“I do share information[,] Rudy. You never read your emails, you never read your texts,” Sidney Powell purportedly said, while plotting a coup

In Patrick Byrne’s February 1, 2021 telling of a series of December 18, 2020 meetings that was just retold by the NYT, Sidney Powell — who is currently under grand jury investigation — told Rudy Giuliani — who is currently under grand jury investigation– that she hadn’t been leaving him out of the loop. On the contrary, Powell explained as she tried to convince Rudy and with him the former President to adopt the plan she and Mike Flynn concocted to seize the voting machines, Powell had sent Rudy this information via email and text.

Finally, Trump stopped and scanned the three of us, and asked simply. “So what are you saying?” Thinking of the difference between the highly organized and disciplined approach I had experienced with Flynn and Sidney, versus the college sophomore bull-session approach of the Campaign and Rudy-World, I spoke up again: “Mr. President, I think you should appoint Sidney Powell your Special Counsel on these election matters and make General Flynn your Field Marshall over the whole effort. I know Rudy’s your lawyer and friend, and he can have a great role in this. Rudy should be personally advising you, and we don’t want to do anything to embarrass him. But it needs to be Sidney taking point legally on this. And if you really want to win, make General Flynn here the Field Marshall. If you do I put your chances at around 50-75%. You should see how he well he has this planned, it would run like clockwork…”

The President shook me off, saying, “No no, it’s got to be Rudy.”


The three male [White House Counsel] lawyers edged closer to the front, and then as though as some hidden signal, they all started being bitches.

First was some comment about it not being right to use the National Guard. “The optics are terrible, Mr. President,” said one. “It would have to be the DHS.” I liked the National Guard idea because we needed to reestablish trust of the American people in the electoral process, and the US institution with the most trust is the one where people dress in military uniforms. Yet the National Guard is local, they are all around us, our colleagues at work, our “Citizen Soldiers”. But perhaps in a sign of flexibility, Flynn and Sidney allowed as how one could use the DHS instead of the National Guard.


I took another shot at it with the President. “Again Sir, I know that Rudy is a friend of yours, he’s wonderful. He’s America’s Mayor. I love Rudy, I don’t want to embarrass him. But you should see how what Mike and Sidney have got going. It is so organized, so well-planned-” Again he cut me off, saying, “No no, it’s got to be Rudy…” On the inside I slumped.


Eventually President Trump said that we would all meet in 30 minutes in the living quarters, in the “Yellow Oval” (I believe the room is called). In the meantime, Rudy was coming in and we had to find a way to make things work between Rudy and Sidney. As we parted he said, “You know, in 200 years there probably has not been a meeting in this room like what just happened…”. As he was leaving he brushed past me, stopped, and speaking low and quiet, said something quite kind and meaningful, showing me that he knew a lot more about me than I had guessed.

A few minutes later Sidney, Mike, Alyssa, and I were in the Cabinet Room. waiting for Rudy. It was dark, and we had to find a couple lamps to turn on. Mike and I were intent on making sure the meeting went well between Sidney and Rudy, so everyone could work happily together.

After 10 minutes Rudy came in, tying his tie, and said in not too gruff a manner, but with perhaps the gruffness of a man disturbed from his evening meal, “You know Sidney, if we are going to work together you have to share information.” I did not take his tone as being too aggressive, but one of trying to turn over a new leaf in a relationship, perhaps.

Sidney immediately told him, “I do share information Rudy. You never read your emails, you never read your texts.”

“That’s not true Sidney! I just need you to stop keeping me in the dark-“

“”Rudy I don’t keepo [sic] you in the dark! You-”

“Sidney you have to stop keeping everything to yourself! I cannot work with you if you don’t share with me!”

Within moments the conversation had spiraled out of control. After a minute of squabbling I tried to interject something helpful. “Mr. Mayor, it is true that since I arrived, everything we ever brought Sidney, she always said, ‘Get this to Rudy right away.’ It’s true. Absolutely everything we turned up, she told us to share with you. She never asked us to keep you in the dark about anything.” [my emphasis]

As NYT tells this story, a bunch of subpoenas pertaining to Powell and seizure and privilege review of 16 Rudy devices later, Rudy “vehemently opposed” the idea of having the military seize the voting machines, acceded to asking DHS to do so, but — after all the other witnesses had left the room, according to the story — warned Trump that the plan would get him impeached.

Six weeks after Election Day, with his hold on power slipping, President Donald J. Trump directed his lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, to make a remarkable call. Mr. Trump wanted him to ask the Department of Homeland Security if it could legally take control of voting machines in key swing states, three people familiar with the matter said.

Mr. Giuliani did so, calling the department’s acting deputy secretary, who said he lacked the authority to audit or impound the machines.

Mr. Trump pressed Mr. Giuliani to make that inquiry after rejecting a separate effort by his outside advisers to have the Pentagon take control of the machines. And the outreach to the Department of Homeland Security came not long after Mr. Trump, in an Oval Office meeting with Attorney General William P. Barr, raised the possibility of whether the Justice Department could seize the machines, a previously undisclosed suggestion that Mr. Barr immediately shot down.


Mr. Giuliani was vehemently opposed to the idea of the military taking part in the seizure of machines, according to two people familiar with the matter. The conflict between him and his legal team, and Mr. Flynn, Ms. Powell and Mr. Byrne came to a dramatic head on Dec. 18, 2020, during a meeting with Mr. Trump in the Oval Office.

At the meeting, Mr. Flynn and Ms. Powell presented Mr. Trump with a copy of the draft executive order authorizing the military to oversee the seizure of machines. After reading it, Mr. Trump summoned Mr. Giuliani to the Oval Office, according to one person familiar with the matter. When Mr. Giuliani read the draft order, he told Mr. Trump that the military could be used only if there was clear-cut evidence of foreign interference in the election.

Ms. Powell, who had spent the past month filing lawsuits claiming that China and other countries had hacked into voting machines, said she had such evidence, the person said. But Mr. Giuliani was adamant that the military should not be mobilized, the person said, and Mr. Trump ultimately heeded his advice.

Shortly after the Oval Office meeting, Mr. Waldron amended the draft executive order, suggesting that if the Defense Department could not oversee the seizure of machines then the Department of Homeland Security could, the person said.

Around that time, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Giuliani to call Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, the acting deputy secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, to ask about the viability of the proposal, according to two people familiar with the matter. Mr. Cuccinelli said that homeland security officials could not take part in the plan.


Even Mr. Giuliani, who had spent weeks peddling some of the most outrageous claims about election fraud, felt that the idea of bringing in the military was beyond the pale.

After Mr. Flynn and Ms. Powell left the Oval Office, according to a person familiar with the matter, Mr. Giuliani predicted that the plans they were proposing were going to get Mr. Trump impeached. [my emphasis]

The CNN version of this story (which, like Maggie Haberman, first started reporting this story out in December 2020, even before January 6, and long before the overt seizures of materials from two of the lawyers involved) chose not to grant Robert Costello anonymity for a quote about Rudy being “vehemently” opposed to the plan to use the military to seize the voting machines.

Reached earlier this month, Cuccinelli said his discussion with Giuliani “never developed to the point of talking about an executive order including such action that I recall.”

When asked about the executive order involving the military, Giuliani’s attorney, Robert Costello, said his client also shut that idea down when he became aware of it.

“As soon as he heard about this idea, he was vehemently against it, as was White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and then-President Trump,” Costello said.

But Giuliani and his team did continue to pursue other avenues for overturning the election based on the same conspiracies about election fraud cited in the draft executive order to justify the seizure of voting machines.

Trump also continued to entertain some of the same core elements of those executive orders, including the idea of installing a special counsel to investigate election fraud.

Nearly two weeks after White House aides pushed back on the suggestion of naming Powell to such a role, Trump raised the idea again during another Oval Office meeting, but this time floated Cuccinelli as a possible candidate, according to testimony provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee by former senior Justice Department officials who were present.

Meanwhile, Flynn remained adamant that election equipment was going to be seized and personally reached out to at least one senior defense official in mid-December attempting to enlist their help with his cause, according to a source familiar with the outreach. [my emphasis]

There’s really not all that much new in the story as laid out here, except that a bunch of people who know their communications are in the FBI’s hands (and, in the case of Costello, who has spent the last nine months reviewing the content of those communications, including those Byrne describes Powell claiming to have sent Rudy) providing updated versions of the least-damning story they can tell here.

Just one more key part of the story that has changed.

As CNN described it in the 2020 version of the story (but NYT did not), Mark Meadows was also involved.

White House aides who participated in the meeting, including White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and counsel Pat Cipollone, also pushed back intensely on the suggestion of naming Powell as a special counsel to investigate voter fraud allegations Trump’s own administration has dismissed (or, as seems more feasible, hiring her in the administration for some kind of investigatory role).

Meadows shows up in yesterday’s NYT story only as not being the one who let Powell and Flynn and Byrne in the White House.

When Mr. Flynn, Ms. Powell and Mr. Byrne arrived at the White House to discuss their plan to use the military to seize voting machines, they were not let into the Oval Office by a typical gatekeeper, like Mark Meadows, Mr. Trump’s chief of staff. Rather, they were escorted in by Garrett Ziegler, a young aide to another Trump adviser, Peter Navarro, according to Mr. Ziegler’s account.

“I waved in General Flynn and Sidney Powell on the Friday night of the 18th — for which Mark Meadows’s office revoked my guest privileges,” Mr. Ziegler said on a podcast, adding that he had done so because he was “frustrated with the current counsel” Mr. Trump was getting.

That guy — the former Chief of Staff who also was getting and sending a bunch of texts on his phone — that guy has also spent some time recently reviewing his communications. Not only did he review — and withhold — a bunch of communications before sharing some with the Select Committee, but once the Select Committee figured out that Meadows had violated the Presidential Records Act by failing to turn over those communications he conducted on his personal — but his emails! — devices, Meadows has been spending time trying to find such communications so he can share them with the National Archives to uncommit some crimes.

NARA, of course, has been ordered by a court to share such communications, even the ones that Trump might otherwise have invoked Executive Privilege over, with the Committee.

We’re going to get a lot of revised least-damning versions of these stories as more and more people review the communications that will be handed over to investigative bodies.

It’s worth comparing, then, the versions we’re getting now with those people were telling when they thought none of the emails and texts Sidney Powell sent would come out.

Update: Harpie is right. The Jonathan Swan version of this exchange, published exactly a year ago, is worth reading as well.

155 replies
  1. Al Ostello says:

    I love Rudy!

    He is like the Kramer of this Trump shit show. The funniest and goofiest character by far!

    “holy fucking shit, Rudy Giuliani is fuuuuuuuuuucked” — Jeff Tiedrich

  2. Badger Robert says:

    Thanks, Ms. Wheeler.
    According to Byrne’s account, there wasn’t much left of rational thinking left in the WH by 12/18/2020.
    Giuliani seems to have known the military was opposed to any involvement.

    • BobCon says:

      Except Cheney was driving that unheard of public statement by all former DOD secretaries warning against military involvement two weeks later.

      Either these signers were out of the loop — including Esper and Mattis — or else they were still worried about something. Voting machine seizure might have been off, but other things may have been in play.

      And I’m also curious about the spin that there were legal or impeachment concerns — it’s possible that it was simply a matter of logistics or secrecy, and now people are trying to hide what was really going on.

      • Zirc says:

        Right. That letter throws me. What were the SecDefs hearing? Who was telling whom what? Something spurred that letter.


        • Peterr says:

          My WAG is that a couple of very senior level active duty military were hearing all kinds of wild things — whether it was trial balloons being floated from the White House or simply scuttlebutt and speculation around the Pentagon — and they reached out to a former Secretary of Defense or two for advice and/or to vent.

          People with stars on their shoulders don’t have many places they can go to vent, but former Defense Secretaries certainly qualify.

        • BobCon says:

          I think that makes sense as one possible explanation for the genesis, but I have a harder time accepting it as an explanation for the completeness of the signatures and the speed in getting them.

          I suspect if there wasn’t something very clear and very major happening in the short time it took to gather the signatures — apparently 12/30 to 1/1 or 1/2 — somebody would have pleaded for more time to stretch things out.

          Every one of them being reachable and able to process the request and get beyond any potential political and financial blowback in such a short time is remarkable.

          I can’t get my siblings to respond to a group text in the time it took for these guys to sign on to a letter in the Washington Post accusing the sitting president of planning a coup. Something was up.

        • Peterr says:

          Kind of like the Ex-President’s Club, former Secretaries of Defense know that they are a very exclusive group, and I suspect they *always* take each other’s calls.

        • 0biesgirl says:

          No heroes. Just editorial writers.

          [FYI, your username on this comment changed from ‘0biesgirl’ to ‘Obansgirl’ because that’s the name you’ve used on 3 other comments including the comment you left 8 minutes after this one. Please use the same username with every comment. Thank you. /~Rayne]

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That the DoD top brass wouldn’t cooperate makes a lot more sense than that Giuliani – in the act of helping Trump commit crimes to stay in power and insulated from prosecution – was worried that Trump might be impeached if he seized voting machines through an armed federal agency he controlled.

      • MyUncleFred says:

        At this stage, and having survived 2 prior impeachments, it’s not conceivable that Rudy or don-don had impeachment concerns. ATMO

        • pdaly says:

          I remember during the second impeachment of Trump the surprise vote in the Senate to allow witness testimony passed, but just as quickly a decision not to delay the Senate vote on impeachment was made (by whom?), and no witness testimony occurred.

          The sudden vote seemed to be prompted by new details of the 1/06/21 phone call between House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and Trump, but I am curious if any of this voting machine story was floating around in the halls of Congress at the time.

      • BobCon says:

        Literal impeachment makes no sense as something Trump would worry about.

        It’s possible the term was being thrown around to mean something else, like McConnell and McCarthy are scared enough that Murdoch might sit this one out.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          I was thinking the same thing, BobCon: why would Trump fear impeachment? He shrugged off the first one, then used it to argue “they” were actually attacking his Maga base. Rudy must have warned him of some other, more significantly threatening consequence, like prison or loss of money.

  3. Rita says:

    Great job in finding that piece by Byrne.

    I do recall that in that the Washington press corps was alert to the crazies going to the WH in December, 2020. The conventional wisdom seemed to be that there were enough adults in the room to stop the loonies. They underestimated Trump.

    Reading the Byrne piece I am struck by the near certainty that he professed to have that voter fraud affected the election. Confirmation bias in the extreme? Or was he just cavalier about encouraging a military coup based on nothing more than suspicion?

    I suppose these questions could apply to all of the key players.

    • MyUncleFred says:

      Byrne was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and thereafter only allowed to fall upward.

      Accordingly, his capabilities and successes are only a small fraction of what he supposes them to be.

      Living in the elite world of narcissism, what he believes is what he wants to believe. Likewise, what he believes overrules facts. Trump was cheated? Use military to install him as a dictator? All believable to Byrne, but he won’t be responsible for any subsequent problems.

      The silly punk should have his citizenship trvoked.

      • Jane says:

        Not exactly OT, and in support of “Byrne is NUTS”, after reading Jonathan Swan’s article linked by Harpie, I woke up remembering that Byrne was “romantically” linked to Maria Butina – chew on that for a while

    • BobCon says:

      The problem with the DC press is they were relying on the word of GOP insiders that they were A) in control and B) not part of the conspiracy.

      There was plenty of evidence going back to 2017 that both of these things were wrong, leading to lots of bad reporting by the DC press. But given their adherence to formulaic methods, they couldn’t imagine any other way to operate.

      And the risk we run is that these problems are operating full steam. Schmidt et al cannot imagine any other way to operate. They still depend like little children on GOP sources to tell them how to view the world. At best they get spoonfed a few pieces of evidence that confirm a narrative, and they stop looking for more.

      And as this post makes obvious, there are bound to be a lot more holes cracking up this narrative. Available evidence makes this clear.

      And in the end, the defense is going to be whining that what else could they do but report what sources told them, before running back to the same unreliable sources who have been lying to them for years.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        To wit: CNN.

        Margaret Sullivan argued succinctly in the Post that Jeff Zucker’s “fake news” channel gave us the Trump presidency–after Zucker created the Trump TV star at NBC.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The utter lack of awareness inside the Trump bubble is beautifully demonstrated by this flawed reasoning by Powell:

    I liked the National Guard idea because we needed to reestablish trust of the American people in the electoral process, and the US institution with the most trust is the one where people dress in military uniforms.

    I guess when you’re committed to a coup, “trust” lies only in those who can execute it by force of arms. But it has nothing to do with the “electoral process.”

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    With all this positioning, I’m beginning to smell the cut-throat defense. Wouldn’t that be grand.

    • Rugger9 says:

      As MAGA world considers their options it already seems clear to me that hanging together has its risk limit too. I would speculate that most of these reports are coming out of the J6SC Archivist records reviews and all of the players mentioned here are affected. I also notice the quietly mentioned report that McEnany also coughed up some communications to the committee which should be enlightening.

      There has to be some personal calculation going on with all of the conspirators to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice for Individual-1, when he can’t pardon them any more.

        • Tech Support says:

          1. Someone gives up a little.
          2. Discovery disclosure.
          3. Other people get nervous and give up more information.
          4. Repeat.

          It’s probably the biggest lever he has in trying to interrupt this cycle. For all I know it’s another count of obstruction, but even if it is, why would he start caring about that now?

      • Leoghann says:

        Not only did Kute Kayleigh cough up a bunch of texts from early January, she testified for several hours on January 13.

  6. Wajim says:

    Seems like a months-long clown car fire. And just what did Powell, Flynn, et al plan to do after “seizing” the voting machines (via any method or agency)? Sounds like none of them thought this through whatsoever. Perhaps turn them over to the My Pillow guy and his high-school teacher “cyber expert”? Oh, the humanity . . .

    • Fraud Guy says:

      They were going to seize them, claim they found fraud, and try to rerun the election. Trump would reluctantly stay as President until the election could be rerun. It’s what all koo-koo coups would do…

    • BobCon says:

      Don’t assume there was no plan after the seizure.

      The point of this post is that what we’ve been hearing in the past is limited narratives cooked up to explain available evidence, and now we’re seeing new narratives being born as the contained set of facts cracks open.

      This NY Times article is serving the purpose of helping insiders sew up a new narrative. Maybe this is all there is. But it would be smart at a minimum to think there may have been more planned than we know about yet.

      Maybe not by Powell — she may have been compartmentalized. But that doesn’t exclude someone else was handling that piece.

      • Spencer Dawkins says:

        I’m not sure how anyone can confidently assert that the brain trust in the White House was thinking anything or nothing, at this point. It seems like there were a lot of people who were assuming that “if we can just get past January 20 without inaugurating Biden, then Trump is still president for an indefinite period of time, and we can figure out how to transition into Trump Won, So He’s Still President until 2024”, or something like that. But starting with the “Mike Pence, just don’t open the envelopes from these states, and then we’ll take it from there” wishful thinking that seemed to be floating around before 1/6, these clowns really were making it up as they went along, and they were so far out in the weeds that no one was even bothering to figure out if the law or even the constitution would support what they were trying to do.

        • BobCon says:

          I can definitely accept a point of view that these people were terrible planners.

          But I completely reject any argument that they had no plans at all, and I think a big part of Trump’s MO was promoting people like Stephen Miller, Mike Lindell, Bannon and Kushner with elaborate plans, no matter how nuts.

          They may not have understood how a military seizure of voting machines or a National Guard takeover of DC would have worked, but I have little doubt he had people working overtime putting together detailed schemes on how they might try, hoping for the chance to get the plan in front of him.

        • Rita says:

          The goal of confiscating the machines was to postpone the transfer of power for as long as possible, while Trump installed his puppets in various power positions. And then, mirabile dictu, those puppets would look at the machines and find the tampering. Between Phil Waldron and Mike Lindell, what other result would you expect?

          The 60 lawsuits filed with bogus arguments and evidence weren’t filed to win. They were filed to set up the Big Lie. Trying to get the voting machines wasn’t for the purpose of showing tampering. It was to create delay and chaos that would keep Trump in power.

        • earthworm says:

          “I can definitely accept a point of view that these people were terrible planners”
          not so sure about Flynn’s being a terrible planner.
          personally, i am waiting [with bated breath–heh] for his name to crop up in some more capers. that it has not so far is gnawing at me a little.

      • William Bennett says:

        > This NY Times article is serving the purpose of helping insiders sew up a new narrative.

        Yes yes yes and yes. This is really the core purpose of the J6 Comm. This whole thing is a struggle to control the narrative, and that even more than jail time is really the threat to the Trumpist movement. The hopeful thing in that regard is that the Trumpist narrative, the Big Lie, is stuck where it is. There’s nowhere for it to go, the ever-promised Big Reveal is ever-deferred because there’s fundamentally nothing TO reveal. Even the f’rcripesake Cyberninjas couldn’t produce the goods cuz there weren’t any. They can keep up with Investimagations to sustain the illusion of momentum, “Stuff will Soon Be Revealed!!!” but all they’re really able to produce is a series of Trump Reinstatement and JFK Jr Resurrection moments. Ultimately, it’s all just delusional. There’s no there there. Whereas the J6C actually IS developing new—or at least newly documented and contextualized—information. They are actually uncovering an underlying plot, not having to make one up as they go. We want the Big Reveal too—the narrative dénouement-payoff in the form of perp walks and jail time. But even without that, there is a deep shift in what is in the process of becoming the official account. And that matters.

        I liken this whole thing to the narrative shift around the Iraq invasion. Again, it started with a motivated and manufactured story line, complete with its Big Reveal moments, around WMD and all that. It had enormous energy and resources to buttress it up. Bothsides Media utterly bought in and coopted (embedded!), a huge list of stuff from Colin Powell at the UN on down. But. It. Fell. Apart. All of us paying any serious attention knew it was bunk from the start and were stuck in horror and powerlessness as the fake narrative marched ahead, with millions upon millions buying into it thanks to the helpful assistance of the “liberal” media (thanks Judith Miller, we are eternally in your debt). Then as now the evidence was right out there in public if you cared to look, being reported by real independent news organizations, notably McClatchy née Knight-Ridder, all seemingly to no avail. But that fake narrative was already falling apart even before the end of the Cheney(bush) administration. The Official Account had already pretty well shifted from Our Great and Noble War to OMG What A Massive Fuckup. Because a motivated, false narrative requires constant energy and input to sustain. If you’ve got GOP-scale money and captive media behind it you can keep it up for a good long while, but you’re still skiing uphill. I truly believe that’s the dynamic we’re seeing now.

        It’s not how things should be, of course. There should have been massive criminal consequences for the people who lied us into Iraq. If there had been, we might not be where we are now. But I do think the energy is shifting. The Big Reveal the cultists are praying for to sustain their delusion simply isn’t in the cards. J6 was their chance to manufacture one big enough to seize power. But the pieces fell apart and there’s no way back to that moment from here. They have to keep pouring resources into the BL, because what other choice do they have. But at least for now the real energy and momentum are moving to the other side. Whether that continues without culminating in indictments is a question, but I think you absolutely need to have that momentum going in order to get to that point.

    • Hopeful says:

      How many “voting machines” are we (they) talking about?

      Trying to get my arms around the logistics, and purpose, of this endeavor……..

      The electoral vote fraud I now understand (during 1/6 I couldn’t figure out why they were trying to delay the vote certification).

      They must have had a plan that they thought could work…….

      • Leoghann says:

        Exactly. That’s the one thing that people who worry that the machine-seizing ideal might have worked. We’re not talking about one machine per county. We’re talking about hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands. And we all know that the Trump White House, to the last minion, was beyond terrible at logistics.

        • Rita says:

          All they would need were a few from each swing state.

          A little bit of tampering with one or two machines would give sufficient evidence of fraud that Trump could declare the election void.

      • Hopeful says:

        Thanks, but still can’t follow this plot.

        What is the scope of voting machine seizure? By certain states?, by certain counties, by certain cities?

        Whatever, if they get the machines, then what? Is it possible to tamper with a machine without being detected?

        We’re not talking one or two votes, at least thousands………

        It is now similar to the electoral college voting fraud, where most of us did not know that an organization counterfeited alternative electoral college slates in the plan for those slates to be debated 1) if Pence played ball or 2) if the insurrection to delay the proceedings was successful.

        Now, most of us do not understand how seizing the voting machines would achieve their desired end. There must be a plan, somewhere.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          I think it’s a mistake to worry now about what the logistics might have been within any specific aspect of the plans discussed at that 18 Dec 2020 meeting. The far more important plan is the one they and others have continued to execute to this moment. It is one thing to say their record in the courts was one out of 62. The truth we need to confront is that a third of voters believe the 2020 election was “stolen.” That will serve as predicate for plans we should be investigating–which means imagining, first.

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    How sad. The NYT thinks using the military to seize control of the electoral process was, “beyond the pale,” when it was simply beyond Trump’s reach.

    • BobCon says:

      It’s a sad reflection of their analytical ability that they can’t imagine the possibility that evidence will emerge that the objections they are quoting are a smoke screen, and other kooky uses of the military were being promoted by supposed objectors after the military seizure of voting machines plan was supposedly shelved.

      They ought to be prepared for more evidence. They’re convinced they have this nailed down and have no concept of how shaky it is.

    • emptywheel says:

      Right: That read is inconsistent with Byrne’s story (not like he’s a reliable source). But it’s obvious that comes from Robert Costello (and that Maggie or someone gave him anonymity even tho CNN did not).

      Costello is not only a liar, but he could be personally implicated in Rudy’s obstruction and he’s also got Bannon to deal with.

  8. harpie says:

    GIULIANI might have been “vehemently opposed” to “the idea of the military taking part in the seizure of machines”, but there’s evidence that he and his “investigator” Bernie KERIK thought it WOULD be OK for POLICE to do it. See the first screenshot, from 11/28/20, here:

    12:03 PM · Jan 22, 2022

    John Adams @adamseconomics [siren emoji] BREAKING [siren emoji]
    Former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik who is working with @RudyGiuliani has publicly stated that they are likely to establish enough PROBABLY CAUSE for police to confiscate some Electronic Voting Machines by Tuesday US time!
    THE PLOT THICKENS! [thinking emoji]
    10:56 AM – Nov 28, 2020 Twitter for iPhone

    “Tuesday” would presumably have been 12/1/20

    • harpie says:

      I don’t remember if KERIK has already spoken with the J6 Committee, but he has submitted documents. [But not the 12/17/20 document titled: “Draft Letter from POTUS To Seize Evidence in the Interest of National Security for the 2020 Elections”]

        • Rayne says:

          True, but what we can’t tell from looking at the list is how many are in negotiations with J6 Committee, how many of them were formally asked but they’re already fucked by other evidence, and how many are the J6 willing to leave in a holding pattern because they’re getting even more incriminating evidence while on delay.

        • Riktol says:

          TBH my main hope was that NPR is not diligent in updating the list. I noted that some of them said that the Committee wouldn’t comment which seemed pretty strange, I struggle to think of a reason they would want to disguise whether someone had testified.

        • Rayne says:

          LOL If there was a key witness on the fence about testifying, and the same witness was being pressured by Team Trump, or expressed concerns about their safety, or the witness knew they had exposure and wanted to negotiate anticipated charges or immunity, I’d think the J6 committee would be reluctant to comment or would be absolutely silent on status.

          Last update to NPR’s list is January 28. The one person not on that list? Rudy Giuliani. This is the one omission which strikes me as odd.

  9. harpie says:

    I think it’s interesting that BYRNE suggests:
    And if you really want to win, make General Flynn here the Field Marshall. If you do I put your chances at around 50-75%. You should see how he well he has this planned, it would run like clockwork…”
    because that’s what I think FLYNN’s job was for the J6 OP.

    • MyUncleFred says:

      Of course with odds of success as low as 50:50, that might not inspire confidence in don=don and court jester rudy

    • BobCon says:

      I think it is most likely at the level of Trump and top conspirators there wasn’t “a” plan for the coup, there were mutiple ones moving on separate tracks. They were hoping to roll the dice multiple times.

      Lower level conspirators may have been jockeying for the dominance of their plan over a rival, but I don’t think they were ultimately working on a single track.

      I think one of the dangers of upcoming press
      on 1/6 is reporters are going to try to push a single track model and attempt to use evidence for their favorite narrative as somehow disproving alternatives. Reporters who think this way are much easier to manipulate.

      • Peterr says:

        As Marcy’s post makes clear, Team Rudy and Team Sidney certainly had alternative plans they were pushing, and there was certainly friction between then.

        Assuming they all were on the same page at all times is nuts.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        I will suggest that a more useful way to look at the coup is to understand that there was a single plan for the coup and that it was laid out before the election: Make false claims that the election was fraudulent and obstruct the certification of Biden’s victory. Filing bogus lawsuits, creating fake elector slates, organizing state legislators, planning to seize voting machines, attempting to corrupt the DOJ, making fake objections on January 6, pressuring Pence, and storming the U.S. Capitol were all part of the plan. The plan, instigated by and for the benefit of Donald J. Trump, pretender to the office of the presidency of the United States.

        • BobCon says:

          At a minimum I think there was also a spur for a regular military, National Guard and/or police move on the US Capitol.

          What I’m pushing for in broader terms is that these weren’t closely linked or interdependent efforts in the way that a NFL team’s blocking scheme depends on five linemen closely choreographing their footwork.

          I think in this case it’s very possible Christopher Miller was playing a role, but kept intentionally in the dark and on a separate track from what Giuliani was up to.

        • skua says:

          I think Trump et al would have highly valued The Big Lie having momentum in the publics’ perceptions. So multiple fronts, with each “win” being magnified by the media. And been ok with Base vs Dem violence signalling a breakdown of social order that required martial law.
          And counted on the judicial niceties being held off till later when they’d be interpreted in terms of Triumphant Trump using his executive powers “to save the nation from a seditious coup by antifa and the socialist democrats”.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Agree. Months in the planning, lots of people actively, enthusiastically employed to execute it. The Big Lie writ large, making it difficult to believe and comprehend.

        • Rita says:

          The Big Lie was being set up in late summer. Trump told Proud Boys to stand by in the fall. Mike Flynn started cozying up to QAnon in the summer. A few lawsuits were filed before the election. Perhaps the particulars weren’t developed early but major pieces were being assembled.

      • rip says:

        Perhaps the goal was just pure chaos.

        Not a particular scheme for a successful way to seize control of the reins of control; but a way to throw the functions of the US government into disarray.

        The spoils of a destroyed democracy could be open for the picking of poised scavengers. Some such as the vultures gathered in the WH, some residing within and without the US. Obviously there are adversaries that might take advantage of a reduced defense and national cohesion.

        • Rita says:

          Chaos was part of the plan. It would give Trump the opportunity to remain in power long enough to install puppets in all important positions.

  10. graham firchlis says:

    So….Waldron suggested to Trump that DHS could (illegally) seize voting machines….Trump then told Giuliani to call Cuccinelli, to persuade him to (illegally) seize voting machines….and Giuliani made the call, conveying the (illegal) scheme to Cuccinelli.

    And there are TWO witnesses!

    Perhaps I am overly eager for a whiff, but this call to Cuccinelli smells like an overt act in furtherance of a conspiracy to commit an illegal act.

    With Trump in the middle. Oh, please, let it be.

    • harpie says:

      Yes. The word the NYT used was DIRECTED.

      Trump directed his lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, to make a remarkable call.

      That was “six weeks after the election”, so around 12/15/20.

      • pdaly says:

        As part of that timeline:
        AG Barr’s resignation letter was Monday 12/14/2020 (tweeted same day by Trump). And as we know, Barr stayed on until just before Christmas 2020 ‘to finish some things.’

        Prior to that
        12/01/2020 Barr publicly announced there was no evidence of significant voter fraud to change the results of the presidential election in which Biden won.
        12/01/20 also the day DOJ publicly announced that in Oct 2020 Barr had elevated U.S. Attorney John Durham as a special counsel in the “Trump Russia probe”, investigating the investigators.

        I wonder how Barr will successfully claim he didn’t know anything about the Trump administration plan to overturn the election?

    • emptywheel says:

      There are a slew of overt acts in a conspiracy.

      What’s interesting abt this one is that 1) both CNN and NYT reported Cuccinelli’s refusal in real time–suggesting he leaked it to kill the idea 2) DOJ has Rudy’s texts.

      • Peterr says:

        While it’s possible that Cuccinelli could have said “No” to seizing the voting machines all on his own, I wonder if Cuccinelli had Rudy on speakerphone while the DHS General Counsel sat across the desk silently shaking his head “NOOOOOO!”

    • Rayne says:

      I’m wondering if they would have used DHS’ 100-mile border zone as an excuse to seize machines. Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin all have an international border and that 100-mile zone. It wouldn’t be US military violating Posse Comitatus but a fallacious claim of DHS protecting national security along the border whether international land borders or coastline.
      Map, U.S. Customs and Border Protection's area of territorial reach for enforcement of immigration regulations (image via ACLU)

      • Fraud Guy says:

        IIRC, that 100 mile border zone also extends around points of entry, so you also have to draw it around airports with international traffic, river ports accessible from the ocean. I recall an estimate that around half of US territory is considered in the border zone.

        • Spencer Dawkins says:

          I thought (perhaps incorrectly) that the statistic was that something like half the population lived within 100 miles of the border. But that’s from memory.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I think that percentage is higher, more like 85%. Only a handful of major cities lie outside that invented zone: Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Phoenix, St. Louis, plus most rural and red state capitals.

        • Rayne says:

          I’m not going to check that, too much going on here — but if that’s the case, Georgia’s largest city Atlanta in Fulton County and Delta Airline’s hub ATL falls into that DHS border zone.

          Ditto Phoenix with its Sky Harbor International Airport PHX in Maricopa County in Arizona. (Detroit DTW is already a border city.)

        • P J Evans says:

          Look at CA, where it’s drawn around the edges of SF bay, which is all interior to the border. If they use “navigable waters”, that gets them the Mississippi as for north as St Louis (at least), and up the Columbia in the NW.

        • Rayne says:

          True, but this is about swing states whose electoral votes could have swung the election for Trump. The states up the Mississippi weren’t in play nor the Columbia.

      • Vinnie Gambone says:

        Homeland Security Special Agent in Charge Vance Callender’s home raided in Detroit last friday. He seems like the kind of LE guy Kiric and or Guliani would know and might reach out to get info about how DHS might best implement a seisure plan, especially, as Rayne notes, in the 100 mile border zone. Guessing here, DHS personell of all ranks (trumpers) would be pleased to receive the seizure order. As noted, Flynn “personally reached out to AT LEAST ONE senior defense official in mid-December attempting to enlist their help with his cause”.
        BYRNE: “You should see how he well he has this planned, it would run like clockwork…”( yes we should see how well he had it planned out. PLEASE.)
        One has to assume the conspirators were reaching out to frothers they knew around the country to bounce ideas off of, and to measure feasibility/ difficulty of various plans.
        Vance Callender might be the kind of go to guy in DHS who might be probed to identify others at command levels who might be amniable to a plot like the DHS scheme. We will see. Intersting tho the raiders at Chanler’s home wore no identifying igsignia, nor had any on their cars. Who else did Flynn and Kiric reach out to ?

        • Rayne says:

          Callender wasn’t from the Detroit area, was originally from Texas and worked elsewhere in the country before Detroit. There’s not a whiff in the coverage so far that the raid was in anyway related to January 6.

          I wish journalists would have asked the persons conducting the raid which agency they were with. Seems odd John Bolton had a visit, too, from a bunch of feds over a couple of days late last week — only we know they were Secret Service.

        • Leoghann says:

          From what I’ve seen, there’s not a whiff in the coverage of the Callender raid about anything, except that it happened. But I’m sure some enterprising FreeP reporter has an ear, or both ears, to the ground.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          So do I, no matter which of my two possible residences I choose. Until two years ago I traveled back and forth, depending on family plans, needs, crises, and new pups/kitties. (Everyone needs joy!) As you and others have made clear up-thread, most of us live within this potential “border control” zone. Not a pretty thought.

          This is exactly what I meant when I commented elsewhere that we need to keep imagining what plans the insurrectionists might try to employ. That imagination is grounded in knowledge, and you just provided an exemplar that should be taught in schools. (Not right now, maybe, but definitely in the future.)

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Exactly, harpie. That. I crave the kind of knowledge base Rayne displays in this thread, because it allows someone with imagine to build thought patterns. My own space can feel frustratingly limited.

  11. harpie says:

    One thing that’s new [“previously undisclosed”] in the NYT story:

    The meeting with Mr. Barr took place in mid- to late November when Mr. Trump raised the idea of whether the Justice Department could be used to seize machines, according to two people familiar with the matter. Mr. Trump told Mr. Barr that his lawyers had told him that the department had the power to seize machines as evidence of fraud.

    Bennie THOMPSON has said that the J6 Committee has had conversations with BARR.

    • Rita says:

      That caught my attention also.

      There has been some talk about whether or not Trump knew he had lost and when he knew. It seems that after he talked to Barr in late November, he knew that he had lost AND that there was no legitimate basis for claiming that election fraud had swayed the election. His last hope for legitimate claims resided in the lawsuits, which by that time he was losing left and right and in the Supreme Court, which he lost in mid-December. After that loss, all efforts by him and on his behalf were based on the fraudulent election pretext which he then knew to be false.

  12. Fraud Guy says:

    Still seems funny that Rudy Giuliani accidentally saved democracy (for now) because he had a different illegal process in mind than the other co-conspirators, and that Trump trusted his judgment more than the others. I’m still letting both of those concepts sink in.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Don’t bother. I don’t think normal relationship rules apply here. For example, Giuliani did not inadvertently save democracy in America. He disagreed with others about how to wreck it while executing a coup. Trump did not trust Giuliani over Powell so much as he had more influence over him than her – an alarming statement all by itself – and he’s a world class misogynist.

      • BobCon says:

        Yes, I don’t think it makes sense to assume anything about what Trump was doing until a lot more evidence comes in.

        There’s a very real possibility Trump wanted Giuliani doing his thing, Powell doing her thing, Kash Patel doing his thing, Jeffrey Rosen doing his thing, and then seeing which thing broke through.

        Everything we know about Trump is that he may say one thing in one meeting and then another in another meeting. Assuming one rebuke of Powell is the end of the story seems premature to me. It’s nutty that the NY Times still doesn’t seem to get this, at least in the stories they present to the public.

        I’m wondering if Habermann and Schmidt aren’t actually aware of how dicey their writing is here.

    • Thebuzzardman says:

      Long time lurker, extremely occasional poster. Reading this entire page, from the excellent initial write up to the awesome comments had me thinking this about Trump as it relates to the coup:

      He’s a malignant narcissist who hates to lose. All it took was the smallest whiff of a suggestion that there might be a way to overturn the election and Trump would be all in with the idea. If the idea didn’t originate with him, which is also likely. But after that, it wouldn’t matter.

      Trump also has a reputation for crowd sourcing ideas within his subordinates, ignoring normal chains of command etc.
      It feels like there is an element of that here.

      So, it would be very Trump world for there to be multiple competing efforts to overthrow the election.

      Using all that chaos and loosely organizing it to dominate a media narrative if just one of things “worked” sounds like something an intelligence officer and a psyops officer would do, and there was at least one of each present.

      I’m not discounting that at the very least some of the parts were to work together, if not all of them. Not at all.

  13. Leading Edge Boomer says:

    This makes me sad for the country. If this were a political novel–a work of fiction–no publisher would touch it because it is so far from anything plausible. But here we are, living in a universe so far from the reality we used to know.

    • rip says:

      Yup. That’s why I’ve stopped reading fiction. What’s happening right now wouldn’t pass an editor’s review when submitted as a manuscript.

      For release from this “reality”, I read articles on hard science, mathematics. Plenty releasing!

    • RWood says:

      You’ve never heard of Regnery Press?

      Want some entertainment? Check out the reviews of Stephen Coonts last novel where we went from respected author to full-on Qanon cult member in one at-bat. His normal publisher wouldn’t touch it so he had to put it out through Regnery, who will publish anything as long as its far-far-right.

  14. GeoffreyGiraffe says:

    So wait, you’re telling me that Alyssa Farah, former White House Communications Director, currently a paid CNN political analyst and daughter of nutter Joseph Farah, publisher of WorldNetDaily, was a material witness to this discussion in The Cabinet Room? Let’s put her on the news and she can tell us everything we need to know about this friggin seditious conspiracy that she was party to!

  15. harpie says:

    Marcy on twitter, earlier:
    4:53 PM · Feb 1, 2022

    Someone w/good ODNI ties steal this story idea. /

    A key part of Mike Flynn’s attempt to steal the election pertained to the election interference report mandated by EO.

    The DNI part of that report would have been due … December 18, the very day of the WH meeting. [ODNI missed their deadline]

    ODNI presented its part of that report–based on intelligence thru 12/31/20–to Intel Committees on Jan 7. Those dates CAN’T be a coinkydink, can they? [link]

    It would be shocking if someone weren’t trying to force Ratcliffe to substantiate something to back Powell’s claims.

    Something that’s I have found puzzling, but may be related: in the midst of a slew of election related tweets on 12/19/20, including “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!, [where he retweets NAVARRO’s “report”] TRUMP tweeted about the SOALR WINDS hack:

    MARCY commented about it at the time, finding it interesting that the two tweets were threaded: https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1340666651658899457 [screenshots here]

    4:30 PM 12/19/20 [Time zone?] [TRUMP]: The Cyber Hack is far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality. I have been fully briefed and everything is well under control. Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of …

    discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!). There could also have been a hit on our ridiculous voting machines during the election, which is now obvious that I won big, making it an even more corrupted embarrassment for the USA [tags Ratcliffe and Pompeo]

    • harpie says:

      NAVARRO is mentioned in today’s NYT piece:

      When Mr. Flynn, Ms. Powell and Mr. Byrne arrived at the White House to discuss their plan to use the military to seize voting machines, they were not let into the Oval Office by a typical gatekeeper, like Mark Meadows, Mr. Trump’s chief of staff. Rather, they were escorted in by Garrett Ziegler, a young aide to another Trump adviser, Peter Navarro, according to Mr. Ziegler’s account.

      “I waved in General Flynn and Sidney Powell on the Friday night of the 18th — for which Mark Meadows’s office revoked my guest privileges,” Mr. Ziegler said on a podcast, adding that he had done so because he was “frustrated with the current counsel” Mr. Trump was getting.

  16. Mister Sterling says:

    So our republic was given a bonus 4 years of life because the President insisted that Rudy take the lead.

    We are so fucked. But I do hope Rudy is either indicted or dies of alcohol poisoning in 2022.

      • pdaly says:

        To hear Byrne recount it, Byrne was the man who was able to wrangle on the spot access to the WH by calling Garrett Ziegler (an aide for Navarro) as Byrne, Powell and Flynn were walking towards the security check point. Ziegler was able to use Ziegler’s guest access to let Byrne and Byrne’s “friends” in to the WH.

        Ziegler’s recounting of the same night seems to suggest letting in Flynn and Powell to the WH was premeditated by Ziegler (see NY quote (above) that harpie highlighted)

  17. Leoghann says:

    Totally OT, but TPM reported this evening that Senator Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) has been hospitalized at the UNM hospital in Albuquerque for a stroke.

  18. Eureka says:

    Here’s Patrick Byrne on December 1, 2020, telling Glenn Beck about how Byrne’s “Bad News Bears” team — for which he states he is the “coach” — tried to/did inform DHS in August and September of 2020 about the impending “soft coup” (later, “coup”) via vague vote/voting machine manipulation in multiple meetings ahead of the election. They knew it would happen, just like Roger Stone in August 2016 (The Hill: Can the 2016 Election be Rigged? You Bet):

    Why cyber experts are checking fraud in these six counties
    Dec 1, 2020

    Throughout, Byrne slips voices from useful idiot to agent (proving the useful idiot part, one supposes, but also that there are fluxing chains; he likes to be known as one who presages Big Things as he blabs to foreign intelligence services indicates here).

    There’s a bit of confusion as Beck cites something Byrne said separately/elsewhere as fact which begets a long clarification by Byrne. [ca. 2:40-3:34]

    Beck cites one August 2020 meeting with Byrne et al. and DHS (making it sound like DHS-proper, and along the lines ~ you tried to warn them). Byrne clarifies that there were multiple meetings and never says that he was present (given context, it sounds like one of the two “cyber groups” he’s affiliated with who rat-effed around the 2018 election in TX may have done the meetings) in August and September 2020 with ~” DHS representatives in Texas and they got briefed up two or three levels up the chain” (approx. wording). The “CISA guys” refused to attend (and otherwise attempted to shut this ish down).

    Byrne says that the “Bad News Bears” are Coach Byrne, “two cyber groups” [one is the post-2018-election TX group, other not IDed], “various ethical hackers”, and “other kinds of operatives”.

    • Eureka says:

      In another highlight-worthy segment, Beck asks when they are going to get this info out (referencing a “Pennsylvania Senator” who I assume to be State Sen. Mastriano, that they are running out of time) [~8:27 end].

      Byrne starts to leak, “Well that’s up to — “, then digresses to reframe his role* and says that “Sidney has got her path, Giuliani has his path” and Byrne is “not working for or aligned with either.” Besides how that’s belied as total BS by his use of “Sid” and other statements/behavior (e.g. as cited in post), Byrne wends to, “I don’t want to get in front of her [Powell’s] headlights”. “So it’s up to her as she’s filing these things to reveal the evidence she wants to _believe_ [sounds like, more than “reveal”]” [~9:09 end]

      They were “piping” the election disinfo and Byrne says, “I ended up to [sic] the people around the Trump administration” [~ 8:48].

      *Also like a sometime Stone (though then, post-success in 2016), Byrne says that he doesn’t want to take credit.

        • Eureka says:

          I suspect so, because Waldron (and this gets convoluted, incl. because some parties may have told timeline-obfuscating stories) was working with Russell J. Ramsland Jr. of Allied Security Operations Group (ASOG) and each was working with Rudy (at the sham hearings in PA, MI, etc., e.g.), but also I suspect with Byrne earlier than Byrne (or WaPo, below) seems to indicate. (And remember, Byrne claims above that he wasn’t working with Rudy. He claims the same re Powell above but as noted his arguments fail by other cues/info.) Either that or they all became very fast friends (coach opened the checkbook quick and/or perhaps backcasted a closer relationship).

          For starters, ASOG is probably the Texas-2018-related “cyber” group to which Byrne refers above on December 1, 2020. The 2018 TX efforts (involving others, too) largely failed. In this WaPo deep dive from last May, the authors place much of the national 2020 election conspiracy mongering at ASOG’s feet:

          How the election-fraud myth was spread by Russell Ramsland and the Texas security company ASOG
          Exclusive The making of a myth
          Russell J. Ramsland Jr. sold everything from Tex-Mex food to light-therapy technology. Then he sold the story that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.
          By Emma Brown, Aaron C. Davis, Jon Swaine and Josh Dawsey May 9, 2021

          ASOG’s summer pre-election “work” also places them with Waldron (and Byrne’s story) in the timeframe of those August and September meetings with TX-based DHS officials.

          However, and this is apparently either an inaccurate (vague) remark by Byrne or phrasing by WaPo (elision lives in part of that byline), these introductions seem a bit snug with Byrne’s December 1 interview statements:

          By December, Ramsland was opening doors for people seeking to challenge the election results. He connected Patrick Byrne, the billionaire former chief executive of the online retailer Overstock, with Powell, and Powell connected Byrne with Giuliani, Byrne told The Post.

        • Eureka says:

          But wait, there’s more. Quite awhile ago I’d researched ASOG (established June 2017) to discover that its founder, Adam T. Kraft, aka Adam Taichi Kraft, overlapped in time with Michael Flynn at DIA.

          [Today I see that NYT yesterday noted the Flynn-Kraft overlap per Kraft’s “online biography” https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/01/us/jan-6-panel-trump-voting-machines.html, so they don’t have or aren’t sharing any more info than I have. Also unlike WaPo — who didn’t note that (minimally) temporal relationship — NYT suggests that Kraft and Ramsland formed the company together (WaPo singles-out Kraft as founder, notes Ramsland “joined” as their CFO.]

          Ramsland basically (see WaPo for details) took ASOG over, shifted its function towards election security, and Kraft (and others) “eventually” exited the company “under pressure”.

        • Leoghann says:

          I read that WaPo article on Ramsland when it was published, because Ramsland is infamous in Texas and Oklahoma politics. They left out his decade or more of malfeasance, mostly as a mysteriously-funded disseminator of misinformation about candidates. But this whole Trump-led fake fraud movement was tailor made for him. He may have run other companies, but he’s been a right-wing ratfucker for a long time.

          It’s my understanding that he also lives and offices in that US-380 corridor I mentioned a few weeks ago, when Stewart Rhodes was arrested.

        • Eureka says:

          Thanks for the richer info, I also read it back then and it felt thin in spots (as above, lots of biographical bits & story meat — which could’ve been zested in — seemed missing).

          LOL, and here I was thinking of the workplace climate at DIA. /don’t mess with TX

  19. Tom says:

    So according to Donald Trump, even if he were to run in 2024 and with the Presidential election, VP Kamala Harris would have the constitutional authority to overturn the election results and maintain herself and Joe Biden in power. Good to have that cleared up.

  20. Tom R. says:

    As BobCon and others have suggested, they did have a plan. We even
    know what the last step was: Create a contingent election, and have
    the House choose the president in accordance with the 12th amendment.
    This was not a bad plan.

    As Rita and others have suggested, the next-to-last step was to create
    enough chaos to prevent the counting of the swing-state electors.
    There were multiple sub-plans for creating chaos. These did not
    conflict, because any and all kinds chaos supported the overall plan.

    In particular, seizing the voting machines and/or ballots did not need
    to “prove” anything; it just needed to create the appearance
    of uncertainty.

    This is the bonespurs boy’s well-established MO: manage the
    appearances, in defiance of the facts. Recall that he did not ask for
    an actual investigation of Hunter Biden; he just wanted Zelensky to
    announce an investigation. We know from Richard Donoghue’s
    notes that he was running the same play again:

    Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen

    All that was Plan A. It probably would have failed, just barely, even
    if the Veep had played along, because they didn’t have enough support
    in either house of congress … but only just barely. (If they had won
    a few more House seats, the whole story would be different.)

    According to the Waldron powerpoint, as a variation on that plan, they
    could have pretended the swing state electors never existed, producing
    a 232:227 electoral vote “majority”. I doubt this would have worked,
    because it would have required a twisted reading of the 12th
    amendment, and the House would not have gone along with that.

    According to the Eastman memo, another variation was to send the
    “disputed” ballots back to the states, and let the legislatures
    decide. I cannot imagine how this could have worked, given Democratic
    control in Nevada and New Mexico. The numbers don’t add up (although
    it would be very close).

    There are some less-plausible variations that we need not consider.

    Note that in industry, in agriculture, in the military, etc., it is
    common to carry out the initial parts of a plan, even before the
    overall plan has been fully debugged. Sometimes the best-laid plans
    fail, and sometimes ill-laid plans succeed, in whole or in part. For
    example, the “chaos” subplan was guaranteed to pay political
    dividends, even if it did not succeed in overturning the election,
    since it would delegitimize the Biden presidency.

    Bottom line: They definitely had a plan. It was not a bad plan. And
    they haven’t given up.

    • Rita says:

      I suspect that Trump basically had different teams headed by his allies he could trust and let them come up with plans. When one plan looked like it would fail, there was another team with its plan. The overall goal was to keep Trump in power past Jan. 20th, using the pretense of a rigged election to justify all manner of improper behavior.

      Past Jan. 20th, the country would be in such chaos and uncertainty that Trump could do pretty much as he pleased. Or so he thought.

      • FL Resister says:

        You have summed the situation up well. Amidst chaos, confusion Trump grabs the power.
        As anomalous as all of this is, the general public is not shocked enough yet.
        The televised January 6th Committee hearings in April should remedy some of that.

    • Jimmy Anderson says:

      One of the elements of the January 6th insurrection plans did go awry though, and I haven’t seen a definite explanation for it.
      Counter-demonstraters (or “Antifa”) were both an eagerly anticipated incentive for J6 MAGA attendee fundraising (see Roger Stone et al), and a planned-for smokescreen for the Proud Boys, Oath Keeper, Militias to provide ‘security’, incite violence and weapon up.
      I am presuming that this anticipated Trump Army / Antifa violence could also have provided a reason for Trump to shut down the Electoral Count and declare Martial Law.

      However, it appears that in a remarkably disciplined manner – all counter demonstrations were cancelled.

      Did “Antifa” receive inside information and wisely decide to stay away? Or was it really something more mundane?

      • Rayne says:

        Counter-protesters — including those who might call themselves anti-fascist — would have to have been incredibly stupid and blind not to see the lead-up to January 6 for what it was. There’s no organization to tip off, just common sense.

        The far more important question: if persons who might have considered participating in counter protests could anticipate the problems posed on January 6, why did the intelligence community fail so badly to ensure the Capitol was protected from *any* protests?

        • Jimmy Anderson says:

          A very important question indeed, which is being asked from both sides of the political divide.
          I wonder if it will ever be answered.

  21. Super Nintendo Chalmers says:

    The “plan” seems to shock many people, but what seems shocking is that they actually thought this absurd plan had any chance of success.

    The packed SCOTUS would never acquiesce to such an outlandishly blatant show of authoritarianism that did not have even a fig leaf of legitimacy. Now, if we had 5 different Florida 2000 races where the margin was 500-1000 votes, IMO SCOTUS would have thrown the election to Drumpf.

    The fact that none of Drumpf’s picks on SCOTUS went for all the lame appeals, which had the tiniest fig leafs of legitimacy….until faced with the possibility of suborning perjury and disbarment for the lawyers, is evidence that this outlandish scheme had zero chance of success.

    Why? The order to seize the voting machines was after the Electoral College had voted and after the states had certified the results. There was no procedure to overturn the results.

  22. The Old Redneck says:

    I think there is some benefit to the conspirators of this slow drip drip drip, revision of stories process. As this goes on and on, stuff that would have been considered absolutely shocking a few years ago slowly gets normalized. Thousands of Covid deaths were once shocking; now, the American public is numb to it. The Mueller report, despite some shocking and deeply troubling revelations, got spun and marginalized into oblivion.
    This may not help conspirators in a trial, but it does help them with public opinion and perception. I worry that by the time this is over, the collective reaction will be one big shrug.

  23. Leoghann says:

    Even ignoring his pro-fascism, Byrne is an interesting character. I foresee him becoming a bigger part of the autogolpe investigations, simply because he likes to inject himself into situations where he might not normally be welcome, which his spare millions give him access to. More interestingly, he loves to hear himself talk, perhaps even more than his orange hero.

    Having read several accounts of that December 18th meeting, I’d say they all agree on the basic events and names. But Byrne is the only one whose writing style perfectly replicates that of Ayn Rand (minus the love scenes).

  24. rst says:

    Perhaps the referenced Axios article from 2.2.21 about the December 18 meeting bears another look. Most of what Swan reports from that meeting is verbatim, and notice these details:

    “Herschmann took a seat in a yellow chair close to the doorway”
    “’Hold on a minute, Sidney,’ Herschmann interrupted from the back of the Oval”
    “The staff were now on their feet, standing behind one of the couches and facing the Powell crew at the Resolute Desk. Cipollone stood to Herschmann’s left. Lyons, on his last day on the job, stood to Herschmann’s right”
    “Byrne, wearing jeans, a hoodie and a neck gaiter”
    “They followed them upstairs, to the Yellow Oval Room, Trump’s living room, where they were joined by Giuliani and Meadows. Trump sat beside Powell in armchairs facing the door, separated by a round, wooden antique table. Giuliani sat in an armchair to the right of them, while Byrne and Meadows sat on a couch”

    These details suggest the existence of a visual record. And if so, Swan would surely not be the only one who’s seen it.

  25. harpie says:

    MARCY tweets this morning:

    6:56 AM · Feb 3, 2022

    There’s been a lot of focus on the December 18, 2020 White House meeting. As I’ve noted, that was covered, by both NYT and CNN, in real time.

    I noted then [12/20/20], tho, that NYT buried their story on it, and ignored the pardon angle. [Screenshots, link]

    Anyway: One of the reasons why Trump can make pardon dangles like he did the other day is bc NYT can report on a call for insurrection from the General Trump had just pardoned without mentioning the pardon.

    I’ve had this note on my J6TL for a while, just labeling it as [NYT], but had lost track of where it actually came from…this morning I found it was from this 12/21/20 Maggie HABERMAN tweet:

    4:49 PM · Dec 21, 2020

    Four people briefed on events said Sidney Powell was back at the White House again today, for third time in four days.

Comments are closed.