The Green Bay Sweep Is Inextricably Tied to the Violent Mob

Between yesterday’s hearing in the January 6 lawsuits — where Judge Amit Mehta noted that,”The conspiracy to sow distrust in the election is not illegal, no[] matter what we think about conduct,” — and something I’m working on, I’ve been thinking about all the stuff that happened between November and January, which the Select Committee is working aggressively on.

I’ve said that I believe the phone call to Brad Raffensperger is illegal on its own right. The Fulton County DA says she’s getting closer to a charging decision on it, and whatever she decides she can likely share her findings with DOJ. Politico reported on some of the other damning information that the Select Committee has received, including other calls to pressure Georgia officials.

I’ve laid out how Trump’s pressure on Mike Pence is already a key focus of both investigations (which the NYT wrote about yesterday).

But as to the rest of it, thus far, the vast majority of what has been made public is — as Judge Mehta qualified it — a legal conspiracy to undermine trust in elections. As I noted, the reason why Peter Navarro’s confessions aren’t enough to charge him with sedition is because as confessed, the coordinated effort to get Republicans to raise bad faith challenges to the vote certification is not illegal.

But there are two ways to think about these events leading up to the mob. The first, which I’ll lay out in more depth later, is as proof of mens rea. When Trump called up Raffensperger and asked for the precise number of votes he needed to win, it was a (recorded) admission that he knew he had lost the state.

To the extent DOJ and the Select Committee can substantiate that Trump knew the request was illegal, Trump’s sustained demands that Pence reject the legal vote count is also proof of kind of corrupt purpose that would be necessary to charge him with obstruction (as DOJ’s expert on this approach himself said fairly explicitly).

I’d like to go back to what I believe to be the third most compelling proof of corrupt mens rea. As I noted, when — in the wake of state certifications — Trump told Richard Donoghue to just say the election was corrupt and “leave the rest to me and the Republican Congressmen,” he effectively admitted he was asking DOJ to claim there were problems with the election when they were telling him there weren’t.

On December 27, Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue took notes from a call where Trump laid out the alleged fraud that merited DOJ involvement. Donoghue noted Trump saying, “You guys may not be following the Internet the way I do.” Donoghue recorded multiple times that DOJ officials told Trump his election claims were wrong, detailing the investigations that DOJ had already done into the allegations. He recorded Trump’s intimation that he might start replacing people with Jeffrey Bossert Clark if they didn’t back his claims of fraud.

At one point, Trump demanded, “Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican Congressmen.”

At the time I wrote that post in August, I believed it proved the mens rea that DOJ would need to show Trump was acting with corrupt intent.

But I look at it differently given Peter Navarro’s cover story about the subsequent effort. Navarro claims that he and Steve Bannon rolled out an (entirely legal) effort to provide members of Congress with enough election disinformation to sustain 24 hours of debate.

“The Green Bay Sweep was very well thought out. It was designed to get us 24 hours of televised hearings,” he said. “But we thought that we could bypass the corporate media by getting this stuff televised.”

Navarro’s part in this ploy was to provide the raw materials, he said in an interview on Thursday. That came in the form of a three-part White House report he put together during his final weeks in the Trump administration with volume titles like, “The Immaculate Deception” and “The Art of the Steal.”

“My role was to provide the receipts for the 100 congressmen or so who would make their cases… who could rely in part on the body of evidence I’d collected,” he told The Daily Beast. “To lay the legal predicate for the actions to be taken.” (Ultimately, states have not found any evidence of electoral fraud above the norm, which is exceedingly small.)

The next phase of the plan was up to Bannon, Navarro describes in his memoir, In Trump Time.

“Steve Bannon’s role was to figure out how to use this information—what he called ‘receipts’—to overturn the election result. That’s how Steve had come up with the Green Bay Sweep idea,” he wrote.

“The political and legal beauty of the strategy was this: by law, both the House of Representatives and the Senate must spend up to two hours of debate per state on each requested challenge. For the six battleground states, that would add up to as much as twenty-four hours of nationally televised hearings across the two chambers of Congress.”

The plan, as laid out in Navarro’s cover story, is entirely legal so long as you believe two key claims he makes: that he doesn’t know when this effort started and doesn’t remember Trump being personally involved.

Although Navarro told The Daily Beast he doesn’t remember when “Brother Bannon” came up with the plan, he said it started taking shape as Trump’s “Stop the Steal” legal challenges to election results in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin fizzled out. Courts wouldn’t side with Trump, thanks to what Navarro describes in his book as “the highly counterproductive antics” of Sydney Powell and her Kraken lawsuits. So instead, they came up with a never-before-seen scheme through the legislative branch.

Navarro starts off his book’s chapter about the strategy by mentioning how “Stephen K. Bannon, myself, and President Donald John Trump” were “the last three people on God’s good Earth who want to see violence erupt on Capitol Hill,” as it would disrupt their plans.

When asked if Trump himself was involved in the strategy, Navarro said, “I never spoke directly to him about it. But he was certainly on board with the strategy. Just listen to his speech that day. He’d been briefed on the law, and how Mike [Pence] had the authority to it.”

“Leave the rest to me and the R[epublican] Congressmen.” Navarro (claims he) doesn’t remember when this plan started.

But Trump already told DOJ (the people conducting this investigation, the ones that got a privilege waiver for this material back in the summer) when it started, all the way back in 2020. By December 27, he had a plan that required DOJ to claim fraud, so that Trump and Republican Congressmen could implement what would ultimately be called the Green Bay Sweep.

But even before he had done that, on December 19, he sent out the Tweet that insurrectionists great and small took as their cue to start planning to attend a riot.

Trump tweets: “Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election” and “Big protest in DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”

DOJ has had, since before January 6, the proof that these two efforts worked in conjunction.

And that’s what changes the (as Judge Mehta described it) legal conspiracy to sow distrust in the election into an illegal conspiracy, with demonstrated mens rea of corrupt intent, to obstruct the vote count.

This is why DOJ has been pursuing a conspiracy to obstruct the vote count and not incitement. Because only the former can reach to those who helped Trump commit his crime.

202 replies
  1. Bugboy says:

    “the last three people on God’s good Earth who want to see violence erupt on Capitol Hill,”

    I call bullshit on the “Green Bay Sweep” plan. It’s just too neat of a package for these clowns, besides being oh! how! convenient! It’s not their fault a bunch of blockheads showed up to crash the (insurrection) party!

    A Team Trump calling card has always been “Hey! Look at this bad thing we did, to distract you from the REALLY bad thing we did”. In fact, I think there’s even a term for this political art form, but it escapes me now.

  2. rich e says:

    Thanks for what you do.

    Maddow had a relevant piece last evening…fraudulent electors materials (MI and WISC, I think AZ too), signed, sealed and delivered to DC so Pence could choose fraudulent Trump electors for these states. Oddly at least 2 of the states’ submitted materials (with fraudulent State Seal, etc.), we’re identical, down to the font type. Coordinated by whom?

    • JohnForde says:

      I compiled the list of names of the fraudulent electors in the states of WI, MI & AZ.
      My personal patriotic contribution is to contact each of these people and inform them they better lawyer up because they are looking at 20 years behind bars. Or… they could turn state’s evidence.
      Fraudulent Electors


      Andrew Hitt, Chair
      Kelly Ruh (sp?) Secretary
      Carol Brunner
      Edward Scott Grabbins
      Bill Feehan
      Robert F Spindell jr.
      Kathy Kiernen
      Darryl Carlson
      Pam Travis
      Mary Buestein


      Kathy Berden, Chair
      Mayra Rodriguoz, Secretary
      Meshawn Maddock
      John Haggard
      Kent Vanderwood
      Marian Sheridan
      James Rerre (sp?)
      Amy Fachinello
      Rose Rook
      Hank Choate
      Mari-Ann Henry
      Clifford Frost
      Stanley Grot
      Timothy King
      Michelle Lundgren
      Ken Thompson


      Federico Buck
      Cynthia Franco
      Sarai Franco
      Stewart Hogue
      Jamie Hunsaker
      Carrie Lundell
      Christeen Taryn Moser
      Danjee J Moser
      Jessica Paneli
      Donald Paul Schween
      Peter Wang

      • JohnForde says:

        …and I am going to make their trial VIVID for them.
        “If you take the stand the first question the prosecuter will ask you is, “Is that your signature right there?””

      • Rayne says:

        I think the Michigan “forged” certification may not be as clear cut a case as it appears in Politico’s reporting. The “forged” certification should never have left Michigan; I wouldn’t be surprised if the signatories’ defense was that they believed they were signing provisionally based on their belief that one of the legal contests to the election would be resolved in Trump’s favor, though the case brought by Texas had been shot down by SCOTUS on December 11 and the “forged” certificate was dated and signed December 14.

        See this report from a Michigan news outlet for more background:

        Interestingly, that report includes this bit:

        Stephen Miller, a senior adviser in the White House, appeared on Fox News to promote the so-called “alternate” electors on Monday morning. Videos of Republicans attempting to enter the Capitol spread via social media, elevated by conservative bloggers and Trump supporters.

        LOL “Baby Goebbels” Miller part of the conspiracy and documented on video.

      • Jon Og says:

        Here are a few typo edits, based upon screen captures of the false certificates:

        Mayra Rodriguez, Secretary
        James Renner

        Stewart A. Hogue
        Jessica Panell

        Kelly Ruh, Secretary [spelling verified]
        Edward Scott Grabins [Dane County GOP Chair]
        Kathy Kiernan
        Mary Buestrin

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      Tonight’s Maddow show continued with more information. Georgia and Nevada were added tp Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona. She showed how all five states used and submitted the exact same worded and formatted paperwork.

      Apparently the R’s in Pennsylvania refused to play along.

      She showed a letter from Jeff Clark that tied into all of this.

      Her office and Politico are speaking with one of the original GOP electors who was replaced when they refused to sign the fake document. I think they are going thru all of the original electors who did not participate in the forged paperwork to get more information.

      I expect to see more on this from both Maddow and Politico.

      • phred says:

        Just saw a clip from Maddow showing the 5 real docs and 5 forged docs. Note the stars/asterisks used in the fakes. Those also appear in the real WI doc. I would guess the forgery effort started there, then just as ALEC passes around legislation templates to receptive state legislators, whoever created the WI forgery shared it with chums in the other states.

      • harpie says:

        I wonder if that was the CLARK “proof of concept” letter he tried to get ROSEN/DONOGHUE at DOJ to send to Georgia [and then to other states] on 12/28/20 [That’s the day after TRUMP’s “leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen” call with R and D]:

        Subverting Justice How the Former President and His Allies Pressured DOJ to Overturn the 2020 Election
        Senate Select Committee on the Judiciary; Majority Staff Report October 2021

        December 28, 2020 Trump calls Donoghue to confirm that he had raised a particular election fraud claim the prior afternoon; Donoghue tells him he did.
        December 28, 2020 Clark emails Rosen and Donoghue about “Two Urgent Action Items.” He requests a classified briefing regarding a conspiracy theory that foreign agents in China accessed a voting machine through a smart thermostat and also proposes that DOJ send a “Proof of Concept” letter he drafted to the elected leadership of Georgia and other states to urge them to convene special legislative sessions in order to appoint a different slate of electors.
        December 28, 2020 Donoghue replies to Clark’s email to say “there is no chance I would sign this letter or anything remotely like this” and highlights specific statements in Clark’s “Proof of Concept” letter that had no support.
        December 28, 2020 Rosen and Donoghue meet with Clark to discuss the “Proof of Concept Letter.” Clark tells them he wants Rosen to hold a press conference announcing that there was corruption and mentions that President Trump was considering a leadership change at DOJ. [ie: Reiterating 2 pts from TRUMP’s 12/27 call]
        December 28, 2020 Donoghue contacts Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel Steve Engel to read him into “some antics that could potentially end up on [his] radar” given his position as the next in line to become Acting Attorney General if Trump fired Rosen.

      • P J Evans says:

        In the pic I saw of the first three, the one from AZ is headed “The Sovereign Citizens of the Great State of Arizona”, like they expected it to be read like a speech.

        • John Paul Jones says:

          Maddow pointed out lat night that there were actually two sets of forged certificates sent in by AZ Republicans, one set which matched the template and the other from the “Sovereign Citizens” group. The SCs have evolved over the years but originally they came out of the Christian Identity movement and were racist and anti-semitic in orientation. Since Sovereigns supposedly don’t believe in the legitimacy of the US government, it would seem as if these AZ Sovereignists have not quite got the point of the movement, especially so since they took the trouble to have their forgeries notarized.

  3. BRoux says:

    I learned reading this website that there are often multiple repugnant-reprehensible-but-still-legal actions that are taken to hide the one thing that is truly illegal. The “Green Bay Sweep” explanation by Navarro and Bannon makes no sense. It talks about lining up 100+ Congressmen to block the certification of the election. But the Democrats still had the majority of the vote in the House. It is only once the certification was truly rejected and returned to the states that they had a chance to win this. But how did they plan to win a majority of the vote in the House? As explained by Navarro, their plan doesn’t work. It is a smokescreen to hide the fact that the whole day was about creating enough chaos to corruptly pressure Pence and obstruct the certification. The certification by the VP is the weak link in the constitutional chain. The one action that could be corrupted with a realistic chance of success because it comes down to just one person. Without this planned final illegal corrupt action, the “Green Bay Sweep” is nothing and was going nowhere. Same with all the stupid lawsuits of Giuliani and Powell. There were many deplorable actions before and during January 6, but they all converged toward one final corrupt act to pressure Pence to reject the certification. Apparently, it failed because Pence is a coward (thanks for that) and he did not want to have the whole hinge on him and be so exposed.

    • Norskeflamthrower says:

      “It’s a smokescreen to hide the fact that the whole day was about creating enough chaos to corruptly pressure Pence and obstruct the certification.”

      Precisely!! “Conspiracy to corrupt”

    • Bugboy says:

      “But how did they plan to win a majority of the vote in the House?”
      Because it wouldn’t be a straight vote, it would be by state delegation. GOP would have held the majority, if voting by state delegation. From the U.S. Constitution:
      “But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representatives from each State having one Vote”

      I don’t disagree with your point though. I think the “plan” was a smokescreen too.

      • BROUX says:

        You are missing one point. To get to a vote by state delegation, they first had to block the certification of the election. After it has been blocked, and only after that, it is returned to the states and then there is a vote by state delegation. They had to block the certification and the Green Bay Sweep as explained by Navarro is unable to do that. They needed Pence to block the certification.

        • Bugboy says:

          Duly noted. No one ever said it had to make sense, though.

          I think they were high on their own supply, and assumed there would be live coverage of the 24 hours they somehow thought this would take (12 hours in each house for 6 contested states) in contesting the vote. Then they leaped logic to assume the country would back them. It’s the “Brooks Brother’s Riot” writ large.

        • Ravenclaw says:

          I *think* (ready to be corrected) the “legal” hope hinged mainly on getting the Vice President to refuse to proceed, or, failing that, to drag out debate for days (24 hours of debate being unlikely to happen in a single marathon session) will continuing to pressure state legislatures, governors and secretaries of state to decertify the original slate of electors or just nominate an alternate slate. As soon as Biden’s total fell below 270 for any reason, the House could take over and vote state by state, tipping the election narrowly to the minority party. But of course there was also the parallel “plan” to go in and stage an autocoup.

    • Rayne says:

      But how did they plan to win a majority of the vote in the House?

      Let’s recall other missing bits like the panic button removed from Rep. Pressley’s office (which is still under investigation), the social media chatter directed to at least one Oathkeeper to “turn on the gas” in the tunnels, the rioters demanding to Speaker Pelosi to kill her, and more.

      I’ve asked before if conspirators were entertaining the idea they could eliminate the margin between Dems’ majority and GOP members’ minority in the House. The investigations may be far quieter than many might like but we could be watching the investigation of an attempted mass murder unfolding, with some of the co-conspirators in the same buildings and chambers with intended victims.

      • BROUX says:

        Yes, this may not have been part of the original WH plan, but it is difficult to control the enthusiasm of some these wackos, as shown by the plan to kill the Governor of Michigan. But as in Michigan, if some discussed and planned this, there must be some traces of it.

        • timbo says:

          What if it was part of some folks who were associated directly with the WH and Twitler? Seems to me that folks like Flynn were calling for the military to intervene in favor of Trump… doesn’t seem like so much of a stretch beyond that to be trying to eliminate political opponents directly, does it?

      • BobCon says:

        I can’t shake the feeling that the plan may have also been to use the chaos in the Capitol as a pretext for a more traditional coup.

        I could see a hostage situation and murders being sufficient to overcome institutional resistance to allowing Trump to take direct control over the National Guard in DC, at which point he may well have been in the driver’s seat and free to install a much wider swath of loyalists in law enforcement and the military.

        The narrative from people like Meadows and Ivanka Trump about how they were pleading with him to intervene may well be sinister — were they just setting the table for Trump taking over the National Guard if people like Officer Goodman hadn’t narrowly diverted disaster?

        • Rayne says:

          Yeah, but in my opinion the traditional coup would have come from a different angle. We haven’t seen everything related to Flynn and his brother yet, and there are still others out on the periphery who might have jumped in once certain pieces fell into place.

        • BobCon says:

          Whatever it was, it sure had people at the highest levels taking it seriously. You can’t track down every former DOD secretary on New Year’s Day and get them to sign a letter warning about a coup unless it’s a serious threat. You have to believe Esper and Mattis had specific scenarios involving specific people in mind when they signed on with the rest.

        • timbo says:

          Yeah, like, fer instance, the Secretary of State having to take the reins… good thing that Pompeo had no idea about any of all this stuff going on when he decided to be out of the country during Jan 6, right? I mean, the former head of the CIA doesn’t know how coups work or anything…

        • Chirrut Imwe says:

          Although I sense/assume sarcasm here, would there have been any benefit to the conspiracy by having the SOS out of the country right during the planned coup?

        • Troutwaxer says:

          Probably something along the lines of “Mike didn’t know anything about the coup. He was busy in OtherCountry. Let’s put him in charge! He’ll take over the military and the national guard and he’ll restore order!”

        • timbo says:


          Pompeo has been seeming to keep a real low profile since Jan 20 of last year. Unusual in someone who has been this connected to power and DC for so long…

      • Gerard Plourde says:

        Part of the plan could also have been to create sufficient chaos in DC to give Trump a pretext to declare a state of emergency that would allow him to declare martial law. If the insurgents had been able to get their hands on the boxes of certified results, Trump could have even challenged even a temporary transfer of power on January 20 to the Speaker of the House under the Presidential Succession Act.

        It’s pretty much a given that Trump had no interest in actual governance. Like most dictators, his interest was in absolute power and corruption.

        • Badger Robert says:

          The plan was for much more violence. That would intimidate Pence and get him out of the capital, and put the Flynn part of the plan into action.
          Somehow the capital police and other LE held back, and there was no massacre. And then the Senate finished its work, with the House.
          Navarro is lying, and as Peterr has questioned, why is he lying? He lying because they were planning on sacrificing the rioters to create anarchy.

        • Knox Bronson says:

          I think they expected (and were hoping for) a large turnout of counter-protesters, a.k.a., Auntie Fa-la-la. And they were planning a big street rumble, which could have been deadly, thereby giving Trump cover to declare martial law, as other insurgents stormed the Capitol, hunting for Sen. Pelosi, other democrats, and VP Pence.
          I am thankful that word was out on the left to just stay away from DC that day. I think it really cramped their plans.

        • PieIsDamnGood says:

          Amazing that the highly organized Antifa was able to see violence coming and communicate that to their people but the FBI wasn’t

        • P J Evans says:

          Their informants among the insurrectionists weren’t informing them, and it’s a question whether they got (or paid attention to) other information coming in.

        • Leoghann says:

          Navarro may be lying because the greater plan was to sacrifice the rioters. But the main reason he’s lying is because he’s Peter Navarro, and he was asked to say something.

        • zaphiloszo says:

          Clashes with counter-protestors that never materialized might have been a key or primary assumption in the coup-plotters’ plans to justify invoking martial law. Some of the ideas expressed here seem to be harder or less likely to succeed–too many moving parts, but I like the sticky noodles analogy. Thanks to all those folks that *did not* show up to counter-protest. It could have been ugly. And THANKS to Dr Wheeler for all this investigative work and insightful analysis. I read this blog obsessively, and feel better for it.

        • Rayne says:

          That, antifa-as-an-assumption. Remember Trump’s inauguration and the protests which preceded it? I wonder if he’d had it under his horrible hairline all this time that there would be counterprotesters because they’ve been there since day one.

          Though I do also think the antifa-as-an-assumption worked before January 6 as the bogeyman on which Team Trump could train DOJ and BOP to focus rather than white nationalist extremism, and antifa-as-an-assumption as a bogeyman to draw supporters to the Capitol on January 6.

          Antifa-as-an-assumption = Swiss Army Knife of Opportunities

        • chum'sfriend says:

          In videos from Jan 6, there sure were a lot of people in the crowd asking other’s, “Are you antifa?” They seemed befuddled that no one was there to answer, “Yes.”

        • BobCon says:

          Assumption is right, I think.

          In the chaos of the Capitol with tons of masked people they wouldn’t need any real people from the left, just a rumor, if things had gotten to a killing or hostage taking stage.

          The instant there were reports of members of Congress in zip ties and being beaten with poles, and members of the mob were screaming about Antifa, does anyone think Trump would have waited to sort out the truth?

          He would have mobilized whatever force he could on that pretext, and let the truth dribble out after it was too late.

        • matt fischer says:

          There was a wrinkle to antifa-as-assumption at work on J6: the insurrectionists attacked under a false flag. Recall that Enrique Tarrio and Joe Biggs instructed the Proud Boys to dress “all BLACK,” go “incognito,” and of the importance of “blending in.”

          While the PB’s standard operating procedure is to wear colors to provoke conflicts with counterprotesters, on J6 they were pretending to be “antifa.” How’s that for some mens rea? And who came up with the idea?

      • Ravenclaw says:

        Yes. This. Either frighten them into voting (more or less at gunpoint), drive them away, or assassinate them. Then the “majority” changes. (And contrary to Broux’s comment, I don’t see this as just “a few wackos” ruining an otherwise nonviolent plan. No solid evidence yet, but the idea of a violent overthrow would appeal to certain highly placed characters in the former guy’s circle. Not least himself.)

      • Vinnie Gambone says:

        Don’t forget the unexploded RNC and DNC pipe bombs. Was there an exact moment in the conspiracy when those bombs were intended to go off- adding alarm to the chaos?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Two points. These actions did not take place in isolation: they were part of a jumble. Some of them may have been throwing spaghetti at the wall, to see what sticks, but man of them look planned and coordinated, if once or twice removed from TFG.

      The second point is a variation on Nixon’s Big Lie. (Not Trump’s – odd how these are all Republican.) Nixon’s BL was that if the lie is big enough, no matter how improbable, people will believe it if the right people peddle it endlessly. Trump does that relentlessly, along with his own special variant. The more obvious, ambitious, and inept the crime, the less likely it is that people will believe it’s a crime – or that the president did it. “It would be stupid.” Exactly.

        • Leoghann says:

          “If the lie is big enough, no matter how improbable, people will believe it if the right people peddle it endlessly.”

        • Ravenclaw says:

          Usually attributed to Goebbels and/or Hitler, actually, though they accused others of the behavior rather than admitting it in themselves. Excerpt from Langer and Murray’s analysis of Hitler’s personality and style (prepared for the OSS): “His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.” Sounds like somebody else we all know and loathe…

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Nixon’s generation fought in WWII. It had firsthand experience with German nationalism and Italian Fascism. As VP for Eisenhower, Nixon had firsthand experience with how we came to have all those German scientists in our rocket program.

          The source material for Nixon’s big lie – and for many of of the ideas of Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich, and for a good deal of BushCheney’s conduct – demonstrates that the Party’s descent into Fascism has had a knowing and long gestation.

        • P J Evans says:

          He started with Big Lies even before he was VP. Helen Gahagan Douglas was his victim, when she ran for the Senate in 1950.

        • madwand says:

          And the Trump corollary (Just keep saying it) to Nixons big lie. From “Hoax Donald Trump Fox News And the Dangerous Distortion of Truth”. by Brian Stelter, quoting Billy Bush who was telling Trump his ratings had tanked.

          “Wait a minute Donald, you haven’t been No. 1 in five years, not in any category, not in any demo”. Trump replied, Billy look, you just tell them and they believe it, that’s it, they just do.”

    • Anonymouse says:

      And dont forget that in the process that comes down to one person… if that one person is unwilling to go forward that they can be replaced by someone that is. Senator Grassley I believe it was who was recorded saying something to the effect of “Pence is not going to show up tomorrow to do the vote count so I will be replacing him to do the count…” And with the whole situation of VP Pence being locked out of the Capitol building via the basement and them trying to force him into a car with an unknown secret service driver… sure does look like they tried to make sure VP Pence wasnt in the capitol too.

      • timbo says:

        Yep. Not moving from the Capitol is key when you’re trying to contain a coup attempt. I want to see the comms with Pompeo during this entire period, from Nov through Jan leading up to the riot at the Capitol. In theory, he should have been doing everything possible to stop what occurred here. Where was he and what was he doing or not doing to stop this from happening? If nothing, then there’s an answer right there to Pompeo’s intentions IMO.

    • Tim says:

      Who would have thought GOP was so terrorized & afraid and easily manipulated to be persuaded to attempt a coup for the worst president, businessman & American ever.

      • JamesJoyce says:

        I did, and said so many times.

        No one listened and I was constantly being moderated and silenced.

        Trump is fascist, period.

        Frank Church would likely be calling for Trump’s prompt arrest based in “probable cause,” while the fourth branch of Government, created by political parties plays games with Democracy.

        This is no party of Lincoln…
        This is no party of Ike…

        It what both men destroyed, in defense of reason and American 🇺🇸 Republicanism, no
        different than that which destroyed the Weimar Republic predicated on big lies?

        This is why I seldom comment anymore.

        • bmaz says:

          Hi there. I am not aware of any actions that have “moderated and silenced” you. And I would likely know. There are people that have attempted to use this forum inappropriately, but to my knowledge, you are not one that has been so dealt with. If you are going to make such outlandish accusations, bring facts please.

  4. harpie says:

    MARCY, re: 12/19/20 TRUMP tweet, the link is INCORRECT.
    I don’t know how to link to specific TRUMP Tweets, but here’s the TRUMP Tweet archive:

    12/19/20 [1:42 AM EST]

    TRUMP Tweets: [Link to Washington Examiner:]
    Peter Navarro releases 36-page report alleging election fraud ‘more than sufficient’ to swing victory to Trump

    A great report by Peter. Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election.
    Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!

    • harpie says:

      I didn’t realize he had tweeted that Washington Examiner article before:
      Dec 18th 2020 – 12:59:30 PM EST

      It was written by Andrew Mark Miller, Deputy Social Media Editor

      The article was posted at: December 17, 2020 01:40 PM

    • harpie says:

      And here’s Mike FLYNN on NewsMax ALSO on 12/17/20:

      Michael Flynn to Newsmax TV:
      Trump Has Options to Secure Integrity of 2020 Election
      17 December 2020 08:27 PM

      […] He could immediately on his order seize every single one of these machines around the country on his order. He could also order, within the swing states, if he wanted to, he could take military capabilities and he could place them in those states and basically rerun an election in each of those states. It’s not unprecedented. […]

      • Zirc says:

        “It’s not unprecedented.”

        Not that I expect Flynn to get anything right, but does anyone have any idea of the precedent he had in mind?


        • harpie says:

          This is what Steve Vladeck had to say at the time:

          7:46 PM · Dec 17, 2020

          Flynn’s insane rant is (I assume) relying upon the numerous invocations of martial law before during the Civil War—almost all of which were repudiated by #SCOTUS in 1866, when it wrote that it “can never be applied … where the courts are open and their process unobstructed.”

        • pdaly says:

          12/17/21. Hmm, 3 days after William Barr announces his resignation to be effective 12/23/21.

          Wonder what Barr knows?
          And since when does Trump allow people beneath himself to dictate their departure dates?
          What was Barr still working on that Trump understood would benefit Trump?

        • Rugger9 says:

          I’ve asked that question myself, but to get Barr to tell the truth without some serious leverage will prove to be damn near impossible. We do know that his position held the keys to the LEO intel, and we do know that he systematically downplayed the domestic terror threat because that’s what his boss wanted. Those are useful data points to show how we got to the J6 insurrection. I don’t recall seeing that Barr’s talked to the J6 committee, however.

        • pdaly says:

          Yes, yet Barr told the truth to Trump and the Press in early Dec 2021 that there was no evidence of election fraud.

          Supposedly Trump was angry with Barr for doing that, but somehow Trump found it in himself not to twitter-fire Barr but instead allow him to stay on until 12/23/21.

          Stories of Trump angry with Barr early Dec 2021,
          The “dog” does NOT bark,
          Barr announces his own exit date and exits the stage with an obsequious letter to Trump.
          Kabuki theater, maybe?

        • timbo says:

          I think Barr has seen communiques between all the major players involved. I’m also speculating that he had at least one conversation with Pompeo about the “line of succession” where the Secretary of State is concerned “In case of incapacity of folks in DC, how does that work exactly, Bill?”

      • Dopeyo says:

        IIRC, we did not have a national election in November 2020, we had 50 state elections. Would a federal official have the authority to confiscate ballots and voting machines from each state? Would Arizona be able to refuse, and take the issue to court?

        Seeing that the electoral votes had been certified and delivered to Congress, did Flynn’s plan have any chance of success? I doubt it, but ….

        If Flynn had succeeded, and no one was sworn in on January 20, 2021, would we have seen President Pelosi on January 21st? What poetic justice that would have beem.

        • chum'sfriend says:

          “If Flynn had succeeded, and no one was sworn in on January 20, 2021, would we have seen President Pelosi on January 21st?”

          Not if she’d been murdered on Jan. 6

        • Stephen Calhoun says:

          In most of the connecting of dots, speculations about the TFG’s gang (that couldn’t shoot straight,) and floating of various scenarios, the courts are rarely mentioned.

          For example, wouldn’t any attempt to decertify state certifications—counts long past the safe harbor— end up in the courts? (This isn’t a very good example because the House didn’t have a GQP majority on 1/6.) All the scenarios, given all the chaotic ‘beta testing,’ seem dodgy.

          Yet, even had all hell broken loose in the worst cases, soon enough would have come the day(s) in court. Yes?


  5. rattlemullet says:

    “The conspiracy to sow distrust in the election is not illegal, no[] matter what we think about conduct,” and “the coordinated effort to get Republicans to raise bad faith challenges to the vote certification is not illegal.”

    Those statements only holds true if sowing the doubt was an act by itself but is was not and it was coupled with the conspiracy plan to deny Biden’s legitimate win already certified by every state. Thats in my opinion makes it illegal.

    I see this as step one of the seditious conspiracy.

  6. klynn says:

    Does this “Green Bay Sweep,” which overall is an ultimate Firehose of Falsehoods plan, open any additional legal challenges for Dominion and how this strategy of 24 hours of tv coverage to create a lack of trust would have damaged, if not, destroyed their company?

    Additionally, a plan of 24 hours of televised propaganda is a type of warfare upon the citizens. A plan to end democracy in 24 hours. That would have been the largest info psych ops in history. How is that legal?

    A deep dive into Peter Navarro’s history sounds necessary.

  7. JohnForde says:

    So Navarro’s “woulda succeeded except those meddling insurrectionists” routine is a feeble effort to construct and publicize an insulating membrane between the Willard conspirators and the mob.
    SC declining to hear WH records case will shatter that insulating membrane.
    If Meadows Signal comms can be de-encrypted I’ll be hosting a party!

  8. BobCon says:

    I’m trying to puzzle out what is going on with that Times article linked above.

    It’s not really clear from Schmidt and Feuer’s writing how Pence’s testimony would or would not be as critical as they say — he can’t refute things like the mob breaking in or his security detail bringing him to a secure room, or all of the other evidence detailing Trump’s pressure.

    I can understand how Pence spinning a story of lollipops and rainbows might cause PR issues, but the Times seems to be conflating legal issues with PR, and understating the extent to which evidence and legal issues could undercut a PR strategy. When a car has five bullet holes in the windows, the testimony of the driver whether or not he noticed anything seems a lot less relevant.

    Pence obviously wouldn’t want to appear to be an eager or critical witness. But it’s unclear to me what Schmidt and Feuer have established beyond this obvious fact.

    • John Paul Jones says:

      To me the NYT story looks like another case of “both-sides-ism”, with equal space being given to Marc Short even though he offers few to no facts, larded into a piece of half-baked Faux pastry. What I found really interesting about the early grafs in the piece was the clear evidence (to my biased eye) that Schmidt and Feuer have finally decided to catch up on past EW columns, re: DOJ strategy. It was like reading a summary of the work done by Doc Wheeler for the last six months.

      • John Paul Jones says:

        I just realized something.

        The 19 December tweet: “Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election.” This clearly relates to a so-called statistical study done by Navarro and, if memory serves, actually reported on at the time. So Navarro’s story is easily undercut by publicly available reports. I found one on Forbes, 17 December:

        Apologies for double-posting.

        • harpie says:

          Yes…reported on by the Washington Examiner. See my comment above at 9:02AM.

          I wonder who got that information into that paper [12/17], for TRUMP to then ReTweet [twice] [12/18 and 12/19] …and who was manufacturing NAVARRO’s “evidence.”

          [oh sorry…didn’t see you had the Forbes link.]

        • FL Resister says:

          “…White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany appears on Fox News’ Hannity several nights a week to react to the latest legal news, and advisor Stephen Miller told Fox & Friends Monday about the campaign’s longshot plan to replace slates of electors in the states it’s disputed…”

          That’s from the Dec 17, 2020 Forbes article by Joe Walsh.
          The plays they planned were publicized.

          (Did Kelly show up regularly at Hannity’s to get briefed?)

      • BobCon says:

        Catch up, but also undercut.

        I can see how Pence pulling a John Dean would be a huge mess for Trump, but the odds of that have always been a million to one. This kind of framing seems to be mostly about casting doubt on the strength of the rest of the case without Pence’s cooperation, which seems unsound without any serious reporting to back it up.

        • timbo says:

          The problem with knowing where the bodies are all buried means that one also is aware of how those bodies got there and how and why those bodies are there. Pence has been in the room. And likely, very likely, more than one room over the years. So who do you piss off when you spill the beans on the conversations in one room when there were many rooms…?

        • Rayne says:

          Excellent point. Pence had plenty of opportunity to see Trump in action including punishment of anybody who got in the way of his malignant narcissism. But Pence was picked because he was more easily cowed than Christie, to begin with.

        • timbo says:

          Pence was picked because it united the GOP behind Twitler. Pence is a cypher here in as much as he was not likely a really deep support of Trump per se, and more likely in this to gain power within the GOP himself by putting himself forward as a VP possibility…at least to the extent that Pence remained relevant longer than he would have otherwise? Pence is a creature of the power-brokering at the 2016 GOP convention that went on basically. It’s just that US politics hasn’t seen such brokering like this at a major party convention in many decades, making Pence’s presence more difficult to explain to some.

          As we saw on Jan 6 2021, Pence was not a true Twisslering at all. Pence also appears to be less principled than Mitt Romney…as far as that means anything? And he’s definitely smarter than folks like Rick Santorum…

        • Leoghann says:

          DJT’s main requirement for a vice presidential candidate was that they be weak and easy to overrun. But Pence was specifically picked for the ticket because of his major evangelical cred.

      • Cinco says:

        Could the j6 commission be allowed, by law to subpoena Pense? Seems like a lot of outside influence and pertinent questions could be answered if he would testify.

        j6 commission be allowed, by law, to subpoena Pense? Seems like a lot of outside influence anp

    • Rugger9 says:

      As the Pence situation has evolved it became even more clear especially in the last couple of days just how cowardly he behaves and grovels. We saw it when the NCAA threatened the Final Four when Pence railroaded the “religious freedom” bill in IN (he caved, of course), and even his one exception on J6 was more about shrinking from conflict rather than a principled stand. Also amazing to me is how Pence seems to think he has a shot in 2024, but no one likes a completely spineless weasel with the finger in the air.

      “Spine of a cantaloupe” is too kind, try oatmeal.

      • Rayne says:

        Is he spineless, or has Pence been threatened in specific ways which have intimidated him so much that he’s afraid to do anything but appear spineless?

        Remember his resistance to going with Secret Service. He’s had personal limits; we just don’t know exactly what they are.

        • Scott Johnson says:

          Yet he, presumably as a former Vice-President of the United States, has a secret service detail today.

          And the sitting POTUS and VP both do.

          If the VP was afraid of being harmed by those who are sworn to protect him, that probably needs looking at more. (And perhaps it is, under the covers).

        • Rayne says:

          Mob boss had soldats watching Pence while in office, still has soldats watching after he’s left office. I don’t know why we wouldn’t expect Pence to act like he does.

          We already know there were concerns about Secret Service before January 6. The public may never get all the details about what happened after the inauguration.

        • Overshire says:

          Per the CNN article Rainn links above, former VPs and family get SS protection for six months after they leave office, so Pence is paying for his own personal security nowadays. I hope it’s expensive, and not just a little!

        • skua says:

          Pretty sure any high profile person being targeted by violent terrorists in an ongoing insurgency will be offered free protection.

        • RWood says:

          That SS comment is something I questioned hard when I heard it.

          From the few SS men and women I know that is not Pence’s decision to make. He can protest all he wants, but if the head of a SS detail feels that his principal is in danger he’ll take whatever steps necessary to safeguard that principal. If they are lucky their feet might touch the ground a couple of times before they are thrown in the backseat of the nearest tank and driven away at HRS.

          My theory is that Pence and his detail got caught in a corner, and the head of the detail chose to safeguard in place rather than take the risk of moving. But I can only theorize without knowing what options and information were available at the time. But the whole Pence refused bit is bunk.

        • Rayne says:

          We’re going to agree to disagree. Here’s an excerpt from Costa+Woodward’s ‘Peril’, beginning of Chapter 45, page 244:

          Pence, who arrived at the Capitol wearing a navy blue mask, had been presiding over the joint session of Congress when he was removed from the Senate floor at 2:13 p.m. by Secret Service agents. They moved him into the vice presidential office near the Senate on the second floor, where he was joined by his wife, Karen, and his daughter, Charlotte, who had come with him to the Capitol.

          As word came that rioters were swarming the building and running through the hallways toward the Senate chamber, Tim Giebels, one of the Secret Service agents on his detail that day, told him he needed to move to a secure location downstairs, near the vice president’s motorcade. Once there, Giebels kept hearing more updates. The rioters were everywhere in the Capitol. No one was in control.

          “I’m not leaving,” Pence said. He knew the Secret Service would whisk him away if he stepped inside his vehicle. It would look like he was fleeing.

          “We’ve got to go now!” Giebels said, and suggested Pence sit in the vehicle.

          “I’m not getting in,” Pence said. He said he would stand there and make calls with the motorcade humming, ready to go if the crisis worsened.

          Pence spoke by phone with McConnell and other leaders who said they needed the National Guard to move faster. The Capitol needed to be secured. McConnell asked, where were the troops?

          “I will call them and call you back,” Pence said. …

          There are a handful of potential sources for this piece right there in that excerpt, not to mention others who aren’t named immediately on this page who were accompanying Pence (hello, Marc Short).

          It’s telling that Pence’s aides have been cooperating with the House J6 committee, too.

          ADDER: Forgot I’d uploaded this fuzzy partial snap shot of pgs. 244-245; the text picks up next from my excerpt above at top of pg 245.

          I’d like to know if Pence learned from someone in the White House (like Kellogg) that Trump wasn’t doing anything at all, just watching and then sending that godawful tweet.

        • John Jacobs says:

          I read somewhere that one of the alternative plans Pence refused was to sequester Pence somewhere out of the building and replace him with someone more cooperative. That dovetails with his distrust of whomever was driving. If they had removed him from the building and dragged their feet or even refused to return him it would have worked.

          Didn’t some congressman announce he would be standing in for Pence before the proceeding started?

        • Scott Johnson says:

          Gaming out the idea that “VP is dragged away from the scene by his own SS detail, and president pro tempore then tries to throw the election to Trump” is fascinating.

        • bmaz says:

          It certainly is. I don’t know if Grassley really would have done that, but he is goofier than shit, so who knows?

        • pdaly says:

          Also curious to learn whether Grassley was ever in danger from the mob on 1/6/21.
          Most of the other top people in the line of succession were in potential danger that day: VP Pence, Pelosi, VP elect Harris (pipe bomb outside the building).

        • bg says:

          And who knows if the question “Where’s Mike,” was TFG doing his own intel? I find the location and safety of MP a big question at this point.

  9. Joberly says:

    From the tattered playbook of Peter Navarro…

    Green Bay Sweep: get Pence to reject certified EVs from the six states and adjourn for 10 days to give R legislatures in those states a chance to send in new, rump slates, and Trump wins 311-227. Let the Dems howl; the S.Ct. refuses to intervene.

    Fumblerooski: get Pence to reject certified EVs from the six states and then declare that Trump won, 232 to 227. Let the Dems howl; the S.Ct. refuses to intervene.

    Washington Football Team Hook & Ladder: get Pence to reject EVs from the six states, declare nobody won, invoke the 12th Amendment and send the presidential election to the House which would vote by state, 26-25 for Trump. Also, the Senate would vote on the next Veep and Pence would win 50-48 (Ossoff and Warnock were not yet sworn in to the GA seats they won on Jan 5)

    Last page in the playbook, torn out. Looks like Navarro switched sports metaphors: Comiskey Park Disco Demolition Night—Trump mob invades the Capitol.

    • dwfreeman says:

      There is just one small problem with that political calculationm. Because by sending the outcome of the election to a US House vote by congressional delegation, the GOP would not have gotten Wyoming’s single representative vote.

      Liz Cheney is that state’s only congressional member. And given her position on the insurrection, she would have swung the vote to a one-vote majority for the Democrats.

      Under that circumstance, Cheney would have undoubtedly faced incredible pressure to vote for Trump’s installation. But, given her position today, it seems unlikely she would have budged.

  10. Savage Librarian says:

    A Steamed Misfortune

    He’s a big, old despot
    stuffed and stout,
    They just can’t handle
    what he will spout,
    When he gets all steamed up
    they all shout,
    Skip me over, don’t pour it out.

    I’m A Little Teapot (Instrumental)

  11. Rugger9 says:

    While Navarro may not be criminally liable for his latest communications (yet) he certainly gave himself a big bullseye for the J6 Select Committee to subpoena his arse. IIRC Navarro had been invited but declined on privilege grounds, but what he’s revealed to the public pierced any hope of claiming privilege in court.

    Lying to Congress is a crime, too, and Navarro gave out so much info that he’s not going be be able to hide behind the 5th. There are a couple of experienced prosecutors on that committee, and they’d be asking things like “when you said XXX in your interview / book / etc., was that accurate?” Since it’s already out there from Navarro, “I cannot recall” is out and “I decline to state because of criminal exposure” is likewise gone.

    • Scott Johnson says:

      “I didn’t write that book, Congressman. Heck, I haven’t even READ it. I just put my name on the cover and collect royalty checks, doncha see?”

        • skua says:

          That could be the basis for one of the few possible remaining “reality can not match this” headlines at The Onion.

          I remember the days when reality just couldn’t match the fantastic and ridiculous headlines at The Onion and

  12. WilliamOckham says:

    I think there is another important element in proving mens rea to add to the ones in this post. That is Trump’s effort to get Republican voters to vote on Election Day instead of voting by mail. This was a conscious attempt to take advantage of the red mirage (the fact that in recent elections Republicans had been in better position at midnight on Election Day than in the final count).

    The incessant claims of voter fraud before any votes had been counted could be passed off as just part of a “conspiracy to sow distrust in the election” were it not for Trump’s efforts to get Republican voters to show up on Election Day. Voting on Election Day only mattered if Trump lost and he had to operationalize his plan to illegally obstruct the election.

    • obsessed says:

      And that’s what changes the (as Judge Mehta described it) legal conspiracy to sow distrust in the election into an illegal conspiracy, with demonstrated mens rea of corrupt intent, to obstruct the vote count.

      This is why DOJ has been pursuing a conspiracy to obstruct the vote count and not incitement. Because only the former can reach to those who helped Trump commit his crime.

      Yes! I love the idea of building everything around the conspiracy to obstruct Congress’s official process of certifying the election rather than on incitement with all its inherent difficulties.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      Remember the plan if Biden won went like this:
      1. Declare victory at midnight on Election Day.
      2. Assert voter fraud.
      3. Create alternate slates of electors from Biden states that had Republican legislatures
      4. Have the legislatures endorse the alternate electors.
      5. Create chaos on January 6th so that Trump is crowned king.

      It wasn’t just Pence that stopped this nonsense. There were Trump electors who refused to go along with the alternate slate. This matters because in most states there are specific rules about replacing electors. There were Republican legislators who refused to go along with endorsing the alternate slates. There were Republican governors who refused to call special legislative sessions to allow the alternate elector slates to be endorsed.

      The so-called Green Bay sweep was going down in flames before Navarro claims it started. The plan was formulated before the election and he was involved in it from the beginning. By the end of 2020, even Sean Hannity didn’t think it would work. Then, Raffensberger refused to commit election fraud, the DOJ decapitation failed, and Pence refused to play ball. The only avenue left to get Trump his coronation was violence.

      • timbo says:

        This. As each plan failed, they tried another way to keep Twitler in power. That’s a reasonable conclusion based on all the evidence IMO.

  13. Tom R. says:

    In the hearing on Jan. 10th 2022, defense counsel Binnall said that action or inaction after the event can’t be used to establish conspiracy.

    I would argue there is more to the discussion of mens rea and intent, because this defendant has a long record of approving of political violence after the fact. For example, in October 2020 he tweeted congratulations to the brownshirts after they forced the Biden campaign to cancel an event, by trying to run the campaign bus off the road. Other examples abound, going back years.

    The defendant can maybe get away with it once, arguing that approval afterward doesn’t count, but not if he makes a habit of it. Specifically: The record shows … (violence, approval) (violence, approval) (violence, approval) … My point is, that’s too clever by half. It doesn’t take a genius to regroup the same sequence of events as … (approval, violence) (approval, violence) (approval, violence).

    The people he summoned to DC for the insurrection were the same people who had engaged in prior political violence. They absolutely knew he approved.

    I can just see defense counsel objecting “prior bad act” and the prosecution saying “modus operandi and intent”.

    At least one member of congress told his family and staff to stay home on Jan. 6th; another wore running shoes expecting she might have to flee for her life, and another told her husband where to find her last will and testament.

    Bottom line: IMHO it was absolutely obvious at the time that violence was intended.

      • Leoghann says:

        But IIRC, the Freak Caucus only has three members–Franklin, Phineas, and Freddie. Or I guess four, if you count Fat Freddie’s Cat.

  14. Genuine Hippie says:

    Reminder that PB types really believed antifa would show up on 1/6. Maybe higher ups did, too? And planned on it? And were left flat footed– tfg couldn’t declare martial law based on *his own* supporters rioting. He needed antifa for that.

    (Rayne, I *think* I have posted here once before and have no idea under what handle, but I’m using my newish twitter handle and will stick with it if I ever comment here again.)

    • bmaz says:

      “Antifa types”? What exactly is that? People that think fascism is good, maybe bad? Seriously? You are a “hippie” and spew this? Really?

      • Badger Robert says:

        What he is suggesting is that many of the conspirators thought there would be antifa present, probably fake antifa. That would create widespread anarchy and justify some craziness.
        The post riot spin included lots of accusations about antifa.
        But there was no antifa on 01/06? Did the fakers not show up? Did the FBI infiltrate the fake antifa, or did someone plain mess up, which is the most probable?
        But as noted above Navarro’s plan is a cover for what was really supposed to happen.

        • timbo says:

          Fake antifa were there. And then the conspirators used this as an excuse for the riot >after it had occurred<. For instance, what was the reason that the PBs weren’t wearing their colors?

    • Leoghann says:

      Expecting there to be a bunch of black clad counter-protesters, ready to fight, was based on a misunderstanding of all the anti-police and anti-racism protests that had occurred over the previous year or so. The so-called rallies were purely political, not at all involved with racial equality or police violence. But the Trumpsters just didn’t fucking get it.

      The casting of equal rights protesters, whole cloth, as ANTIFA, which was the trendy boogeyman at the time, was just part of the casting of the us-against-them narrative that is essential to the right-wing cause.

      I believe the people who originally opined that there would be “thousands of Antifa” there to fight the “Patriots” were purposefully trying to stir up the rabble. But at a fairly high level of the various insurrectionist groups, the people started to believe their own bullshit. (That’s a big hazard with repeating a bullshit line ad infinitum–you begin to believe it yourself.) Now, whether the White House turds actually knew that Antifa wasn’t a thing, I’m not sure.

      • harpie says:

        I don’t think it was a misunderstanding. I think it was deliberate propaganda.
        Marcy wrote about that wrt: Stewart RHODES and the Fourth Superseding OATH KEEPER indictment:

        [Fourth Superseding Indictment] adds a comment Stewart Rhodes made on November 9 [2020] laying out what I’ll call the “Antifa foil” — an affirmative plan, laid out months before the insurrection, to use the “threat” of Antifa as the excuse to come armed and a means to foment violence. […]

      • harpie says:

        The antifaboogeyman propaganda was a calculated TRUMP election campaign narrative, beginning in spring 2020, going through the violent crackdown on protesters in DC and TRUMP’s walk, [with ESPER and MILLEY!!!] across the plaza for his Bible photo-op, which caused the pushback by DC officials, which helped make the J6 NG slow-down possible:

        5/30/20 BARR
        2:21 PM · May 30, 2020

        AG Barr: it appears the violence is planned, organized, and driven by anarchic and left extremist groups, far left extremist groups using Antifa like tactics… it is a federal crime to cross state lines or to use interstate facilities to incite or participate in violent rioting [VIDEO]

        5/31/20 TRUMP
        12:23 PM · May 31, 2020

        The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.

        BARR’s ambiguous and deceitful “Antifa-like”
        became TRUMP’s “ANTIFA” boogeyman.

        • BobCon says:

          I think this is right — and I think there may well have been a plan to use Antifa infiltration as a pretext for a Trump controlled crackdown.

          Meadows is on the record in writing on 1/5 that the National Guard would move in to “protect” rioters. I think the plan was to use either the National Guard or some piece of the military or federal law enforcement to gain control of the Capitol. It wouldn’t take more than a short period of anxious live news reports repeating rumors from unnamed sources to trigger this.

          The hurried 1/3 public letter by every former Defense secretary — including Esper and Mattis — warning of military intervention tells me that this was not idle chatter.

          That doesn’t mean there weren’t parallel plans in place. There may also have been a plan to block Pence from gavelling in the results, or steal the paper being counted and run to the states.

          It’s possible something changed between the Meadows email and the attack that kept DOD on lockdown, or Meadows was just trying to keep a narrative alive. But I think it’s worth assuming there didn’t need to be any actual counterprotestors for rumors of Antifa to be used.

        • harpie says:

          Yes. The Proud Boys seemed pretty intent on pretending there were actually counter-protesters to confront. At certain times it seems like it was especially important to pretend that. I’ll try to come back and document that later.

          For example, look at The JOE BIGGS MOVIE
          between [3:53] 12:47 PM and [7:45] 12:55 PM.

        • harpie says:

          12:45 PM Capitol Police officers, along with agents from the FBI and ATF are dispatched to investigate reports of a pipe bombs/suspicious packages at RNC, DNC, SCOTUS

          12:52 PM BIGGS said something to Ryan SAMSEL, who then kicked off the assault on a series of barricades [<quote from Marcy]

    • P J Evans says:

      He assumed that no one outside of his own people could see what he wanted. Demonstrating, once again, that he really isn’t smart, especially about other people.

  15. harpie says:

    J6 COMMITTEE issues 3 more subpoenas:
    4:54 PM · Jan 11, 2022

    […] The Select Committee issued subpoenas for […]
    Andy Surabian and Arthur Schwartz both served as advisors to Donald Trump, Jr. and were communicating with individuals including Donald Trump, Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle regarding the rally.

    Ross Worthington helped draft the former President’s Jan 6th speech for the rally. […] […]

    • harpie says:

      All of these letters contain this wording:

      […] Based on documents produced to the Select Committee, we have reason to believe that you communicated with both organizers of and speakers at the rally held on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021.1 President Trump spoke at the rally shortly before the attack on the Capitol, falsely asserting that he had won the 2020 Presidential election, and urging the crowd to “fight much harder” and “stop the steal.” President Trump also encouraged attendees to march to the Capitol, telling them “I’ll be there with you.” […]

      The COMMITTEE is interested in Surabian’s and Schwatrz’s communication with each other AND Taylor BUDOWICH, Julie FANCELLI, Kimberly GUILFOYLE, Katrina PIERSON, Donald TRUMP, JR., and Caroline WREN.

    • harpie says:

      re: SURABIAN [Advisor to JUNIOR TRUMP]
      6:35 PM · Jan 11, 2022

      New subpoenas today. Andrew Surabian was once described as Steve BANNON’s “right-hand man.”
      Surabian is featured in the 2019 documentary about Steve BANNON, “The Brink.” [link]

      Piper also links to [from 2017]:
      Andy Surabian Senior adviser, Great America Alliance

      Andy Surabian has become a one-man army against Mitch McConnell. Surabian, a 28-year-old from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, is Steve Bannon’s political right hand in charge of strategy as Bannon continues his fight against the GOP establishment.

      “We want to reshape the Republican Party to more accurately reflect the voters in the Republican Party, the voters who elected President Trump and not folks in the Beltway who have been so disconnected for so many years from the actual voters in the party,” he told Playbook. […]

      JUNIOR TRUMP said something very much like that at the Rally:

      […] And it should be a message to all the Republicans who have not been willing to actually fight. (cheering) The people who did nothing to stop the steal. This gathering should send a message to them. This isn’t their Republican Party anymore. (cheering) This is Donald Trump’s Republican Party. (cheering) This is the Republican Party that will put America first. […]

        • rip says:

          Oooh. Thank you for remembering Bro. Cadfael. One of the joys I used to have back when the T.V. was front and center.

        • Bruce Olsen says:

          Funny, because he doesn’t look Shrewish.

          btw, the locals pronounce it SHROOZ-brie, 2 syllables.

          I lived in Worcester for a while, which is pronounced WUSS-tah or alternatively WISS-tuh, also 2 syllables.

          I do miss those packie runs…

        • Bruce Olsen says:

          My fondest memory of Spag’s is the time, as a college student, they subjected me to an illegal search, which turned out to be rather a bit of fun.

          Spag’s Supply, long since closed, was an old-school discount store that sprawled across several old buildings which, over time, had been connected haphazardly together. It sold tools, hardware and various household supplies, and was locally famous for its “Wall of Scope” which must have contained half of the factory’s production of that minty green substance. “No bags at Spag’s” was their motto; the policy sprang from Yankee thrift, not environmental consciousness.

          I’d given a friend of mine a ride out there from campus, allegedly to shop for laundry detergent and the like. I was busy choosing just the right bottle of Scope so I didn’t notice that he had in fact proceeded to assemble enough brass fittings to make a rather nice little pipe for smoking controlled substances.

          The excitement started when my now soon-to-be-ex friend attempted to leave the premises without furnishing payment.

          The sleazy house dick and his even sleazier toadies detained the two of us and hustled us both into their cramped little back room. After making us empty our pockets they told us “You tried to rip us off, now we’re going to rip you off” and offered not to involve Shrewsbury’s finest if we cooperated.

          The deal?

          We first had to hand over anything we were holding, then they would search my car. If the search turned up anything we didn’t voluntarily hand over, they’d call the SPD: if not we’d be free to go “… and warn everyone else at school not to shoplift at Spag’s.” Either way they’d keep whatever they found.

          Of course they would.

          Secure in the knowledge that controlled substances had never seen the inside of my car, I agreed. We turned over nothing because we had nothing to turn over. They were ecstatic at the upcoming hunt. I was ecstatic at the prospect of beating these clowns at their own game.

          It was a beautiful warm New England day, I had no classes, and the boys spent their next hour entertaining us with a search that seemed to have been lifted from some mimeographed small-town police narcotics field guide. They started with the easy stuff like the glove box and behind the sun visors but came up empty-handed. They looked for joints tucked in the seam between the front and back carpeting (declaiming “Everybody hides their joints here,” or similar nonsense as we nodded in solemn agreement).

          Their excitement escalated as they got to the back seat. I had just visited my folks the weekend before and over the course of the 5-hour drive back to school an entire 3-inch thick Sunday NY Times, which originally was neatly placed on the seat, had been dismantled by the wind and its remnants were now filling the entire seat and footwells, making the back seat look more-or-less like a crack house. As they began fishing through the crumpled newsprint they were certain they’d find something we’d forgotten

          They did.

          One of the junior dicks grew quite excited as, out of the pile of loose papers, he pulled what he was sure was a fist-sized chunk of hashish wrapped in foil. As he peeled back the layers he immediately recognized the distinctive aroma of… yesterday’s lunch, in an advanced state of decay. My Mom had packed a few pieces of chicken in foil for the ride back; my GF and I had eaten them and wrapped the bones back in the foil, and they ended up on the floor of the crack house. Still, he persisted, and unwrapped every one of them. Hope does spring eternal, doesn’t it?

          This affront to their senses—and their dignity—prodded them to go all out. They opened the hood, and searched the entire engine compartment. They popped off the air cleaner and felt around in the carburetor (a pitiful 1-barrel). They opened the master cylinder reservoir and looked inside. They even removed the filler caps on the battery (which is filled with sulfuric acid, not lysergic).

          To the trunk! Sadly it was not as promising as the back seat had been, but the large toolbox and ample supply of tools (essential to the vehicle’s success on any significant trip) did give them something to do. They carefully examined every socket in the set (both English and metric). The poked their fingers into a can of rubbing compound, and into a can of heavy grease left over from my latest frequent repacking of the wheel bearings. But… no drugs! How could this be?

          I’m surprised they didn’t dismantle the rocker panels, à la The French Connection, out of frustration. But they did remove my license plates, crawl around under the car, look in the tailpipe, and did their best to tick all the boxes, but the chicken nuggets had broken their spirit.

          As he left us, the head dick didn’t really have much to say, but years later I would recognize the same emotion in Ralphie’s Old Man as he gathered up the sad remains of his shattered Major Award.

      • harpie says:

        12/30/20 TRUMP/BANNON phone call:
        [Bannon from his “townhouse on Capitol Hill”, Trump at Mara Lago]]

        Trump ranted about how Republicans were not doing enough to keep him in power.

        “You’ve got to return to Washington and make a dramatic return today,” Bannon told him. […] “You’ve got to call Pence off the fucking ski-slopes and get him back here today. This is a crisis,” […] Bannon told Trump to focus on January 6. That was the moment for a reckoning.

        “People are going to go, ‘What the fuck is going on here?’” Bannon believed. “We’re going to bury Biden on January 6th, fucking bury him.”

        If Republicans could cast enough of a shadow on Biden’s victory on January 6, Bannon said,
        1] it would be hard for Biden to govern.
        2] Millions of Americans would consider him illegitimate.
        3] They would ignore him.
        4] They would dismiss him and wait for Trump to run again.

        “We are going to kill the Biden Presidency in the crib,” he said.

    • BobCon says:

      This highlights for me the thickheadedness of that Schmidt article trying to cast Pence’s testimony as central to the case.

      Is the 1/6 Committee calling on these guys because they want answers — or are they calling on them because they have them?

      Likewise, what are the odds they are calling on Pence at this point to supply information, versus warning him they have enough evidence from other sources to detail the pressure on him to obstruct and letting him know the risks of challenging the documented evidence?

      I don’t think the 1/6 Committee has a full set of evidence. There may well be crucial gaps. But I think when they act publicly like this there is a lot of signalling of what they have, not what they’re lacking.

  16. harpie says:

    Bringing this conversation about BANNON down here:

    TRUMP appointed BANNON ally Michael PACK to VOA in June 2020 [He’s no longer there.]:
    9:25 PM · Jun 4, 2020

    There’s too much happening right now. But this deserves attention. Trump just installed a Bannon ally and right-wing propagandist to oversee Voice of America, which is no longer constrained by a bipartisan board. VoA can easily become another tool in the authoritarian’s toolbox. [Michael Pack]

    From NPR, January 2021
    Trump Appointee Michael Pack Leaves Trail Of Shattered Careers At VOA Former CEO Michael Pack created such a whirlwind of scandal at the Voice of America’s parent agency that it obscured just how much damage he caused. We take a look at the human cost. [Link in next comment]

    • harpie says:

      NPR Link: Folkenflik January 26, 2021

      Marcy retweeted this the other day:
      9:42 AM · Jan 10, 2022

      […] 1 last thing. Bannon railed Cruz over domestic terrorism 24 hours b4 Tucker humiliation. He twice hosted a anti-vax conspiracist before @RepJimBanks tweeted theory. It might not be part of discourse #onhere besides dunks but GOP pols are paying attention. […] [LINK]

      Links to:
      I Spent Insurrection Week Listening to Steve Bannon
      Where the Trump coup is real, spectacular, and ongoing.
      TIM MILLER JANUARY 10, 2022

      […] These enemies of democracy livestream across multiple platforms for your convenience. Dish. Samsung. Roku. Pluto TV. Amazon Fire. Listen on IHeartRadio. If you’re a working American who wants to overthrow the regime, Apple Podcasts offers mutiny radio 24/7 […]

  17. Bay State Librul says:

    Bmaz @ 8:22AM

    Enjoyed how you tamed the Shrew.
    I do a few audits in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.
    The town is very close to the WooSox, the newest AAA team, traded away by the Red Sox from Pawtucket RI. Folks in Rhode Island say that it was the worst trade since Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich traded wives and teams in the 1970’s.
    The longest professional baseball game (33 innings) was played in Pawtucket in 1981.
    The game ended on Easter Sunday after eight hours, with fans singing alleluias.
    I’ll be damn happy when we exile Bannon and Surabian.

  18. Badger Robert says:

    Trump is an admirer of Hitler. So replicating the burning of the Reichstag and declaration of autocratic power was an entertaining plan for him.
    But his mind is chaotic, and the idea of antifa may have been left as an uncontrolled element, which was assumed but never properly constructed.
    Fake antifa was probably in his mind going to be the justification for ending all dissent and ending democracy.

  19. Badger Robert says:

    I don’t think its helpful to credit anything Mike Pence says as truthful unless corroborated by a reliable source. His story makes him a hero, and he was not a hero. He was a co-conspirator who quit just at the end.

    • Rayne says:

      You think Pence having to call other parties like Dan Quayle for guidance makes him look like a hero?

      I think we have vastly different ideas of what constitutes heroism let alone chickenshittery. I mean, who relies on Dan Quayle for guidance besides someone who needs their butt covered?

      • Badger Robert says:

        Mike Pence’s account makes him a hero in the mind of Mike Pence. From any objective view he only ducked out at the end because he was more afraid of Trump’s success than of his failure.
        On the other hand, Epstein died in jail, and Trump’s associates included Russian agents. As noted above, Pence was not afraid for no reason.

        • BobCon says:

          I think a lot of post 1/6 narratives are trying to create a story that the attack wasn’t very bad and Pence never felt pressured in order to undercut the case for obstruction.

          It’s as if Pence was an accountant in a white collar crime case being led to say he never felt pressured by a CEO to sign off on a report of financial soundness, he was just supplied with helpful supplemental information.

          I think the challenge for Pence is that there is no denying a lot of the facts of the attack on 1/6. His perceptions aren’t highly relevant as far as the attack itself. He was blocked from carrying out normal procedures, he was provided shelter from the mob, and he received multiple entreaties to help stop the attack,

          Pence may be able to provide some insulation to the White House as far as the days leading up to 1/6, and soften some of the accounts of Trump’s pressure. I think the challenge is that more information Pence supplies about Trump’s contacts, the more he may bolster evidence of Trump’s awareness of the conspiracy. And the more testimony provided by people around him, the harder it is for him to put together a coherent alternative narrative.

          If the narrative shifts away from a narrower legal framework and into the stupid pseudo-savvy NY Times framework that what “really matters” is some nebulous perspective determined by the GOP, Pence will have more freedom to dodge and equivocate.

          Ultimately the GOP wants to get to a point, preferably with Pence’s full cooperation, where the press confidently states the facts of 1/6 don’t matter, basically like they did for impeachment. I think the 1/6 Committee is ultimately trying to force the pseudo-savvy reporters to cede so much ground on so many fronts that it becomes increasingly hard for them to say this.

          Baquet no doubt is counting on a series of front page pieces this summer based on preordained lines like Cheney vs. Pence and Why Democrats Can’t Change Ohio Diner Minds, and Peter Baker and Jeremy Peters probably have the stories already in the can. I’m just hoping enough evidence is presented in enough compelling ways to preempt the lazy takes.

  20. Rugger9 says:

    Semi-OT: there is a growing stack of alternative EC elector lists from many of the battleground states (AZ, GA, MI, NV, WI are confirmed, NM and PA are not yet confirmed) that were signed and in some cases forwarded to be used in the count. I consider this a necessary part of the conspiracy, and hope that the J6 Select Committee will dig into this because the alternate list gambit was the seditionists’ justification for stopping the count. IIRC, the Archivist did not get these and/or there were fundamental flaws like missing state seals.

    This also clearly indicates the level of involvement by the GQP at all levels, and FWIW would qualify as an existential threat to the GQP in combination with the Archivist records currently being held back from the committee. When is SCOTUS going to weigh in?

    • Bruce Olsen says:

      I don’t think it’s off-topic. Seems like it’s precisely on topic to me.

      Last line of the article: “This is why DOJ has been pursuing a conspiracy to obstruct the vote count and not incitement. Because only the former can reach to those who helped Trump commit his crime.”

      They all conspired to obstruct an official proceeding.

      In WI a bunch of WI laws have been broken, but no obvious state-level action has been taken, I suspect because DoJ is going to handle these folks.

      Not RICO, tho’ ;-)

    • JohnJ says:

      Connection? A former archivist said that once the committee gets its documents it is looking like people are gong to jail.

  21. Tom says:

    I was struck by Rayne’s remarks and those of some of other commenters above regarding the potential for large-scale violence and bloodshed at the Capitol on January 6th. It reminds me of incidents from the French Revolution, such as the attack on the Tuileries on August 10, 1792 which resulted in the massacre of about 600 of Louis XVI’s Swiss Guards by the Paris mob. “There was the opinion of most French men and women, who had been told endlessly that the constitution was sacrosanct and probably believed it, but who were now represented by armed, militant minorities acting in their name in the capital”, writes Simon Schama in his 1989 work, “Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution”. Sure sounds a lot like the scene at the Capitol last January 6th.

    Schama writes further: “But the carnage of the tenth of August was not an incidental moment in the history of the Revolution. It was, in fact, its logical consummation. From 1789, perhaps even before that, it had been the willingness of politicians to exploit either the threat or the fact of violence that had given them the power to challenge constituted authority. Bloodshed was not the unfortunate by-product of revolution, it was the source of its energy.”

    Many Republicans are still relying on violent rhetoric and the threat and use of physical force to achieve their political ends today. They should remember that the same mob that chants, “Hang Mike Pence!” one day can yell, “Hang Donald Trump!” the next. But they’ll probably need a stronger rope.

    • matt fischer says:

      There’s the oft-repeated saying “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”

      Just as true might be “Crooks who learn history are hell-bent to repeat it.”

    • Marinela says:

      Except this analogy to the French revolution is not even close to what happened on January 6. We have a democratic government not a monarchy, the insurrectionists tried to prevent a peaceful transfer of power, and keep in power the loser of a democratic election, an aspiring autocratic king.
      Don’t get how so many glorify the actions of those tugs on January 6, These people are not revolutionaries, they are hell bend on destroying the democratic society. If they succeed, we, as society, will suffer, including the insurrectionists and “normies” that gave them cover.

      • Tom says:

        I didn’t want to leave too lengthy a comment so probably didn’t explain myself adequately. My point was that otherwise peaceful people holding what they believe, or profess to believe, are legitimate political grievances can have their views hijacked and used as a cover by bad actors seeking to perpetrate violence for their own particular ends. Also, once you start using violence as a political tool, there is no telling where it will end. I agree with your thinking on the January 6th insurrectionists. They are not revolutionaries in any sense of the word. They committed criminal acts and are being dealt with accordingly.

    • harpie says:

      From the [quite long] letter to McCarthy:

      […] Despite the many substantial concerns you voiced about President Trump’s responsibility for the January 6th attack, you nevertheless visited President Trump in Mar-a-Lago on January 28th (the impeachment trial began on February 9, 2021). While there, you reportedly discussed campaign planning and fundraising to retake the House majority in 2022.14 The Select Committee has no intention of asking you about electoral politics or campaign-related issues, but does wish to discuss any communications you had with President Trump at that time regarding your account of what actually happened on January 6th. Your public statements regarding January 6th have changed markedly since you met with Trump. At that meeting, or at any other time, did President Trump or his representatives discuss or suggest what you should say publicly, during the impeachment trial (if called as a witness), or in any later investigation about your conversations with him on January 6th? […]

  22. WilliamOckham says:

    First, let me give a shout out to the folks over at AmericanOversight[.]org for liberating the fake electoral vote documents via a FOIA to the National Archives. Several folks have noticed the similarities between the documents. I believe we can make some reasonable judgments about the provenance of these documents that will contribute to our understanding of the overall election conspiracy. Even though all we have is a scanned images pdf, if we analyze the documents with attention to the similarities and differences, we can deduce something about how those documents were produced. If you want to follow along, head over to the American Oversight website and grab a copy of the pdf I’m referencing at /american-oversight-obtains-seven-phony-certificates-of-pro-trump-electors

    TL;DR version: These fake electoral certifications all came from a single source and there’s a way to prove it.

    First, note that for every state there is a page (pages 7, 17, 21, 25, 28, 30, 32, and 45) that begins with three centered and bolded lines that read:

    The first thing to note is that each of those pages is using the same font (with one slight twist that’s very revealing): Baskerville Old Face. That’s a good choice if you want to give your documents a 1776 feel. You see, it’s a digital font based on a lead type design that was first appeared in 1766.

    When you start looking closely, you’ll notice that each state’s wording following the title is slightly different. However, they’re all set in Baskerville. In particular, note the “For President” and “For Vice President”. Those are formatted as small caps (the lowercase letters are replaced with smaller versions of the uppercase letters). Do you suppose seven or eight different people all managed to correctly use small caps formatting? Me, neither.

    Someone created a digital file (almost certainly a Microsoft Word document) and sent it to the fake electors to fill in. There’s no other explanation for the similarities in the documents. And it’s not just that page. There was even a template for filling vacancies (caused by some electors having, you know, integrity).

    One more interesting thing. Look at the first page (page 7 of the pdf). Notice the asterisks. Count the “petals”. There are five. That’s just like the Baskerville Old Face that Microsoft ships with Office and some versions of Windows. Now, look at Wisconsin’s page (page 45). There are six “petals” on the asterisks. Looks like the same font. Except what’s up with the different asterisks? Looks very much like Microsoft Word performing a font substitution. Maybe Wisconsin used the Mac version of Word. Or OpenOffice. Or Google Docs.

    Now, here’s how to prove my suppositions. If you have subpoena power or a team of people to do some investigating, start tracking down the people who signed these documents. Ask them for the Word document (or other digital template) that was sent to them. Ask them who sent them and what instructions did they give them.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        Btw, there are two copies of the Michigan certificate included in the American Oversight package. I’m pretty sure they are duplicates. I’ve run the whole thing through OCR now and will also compare the changes in wording between the states.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        You are most welcome! I’m still looking at this stuff. However, I probably won’t have time to give it a lot of focus before the weekend. I’ve looked at every state’s certification from 2020, some from 2016, and quite a few of the ascertainments. I have a few tentative theories. If you or anyone else is interested, go over to the NARA website and look at the Georgia certifications from 2016 and 2020. Compare those to the fake ones and tell me what conclusions you draw.

        Also, can I just say, “WTAF, Tennessee?” That font’s not appropriate for official government business. I’m not sure it’s appropriate for anything other than maybe a fake wedding announcement.

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