A Bombshell That Few Noticed

Last week, we found out that the former guy had instructed then-acting-attorney general Jeffrey Rosen to “Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R congressmen.”  I saw this headline in numerous news sites that I visit daily, and like most of the rest of you, I growled a bit, called him a few choice names, then moved on to other stories.  But as Robert Reich points out … that was the wrong move.  This is THE story that is most important in its implications.  I’ll let Mr. Reich explain …


A Trump bombshell quietly dropped last week. And it should shock us all

Robert Reich

A newly released memo shows that Trump told the acting attorney general: ‘Just say the election was corrupt [and] leave the rest to me and the [Republican] congressmen’

We’ve become so inured to Donald Trump’s proto-fascism that we barely blink an eye when we learn that he tried to manipulate the 2020 election. Yet the most recent revelation should frighten every American to their core.

On Friday, the House oversight committee released notes of a 27 December telephone call from Trump to then acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen, in which Trump told Rosen: “Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R congressmen.” The notes were taken by Richard Donoghue, Rosen’s deputy, who was also on the call.

The release of these notes has barely made a stir. The weekend news was filled with more immediate things – infrastructure! The Delta strain! Inflation! Wildfires! In light of everything else going on, Trump’s bizarre efforts in the last weeks of his presidency seem wearily irrelevant. Didn’t we already know how desperate he was?

In a word, no. This revelation is hugely important.

Rosen obviously rejected Trump’s request. But what if Rosen had obeyed Trump and said to the American public that the election was corrupt – and then “left the rest” to Trump and the Republican congressmen? What would Trump’s and the Republicans’ next moves have been? And which Republican congressmen were in cahoots with Trump in this attempted coup d’état?

Make no mistake: this was an attempted coup.

Trump knew it. Just weeks earlier, then attorney general William Barr said the justice department had found no evidence of widespread fraud that could have overturned the results.

And a few days after Trump’s call to Rosen – on 2 January – Trump told Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, to “find” votes to change the election outcome. He berated Raffensperger for not doing more to overturn the election.

Emails released last month also show that Trump and his allies in the last weeks of his presidency pressured the justice department to investigate totally unsubstantiated claims of widespread election fraud – forwarding them conspiracy theories and even a draft legal brief they hoped would be filed with the supreme court.

Some people, especially Republican officeholders, believe we should simply forget these sordid details. We must not.

For the first time in the history of the United States we did not have a peaceful transition of power. For the first time in American history, a president refused – still refuses – to concede, and continues to claim, with no basis in fact, that the election was “stolen” from him. For the first time in history, a president actively plotted a coup.

It would have been bad enough were Trump a mere crackpot acting on his own pathetic stage – a would-be dictator who accidentally became president and then, when he lost re-election, went bonkers – after which he was swept into the dustbin of history.

We might then merely regret this temporary lapse in American presidential history. At best, Trump would be seen as a fool and the whole affair an embarrassment to the country.

But Trump was no accident and he’s not in any dustbin. He has turned one of America’s two major parties into his own cult. He has cast the major political division in the US as a clash between those who believe him about the 2020 election and those who do not. He has emboldened state Republicans to execute the most brazen attack on voting rights since Jim Crow. Most Republican senators and representatives dare not cross him. Some of his followers continue to threaten violence against the government. By all accounts, he is running for president again in 2024.

Donald Trump’s proto-fascism poses the largest internal threat to American democracy since the civil war.

What to do about it? Fight it, and the sooner the better.

This final revelation – Trump’s 27 December call to the acting attorney general in which he pleads “Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me” – should trigger section 3 of the 14th amendment, which bars anyone from holding office who “engaged in insurrection” against the US. The current attorney general of the United States, Merrick Garland, should issue an advisory opinion clearly stating this. If Trump wants to take it to the supreme court, fine.

22 thoughts on “A Bombshell That Few Noticed

    • After he refused to agree to it, Trump tried to fire him, but was advised by his lawyers not to. Otherwise, who knows what might have happened. It’s frightening to realize how close we came to a dictatorship! xx

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  1. I have to look at this transcript from a different point of view. While very insinuative when looking backward, on the day the call took place it really said nothing incriminating other than the fact he tried to get the election declared “corrupt,” whatever that word actually means. The statement that he and the R congressmen would “take care” of the rest does not say anything usable in a court of law. As much as I would like to see Trump behind bars, a lot more dots need to be found to make this part of a trail of proof.
    Having said that, this should be damning in the court of public opinion, except almost half of Americans will refuse to see him that way…

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    • Coupled with everything else he did in an attempt to ‘stay in power’, this is damning in both the court of public opinion and the court of law. And it speaks volumes about how far he is willing to go … chillingly.

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  2. “…And it should shock us all.” That’s the problem. Nothing Trump does shocks us anymore. It should, but after more than five years of what he does shocking us all, we are shell shocked.

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  3. Absolutely the story. I broached it with eight political savvy friends; only one was familiar with the tale, other than the headline. The verbiage reported demonstrates Trump’s callousness toward the Constitution and naked willingness to do everything slash anything to try to stay in power. Outrageous. As friend would say, “GRRRRRRRRRRRR.” Cheers and hugs, M

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    • Trump never respected the Constitution … it was like his bible … just something to hold up when attempting to appear pious. There have been so many horrible things he’s said and done that I think we’ve mostly become inured to them — a very dangerous situation. Gee … who would ever grrrrrrrrrrrrrrowl in such a way??? 😉 Hugs ‘n cheers to you, dear Michael!

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  4. If he is not tried and hopefully convicted along with any Republican Politician who can be proved to have planned this with him, and along with any black money donor who funded this as well as any of his family who were part of it, then it will never go away. There will always be a cry of Stolen Election and the threat of him being put on the next ballot. You must beat his supporters down with proof after proof.
    On the subject of money, Trump received millions in campaign contributions based on him standing again in 2024. Bu I see he recently paid millions in legal fees and I know he had debts from his 2020 election. I hope he can account for every penny of the donated money for 2024 or rather can’t.
    Cwtch

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    • I want to see this turned inside out through investigations by every appropriate agency. I want names, dates and places made public and the people attached to those names to go to prison. Will it happen? Sigh. I’ve got serious doubts. Next time … and make no mistake, there WILL BE a next time … they will be better prepared, laws will have been enacted that allow state officials to override our votes, and the coup will likely be successful. That’s why it’s so very important to pursue this to the ends of the earth. As re the campaign contributions … I fail to understand how he can legally accept campaign contributions when he isn’t running for anything yet! He hasn’t filed the paperwork for 2024, hasn’t even informally announced his candidacy! And what sort of idiot would donate money to him??? Sigh. The sooner he is carted off to prison, the sooner I’ll manage a full night’s sleep!
      Cwtch

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