The New York Times reported Tuesday that, as part of a filing in his defamation suit against much of the deplorable ecosystem, former Dominion Voting Systems executive Eric Coomer entered into the record an internal Trump campaign memo from November 2020. That memo debunked the most outlandish claims about election fraud that had been percolating in Trumpworld and the deplorable tubes. The fun part? It came two days before Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell held a now-infamous press conference repeating those very claims.
And yet, as of this writing, this best characterizes the response from anyone in a position of power in the Republican Party: silence. Unacceptable silence.
This memo proves not just beyond reasonable doubt, but beyond ALL doubt, that the Trump campaign knew that the Big Lie was indeed a lie. More importantly, it proves that the insurrection was underway long before Jan. 6. After all, if Trump knew he’d lost—even as he was wailing that he’d had a second term stolen from him—then every act on his part after he had that knowledge was in furtherance of that insurrection.
What’s more, we already know that a number of senior Republicans knew damn well that the Big Lie was, well, a lie—and yet, they remained silent. Back in January, Cook Political Report editor Dave “I’ve seen enough” Wasserman recalled that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had told him several times after the election that Joe Biden had indeed won. And yet, McCarthy had no qualms about objecting to the certification of Electoral College results, even after the insurrection, and is tripping all over himself to lead the GOP effort to whitewash the horror of Jan. 6 today.
We also know that Sens. Lindsey Graham and Mike Lee had reviewed Trump campaign claims of fraud for themselves and concluded they were bogus. Yet it took until Jan. 6 for Graham to publicly break with Trump, while Lee claimed Trump deserved a “mulligan” for his incendiary speech before the rioters swarmed into the Capitol.
And yet, all three of these gentlemen—a term that, in this case, we must apply in its loosest possible sense—have said nary a word since this memo dropped. Nor has Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, or anyone else that passes for leadership in the GOP.
I’ve been reluctant to cull any Trump supporters from my Facebook friends list, unlike some of my Democratic and never-Trumper friends. Instead, I reserve my ire for “leaders” like McCarthy, Graham, Lee, and any other Republican elected official who failed to speak up and condemn this pigweed. They not only failed to make the decision they should have made, but failed to make the decision that they were morally, legally, and constitutionally required to make. I also reserve my ire for the likes of McDaniel and others in the GOP who don’t have the guts to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence that their standardbearer lied to the American people, and damned well knew he was lying to the American people.
The GOP insists that voter ID laws are necessary to safeguard the integrity of our elections. Well, with the release of that memo, we now know—again, not just beyond reasonable doubt, but beyond all doubt—that Trump’s actions amounted to an attack on the integrity of our democracy which was exponentially greater than any voter who isn’t required to show their driver’s license ever could.
The longer the GOP remains silent, the longer we must ask whether we have one party actually committed to the integrity of the system—and one party that isn’t.