Trump isn’t letting up on his ‘insurrectionist coup attempt’ — he’s doubling down: conservative
Those who have been reading Mona Charen’s books and columns over the years know just how conservative her views are. But Charen, who was a speechwriter for First Lady Nancy Reagan during the 1980s, has been unwavering in her total condemnation of former President Donald Trump. Charen isn’t shy about saying that she voted for Joe Biden in 2020’s presidential election, and in a February 2 column for The Bulwark, Charen warns that Trump is no less of an insurrectionist now than he was on January 6, 2021.
“Some look back on the events following Trump’s 2020 election loss and think we dodged a bullet: There was a coup attempt, and thankfully, it failed,” Charen, now 64, explains. “Others believe that the whole thing has been overblown…. Even as evidence piles up that the coup was far more extensive than siccing a mob on the Capitol, those two takes seem unshaken. But there is another way to look at what happened: The coup is ongoing.”
"The flaccid response of Republicans makes the next coup that much more thinkable." The Trump Coup Is Still Happening https://www.thebulwark.com/the-trump-coup-is-still-happening/\u00a0\u2026 via @BulwarkOnline— Mona Charen (@Mona Charen) 1643803790
The more that the MAGA coup attempt that followed the 2020 election is investigated, Charen writes, the more disturbing the evidence becomes.
“With every new revelation about how extensive Trump’s efforts to overturn the election were — and they are arriving on an almost daily basis — the flaccid response of Republicans makes the next coup that much more thinkable,” Charen warns. “Trump, we now know, paged through the federal departments and agencies looking for willing insurrectionists. He explored the possibility of having the Justice Department seize voting machines in swing states — (former U.S. Attorney General) Bill Barr shot down the idea — and then considered installing Jeffrey Clark as attorney general in Barr’s place. A threatened mass resignation stayed his hand.”
Charen adds, “He then turned to the military and considered using his emergency powers under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to permit the Pentagon to seize voting machines and other records. Things had gone as far as the drafting of a presidential ‘finding’ about nonexistent fraud. Trump also tested the waters at the Department of Homeland Security, asking Rudy Giuliani to see whether the unlawfully appointed Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli would seize the voting machines under that department’s auspices. Cuccinelli begged off.”
On top of all that, Charen writes, are “revelations about phony slates of electors” who tried to help Trump steal the 2020 election.
“Eighty-four Republicans from seven states signed bogus documents claiming that Trump had won their states and sent these fake Electoral College certificates to Congress and the National Archives,” Charen notes. “Trump was busier attempting to undo the election than he had ever been as president. He summoned the leaders of the Michigan Legislature to the White House after the election to convince them to certify that their state, which voted for Biden, had voted for him.”
More than a year into Biden’s presidency, Trump continues to double down on his coup attempt. The former president, speaking at a MAGA rally in Texas on Saturday, January 29, told the crowd that former President Mike Pence should have helped him “overturn the election” on January 6, 2021 — and Trump even said that if he became president again, he would consider presidential pardons for the January 6 rioters who are facing criminal charges.
“Trump’s open admission of the coup attempt in a statement over the weekend — he said that Pence had the power to overturn the election and should have — made fools of the January 6th minimizers who have claimed that the event that disgraced America before the world was Antifa or a tourist visit or an FBI plot, or somehow some combination of the three,” Charen writes. “Then again, if Trump’s enablers were worried about looking like fools, they would have debarked long ago.”
Many Republicans, Charen laments, are unwilling to condemn Trump but are quick to condemn Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois for calling Trump out and serving on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee on the January 6, 2021 insurrection.
“A list of influential conservatives from organizations ranging from the Family Research Council to the Club for Growth has signed an open letter calling upon the House Republican Conference to expel — no, not Marjorie Taylor Green or Madison Cawthorn —Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger,” Charen observes. “Among the signatories are Gary Bauer, Ed Meese, Ginni Thomas, Jim DeMint, and Alfred Regnery, Jr…. It was not just an attempted coup. The steady sapping of Republican virtue continues.”
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