[NB: Check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]
Next week the UK observes another Guy Fawkes Day, the anniversary of the failed assassination in 1605 of King James I, his privy council, and the House of Lords. Children used to recite a rhyme to commemorate the day:
Remember, Remember the 5th of November, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot
The U.S. has now survived its own Guy Fawkes Day; members of Congress, the Vice President and Vice President-elect were sheltered from a mob of insurrectionists who had been incited to rebel and obstruct congressional proceedings.
Unlike Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators, the conspirators and insurrectionists who temporarily disrupted Congress on January 6 and who continue their seditionist schemes will not be hung, drawn, and quartered if prosecuted and found guilty.
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Marcy’s crunching away on some January 6-related posts right now, but we could use some fresh thread to tide us over to discuss recent developments related to the insurrection.
Let’s start with the unexpected heroics of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) which disclosed in a very early Saturday morning court filing that Donald Trump was trying to block release of 750 documents out of 1600 identified and requested by the House’s January 6 commission during its investigation — documents over which Joe Biden as the current president chose not to exert privilege.
The commission also filed a brief supporting its position that Trump as the former president does not have the authority to claim executive privilege over Trump administration documents sought by the commission.
You’ve likely read POLITICO’s report — the tl;dr version is Kyle Cheney’s Twitter thread describing NARA’s filing.
What boggles the mind is how Trump has tipped his hand as to which documents are most damning.
The cherry on top is NARA’s filing which details Steve Bannon’s role in the seditious conspiracy to incite rebellion and insurrection. Ryan Goodlaw at Lawfare wielded a highlighter for us:
U.S. National Archives — which has knowledge of content of Trump White House records and which could’ve chosen many different examples to show specific and relevant information sought by @January6thCmte
— notably highlights allegations involving Steve Bannon-Trump.👇
Oh my. That’s just so good. It’s payback by NARA for all the crappy additional work they’ve had to do to archive the history of the Trump administration — all those tedious reconstructions of papers Trump had a nasty habit of shredding into confetti now coming home to roost.
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Now add the claim reported today in Salon that Michael Flynn may have conspired to extort performance from Pennsylvania GOP elected officials in order to reseat Trump in the White House. U.S. Senate candidate for Pennsylvania, Everett Stern, who owns and operates a private intelligence company, had been contacted by persons associated with Flynn’s effort.
Stern says he’s shared information about the approach and related communications with the feds.
What’s deeply concerning about this plot is the possible involvement of foreign entities:
… Because of his intelligence background, Stern claims at least two people representing a Flynn-linked group called “Patriot Caucus” approached him earlier this year after a speech with an offer to hire his firm to gather “dirt” on officials and recruit others to assist in the plot. At one point, one of the men allegedly told Stern that they had retained the services of active intelligence officials “both domestic and foreign.” …
This sounds very much like something Flynn would do based on his past record of involvement with foreign agents.
Stern was also encouraged to achieve the ends desired using violence if necessary — “accomplish the mission even if you have to use domestic terrorism” — which he found very disturbing.
He’s recorded a YouTube video statement which sounds awkward and uncomfortable, and yet he sounds wholly legitimate in his concerns about the situation, including the lawyer for one of the intelligence targets.
Assuming Stern’s claims all check out, one might wonder if it was Bannon who set Flynn on this plot given Bannon’s relationships in PA.
UPDATE: Scott Stedman at ForensicNews tweeted Stern’s a serial fabricator. I guess we’ll let the feds sort that out. Have to ask yourself why a GOP candidate would commit political suicide with their own party and trash the cred of their private intelligence business at the same time while potentially risking federal charges for false statements.
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Bannon appears to have played a more direct role in lead-up to the January 6 insurrection, along with working relationships to state-level contacts; Flynn may have been/may still be pressuring states’ elected officials using extortive tactics…
Does John Eastman’s ongoing involvement with state legislators complement their efforts?
NEW: Claremont Institute President Ryan Williams told us that Jan 6 coup memo author and Claremont Senior Fellow John Eastman is “still very involved with a lot of the state legislators and advising them on election integrity stuff.”
It already looks like Eastman’s activities on and before January 6 complemented the activities Bannon and Flynn set in motion with their incitement intended to terrorize both Congress and VP Pence:
EXCLUSIVE: Author of Jan 6 coup memo John Eastman told us Mike Pence didn’t take his solid legal advice & overturn the election bc Pence is “an establishment guy”
(He previously told @NRO the memo was not “viable” and would have been “crazy” to pursue.)
Stay tuned for Part 2.
Sure would be nice to know if Bannon, Flynn, and Eastman had some overlapping communications.
Oh, and Rudy Giuliani.
Every day I am relieved that I bothered to photograph attorney John Eastman as he spoke alongside Rudy Giuliani on January 6 (see below) – “During Jan. 6 riot, Trump attorney told Pence team the vice president’s actions caused attack on Capitol “- WashPost
Same, Jim Bourg, same. Good on you getting this photo.
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ADDER: If you haven’t already read the Washington Post’s investigative expose examining the run-up to, the day of, and the aftermath of January 6, you should do so. It’s worth your time even if you’ve been following along closely as both the House January 6 commission and the DOJ investigations have unfolded. You may see things which spawn more questions than the reporting answers.
I still don’t buy the benign spin put on former acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller’s role, for example. There’s a reason Trump wanted him in that role after Esper resigned; the multiple times Miller failed to respond to requests for National Guard support on January 6 looks like a particular reason.
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I wonder if in the future children will have a rhyme to recall Trump’s January 6th autogolpe plot.
Memory, Memory, the 6th of January, Sedition, Insurrection, and Trump…
I certainly hope we have a few bonfires each January 6 to keep our memories fresh.