On Friday, Congress released secret Department Of Justice documents. They revealed that former President Donald Trump once again tried to pressure the DOJ to continue his Don Quixote impossible dream--to overturn the 2020 election.
These papers show that on December 27, 2020, Trump told the acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen that the AG should say in public that the 2020 election was “corrupt”. The documents further state that after Trump made that demand, the president then said he and his fellow Republican representatives would “take it from there”.
Some experts believe Trump engaged in a public bribe. They point out that he also told Rosen that people were angry his office was not doing enough. Trump even threw out the name of a loyalist who he mentioned as a possible replacement.
According to contemporaneous notes taken during the conversation, Trump said, “We have an obligation to tell people that this was an illegal, corrupt election”. “People tell me Jeff Clark is great, I should put him in. People want me to replace DOJ leadership.”
Rosen was new on the job, having replaced Bill Barr earlier that week. Barr quit, apparently having had enough of Trump’s pressure cooker. Barr had gone on record and had denied evidence of election fraud. Now, it was Rosen’s turn to be bullied and harassed about an evidentiary claim that had no basis.
This weekend, Trump said this about the new Rosen controversy, while not denying the events. Instead, he justified his conduct:
"The corrupt and highly partisan House Democrats who run the House Oversight Committee yesterday released documents—including court filings dealing with the rigged election of 2020—that they dishonestly described as attempting to overturn the election," Trump said.
"In fact, it is just the opposite. The documents were meant to uphold the integrity and honesty of elections and the sanctity of our vote," he added. "The American People want, and demand, that the President of the United States, its chief law enforcement officer in the country, stand with them to fight for Election Integrity and to investigate attempts to undermine our nation."
Think about his words. The former White House occupant wants us to believe that he demanded the highest law enforcement official in the land to make a false statement to the public under the guise of “INTEGRITY AND HONESTY”.
During his conversation with Rosen, Trump did not say, “keep looking for fraud and let me know what you uncover”. No. The then-president said, just call the election corrupt and he and his Republican Congressmen could do the rest.
In effect, Trump was saying:
“AG Rosen, I want you to lie and tell the world that the election was corrupt. You don’t have to tell them why you have drawn this conclusion. Just say it and I and my fellow Republican Congressmen will take it from there. Despite the courts repeatedly saying there’s nothing there, despite Barr and you and others making the same claim, I’ll continue to push this scam under the umbrella of election ‘Integrity and Honesty.”
Trump was desperate. The certification date of January 6 was fast approaching. He was striking out in court decisions after court decisions. The DOJ rebuffed him. The state election committees weren’t buying his claims. Nonetheless, each day, he would spit out wholesale propaganda of unvetted disinformation trying to convince his willing audience that he and they were victims of the greatest fraud in history.
At that point, Trump apparently had all but given up with the DOJ investigating the fantasy fraud. He was not asking Rosen to do anything else, not present any evidence, just make a public statement Trump and his repeaters could own as fact.
Does any of this ring a bell? It should. A top aide to Ukraine president Zalensky has admitted that Trump had wanted his boss to announce on CNN that he was investigating the Bidens. Zalensky didn’t have to do any investigation at all. Trump only wanted an announcement he could loft upon the flagpole of public relations.
In both the Zalensky and the Rosen situations, the president pressured government officials over whom he held great dominance. In both situations, Trump knew what he was asking was false. In both situations, Trump knew the audience was the American people, the same people he wanted to repeat his lies, rally to his cause, and do his bidding.
Trump knew then as he knows now that his followers would buy whatever he was selling. All he needed to do is put some lipstick on the pig and he would carry home the “stop the steal” bacon.
These recent DOJ developments are of utmost significance. Let’s not ignore how they further erode our faith in democracy when the loser of a presidential election is willing to use any dishonest means to maintain the ends of power.
Over nine months since Election Day, his assault upon our trusting our elections keeps flowing. Currently, he is pushing audits in the battleground states, then claiming he has nothing to do with them.
is most loyal lieutenants, such as “Mr. Pillow Basket Case”, are insisting that within less than two weeks, the US Supreme Court will remove Biden as president. His Qanon troops insist their savior will preside over the Oval. Instead of going public and putting an end to these wild and dangerous fantasies, he won’t do so. He’s allowing the fraud to perpetuate. On Friday, his former Chief of Staff announced Trump had a “cabinet meeting” as if Trump was still the Commander in Chief. His top enablers know the routine.
Is this how statesmen, how leaders, how presidents, how decent men act? Not in any civilized world.
The issue is not just deception and uncertainty. We already know what happens when Trump and others raise the expectations of political redemption and revolution. The memories and scars of the January 6th resurrection are still raw. Yesterday, another Capitol Police officer who fought the wild beasts committed suicide. And don’t think that any of this is behind us.
A recent George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs poll shows the thin line our democracy stands upon. An incredible 47% of Republicans say that “a time will come when patriotic Americans have to take the law into their own hands”. By comparison, only 9% of Democrats feel this way. Even more frightening, 57% of Republicans support “the traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast we may have to use force to save it”. Only 15% of Democrats agree.
Obviously, Americans are angry and scared. Nationally, there is a serious gun shortage as citizens fear the worse. They are buying their second amendment protections like hotcakes. None of this is right. But “right” matters not. Only “might” does.
Since the 2020 elections, Trump has raised tens of millions of dollars to reportedly “stop the steal”. Based on news articles, he sits upon more than 80 million dollars in his slush fund to buy loyalty. And there are plenty of takers with their palms up ready for the grease. It’s simple to qualify for the handout. Just continue the narrative that Trump was cheated, despite all courts and states laughing that away.
Sadly, his party’s silence is remarkable. My bet is that most of them know the election was legitimate. They know that Trump is playing with fire by not hosing down a burning pillowcase of false foam. They know Trump is feeding the beast by playing coy about whether he will be reinstated. They know their voters are willing to take violence into their own hands, just as over 500 angry people did seven months ago. They know the country is melting down due to election anger and covid relapse. They know that everyone is stocking up for that big blow.
And more than anything else, I believe they know it is wrong, if not criminal, to demand the top law enforcer to defraud the public to maintain his historical selfish wet-dream of election theft.
I feel they truly know.
But they are willing for their leader and his collection of conspiracy artists and miscreants to “take care of the rest”.