspect on the basis of police testimony, it is often impossible to decide on the basis of reason and fact whether there is a conspiracy amongst the police or whether a “general” apophenia is in play. If facts are hard to come by then the weighting of the available evidence by interested parties is very likely to be heavily influenced by their pre-existing biases. This will often have one group declaring that a real-world conspiracy exists and the other calling it a “conspiracy theory founded in apophenia”. Sometimes as further evidence emerges one of these judgements can be shown to be counter-factual or exceedingly unlikely.

      • cavenewt says:

        Did you read the whole article? It’s not about how to determine evidence of a conspiracy. It’s explaining why people are attracted to QAnon. They like the puzzle-solving, which rewards them with feelings of accomplishment. It’s like playing a game.

        • skua says:

          I’m responding to what is presented in these comments. The explanation of why people are attracted to Q-annon remains convincing.
          The generalised statement here about what conspiracy theories are necessarily founded on is problematic.
          There are indications that there was a conspiracy to have inadequate policing for the 6 January event. The generalising statement I quoted has any resulting conspiracy theory as just the result of apophenia.

        • pdaly says:

          I think the operative word in the definition of apophenia is finding a connection between random events where no connection exists. In contrast, I think there are valid reasons to see a connection between the Trump sending a violent mob towards the Capitol building and the poor defense and delayed response to protect the Capitol.

          I was recently trying (unsuccessfully) to point a FB “friend” and her pro-Trump followers, angry about the stolen election, to look at the judges’ opinions regarding Trump’s false claims of election fraud. No matter how many times I tried to explain and link to the multiple courts’ dismissals/rulings that stated Trump’s team failed to provide a legal argument and proof of voter fraud, I was told I was misinformed.

          To them it was clear that ‘the courts were not even willing to listen to Trump’s side of the story.’ In their minds, no one would listen to Trump because “they” (whoever is not pro Trump, I guess) don’t like him. Proof that the system is corrupt.

          I didn’t have it in me to ask if they are QAnon devotees, however.

    • cavenewt says:

      I read this article a couple months ago and shared it around. It does an excellent job of explaining the QAnon attraction. It was especially helpful for me because I have a close family member (a gamer) who falls for this kind of stuff.

      • Chris.EL says:

        been using computers since 1987 (just a secretary…) Have never played a computer game; don’t think I ever will. The fun for me was figuring out the computer, etc.

        • P J Evans says:

          You probably would have enjoyed the old text adventures, then. You were figuring out how the rooms connected and what the various things in them did/were for. (And how to get them out, sometimes!)

        • cavenewt says:

          I haven’t played computer games for decades. But early on, everybody did because of the novelty (and because no Internet — so we had time!) I even wrote one for an Apple II. I still have a copy of Douglas Adams’ Bureaucracy, a very cool text adventure based on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

  32. Geo says:

    Good Dr.-
    regarding “Nancy Pelosi called Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley and come away with assurances that Trump won’t be able to deploy nukes.”

    I’m afraid she received NO such assurances. Read her letter carefully.

    And you know as well as I do, there is no way for a military commander to legally disregard a presidential order to launch nukes, as long as the order is “lawful”. Of course, the whole affair hinges on what is a “lawful” order, which, in the realm of international law of war, is far from clear.

  33. Bruce Olsen says:

    Maybe one of the Russian Mafiosi who laundered money by buying units in the Trump Ocean Club has a stout, seaworthy vessel at hand (referring to the trip to Alamo, to which this reply was supposed to be attached).

    It was Ivanka’s project… as was the project in Baku, Azerbaijan.

    I wonder if Trump hates Iran because the Baku building had ties to the Revolutionary Guard, and knows too much.

    • Stacey says:

      I continue to see postings in various places of some Russian Oligarch’s plane that is ‘shadowing’ Trump, most recently in Florida, but this is the same plane that researches had been able to map to Trump’s movements through out the 2016 campaign. I’m concerned he gets some chaos-inspired exit under the fog of which he gets himself scooped up by one of his Russian friends. I’m not saying they are truly his friends or have any value for him, just that if they agreed to ‘save’ him, then they have him and what would they get him to tell them to ‘let him go’. This is a national security nightmare scenario that seems incredibly likely and if it were my call I’d tranquilize him for the next 11 days and deal with the consequences! I’m just out of fucks for the lack of imagination we all seem to be suffering from. He’s a fucking psychopath! Can’t we just understand that and act accordingly, stop it with this ‘but he’s still the commander in chief’ bull shit!

      Great, we’re a country of laws that’s about to have our asses handed to us by the mind of a psychopath that will laugh all the way to God knows where with his ‘win’ over all of our laws whatever the hell we think we’ve won with that strategy.

      • Chris.EL says:

        again and again, as I listen to DVDs and tinker with the (coming to appreciate more and more) smart phone — I find myself seeing characters that vividly display Trump’s mental pathologies.

        Currently Prof. Moriarty in Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes Game of Shadows.” Also love the music! (Dulcimer?)

        For nuclear weapons issues and war: “Hunt for Red October,” “Crimson Tide,” and “Dr. Strangelove.”

        This Twitter account is enlightening: Elizabeth Mika.

  34. Bobster33 says:

    Trump is not done. No one has ever held him to account. He still has all of his power, right wing sites are calling for armed citizens to appear in DC Jan 17th and 19th, and ratfuckers Roger Stone and Mike Flynn are no doubt fucking around.

    Add to this a Senate that wants to wait and see which side is ultimately more powerful, and here we are.

    One item not mentioned is that Colorado Rep Lauren Boebert was “live” tweeting her and Pelosi’s location during the mob’s rampage. I suspect that she will have some explaining to do.

    Last but not least, let your Congress critter know how you feel by sending them an email or leaving a voice message. Monday’s news narratives are getting set today. Make sure it includes your voice.

  35. Pragmatic Progressive says:

    Censure the statement Trump made saying he was going to the Capitol with his militia, his refusal to intervene and send reinforcements when lives were in danger, and his statement afterwards where he said he “loved” the people responsible. Write it up to get as much bipartisan support as is possible.

    That way, when impeachment begins, there is a baseline record of how many legislators refuse to even agree to those three basic things. Once the impeachment articles have some bipartisan support, send them to the Senate.

    Then, the Senate should create a committee to gather evidence in PARALLEL to the criminal process against all of the perpetrators. Hundreds of accused criminals facing stiff sentences and testifying that they were motivated to break the law by Trump (and whoever else engaged in chargeable conduct) is very valuable evidence.

    Allowing a closed door Senate committee to collect evidence for however long is necessary would mitigate public fatigue and frustration. It would also allow for an opportunity to coordinate a conviction in the Senate with a criminal indictment if the facts and evidence support it.

    Finally, it would place a pardon proof firewall between any post January 20 obstruction of justice/overt acts in a conspiracy and any potential pardon that may issue.

    Confirmation of Biden’s DOJ appointees should be a priority, but he can also issue an Executive Order to force all Executive Branch employees to fully cooperate with formal information requests from any (or any particular) legislative committee. Such an Executive Order could be signed at 12:01 P.M. on January 20.

  36. foggycoast says:

    perhaps someone more knowledgeable can shed light on this. according to Article II, Section 2, Clause 1:

    “The President….shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”

    Does this mean that if trump is impeached for “Incitement of insurrection and sedition against the United States” that he could not pardon himself for that specific charge, could not give himself blanket immunity and could then later be charged criminally for incitement once he is no longer the sitting president?

    Also, since Article II does not state that conviction of the impeachment charges is necessary does that mean that the house voting to impeach makes those charges unpardonable regardless as to whether the senate convicts?

  37. CD54 says:

    Apologies for being late.

    What I’m most interested in re: Wednesday’s putsch at the Capitol is how many possible law enforcement/military personnel were involved.

    In an ideal America, every law enforcement agency in the U.S. regardless of level — federal, state, local municipality would, right now, be demanding a statement under penalty of perjury for their personnel to account for their time, whereabouts, and electronic communications [covering a one week window] for Wednesday January 6, 2021.

    In addition, the House Armed Services Committee should subpoena every single segment of U.S. military forces to produce the same information to the Committee for any and every enlisted/assigned/delegated person under their authority.

    Legally or politically cast the net far and wide, and map each and every intersection for further critical investigation, audit, and analysis.

    Priority 1: Get each and every one of these traitors out of law enforcement or the military.

  38. harpie says:
    9:17 AM · Jan 11, 2021

    It’s really amazing when you realize that the better part of thousands of insurgents who stormed the Capitol have no fucking clue how FBI investigations work and how much evidence they left out there. […]
    That said, FBI is presumably still looking for the person who left the bombs at DNC and RNC, who may be one of the most important people to unpacking the conspiracy.

    THAT PERSON is THE REASON that, JUST AS TRUMP was INCITING his MOB, Sund was called away.

    [Chief of Capitol Police] SUND was monitoring Trump’s speech to the crowd on the Ellipse when he was called away. There were reports of two pipe bombs near the Capitol grounds. So Sund didn’t hear the president call on protesters to “fight” against lawmakers preparing to confirm Biden’s victory. Nor did he hear Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, urging the crowd to engage in “trial by combat,” an eerie reference to battles to the death in the series, “Game of Thrones.” Sund said he now suspects that the pipe bombs were an intentional effort to draw officers away from the Capitol perimeter.
    The first wave of protesters arrived at the Capitol about 12:40 p.m.

    • harpie says:

      [via Laura Rozen] Tim Ryan, chair of the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Capitol Police
      4:43 PM · Jan 11, 2021

      Rep. Tim Ryan says the pipe bombs at the RNC and DNC drew attention away from the attempts to breach the Capitol. Says there was “coordination.”

      Congressman Tim Ryan Retweeted
      4:42 PM · Jan 11, 2021

      .@RepTimRyan News Conference on U.S. Capitol Attack – LIVE on C-SPAN [VIDEO]

    • harpie says:
      5:15 PM · Jan 11, 2021

      NEW: Rep. Tim Ryan, who is leading investigation into Capitol Police’s actions during the insurrection of the Capitol said that 2 Capitol Police officers have been suspended for their actions: 1 for wearing a MAGA hat/directing rioters hat & 1 for taking a selfie with rioters.

      Rep. Ryan said another law enforcement individual had been arrested but said he needed to follow up on details on that arrest.

      Ryan also confirmed that there are approximately 10 to 15 Capitol Police officers under investigation for their behavior during the riot but did not have more specifics than that.

    • harpie says:

      1] 12:00 AM · Feb 4, 2020

      Without evidence, top Trump campaign officials — including sons @EricTrump & @DonaldJTrumpJr — are sowing distrust in the democratic process, suggesting the Democratic Iowa caucuses are “rigged.” [screenshots]

      2] 11:15 AM – 11 Feb 2020

      Senate GOP blocks three election security bills

      3] 11:45 AM · May 9, 2020
      [TRUMP link in next comment]

      So in California, the Democrats, who fought like crazy to get all mail in only ballots, and succeeded, have just opened a voting booth in the most Democrat area in the State. They are trying to steal another election. It’s all rigged out there. These votes must not count. SCAM!

      4] 10:08 AM · May 24, 2020
      [TRUMP link in next comment]

      The United States cannot have all Mail In Ballots. It will be the greatest Rigged Election in history. People grab them from mailboxes, print thousands of forgeries and “force” people to sign. Also, forge names. Some absentee OK, when necessary. Trying to use Covid for this Scam!

      5] 8:17 AM · May 26, 2020
      [TRUMP link in next comment]

      ….living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there, will get one. That will be followed up with professionals telling all of these people, many of whom have never even thought of voting before, how, and for whom, to vote. This will be a Rigged Election. No way!

      • harpie says:

        Well, the links won’t be active anymore, but:
        3] /realDonaldTrump/status/1259147372984180736
        11:45 AM · May 9, 2020
        4] /realDonaldTrump/status/1264558926021959680
        10:08 AM · May 24, 2020
        5] /realDonaldTrump/status/1265255845358645254
        8:17 AM · May 26, 2020

        • Rayne says:

          The links will likely be archived at the Wayback Machine, btw.

          For example:

          Really lame how he argued in that case about California’s approach to voting during a pandemic when Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution clearly says,

          The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

          And Congress has made no law to change this in any way, especially since H.R. 1 passed by the House in 2019 is still sitting on McConnell’s desk in the Senate.

  39. harpie says:

    wrt: MILITARY in DC on 1/6/21
    8:13 AM · Jan 11, 2021

    NEWS: U.S. Army Captain Emily Rainey has resigned her commission, [she was a “psychological operations officer”] @CBSDavidMartin reports, after leading a group of people from N.C. to the rally in Washington that led up to the deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol. Rainey was a psychological operations officer, @JimLaPorta reports. […]
    More from @CBSDavidMartin: A Defense official says the Army is investigating how many soldiers from Ft. Bragg accompanied Rainy to D.C.. She had already resigned her commission after receiving a career-ending letter of reprimand for her actions at an earlier protest in the Ft…


    • Rayne says:

      Good. She in particular really pissed me off. A goddamned PSYOP officer who couldn’t see the psy-op being used on her? Completely unfit for her office.

  40. Doctor My Eyes says:

    I want to mention the notion of “optics”, which seem more real to most of US citizens than actual life. I think recent events have indeed sobered up those politicians capable of being sobered up, but that still leaves many, and most especially Republicans whose true motivations are so antithetical to the welfare of the majority of citizens that 90% of their public statements are merely optics. I truly believe that a significant motivation among Republican “leaders”, even today, is that having one of their Presidents being impeached or removed using the 25th amendment will look bad in the future. They prefer not to have a traitor president on their permanent record. It will get in the way of touting the many wonderful accomplishments of Trump when naming an airport after him. Who knows what is happening in the WH these days, but my most optimistic assessment is that Trump is somehow under control but this fact will be kept secret because of “optics”.

    Similarly, I believe one of the reasons the planners of this coup could get away with having an unprepared police presence beforehand was because it seems to be understood by police that BLM and other left-based protests need to be made to look violent and scary by being shown surrounded by forces in full riot gear. Naturally, to uphold the myth that the right is not violent, the opposite would hold. Of course, the actual world is inexorable, and basing decisions on optics is not actually effective, no matter how many people can be convinced that black is white and up is down.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      Case in point:

      Half an hour after the mob entered the Capitol, with Sund on the phone begging for help, Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt sat at the Pentagon recommending against deploying the National Guard, saying: “I don’t like the visual of the National Guard standing a police line with the Capitol in the background.”

      Was Piatt more concerned about optics than the safety of the Vice President and members of the legislature or is Piatt a traitor who was supporting a coup attempt? We live in a country in which optics are such a driver of crucial decisions that the first possibility is quite believable.

  41. Molly Pitcher says:

    Terry Bouton is an Associate Professor of History at UMBC. He was the 2012-2015 Presidential Teaching Professor at UMBC and an Organization of American Historians (OAH) Distinguished Lecturer.

    Terry and his wife attended the riot on Wednesday as observers. His wife is a noted photographer. On their Twitter feed they have posted their observations and photos, which are well worth reviewing.

  42. Doctor My Eyes says:

    “The senior McConnell adviser reached a former law firm colleague who had just left the Justice Department: Will Levi, who had served as Attorney General William P. Barr’s chief of staff.”

    So it wasn’t principles, preparation, idealistic performance of duty, nor just plain old competence. It was the old boy network.

  43. harpie says:

    Outgoing Capitol Police chief: House, Senate security officials hamstrung efforts to call in National Guard
    Jan. 10, 2021 1:38 p.m.

    Jan 1and/or 2Capitol Police Chief Sund confers with D.C. Police Chief Robert J. Contee III, who offers to lend a hand if trouble arose.

    Jan 4 Sund called House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving and Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger to ask for permission to request that the National Guard be put on emergency standby. Irving didn’t like the idea, Sund said; he said it would look bad because it would communicate that they presumed an emergency. He said he’d have to ask House leaders. [DID HE ASK PELOSI?] [Questionable if that was necessary. See 1:15 PM, 1/6/21]

    Jan 4 Following Stenger’s advice, Sund calls Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, the head of the 1,000-member D.C. National Guard, to tell him that he might call on him for help. Walker says he thought he could send 125 personnel fairly quickly.

    Jan 5 Sund [said he] briefed Irving and Stenger, who said that backup seemed sufficient.

    • harpie says:

      Jan 6, 2021

      Just before 12 PM Sund was monitoring Trump’s speech to the crowd on the Ellipse when he was called away by reports of two pipe bombs near the Capitol grounds.

      12:40 PM The first wave of protesters arrived at the Capitol about

      1 PM Sund called Contee, who sent 100 DCPD officers to the scene

      1:09 PM Sund [said he] called Irving and Stenger, telling them it was time to call in the Guard.

      He wanted an emergency declaration. Both men said they would “run it up the chain” and get back to him, he said. [Questionable if that was necessary. See 1:15 PM, 1/6/21] // Sund said he called Irving twice more and Stenger once to check on their progress.

      1:10 PM Some officers arrive from DCPD.

      [1:15 PM?] [Minutes later] aides to the top congressional leaders were called to Stenger’s office for an update on the situation — and were infuriated to learn that the sergeants at arms had not yet called in the National Guard or any other reinforcements, as was their responsibility to do without seeking approval from leaders.

      1:50 PM Sund called Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, the head of the 1,000-member D.C. National Guard to tell him to get ready to bring the Guard.

      1:59 PM Capitol is breached. D.C. police now have hundreds of officers to the scene.

      2:10 PM Irving called back with formal approval. By then, plainclothes Capitol Police agents were barricading the door to the Speaker’s Lobby just off the House chamber to keep the marauders from charging in.

      2:26 PM CONFERENCE CALL organized by D.C’s homeland security director, Chris Rodriguez. Among those on the screen were the District’s police chief, [D.C. Police Chief Robert J. Contee III] mayor [Bowser] and Walker. [head of the 1,000-member D.C. National Guard]

      3:04 PM [DOD says] Miller verbally authorized the activation of the entire D.C. Guard

      3:45 PM Stenger told Sund that he would ask his boss, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), for help getting the National Guard authorized more quickly. Sund never learned the result.

      More of Contee’s officers had arrived and were helping remove rioters from the grounds. Capitol Police worked with other federal authorities, including the Secret Service, the Park Police and the FBI, to secure lawmakers, eject rioters and sweep the building so lawmakers could return to finish counting the electoral college votes that would allow them to formally recognize Biden’s victory later that night.

      5:40 PM first National Guard personnel arrive at the Capitol

  44. Badger Robert says:

    Ms. Wheeler either has very good sources, or someone on the Biden transition team is following her blog. The probable impeachment trial will be bifurcated to protect the priorities mentioned above.
    Well done by all.

  45. greengiant says:

    The cult is cranky about 1A rights. They don’t seem to understand the nuances of a private corporation permitting a social media platform to be used for violence and crime.

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