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Tag: trump coup

On July Fourth, Appreciation For The Truly Patriotic Conservatives

When the flags fly proudly on the Fourth of July, I remember what my late father taught me about love of country. Much as he despised the scoundrels and pretenders he liked to call "jelly-bellied flag flappers," after a line in a favorite Rudyard Kipling story, he was deeply patriotic. It is a phrase that aptly describes the belligerent chicken hawk who never stops squawking — someone like Ted Cruz or Donald Trump.

Like many who volunteered for the U.S. Army in World War II, my dad never spoke much about his four tough years of military service, which brought him under Japanese bombardment in the Pacific theater. But eventually there came a time when he attached to his lapel a small eagle-shaped pin known as a "ruptured duck" — a memento given to every veteran. With this proof of service, he demonstrated that as a lifelong liberal, he loved his country as much as any conservative.

That gesture occurred during one of those periods when the political polarization now plaguing our country began to metastasize. It seemed important to my father -- and to me over these many years since -- to lay down a marker for liberals and progressives who love America, with her manifest flaws and conflicted past. Over these past two years, however, living through the pandemic and the insurrection, it has become equally important to recognize that patriotism can still bring us together across sectarian and ideological divides. And on this holiday, to celebrate the determined defense of democracy and law that brings together patriots of all partisan stripes.

On this Independence Day, it doesn't seem so important to argue, as I have in years past, that the liberal left is equally as devoted to American institutions and values as our compatriots on the right -- because so many of the latter have demonstrated, in their fealty to Trump, that they love their would-be dictator more than they love their country. Democrats have proved to be staunch and unified in their defense of the Constitution, with the party's elected officials leading the fight to uphold democracy both at home and around the world.

What feels vital today is to appreciate the allies from the other side of the political aisle who have rallied to the cause, at no small cost to themselves and their families. It is a list that grows longer by the day, starting with Rep. Liz Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, the Republicans who broke with their party to demand truth and justice in the wake of Trump's attempted January 6 coup. Both have proved willing to sacrifice their promising political futures and to subject themselves to vile abuse as they stood up against their degenerating quasi-fascist party and its criminal leader. They have forged real friendships as well as strong working relationships with the Democrats on the House Select Committee, because that is what Americans do in a time of crisis.

Both Kinzinger and Cheney still profess what I would consider misguided views or worse on many issues, and have adopted some positions -- on voting rights, for instance -- that contradict their professed love of democracy. So have other Republican and former Republican officials and leaders who have nevertheless proven their independence from Trump's authoritarian mob. Rusty Bowers, the Arizona Republican legislator who refused to bow to that mob, has even said he would vote for Trump again -- a truly bizarre statement.

And yet we must be grateful to Bowers, and to Brad Raffensperger and Gabriel Sperling of Georgia, as well as the eight other Congressional Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in January 2020, the seven Republican senators who voted to convict him, and the many conservatives who have chosen law and liberty over chaos, lies, and tyranny. Yes, that even includes Mike Pence, the former vice president who merely did his duty but performed that constitutional task under threat of death from the leader to whom he had shown such obsequious loyalty.

I cannot help but hope that all of these good people, forced to turn away from their party and many of their friends, will reconsider their reactionary views on all kinds of matters. Some conservatives, including a few whom I've gotten to know better in these moments, are indeed looking back and questioning rigid perspectives from the past. In many cases that is what their intelligence and ethics will eventually require of them.

Yet on this July Fourth, any such considerations matter much less to me than their willingness to set aside our differences in a common cause. Disagreements about the best way to fulfill our nation's promise will endure -- and I look forward to the day when we can again debate those matters in a democratic society secure from authoritarian threats.

Meanwhile, we ought to appreciate all the leaders, thinkers, and activists who have joined America's united front against fascism. We will be struggling together to preserve our common birthright for years to come.


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Mounting Evidence Shows Meadows' Role As Key Player In Coup Plot

Donald Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows wanted a presidential pardon. He had facilitated key stages of Trump’s attempted 2020 coup, linking the insurrectionists to the highest reaches of the White House and Congress.

But ultimately, Meadows failed to deliver what Trump most wanted, which was convincing others in government to overturn the 2020 election. And then his subordinates, White House security staff, thwarted Trump’s plan to march with a mob into the Capitol.

Meadows’ role has become clearer with each January 6 hearing. Earlier hearings traced how his attempted Justice Department takeover failed. The fake Electoral College slates that Meadows had pushed were not accepted by Congress. The calls by Trump to state officials that he had orchestrated to “find votes” did not work. Nor could Meadows convince Vice-President Mike Pence to ignore the official Electoral College results and count pro-Trump forgeries.

And as January 6 approached and the insurrection began, new and riveting details emerged about Meadow’s pivotal role at the eye of this storm, according to testimony on Tuesday by his top White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson.

Meadows had been repeatedly told that threats of violence were real. Yet he repeatedly ignored calls from the Secret Service, Capitol police, White House lawyers and military chiefs to protect the Capitol, Hutchinson told the committee under oath. And then Meadows, or, at least White House staff under him, failed Trump a final time – although in a surprising way.

After Trump told supporters at a January 6 rally that he would walk with them to the Capitol, Meadows’ staff, which oversaw Trump’s transportation, refused to drive him there. Trump was furious. He grabbed at the limousine’s steering wheel. He assaulted the Secret Service deputy, who was in the car, and had told Trump that it was not safe to go, Hutchinson testified.

“He said, ‘I’m the f-ing president. Take me up to the Capitol now,’” she said, describing what was told to her a short while later by those in the limousine. And Trump blamed Meadows.

“Later in the day, it had been relayed to me via Mark that the president wasn’t happy that Bobby [Engel, the driver] didn’t pull it off for him, and that Mark didn’t work hard enough to get the movement on the books [Trump’s schedule].”

Hutchinson’s testimony was the latest revelations to emerge from hearings that have traced in great detail how Trump and his allies plotted and intended to overturn the election. Her eye-witness account provided an unprecedented view of a raging president.

Hutchinson’s testimony was compared to John Dean, the star witness of the Watergate hearings a half-century ago that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon for his aides’ efforts to spy on and smear Democrats during the 1972 presidential campaign.

“She IS the John Dean of the hearings,” tweeted the Brooking Institution’s Norman Eisen, who has written legal analyses on prosecuting Trump. “Trump fighting with his security, throwing plates at the wall, but above all the WH knowing that violence was coming on 1/6. The plates & the fighting are not crimes, but they will color the prosecution devastatingly.”

Meadows’ presence has hovered over the coup plot and insurrection. Though he has refused to testify before the January 6 committee, his pivotal role increasingly has come into view.

Under oath, Hutchinson described links between Meadows and communication channels to the armed mob that had assembled. She was backstage at the Trump’s midday January 6 rally and described Trump’s anger that the crowd was not big enough. The Secret Service told him that many people were armed and did not want to go through security and give up their weapons.

Trump, she recounted, said “something to the effect of, ‘I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the mags [metal detectors] away. Let the people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.

As the day progressed and the Capitol was breached, Hutchison described the scene at the White House from her cubicle outside the Oval Office. She repeatedly went into Meadows’ office, where he had isolated himself. When Secret Service officials urged her to get Meadows to urge Trump to tell his supporters to stand down and leave, he sat listless.

“He [Meadows] needs to snap out of it,” she said that she told others who pressed her to get Meadows to act. Later, she heard Meadows repeatedly tell other White House officials that Trump “doesn’t think they [insurrectionists] are doing anything wrong.” Trump said Pence deserved to be hung as a traitor, she said.

Immediately after January 6, Hutchinson said that Trump’s cabinet discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove a sitting president but did not do so. She also said that Meadows sought a pardon for his January 6-related actions.

Today, Meadows is championing many of the same election falsehoods that he pushed for Trump as a senior partner at the Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI), a right-wing think tank whose 2021 annual report boasts of “changing the way conservatives fight.”

His colleagues include Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer who pushed for Trump to use every means to overturn the election and leads CPI’s “election integrity network,” and other Republicans who have been attacking elections as illegitimate where their candidates lose.

Hutchinson’s testimony may impede Meadows’ future political role, as it exposes him to possible criminal prosecution. But the election-denying movement that he nurtured has not gone away. CPI said it is targeting elections in national battleground states for 2022’s midterms, including Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Trump did not give Meadows a pardon. But in July 2021, Trump’s “Save America” PAC gave CPI $1 million.

Steven Rosenfeld is the editor and chief correspondent of Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He has reported for National Public Radio, Marketplace, and Christian Science Monitor Radio, as well as a wide range of progressive publications including Salon, AlterNet, The American Prospect, and many others.

Is Trump Gang Setting Up John Eastman As Fall Guy In Coup Plot?

According to reporting from Rolling Stone, former President Donald Trump and friends are preparing to feed conservative attorney John Eastman to the wolves.

Eastman and his “coup memo” have brought way too much heat on Trump following the House’s Jan. 6 committee hearings, outlining his role in assisting the former president’s efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 election and making the legal case for former Vice President Mike Pence to reject the certification of the Electoral College.

One of three primary sources with direct information on the topic told Rolling Stone, “It has been repeatedly communicated to the [former] president that he should not even bring up Johnny Eastman’s name because he is maybe the most radioactive person [involved in this] when it comes to … any so-called criminal exposure.”

Rolling Stone reports that Trump has decided not to defend or even talk about Eastman, has instructed his team not to discuss him, and has said privately that he “hardly” or “barely” knows him. As Trump's social media platform Truth Social shows, as much talking as he does, Eastman’s name has been almost nonexistent.

Before turning to conservative constitutional law, Eastman worked as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

“Johnny does not have many friends in [the upper crust of] Trumpworld left, and most people loyal to the [former] president are fine with him being left out on his own, to deal with whatever consequences he may or may not face,” a source said.

Last Thursday, during the public Congressional hearings, Eric Herschmann, a Trump White House attorney, said that following the insurrection, he told Eastman to “get a great fucking criminal defense lawyer” because “you’re going to need it.” Eastman then infamously emailed Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani to say, “I’ve decided that I should be on the pardon list if that is still in the works.”

As Rolling Stone reports, the idea of Eastman as a patsy has become a common conversation.

Last week, Mark Levin, a Fox News and radio host, said:

“How many lawyers did Trump have? He had several … And John Eastman has turned into the fall guy. … He’s a lawyer, he’s an advocate for the [former] president. Whether you agree with his legal judgment, his legal findings, or not, it’s what lawyers do.”

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Poll: Americans Want Trump Held Legally Accountable For His Crimes

A new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds that 58% of Americans believe Donald Trump bears a good or great amount of responsibility for inciting the January 6 insurrection and support charging him with a crime. Six in 10 also say the House Select Committee's probe into January 6 is fair and impartial.

The poll, released over the weekend, came as the January 6 panel prepared for a Tuesday hearing focused on Trump's pressure campaign at the state level to overturn the 2020 election.

Public opinion is far from a decisive legal standard, but the poll adds to pressure on the Justice Department to charge a former president—a move that will undoubtedly be hotly debated by the department's leadership.

Not only should having public opinion on the side of holding Trump to account provide at least some comfort to Justice Department officials charged with making that call, but imagine the inverse: Failing to charge someone who nearly six in 10 Americans think should be behind bars for crimes against the republic.

What kind of message would that send to law-abiding citizens? And perhaps even worse—what kind of message would that send to future would-be coup-ers? It would be like handing a free pass to domestic terrorists plotting to subvert our constitutional democracy.

Block by block, the decision to take a pass on pressing the criminal case against Trump is seeming less viable all the time.

Not only has a former federal judge concluded that Trump "likely" committed felony obstruction, but the January 6 committee will have Trump dead to rights on criminal intent by the time it concludes its work. The American public, it appears, is already there.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Select Panel Hearing Will Probe Trump Push To Overturn 2020 Results In States

One day after Arizona’s 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump’s supporters, including armed protesters, converged on Maricopa County’s ballot counting center. That morning, a local congressman, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) had amplified Trump’s stolen election claims. He tweeted that Trump votes were uncounted in his state’s most populous county because many voters had used sharpie pens, which bled through the paper and spoiled their ballots.

Although the rumor, dubbed “Sharpie-gate,” was false, Gosar made a beeline for the protest. Rather than urging those present to accept disappointing results, he validated their fears. Gosar was not alone. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, another ambitious Republican – now running for the U.S. Senate as a “true conservative” – announced an investigation. These reactions, abusing their office’s prestige and authority, were not unique.

Trump called Maricopa County’s top elected Republican to pressure him to stop counting votes. The Arizona Republican Party, like the GOP in many battleground states, filed baseless lawsuits. Later that month, Trump’s Washington-based lawyers, who knew that Joe Biden won, flew into Phoenix. They met with GOP legislators, who let them use Arizona’s statehouse as a stage for making more false claims. In December, loyalists from state party officials to legislators, forged and signed a fake Electoral College certificate saying that Trump had won. Then they lobbied the vice president to count their fraudulent and illegal votes on January 6.

The fourth hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol will focus on how Trump’s team pressured local and state government officials to overturn Biden’s victory. Tuesday’s witnesses include two Republican election officials from Georgia and a state legislator from Arizona who resisted Trump’s pressure and received numerous threats from Trump supporters that have continued into 2022’s elections.

The events in Arizona followed a template also seen in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, according to the panel’s disclosures and other reporting compiled by States United Democracy Center, a nonpartisan organization advancing free, fair, and secure elections.

“The same lies and conspiracy theories that fueled the January 6 attack contributed to threatening and violent messages aimed at election officials,” its Arizona update said. “These threats were launched over email, voicemails, texts, letters, social media, and in-person events, including gathering outside election officials’ homes.”

As the hearings continue, there are not only questions of what accountability will ensue for participants in Trump’s failed 2020 coup, but what can be done about a Republicans who still embrace the stolen election lie. This past weekend, for example, the Texas Republican Party adopted these claims in its party platform. That action follows scores of election-denying candidates running for state and federal office in 2022 and winning their primaries.

“These candidates and their successful primary campaigns are a stark reminder that the insurrection—and the lies that sparked it—did not end on January 6, 2021 or when former President Trump left office,” wrote States United’s leadership team, Noman Eisen, Joanna Lydgate, and Christine Todd Whitman (New Jersey’s ex-governor and a Republican) in Slate. “And they are proof that the kindling for the attack—and the continued stoking of the fire—is alive and well in the states.”

The trio contend that local accountability would have the greatest chance of stopping the cynical and dangerous stolen election claims. They suggest disbarring the “bad lawyers” who perpetuated the evidence-free falsehoods, which means ending their legal careers. They said that “district and county attorneys can bring criminal charges” against the coup’s participants and cited the investigation in Georgia’s Fulton County, where Trump tried to get Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” votes to reverse Biden’s victory. (Raffensperger and his deputy are witnesses on Tuesday.)

They further suggested that local prosecutors go after militias like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers for confrontations with police, citing a lawsuit by the District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine. They also suggested that state attorneys general go after Trump’s post-election fundraising where false claims were used to dupe donors, citing a Michigan inquiry that’s underway and a possible New York State investigation.

“Democracy cannot exist without the rule of law,” they wrote. “Seeking accountability for those who step outside those bounds is critical to stopping the ongoing insurrection before it’s too late. If we want to prevent an election hijack in 2022 and 2024, it’s going to take a full-speed-ahead approach to accountability. And just like with our elections, we believe those [accountability efforts] will be run and led by the states.”

Tuesday’s disclosures may suggest which legal venues would be best for seeking accountability.

But there is another aspect of accountability that involves understanding and confronting the dysfunctional political psychologies that enabled this crisis. Pro-Trump politicians, candidates,and campaigners seem to share a mindset where they valued obtaining power above other personal, public, and professional considerations. It’s one thing to be a loyal and ambitious politician. It’s another to mimic party leaders who lie, show indifference to facts, embrace chaos and violence, bilk supporters, and say such actions were patriotic — and still are.

The hearings are revealing how far people who admired or envied Trump were willing to go. As new details surface so too are suggestions for how and where to hold participants accountable. But what has not yet been revealed is what might excise the dynamic in political life that allows such self-serving people to advance, and, as just seen in Texas, to keep lying.

'Consciousness Of Guilt' Among Pardon-Seeking House Republicans

The House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol revealed during its first public hearing on Thursday that multiple Trump-allied Republicans in Congress sought presidential pardons for their efforts to challenge and overturn the results of the 2020 elections.

The full ramifications of that revelation are yet to be felt.

It was Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the vice-chair of the select committee, who disclosed during her opening statement that “multiple Republican congressmen sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.”

That so many House Republicans sought pardons could be construed as an admission of guilt, an acknowledgment of their involvement in possibly illegal conduct, and a sign of “potentially perilous legal and political moments to come” for former President Trump and his congressional allies.

"Why would members do that if they felt that their involvement in this plot to overturn the election was somehow appropriate?" Rep Adam Schiff (D-CA) asked on ABC’s This Week, speaking of the pardon-seeking House Republicans.

The select committee’s shocking revelation also suggested that the House Republicans in question knew — if not before, then now — that Trump’s widespread election fraud claims were lies, or they wouldn’t seek clemency.

In a statement to reporters, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a member of the select committee, echoed Schiff’s sentiment on the bombshell revelation, saying, “It’s hard to find a more explicit statement of consciousness of guilt than looking for a pardon for actions you’ve just taken, assisting in a plan to overthrow the results of a presidential election.”

Cheney gave no basis for the allegation but named one of the Republican congressmen: Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), who chairs the far-right House Freedom Caucus, a congressional caucus now described as Trump’s defense team.

Perry took to Twitter on Friday to deny the claim, which he labeled, among other things, a “soulless lie.”

The allegations prompted one of the largest papers in Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, to assail Perry for his questionable morals and ethics.

"Legal experts agree that presidential pardons are intended for persons accused of or convicted of federal crimes. It is extremely rare for anyone to receive a preemptive pardon for an offense already committed but not charged. Rep. Perry had led an effort to turn back the results of the presidential election, but he had not been charged with a crime," the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote. "Was he, by the very act of asking, admitting to criminal or unethical behavior? Why else would he ask? It certainly raises suspicions."

Willful Blindness

The select committee argued Trump couldn’t have believed he won the 2020 elections after his senior advisers informed him of the contrary.

The testimony provided by these top Trump aides and their implicationscan open the door for the Department of Justice to slap Trump with charges of obstructing an official proceeding — in this case, Congress’ certification of the electoral college votes — or “defrauding the United States on the basis of election fraud claims he knew were false.".

In undercutting the notion that Trump truly believed his Big Lie, the panel appears to be making a case of “willful blindness” on the former president’s part, which is especially relevant in his efforts to pressure Georgia’s state secretary Brad Raffensperger to find him enough votes to win.

House Democrat Predicts 'Disturbing' New Evidence At Select Panel Hearings

Almost a year after its formation, the committee of lawmakers investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol is ready to make its case public, marking a turning point in — as the committee’s vice-chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), put it — “one of the single most important congressional investigations in history.”

On Thursday, the House Select Committee announced it would hold the first of eight televised hearings on June 9, in prime time at 8. PM ET, when viewers will hear from live witnesses and even watch pre-taped depositions of key figures, including members of former President Trump’s own family -- namely Ivanka Trump, his daughter, and Jared Kushner, her husband.

In its statement, the committee said the hearings would “present previously unseen material documenting January 6th, receive witness testimony, preview additional hearings, and provide the American people a summary of its findings about the coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent the transfer of power.”

Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), a former impeachment manager, echoed the committee’s statement and specified that the evidence to be unveiled at the upcoming hearings would be “disturbing,” according to CNN.

"This is our democracy. This was the greatest assault on American democracy in my lifetime. The world is watching to see how we respond to this," Cicilline told CNN.

"There will be, I think, substantial evidence that really demonstrates the coordination and the planning and the effort, despite the fact that they understood that Donald Trump lost the election and even once the insurrection began and the violence began, there were ongoing efforts to persuade the former President to stop the violence and call on folks to go home, and he refused to do it," the lawmaker from Rhode Island added.

The hearings mark the culmination of a nearly year-long exhaustive investigation conducted in private, despite a succession of minor leaks. The committee has invited over 1,000 people for depositions, collected and reviewed over 125,000 records, and pursued nearly 500 leads via its confidential tip linme. It has also reviewed text messages from within Trump’s inner circle plotting to keep Trump in power despite his loss; examined memos from pro-Trump attorneys devising blueprints for an electoral coup; and listened to audio recordings of leading Republicans in Congress privately expressing their frustrations at Trump for inciting a mob of his supporters into storming the Capitol.

In its most difficult undertaking yet, the House committee must now bring the American people into its deliberations; share key findings and facts with them; depose witnesses in front of them; and build a compelling narrative of how aggressively Trump and his allies moved to overturn the results of the 2020 elections — and how close they came to succeeding.

To tell this story, the committee will have to use testimony obtained from Trump Administration insiders, including, as reported by the Washington Post, a former White House aide who has given the congressional panel a detailed reconstruction of meetings and other activities in the White House.

Although the end result of the committee’s efforts remains in question — what with public opinions of Trump having long since solidified into competing blocs difficult to break through — members of the committee still believe that the American people should know about the events that preceded and followed the deadly Capitol attack.

“It’s important that we tell the American public, to the best we are able, exactly what happened,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), one of seven Democrats on the committee. “The public need to understand the stakes for our system of government, and we need to devise potential changes in legislation or procedures to protect ourselves in future.”

Federal Probe Of Fake Electors Expanding To Multiple States

Months into its expanding campaign to bring the instigators and perpetrators of the January 6, 2021 insurrection to book, the Justice Department is finally setting its sights on the slates of sham pro-Trump electors who sought to overturn then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s victory in multiple states.

A federal grand jury in Washington has in recent weeks issued several subpoenas to individuals in Trump’s inner circle reportedly linked to the sham elector plan, including Rudy Giuliani, former President Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer; Jenna Ellis, an attorney and MAGA Republican who worked with Giuliani on efforts to pressure former Vice President Mike Pence; John Eastman, a former Trump lawyer who concocted a sinister plan to throw out Biden votes and install sham electors to help Trump; and Kenneth Chesebro, an attorney who authored memos supporting the sham electors plan.

The development underscores the degree to which the broad DOJ investigation — which has netted over 800 arrests, 600 charges, 170 guilty pleas, and more defendants than any other criminal prosecution in U.S. history — is moving beyond the actual Capitol attack to look into events that led up to that day.

According to CNN, Federal investigators have spoken to Georgia Republicans about their conversations with members of Trump’s inner circle. CNN said it spoke to a Georgian who was to serve as a fake elector but dropped out. Patrick Gartland, the would-be elector, said FBI agents had visited his home.

"They just asked who talked to me. If anyone from the Trump campaign had been in touch with me. Did Giuliani talk to me? Did Trump talk to me?" Gartland told CNN.

Gartland is one of many connected to the Georgia GOP who were chosen to serve as fake electors but backed out.

Federal investigators have reached out to others connected to the GOP in Georgia, Michigan, and other battleground states seeking to determine the level of involvement, if any, the Trump campaign had with the sham electors’ submission of false election certificates, according to CNN.

Under the Republican-orchestrated alternate electors scheme, election officials in the seven crucial states submitted lists of fake, pro-Trump electors to the Electoral College and a handful of government bodies, including the National Archives and Records Administration. The officials were seeking to overturn the presidential results in some states Biden won, in favor of Trump. The effort was unsuccessful, and Biden won all seven states.

For federal investigators, the question is whether the Trump campaign and GOP in those seven states colluded to fraudulently overthrow Biden’s Electoral College win, or persuaded fake electors with the argument hat Trump’s election fight in the courts would succeed.

Submitting false statements to a federal agency, as the pro-Trump election officials did, is a federal crime. However, no one has been charged yet in the alternate electors probe.

Representatives for Trump ignored requests for comments, as did spokespeople for Giuliani and Ellis.