The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp

President Donald Trump on Saturday morning called Georgia's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to pressure him to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the state, and hours later at a rally in support of GOP lawmakers Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue—who are campaigning ahead of January 5 runoffs that will decide which party controls the U.S. Senate—slammed Kemp for refusing to support his authoritarian scheme to retain power.

Two unnamed sources familiar with the conversation told the Washington Post that Trump urged Kemp "to call a special session of the state legislature for lawmakers to override the results and appoint electors who would back the president at the Electoral College.""Trump also asked the governor to demand an audit of signatures on mail ballots, something Kemp has previously noted he has no power to do," the Post reported. "Kemp declined the president's entreaty."

Also on Saturday, Mike Lindell, the right-wing CEO of My Pillow who helped bail out Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse, "brazenly [laid] out Trump's last-ditch plan to steal the election," as relayed by Aaron Rupar.


In response to the news that Trump asked Kemp to persuade the state legislature to reverse the results of the 2020 election, journalist Seth Abramson asked for "lawyers who specialize in little-used federal criminal statutes like Sedition to explain to me why a federal official openly seeking to conspire with another federal official to overthrow a democratically elected government isn't a crime."



Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis, told the Post that "if Trump invoked his federal authority in his conversation Saturday with Kemp, or made the call from the Oval Office, he could have violated criminal provisions of the Hatch Act, which prohibits government officials from political activity in their official roles."

During Saturday night's rally, the crowd applauded when Trump said, "Your governor should be ashamed of himself," in an attempt to malign Kemp for not going along with his coup attempt.


The Post reported that "as the large crowd chanted 'Stop the Steal'—what's become a rallying cry for Republicans unwilling to accept Democrat Joe Biden's victory in last month's presidential election—Trump responded that 'Your governor could stop it very easily if he knew what the hell he was doing.'"

Post reporter Amber Phillips argued that some of Trump's rhetoric about being the victim of a rigged election could paradoxically dampen GOP participation in Georgia's upcoming runoff races, the outcomes of which will have significant implications for the future of U.S. politics.

"Trump's voter-fraud claims," she said, "are threatening to depress turnout among some Republican voters" who may feel less inclined to go to the polls if they believe the results are predetermined.

The Post's Dave Weigel shared on social media an image from the lie-filled rally, during which the GOP screened "a compilation of OAN and Newsmax videos making election fraud claims."


Trump still implored the audience to vote next month, however, saying it is possible to be upset about and challenge the results of the presidential election while supporting Loeffler and Perdue at the same time. "At stake in this election is control of the U.S. Senate, and that really means control of this country," Trump said.

Weigel, who is on-the-ground in Georgia this weekend, noted on Twitter that he and "every reporter [he] talked to has found" that most Trump voters believe not only that the president won but that "he'll still win the challenges and get a second term."

Moreover, according to Weigel, "none of these voters plan to skip the Jan. 5 runoff."

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mark Levin

Politico reported Friday that John Eastman, the disgraced ex-law professor who formulated many of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, was also apparently in communication with Fox News host Mark Levin. The story gets even more interesting from there, revealing the shell game that right-wing media personalities engage in while doubling as political operatives.

A legal filing by Eastman’s attorneys reveals that, among the messages Eastman is still attempting to conceal from the House January 6 committee are 12 pieces of correspondence with an individual matching Levin’s description as “a radio talk show host, is also an attorney, former long-time President (and current board chairman) of a public interest law firm, and also a former fellow at The Claremont Institute.” Other details, including a sloppy attempt to redact an email address, also connect to Levin, who did not respond to Politico’s requests for comment.

Keep reading... Show less

Sen. Wendy Rogers

Youtube Screenshot

There have been powerful indicators of the full-bore radicalization of the Republican Party in the past year: the 100-plus extremist candidates it fielded this year, the apparent takeover of the party apparatus in Oregon, the appearance of Republican officials at white nationalist gatherings. All of those are mostly rough gauges or anecdotal evidence, however; it’s been difficult to get a clear picture of just how deeply the extremism has penetrated the party.

Using social media as a kind of proxy for their real-world outreach—a reasonable approach, since there are few politicians now who don’t use social media—the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights decided to get a clearer picture of the reach of extremist influences in official halls of power by examining how many elected officials participate in extremist Facebook groups. What it found was deeply troubling: 875 legislators in all 50 states, constituting nearly 22% of all elected GOP lawmakers, identified as participating members of extremist Facebook groups.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}