Trump escalates defiance of the 2020 election outcome


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  imt  •  2 weeks ago  •  30 comments

By:   Patrick Martin

Trump escalates defiance of the 2020 election outcome
The president is laying the groundwork not merely for scattered legal challenges to tallies in various states but to open repudiation of the entire election result…Only a handful of top Republicans in Congress or around the country have acknowledged Trump’s defeat.

‘The president is laying the groundwork not merely for scattered legal challenges to tallies in various states but to open repudiation of the entire election result…Only a handful of top Republicans in Congress or around the country have acknowledged Trump’s defeat.’

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

‘In a series of actions Monday, President Trump and his closest aides and political accomplices demonstrated that they do not accept the vote of the American people to remove him from office, and that they will do anything in their power to prevent the victorious Democratic Party candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, from taking office on January 20.

On Monday afternoon, Trump fired Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in a tweet because Esper had opposed using troops to suppress demonstrations in American cities—a “failing” Trump hopes to remedy with his next Pentagon chief.

The Trump-appointed chief of the General Services Administration (GSA), which handles logistics and infrastructure for the federal government, said she would not move forward with the legally required assistance to the Biden transition team until the outcome of the election was known.

Attorney General William Barr sent a circular to all US attorneys authorizing them to initiate investigations into vote fraud if it “could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election,” effectively lining up the Justice Department behind Trump’s bogus claims that the election has been stolen from him.

Barr held a closed-door meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on the same afternoon that McConnell delivered his first public remarks on the 2020 election. Speaking from the floor of the Senate, he upheld Trump’s “right” to file lawsuits over alleged irregularities in half a dozen states won by Biden.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, Trump kept up a stream of denunciations of supposed fraud in the election, with baseless claims that elections overseen by Republican state officials, as in Georgia, Arizona and Nevada, and vote tallying conducted mainly by Republican local officials, as in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, were rigged in favor of Biden and the Democrats.

The firing of Esper is the most ominous step, coming only days after an interview given by the Pentagon chief to the Military Times, in which he recalled his well-publicized dispute with Trump last June, when the president threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act and deploy active duty federal troops against the millions demonstrating against police violence after the murder of George Floyd.

In response to pressure from the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other top officers, concerned that such an openly repressive intervention was inadequately prepared and likely to discredit the military in the eyes of the American population, Trump backed down temporarily. But he is clearly aware that he can overturn the results of the November 3 election, clearly won by Biden, only through the use of military force.

Esper did not discuss this subject directly, but he told the Military Times that he had prepared a letter of resignation and then decided against sending it, concerned about what might come next. “Who’s going to come in behind me?” he asked. “It’s going to be a real ‘yes man.’ And then God help us.”

The undeniable implication of Esper’s firing is that Trump wants a Pentagon chief who will say yes to the deployment of troops into American cities to deal with the mass unrest that would undoubtedly follow an attempt by the president to defy the election results.

Trump named Christopher Miller, director of the National Counter-Terrorism Center (NCTC), as Esper’s replacement to head the Pentagon on an “acting” basis. Miller retired in 2014 after a 31-year career as a Special Forces officer. He joined the White House staff in 2018 at the National Security Council (NSC), working on counterterrorism under John Bolton, then the national security advisor.

Soon after Bolton left the White House in September 2019, Miller came to Trump’s attention as the NSC liaison to the Pentagon during the Special Forces operation in which ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was assassinated. Miller subsequently moved to a counterterrorism position at the Pentagon, before being selected by Trump to head the NCTC.

At least one senator, Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon, voiced objections to Miller’s appointment because he indicated at a confirmation hearing that he would not oppose the NCTC supplying information on American citizens to the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, to assist in the suppression of ongoing protests against police violence in Portland, Oregon.

Trump repeatedly denounced the Portland protesters as terrorists and sent federal paramilitary forces into the city. Miller was confirmed by the Senate on August 6 in a voice vote, indicating that no Democrat felt strongly enough even to demand a roll-call vote.

The decision by GSA Administrator Emily Murphy not to begin formal cooperation with the Biden transition team has both political and practical significance. A spokeswoman for Murphy told Reuters that she was waiting until “a winner is clear,” although the traditional practice at the GSA has been to begin liaison efforts as soon as a winner is called by the major television networks and other news organizations.

Trump and his congressional backers have demagogically attacked Saturday’s announcement of a Biden victory by the Associated Press, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, the New York Times and Washington Post as though it was a usurpation of the popular will by “giant corporations,” although Trump made no such objection when the same organizations called him the winner the morning after the polls closed in the 2016 election.

It would be unprecedented for the transition to a new administration to be delayed until after formal certification of the results of the election by the authorities in 50 states and the District of Columbia, a process that will take two or three weeks, given the slow arrival of mail ballots, particularly from overseas and military voters, and the time required for recanvassing and recounting in those states where the contest is close enough to warrant such action.

The Electoral College does not meet until December 14 to cast the electoral votes for the rival presidential tickets. And this process could well be disrupted if, as some state legislators and right-wing pundits have suggested, Republican-controlled state legislatures in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona intervene and attempt to impose pro-Trump electors rather than the pro-Biden slates elected by the voters.

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has called for a wide-ranging investigation of the election—Trump lost the state by 20,000 votes—citing “concerns surfacing about mail-in ballot dumps and voter fraud.” In Pennsylvania, there has already been discussion among Republican legislators about how to go about appointing pro-Trump electors.

The letter from Attorney-General Barr to federal prosecutors authorizes them to investigate “if there are clear and apparently credible allegations of irregularities.” In the context of Trump’s open defiance of the election results, the directive amounts to making the resources of the Justice Department freely available to the Trump campaign. It also supersedes a longstanding policy that federal prosecutors not involve themselves in election-related cases until after states certify the results.

In his statement on the election, Senate Majority Leader McConnell made no mention of the Democratic president-elect, a former senator and supposed “friend,” according to the pro-Biden media. McConnell’s brief speech made no reference to allegations of vote fraud or ballot stuffing.

But other Senate Republicans were far less constrained. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, appearing on Fox News, demanded that losing Republican Senate candidate John James in Michigan also refuse to concede. “If Republicans don’t challenge and change the US election system, there will never be another Republican president elected again,” he declared.

A Trump legal adviser revealed the strategy behind the state lawsuits, telling Fox News last week, “We’re waiting for the United States Supreme Court—of which the president has nominated three justices—to step in and do something. And hopefully Amy Coney Barrett will come through.”

Only a handful of top Republicans in Congress or around the country have acknowledged Trump’s defeat and the victory of Democratic candidate Biden. This includes three governors—in the heavily Democratic states of Maryland, Vermont and Massachusetts—four of the 53 Senate Republicans, and only a dozen of the nearly 200 members of the House of Representatives, including four who are leaving office.

In all these reactionary machinations, there are elements of both desperation and delusion. The bulk of the Republican Party has embarked on a political course to deny the results of an election in which 75 million people voted for the Biden-Harris ticket. While the Democratic Party might well capitulate to such a political coup, there is no chance that the American population as a whole will passively accept the usurpation of the presidency. Trump can maintain power only through methods of mass repression and violence.

The atmosphere in the White House itself appears to be that of a besieged fortress. According to an unnamed official who spoke with CNN, “John McEntee, director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office, is spreading the word throughout the administration that if he hears of anyone looking for another job they will be fired.” The administration has also been shaken by a third wave of COVID-19 infections that has hit Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, and top Trump campaign adviser David Bossie.’


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1  seeder  IMT    2 weeks ago

As things now stand...

– Defense Secretary Esper fired for opposing the use of troops to suppress demonstrations.
– General Services Administration Chief Emily Murphy refuses to assist transition until election results are known.
– AG Barr effectively aligns the DoJ with Trump’s claims by instructs attorneys to investigate election fraud.
– Senate Majority Leader McConnell backs Trump’s lawsuits against adversarial election results.
– Trump continually denounces election results with unsubstantiated claims of fraud.
– Trump and company denounce Biden’s victory as if it is an overturning of the popular will.

Martin states, ‘only a handful of top Republicans in Congress or around the country have acknowledged Trump’s defeat.’ He also notes that Barr’s communiqué effectively puts DoJ resources at the disposal of the Trump campaign. Some call for the appointment of pro-Trump electors. Trump routinely referencing protesters as terrorists. Precedents are established for vanishing protesters in unmarked vehicles to undisclosed locations. Thousands of militia members regard themselves as the inheritors of the best of revolutionary tradition. A Trump legal advisor reveals the campaign strategy is to turn to the Supreme Court.

Before a mounting coup, conciliation is capitulation. And if as the author thinks the Democrat Party may be willing to accept a coup, there is zero likelihood that the population at large will lie down before this travesty.

So, where is this going? The subjective idealists and post modernists among us will dismiss this with a brush of the hand. They will deny that Esper was fired for the stated reason, or that Barr has contacted attorneys as stated. Some may cede that the data is correct in so far as it goes, but deny any relationship between them. They’ll see no causal potentiality for a political coup, or for the repression of the masses who will protest such an attempt to overturn the election.

But what of you? Is this all unrelated happenstance, OR does a dialectical process connects these events to specific, political ends? What do you think?

2  bbl-1    2 weeks ago

Tired of Trump.  He's boring, predictably paranoid and eternally angry.  

I suspect Trump is doing what ever he can to avoid proving in court that he is innocent of tax fraud, insurance fraud, tax evasion and money laundering.  And perhaps other things.

"Political ends."  ? ?  In Trump there can only be an end.

Buzz of the Orient
2.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  bbl-1 @2    2 weeks ago

Although Ford may have pardoned Nixon, the whole world would lose respect for Biden if he were to pardon Trump.  I truly hope that notwithstanding his compassion and empathy, Biden would not betray his own dignity by doing so. 

2.1.1  bbl-1  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1    2 weeks ago

Or Maybe Trump can 'give himself' The Medal of Freedom, something he and Limbaugh can yuck-yuck together.

Biden will not 'pardon' Trump.  Why should he?  Would you?

2.1.2  seeder  IMT  replied to  bbl-1 @2.1.1    2 weeks ago

'Biden will not 'pardon' Trump.'

I would contextualize this in the perspective that all living Presidents have committed crimes against humanity under international law. A shared history of war crimes allows each to absolve itself simply by pointing to the sins of the other. It strikes me as a convenient relationship. A lead architect of the illegal war ON Iraq, Biden stands open to prosecution if he does try to prosecute Trump.

2.1.3  bbl-1  replied to  IMT @2.1.2    2 weeks ago

The lead architect of 'the Iraq War' was Dick Cheney, Big OIL and The House of Saud.

Buzz of the Orient
2.1.4  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  bbl-1 @2.1.1    2 weeks ago

jrSmiley_51_smiley_image.gif .

2.1.5  seeder  IMT  replied to  bbl-1 @2.1.3    2 weeks ago

Agreed. And Cheney/Halliburton are likewise answerable for crimes of war against peace. A shared history.

Thrawn 31
3  Thrawn 31    2 weeks ago

Trump is trying to do whatever he can to stay in power and the GOP is going to do whatever it can to help him election results be damned. Hopefully there are enough people in the federal and state governments who still have some sort of respect for our form of government, of course I also wouldn't be even slightly surprised if the rot within the GOP has trickled down to the lowest levels at this point. 

Buzz of the Orient
3.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Thrawn 31 @3    2 weeks ago

There are still some honest Republicans, decent ones with dignity.  The Secretary of State and L.G. of Georgia are both Republicans, and notwithstanding the pressures brought upon them by the Repubican Party they REFUS'E to cancel the runoff election for the two Senators in Georgia, where the Democrat candidates stand a chance of tying the Senate sides, that would give Harris the casting vote.  I also understand the the Republican officals in charge of the count in the battleground States that is being disputed also are standing their ground in defending the count. 

3.1.1  JBB  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @3.1    2 weeks ago

Perhaps Trump voters should be forced to visit the detention centers where refuger children were warehoused. To witness the Covid wards and the overflowing city morgues and the mass graves of hundreds of unclaimed Covid victims burried out on Hart Island...


3.1.2  seeder  IMT  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @3.1    2 weeks ago

Of course there are decent republicans. But the question concerns logic driving the many things moving which anticipate a coup. Not the least of these is the refusal of the Democrat Party to acknowledge the trajectory suggested by these events. Then there is the anti-left purge unfolding in the Democrat Party. Then there is the matter that many police are recruited from the most backward and reactionary/fascistic layers of society. This list could go on, but there is enough with this and my opening comment to demonstrate dereliction on the part of the supposed party of opposition.

Buzz of the Orient
4  Buzz of the Orient    2 weeks ago
"The undeniable implication of Esper’s firing is that Trump wants a Pentagon chief who will say yes to the deployment of troops into American cities to deal with the mass unrest that would undoubtedly follow an attempt by the president to defy the election results."

An American "Tianenmen Square"?

4.1  seeder  IMT  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4    2 weeks ago

That is not at all out of the question.If the overturning of an election is not met with a massive, massive response, it would be a simply devastating defeat for the US working class.

5  Kavika     2 weeks ago

Four more officials of the Defense Department have left, resigned, forced to resign or fired. 

The postal worker that claims that this supervisor told them to backdate ballots and the republicans used in their lawsuits has recanted his claim

Now with that said I have no idea what in the hell Trump is trying to do. His request for donations to file the lawsuits has in the small print at the bottom that the funds can be used for other ''things'' than just to file and pursue his lawsuits. 

What does that mean, could it be that they are heavily in debt and the monies collected will be used to pay down or off other debts.. 

If Trumps hold on until January 20th, 2021, and refuses to turn over the power of the office it will become a spectacle, unlike anything this country has ever seen in modern times. There are numerous opinions on this and most say that he will be removed and can be charged with various crimes. The 20th amendment may come into play. 

The bottom line is that the credibility of the may be damaged beyond repair or if he is forceable removed it may show that we can remove a president that is unwilling to give up his power. 

All of your points are, IMO they are all ways that Trump wants to delegitimize the election, simple but it certainly seems to be the facts at this point. There isn't a prayer in hell that he will win lawsuits in MI, WI, PA, GA, NV, and AZ to overturn the people's will. 

Recounts rarely change elections.

All and all the next couple of months will be interesting times for America.

Buzz of the Orient
5.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika @5    2 weeks ago

What is Trump trying to do?  He is doing his damnedest to damage America and its form of democracy for the eyes of the rest of the world to see (and pity) - a favour for which the CCP will never be able to repay him. 

Did you mean the 25th Amendment?  Will the 25th Amendment permit what Trump TRULY deserves?


5.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5.1    2 weeks ago

Yes, 25th.

5.2  JohnRussell  replied to  Kavika @5    2 weeks ago

It's already unlike anything this country has ever seen. 

The psychiatrists have been telling us for more than 4 years that Trump is mentally ill. Very few people have cared enough to make it an issue. 

5.3  seeder  IMT  replied to  Kavika @5    2 weeks ago


My take -- Trump doesn’t need to win lawsuits.

The lawsuits intend to prolong a crisis that Trump’s refusal to admit defeat creates. The longer the US is in legal limbo, the less legitimate Biden’s election seems to be. And to further his conspiracy, Trump hastily appointed to the Supreme Court a judge he believed would be in sympathy with his coup. It is expected that the working class will stage a vast protest to Trump’s overthrow of the US election. This, he means to crush under the false flag of defending ‘law and order’ against anarchy, etc. When it beholds the magnitude of the response to the coup, the Democrat National Committee will blanch in sheer terror and cower behind Trump’s skirt.

5.3.1  Kavika   replied to  IMT @5.3    2 weeks ago

That may be what he intends but in reality, it's delusions of grandeur.

5.3.2  seeder  IMT  replied to  Kavika @5.3.1    2 weeks ago

I can only wish that you were right, Kavika. But in this case, delusion is reality.

5.3.3  Kavika   replied to  IMT @5.3.2    2 weeks ago
But in this case, delusionisreality.

Sadly that might be true.

6  Kavika     2 weeks ago

Has anyone see our Commander in Chief lately? He seems to have gone missing except for a couple of rounds of golf. 

OK, I'll volunteer to look in the bunker to see if he's hiding in there. 

6.1  JBB  replied to  Kavika @6    2 weeks ago

Trump has been on Twitter espousing conspiracy theories about election fraud and saying he won...

To their credit, the media has mostly ignored him.

Raven Wing
6.1.1  Raven Wing  replied to  JBB @6.1    2 weeks ago
To their credit, the media has mostly ignored him.

To my surprise Fox has been cutting off the reports given by Trump staff when they start to spew lies  about voter fraud and spewing misinformation, and lies about how the election was rigged and other Trump lies. The just interrupt the speaker and cut them off.

This has happened several times since the Election and Biden's win. It appears that Rupert Murdoch has handed Trump his a$$ in a way that lets Trump and his supporters know that Trump does not own them, and they won't be a party to spreading his lies and misinformation any more. He is on his own. 

6.2  seeder  IMT  replied to  Kavika @6    2 weeks ago

As Martin closes -- 'the atmosphere in the White House itself appears to be that of a besieged fortress...'

7  Ender    2 weeks ago
Alexander S. Vindman
In the last 24 hours, the Secretary of Defense (SecDef), the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (USD-P), and the Under Secretary of Defense for Intell (OUSD-I) have been sacked. Trump loyalist now sit in the 1, 3, and 4 slots at DOD. Kash Patel is DOD Chief of Staff. Why?
7.1  Ronin2  replied to  Ender @7    2 weeks ago

See he is still bitter about being sacked. Of course what did he expect for making shit up; and then leaking it?

Seems some have forgotten they serve at the behest of the President in their positions.

7.1.1  Ender  replied to  Ronin2 @7.1    2 weeks ago

No matter what you may think of him, it doesn't make what he said false.

Also, blindly following a leader is not what we are about.

Buzz of the Orient
7.1.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Ender @7.1.1    2 weeks ago

Regrettably, there are 70 million Americans who are.....



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