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'Call Your Lawyer': Experts Warn Of Legal Jeopardy For Trump's Coup Enablers

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Legal experts including a Harvard professor and a top election and voting rights attorney are weighing in on Sunday night's bombshell report from Rolling Stone naming members of Congress and the Trump administration who were involved in the planning and organizing of the January 6 rally and/or "Trump's efforts to overturn his election loss," according to two of the planners of the "Stop the Steal" rally.

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What January 6 Rally Organizers Are Telling Congressional Investigators

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Several House Republicans—exactly the ones you would guess—were involved in planning meetings for protests on January 6 as Trump supporters tried to block the certification of the 2020 election and with it, Donald Trump's loss, two sources have detailed to Rolling Stone.
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January 6 Committee Will Hold Bannon In Criminal Contempt

The Congressional committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol announced on Thursday that it would move to hold Steve Bannon in criminal contempt for refusing to comply with a subpoena.

The House select committee sent subpoenas to Bannon and three of former President Donald Trump's other close allies on September 23.

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Tell The Truth About The Coup -- Or Go Directly To Jail


Overturning the results of a national election is not the kind of crime that any single conspirator can perpetrate -- not even the most powerful man in the world. To mount an attempted coup against the constitutional order was the work of many dirty hands. Just ask Donald Trump, whose aggressive and lawless attempt to nullify his defeat can now be seen as a multi-layered putsch that secretly involved many individuals and organizations over a period of several months – and extended far beyond the array of thugs and misfits who assaulted the Capitol on January 6.

It will surprise nobody who has been paying attention that these covert actors emerged from the far right, which has posed a chronic threat to democracy for decades and finally consolidated its control of the Republican Party under Trump. The most effective response to that threat must occur on at least three levels: identifying every perpetrator; holding them all accountable by every lawful means, including criminal prosecution; and erecting every legislative and political bulwark to prevent any repetition of their crimes.

Like their boss Trump, these co-conspirators are habitual offenders. Fortunately, many of them also share his tendencies toward self-exposure, bluster, and hysterical excess. But others are deceptive, manipulative and ruthless, also like Trump.

For months following the outrages of January 6, attention was focused on those directly involved in that day's insurrectionary violence – the QAnon fanatics, the neo-fascist Proud Boys, the paramilitary Oath Keepers, and the angry, alienated Trumpsters who followed along. More than a few have prior criminal records, and most will be apprehended and punished.

But lately we have gotten a glimpse at the schemers whose weeks and months of planning led to those traumatic hours on Capitol Hill. We are beginning to learn that Trump and his shock troops never intended to accept an election that he didn't win, and how they plotted to subvert it.

In the Washington Spectator, Anne Nelson shows that a key hub of the coup was the Council for National Policy, which has existed since the Reagan era as a kind of Central Committee for the right-wing, primarily evangelical but also secular. Investigative reporting by Nelson and others has revealed that CNP leaders and affiliates in both Washington and contested states were activated as early as August 2020 in a coordinated effort to discredit the election, which they apparently expected to lose.

Notable on the long list of CNP members who organized that "Stop the Steal" campaign during the period leading up to Election Day and beyond included convicted felon Ali Alexander, a close associate of Roger Stone; Charlie Kirk, whose Turning Point student group brought busloads to the capital on January 6; Ginni Thomas, spouse of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at the center of a web of far right organizations; and Cleta Mitchell, a prominent Republican elections lawyer who joined the cries of "fraud" voiced by Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.

Nelson outlines how the Trump campaign actually sought to steal the election with pressure campaigns in the contested states, especially Georgia, where Cleta Mitchell participated in Trump's notorious phone call pressuring state officials to "find 11,780 votes" that would undo his defeat. When Georgia officials—Republicans at that--rejected that bullying overture from the White House, Trump turned to the Justice Department – and to law professor named John Eastman, an eminence in the conservative Federalist Society. In another illuminating essay published by the Washington Spectator, former State Department official Jonathan Winer explains Eastman's radical legal theory, under which GOP state legislators could simply proclaim "fraud," toss out the popular vote, and anoint Trump.

The full picture of this plot – not a theory but a real and very sinister conspiracy – has yet to be fully exposed, but we know that months before January 6th, the CNP and its allies were working to mobilize state legislators to discard actual votes and install fake electors. To uncover every aspect of the coup means thwarting the coverup that Trump is orchestrating, as he orders his former staffers to invoke imaginary "executive privilege" and avoid testifying before House and Senate investigators. Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows and all the conspirators must be compelled to testify and produce documents – or go to jail.

Congress Ready To Issue Criminal Referrals On Trumpsters Who Evade Jan. 6 Subpoenas

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

This week will bring two big deadlines in the face-off between the congressional committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and Team Trump. The committee appears to be coming loaded for bear.

If Trump is going to officially ask President Joe Biden to assert executive privilege over Trump-era White House records, that's going to happen this week. But the "officially ask President Joe Biden" part is important in two ways. For one thing, Trump will have to ask the guy who beat him for a favor, rather than just sending out fundraising messages to his supporters claiming that executive privilege applies.

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Why January 6 Panel Wants To Haul In Mark Meadows


The House of Representatives select committee investigating the events of January 6 issued subpoenas on Thursday to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and three other allies of former President Donald Trump.

These are the first subpoenas announced by the committee and represent its intensifying interest in what transpired in the White House before and during the assault on the Capitol.

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Subpoenas Fly Out To Bannon, Meadows From House Panel On January 6

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The bipartisan House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack issued subpoenas to four of Donald Trump's closest deputies Thursday night, ordering them to produce documents and appear for depositions.

The four are Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows, Kash Patel, and Dan Scavino.

"Stephen Bannon," Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) writes on the committee's official website, "reportedly communicated with former President Trump on December 30th, 2020, urging him to focus his efforts on January 6th. Mr. Bannon also reportedly attended a gathering at the Willard Hotel on January 5th, 2021, as part of an effort to persuade Members of Congress to block the certification of the election the next day. Mr. Bannon is also quoted as stating, on January 5th, that '[a]ll Hell is going to break loose tomorrow.'"

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Washington Post Urges Jan. 6 Subpoenas For Ivanka And Kushner

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The Washington Post editorial board is calling on the Democrats' January 6 select committee to subpoena Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

"Top of the list is precisely what then-President Donald Trump did before, during and after the attack," they wrote in a Tuesday op-ed. "How did he prepare his speech preceding the insurrection, in which he told the crowd to fight? What did he anticipate his audience's reaction would be? When did he know the pro-Trump mob was threatening the Capitol?"

The board added: "Answering such questions calls for subpoenaing former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows; Mr. Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner; and other White House aides with useful information."

According to a recent book by Washington Post journalists Carol D. Leonnig and Philip Rucker, Ivanka Trump attempted to calm the former president down on the day of January 6, encouraging him to call off the violent riot – a request Trump repeatedly rebuffed.

"I'm going down to my dad. This has to stop," she reportedly told her aides while spending "several hours walking back and forth" from the Oval Office in an effort to defuse the situation.

The Post's editorial board also called on the select committee to investigate a number of top Trump allies in Congress, including Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), all of whom, the Post reports, may have interacted with Trump on the day of the insurrection. McCarthy, who voted in favor of overturning the 2020 election, has been adamantly opposed to the Democratic-backed select committee and has often downplayed Trump's role in the insurgency. However, back in February, just a month after the riot, CNN reported that Trump and McCarthy had gotten into a "shouting match" over the former president's refusal to tell the rioters to stand down.

"Well, Kevin," Trump told McCarthy over the phone. "I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are."

"Who the f--k do you think you are talking to?" the lawmaker responded.

CNN also reported that Rep. Tuberville spoke with Trump on the day of the riot, calling the former president via phone to announce that Mike Pence, the former vice president, had been evacuated in time to avoid the violent horde.

The phone call has since come under scrutiny in the light of Trump's tweet attacking Pence less than ten minutes after the call.

It's not clear whether Rep. Brooks spoke with Trump on the day of the riot. However, the Alabama lawmaker did deliver a White House-approved speech during the "Stop the Steal" rally just outside the Capitol building, where he bandied Trump's election lies and told Trump's supporters: "Today is the day American patriots start taking down names."

Brooks has since personally disavowed the riot.

The Post editorial board also argued that lawmakers should put the leaders of far-right extremist groups on the stand – particularly leaders "at the center of the violence" – as well as Justice Department and Capitol Police officials who "failed to anticipate the riot."

Months after the riot, it was reported in various media that the Pentagon had denied multiple requests to deploy the National Guard, even as the chaos was unfolding. Capitol Police also reportedly had extensive intelligence that there would be violence on January 6, but the former Capitol Police chief dismissed the concerns as alarmist.