A "coup attempt" without consequences is a training exercise
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Was it an Attempted "Coup"?
Are you tired of it all? Should we just “move on”?
We all know about Trump fatigue. Anyone following the news has had their fill. Why even spend time “looking backward,” people ask, when there are so many other important things going on? Here are some reasons:
Donald Trump literally tried to steal the election and end democracy.
The reasons he failed are not obvious, automatic, or all destined to apply in the future.
New reporting about the lengths Trump went to overturn results in Georgia show why this matters. The plot went to the highest levels of the Justice Department.
We just learned a Trump loyalist at DOJ pushed a plan, in writing and with great detail, to create an extralegal path to override the result that Joe Biden won Georgia. (ABC News obtained the secret document laying it all out.)
The plan was to abuse the Justice Department’s power, and give Georgia Republicans “cover” to call a legislative session to declare the state for Trump instead of Biden, who won the state’s election.
This is distinct from the January 6th insurrection, but it sheds light on Trump’s wider plans.
Had he prevailed, the gathering and violence of that day might have reinforced pressure on a plan to “steal back” several states from Biden, and sow enough alleged “disagreement” about the results to justify federal intervention, or provide a legal case that the Supreme Court might ultimately take, and resolve in Trump’s favor.
Simply put: That did not happen, but that does not mean it couldn’t.
A White House cabinet veteran, Robert Reich, concluded these new reports show America actually lived through “an attempted coup.” We just didn’t know it at the time…
Where do we go from here?
Consider this point from writer Doug Porter:
A coup attempt that goes unpunished becomes a training exercise.
Over 400 Capitol rioters are indicted and awaiting trial. That’s one part of the justice system. If Trump and the people who led the plot face no accountability, however, then these attacks on democracy can become a training exercise in real time.
Republicans are now pushing new laws to give state legislators more sway and control over election results and their certification. This is a kind of legal ‘laundering’ of the very ploy Trump was pushing inside the DOJ.
In Georgia, the epicenter of all this, voters clapped back against Trump by ousting both Republican U.S. Senators. Now Republicans in power at the state level, however, are using a new voting crackdown law to target Democratic and Black areas around Atlanta (a “performance review” of election officials under SB 202). And several states are eyeing ways to challenge future Republican losses.
It’s a loser mentality — they are bracing for a world where their own voters regularly reject them — but also an anti-democratic one, as they seek ways to override the people.
As for Trump himself, he actually faces a range of intense legal scrutiny right now. His company is under indictment in New York for unrelated conduct. He lost legal cases to hide his taxes there and from Congress. He is under criminal investigation in Georgia for this exact election plotting. That investigation could uncover many more things we don’t know, including the coordination between Trump, the people who staged a violent insurrection, and the secret plots to reverse his losses in one or more states.
This is no time to take anything for granted.
Great article Ari!! Thank you for putting this out there. Jan 6th was an attempted coup and Trump and all involved should be held accountable. This was treason. Period. With all of the new voting laws being passed by Republicans, it is a very scary time. The Justice Dept, hopefully, will treat this as serious as it is. Thank you again Ari!! Have a great one!!
No matter how many times you report on this coup attempt I still get chills down my spine. I appreciate that you never gloss over Jan 6 insurrection and you keep this story alive. As important as national political elections are you make such a strong case for diligence in local and state elections because as you pointed out these state voting restrictions can undermine everything. Thanks Ari