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Tag: william barr

Barr Says GOP Would Make 'A Big Mistake' To Choose Trump In 2024

Former US Attorney General William Barr has opined that Republicans would be making a “big mistake” if the party picks Donald Trump as its nominee for the 2024 presidential elections.

“I don’t think he should be our nominee — the Republican party nominee,” Barr told Sean Spicer, a former White House press secretary of the Trump Administration, during a Thursday appearance on Newsmax’s Spicer & Co show.

“And I think Republicans have a big opportunity – it would be a big mistake to put him forward,” Barr added.

It’s not the first time the ex-attorney general has ripped into the former president recently. In March, Barr criticized Trump during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, saying he expected Trump to lose the 2020 presidential elections because he’s “petty,” “divisive,” and had a temper.

“He's not my idea of a president,” Barr said. “I felt he was going to lose the election because he was not controlling himself. He was allowing this pettiness to come through, and I feel it's one of his great failings,” Barr told Tapper.

Barr also said he believed the GOP could secure a decisive majority if the party didn’t nominate Trump in the 2024 elections. “I think the Republicans can win a decisive majority, but I don't think we can do it with Trump,” he said. “He's just too divisive a candidate.”

Trump has not formally declared his intent to run for president again, but he has teased the prospect of doing so.

“We did it twice, and we’ll do it again,” Trump told his supporters in February at a Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida — implying that he had won the 2020 election. “We’re going to be doing it again a third time.”

In a January Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, 57 percent of Republicans said they’d vote for Trump in the 2024 elections.

Barr’s comments are sure to anger Trump, who has clashed repeatedly with the ex-attorney general since his landslide 2020 election loss. In his book titled One Damn Thing After Another, Barr assailed Trump for his false claims of voter fraud, writing that Trump’s “self-indulgence and lack of self-control” cost him the 2020 election — and that the capitol riot was caused by “the absurd lengths to which [Trump] took his ‘stolen election’ claim.”

Trump fired back in a three-page letter to NBC’s Lester Holt, where he appeared to call Barr fat, “slow,” “lethargic,” and “a big disappointment.”

“I realized early on that he never had what it takes to make a great Attorney General. When the Radical Left threatened to hold him in contempt and even worse, to Impeach him, he became virtually worthless to Law and Order and Election Integrity. They broke him just like a trainer breaks a horse,” Trump added in his statement.

Barr responded to the comments in a March interview with Savannah Guthrie, saying “It’s par for the course. The president is a man who, when he’s told something he doesn’t want to hear, he immediately throws a tantrum and attacks the person personally.”

The Trump Coup Is Ongoing -- And 'Moderate' Republicans Enable It

Some look back on the events following Donald Trump's 2020 election loss and think we dodged a bullet: There was a coup attempt, and thankfully it failed. Others believe that the whole thing has been overblown. Even as evidence piles up that the coup was far more extensive than siccing a mob on the Capitol, those two takes seem unshaken. There is another way to look at it: The coup is ongoing. With every new revelation about how extensive Trump's efforts to overturn the election were — and they are arriving on an almost daily basis — the flaccid response of Republicans makes the next coup that much more thinkable.

Trump, we now know, paged through the federal departments and agencies looking for willing insurrectionists. He explored the possibility of having the Justice Department seize voting machines in swing states (Bill Barr shot down the idea), and then considered installing Jeffrey Clark as attorney general in Barr's place (a threatened mass resignation stayed his hand). He then turned to the military and considered using his emergency powers under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to permit the Pentagon to seize voting machines and other records.

Things had gone as far as the drafting of a presidential "finding" about nonexistent fraud. Trump also tested the waters at the Department of Homeland Security, asking Rudy Giuliani to see whether the (unlawfully appointed) acting deputy secretary, Ken Cuccinelli, would seize the voting machines under that department's auspices. Cuccinelli begged off.

This comes on the heels of revelations about phony slates of electors. Eighty-four Republicans from seven states signed bogus documents claiming that Trump had won their states and sent these fake Electoral College certificates to the National Archives.

Trump was busier attempting to undo the election than he had ever been as president. He summoned the leaders of the Michigan legislature to the White House after the election to convince them to certify that their state, which voted for Biden, had voted for him. He cajoled and threatened Georgia's secretary of state to "find" 11,780 votes. He phoned local election officials to pressure them to say they found fraud, buzzed the Arizona governor repeatedly even up to the minute he was signing his state's certification, and strong-armed the vice president to, in Trump's own words, "overturn the election."

A little-noticed feature of the stories about Trump's thus-far unsuccessful efforts to stage a coup is that even among the MAGA crowd, some things were considered beyond the pale. Barr was willing to swallow a lot, but he couldn't go along with lying about imaginary vote fraud. The high-ranking lawyers at the Justice Department were Trump appointees, but they would resign en masse rather than see Clark subvert the department for plainly unlawful ends. Brad Raffensperger voted for Trump but refused to lie for him. Cuccinelli was Trump's loyal immigration hawk, but he couldn't see his way to using his Homeland Security post to confiscate voting machines and commit fraud. And though Mike Pence, pressed hard by Trump for the last full measure of devotion, wavered (he phoned former Vice President Dan Quayle for advice), in the end, he did what he knew was right.

A healthy body politic, like a healthy physical body, needs antibodies. It needs certain automatic defenses. The actions of those Republicans were the vestigial antibodies of a healthy democracy. The people who made those crucial decisions were acting out of a sense that anything less would be dishonorable and would be perceived as such by the whole society.

But would they make the same decisions today? Every single time a Republican suggests that what Trump did and attempted to do was anything less than a five-alarm fire, they are weakening our immune system.

Sen. Susan Collins was asked whether she could support Trump in 2024. She declined to rule it out.

Just think about what message that sends to the rank and file about what is beyond the pale and what isn't. If Collins might even support Trump, maybe it's not such a big deal.

On the anniversary of January 6, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sneered at what he called "nauseating" remembrances, adding that "it's an insult to people when you say it's an insurrection." Another blow to the concept that something truly awful happened that must never be repeated.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has not hesitated to appear on the John Fredericks radio show since his inauguration. Fredericks was the host of a rally in October that featured an American flag that had been carried at the "peaceful" January 6 protest. Fredericks also ladles out big helpings of election falsehood to his listeners.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has announced a new podcast, hosted by Sen. Rick Scott, to help 2022 GOP senate candidates. First scheduled guest: Donald Trump.

It was not just an attempted coup. The steady sapping of republican virtue continues.

Mona Charen is policy editor of The Bulwark and host of the Beg to Differ podcast. Her most recent book is Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

Thompson Says Barr Is Talking To House Select Committee (VIDEO)

Bill Barr, the former Attorney General who served as then-President Donald Trump’s top protector, has spoken with the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.

Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS), asked by CBS News about a bombshell draft executive order directing the Secretary of Defense to seize voting machines after Trump lost the 2020 presidential election, said: “We’ve had conversations with the former attorney general already. We have talked to Department of Defense individuals.”

“We are concerned that our military was part of this big lie on promoting that the election was false,” Thompson said Sunday morning on Face the Nation.

“So, if you are using the military to potentially seize voting machines, even though it’s a discussion, the public needs to know. We’ve never had that before.”

The draft memo was never formalized or enacted, and it is unknown who wrote it, but it was part of a massive, hard-fought document collection given to the January 6 select committee by the National Archives after the Supreme Court refused to block its release. Trump tried for months to keep his official White House records from being released.

The Informed Critic Locked Up By Trump Files Suit Against Him

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Remember “Lock Her Up,” the wannabe dictator Donald Trump’s rallying cry about Hillary Clinton?

Trump did lock someone up — and in clear violation of the First and Fourth Amendments: Michael Cohen, his longtime lawyer, fixer and the man who paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about her barely a minute intimacy with Donald.

Now Cohen is suing Trump, then Attorney General William P. Barr and six other individuals. For all eight of them the facts and circumstances are just awful.

Cohen’s federal lawsuit asserts that Trump “issued specific directives and guidance to his co-defendants that govern the treatment” of Cohen as well as others Trump perceived as enemies.

“At his [Trump’s] direction,” the lawsuit alleges, Cohen “was remanded back to prison and subjected to great indignities when he was unlawfully incarcerated.”

Proving that Trump was personally engaged, while easy to believe, may prove difficult.

Throughout his career as a con artist Trump has avoided email, tossed out calendars at the end of each month and, as president, destroyed official documents in violation of federal law.

The National Archives created a team to recover ripped up papers from the Oval Office wastebasket to piece them back together.

Running Roughshod Over Rights

The suit is a so-called Bivens action, named for a 1971 Supreme Court decision against six unnamed federal agents who violated a suspect’s Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. The high court, voting 5-4, held that since every wrong must have a remedy in law, allowing Bivens and others like him to sue when their Fourth Amendment rights were violated was a remedy implied by the Framers.

Justices Hugo Black and Harry Blackmun, in separate dissents, expressed worries that Bivens actions would flood the federal courts with cases.

Of course, their fears would be realized only if federal agents were routinely running roughshod over Fourth Amendment and other Constitutional rights. Following Justices Black’s and Blackmun’s line of reasoning, had they prevailed, it would have signaled to federal agents that they could indeed run roughshod over constitutional rights.

Cohen has an ironclad First Amendment case for prior restraint of his rights of speech and press even if he can’t prove that Trump personally ordered him thrown into the modern dungeon at Otisville prison, where Jewish prisoners are concentrated.

Forbidden To Speak

Cohen lawyers Andrew Laufer and Jeff Levine describe an extraordinary addition to the boilerplate contract for home release with an ankle monitor. “The very first condition within the agreement specifically forbade Mr. Cohen from speaking to or through all media, including publishing his tell-all book about then President Trump,” Laufer and Levine wrote.

Here’s the exact wording showing irrefutable proof of First Amendment prior restraint:

No engagement of any kind with of the media, including print, tv, film, books, or any other form of media/news. Prohibition from all social media platforms. No posting on social media and a requirement that you communicate with friends and family to exercise discretion in not posting on your behalf or posting any information about you. The purpose is to avoid glamorizing or bringing publicity to your status as a sentenced inmate serving a custodial term in the community.

Lawyers Laufer and Levine call the speak-no-criticism-of Donald language “a prima facie violation of Mr. Cohen’s constitutional rights under the First Amendment as well as in retaliation for his public comments and proposed publication of his tell-all book critical of President Trump.” They are absolutely right about that.

Cohen asked the probation officers who summoned him for some explanation of this extraordinary provision and whether it could be “refined,” his complaint says. Cohen was told to wait while federal probation officer Adam Pakula left to consult with higher-ups. About 90 minutes later Cohen was taken back into custody.

Solitary Confinement

He was held in solitary for 16 days – just for asking a more than reasonable question about an obvious violation of his Constitutional rights. If this case ever gets to trial, you should expect that federal prisons officials will say that solitary confinement was used to protect Cohen from the coronavirus. How convenient for them.

Where are the howls from Fox, Wall Street Journal editorial writers, and those Republicans who rail against tyranny?

Cohen was still in solitary two weeks later when senior U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein ordered Cohen’s immediate release from custody. Judge Hellerstein said Cohen’s return to prison was “retaliatory in response” to block Cohen’s “First Amendment rights to publish a book” criticizing Trump.

Federal prison officials and contractor GEO Group, whose top executive was a prominent Trump supporter and seeker of more taxpayer money for private prisons, slow-walked the judge’s order. Cohen spent two more days locked up in solitary the lawsuit asserts. After a Cohen victory at trial or more likely in settlement talks to avoid a trial that implicit contempt for a judicial order will likely prove costly.

But unless a judge, or a settlement agreement, requires the eight defendants to pay out of their own pockets for what they did under the guise of lawful authority we taxpayers will foot the bill for their un-American behavior.

Team Trump’s Lawlessness

Two months after being freed Cohen’s book Disloyal: A Memoir was where he laid out his solid case about Trump’s dishonesty and contempt for the rule of law.

The shut-up condition was totally lawless, but also consistent with Trump’s oft-stated view that no one should be allowed to write about him in ways he dislikes. And then there’s his campaign vow, aimed at journalists who refuse to be sycophants, “to open up libel laws, and we’re going to have people sue you like you’ve never got sued before.”

While Trump broke that promise, like almost every other one he made to con his way into office, legal attacks on honest journalism in America are growing, as are state laws designed to restrict or even shut down honest reporting, as explained well here.

Trump Fatigue

We have also seen cops, taking their cue from Donald, target reporters for police violence in New York City, Minneapolis and Portland, Ore.

To those with Trump fatigue, me included, it would be easy to just say meh and move on. Who cares that yet another lawsuit has been filed against Donald?

But Trump is still trying to find a way back into power. Worse, people as competent as they are dangerous to liberty are scheming to do what Trump tried and failed to pull off, turning America into a dictatorship.

Cohen’s lawsuit is a reminder of how this isn’t abstract, this isn’t a potential. Cohen’s lawsuit serves as a scary reminder that of a clear and present danger to all of us and to our liberties.

A Year Later, Timeline Shows Trump Always Knew His Fraud Claim Was A 'Big Lie'

Over the past year, we have had to deal with Donald Trump shouting baseless claims that Joe Biden only denied him a second term because of massive fraud. He continues to promote the "Big Lies" despite his claims being debunked many times over in court, in Congress, in the press – and even by a three-month "audit" that his fervent supporters sponsored and conducted.

Believe it or not, Trump's attack on democracy is even worse than it seems. What's worse than repeatedly making "Four-Pinocchio" and "Pants on Fire" claims? Worse is repeating those allegations when you knew all along that they were false. And there is ample evidence in the published record that shows Trump was bleating and screeching about fraud when he knew full well that he had lost fairly and honestly.

This fundamental fact is important for several reasons. If you can put a firm date on the moment that Trump was well aware that he had lost, then every action taken to further those claims was in furtherance of an insurrection—one that began long before January 6. It means that we're no longer merely talking about the fine line between protected and unprotected speech. We're talking about seditious action.

If Trump always knew he had lost, then every one of those hair-on-fire emails urging people to donate to the effort to keep him in office was fraudulent. And if he knew he had lost when, for example, he tried to shake down Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, then it should be easier for Fulton County (Atlanta) District Attorney Fami Ellis to prove that effort was a racketeering offense. And if it can be proved that Trump's lawyers knew their arguments in court were false, it will be far easier to sanction them for doing so.

November 7, 2020: According to Axios, within hours of most major media outlets declaring Biden president-elect, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien and deputy campaign manager Justin Clark tell Trump that his chances of staying in office are slim at best. He needs to win the outstanding absentee ballots in Arizona and Georgia by landslide margins, and also needs to win a legal challenge to Wisconsin's vote count. Clark tells Trump that even then, his chances were no better than five to ten percent. The Washington Post reports that Trump "signaled that he understood" the import of what Stepien and Clark were telling him.

November 10-13, 2020: Trump campaign lawyer Steffan Passantino tells The New York Times that the Trump legal team knew "within a week" of the election that there was no evidence Dominion Voting Systems-manufactured voting machines were switching votes in Georgia. Passantino tells the Times that his team conducted "a literal physical hand count" of all five million ballots cast in Georgia, and the votes "matched almost identically." Without Georgia, there was virtually no realistic path for Trump to stay in office.

November 12, 2020: Axios reports that when all remaining media outlets called Arizona for Biden, Trump's core campaign team told him that "his pathway is dead," since there was no politically viable path for Trump to win without Arizona. The Times reports that Trump's legal team was making plans to withdraw a legal challenge to Arizona's count because the 191 ballots they'd red flagged weren't even a fraction of Biden's 10,000-vote lead in the state. However, Trump was very receptive to Rudy Giuliani's claims that Dominion software was switching votes.

November 13, 2020: According to Axios, the Post and the Times, Giuliani suggests filing a lawsuit in Georgia alleging that the use of Dominion software allowed Biden to flip the state. Justin Clark replies that such a suit would be thrown out on procedural grounds, since Georgia hadn't certified its results yet. Giuliani calls Clark a liar, prompting Clark to call Giuliani "a fucking asshole." Trump sides with Giuliani, beginning what the Times calls "an extralegal campaign to subvert the election." On that same day, the Times reports that deputy campaign communications chief Sam Parkinson asked his legal team to "substantiate or debunk" claims percolating about Dominion in conservative circles.

November 14, 2020: On the same day Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Jenna Ellis assume leadership of Trump's legal campaign to overturn the election results, Parkinson's team compiles a memo that thoroughly debunks the most outlandish claims about Dominion. Among other things, the memo states that there is no evidence Dominion and another voting systems maker, Smartmatic, presently have a relationship. Nor is there any evidence that Dominion has ties with George Soros, Venezuela, or antifa.

November 19, 2020: Giuliani, Powell, and Ellis hold a press conference alleging Dominion is at the center of a wide-ranging conspiracy to steal victory from Trump — repeating the same claims that were debunked by Trump's own communications team five days earlier. Later that night, Fox News' Tucker Carlson tears Powell to shreds for not offering any actual evidence of fraud. According to the Post, Trump is equally disappointed in Powell, and Carlson's takedown of Powell plays a major role in Trump's decision to cut formal ties with her.

Late November 2020: Axios reports that Trump is losing patience with Powell by this time. Before picking up a call from Powell in the Oval Office, Trump tells staffers that he thinks Powell is "crazy," and muses that "no one believes this stuff."

November 20,2020: Michigan state house speaker Lee Chatfield and state senate majority leader Mike Shirkey meet with Trump at the White House. According to Reuters, they tell Trump that they know of no information that would overturn Biden's 154,000-vote lead in Michigan. Chatfield and Shirkey tell the Post that they traveled to Washington in order to give Trump information that "he wasn't hearing in his own echo chamber," and they left believing that "his blinders had fallen off." In other words, it appeared to Chatfield and Shirkey that Trump knew he'd lost Michigan — and with it, any politically realistic path to reelection.

December 1, 2020: Attorney General Bill Barr, with the support of White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, meets with Trump and dismisses Trump's claims of fraud as "bullshit" (per Axios) and "ridiculously false" (per the Times). When Barr pans the Trump legal team's performance, Trump concedes that "maybe" their arguments don't add up. According to the Times, before Barr even leaves the room, Trump tweets out a claim that a truck driver delivered thousands of pre-filled ballots to Pennsylvania—even though federal investigators had already concluded the driver had serious credibility problems.

December 14, 2020: Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller announces that the Trump campaign has organized alternate slates of electors in every battleground state won by Biden, ostensibly to keep Trump's legal options open. This includes Arizona, Georgia and Michigan—states that the Trump campaign likely knew for a month or more that it had lost.

December 18, 2020: According to Axios, Powell barrels into the White House along with Overstock.com founder Patrick Byrne to meet with Trump and peddle more claims that the election was stolen -- even though White House advisers who tried to vet these allegations found they didn't withstand serious analysis. At this meeting, Powell is grilled by White House senior adviser Eric Herschmann and staff secretary Derek Lyons, who note that Powell has repeatedly failed to deliver on promises to back up her arguments. Trump himself expresses doubt about Powell and Byrne's claims, but notes that unlike Herschmann and Lyons, they were at least offering him a shot at winning. As we now know, h

January 2, 2020: Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger's general counsel tells Trump during the now-infamous shakedown attempt that both the FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation have been unable to find any evidence to back up Trump's claims of fraud. However, Trump keeps pressing Raffensperger to "do me a favor."

In short:

  • Trump knew as early as November 7 that he was shooting his last legal bolt to stay in office, and likely knew as early as November 12 that bolt had missed.
  • Trump knew at various points in November that he had lost at least three states that he needed to hold if he had any hope of winning a second term.
  • Giuliani, Powell, and Ellis' press conference aired arguments that the Trump campaign had known were baseless for at least five days.
  • Trump promoted baseless claims even after being told categorically by his own aides that they were false.
  • Trump himself expressed doubt about Sidney Powell's conspiratorial assertions, but had no qualms about using them to support his claims about fraud.

Will Prosecutors Indict Mark Meadows For Trying To Overturn The Election?

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows may face "significant criminal exposure" for his prominent role in pressuring the Justice Department (DOJ) to overturn the free and fair 2020 election, according to a timeline published by Just Security and a criminal complaint filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

CREW filed their complaint against both Meadows and Trump last week, claiming the two violated a "criminal civil rights law" and "criminal provisions of the Hatch Act" in their attempt to effort to overturn the election.

"Government officials who try to subvert our republic and undermine democratic rule must be held accountable to the full extent of the criminal law," said CREW President Noah Bookbinder.

The Just Security timeline depicts those offenses in vivid detail.

Meadows And Giuliani

Throughout the course of the extraordinary effort to overturn the election Meadows worked with Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

First contact reportedly started on or around November 12, 2020. According to Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker's book I Alone Can Fix It, Giuliani asked Meadows to investigate claims that allege tens of thousands of "illegal aliens" may have voted in Arizona. Of course, this was debunked— in reality, it was U.S. citizens living abroad who voted legally.

Giuliani and Meadows also created a “parallel track" while Trump's campaign set up a team in Georgia -- a state Biden won despite its history of being a red state, according to Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender.

“A parallel track was underway from the Oval Office where Giuliani and Meadows, who was just returning to work after being sidelined by Covid, started bringing in their own people," writes Bender in his book Frankly, We Did Win This Election.

CREW alleges that in those first few weeks after the election Meadows, Giuliani, and other Trump aides “began a coordinated multi-state campaign to prevent states from counting legal ballots (or to throw out already- counted legal ballots)."

Not 'Sufficiently Loyal'

Meadows also played a significant role in the firing or discrediting of federal officials who pushed back against the administration's outlandish claims of voter fraud— Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper was the first to fall victim. On November 9, 2020, Meadows called Esper to say "the president's not happy… And we don't think you're sufficiently loyal. You're going to be replaced. He's going to announce it this afternoon," according to Leonnig and Rucker.

Lo and behold, four minutes later, Trump tweets: "I am pleased to announce that Christopher C. Miller, the highly respected Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be Acting Secretary of Defense, effective immediately."

In mid-November or December, Meadows introduced Trump to Jeffrey Clark, whom DOJ officials say “was putting together a secret plan to oust Rosen, the acting attorney general, and force Georgia to overturn its results," according to Bender's book. Meadows denies involvement. He also connected Trump and former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Mark Martin, who came up with the theory that former Vice President Mike Pence could stop the certification of Biden, according to the New York Times.

Leonnig and Rucker's book quoted one senior official saying, Meadows facilitated the president's being "exposed to crazy people spouting lunatic theories about the election and his ability to overturn it. That is all Meadows."

'We're Going To Get The President There'

It was around this time that Meadows acknowledged to the White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah that he knows Trump lost the election.

"We need to give a graceful exit and acknowledge that Biden won," Farah tells Meadows.

"I know, I know," Meadows responded. "We're going to get the president there."

But not only could Meadows never "get the president there," according to Leonnig and Rucker, "There wasn't any indication that he had even tried."

In fact, it was mere days after this that Meadows expressed his displeasure with former Attorney General William Barr for telling the Associated Press, "to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election."

Leonnig and Rucker report that Barr was surprised Meadows "hated" the news story.

"Meadows sat silently on the opposite side of the dining room, with his arms crossed, a posture that seemed to say, This is DOJ's problem," the two write.

Georgia

At this point, Meadows and Trump were laser focused on Georgia. On December 22, 2020, Meadows took a trip to observe an absentee ballot audit and met with Frances Watson, the lead elections investigator in the Georgia Secretary of State's office.

A day later, Trump gets on the phone with Watson, urging her to find "dishonesty" to overturn the election and says she will be "praised" for doing so, according to the Wall Street Journal. Trump also said it was Meadows who told him to contact her.

"Well you have a big fan in our great chief, right? Chief of staff, Mark," said Trump.

Shortly after this, Meadows "began a separate element of the pressure campaign on DOJ," telling acting Attorney General Rosen to focus on "wrongdoing" in Georgia, according to CREW's complaint.

On January 1, Meadows followed up on allegations "of signature match anomalies" in Fulton County, Georgia.

"Get [Assistant Attorney General] Jeffrey Clark to engage on this issue immediately," he wrote in an email to Rosen.

The next morning, Assistant Attorney General Clark confirmed to Rosen that he "spoke to the source and [was] on [a call] with the guy who took the video," adding that he was "[w]orking on it" and that there was "[m]ore due diligence to do."

"The pressure campaign appeared to have some immediate impact," says the complaint.

Hours later, Trump, Meadows, and other associates made the infamous phone call pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to overturn the election

Section 241

In their complaint, CREW first alleges that Trump and Meadows committed civil rights violations, specifically breaking Conspiracy against rights, or Section 241.

Section 241 makes it illegal for two or more persons to "conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States."

"The right to vote for federal offices and the right to have one's vote fairly counted are among the rights secured by Article I, Sections 2 and 4, of the Constitution, and hence protected by Section 241," reads the complaint.

They violated Section 241 by:

Conducting a coordinated campaign to prevent states from counting legal ballots.

Firing or publicly discrediting federal officials who refuted the narrative of purported voter fraud and a stolen election.

Threatening and attempting to intimidate state officials, including Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger, to take steps to overturn the results of the election in their states.

Pressuring DOJ officials to file the lawsuit in the Supreme Court that, if successful, would have overturned the election results in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Pressuring Attorney General Barr and Acting Attorney General Rosen to use DOJ resources to help investigate false allegations of fraud in Michigan and Georgia.

Attempting to fire Acting Attorney General Rosen for refusing to direct the DOJ to support the election fraud claims.

"The ultimate object of the conspiracy was to deprive citizens of their constitutional rights by changing the legal result of the 2020 election," states the complaint.

Hatch Act

The Hatch Act protects federal funds, employees, and programs from political manipulation, according to the CREW.

The complaint notes that criminal prosecutions under the Hatch Act are rare, but not unprecedented. CREW believes that the "egregious" conduct of Trump and Meadows warrants charges under Coercion of political activity – 18 U.S.C. § 610 and Interference in Election by Employees of Federal or State Governments – 18 U.S.C. § 595.

Violations of 18 U.S.C. § 610:

President Trump's verbal abuse of Attorney General Barr for publicly renouncing his election fraud allegations as meritless, causing him to resign, firing CISA Director Krebs, and causing U.S. Attorney Pak to resign, all of which sent the message to others to pursue the allegations or get out.

President Trump's pressure on DOJ officials, including Acting Attorney General Rosen, to support lawsuits seeking to overturn his election loss and to appoint a special counsel to investigate Dominion Voting Systems.

President Trump's pressure on DOJ officials to file the Supreme Court complaint that sought to throw out election results in six states.

Using Mr. Olsen to further apply pressure on Acting Attorney General Rosen and DOJ officials to file the Supreme Court lawsuit through repeated emails and phone calls.

Mr. Meadows' pressure on DOJ officials to investigate various dubious claims of voter fraud in Georgia and elsewhere, including through multiple emails sent to Mr. Rosen.

President Trump's attempt to fire Acting Attorney General Rosen and replace him with Assistant Attorney General Clark, including at the January 3 "high- stakes meeting" at the White House.

President Trump's pressure to fire U.S. Attorney Pak, which resulted in his resignation.
They broke 18 U.S.C. § 595 by:
President Trump's use of his official authority as President to verbally abuse Attorney General Barr, causing him to resign, fire CISA Director Krebs, and cause U.S. Attorney Pak to resign, all for not having more vigorously pursued or supported President Trump's meritless claims of election fraud.

President Trump's use of his official authority as President to pressure Acting Attorney General Rosen to pursue meritless election fraud claims and baseless lawsuits in a White House meeting.

President Trump's use of his White House personal assistant and her official White House email account to send DOJ officials materials alleging election fraud in Michigan, and the draft Supreme Court complaint.

Mr. Meadows' use of his official authority as the White House chief of staff to pressure Acting Attorney General Rosen to authorize DOJ investigations into allegations of election fraud in multiple states, including the request that he assign Mr. Clark to investigate the Georgia election fraud allegations.

Mr. Meadows' use of his official White House email account to convey various baseless allegations of election fraud to DOJ officials.

"Democracy is a precious thing," CREW concludes, adding, "It is your duty, as servants of our Constitution and protectors of our unique experiment in self-governance, to ensure that this perversion of our institutions of government never happens again. The only way to do so is to hold the perpetrators, regardless of their former positions, accountable under the laws they swore to uphold and sought to subvert."

The Trump Phone Call That May Have Sparked Insurrection

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Former President Donald Trump was relentless in his efforts to overturn the presidential election. Although he has adamantly insisted that his actions were not an attempt at a coup, there is reportedly evidence indicating that it was. According to The Daily Beast, details have been revealed about Trump's phone call that may have led to the attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol.

The Department of Justice has provided Congress with documentation of the call Trump placed to outline his grievances of presumed voter fraud. At the time, the call had been taken by Acting. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen.

Per the publication:

"According to documents that the Justice Department has now turned over to Congress, and that were made public for the first time on Friday, Trump called to discuss his phony voter fraud claims, as if the very political William Barr hadn't conceded, on his way out the door, that despite looking, he'd found none."

With no real evidence of voter fraud, Beast columnist Margaret Carlson notes how Trump turned to what she describes as his "people tell me" tactic.

At the time, Trump reportedly claimed:

"Thousands of people' called, complaining to him about the election, the inaction of DOJ, and how none of them 'trust the FBI." Other "people" say how great Jeff Clark is, as in the acting chief of the civil division who supported all things Trump. People wanted Trump to "replace DOJ leadership" with him.

The publically released details about the phone call "are a roadmap to Trump's twisted thinking," the writer explains. Trump claimed he could get a number of so-called "allies" on board to back his claims of voter fraud if he could just get the Department of Justice to sign off in support of his mission. Disturbingly, the majority of House Republican lawmakers had no problem blindly following the embattled former president which only caused more chaos.

Despite his denial of an attempted coup, the details of the call indicate that Trump's actions were not just an example of an impulsive decision, but could rather be described as a twisted concoction of thinking he dwelled on before attempting to execute.

Trump Ripped Former GOP Allies In Furious Interview

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

No matter how much a Republican has done for Donald Trump, the former president can easily turn against them if he feels they have let him down in some way — and that includes former Vice President Mike Pence, former U.S. Attorney General William Barr and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. They all were his targets for an interview featured in Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker's new book, I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year.

On March 31, Washington Post reporters Leonnig and Rucker interviewed Trump in person for their book at his Mar-a-Lago resort in South Florida. I Alone Can Fix It is being released half a year into Joe Biden's presidency; it was six months ago, on January 20, that Trump vacated the White House and Biden was sworn into office. Highlights of that interview can be found in a book excerpt published by Vanity Fair.

During the interview, Trump promoted the false and debunked conspiracy theory that he won the 2020 election — which, in fact, he lost by more than 7 million votes. And Trump believes that Pence let him down by not preventing Congress from affirming Biden's Electoral College victory on January 6, the day a violent mob of Trump's supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol Building.

The ex-president told Leonnig and Rucker, "The greatest fraud ever perpetrated in this country was this last election. It was rigged, and it was stolen. It was both. It was a combination, and Bill Barr didn't do anything about it."

In December 2020, Trump was furious when Barr told the Associated Press that there was no evidence proving the type of widespread voter fraud that Trump was alleging. As much of a Trump loyalist as Barr had been, he acknowledged that Biden was the United States' legitimate president-elect.

Trump told Leonnig and Rucker, "Barr disliked me at the end, in my opinion, and that's why he made the statement about the election, because he did not know. And I like Bill Barr, just so you know. I think he started off as a great patriot, but I don't believe he finished that way."

Similarly, Trump believes that Pence let him down as well. Pence, in early January, stressed that as vice president, he didn't have the authority to reverse the Electoral College results. But as Trump saw it, he wasn't trying hard enough.

At Mar-a-Lago, Trump told Leonnig and Rucker, "Had Mike Pence had the courage to send it back to the legislatures, you would have had a different outcome, in my opinion. I think that the vice president of the United States must protect the Constitution of the United States. I don't believe he's just supposed to be a statue who gets these votes from the states and immediately hands them over. If you see fraud, then I believe you have an obligation to do one of a number of things."

On Capitol Hill, Democrats view Sen. Mitch McConnell as a fierce and unyielding partisan who fights them every step of the way. But Trump doesn't agree.

Thanks in part to McConnell, all three of Trump's Supreme Court nominees are now on the High Court: Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Justice Neil Gorsuch, and Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Yet Trump believes that McConnell didn't do enough for him. And ironically, Trump holds a grudge against the Senate minority leader for not wanting to abolish the filibuster. Democrats, during the Biden era, have been complaining that the filibuster is preventing them from getting important legislation passed in the Senate — from a voting rights bill to a commission to study the January 6 insurrection.

Trump said of McConnell, "He's a stupid person. I don't think he's smart enough. I tried to convince Mitch McConnell to get rid of the filibuster, to terminate it, so that we would get everything — and he was a knucklehead, and he didn't do it."

Other Republicans Trump ranted against during the March 31 interview ranged from former House Speaker Paul Ryan to Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

The former president told Leonnig and Rucker, "Chris has been very disloyal, but that's OK. I helped Chris Christie a lot. He knows that more than anybody, but I helped him a lot. But he's been disloyal."