January 21, 2022
On Wednesday, January 19, by a vote of 8 to 1, the Supreme Court refused to block the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) from releasing documents produced by the Trump White House to the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol. Last night, NARA handed over hundreds of pages of documents to the committee. Today, Betsy Woodruff Swan at Politico published one of them.
It was an unsigned executive order dated December 16, 2020, just two days after the false Trump electors in seven states executed documents falsely saying Trump had won the election in their states. The executive order charges that there is “evidence of international and foreign interference in the November 3, 2020, election.” It went on to echo the lies that the campaign peddled after Trump’s loss.
Those complaints were used to justify using the National Guard to seize the nation’s election machines (ironically, the most intrusive possible federal interference in state elections from the leader of a party that just killed a voting rights bill on the alleged grounds it was federal overreach).
The order told the secretary of defense to “seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records” from the election. It gave the defense secretary power to call up the National Guard to support him and told the assistant secretary of defense for homeland security to provide support from the Department of Homeland Security.
The secretary of defense had 60 days to provide an assessment to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, suggesting that the process would continue after Inauguration Day.
The executive order also provided for “[t]he appointment of a Special Counsel to oversee this operation and institute all criminal and civil proceedings as appropriate based on the evidence collected and provided all resources necessary to carry out her duties consistent with federal laws and the Constitution.”
Aside from the eye-popping content, the executive order gives us some hints of who was behind it.
The document cites two National Security Presidential Memoranda—numbers 13 and 21—to justify the emergency powers Trump planned to assume. That citation revealed that this was no run-of-the-mill bananas proposition: the existence of Memorandum 21 was not publicly known. Its inclusion in this document suggests the author had access to sensitive government secrets. Tonight, Hugo Lowell of The Guardian noted that the National Security Council would not say anything about what National Security Presidential Memo 21 authorizes.
The proposed special counsel was likely Trump attorney Sidney Powell, who was lobbying to become a special counsel at the time this executive order was drafted. Indeed, she may have had a hand in drafting it, although lawyer Rick Petree noted that the important role of the secretary of defense suggests that Trump loyalist Kash Patel might have been involved as well. After he lost the election, Trump fired Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and replaced him with Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, making Patel Miller’s chief of staff where he exercised unusual authority.
Washington reporter for Reuters Brad Heath noted that people close to Sidney Powell said Trump authorized this executive order before his staff talked him out of it.
Tonight, Trump lawyer Boris Epshteyn, who was subpoenaed by the January 6 committee on January 18 along with Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Jenna Ellis, told MSNBC’s Ari Melber that he and “the Trump legal team” were part of the plan to create the false electors. While he claimed that what they did was legal, he pushed responsibility for the plan onto Giuliani as the one in charge.
And today the election threats task force in the Department of Justice launched its first case against a man accused of threatening lawmakers. Today, the FBI arrested 54-year-old Chad Christopher Stark of Leander, Texas, who posted a message on Craigslist on January 5, 2021, offering $10,000 to kill Georgia lawmakers. He wrote: “Georgia Patriots it’s time for us to take back our state from these Lawless treasonous traitors.” “[I]t’s time to put a bullet” into certain officials, because “[i]t’s our duty as American Patriots to put an end to the lives of these traitors and take back our country by force we can no longer wait on the corrupt law enforcement in the corrupt courts.” In language that echoes that of genocidal movements, he wrote: “If we want our country back we have to exterminate these people.”
He concluded: “Remember one thing local law enforcement… we will find you oathbreakers and we’re going to pay your family to visit your mom your dad your brothers and sisters your children your wife… we’re going to make examples of traitors to our country… death to you and your communist friends.”
The story of January 6 came perilously close to a different ending.
Below is a link to Heather's article, which will allow you to read as many reader comments are I suppose you never wanted to read. Below the link are a few reader comments.
Based on all this Independent former practicing attorney reads, sees on TV, on Facebook and hears in personal conversations, in the main, Republicans and their MAGA siblings could care less what the rest of America, and the rest of the world, think about January 6. What they care about is making sure they retake the White House and all of Congress at the ballot box, and from all I am seeing and hearing, they are making serious progress in that direction. It may well be that the only way to stop them is for Donald Trump to be seized and put on one of Elon Musk's rockets and deported to Mars, as the wheels of justice, perhaps should be in quotation marks, might move a tad too slow to to prevent Trump from being reelected again. And to prevent him from inciting the same folks and intimidating Republicans in office who do now bow down and kiss his feet. Even as I recently saw on CNN, Erin Burnett, that President Biden's approval rating had dropped to 33 percent, and among Independents, it had dropped to 25 percent. I'm among the 75 percent, who am not impressed with Biden's 1st year in the White House, but I for sure won't vote for Trump or Mike Pence, but I might vote for Elizabeth Cheney.
I know this is very serious excrement, but I propose we lighten the mood with some hyperbolic predictions and questions and see if anyone comes even close to the eventual truth.
Plane(? Planes) at Mira-a Lago, fueled and ready. Who is allowed and who is left behind? Melania(aka Red Sparrow) would certainly have her own Putin jetliner. Ivanka and Jared must be contemplating calling Liz Cheney for a deal. Leave Eric behind with the rest of the baggage. And how fast is Guilfoyle going to give back that ring(is it appraised?).
Importantly, do the Russians living in Trump Tower leave now? Does anyone in Trump properties continue to pay rent or fees? Are there sudden job vacancies at Deutsche Bank?
Are these documents the reason for Pompeo's weight loss? And where is Lindsey Graham? Is Stephen Miller calling Lukashenko about asylum? Where is William Barr?
Does the Secret Service detail with djt have an endless supply of burner phones recording conversations? And pics? Any undercover FBI agents feeding info to Attorney General Garland? Super secret Special Prosecutor and Special Grand Jury?
How many quiet divorce papers are being filed by Republican spouses?
Ok, early morning stream of consciousness palaver. Sorry if anyone is offended.
None of your ramblings would even be surprising...that is the pathetic state of affairs in our body politic. We are living out a movie that no studio would have ever made made because the script was so insanely stupid. Put nothing past a leader who would let Sidney Powell guide him. Or Steven Miller. Or Rudy. Or the other Steve. Or Roger (not the rabbit).
I actually suspect that Rupert Murdoch has been orchestrating everything from a mansion in Australia. After infesting his home nation, he put Boris in charge of the UK. Then he was bored and he hired O'Reilly, Hannity and then Carlson to run the US via the puppet called Trump. I bet Rupert and Putin have Zoom drinks together and laugh at how gullible and dumb Americans are.
It is as if an asylum released all it's inmates and they simply walked into the White House.
It is inexplicable.
Very unfortunately, this is not a movie, but is all too reminiscent of Germany in the 1930s, and of Russia after the revolution there, and even Russia today. After Putin was made president for life, Trump said he liked that idea. He was dead serious. Trump, the MAGAs and nearly all Republicans in Congress, and in America, want to run America as they see fit, and they have no remorse for January 6. Whatever it takes to take over America is what they they are willing to attempt. We know this, because of how they treat January 6. They wish it had succeeded. Otherwise, they'd be howling for criminal prosecutions of the instigators, Trump on down. I was in a deposition yesterday with a young lady attorney who is proud she worked in the U.S. Department of Justice under Attorney Generals Jeff Sessions and William Barr. She is a Trumper. She is very smart, but I wonder if her soul is even engaged with her body and her mind? I am in my 80th year. What happens in America won't affect me all that much longer, but it will affect my children and their families. The entire world should shudder over an America run by the hard right, who are convinced God is on their side.