Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2

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Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5450 on: June 27, 2022, 11:45:05 PM »
Trump and his supporters have blown up Illinois Republicans' $50 million midterm campaign: report

According to a report from the New York Times, the Illinois Republican Party's plan to put a candidate in place that they feel can beat Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) in November is going down in flames due to Donald Trump and his supporters.

As the Times' Reid Epstein reports, more than $50 million dollars was involved to make Mayor Richard C. Irvin of Aurora the nominee and now it looks like -- due to the former president and his rabid followers, -- they will be saddled with previously little known state Sen. Darren Bailey (R) who once proposed kicking Chicago out of Illinois.

On Saturday Trump endorsed the man the Times described as "A 56-year-old farmer whose Southern Illinois home is closer to Nashville than to Chicago, he wears his hair in a crew cut, speaks with a thick drawl and does not sand down his conservative credentials, as so many past leading G.O.P. candidates have done to try to appeal to suburbanites in this overwhelmingly Democratic state."

That has boosted the chances of Bailey getting the GOP nomination -- where he is already leading in the polls -- and has derailed plans made by the GOP.

According to the report, "Mr. Bailey rose to prominence in Illinois politics by introducing legislation to kick Chicago out of the state. When the coronavirus pandemic began, he was removed from a state legislative session for refusing to wear a mask, and he sued Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, over statewide virus mitigation efforts. Painted on the door of his campaign bus is the Bible verse Ephesians 6:10-19, which calls for followers to wear God’s armor in a battle against 'evil rulers.'"

Adding to the Republican Party's problems is that Pritzker is boosting the campaign for Bailey which is also giving the GOP headaches.

According to the report, "Kenneth Griffin, the Chicago billionaire hedge fund founder who is the chief benefactor for Illinois Republicans, gave $50 million to Mr. Irvin for the primary alone and pledged to spend more for him in the general election. Mr. Griffin, the state’s richest man, will not support any other Republican in the race against Mr. Pritzker, according to his spokesman, Zia Ahmed. Mr. Griffin announced last week that his hedge fund and trading firm would relocate to Miami."

Pritzker, for his part, is enjoying the chaos, telling reporters, "It’s a mess over there. They’re all anti-choice. Literally, you can go down the list of things that I think really matter to people across the state. And, you know, they’re all terrible. So I’ll take any one of them and I’ll beat them."

You can read more here:

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/26/us/politics/illinois-governor-bailey-irvin-pritzker.html

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5450 on: June 27, 2022, 11:45:05 PM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5451 on: June 27, 2022, 11:58:32 PM »
'Stop the Steal' didn't start in 2020 - it was 20 years in the making



As the January 6th Committee continues to unpeel layers of criminality and conspiracy, it’s important to note that the Stone/Bannon/Trump “Stop The Steal” scheme did not originate in 2020. It was, in fact, 20 years in the making.

Roger Stone, Trump’s dirty trickster who was sentenced to 40 months in prison before Trump pardoned him, rolled out version 1.0 in Florida in 2000, helping the George W. Bush campaign stop a Florida Supreme Court-mandated statewide recount that would have handed the election to Al Gore.

After Stone’s successful efforts to shut down the Miami-Dade County recount with the infamous “Brooks Brothers Riot,” five Republicans on the US Supreme Court overruled the Florida Supreme Court (so much for “state’s rights” and the 10th Amendment) and blocked the recount because it would “cause irreparable harm” to “plaintiff George W. Bush.”

Stone coordinated the program to shut down the vote count and throw the election to Bush, who had lost the election by 500,000 votes nationwide, a role Stone reprised in both 2016 and 2020.

]In 2000, “I set up my command center there [in Miami]” Stone told Jeffrey Toobin. “I had walkie-talkies and cell phones, and I was in touch with our people in the building. Our whole idea was to shut the recount down. That was why we were there. We had the frequency to the Democrats’ walkie-talkies and were listening to their communications…”

Joe Geller was the Miami-Dade County Democratic Party Chairman, and was threatened and roughed up by Stone’s goons, many staffers from Republican members of Congress flown down for the event.

“Anybody who says it was unrelated to the intimidation and violence floating around there is not telling the truth. I saw it with my own eyes,” Geller told The Washington Post. “Violence, fear and physical intimidation affected the outcome of a lawful elections process. I think that’s pretty bad.”

Stone’s next Stop The Steal, this one Version 2.0, was to be on behalf of Donald Trump in 2016, an election they fully expected to lose but were willing to unleash chaos on the country over anyway.

The day before the 2016 election — six years ago — ABC News reported that Roger Stone’s second “Stop The Steal” program had been forced to back off their efforts to put armed white “election monitors” into minority neighborhoods after a court threatened him.

“For weeks,” John Kruzel reported for ABC, “the group has used incendiary rhetoric to motivate members to turn up at contested areas tomorrow to participate in a survey of voters leaving polling places.”

Two weeks earlier The Guardian reported that the Trump campaign was targeting “Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Fort Lauderdale, Charlotte, Richmond and Fayetteville,” all cities with large Black populations.

Trump and Stone were expecting to lose the election to Hillary Clinton, so finding or manufacturing any evidence of hanky panky in Black neighborhoods would be pure gold for the “Stop The Steal” operation they were planning for the days after the election was called for Clinton.

If if there was anything that might throw a monkey wrench into the 2016 election, armed white men going door-to-door in Black neighborhoods to ask about voting plans, and standing outside polling places doing “exit interviews” was at the top of the list.

“In court filings,” ABC reported, “Democrats argue Stop the Steal’s exit polling operation serves no legitimate purpose, but is merely a pretext for harassing and intimidating likely Democratic voters of color. They say the ruse goes hand-in-hand with Donald Trump's heated, racially-tinged accusations of vote-rigging and his calls for supporters to monitor voting in ‘certain areas,’ which Democrats argue is code for minority communities.”

That year, 2016, was a dress rehearsal for 2020. Stone and Trump’s 2016 StopTheSteal.org website (here’s the link to the archive) laid out the lies they were going to deploy and their strategy for profiting from them:

“[Democrats] intend to flood the polls with illegals. Liberal enclaves already let illegals vote in their local and state elections and now they want them to vote in the Presidential election.
“What can we do to stop this outrageous steal? We must step up to the plate and do this vital job? That€™s why I am working with a statistician attorneys and computer experts to find and make public any result which has been rigged.
“We at THE EMERGENCY COMMITTEE TO STOP THE STEAL WILL:
“– Demand inspection of the software used to program the voting machines in every jurisdiction...
“– Conduct targeted EXIT-POLLING in targeted states and targeted localities that we believe the Democrats could manipulate based on their local control...
“– Retain the countries foremost experts on voting machine fraud to help us both prevent and detect voting machine manipulation….”


And, of course, there was the ever-present Trump-trademarked fundraising grift:

“Under the law, you €”or your corporation €”can contribute in any amount. Won’t you send $10,000 for this vital program today? Of course $5,000 or even $2,500 would be a great help. If you can send $5,000 or $10,000 or more it would be a Godsend.”

Thus, by the time the 2020 election rolled around, Trump and Stone were running a well-oiled machine, at least when it came to preparing the ground to convince the public the election had been stolen from Trump.

The BBC compiled a series of Trump tweets throughout 2020, all designed to prepare his followers to believe his lies about a stolen election that fall.

The first came in April, as the pandemic was biting and then-President Trump’s approval numbers were collapsing:

GET RID OF BALLOT HARVESTING, IT IS RAMPANT WITH FRAUD. THE USA MUST HAVE VOTER I.D., THE ONLY WAY TO GET AN HONEST COUNT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2020


Then, in June as the Democratic candidacy of Joe Biden was gaining traction:

RIGGED 2020 ELECTION: MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WILL BE PRINTED BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AND OTHERS. IT WILL BE THE SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2020


In August, he tweeted again to his millions of followers:

The Democrats are demanding Mail-In Ballots because the enthusiasm meter for Slow Joe Biden is the lowest in recorded history, and they are concerned that very few people will turn out to vote. Instead, they will search & find people, then “harvest” & return Ballots. Not fair!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2020


Around that time, in August — three months before the election — the BBC documented how Trump and Stone rolled out dozens of Facebook groups all using the same banner; millions joined them or got their “news” from these groups between August and the election:



Finally, the night of the election Trump again tweeted, laying the ground for both January 6th and a massive half-billion-dollar theft of money from his mostly older small-dollar donors:

We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2020


That’s how Trump has made over $390 million dollars just since he lost the election. And he’s still fundraising, fleecing the rubes: I get a dozen emails a week from him begging for money and telling me I can win a prize.

The big difference between 2000 and 2020 is that back in 2000 Stone’s plan worked, but it failed the second time around.

Stone’s “Brooks Brothers” goons succeeded in stopping the Florida vote count and cemented Bush’s ascent to the White House, even though he’d lost the election.

In 2020, on the other hand, the January 6th protests failed to intimidate members of Congress the way they had the Miami-Dade County vote-counters twenty years earlier.

Having succeeded in stealing an election with a mob once, it’s not surprising that Stone and Trump thought it might work again. They just couldn’t pull it off because Trump was so incompetent. The next Republican may not be.

Given that Republicans have used these “big lie” and intimidation tactics in three presidential elections in this century, Republican criminality should cease to surprise us. And, indeed, there’s a long tradition of criminal GOP presidential tactics.

Nixon blew up LBJ’s Vietnam negotiations (causing another 20,000 American deaths) to win the 1968 election, something LBJ and Republican Senate leader Everett Dirksen agreed at the time was treason. Reagan cut a deal with the Iranians in 1980 to sabotage Jimmy Carter, elevating him to the White House.

Bush’s dirty work was done by his brother in Florida and his dad’s friends on the Supreme Court, and in 2016 Trump had a big boost from Vladimir Putin, a boost that Trump tried his best to repay during his presidency by shutting down two of our cybersecurity agencies, withholding military support to Ukraine, and trying to pull the US out of NATO.

And here come the new outrages, just in time for the 2022 and 2024 elections.

At this moment multiple Republican-controlled states are considering laws giving their legislatures the power to override the vote of the people of the state and send the presidential electors of their choice to Washington, DC.

The trend started in Arizona last year, when, as NBC News noted:

“The Republican chair of Arizona's state House Ways and Means Committee introduced a bill Wednesday that would give the Legislature authority to override the secretary of state’s certification of its electoral votes.”

Meanwhile, 27 states with Republican Secretaries of State are most likely following the examples of Ohio, Texas and Georgia and purging people in “certain” zip codes from their voter rolls.

Five Republicans on the US Supreme Court legalized that in 2018; it was a decision that NBC News reported “discourages minority turnout”:

“At least a dozen other politically conservative states said they would adopt a similar practice if Ohio prevailed,” NBC reported.

Ever since ALEC got to work and the first mandatory voter ID law was put into place in both Georgia and Indiana in 2005, Republican-controlled states have been hard at work.

They’ve figured out dozens of ways to make it harder for working class people to vote at a convenient time, impossible in some cases for low income people to vote at all, and to throw up expensive and/or time-consuming barriers to voting for young and elderly people.

One of their favorites is criminalizing making mistakes while voting, like making it a crime to misspell your name or city, or to offer to carry your neighbor’s ballot to the post office, or to register to vote or sign a petition.

The laws are so all-over-the-place and almost always only enforced against Black and Brown people that entire communities have become reluctant to vote.

Stories of voting-related prison sentences spread fast, like Pamela Moses’, who got 6-years-and-a day in prison for registering to vote, not knowing she couldn’t in that state because she had once been a felon.

And that drop in voting is what Republicans have been calling for ever since Heritage Foundation co-founder Paul Weyrich, working for Ronald Reagan’s campaign in 1980, laid out the new GOP strategy to a group of Republicans in the basement of a Dallas church (check it out: it’s only 40 seconds and was a moment that changed history):

Fully 393 pieces of voting-related legislation intended to suppress the vote have been proposed in 39 state legislatures as of May of this year. One-hundred-forty-eight of them have passed in 27 states.

These Republicans haven’t fought fair in over 50 years.

Don’t expect them to this fall; and we must be on particular alert for the presidential election in 2024.

They’re gaming that one out as you read these words. We need to be, too.

https://www.rawstory.com/stop-the-steal-2657562135/

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5451 on: June 27, 2022, 11:58:32 PM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5452 on: June 28, 2022, 12:08:02 AM »
Company behind Trump's Truth Social deal hit with federal grand jury subpoenas



The special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) behind former President Donald Trump's Truth Social platform has been hit with subpoenas by a federal grand jury.

As flagged by New York Times business reporter Matthew Goldstein, Digital World Acquisition said in a recent 8-K filing that earlier this month it "became aware that a federal grand jury sitting in the Southern District of New York has issued subpoenas to each member of Digital World’s board of directors."

The filing went on to state that the subpoenas are seeking "requests relating to Digital World’s S-1 filings, communications with or about multiple individuals, and information regarding Rocket One Capital," a Miami-based hedge fund.

The filing warns that these grand jury subpoenas "could materially delay, materially impede, or prevent the consummation" of the merger that's needed to fund Truth Social.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating the Truth Social deal, with a particular focus on whether illegal negotiations occurred prior to Digital World Acquisition went public.

This is the first indication, however, that the investigation has potentially risen to a criminal level.

Read More Here:[/b] https://twitter.com/MattGoldstein26/status/1541368533149515777

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5452 on: June 28, 2022, 12:08:02 AM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5453 on: June 28, 2022, 12:46:51 AM »
Dr. Lance Dodes: Trump is a dangerous sociopath — but he's sane enough to stand trial

Former Harvard professor says Trump has the morality of a serial killer — but that doesn't render him insane



The House Jan. 6 committee's public hearings have made it increasingly clear that Donald Trump and his confederates attempted a coup to nullify the results of the 2020 presidential election and, in effect, end American democracy. The coup plot involved every branch of government including the courts, Congress, the Department of Justice and (at least potentially) the military. It was nationwide and included plans to rig the Electoral College results and alter actual vote totals at the state level. Contrary to what too many public voices have continued to suggest — in a collective state of willful denial — Trump's coup plot was highly sophisticated and came very close to succeeding.

It is equally clear that the Capitol attack of Jan. 6 was not spontaneous or purely coincidental. Donald Trump and his confederates welcomed and incited the lethal attack as a central element of the attempted coup. The violence of Jan. 6 appears to have been a pretext for Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act and declare a national emergency as a means of remaining in power indefinitely.

Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather summarized the nature of the threat to American democracy, writing in his newsletter that there "is nothing past tense" about Jan. 6, "even though the date itself is about 18 months ago":

The currents that exploded that day are, and will continue to be (with an emphasis on the present and future tenses), a direct threat to the continuation of the United States as a democratic republic.
The congressional committee investigating the insurrection represents not merely a fact-finding exercise to correctly document history, as important as that mission would be. They are firefighters battling a blaze of autocracy and unconstitutional depravity sweeping across the country.


The House Jan. 6 investigation has three immediate goals. Primarily, it is an attempt to offer a public accounting of Trump and his confederates' crimes against democracy, both on that day and in a larger context. As part of that accounting, the House select committee is also attempting to make clear that the Republican plot against democracy is continuing and that the country remains in extreme peril.

The House Jan. 6 hearings are also intended to serve as a de facto criminal indictment of Donald Trump and several of his co-conspirators, which may finally compel Attorney General Merrick Garland to seek prosecution. These hearings also appear to confirm that Trump is a mentally unwell person, perhaps a sociopath or psychopath, who continues to be a great danger to the American people and the world.

To discuss those issues and others, I recently spoke with Dr. Lance Dodes, one of America's foremost mental health professionals. He is a retired assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a training and supervising analyst emeritus at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. He was a contributor to the bestselling volume "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President." Dodes belongs to a small and courageous group of mental health professionals who consistently sounded the alarm about Trump, both before and during his presidency, arguing that he should never have been allowed to hold high public office and should have been removed at the earliest opportunity.

In this conversation, Dodes argues that the Jan. 6 hearings offer further validation of his warnings about Trump, and discusses why so many Americans, especially among the political class and mainstream media, remain in denial about the dangers the Trump movement represents. The "revelation" that former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and other members of the Cabinet discussed removing Trump by way of the 25th Amendment comes as no surprise, he says.

Dodes still views Trump as a mentally pathological person with grandiose desires for power and little or no regard for human life. He argues, however, that Trump is legally sane and culpable for his actions on and around Jan. 6, 2021 and beyond — but if Trump is eventually indicted, Dodes warns, he will encourage his followers to engage in massive acts of violence and destruction.

I'm angry on behalf of all the mental health professionals who argued that Trump was dangerous and were met with deflections and denials and condemnation. I consistently offered a platform to those mental health professionals who tried to warn the American people and the world, but the mainstream media and political elites largely avoided the issue. Now it's been confirmed that Trump's own Cabinet members viewed him as unstable and discussed removing him.

Donald Trump is not like other human beings, and you can't treat him as if he is. He is a severe sociopath, and his willingness to see others suffer and die pushes him into the realm of a psychopath.

I have been frustrated for so many years now, really since 2016. I've said this so many times in various settings, but people don't quite get it. Donald Trump is not like other human beings, and you can't treat him as if he is. The news media refused to accept that. He is a severe sociopath, and his willingness to see others suffer and die pushes him into the realm of a psychopath. He lacks the core of normal empathy, and the ability to appreciate that other people have rights. He is a very sick man. Yet the media and others treated him like an ordinary person.

How did you respond to the reports that Betsy DeVos and other Cabinet members actively considered invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office?

In the end they lacked the moral courage that was required to stand up and say, "This is not right, and I'm going to do whatever I can to protect democracy." All those politicians whose main goal has been to protect Trump are traitors, in the same way that Trump is a traitor. It's hard to act. It's heroic for people in public office and other positions of power to act, because they have to put themselves at political risk. There were no heroes among Trump's party.

Given what has been revealed by the House committee hearings, one would think that the mainstream media would be discussing Trump's mental health. But for the most part they are continuing with the same dangerous habit of normalizing Trump's mental pathologies and the danger he represents. Why aren't you and your colleagues being interviewed across the 24/7 cable news channels?

I have been a guest on MSNBC, with Lawrence O'Donnell. I wasn't interviewed elsewhere on a major network. The media has got to do a much better job looking at how they colluded with this assault on democracy, and why it wasn't a headline every day that our democracy is under attack. The New York Times published a letter by me and 30 or so other mental health professionals in early 2017. A month or two later I wrote another letter, because it was obvious that things were only getting worse with Trump. The Times didn't publish it. They told me they had covered that topic already.

Very few major institutions in this country spoke up. The worst was the American Psychiatric Association, which should have been leading the effort to help people understand Trump psychologically and the danger he presented. Instead, they actively tried to suppress criticism about Trump's mental health. They threatened to throw people out of their organization if they spoke up. The Goldwater rule never applied to this situation, and was touted to protect the reputation of the APA at the cost of protecting truth, democracy and mental health.

People still don't quite understand the enormous danger from Trump. He is a man much in the mold of Hitler. Trump is completely dishonest and lacks the ability to understand what other people want or care about. It's all about him. He is adamantly opposed to democracy. He seeks to be a king, and is in fact a tyrant.

What is your general response to the House Jan. 6 hearings?

What fills me with despair is that I am afraid that the people who need to hear this information about Trump are not listening to it. I just don't know how much impact the facts are going to have on the people who are listening to Fox News.

What have the hearings revealed about Donald Trump, and his mental state and behavior, that you think is particularly noteworthy?

There's nothing new here. Once you understand what is wrong with Donald Trump mentally and emotionally, and how deeply different he is from normal human beings, the rest of it follows.

I have repeatedly written that Trump is the most dangerous man in this country and one of the most dangerous people in the world. I also use moral language to describe Trump: He is evil. Why are so many people still in denial about Trump's obvious pathologies, which are a matter of public record? They keep expressing shock over these revelations when, as you say, there's really nothing new.

Most of us would like to believe that our leaders are loving and kind people who are looking out for us. When a truly evil person came to power, we were unable to react appropriately.

Most of us would like to believe that there are benevolent powerful authorities at work in the world, leaders who are loving and kind. In this country, many of us were brought up to believe that the leaders of the country are fine people who are looking out for us. We want to believe it. When a truly evil person came to seize power, the country, the free press, was unable to react appropriately, and we still see people who are "shocked."

Reporters and commentators repeatedly proclaim that they are shocked that Trump wanted Mike Pence to be killed, and that he actually encouraged his attack force to do such a thing at the Capitol on Jan. 6. What are the psychological processes at play in such extreme denial?

At the beginning of his first presidential campaign, Trump said that he could kill somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue and get away with it. That tells you how this man's mind works. What happens to another person's life means nothing to him. How many people's lives has he ruined in one way and another? That's what he does. The easiest way to understand Donald Trump is to think of him as a serial killer or a monster. The word "monster" means a creature without empathy, without caring, willing to kill or maim or hurt or destroy anything in its path for its own purposes, a sadistic creature lacking normal human capacities. There's nothing shocking about Trump's behavior when you see him for the fundamentally disordered person that he truly is.[/b]

To be even more specific, when we see pundits and other public voices proclaiming that Trump's conduct was shocking or unimaginable, do they actually believe it? Are they just feigning that response because it's not acceptable to tell the whole truth about this man? Or are they just profoundly immature about reality and so privileged that they have never encountered such people?

If a tiger attacked a person, you would not be shocked. You have to understand, that's what Trump is. You can't think of him as a regular person. Stop expecting him to be like you or your neighbors.

They're ignorant, and I don't say that as an insult. They're literally ignorant of human psychology. If a tiger attacked a person, you would not be shocked. So you have to understand, that's what Trump is. You can't think of him as a regular person because he is vastly different from a normal human being. To say you are shocked by anything he does means you just don't understand how extraordinarily different Trump is from other people. "Evil" is good word to describe him, and once you stop expecting him to be like you or your neighbors or anyone else in your life, then you're not surprised anymore.

The American people need to grow up. Part of that is accepting that human evil is real, and that there are evil people here in America. Once you accept that evil is real and that human monsters are real, then you can understand Trump, fascism and these other anti-human and antisocial threats. But if you are repeatedly shocked by evil, or pretend to be, then you are actually defenseless against it.

There are some people who don't grasp the concept of psychopathy. I've had the same thought that you did: They must have never seen it. If you've never seen somebody who has that gaping maw at the bottom of their psyche where there's nothing but sadism and pain for others, if you haven't met people like this, you don't understand that evil can exist in people.

As a mental health professional, how do you make sense of Mike Pence? Trump basically tried to have him assassinated. Yet Pence still, for the most part, remains loyal to him.

He appears to need to have somebody powerful to attach himself to, no matter whether the person is evil or not. He appears to be a sycophant. Pence is probably not quite as bad as Trump, but he seems to be a small and dishonest person.

How will Donald Trump respond if he is finally prosecuted by the Department of Justice for his crimes?

He won't be able to accept it. He'll respond just as he did to his loss in the 2020 election. For Trump, anything other than worshipful obedience is an unjustified attack. He'll get the most expensive lawyers available to him. He'll accuse other people of being guilty of the exact things he and his party are doing. Trump and the Republicans will call the Democrats "fascists" when they are the true fascists. They already claim that Democrats are the authors of the Big Lie, when of course it is them. Trump will attack, and will be willing to destroy anybody who stands in his way. It would be nothing to him to kill Mike Pence, be it literally or figuratively. Other people do not matter to Donald Trump.

Based on his public statements and other behavior, Trump would in all likelihood tell his followers to engage in acts of violence and terrorism to defend and protect him if he is prosecuted. It appears that Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice are terrified of that possibility.

It's the same thing Trump did on Jan. 6, absolutely. Whether he would succeed is another matter. Once Trump incites more violence, the question will be whether his followers obey him, and whether the country's leadership will have the courage to act to prevent a coup.

Does Donald Trump know what he's doing? Is he responsible for his actions? Those questions loom over any decision to prosecute Trump.

Donald Trump certainly knows what he's doing. That's a different question from whether he has personal insight into his behavior. He doesn't know that he is a sociopath. He's too far gone. He has a psychotic core, in that he is fundamentally out of touch with reality when it comes to his view of himself as a godlike figure, as we've seen in his many grandiose and delusional statements. But does he know what he's doing? Of course Donald Trump knows what he's doing.

So he is legally culpable? Is he sane enough to be held responsible for his actions?

I'm not an attorney, but it seems to me that Donald Trump is legally culpable for his behavior, just as any serial killer is. He's not insane in the legal sense.

https://www.salon.com/2022/06/27/dr-lance-dodes-is-a-sociopath--but-hes-sane-enough-to-stand-trial/

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5453 on: June 28, 2022, 12:46:51 AM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5454 on: June 28, 2022, 12:51:57 AM »
Legal expert blows up Trump's defense that he 'believed' the election was stolen

Appearing on CNN's "New Day" on Monday morning, NYU School of Law professor Ryan Goodman laughed at the prospect of Donald Trump's lawyers going into court and defending their client of election tampering charges by claiming he believed he won.

Speaking with hosts Brianna Keilar and John Berman, Goodman -- who co-authored a piece in the Washington Post on the same subject -- explained that the former president's lawyers would get laughed out of court if they attempted that defense.

"There's a crime in which it would matter, but there are other core crimes that it doesn't," the legal expert explained. "So let's just take, for example, the 800 people, over 800 people who have been charged with the insurrection or engaging in the riot. It doesn't matter that they think Trump won and I would assume a great majority of them do. It's about their other forms of intent. For example, if Trump engaged in intimidation or threatened officials in order to try to overturn the election, that's what they need to prove this they don't need to prove whether or not he thought he won."

"So, for example, if they say, well, you threatened the Georgia secretary of state, defense counsel can't stand up in court and say, 'yes, that's because he thought he won!'" he laughed. "That's the crime; that's part of the problem for him."

"Another one is fraudulent documents," he continued. "You can't, you know, submit fake documents from these alternative slate of electors to the National Archives to gum the works. You can't say 'I thought I won, so that's why I submitted the fake documents.' It's the core crimes, it's not tangential or superficial, this is what the committee is presenting to us."

Watch:


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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5454 on: June 28, 2022, 12:51:57 AM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5455 on: June 28, 2022, 12:58:19 AM »
Federal investigators seize John Eastman's electronics outside restaurant: report



Former law professor and legal adviser John Eastman was searched and had his electronics taken last week when a number of Republicans were raided by federal agents.

According to CNN, around the same time that GOP leaders, a former Republican Trump elector from Georgia and a former Arizona Trump campaign staffer were being awakened by federal agents, John Eastman was also being searched. Appearing in a New Mexico court on Monday, Eastman said that he was filing a lawsuit saying that the search and seizure were "improper."

Eastman was leaving a restaurant after dinner with his wife and a friend when six investigators approached him and asked for access to his email on his iPhone 12.

"Eastman contends the agents 'forced' him to unlock his phone," said CNN. "A seizure warrant document included in Eastman’s filing noted any electronic devices agents seized were to be sent to Washington, DC, or the Justice Department inspector general’s forensic lab in northern Virginia."

https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/27/politics/john-eastman-search-phone-january-6/index.html

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5455 on: June 28, 2022, 12:58:19 AM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5456 on: June 28, 2022, 02:23:12 AM »
Clarence Thomas' gun decision ensures that the next January 6 will be much deadlier

Ginni Thomas worked the coup's inside game — then her husband made it easier for insurrectionists to use firearms



You have to hand it to Clarence and Ginni Thomas: Their marriage is an exemplar of spousal teamwork. Ginni Thomas worked hard on the inside game for Donald Trump's coup: exchanging emails with Trump co-conspirator John Eastman, pressuring state legislators to throw out electors that President Joe Biden won and blitzing Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows with potential coup strategies. Meanwhile, her husband just handed the Trump's volunteer street fighters, the sort of folks that stormed the Capitol on January 6, a Supreme Court decision that will make it much easier for them to arm themselves with heavy firepower in the future.

The radical implications of Thursday's Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, in which the Supreme Court struck down New York's strict regulations on who can carry guns in public, are only starting to be understood. As Slate's legal expert Mark Joseph Stern wrote, this decision doesn't just strike down restrictions on concealed carry in some of the largest states in the country, it's "a maximalist opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas that renders most of the nation's gun control laws presumptively unconstitutional." The gun safety bill that President Joe Biden signed Friday is frustratingly limited in scope, but even its modest efforts to keep guns out of the hands of unstable people may not pass this new court test laid out by Thomas.

In threatening huge swaths of existing gun safety law, the Thomas decision also imperils the gun law that kept the Jan. 6 insurrection from being much deadlier than it already was. In doing so, Thomas opens the door for right-wing terrorists to plot more schemes and more violence in Washington D.C. and elsewhere — only this time with more firepower.

Thomas made it very hard, if not impossible, for lower courts to uphold most gun restrictions, including bans on unlicensed carry.

There were some folks who brought guns into the Capitol on January 6, but by and large, they didn't. Even though groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers carefully planned the attack, the weapons they brought were mostly not firearms. They were bear spray, clubs, knives, that sort of thing. The melee led to the deaths of five people and injuries to over 100 Capitol Police officers, but it would have been significantly worse if the insurrectionists had mounted an gun-powered incursion. There would have been firefights with Capitol Police. The insurrectionists might have been able to get past police barriers. They may have even successfully reached members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence, whose murder they were openly braying for.

None of that happened, however, and the reason is simple: Washington D.C.'s strict law banning most people from carrying arms in public.

At first blush, that may not seem to make a lot of sense. Groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers came to town with the explicit intention to overthrow the election, which is a crime. So then why would a bunch of people planning a serious crime — many have been charged with seditious conspiracy — be worried about breaking more minor laws about carrying guns in public?

Again, the answer is simple: They didn't bring guns because they were afraid of being arrested before they had a chance to riot.

Oath Keeper text messages obtained by federal investigators demonstrate that the group's leader, Stewart Rhodes, was deeply concerned about keeping his people out of jail before they had a chance to storm the Capitol. Rhodes warned them not to violate D.C.'s gun laws.

"DO NOT bring in anything that can get you arrested," he texted. "Leave that outside D.C. THEY HAVE SEARCHED VEHICLES IN GARAGES. And four so far, to our knowledge, have been arrested."

In the ensuing exchange, Rhodes and other Oath Keepers plot out what weapons they can smuggle in that are legal in D.C.: utility knives, collapsible batons, and heavy flashlights were recommended. And no doubt those weapons, as well as improvised ones such as bike racks and flagpoles, did serious damage to the police who defended the Capitol that day. But only one person was actually shot that day: Ashli Babbitt, an insurrectionist who was lawfully killed by an officer to prevent her from leading a charge of insurrectionists to chase down fleeing members of Congress. As the text messages from the Oath Keepers make clear, the only thing that kept insurrectionists from storming the Capitol with guns was the D.C. ban on carrying guns. Indeed, the group had a huge weapons cache stashed at a nearby hotel, right outside the city limits. As reported by Politico, "Three 'quick reaction force' teams set up at the hotel, prepared to ferry weapons into Washington to support the effort to prevent Congress from finalizing Biden's victory."

As Ian Millhiser of Vox explained, laws similar to the New York law "exist in five other states — California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey — plus the District of Columbia." In the short term, there won't be a huge change, since carrying without a license is still illegal. But, as Stern notes, the writing is on the wall: Thomas made it very hard, if not impossible, for lower courts to uphold most gun restrictions, including bans on unlicensed carry. And, by writing this decision, Thomas has invited such future litigation, so there is likely to be a massive flood of lawsuits against all manner of gun laws now.

While the rest of us have to live in the increasingly violent society caused by loosening gun laws, Supreme Court justices get taxpayer-funded elite security protection.

It's not a coincidence that the justice who just made it a lot easier for right-wing terrorists to operate is married to one of the most prominent cheerleaders for Trump's coup. It's long been an article of faith on the right that the Second Amendment's purpose was as some kind of check on government overreach, an especially ironic stance as they are the side that is currently installing the undemocratic tyranny they always claim to be armed against. It's a claim that never made sense, as the the very first president, George Washington, put down an anti-tax rebellion. In reality, the Second Amendment was written mostly so that Southern states could swiftly put down slave rebellions.

Today's gun nuts are more in line with their slave-owning predecessors than they are with the empty "freedom" rhetoric that they espouse. The insurrection and the Big Lie are all about enforcing white supremacy. Thomas likely knows this and doesn't care, secure in the knowledge that his usefulness to the cause means he's personally spared the racist abuse and violence that his wife's beloved and ongoing coup is fomenting. After all, while the rest of us have to live in the increasingly violent society caused by loosening gun laws, Supreme Court justices get taxpayer-funded elite security protection.

Thomas is no idiot. He knows that right-wing groups across the country are arming themselves heavily and that, with Trump's cheerleading, they intend to keep using violence to aid the very same anti-democratic efforts his wife Ginni is still engaged in. So Thomas' radical anti-gun control opinion cannot be read in a vaccum. It should instead be seen as part of a larger push by the Thomases and their right-wing allies to destory democracy so that an authoriarian, paranoid, and well-armed minority can rule over the rest of us.

https://www.salon.com/2022/06/27/clarence-thomas-decision-ensures-that-the-next-january-6-will-be-much-deadlier/

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5456 on: June 28, 2022, 02:23:12 AM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5457 on: June 28, 2022, 10:09:35 PM »
'Mike deserves it': Aide claims Trump said rioters seeking to hang Pence weren’t doing anything wrong

Cassidy Hutchinson continued to provide bombshell testimony after a short recess during Tuesday's hastily scheduled hearing by the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Hutchinson described a conversation in the White House with her boss, chief of staff Mark Meadows and White House counsel Pat Cipollone after Meadows spoke on the phone with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).

"I remember Pat saying something to the effect of, 'Mark, we need to do something more, they're literally calling for the vice president to be f*cking hung.' And Mark had responded something to the effect of, 'You heard him, Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn't think they're doing anything wrong.' To which Pat said something -- 'This is f*ckng crazy. We need to be doing something more,'" she testified.

"Let me pause here on this point," Vice-Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) said. "The rioters chanted 'hang Mike Pence.' The president of the United States, Donald Trump, said that, 'Mike deserves it' and that those rioters were not doing anything wrong."

Cheney noted that Trump had expressed that opinion multiple times.

Cassidy also testified about Trump allegedly trying to strangle his top Secret Service agent and that Trump was not worried about the armed mob because he did not think they were there to hurt him.

Watch the testimony below:


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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5457 on: June 28, 2022, 10:09:35 PM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5458 on: June 28, 2022, 11:07:42 PM »
White House aide details Trump's attack in Secret Service car on Jan. 6: He 'lunged!'

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified under oath on Tuesday to the House Select Committee revealing what happened on Jan. 6, 2021 as the U.S. Congress was under attack.

According to Hutchinson, after Trump told his supporters that he was going to the Capitol with them, the Secret Service said that it was impossible. What was discussed after the team returned to the White House was what struck the members visually during the hearing.

"When I returned to the White House, I walked upstairs toward the chief of staff's office, and I noticed Mr. [Anthony] Ornato lingering outside of the office and once we made eye contact, he quickly waved me to go into his office, which was just across the hall from mine," she said. "When I went in, he shut the door, and I noticed Bobby Engel, the head of Mr. Trump's security detail, sitting in a chair just looking somewhat discombobulated and a little lost. I looked at tony, and he had said, did you f'ing hear what happened in the beast? I said, no, tony, I just got back. what happened?"

According to Hutchinson, he proceeded to say when the president got in the beast, he was under the impression from Mr. [Mark] meadows that the off-the-record movement to the capitol was still possible and likely to happen, but that Bobby had more information. So once the president had gotten into the vehicle with Bobby, he thought they were going up to the Capitol, and when Bobby had relayed to him, we're not, we don't have the assets to do it, it's not secure, we're going back to the West Wing, the president had a very strong, very angry response to that."

"Tony described him as being irate," she continued. "The president said something to the effect of, I'm the f'ing president, take me up to the capitol now. To which Bobby responded, sir, we have to go back to the West Wing. The president reached up toward the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm and said, sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We're going back to the West Wing. We're not going to the Capitol. Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel and when Mr. Ornato had recounted the story to me, he had motioned towards his clavicles."

See the testimony below:


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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5458 on: June 28, 2022, 11:07:42 PM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #5459 on: June 28, 2022, 11:28:52 PM »
The electors cast their official vote for the winner of each state and that officially declares the Electoral College win and the winner of the presidency. The illegal scheme that Trump in his cohorts planned was to install fake electors which would vote for Trump in the key states he lost declaring him the winner even though he lost. That is clear treason and he must go to prison for it.

'A uniquely serious threat': Legal expert claims Trump's 'fake elector scheme' will lead him to jail



In a column for the conservative Bulwark, longtime attorney Philip Rotner explained that, based upon recent events, the most likely reason Donald Trump might serve time in jail will be due to his "fake elector scheme."

Noting a recent flurry of subpoenas that were issued in the past week to officials in multiple states who were part of the scheme to replace their states' actual electoral votes with their own based on fraudulent election claims, the attorney said the Department of Justice is following the correct trail if they want to indict the former president.

As Rotner wrote, it seems like Trump has continually avoided paying for his crimes, but, if he had to put money on it, that streak will end with charges over the election theft gambit.

"The phony elector scheme is now looking more each day like—wait for it—Trump’s Watergate. Yes, Nixon was an incumbent while Trump is out of office, but consider the parallels: Federal investigators are aggressively on the case, once again assisted by a relentless press, and public congressional hearings are again generating one stunning revelation after another," he wrote. "Over a two-day period last week, at least nine people in four different states reportedly received federal grand jury subpoenas in connection with the fake elector investigation. The recipients included not only some of the phony electors themselves but also 'aides to Mr. Trump’s campaign.' Federal agents also executed search warrants directed at the chairman of the Nevada Republican party and the party’s secretary."

The attorney added that these developments, combined with the focus on Trump attorney John Eastman, who was recently on the receiving end of a pre-dawn raid by the FBI, are extremely bad news for the former president.

As he notes, recent testimony from GOP officials undercuts the ability of Trump to say he had no knowledge of the scheme.

"First, he can’t convincingly argue that he didn’t know about the scheme or that he didn’t participate in it. Ronna McDaniel’s testimony has foreclosed that potential defense. Second, assuming that future evidence corroborates Trump’s knowledge of and participation in the scheme, none of his standard defenses will work here," he wrote before adding, "Perhaps Trump will try, as Rolling Stone reported last week that he is considering whether to throw John Eastman under the bus. But the facts, at least as they have come to light so far, suggest that Trump was himself aware of and involved in the scheme. And he can’t seriously argue that he relied on legal advice from Eastman or others that forging election certificates and passing them off as official documents wasn’t illegal. That’s absurd on its face."

"Trump’s all-purpose master defense — 'But I truly believed the election was stolen' — won’t work here either. Belief that an election was tainted by fraud, no matter how deeply held, wouldn’t excuse the crime of forging election certificates and attempting to pawn them off as official government documents. To the contrary, it would only establish that Trump had a strong, if tortured, motive to commit the crime," he added before concluding, "Nobody has ever made any money betting that the long arm of the criminal law will finally reach out and grab Donald Trump. But if Trump is eventually indicted for any crime in connection with his attempts to overturn the 2020 election, odds are this will be the one."

You can read his entire analysis here:

https://www.thebulwark.com/could-trump-face-justice-over-the-fraudulent-electors/

 

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