In-depth report lays out the 77 days Trump and his allies spent trying to 'subvert American democracy'
During the weeks leading up to the 2020 presidential election, many critics of then-President Donald Trump — from progressive firebrand Mehdi Hasan to the Never Trump conservatives at The Bulwark — warned that if he lost the election, Trump would refuse to accept the election results. Sure enough, Trump did exactly that. And a team of New York Times reporters, in an article published on January 31, takes an in-depth look at the disturbing chaos that followed the election.
In U.S. history, presidents who were voted out of office — from Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1980 to Republican George H.W. Bush in 1992 — licked their wounds, congratulated the winner and did everything they could to make the transition to a new administration a smooth one. But Trump, just as his critics predicted, refused to accept the fact that former Vice President Joe Biden won the election. Making baseless and totally debunked claims of widespread voter fraud, Trump and his legal team filed one lawsuit after another in the hope of trying to overturn the election results.
Times reporters Jim Rutenberg, Jo Becker, Eric Lipton, Maggie Haberman, Jonathan Martin, Matthew Rosenberg and Michael S. Schmidt describe, in elaborate detail, the aftermath of the 2020 election — from countless lawsuits to the storming of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6.
"His lie of an election stolen by corrupt and evil forces lives on in a divided America," the journalists explain. "A New York Times examination of the 77 democracy-bending days between election and inauguration shows how, with conspiratorial belief rife in a country ravaged by pandemic, a lie that Mr. Trump had been grooming for years finally overwhelmed the Republican Party and, as brake after brake fell away, was propelled forward by new and more radical lawyers, political organizers, financiers and the surround-sound right-wing media."
The reporters add, "Across those 77 days, the forces of disorder were summoned and directed by the departing president, who wielded the power derived from his near-infallible status among the party faithful in one final norm-defying act of a reality-denying presidency."
NYT — 77 Days: Trump’s Campaign to Subvert the Election https://t.co/rr7Q9N5mwW— Jake Tapper (@Jake Tapper) 1612142389
The article discusses the long list of Trump supporters who encouraged him to overturn the results of a democratic election — from attorneys Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Lin Wood — to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to far-right media outlets such as Newsmax TV and One America News.
"With each passing day, the lie grew, finally managing to do what the political process and the courts would not: upend the peaceful transfer of power that for 224 years, had been the bedrock of American democracy," the Times reporters note.
When a mob of far-right extremists and Trump supporters — including members of the Proud Boys, QAnon supporters and various militia and White nationalist groups — stormed the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, they were hoping to prevent Congress from certifying Biden's Electoral College victory. But two weeks later, on January 20, Biden was sworn in as president.
Nonetheless, the Times reporters note, the political tensions that rocked the U.S. during and after the 2020 presidential election haven't gone away.
"The violence at the Capitol, and Congress's eventual certification of Mr. Biden's victory that day, may have spelled the end of Mr. Trump's post-election campaign," they emphasize. "The same cannot be said about the political staying power, the grip on the Republican faithful, of the lie he set in motion."
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