A leaked intelligence memo suggests Trump’s lies could incite more violence
Not long after President Trump earned the crowning distinction of becoming the first U.S. president to get impeached twice, he released a video in which he went further than ever in calling for an end to post-election violence. But here’s what Trump did not say:
First, that Joe Biden is the legitimate winner of the 2020 election. Second, that Trump’s own big lie to the contrary was the singular cause of the deadly mob assault on the Capitol — and is perhaps the fundamental reason we face the threat of more right-wing insurgent violence to come.
A new federal intelligence bulletin that I’ve obtained underscores the stakes of this omission: It flatly warns that the lie that the 2020 election was fraudulent could be a key inspiration of domestic extremist violence going forward.
The Jan. 13 memo doesn’t cite Trump or his role in spreading this lie, but, of course, Trump has relentlessly promulgated it for months.
Biden unveiling $1.9 trillion economic and health care relief package
Proposal is aimed at addressing the nation’s immediate needs; larger recovery package to follow
Poised to inherit a health-care disaster and a deteriorating economy, President-elect Joe Biden is laying out a $1.9 trillion emergency relief plan Thursday night that will serve as an early test of his ability to steer the nation out of the pandemic disasters and make good on his promises to unite a divided Congress.
The wide-ranging package is designed to take aim at the twin crises Biden will confront upon taking office Jan. 20, with a series of provisions delivering direct aid to American families, businesses, and communities, and a major focus on coronavirus testing and vaccine production and delivery as the pandemic surge continues.
Make. Them. Testify.
Call the Trump officials who resigned in protest to testify at the impeachment trial.
The people closest to Donald Trump knew the risks.
For years, Trump and his most ardent supporters threatened their opponents with violence, insurrection, secession, and even civil war.
Some of his closest aides and establishment enablers gambled that such outcomes might be avoided, that they might escape the Trump administration with their reputations and career prospects enhanced. Or at least intact.
“There’s safety in numbers,” they may have told themselves. “I made the best of a bad situation and advanced causes I believe in.” “My hands are cleaner than others. I wasn’t part of the corruption, the child separation policies, the plot against democracy.”
But this was delusional because this was never a gamble. It was a Faustian bargain. And now some of them are trying to get out of it.
Election deniers in state Senate stripped of chairmanships
It’s payback time. The Republican rift in the state Senate came to a head Tuesday when Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan demoted three Republican senators who have backed attempts to overturn the presidential vote in Georgia over baseless allegations of irregularities.
When the bloodletting was over, state Sens. Brandon Beach of Alpharetta, Matt Brass of Newnan and Burt Jones of Jackson were sapped of their political influence on the second day of the winter session.
As our AJC colleague Maya T. Prabhu reports, Duncan stripped Beach of his chairmanship of the Transportation Committee, while Jones will no longer lead the Insurance and Labor Committee. Neither will serve as even a rank-and-file member on the two panels they once led.
Isaac Chotiner/New Yorker:
Learning from the Failure of Reconstruction
To better understand the lessons of Reconstruction for our times, I recently spoke by phone with Eric Foner, an emeritus professor of history at Columbia, and one of the country’s leading experts on Reconstruction. During the conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, we also discussed the use of Confederate imagery by those who stormed the Capitol, balancing unity and punishment in the wake of terror, and the historical significance of the two Georgia Senate runoffs.
The most common historical parallel over the past four years has been to European fascism, for a variety of reasons. But there have also been references to American history going back to Jim Crow and the Civil War. How does what we’ve seen in the past week, and specifically what we saw on Wednesday, fit into the larger American story and make those American comparisons especially vivid or interesting in your mind?
Well, I guess the sight of people storming the Capitol and carrying Confederate flags with them makes it impossible not to think about American history. That was an unprecedented display. But in a larger sense, yes, the events we saw reminded me very much of the Reconstruction era and the overthrow of Reconstruction, which was often accompanied, or accomplished, I should say, by violent assaults on elected officials. There were incidents then where elected, biracial governments were overthrown by mobs, by coup d’états, by various forms of violent terrorism.
These Are The 10 Republicans Who Voted To Impeach Trump
Ten Republicans crossed President Trump on Wednesday and voted to impeach him for "incitement of insurrection."
It was a historic vote and one that came exactly a week after a pro-Trump mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol after attending a Trump rally on the Ellipse outside the White House. The Capitol was ransacked and occupied for hours, and, in the end, five Americans died and many others were injured as a result.
The 10 House members who voted to impeach Trump don't cut a singular profile. They come from a range of districts, from coast to coast, some representing places Trump won handily in 2020, while others are in more moderate seats.
Tom Nichols/USA Today:
Trump impeachment: No unity until his morally bankrupt defenders get over him and repent
The people who have supported Trump need to come to terms with what they’ve done and with what they’ve allowed to happen — or it will happen again.
This is moral charlatanism and I say to hell with it.
It is almost impossible to comprehend the sheer moral poverty of the people calling now for unity. Elected Republicans now admit they fear for their physical safety from their own constituents, but instead of thunderous defenses of the Constitution, we have soft mewling from people like Sen. Marco Rubio and his Bible-Verse-A-Day tweets, or the head-spinning duplicity of Sen. Lindsey Graham, who within days of saying “count me out” of any further sedition was jollying it up with the president on Air Force One.
After Trump, Is American Democracy Doomed by Populism?
President Donald J. Trump is an authoritarian populist. And one of the key characteristics of populism lies in a leader’s belief that they, and they alone, truly represent the people.
That explains why Trump has kept clashing with democratic institutions over the course of his presidency. Whenever he ran up against the limits of his constitutional authority, he balked at the idea that somebody else—a judge, a bureaucrat, or a member of Congress—could tell him what to do. In his mind, only he had the right to speak for the country.
This helps to make sense of the storming of the Capitol. On one hand, it was a terrible surprise. Before January 6, nobody had expected that a mob of insurrectionists could so easily enter “the People’s House.” But on the other hand, it was a fitting end point for Trump’s presidency: the mob was incited by the populist president of the United States—and that president incited it to action because somebody who believes that he, and only he, represents the people could not possibly accept the legitimacy of an election he lost.