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Transition 2021

Arizona Republican chairwoman Kelli Ward

Screenshot from kelliward.com

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

State Republican parties across the country became even more extreme over the first week without Donald Trump in the White House, punishing Republicans who they felt didn't support Trump enough and pushing baseless conspiracy theories that helped lead to the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The actions from state Republican parties are a surefire sign that the GOP cannot easily wipe its hands clean of Trump, even though those like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell want nothing more to do with him following the attacks that led to the death of one Capitol Police officer.

Here's a look at what some state Republican parties have done since President Joe Biden was inaugurated on Jan. 20:

Arizona Republican Party

On Saturday, the Arizona Republican Party voted to censure the late Sen. John McCain's wife, Cindy, along with former Sen. Jeff Flake and current GOP Gov. Doug Ducey, saying all three were disloyal to Trump.

Both McCain and Flake voted for President Joe Biden, while Ducey refused to overturn Trump's loss in Arizona.

The state party also voted to reelect Kelli Ward — a conspiracy theorist who has surrounded herself with white supremacists — as chair.

Ward told the Associated Press that she is a "Trump Republican" as she dismissed criticism from other state party members who felt she was loyal only to Trump and not the GOP itself.

"The people who are complaining are the people who actually put us in this spot where we are in Arizona, people who have been mamby pamby, lie down and allow the Democrats to walk all over them," Ward — who saw Republicans lose both of Arizona's U.S. Senate seats and Democrats carry the state at the presidential level for the first time since 1996 under her leadership — told the Associated Press.

Texas Republican Party

The Texas GOP announced on Saturday it was joining Gab, a far-right social media platform used by neo-Nazis.

The perpetrator behind the deadly 2018 attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue used the site to announce his attack.

In the same tweet announcing it was joining the extremist social media website, the Texas Republican Party also used the phrase "We are the storm." That's a phrase used by followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which many of the insurrectionists involved in the violence at the Capitol follow.

In fact, ABC News reported that many of the most violent insurrectionists have espoused QAnon beliefs.

Yet the Texas GOP, led by extremist Republican Allen West, has been using the phrase for months on its merchandise since West took control.

West has previously said the day Biden's Electoral College victory was certified that Texas should secede.

Oregon Republican Party

On Jan. 19, the day before Biden was sworn in, the Oregon Republican Party passed a resolution calling the insurrection at the Capitol a "false flag" and compared it to the burning of the German Parliament in 1933 that led to the rise of Nazi control.

In a resolution, the state party wrote that there is "growing evidence that the violence as the Capitol was a 'false flag' operation intended to discredit President Trump, his supporters, and all conservative Republicans," the resolution reads. "This provided the sham motivation to impeach President Trump in order to advance the Democrat goal of seizing total power, in a frightening parallel to the February 1933 burning of the German Reichstag."

The Capitol insurrection was proven by many reports not to be a "false flag," but rather an attack carried out by fervent Trump supporters who had been fed a lie for months that the election was stolen. Trump himself told them to fight at the Capitol, comments that led to his second impeachment.

Hawaii Republican Party

The Hawaii Republican Party used its Twitter account on Saturday to promote content from a Holocaust denier, who was making baseless claims about Biden "selling the grid to China and killing diabetes patients."

Wyoming Republican Party

Finally, the chair of the Wyoming Republican Party took a page from West's playbook to suggest his state should consider seceding over Trump's loss.

"We are straight-talking, focused on the global scene, but we're also focused at home. Many Western states have the ability to be self-reliant, and we're keeping eyes on Texas, too, and their consideration of possible secession," Wyoming Republican Party Chair Frank Eathorne said on recently pardoned former Trump associate Steve Bannon's podcast, according to the Casper Star-Tribune.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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National Guard troops arriving in Washington, DC ahead of Biden inauguration

Screenshot from US National Guard Twitter (@USNationalGuard)

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

State officials are acting quickly to protect their capitol buildings after a cryptic FBI bulletin warned that armed protests are being planned across the country in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

The bulletin, obtained Monday by ABC News, stated that "armed protests" were "being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the US Capitol from 17 January through 20 January."

It continued, "The FBI received information about an identified armed group intending to travel to Washington, DC on 16 January. They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment, a huge uprising will occur."

The news comes days after pro-Donald Trump extremists attacked the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, leaving five people dead.

The riots were incited hours earlier by Trump himself, who called on his supporters to march on the Capitol where lawmakers were assembled to certify Biden's Electoral College victory, suggesting he would be with them and telling them they would never take back the country with "weakness."

Across the nation, state capitols rush to amplify security measures in light of the looming violence.

Minnesota

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday that he plans to deploy the National Guard to protect the capitol building in the days ahead of Biden's inauguration.

He told the media that he would announce his full plans on Wednesday.

New York

On Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there would be "increased security during that period of time" that the FBI's bulletin warned about.

In Albany, state and local law enforcement authorities prepared for the possibility of unrest at the capitol, closing it to the public and closing a portion of State Street in the capital's downtown area to traffic.

State troopers are also patrolling the halls inside the New York Capitol.

Beau Duffy, State Police spokesperson, said, "Given recent events in Washington and across the country, the New York State Police has, out of an abundance of caution, taken steps to harden security in and around the State Capitol in Albany. These restrictions are in place until further notice."

California

At the California State Capitol in Sacramento, law enforcement officials are implementing "additional safety measures."

"In light of recent armed protests at the U.S. Capitol, additional security measures are being implemented in the Assembly, though we will not be disclosing the nature of those security measures publicly," Alisa Buckley, chief sergeant at arms of the California Assembly, told the Los Angeles Times.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Monday, "Everybody is on high alert in terms of just making sure that everybody is safe and protected. ... I can assure you, we have a heightened, heightened level of security."

Connecticut

In Hartford, Capitol Police are working with the state's agencies to ramp up security to protect the state capitol building.

"We're increasing our patrols with our K-9 officer who's a bomb-detecting dog, we're checking those areas and we're also working very closely with a lot of other agencies — Hartford police, state police and FBI for additional possible manpower," said Capitol Police's Officer First Class Scott Driscoll.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has authorized the state National Guard to aid capitol law enforcement's security efforts in Madison.

"Members of the Wisconsin National Guard will mobilize to state active duty to support safety and security efforts at the State Capitol in Madison. The Wisconsin National Guard will serve in a support role to local authorities and conduct a site security mission," Evers said in a release. "The mobilized troops will serve in a State Active Duty status in support of the Capitol Police."

Michigan

In Lansing, the state's Capitol Commission on Monday voted unanimously to ban the open carrying of firearms and weapons inside the capitol building.

State police are also amping up security, with Michigan State Police public affairs director Shanon Banner saying Monday, "I can confirm that out of an abundance of caution, we are increasing our visible presence at the Capitol for the next couple of weeks starting today."

Washington

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has activated as many as 750 National Guard troops to help state police to secure the capitol building in Olympia.

The governor said on Friday, "The actions we saw in both Washington, D.C. and Olympia earlier this week were completely unacceptable and will not be repeated in our state capital again."

A "large number of Washington State Patrol troopers" will join the National Guard, Inslee added.

Idaho

On Monday, Idaho not only locked the doors to its House and Senate chambers in Boise, but also sent state troopers to guard the entrances.

National

At the federal level, in Washington D.C, law enforcement officials are set to deploy up to 20,000 National Guard troops to the U.S. Capitol, where lawmakers voted Wednesday to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection, related to last week's attack. Trump is now the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.