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Election Interference

Tracking interference into our elections
In 2016, we had to worry about the Russians interfering in our elections. In 2020 we worried that the Russians would interfere again never did we think that the President of the United States, Fox News, right-wing media, the Republican Party and some in congress would be the ones inferring in our elections and attempting to steal the election. Fox News, right-wing media and some Republicans including some in congress helped Donald J. Trump interfere with the election; subvert the law and the will of the people. They failed in their attempt to steal the election and suppress the votes of 81,283,485 Americans. Donald J. Trump’s coup d’état failed, however the damage that Trump, his allies, Fox News, right-wing media, and the Republican Party have done to our democracy will be long lasting.

With help from his allies, Fox News, right-wing media and the Republican Party Donald J. Trump incited insurrection, sedition and attempted a coup d’etat. Donald J. Trump’s coup attempt involved some House members, some Senate members, and Mike Pence overturning the election certification process with the hope that Trump could steal the election and steal the presidency. If those on the right really wanted to stop the steal, they should have told Trump to stop lying about the election and stop trying to steal the election. Trump sent his supporters to the capital in hopes that maybe they could scare congress into helping him over turn the election so he could remain the president.

Before the Trump-Ukraine Affair there was the Trump-Russia Affair, Donald J. Trump, his son and an unknown number of people from the Trump campaign may have conspired (colluded) with the Russians to help elect Donald J. Trump. The Trump-Ukraine Affair should make you rethink the Trump-Russia Affair, the lie then was it was about adaptions the lie this time is it was about corruption.

Donald J. Trump used the powers of the presidency to bully Ukraine into digging up damaging information on a political rival, Democrat Joe Biden that is an abuse of power is against the law and the constitution of the United States. Donald J. Trump has asked other countries including China to interfere in our elections by helping him get dirt on his political opponents; that is an abuse of power is against the law and the constitution of the United States.

By Whitney Wild, Jeremy Herb, Lauren Fox, Zachary Cohen and Ryan Nobles, CNN

(CNN) New emails from Justice Department and White House officials show how President Donald Trump's allies pressured then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to consider false and outlandish allegations that the 2020 election had been stolen at the same time that Rosen was being elevated to lead the Justice Department in December 2020. The emails show how Trump's White House assistant, chief of staff and other allies pressured the Justice Department to investigate claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election -- and how Trump directed allies to push Rosen to join the legal effort to challenge the election result, according to a batch of emails released by Democrats on the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday. The documents also offer a window into how Rosen dealt with the political pressure coming from the White House. more...


(CNN) New emails from Justice Department and White House officials show how President Donald Trump's allies pressured then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to consider false and outlandish allegations that the 2020 election had been stolen. The documents were released Tuesday by the House Oversight Committee. Read the documents here: more...

Republicans are trying to rig (steal) future elections.

Countrywide campaigns for secretaries of state underscore new Republican focus to take control of election administration
Sam Levine

Republicans who have embraced baseless claims about the 2020 election being stolen are now running to serve as the chief elections officials in several states, a move that could give them significant power over election processes. The campaigns, first detailed by Politico last week, underscore a new focus to take control of election administration. Secretaries of state, who are elected to office in partisan contests that have long been overlooked, wield enormous power over election rules in their state, are responsible for overseeing election equipment, and are a key player in certifying – making official – election results. Winning secretary of state offices across the country would give conspiracy theorists enormous power to wreak havoc in the 2024 presidential election, including potentially blocking candidates who win the most votes from taking office. more...

Christopher Wilson

False claims, intraparty feuds and the need to potentially replace millions of dollars in equipment are among the issues that continue to plague a partisan election audit ordered by Arizona Republicans seeking to prove that the 2020 presidential race was stolen. After months of court battles, a review of the November election vote in Maricopa County — where the majority of Arizonans reside — was begun at the instruction of the GOP-controlled state Senate late last month. To conduct the audit, Arizona Senate Republicans brought in a private Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas, whose founder and CEO, Doug Logan, has pushed false claims of fraud in the 2020 election. Numerous Republicans nationwide have followed former President Donald Trump’s lead in recent months to insist that the election was somehow illegitimate — a claim unsupported by facts. more...

The assessment was the intelligence community’s most comprehensive look at foreign efforts to interfere in the election.
By Julian E. Barnes

WASHINGTON — President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia authorized extensive efforts to hurt the candidacy of Joseph R. Biden Jr. during last year’s election, including by mounting covert operations to influence people close to former President Donald J. Trump, according to a declassified intelligence report released Tuesday. The report did not name those people but seemed to be a reference to the work of Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, who relentlessly pushed allegations of corruption about Mr. Biden and his family involving Ukraine.

“Russian state and proxy actors who all serve the Kremlin’s interests worked to affect U.S. public perceptions in a consistent manner,” the report said. The declassified report represented the most comprehensive intelligence assessment of foreign efforts to influence the 2020 vote. Besides Russia, Iran and other countries sought to influence the election, the report said. China considered efforts to influence the presidential vote, but ultimately concluded that any such operation would fail and likely backfire, intelligence officials concluded. more...

By Zachary Cohen, CNN

Washington (CNN) The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released its declassified report on foreign threats to 2020 US elections Tuesday, which concludes that foreign adversaries -- including Russia -- did attempt to interfere. Russia's efforts were aimed at "denigrating President Biden's candidacy and the Democratic Party, supporting former President Trump, undermining public confidence in the electoral process, and exacerbating sociopolitical divisions in the US," it says. "Unlike in 2016, we did not see persistent Russian cyber efforts to gain access to election infrastructure," the report notes. The report also stated that there are "no indications that any foreign actor attempted to alter any technical aspect of the voting process in the 2020 US elections, including voter registration, casting ballots, vote tabulation, or reporting results." more...

By Jason Morris, CNN

(CNN) Officials in the Georgia Secretary of State's Office located a recently released recording of former President Donald Trump's call to a state investigator in a trash folder on her device, a state official familiar with the situation confirmed to CNN. The discovery of the call comes after state officials originally told CNN that they did not think audio of the call existed. The call added to the examples of Trump's extraordinary efforts to push false claims of widespread voter fraud and influence Georgia election officials as they certified the state's election results. The audio file of the December 23 call between the former President and investigator Frances Watson was discovered as the Georgia Secretary of State's Office responded to a public records request. The personal familiar spoke with CNN on the condition of anonymity to describe the internal process. The Washington Post first reported the details of how the audio of the December phone call emerged. more...

*** Republican cannot win elections fairly so they are trying to rig elections so they can win. ***

By Fredreka Schouten and Kelly Mena, CNN

(CNN) Republican legislators around the country are moving aggressively to strip governors and other officials of their power to change election rules -- after states made it easier to vote last year during the coronavirus pandemic and turnout surged to record levels. The measures have been introduced in at least eight states with Republican-controlled legislatures -- including the key battlegrounds of Georgia and Arizona. Some bills would give more authority to lawmakers to establish the ground rules for voting, in an escalation of the already bitter partisan fights that have erupted following the 2020 presidential contest. The fresh showdowns over who should run elections come as allies of former President Donald Trump continue to try to cast doubt on his loss -- by arguing that election officials and the courts usurped state laws when they relaxed voting rules to overcome challenges posed by the pandemic. And they represent the latest front in the ongoing political warfare over voting rules. As of this month, state legislators in 43 states had introduced 253 bills to restrict voting access, according to an updated tally by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. more...

By Teo Armus

The only Democrat on Georgia’s state election board on Sunday called on Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to investigate possible civil and criminal violations committed by President Trump during a phone call over the weekend in which the president pressured Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn his defeat. David J. Worley, an Atlanta lawyer, said a transcript of the hour-long call, a recording of which was obtained by The Washington Post, amounted to “probable cause” to believe that Trump had violated Georgia election code. “It’s a crime to solicit election fraud, and asking the secretary to change the votes is a textbook definition of election fraud,” he said in an interview with The Post on Sunday. more...

By Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business

New York (CNN Business) Dominion Voting Systems, the election technology company that has been the focus of debunked conspiracy theories about election fraud, is suing MyPillow and its CEO Mike Lindell. The company is seeking about $1.3 billion in damages for Lindell's numerous unfounded public statements by allies of former President Donald Trump that Dominion rigged its machines in favor of Joe Biden in the 2020 US presidential election. The 115-page lawsuit filed Monday in Washington, DC, cites Lindell's media appearances and social media posts pushing what they called the "Big Lie" about Dominion's machines — including a two-hour film that aired on OAN and was filled with falsehoods about voting irregularities. In the lawsuit, Dominion writes that Lindell "sells the lie to this day because the lie sells pillows" citing promotional discount codes on MyPillow's website, including "FightforTrump,""Proof" and "QAnon." more...

Trump’s attempt to pressure Georgia officials could lead to felony charges.
By Ian Millhiser

Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis took office just over a month ago, and she’s already taking aim at someone who, until very recently, was the most powerful man in the country. On Wednesday, Willis sent letters to four of Georgia’s top officials informing them that her office has “opened an investigation into attempts to influence the administration of the 2020 Georgia General Election.” Though the letters do not mention former President Donald Trump by name, the New York Times reports that they are “related to his intervention in Georgia’s election.” In an additional sign that Trump is the subject of this probe, the letters note that “at this stage, we have no reason to believe that any Georgia official is a target of this investigation.” In early January, Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, and suggested that Raffensperger should “find 11,780 votes” for Trump in a state that President Joe Biden won by 11,779 votes. more...

Georgia prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump's January 2 phone call to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger asking him to find enough votes to surpass Joe Biden and overturn the presidential election result in that state. video...

By Oliver Darcy, CNN Business

New York (CNN) A voting technology company swept up in baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 election filed a monster $2.7 billion lawsuit on Thursday against Fox News, some of the network's star hosts, and pro-Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, alleging the parties worked in concert to wage a "disinformation campaign" that has jeopardized its very survival. "We have no choice," Antonio Mugica, the chief executive and founder of Smartmatic, told CNN Business in an interview about the company's decision to file the lawsuit. "The disinformation campaign that was launched against us is an obliterating one. For us, this is existential, and we have to take action." The lawsuit, filed in New York state court, accused Fox, Giuliani, Powell and hosts Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro of intentionally lying about Smartmatic in an effort to mislead the public into the false belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from former President Donald Trump. "They needed a villain," the lawsuit said. "They needed someone to blame. They needed someone whom they could get others to hate. A story of good versus evil, the type that would incite an angry mob, only works if the storyteller provides the audience with someone who personifies evil." more...

Axios reporter Jonathan Swan describes a December 18 meeting between President Donald Trump, White House officials and conspiracy theorists that ended in a profanity-laced shouting match. video...

Trump and allies filed scores of lawsuits, tried to convince state legislatures to take action, organized protests and held hearings.. None of it worked.
William Cummings, Joey Garrison and Jim Sergent, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump spent much of the 2020 presidential campaign insisting that he could only lose if the election was rigged against him, and he has spent nearly every day since his defeat claiming his dire predictions of fraud had come to pass. But just as he cried foul before a single vote was cast – something he also did in 2016 – Trump has maintained he was robbed of victory without any credible evidence to support that belief. Despite assurances from his own departments of Justice and Homeland Security that no serious fraud occurred, Trump has raged against the election result and mounted a relentless campaign to reverse President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win. more...

By Veronica Stracqualursi and Jim Acosta, CNN

Washington (CNN) Former President Donald Trump lost reelection over voters' dissatisfaction with his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, his own pollster said in a post-campaign report, disputing the key argument Trump has repeatedly made that he lost because of voter fraud, despite a lack of evidence. Voters felt President Joe Biden was "better to handle coronavirus" than Trump, according to a post-2020 election analysis of publicly available survey data from Trump's campaign pollster, Tony Fabrizio. The pandemic "was the most important issue" among voters in 10 key states and that Biden carried those voters "nearly 3 to 1," Fabrizio says in a 27-page analysis which rests on average results from the National Election Pool exit polls conducted for CNN and other media as well as AP's VoteCast. "While (Trump) dominated among voters focused on the economy, Biden won Coronavirus voters, which was a bigger share of the electorate," said the report, which was dated December 2020. It came to light on Monday night after Politico first reported on it. The 10 states Fabrizio focused on were Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas. Biden and Trump each won five. Though his job approval was mixed in those 10 states, Trump "earned negative marks on handling of Coronavirus," the report said. more...

Hours after the United States voted, the president declared the election a fraud — a lie that unleashed a movement that would shatter democratic norms and upend the peaceful transfer of power.
By Jim Rutenberg, Jo Becker, Eric Lipton, Maggie Haberman, Jonathan Martin, Matthew Rosenberg and Michael S. Schmidt

By Thursday the 12th of November, President Donald J. Trump’s election lawyers were concluding that the reality he faced was the inverse of the narrative he was promoting in his comments and on Twitter. There was no substantial evidence of election fraud, and there were nowhere near enough “irregularities” to reverse the outcome in the courts. Mr. Trump did not, could not, win the election, not by “a lot” or even a little. His presidency would soon be over. Allegations of Democratic malfeasance had disintegrated in embarrassing fashion. A supposed suitcase of illegal ballots in Detroit proved to be a box of camera equipment. “Dead voters” were turning up alive in television and newspaper interviews. The week was coming to a particularly demoralizing close: In Arizona, the Trump lawyers were preparing to withdraw their main lawsuit as the state tally showed Joseph R. Biden Jr. leading by more than 10,000 votes, against the 191 ballots they had identified for challenge. more...

The charges are potentially a tectonic shift in how the federal government tries to enforce laws against election interference.
By Brandy Zadrozny

The notorious Twitter troll and alt-right figure Douglass Mackey, known better as his alter ego, Ricky Vaughn, was arrested Wednesday on federal charges of election interference stemming from allegations of a voter disinformation campaign during the 2016 election. Mackey is charged with conspiring with others "to disseminate misinformation designed to deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote," according to the newly unsealed criminal complaint. The charges are potentially a tectonic shift in how the federal government tries to enforce laws against election interference. False claims about elections on the internet and social media have been a major problem, with large platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, trying to limit their spread. But there are few examples of social media posts' having been used as the basis for such criminal charges. "I haven't seen anything like this about information on social media accounts before," said Chip Stewart, a professor of journalism at Texas Christian University who specializes in media law and communication technology. more...

*** Make no mistake about it Donald J. Trump interfered in the 2020 election on multiple levels in an attempted coup. ***

By Ed Kilgore

On December 1, I looked back at Donald Trump’s elaborate efforts to discredit voting by mail and cast doubt on a Biden victory before, during, and after Election Day and asked questions about why his coup had failed. I thought faulty planning, hesitation when it looked like Trump might win without stealing it, a failure to bring Republican state legislators in on the coup, and legal incompetence were all factors. But while I acknowledged Biden’s victory would not be complete until Congress confirmed it on January 6, I didn’t expect Trump was saving his worst offenses against democracy for the very end. Ultimately, Congress did confirm Biden’s win, the mob Trump incited was repulsed, and he has been impeached for his outrageous conduct. But it’s time to ask again: How close did we come to a stolen election, or at least a constitutional crisis? Here are some moments of real peril to consider: more...

Candy Woodall USA TODAY

Calls are mounting for U.S. Rep. Scott Perry to resign after a report late Saturday exposed his "significant role" in trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Perry, a Republican from York County, connected President Donald Trump with a Justice Department official to try to remove the acting U.S. attorney general from his post and pressure Georgia lawmakers to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential contest, according to The New York Times. The congressman did not respond to questions from The Times before publication. He also did not immediately respond to questions from the USA TODAY Network on Saturday night. It was Perry, according to the report, who made Trump aware that Jeffrey Clark, "a relatively obscure Justice Department official" and acting chief of the civil division, supported the former president's view that the election had been stolen. more...

By John Kruzel

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday filed a lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani alleging that the former New York City mayor spread numerous defamatory statements about the voting machine company while he helped lead former President Trump’s failed post-election legal campaign. The company is seeking $1.3 billion in damages over what it called a “viral disinformation campaign,” alleging that Giuliani made malicious false accusations against Dominion, including that the company had engaged in voter fraud and election fixing. “For Dominion — whose business is producing and providing voting systems for elections — there are no accusations that could do more to damage Dominion’s business or to impugn Dominion’s integrity, ethics, honesty, and financial integrity,” reads the 107-page complaint filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. more...

*** How many times and how many ways did Trump try to steal the election? ***

The former president dropped the efforts to replace the acting attorney general after top DOJ officials agreed to resign en masse in protest if he succeeded, people familiar said
By Jess Bravin and Sadie Gurman

WASHINGTON—In his last weeks in office, former President Donald Trump considered moving to replace the acting attorney general with another official ready to pursue unsubstantiated claims of election fraud, and he pushed the Justice Department to ask the Supreme Court to invalidate President Biden’s victory, people familiar with the matter said. Those efforts failed due to pushback from his own appointees in the Justice Department, who refused to file what they viewed as a legally baseless lawsuit in the Supreme Court. Later, other senior department officials threatened to resign en masse should Mr. Trump fire then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, according to several people familiar with the discussions.

Senior department officials, including Mr. Rosen, former Attorney General William Barr and former acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall refused to file the Supreme Court case, concluding that there was no basis to challenge the election outcome and that the federal government had no legal interest in whether Mr. Trump or Mr. Biden won the presidency, some of these people said. White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his deputy, Patrick Philbin, also opposed Mr. Trump’s idea, which was promoted by his outside attorneys, these people said. more...

*** Trump tried to overturn the election results in Georgia again. Once again, Trump is caught trying to interfere in the election and attempted to overturn the election in Georgia in one of his many coup attempts. ***

Trying to find another avenue to push his baseless election claims, Donald Trump considered installing a loyalist, and had the men make their cases to him.
By Katie Benner

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department’s top leaders listened in stunned silence this month: One of their peers, they were told, had devised a plan with President Donald J. Trump to oust Jeffrey A. Rosen as acting attorney general and wield the department’s power to force Georgia state lawmakers to overturn its presidential election results. The unassuming lawyer who worked on the plan, Jeffrey Clark, had been devising ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark. The department officials, convened on a conference call, then asked each other: What will you do if Mr. Rosen is dismissed? The answer was unanimous. They would resign. more...

*** Trump tried to overturn the election results in Georgia again. Once again, Trump is caught trying to interfere in the election and attempted to overturn the election in Georgia in one of his many coup attempts. ***

By Tal Axelrod

Former President Trump sought to oust his acting attorney general in a bid to overturn the presidential election results in Georgia, according to a new bombshell report in The New York Times. Trump reportedly planned to replace then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Jeffrey Clark, a lawyer at the Justice Department, in an effort to apply pressure to Georgia politicians to overturn the results of the race there. Rosen had refused to back Trump’s disputed claims that voter fraud had cost him the election, drawing the president’s ire. Trump had also pressed Rosen to appoint special counsels to investigate what he said were irregularities in the election, though he never provided any evidence for his claims. Among the investigations he wanted launched was one into Dominion Voting Systems, a company that made the election equipment Trump’s backers falsely said had ties with Venezuela to prevent Trump’s reelection. more...

By Jesse Byrnes

Former Attorney General William Barr reportedly pushed back strongly on President Trump when discussing claims the president was circulating about the election being "stolen" from him. Barr, during a meeting with Trump at the White House in early December, told the president that such theories of a stolen election were "bullshit," Axios reported Monday. Other aides in the room, including White House counsel Pat Cipollone, were reportedly surprised that the attorney general had made the comment, though did not disagree with his remarks. The meeting came as Barr had publicly undercut the president's baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud, telling The Associated Press that the Justice Department had not uncovered evidence to back up the claims. "To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election," Barr had told the AP in the interview. Trump reportedly confronted Barr about his comments while in the private dining room next to the Oval Office. "Why would you say such a thing? You must hate Trump. There’s no other reason for it. You must hate Trump,” the president asserted, according to Axios. Barr responded that "these things aren't panning out" and "the stuff that these people are filling your ear with just isn’t true," Axios reported. The attorney general reportedly emphasized that the DOJ had reviewed the major claims put forward by the president's lawyers. more...

By Holmes Lybran

Washington (CNN) On Monday, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a staunch ally of President Donald Trump in his fight against the 2020 election results, received the Medal of Freedom from Trump. The next day, Jordan was back in Congress arguing that he never said the election was stolen. During a congressional debate Tuesday, Jordan claimed he never said "this election was stolen" -- seemingly distancing himself from the January 6 "Stop the Steal" rally that turned into a deadly attack on the US Capitol. "I've never said that this election was stolen," Jordan said during a debate in the House Rules Committee over a resolution calling for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. Facts First: This is highly misleading. Jordan claimed in October that Democrats were working to steal the election and spoke at a "Stop the Steal" rally in Pennsylvania two days after the election. In December, he said he didn't know how he could be convinced that "Trump didn't actually win" the election. Jordan also objected to the electoral college results and called for an investigation into the election. more...

By Sarah Polus

Three Republican Georgia state senators who supported President Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election results were demoted Wednesday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. Two days into the state assembly's winter session, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) took action against state Sens. Brandon Beach of Alpharetta, Matt Brass of Newnan and Burt Jones of Jackson. The demotions mean that Duncan will no longer chair the Transportation Committee, and Jones will be replaced as lead the Insurance and Labor Committee. Brass will now oversee a banking committee — a lesser position than he previously held, according to AJC. While the demotions were somewhat expected, not all members of the assembly who support the president's efforts faced penalties, the AJC points out. The changes come as Georgia has experienced significant recent political upheaval. more...

*** Voter suppression is how the GOP stays in power. ***

Analysis by Ronald Brownstein

(CNN) Even after President Donald Trump's disproven allegations of voter fraud fueled last week's deadly assault on the US Capitol, Republicans across an array of swing states are still touting his baseless allegations to advance measures that would make it tougher to vote. When Congress voted last week, in the immediate aftermath of the Trump-fueled riot, to finalize the Electoral College results declaring Joe Biden the winner of November's election, bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate joined dozens of courts around the country in concluding that there was not meaningful fraud in the election. But despite those findings, Republicans in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas and likely other states including Michigan and Wisconsin are moving to roll back access to mail balloting, eliminate drop boxes, toughen voter identification laws and erect other barriers to the ballot in the name of improving voter security and restoring "faith" in the outcome. "We are seeing a continued use of the voter fraud lie and thoroughly debunked conspiracy theories over the integrity of this election to drive a vote suppression agenda," says Wendy Weiser, who directs the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law. more...

By Aila Slisco

A freshman Republican congresswoman said that she may support efforts to censure all 147 of her GOP colleagues who voted in favor of objections to President-elect Joe Biden's election win hours after an angry mob of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina, who was sworn in alongside other House members on January 3, made the remarks during in interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Monday. Mace insisted that she would be "looking at all of the options that are on the table" for punishing a large number of her GOP colleagues who supported efforts to overturn the will of voters, including censuring them.

"We had a constitutional crisis on Wednesday," Mace said. "I am barely a week into the job and I am looking at all of the options that are on the table. Censure should be on the table. We have to hold ourselves accountable, we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. I am extremely disappointed with some members in my own party over their behavior and over their words." more...

By Andrea Salcedo

The day before a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, an arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association sent out robocalls urging supporters to come to D.C. to “fight” Congress over President Trump’s baseless election fraud claims. “At 1 p.m. we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal,” said the message first reported by the watchdog group Documented. “We’re hoping patriots like you will join us to continue to fight to protect the integrity of our elections.” After the attempted insurrection on Wednesday left a police officer and four others dead, several GOP attorneys general have distanced themselves from the robocalls, insisting they didn’t know about the campaign. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, the chairman of the Rule of Law Defense Fund, the nonprofit that sent out the calls, blamed the group’s staffers. more...

By JEFFREY COLLINS

Republican members of Congress who voted against certifying Joe Biden’s presidential victory, even after a mob broke into the Capitol, are being denounced by critics in their home districts who demand that they resign or be ousted. Protesters, newspaper editorial boards and local-level Democrats have urged the lawmakers to step down or for their colleagues to kick them out. The House and Senate can remove members with a two-thirds vote or censure or reprimand with a majority. Rep. Madison Cawthorn “needs to be held accountable for his seditious behavior and for the consequences resulting from said behavior,” a group of Democratic officials wrote in a letter asking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to expel the North Carolina freshman who took his oath of office on Jan. 3. more...

By Chas Danner

Atlanta’s top federal prosecutor was apparently forced by the White House to resign earlier this week, ahead of the Georgia runoffs, because he didn’t do enough to help President Trump overturn the 2020 presidential election. The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney Byung J. Pak, who had cited “unforeseen circumstances” for his sudden resignation on Monday, had been told by a senior Justice Department official that he needed to step down because Trump was not satisfied with his efforts to investigate alleged voter fraud. Pak, who had originally planned to resign on January 20, was the top federal prosecutor for the Northern District of Georgia. He has refused opportunities to comment about the circumstances of his resignation from both the Journal and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Trump had complained about Pak during the recorded call he made to Georgia election officials on January 2, writing the prosecutor off as a “Never Trumper.” This was the same call in which the president attempted to pressure Georgia’s secretary of State to “find” him enough votes to overturn his loss to President-elect Joe Biden in the state. The Washington Post reported Saturday that Trump had also made an earlier call to Georgia’s top elections investigator to pressure them to “find the fraud” in late December. It’s possible, if not likely, that these were not the only direct efforts the president and his allies made in the state. The Journal additionally reports that “an official at the Georgia secretary of State’s office on Saturday said the White House called officials and staff at the office for weeks demanding proof of election fraud — long before the call to Mr. Raffensperger”: more...

Pressure for resignation was part of broader push by President Trump to overturn state’s election results
By Aruna Viswanatha, Sadie Gurman and Cameron McWhirter

White House officials pushed Atlanta’s top federal prosecutor to resign before Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoffs because President Trump was upset he wasn’t doing enough to investigate the president’s unproven claims of election fraud, people familiar with the matter said. A senior Justice Department official, at the behest of the White House, called Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney Byung J. Pak and told him he needed to step down because he wasn’t pursuing vote-fraud allegations to Mr. Trump’s satisfaction, the people said.

Mr. Pak resigned abruptly on Monday—the day before the runoffs—saying in an early morning email to colleagues that his departure was due to “unforeseen circumstances.” The pressure on Mr. Pak was part of Mr. Trump’s weekslong push to try to alter presidential election results favoring President-elect Joe Biden, which included his win in Georgia. Mr. Trump this week, following the U.S. Capitol riot, said he would leave office on Jan. 20 when Mr. Biden is inaugurated. more...

*** Trump’s coup attempt has failed but the damage he has done will last for years. ***

Shattered glass, ransacked offices: Images of damage at U.S. Capitol left by pro-Trump mob
Rioters encouraged and praised by Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday, leaving the halls of Congress vandalized and strewn with debris.
By Wilson Wong

Hundreds of President Donald Trump's supporters swarmed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, leaving the halls of Congress with broken windows, vandalized walls and ransacked offices. Among the wreckage were pieces of broken furniture, battered doors and heaps of trash littering the hallway floors. A thick film of dust and tear gas residue remained throughout the building that contains the Senate and the House of Representatives. Stolen and damaged items were reported in elected officials' offices, including the wood and gold placard above House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office. Staff spent the night cleaning up the debris of the chaotic and at times violent riot that left four people dead — three who died of "medical emergencies" and one woman who was fatally shot by a U.S. Capitol Police officer. In one photo, four bullet holes can be seen in the glass of the House doors. Stickers on the glass contained phrases like, "F--- antifa!" and "Not my president" under a photo of Biden. more...

By Jenny Gross and Luke Broadwater

Even after a mob of Trump supporters swarmed and entered the Capitol on Wednesday, a handful of Republican senators and more than 100 Republican representatives stood by their decisions to vote against certifying the results of the presidential election. Congress certified the election of Joseph R. Biden Jr. early Thursday, ending attempts to overturn the results in two states. Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri, Ted Cruz of Texas, Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, Roger Marshall of Kansas and John Kennedy of Louisiana voted to overturn the results in Arizona, while 93 senators voted against. Mr. Hawley, Mr. Cruz, Mr. Tuberville, Ms. Hyde-Smith, Mr. Marshall and Senators Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming and Rick Scott of Florida voted to overturn the results in Pennsylvania, while 92 voted against it. The House rejected the Arizona challenge by a vote of 303 to 121 and rejected the Pennsylvania challenge by a vote of 282 to 138. more...

By Ted Barrett, Manu Raju and Peter Nickeas, CNN

(CNN) The US Capitol is once again secured but a woman is dead after supporters of President Donald Trump breached one of the most iconic American buildings, engulfing the nation's capital in chaos after Trump urged his supporters to fight against the ceremonial counting of the electoral votes that will confirm President-elect Joe Biden's win. Shortly after 1 p.m. ET Wednesday hundreds of pro-Trump protesters pushed through barriers set up along the perimeter of the Capitol, where they tussled with officers in full riot gear, some calling the officers "traitors" for doing their jobs. About 90 minutes later, police said demonstrators got into the building and the doors to the House and Senate were being locked. Shortly after, the House floor was evacuated by police. Vice President Mike Pence was also evacuated from Capitol, where he was to perform his role in the counting of electoral votes.

An armed standoff took place at the House front door as of 3 p.m. ET, and police officers had their guns drawn at someone who was trying to breach it. A Trump supporter was also pictured standing at the Senate dais earlier in the afternoon. A woman is dead after being shot in the chest on the Capitol grounds, DC police confirmed to CNN. More information on the shooting was not immediately available and a police spokesperson said additional details will come later. Multiple officers have been injured with at least one transported to the hospital, multiple sources tell CNN. Smoke grenades were used on the Senate side of the Capitol, as police work to clear the building of rioters. Windows on the west side of the Senate have been broken, and hundreds of officers are amassing on the first floor of the building. more...

Utah members report they are safe amid melee.
By Lee Davidson

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney was furious after protesters — fired up by President Donald Trump at a rally saying he was robbed in the elction — stormed the U.S. Capitol and managed to stop the official count of the Electoral College vote,. “This is what the president has caused today, this insurrection,” he told New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin after senators arrived at a secure location. Reporter David Freedlander with Politico tweeted that Romney earlier yelled in the Senate chamber, “This is what you’ve gotten” to Ted Cruz and his colleagues who raised objections to the electoral vote counts.

Protesters managed to gain entrance eventually into the Senate chamber, and even pose in senators’ chairs. Television pictures showed protesters firing tear gas, and carrying weapons. Members of Congress were evacuated by police reportedly to secure locations. Sen. Mike Lee urged the Senate to continue the electoral count, and not let protesters stop it. “Congress was elected to govern. We need to get back on the floor and gavel in the Senate as soon as possible,” he tweeted. Lee added, “Whether we get back in the chamber or convene in a different location, the Senate should continue the work of the American people immediately. This outrage cannot be allowed to disrupt that work for a minute longer.” more...

The events of the past few weeks suggest the principles animating modern conservative constitutionalism are merely arguments of convenience.
By Steve Vladeck, professor at the University of Texas School of Law

There are any number of reasons to criticize the dozens of congressional Republicans who have vowed to object to duly certified slates of presidential electors Wednesday, when Congress meets to ratify President-Elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory. Among other things, there remains no substantiated evidence that the results in any states were inaccurate. Nor is that for lack of trying; in some states (including Georgia) there have been multiple audits of the final tallies using paper receipts, each of which has confirmed the results. As with any election, there have been infinitesimal discrepancies at the margins, but none of them come close to overcoming Biden's margins of victories in the tipping-point states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — and some have only increased his margins.

Rather, the goal seems to be to try to appease and appeal to the president's supporters — to whom no amount of contrary evidence and/or rejections of these claims in court have sufficiently established that 81 million Americans voted for the other guy. In the process, these objections will serve only to perpetuate conspiracy theories and delegitimize the clearly legitimate election of our country's 46th president. Worse still, they may also set the stage for similar machinations four years from now — when they might be sufficient to overturn narrower election results.

Wednesday's antics aren't just dangerous political theater; they are also a betrayal of two of the foundational legal principles conservative Republicans have pushed for decades: The first of these is "originalism" — the theory that any debate over the meaning of specific constitutional provisions should be conclusively resolved by how those provisions would have been understood when they were adopted. The second, related principle is a particular understanding of "federalism" — the division of power between state and federal governments — through which our founding charter preserves the regulatory primacy of states over most topics, including federal elections. more...

By Benjamin Fearnow

President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said any Republican who is against overturning the November election results should be removed from the party, labeling several GOP lawmakers in Pennsylvania and Arizona "liars" and a "disgrace." Giuliani told Arizona Governor Doug Ducey he "should join another political party" alongside any Republican state legislators who have failed to assist Trump's legal team in overturning President-elect Joe Biden's victory. Giuliani explained Trump and Vice President Mike Pence's final legal options to remain in office included their submission of "two sets of state electors" for Congress to count this week. Giuliani said one outcome that allows Trump to remain in office is if "you can't determine a winner, but you can determine the election was illegal."

Giuliani laid out the legal options for Pence to refuse to count at least six states where "confusing" results were contested by Trump. Making several demands for party loyalty on conservative Charlie Kirk's podcast, Giuliani said the GOP should be taking down the names of anyone "not supporting us." Giuliani railed against the "coward" Senate Republicans who are not joining the 12 "sedition caucus" members who plan to disrupt Wednesday's Electoral College vote count. The former New York City mayor said Pennsylvania's election officials are a "disgrace," and he called Georgia GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger "a liar." more...

By Morgan Chalfant

President Trump is heaping the pressure on Mike Pence ahead of a joint session of Congress where the vice president will preside over challenges to the Electoral College vote in several states. Trump in a Tuesday tweet suggested he believes that Pence should overturn the results in some states by rejecting chosen electors, a power the vice president doesn't have in what is largely a ceremonial role.

In the tweet, Trump claimed incorrectly that Pence “has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors.” The Constitution does not grant the vice president such power. Congress could reject the results of a state's Electoral College vote, but it would require majorities in both chambers. There are not enough votes to overturn the results in either chamber given opposition from Democrats and many Republicans.

A federal judge in Texas last week dismissed a far-fetched effort by Rep. Louie Gohmert (Texas) and other Republicans that aimed to give Pence the legal authority to effectively overturn the election results. Pence, represented by a Justice Department attorney, had asked that the judge dismiss the suit, saying the vice president’s office was not the proper defendant. more...

*** If you want to stop the steal, tell Donald J. Trump to stop trying to steal the election. ***

Jay Busbee

ATLANTA — Just two days before the Georgia runoffs that will determine the leadership of the Senate and one day before a rally on behalf of the Republican candidates, President Trump has continued to unload on the GOP officials leading the state. In an extraordinary development, Trump attempted to cajole Republican Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, according to the Washington Post, which published audio of their call on Sunday. “So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump told Raffensperger, laying bare his overriding goal of overturning the November election results.

President-elect Joe Biden won Georgia on Nov. 3, the first time the state had gone for a Democratic candidate since 1992. Despite three vote recounts, Trump has continued to insist that the voting was tainted, casting a wide range of allegations without any credible evidence to back up his assertions. Trump continued to attack Raffensperger while addressing their call hours before the Post published the audio. “I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County and voter fraud in Georgia,” Trump tweeted. “He was unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the ‘ballots under table’ scam, ballot destruction, out of state ‘voters,’ dead voters, and more. He has no clue!” “Respectfully, President Trump,” Raffensperger replied on Twitter, “What you're saying is not true. The truth will come out.” On Sunday afternoon, the truth did come out in the form of the Post publishing audio of the conversation. In the course of the call, Trump attempted on multiple occasions to induce Raffensperger to change the results of the election, one way or another. more...

Trump’s effort to interfere with the Electoral College count will fail — this time. But it's dangerous because it provides a blueprint for next time.
Chris Truax

You’ve got to give credit where credit is due. President Donald Trump is sparking the biggest reexamination of the nuts and bolts of our democracy since the Constitutional Convention in 1787. How many of us had contemplated the ins and outs of the Vacancies Act or the proper scope of presidential power during a national emergency before Trump came along? Unfortunately, all this is missing some of the dignity of the original discussion, and we’ve ended up with a sort of tabloid version of The Federalist Papers in which those of us concerned about American institutions don’t so much engage in learned debate as in frantically attempting to head off the next pending scandal.

Which brings us to the Electoral Count Act of 1887. Until a few weeks ago, this was one of the most obscure pieces of legislation on the books. The ECA governs how Electoral College votes are counted. In short, during a joint session of Congress, the vice president opens the envelopes containing each state’s Electoral College votes and hands them to two tellers from the House and two tellers from the Senate who read the votes aloud. Once all the votes have been read, the tellers add them up and announce the result. In 2013, the entire process took 23 minutes. more...

By Dan Berman, CNN

(CNN) A federal court on Saturday dismissed an appeal from Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert in his lawsuit to force Vice President Mike Pence to interfere in the Electoral College vote count. The Saturday decision by the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals came just hours after the Republican congressman filed his appeal of an earlier loss. On Friday, a district court threw out Gohmert's and several Arizona Republicans' lawsuit seeking to force Pence to help throw the election to President Donald Trump next week when Congress meets to count the Electoral College votes. Saturday's ruling affirmed the previous decision. "We need say no more, and we affirm the judgment essentially for the reasons stated by the district court. We express no view on the underlying merits or on what putative party, if any, might have standing. The motion to expedite is dismissed as moot. The mandate shall issue forthwith," read the ruling. more...

*** The election is over Biden won but some in the Republican Party are trying to help Trump steal the election, Trump and those Republicans are attempting a coup. Americans need to remember those Republicans who help Trump with his coup attempt and vote them out of office. ****

Matthew S. Schwartz

With just days until Congress is scheduled to formalize the results of the 2020 presidential election, legal challenges to President-elect Joe Biden's win are still coming in. The January certification of states' electoral votes, overseen by the vice president, is usually seen as a formality. But a lawsuit filed last week by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, seeks to upend the process.

In some key battleground states, groups of Republicans have baselessly declared themselves to be "alternate electors," claiming to represent the true wishes of the voters. Gohmert and the other plaintiffs — including a group of self-proclaimed electors from Arizona — argue that when confronted with competing slates of electors, the Constitution gives Vice President Mike Pence the power to choose which electors to certify. The legal challenge, which reflects the longstanding refusal of certain Republicans to acknowledge Biden's victory, is widely seen as a long shot.

In their suit, which names the vice president as the defendant, the Republican plaintiffs argue that a 19th century law spelling out how Congress should handle the count is unconstitutional, because it directs Pence to tally the electoral votes as they've been reported by the states. These Republicans argue that the 12th Amendment gives Pence, not the states, sole discretion to determine which among competing slates of electors may be counted. But in response, Pence told the court that he was the wrong person to sue. The Republicans' beef isn't with the vice president, he said, but with Congress. more...

*** The election is over Biden won but some in the Republican Party are trying to help Trump steal the election, Trump and those Republicans are attempting a coup. Americans need to remember those Republicans who help Trump with his coup attempt and vote them out of office. ****

By Jordain Carney

Eleven Senate Republicans on Saturday announced that they will vote for objections to the Electoral College results Wednesday, when Congress convenes in a joint session to formally count the vote. GOP Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Ron Johnson (Wis.), James Lankford (Okla.), Steve Daines (Mont.), John Kennedy (La.), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) and Mike Braun (Ind.) and Sens.-elect Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Roger Marshall (Kan.), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.) and Tommy Tuberville (Ala.) said in a joint statement that they will vote against accepting the election results until there is a 10-day audit.

"Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states," they said. "Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed. "Accordingly, we intend to vote on Jan. 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not 'regularly given' and 'lawfully certified' (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed," they added.

The senators didn't say in their joint statement if they plan to object to the results from specific states, how they would divvy up those objections or if they would just vote in support of challenges to the Electoral College results if they reach the Senate. The group's announcement means that at least a dozen GOP senators, or almost a quarter of the caucus, will challenge the election results Wednesday. GOP Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.) was the first senator to announce he would be joining a band of House conservatives to force a debate and vote on the Electoral College results. more...

Patrick Marley - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MADISON - President Donald Trump on Tuesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse Wisconsin's high court, set aside the state's presidential election and allow Republicans who control the Legislature to decide how to cast the state's 10 electoral votes. It's the latest in a string of dozens of challenges by the Republican president and his allies to overturn the Nov. 3 election he lost to Democrat Joe Biden. Trump and his supporters have failed to make headway in the courts. "This Court is likely the only institution of our government capable of credibly resolving the controversy over this election," Trump's legal team told the U.S. Supreme Court in its filing. Trump's lawyers asked the court to put the case on a fast track so it can be decided before Congress counts electoral votes on Jan. 6. The U.S. Supreme Court has already considered a challenge to the results in Wisconsin and other swing states. The high court this month rejected that challenge, which was brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and backed by more than 100 Republicans in Congress. more...

*** Some Republicans are trying to help Trump with his failed coup attempt. This is not some third world country, but some on the right think it or are trying make it so. All Americans should remember all the republicans who helped Trump try to steal the election and vote them out of office. ***

By Jordain Carney

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said on Wednesday that he will object during Congress's counting of the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6, becoming the first GOP senator to back the effort by House conservatives. The decision by Hawley would ensure a debate and vote in the House and Senate on the Electoral College results. “I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on January 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws," Hawley said in a statement. "And I cannot vote to certify without pointing out the unprecedented effort of mega corporations, including Facebook and Twitter, to interfere in this election, in support of Joe Biden. At the very least, Congress should investigate allegations of voter fraud and adopt measures to secure the integrity of our elections. But Congress has so far failed to act," Hawley added. His office didn't immediately respond to a question about which states he will object to next week. more...

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

(CNN) Boy, I did not see this one coming! On Monday, Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert sued Vice President Mike Pence in federal court in a, um, wacky attempt to transform the vice president's purely ceremonial role in presiding over the announcement of the Electoral College results in Congress into a power broker position in which the VP could effectively hand the election to President Donald Trump. "We continue to hold out hope that there is a federal judge who understands that the fraud that stole this election will mean the end of our republic, and this suit would insure that the Vice-President will only accept electors legitimately and legally elected," Gohmert said in a statement on Monday. "There must be an opportunity for a day in court when fraud was this prevalent."

It's probably worth noting here that there has yet to be any proof of the widespread fraud that Gohmert, Trump and the President's most ardent backers continue to allege. In fact, as The New York Times noted over the weekend, the Trump forces have lost all but one of the 60 (!) lawsuits they have brought attempting to prove voter fraud. There have been zero documented instances of widespread malfeasance -- be it dead people voting or non-citizens casting votes. There's just no "there" there. Like, none. Unbowed by that absence, Gohmert has plowed onward. And while the legal case is a joke -- and that is putting it nicely -- it's worth examining what would happen if Gohmert's fantasy actually came true, and how distinctly un-conservative it would all be. more...

*** Are they planning on a coup? Trump lost the election it is over, the only way Trump can stay as president is if he and his minions stage a coup. Are they planning on a coup? ***

By Alexandra Hutzler

Less than a week after his controversial pardon, Roger Stone said he was able to thank President Donald Trump in person over the weekend. Stone posted about his meeting with Trump on Parler, a social media site that has been attracting conservative commentators after Twitter and Facebook restricted posts that included false or misleading information about the 2020 election. "I also told the president exactly how he can appoint a special counsel with full subpoena power to ensure those who are attempting to steal the 2020 election through voter fraud are charged and convicted and to ensure Donald Trump continues as our president," Stone wrote. Trump pardoned Stone on December 23 along with 19 other individuals, including his son-in-law's father. So far, the president has granted clemency for five people who were convicted during former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. more...

By Zack Budryk

Republican-leaning pollster Rasmussen invoked a quote attributed to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in a Twitter thread Sunday suggesting Vice President Pence could attempt to overturn the results of the presidential election. “Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything. – Stalin,” the pollster tweeted, before going on to outline a scenario in which Pence refuses to certify the results in swing states.

Supporters of President Trump have made similar arguments that Pence, as president of the Senate, has the power to reject Electoral College results. However, the theory is based on a misreading of U.S. code that simply authorizes the vice president to call on states to submit their electoral votes if they do not do so by the fourth Wednesday in December, according to The Washington Post. “The Vice President is not supposed to control the outcome of the process for counting the electoral votes from the states. That’s true from the perspective of the Constitution as well as the Electoral Count Act," Edward Foley, a law professor at the Ohio State University, told The Hill in an email. more...

By Tal Axelrod

President Trump on Saturday ramped up his criticism of Senate Republicans over their unwillingness to aid his efforts to overturn the election, pressing them to “fight” before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office. Trump called out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Republicans, asserting they are doing "NOTHING" as Congress heads toward a vote early next month to certify the Electoral College results.

“If a Democrat Presidential Candidate had an Election Rigged & Stolen, with proof of such acts at a level never seen before, the Democrat Senators would consider it an act of war, and fight to the death. Mitch & the Republicans do NOTHING, just want to let it pass. NO FIGHT!” Trump tweeted.

The comment marked the latest broadside in Trump’s attempt to get at least one GOP senator to back a challenge to the Electoral College results when Congress meets to certify them on Jan. 6. Thus far, no Republicans in the upper chamber have definitively said they will back a challenge that’s being pushed by several GOP members in the House, though Alabama Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville (R) has suggested he may back the challenge. more...

Connor Perrett

With less than one month until he leaves office, President Donald Trump on Saturday lashed out at the US Supreme Court over its refusal to intervene in the 2020 election, which Trump lost to President-elect Joe Biden. "The U.S. Supreme Court has been totally incompetent and weak on the massive Election Fraud that took place in the 2020 Presidential Election," he said in a tweet just before 9 a.m. Saturday. "We have absolute PROOF, but they don't want to see it - No 'standing', they say. If we have corrupt elections, we have no country!"

During his term in office, Trump successfully nominated three justices to the court: Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017, Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, and most recently, Justice Amy Coney Barrett in 2020. Trump has previously complained about his lack of standing to bring his desired lawsuits, which is the legal concept of whether a person has the legal ability to bring a particular lawsuit before a particular court. Trump and his campaign turned to legal challenges immediately following his loss, but he and Republican officials have won zero of at least 40 challenges they've filed. Moments later Saturday, Trump in another tweet lobbed a subsequent attack on the sanctity of the US election, claiming he spoke to someone that told him "elections in Afghanistan are far more secure and much better run than the USA's 2020 Election." more...

For years, Republicans have used the specter of cheating as a reason to impose barriers to ballot access. A definitive debunking of claims of wrongdoing in 2020 has not changed that message.
By Jim Rutenberg, Nick Corasaniti and Alan Feuer

President Trump’s baseless and desperate claims of a stolen election over the last seven weeks — the most aggressive promotion of “voter fraud” in American history — failed to get any traction in courts across seven states, or come anywhere close to reversing the loss he suffered to Joseph R. Biden Jr. But the effort has led to at least one unexpected and profoundly different result: A thorough debunking of the sorts of voter fraud claims that Republicans have used to roll back voting rights for the better part of the young century.

In making their case in real courts and the court of public opinion, Mr. Trump and his allies have trotted out a series of tropes and canards similar to those Republicans have pushed to justify laws that in many cases made voting disproportionately harder for Blacks and Hispanics, who largely support Democrats. Their allegations that thousands of people “double voted” by assuming other identities at polling booths echoed those that have previously been cited as a reason to impose strict new voter identification laws.

Their assertion that large numbers of noncitizens cast illegal votes for Mr. Biden matched claims Republicans have made to argue for harsh new “proof of citizenship” requirements for voter registration. And their tales about large numbers of cheaters casting ballots in the name of “dead voters” were akin to those several states have used to conduct aggressive “purges” of voting lists that wrongfully slated tens of thousands of registrations for termination.

After bringing some 60 lawsuits, and even offering financial incentive for information about fraud, Mr. Trump and his allies have failed to prove definitively any case of illegal voting on behalf of their opponent in court — not a single case of an undocumented immigrant casting a ballot, a citizen double voting, nor any credible evidence that legions of the voting dead gave Mr. Biden a victory that wasn’t his. more...

By Jeffery Martin

President Donald Trump lashed out at some Republican lawmakers Thursday on social media for not embracing his baseless allegations of election fraud. Trump has refused to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden, who bested Trump in both the popular and electoral vote. Trump has repeatedly claimed that widespread election manipulation was to blame for his apparent loss. While some GOP members, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have acknowledged Biden's incoming administration, others have rallied behind Trump's allegations. On Thursday, Trump gave a warning to GOP senators he deemed to be disloyal. "I saved at least 8 Republican Senators, including Mitch, from losing in the last Rigged (for President) Election," Trump tweeted Thursday. "Now they (almost all) sit back and watch me fight against a crooked and vicious foe, the Radical Left Democrats. I will NEVER FORGET!" more...

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

Washington (CNN) An executive for a voting machine company that has been the target of conspiracy theories in the aftermath of Donald Trump's 2020 election loss and been baselessly accused of swinging the results against the President is suing his campaign and conservative media figures for defamation. Trump has called Dominion Voting Systems "a disaster," and his supporters have pushed the conspiracy theory that the company deleted votes for Trump on its voting equipment and that Dominion's director of product strategy and security, Eric Coomer, helped subvert the election.

There is no evidence that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, and his administration and election officials have called it the "most secure" election in US history. President-elect Joe Biden won the popular vote by more than 7 million votes and the electoral map 306 to 232. The lawsuit names as defendants the Trump campaign, Rudy Giuliani, Trump adviser Sidney Powell, conservative media outlets One America News Network and Newsmax Media, the right-wing website Gateway Pundit, and Colorado businessman and activist Joseph Oltmann, among others. CNN has reached out to those named in the lawsuit.

In recent days -- as the threat of legal action loomed larger -- several conservative media outlets have begun backtracking some of the more outrageous claims. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Colorado district court, Coomer's lawyers say the allegations are "false and baseless" and have caused "immense injury to Dr. Coomer's reputation, professional standing, safety, and privacy." The lawsuit says the defendants "relied heavily upon false allegations" made by Oltmann, who claimed in interviews and social media posts that Coomer was a participant in an Antifa conference call that Oltmann said he infiltrated in September. more...

by: The Associated Press and Nexstar Media Wire

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump hosted several House Republican lawmakers at the White House on Monday to discuss an effort to block Congress from affirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the November election. The meeting underscored Trump’s refusal to accept the reality of his loss and his willingness to entertain undemocratic efforts to overturn the will of the majority of American voters. Biden will be sworn in as president on Jan. 20.

With no credible legal options remaining and the Electoral College having confirmed Biden’s victory earlier this month, Trump is turning his attention to Jan. 6. That’s when Congress participates in a count of the electoral votes, which Biden won 306-232. The count, required by the Constitution, is generally a formality. But members can use the event to object to a state’s votes. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., said he organized Monday’s session with about a dozen House Republicans who are willing to challenge the results.

“President Trump is very supportive of our effort,” Brooks said in an interview late Monday. With Democrats holding the House majority and several Republican senators now acknowledging Biden’s victory, any effort to block congressional approval of the election appears sure to fail. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has warned his members against taking such a step.

Sen. John Thune, the No. 2 Senate Republican, urged lawmakers to remember that an effort to block the election results in Congress was “just not going anywhere.” “I mean, in the Senate, it would go down like a shot dog,” Thune told CNN. “I just don’t think that it makes a lot of sense to put everybody through this when you know what the ultimate outcome is gonna be.” more...

*** Trump is the greatest threat that our country has ever faced. ***

Nicholas Reimann Forbes Staff

President Donald Trump reportedly inquired about an idea raised by his former (and now pardoned) national security adviser, Michael Flynn, that the U.S. military be deployed to overturn the results of the presidential election—a claim shot down by his advisors at a meeting where the president appeared to embrace increasingly fringe notions about his election loss. New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman reported Saturday that the president asked about Flynn’s idea, as senior officials are reportedly becoming very unsettled by Trump’s escalating interest in crackpot plans during his last days in power.

On Thursday, Flynn said that Trump could deploy the military to swing states he lost to President-elect Joe Biden in order to “rerun” the presidential election. During the meeting, Trump also floated naming the conspiracy-theorist attorney Sidney Powell—who has pushed a baseless theory that long-dead Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez rigged voting machines—as special counsel to investigate voter fraud. Axios reported Saturday that even some of Trump’s long-loyal top officials have been dismayed by Trump’s behavior, including his interest in Flynn’s views, with one senior official saying Trump “spends his time talking to conspiracy nuts who openly say declaring martial law is no big deal.” more...

By Elizabeth Crisp

President Donald Trump sent a warning to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his GOP allies Friday morning: "Get tougher, or you won't have a Republican Party anymore."

.@senatemajldr and Republican Senators have to get tougher, or you won’t have a Republican Party anymore. We won the Presidential Election, by a lot. FIGHT FOR IT. Don’t let them take it away! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2020

The Twitter missive comes as Trump is publicly encouraging senators to overturn the outcome of the presidential election—seen as a last-ditch effort after a string of court losses—because the president and his allies have not been able to produce any credible evidence of election irregularities that would change the outcome.

"We won the Presidential Election, by a lot. FIGHT FOR IT. Don't let them take it away!" Trump claimed in the tweet directed at McConnell, who this week acknowledged from the Senate floor that President-elect Joe Biden has won the election a day after the Electoral College decisively confirmed Biden as the next president. more...

First they lied about election fraud to sow distrust. Now they say voters don’t trust the election.
By William Saletan

Forsaken by the Supreme Court and defeated in the Electoral College, President Donald Trump has seized on a new basis for overturning the 2020 election: public opinion. On Tuesday night, he tweeted, “Poll: 92% of Republican Voters think the election was rigged!” The number was bogus, but there’s a deeper reason to reject Trump’s argument: It’s circular. For weeks, the president and his allies have been spreading lies about election fraud. Now, having manufactured distrust among Republican voters, they’re spinning that distrust as a basis to throw out the election.

Every fact-finding body has rejected Trump’s lies. He’s been stiffed by Trump-appointed judges, Trump-endorsed governors, pro-Trump election officials, and Republican state legislators. But in the court of public opinion, he has found an audience. In polls taken last month, 59 percent of Republicans attributed Trump’s defeat to “illegal voting or election rigging,” 74 percent blamed it on “voter fraud” or insisted it would be overturned, and 67 percent said Trump had actually won. These numbers are much worse than the distrust measured in previous elections, even in years when the margin was closer. more...

The president’s freshly pardoned ex-national security adviser retweeted a statement advocating suspending the Constitution.
By David Moye

Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser who was pardoned by the president last week for lying during the Russia investigation, wants Trump to declare martial law and “temporarily suspend the Constitution” until a new election is held. Flynn, who had been awaiting sentencing for lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts before Trump’s pardon, on Tuesday retweeted a news release from a right-wing Ohio group called We The People Convention asking the president to declare martial law so troops can supervise a do-over of the 2020 election.

Flynn tagged many conservative celebs in his post and added: “Freedom never kneels except for God.” The news release cites “massive, planned, illegal election fraud” carried out by Democrats. Trump lost the election handily to President-elect Joe Biden and no widespread fraud has been found. If the president doesn’t declare martial law, the statement retweeted by Flynn warns, “we will also have no other choice but to take matters into our own hands and defend our rights on our own.” A retired Army general’s support for the military takeover of U.S. government shocked many people on Twitter. more...

Christopher Krebs, Trump's former top election security official, said attacks on the election have undermined American democracy.
By KYLE CHENEY

A Republican-led Senate panel provided a three-hour platform for allies of President Donald Trump to dispute the results of the 2020 election, with the hearing at one point devolving into a shouting match between the top Republican and Democrat on the committee. Throughout the partisan clash, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chair Ron Johnson argued the forum was simply to evaluate information, while Democrats like Gary Peters countered it was giving oxygen to conspiracy theories undermining U.S. democracy.

GOP-called witnesses, including two Trump campaign lawyers described rampant fraud in Nevada, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, some of which had been considered and scrapped in court, others of which had no basis. The one witness called by Democrats, the Trump administration’s former top election security official Christopher Krebs, served as a counterweight. He urged Americans to put baseless election disputes behind them and warned that false conspiracy claims had fueled violent threats to election officials — including himself.

“I think we’re past the point where we need to be having conversations about the outcome of this election,” said Krebs, who ran the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security agency until Trump fired him last month. The attacks from Trump and his GOP allies on the election, he said, are “ultimately corrosive to the institutions that support elections.” Krebs issued his plea at a hearing that grew increasingly contentious, while Johnson insisted without evidence that fraud had undoubtedly occurred at an indeterminable scale. It was Johnson’s last hearing as chair of the panel, and while he offered some words of comity to his Democratic colleagues, he also sparred bitterly with Peters, the ranking member. more...

Ronald J. Hansen Arizona Republic

In another sign of the lingering unrest over President Donald Trump's election loss, an Arizona group sent the National Archives in Washington, D.C., notarized documents last week intended to deliver, wrongly, the state's 11 electoral votes for him. Copies of the documents obtained by The Arizona Republic show a group that claimed to represent the "sovereign citizens of the Great State of Arizona" submitted signed papers casting votes for what they want: a second term for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Mesa resident Lori Osiecki, 62, helped created a facsimile of the "certificate of ascertainment" that is submitted to formally cast each state's electoral votes as part of an effort to prevent what she views as the fraudulent theft of the election.

"We seated before the legislators here. We already turned it in. We beat them to the game," she said. Osiecki said she and others associated with a group called "AZ Protect the Vote" have attended the postelection rallies protesting the results, including the daylong meeting in Phoenix that included Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani. She left that gathering upset that Gov. Doug Ducey wasn't supporting the president's efforts and she wanted to take further action. She and the others chose electors as a result. more...

Nicholas Fandos and Michael S. Schmidt - The New York Times

President Donald Trump lost key swing states by clear margins. His barrage of lawsuits claiming widespread voting fraud has been almost universally dismissed, most recently by the Supreme Court. And Monday, the Electoral College will formally cast a majority of its votes for President-elect Joe Biden. But as the president continues to refuse to concede, a small group of his most loyal backers in Congress is plotting a final-stage challenge on the floor of the House of Representatives in early January to try to reverse Biden’s victory.

Constitutional scholars and even members of the president’s own party say the effort is all but certain to fail. But the looming battle Jan. 6 is likely to culminate in a messy and deeply divisive spectacle that could thrust Vice President Mike Pence into the excruciating position of having to declare once and for all that Trump has indeed lost the election. The fight promises to shape how Trump’s base views the election for years to come, and to pose yet another awkward test of allegiance for Republicans who have privately hoped that the Electoral College vote this week will be the final word on the election result.

For the vice president, whom the Constitution assigns the task of tallying the results and declaring a winner, the episode could be particularly torturous, forcing him to balance his loyalty to Trump with his constitutional duties and considerations about his own political future. The effort is being led by Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., a backbench conservative. Along with a group of allies in the House, he is eyeing challenges to the election results in five states — Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia and Wisconsin — where they claim varying degrees of fraud or illegal voting took place, despite certification by voting authorities and no evidence of widespread impropriety. more...

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