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Exclusive: Donald Trump’s cuckoo coup –



Donald Trump’s cuckoo coup

#Donald #Trumps #cuckoo #coup

Donald Trump spent the final weeks before the January 6 attack on the Capitol careening recklessly between conspiracy theories and rebuffing anyone who tried to intervene.

In Thursday’s hearing of the January 6 Select Committee, Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) described Trump’s activities as “essentially a political coup.” And it almost was, but the effort the committee laid out seemed drawn out of some bizarre black comedy, with each detail more farcical than the last.

The hearing room occasionally broke out in laughter at the ineffectual attempts of Jeffrey Clark, a Justice Department official, to seize control of the department and overturn the election.

Clark linked up with Trump, going through Trump allies and around his own bosses, and became integral to their plot to overturn the election by appointing fake electors from swing states to replace the legitimate electors that were to be counted on January 6. Clark was willing to execute a plan no one in line to be attorney general would touch, and that put him in position to ascend to a job that was otherwise out of reach. That plot was the central focus of Thursday’s hearing.

Attendees snickered when acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen described his reaction when his then-subordinate Clark asked him to stay as his subordinate once Clark usurped him. “I didn’t accept that offer,” Rosen said.

It felt more like a Friars Club roast than a congressional hearing at times, as top Republican lawyers repeatedly described mocking Clark’s efforts during the Oval Office meeting Rosen demanded once he got wind of Trump and Clark’s plans.

The committee showed footage of former White House counsel Eric Herschmann railing against Clark, describing his proposal as “asinine” and relating how he said of the environmental lawyer, “The best I can tell is the only thing you know about environmental and election challenges is they both start with E. And based on your answers tonight, I’m not even certain you know that.” Former acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, who was testifying in person, described denigrating Clark’s legal experience directly to Trump. When Clark tried to respond, Donoghue sneered, “You’re an environmental lawyer. How about you go back to your office, and we’ll call you when there’s an oil spill?”


But before that meeting, Clark was on the brink of succeeding. The White House appears to have considered the deal done: It listed Clark on their call log as the acting attorney general before the meeting. Trump only backed off once the other Justice and White House officials there made clear to him that appointing Clark would turn the Justice Department into “a graveyard,” with mass resignations.

Steven Engel, the head of the Office of Legal Counsel, reinforced that it would be a public relations disaster from Trump in addition to all the other negative consequences from trying to overturn the election. “All anyone is going to think is that you went through two attorneys general in two weeks, until you found the environmental guy to sign this thing,” he said of the letter Clark wanted to send to swing states.

In providing a full account of Trump’s failed efforts, the committee showed an increasingly desperate man pursuing increasingly bizarre justifications for overturning the election. They revealed that acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller personally investigated a conspiracy theory that Italian satellites being operated from the US embassy in Rome switched votes from Trump to Biden with the help of MI6 and the CIA. “Pure insanity,” Donoghue said of the video that was sent to him on the theory. Trump also asked the DOJ and the Homeland Security Department to seize voting machines based on another conspiracy theory.

Only hours after the decisive Oval Office meeting where Trump was talked out of appointing Clark to run the Justice Department, foiling one attempt at a coup, Trump called Donoghue again. This call was about a new claim that an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent had found a truck full of shredded ballots from Georgia.

Former Attorney General Bill Barr had, in previously released deposition footage, compared Trump’s persistence in looking for new claims of election fraud to a game of “whack-a-mole.” We saw Thursday how badly that understated Trump’s dedication to finding some excuse to cling to power.

But if Trump was behaving recklessly, without any regard to law or historical precedent, we learned that some of the allies involved in supporting his plot saw a reason to be afraid of the consequences. The committee also shared footage of White House officials testifying that a number of members of Congress asked for pardons from Trump after January 6, including Reps. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and Scott Perry (R-PA). All had attended a White House meeting in late December to plan for the January 6 insurrection.

None of those members now say they were truly worried about what they had done. Gaetz pointed to a tweet describing the committee as “an unconstitutional political sideshow,” a spokesperson for Greene shared a tweet that characterized the committee as engaging in “gossip and lies” while a spokesperson for Brooks said in a statement: “There was a concern Democrats would abuse the judicial system by prosecuting and jailing Republicans who acted pursuant to their Constitutional or statutory duties.” In a statement, Perry said, “I stand by my statement that I never sought a Presidential pardon for myself or other Members of Congress.” Gohmert said in a statement, “I had and have nothing for which to seek a pardon and my requests were for others unassociated with government in Washington, DC.” Biggs denied he requested a pardon as well.

In his final days in office, Trump was handing out pardons “like Christmas gifts,” as Axios reported at the time, and even suggested that he might pardon “every person who ever talked to me.” He pardoned allies including former campaign manager Paul Manafort, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, former top White House aide Steve Bannon, and seven former Republican Congress members for a variety of prior offenses. But he did not pardon anyone connected with efforts to reverse the 2020 election.

During the hearing, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) depicted the request for a pardon as a tacit admission of guilt. “The only reason, I know, to ask for a pardon is because you think you’ve committed a crime,” he said.

Thursday’s hearing, for all its unintentional comedy, did more than any of the previous ones to make clear how deadly serious Trump’s efforts to overturn the election were — and to show how little separated him from achieving that. Stalwart officials in Trump’s own administration headed off one plan to overturn the election on January 3. Of course, there was a more violent backup plan in the offing.


But the DOJ plot illustrated, as Kinzinger said at the beginning of Thursday’s hearing, “how close we came to losing it all.”


Exclusive: World Leaders Denounce Supreme Court Ruling –




Compelling Television

#World #Leaders #Denounce #Supreme #Court #Ruling

“Several female world leaders denounced the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade as a setback in the global push for gender equality,” the New York Times reports.

“The United States is one of the few countries to restrict access to abortion in the past two decades, while dozens of other countries have expanded access.”

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Exclusive: Sovereign-citizen scam artists bolster their audiences by adding QAnon beliefs to their mix –




Bobby Lawrence

#Sovereigncitizen #scam #artists #bolster #audiences #adding #QAnon #beliefs #mix

The Anti-Defamation League has been warning about this coalescence since January, with Lawrence and his cohort David Straight, who have been holding these seminars around the country and, thanks to the fresh appeal of absorbing QAnon beliefs into the similarly conspiracy-fueled worldview of sovereign citizens, have increasingly been packing them in.

As their backgrounder explained:

Lawrence teaches sovereignty with a QAnon bent, urging his followers to become “American State Nationals” before Trump is reinstated as president. “American State National” is one of many terms that sovereign citizens use to distinguish themselves from citizens under the jurisdiction of the illegitimate, de facto government. “Trump is working on the ‘Fall of the Cabal’ which will allow our Constitutional Republic to Rise again, however the newly partially restored Constitutional Republic will need We The People of restored status via ‘The Great Awakening’ to fill and function in the newly partially restored Constitutional Republic,” Lawrence posted to Telegram in October 2021. “This will only be accomplished via We The People reclaiming our Birthright by becoming American State Nationals… As the number of American State Nationals and one of the People increases, so will the Function of the [sic] our Constitutional Republic. It will start at the absolute local level (you and your neighbors) and then grow and grow and grow.”

Sovereign-citizen and QAnon beliefs meld together almost seamlessly, as the ADL explains, because their fundamental worldviews involving a massive global cabal nefariously conspiring to enslave mankind are so similar. The sovereign movement’s belief that the current U.S. government is illegitimate serves to support their view of the Biden presidency as fraudulent, as well as the means for “freeing” themselves from such “tyranny.”

Lawrence primarily promotes a version of sovereign-citizen beliefs called “Redemption Theory,” which deals with the core concept that everyone who is an American citizen is designated a “strawman” corporate entity at birth, making them subsidiary properties of America Inc. “Redemption” is the process by which they split the strawman from the flesh-and-blood human, and its purpose is two-fold. As the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) explains:

Once separated from the corporate shell, the newly freed man is now outside of the jurisdiction of all admiralty laws. More importantly, by filing a series of complex, legal-sounding documents, the sovereign can tap into that secret Treasury account for his own purposes. Over the last 30 years, there have been hundreds of sovereign promoters packaging different combinations of forms and paperwork, attempting to perfect the process. While no one has ever succeeded, of course, they know with the religious certainty of a true cult believer that they’re close. All it will take is the right combination of words, say the promoters of the redemption scam.

Lawrence regularly regales his audiences with his version of the “redemption” scam, but with a powerful QAnon flavor. At an April 21 “Patriots Arise” event in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—where he shared the stage with Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano—Lawrence launched to into a rant that manifested that commingling two conspiracist universes produces twice the crackpottery.

He explained how modern births and the birth-certificate process are actually satanic rituals:

Fred read a quote from [Woodrow Wilson adviser] Edward Mandell House where they talk about this construct, where they’re gonna make slaves of us all, through a system of pledging, where we pledge our children as surety through something called a birth certificate, and a satanic ritual that takes place. …

So I’m gonna walk you through a satanic ritual that takes place, and it started with the birth certificate, which was actually chartered under the Department of Transportation. And everything is Admiralty. We all live under the water, and what is law, and where does law come from? Where does the word “law” come from? Land, air, and water. And where the founders of this nation thought about what law was, was the Bible, the Geneva Bible, the King James Version 1611 edition, where we got the word law from. And land, air, and water was in Genesis Chapter 1, verse 24 through 28, “and God created the heaven and the earth.” And God giveth man dominion over the earth, and God giveth man dominion over the land, and all the creatures that walk and creepeth. And God giveth man dominion over the air, and all the birds that fly, and God giveth man dominion over the water, and all the fish that swimmeth. And this is law.

Lawrence then repeated stock sovereign-citizen beliefs (all every bit as risibly false as his etymology for the word “law”) that there are three tiers of law: Canon law, common law, and Admiralty law, each reflecting rule over air, land, and water respectively. Then he went on:

So how do they get you to pledge your child, and how did our parents and our grandparents pledge us as property, as surety, in our personification, all capital names? It was through an evil, satanic ritual called the birth of a child.

You see, a mother goes into a foundling center, and she goes to see the doc—tor; a tor is a bill of lading when a ship arrives at the dock—and the mother puts her feet up on the stirrups and the mother’s water breaks, and the child comes out of the water through the birth canal, like you berth a ship, into the air, into the hands of the dock—tor. And then, historically speaking, a satanic ritual would take place—a child was smacked on the butt, turned upside down, cried out in fear and pain. And then before the child could put their feet on the land and take the breath of God as a free creation of God, a legal bond document came out. It’s on bond paper because it’s a banking instrument, it’s a surety bond.


And the child’s soul was taken on the back of that document. It was called the soul print. And then the umbilical cord and the afterbirth was thereby dead and abandoned by the mother, because that was part of your birth, part of your being born. The construct, the evil says that now that is dead, a part of you died and now you are a dead vessel, you are an all-capital legal fiction. They called you a person. If you look at your driver’s license, if you look at every document that government or any business sends you, it’s in your all-capital name. Your personification. Now the Bible tells us not to take on the persona, not to take on the person.

Lawrence also harkened to the stock radicalization belief in “red-pilling”: “We are living in Babylon right now,” he said. “It’s a corporate construct. It’s a Matrix. Keanu Reeves has said publicly that The Matrix is a documentary of how we are living our lives. Your money’s not real, you don’t own anything.”

And near the end, he wrapped it all up with a classic QAnon-style claim that Donald Trump is secretly One Of Them:

Yes, President Trump has done many things for us. And I won’t go into a lot of them, because quite frankly a lot of folks aren’t ready for it. And it’s hard to verify. But Donald Trump has told you all, if you go back to his speeches, he’s told you that when he comes back, he’s gonna be little letters, lower case. Look to his speech in 2021 at CPAC in Texas. He said when we go back to the White House this time it’s going to be in little letters. He told you at another rally that people are sovereign. He told you at another rally that you’re all millionaires. He told you in another rally that you’re the elite. And they’re the scoundrels. He told you at another rally that the Bar Association is corrupt. He tells you on and on—he might talk for two hours, but only four sentences are for those who are awake. And there’s a huge difference between being woke and awake, is it not?

Lawrence has formed close associations with leading QAnon influencers such as Ann Vandersteel, Allen and Francine Fosdick, the Pennsylvania-based hosts of the QAnon show Up Front in the Prophetic, and David Straight.

Vandersteel posted proudly announced on Gab that she was “officially an American State National,” meaning she no longer was beholden to the U.S. government. She touted the supposed benefits of becoming an “American state national,” such as freedom from paying federal taxes to getting to “vote as a delegate, which has the power of four votes,” in an appearance on “The Conservative Daily Podcast,” hosted by Joe Oltmann and Max McGuire.

She said she had been introduced to these ideas by Lawrence, who ran for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania in 2018. Vandersteel indicated that Lawrence was radicalized afterward through his contacts with David Straight, a sovereign citizen activist who also promoted QAnon theories. Vandersteel claimed that Straight was a “commissioner on President Trump’s child sex-trafficking commission.”

ADL analyst Mark Pitcavage explained Lawrence’s rant on Twitter, noting that “redemption theory” originated with a sovereign-citizen guru named Roger Elvick back in 1999, and it became widespread within the movement.

“Basic redemption theory is something like this: In 1933, the US went off the gold standard and could therefore no longer pay its debts to the international bankers.  To get around this, the government turned humans into collateral by converting birth certificates into stock,” he wrote. “They did this in part by creating fictional duplicates of every person (dubbed ‘strawmen’).  You can tell when a document refers to the straw man instead of the flesh and blood person because the name will be in all caps, not upper and lower case.”

He also noted that much of the talk is devoted to explaining the sovereign-citizen belief that the conspiracy which infiltrated and subverted and replaced the original, legitimate government with a de facto tyrannical government had done so by replacing constitutional law with inferior “maritime” or “admiralty” law.

“Finally,” he noted, “the Satanic references thrown in there are derived from QAnon and presumably designed to make these theories more palatable to QAnoners.”

Given the size of Lawrence’s audiences now, and the regularity and breadth of “American State Nationalist” training sessions, the ADL’s January warning—“Given the flexibility of the sovereign citizen movement and its pseudo-legal tactics, it is quite possible that increasing numbers of QAnon adherents will find sovereign citizen ideas attractive in the future”—seems more than prescient. It may, in fact, prove to be understated.


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Exclusive: Politico Reporter: Two Democrat Lawmakers Privately Admit ‘Nobody Gives A Bleep About January 6’ –




Politico Reporter: Two Democrat Lawmakers Privately Admit ‘Nobody Gives A Bleep About January 6’

#Politico #Reporter #Democrat #Lawmakers #Privately #Admit #Bleep #January

Politico correspondent Betsy Woodruff Swan revealed at least two Democrat lawmakers speaking with her privately have admitted: “Nobody gives a bleep about January 6,” referring to the Democrat’s spectacle-laden committee investigating the Capitol riot.

Swan’s comments came during a panel discussion with NBC News anchor Chuck Todd.

Todd referenced a poll that indicated an ideological divide between those who think former President Donald Trump truly believes in his claims of election fraud and those who say he’s deliberately spreading lies.

“Which brings me to the all-important question, Betsy: Does the Jan. 6 hearing break through at all? Is this more proof that it does not?” Todd asked.

Her answer will be a major blow to the anti-Trump representatives who have used the select committee’s public hearings to peacock in front of the nation.

“I don’t think it does,” Swan responded.

RELATED: Texas GOP Passes Resolution Stating Biden ‘Not Legitimately Elected’

Nobody Gives a Bleep About January 6

Swan replied that the public hearings on the Capitol riot aren’t making a dent with voters and cited a pair of Democrat lawmakers who said people in their districts just don’t care.

“I’ve talked to two separate Democratic members of Congress over the last couple of weeks about Jan. 6, obviously can’t say who, and both of them have said offhandedly, nobody gives a bleep about January 6 when they’re talking about their districts and the way that elections play out,” she said.

Which shouldn’t be a surprise, given the meltdown of the American economy.

Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney, who have used the hearings as an audition for a post-congressional career with either CNN or MSNBC, will be hardest hit by that news.

Still, Swan expressed the importance of the committee’s work.

“The reality is – obviously, it’s a very important issue … It’s important, it’s a key part of understanding American history and the democratic trajectory that this country is on,” said Swan.


That would be true if the committee weren’t absolutely overloaded with panelists who have already drawn their own conclusions and vehemently despise the former President. It’s as biased a committee as Pelosi could possibly have selected.

Swan went on to note that the current economic hellscape in America is preventing people from being able to devote time to caring about the hearings.

“Top-tier issues are material concerns,” she said. “How are people paying their mortgages? How much does it cost to get milk and bread? How much does it cost to get gas?”

RELATED: One Of The January 6 Committee’s Conspiracy Theories About Riot Debunked By Capitol Police

Democrats Had Hoped It Would Be a Politically Useful Tool

The New York Times reported earlier this month that Democrats were hoping the public hearings would help them in the upcoming midterm elections.

“With their control of Congress hanging in the balance, Democrats plan to use made-for-television moments and a carefully choreographed rollout of revelations over the course of six hearings to remind the public of the magnitude of Mr. Trump’s effort to overturn the election, and to persuade voters that the coming midterm elections are a chance to hold Republicans accountable for it.”

Cue the sad trombone now that some of their colleagues have admitted ‘nobody gives a bleep about January 6.’

The media have been touting the ratings for these hearings as some sort of bonanza for Democrats though the numbers, taken into context, show a very mundane drawing and on one network at least, even struggling to compete with a program called “Young Sheldon.”


Perhaps the panel could do a parody bit during their hearing called Young Adam. That’ll likely draw more eyeballs.

The January 6 committee on Thursday announced that they were postponing their next round of hearings into July in order to further examine “important” information.

They only had 17 months prior to do that.

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