Opinion: Why Trump Jr. started pushing for a coup before Biden won the 2020 election


There are many alarming — and even frightening — aspects of Trump Jr.’s November 5, 2020 text message.

But the most breathtaking thing is that the text was sent just two days after the 2020 elections, when the result was still too close to be announced. The fact that Trump Jr. was already pushing for several strategies — ranging from pressuring state Republican lawmakers to come up with lists of bogus “Trump voters,” to firing the FBI director and replacing him with a loyalist who would do Trump’s bidding – reveals the level of preparedness and stubborn determination within Trump’s inner circle to keep him in power, regardless of the outcome.

On Nov. 5, 2020, two days before news outlets were finally predicting Biden’s victory, votes were still tallied in key states like Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Still, Trump Jr. was texting Meadows, “We have operational control of full leverage. Morale High Ground POTUS must start 2nd term now.”

How was Trump supposed to start a second term when the election hadn’t been called – and he was still behind Joe Biden by 40 electoral votes?! The total disregard for the will of American voters is clearly visible in these texts.

Of course, President Trump started lying about the specter of voter fraud in the spring of 2020 — an insurance policy he likely planted because he was trailing in the polls and desperately afraid of losing. But there was no credible evidence of widespread voter fraud then, and none has been found since. Even Trump’s own attorney general, Bill Barr, said in December 2020: “To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have had a different outcome in the election.

Let’s be clear: there was never a credible argument behind the attempt to overturn the 2020 election results. It was all a lie to keep Trump in power.

Reading some of the content of Trump Jr.’s text is literally breathtaking. He called for firing FBI Director Christopher Wray and making Trump stalwart Richard Grenell, the former acting director of national intelligence, the acting head of the FBI.

The text called for politically arming the Justice Department by calling on Attorney General Bill Barr to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the “Biden crime family.” This is not something that should ever happen in our country – again, the same can be said for the January 6, 2021 attack on our Capitol and Trump’s attempt to overturn the election results of 2020.

The text also referred to filing lawsuits and promoting recounts in swing states to prevent the certification of results – a strategy the president and his allies used in the months after the election.

In a statement to CNN, Trump Jr. attorney Alan S. Futerfas said, “After the election, Don received numerous messages from supporters and others. Given the date, this message was from probably from someone else and was passed on.” Even if true, the president’s son was sending the president’s chief of staff ways to overturn the election results and abuse the power of the presidency during Trump’s final months in the White House.

Just last week, U.S. District Court Judge David Carter wrote an opinion in response to Trump’s former lawyer, John Eastman, who asked the judge to withhold certain documents requested by the court’s select committee. January 6 room. In it, Carter wrote that Trump and Eastman had “launched a campaign to overturn a Democratic election, an action unprecedented in American history.” But there’s one line in particular that really resonates when reading Trump Jr.’s text messages: “It was a coup in search of a legal theory.”

Thanks to the recently revealed text message, we now know that the seeds of a coup were sown even before the election results were announced. Would Trump have continued to talk about voter fraud if he had been declared the winner of the 2020 election? Of course not. It was never about voter fraud — or facts for that matter. Their goal was simple: reinstall Donald Trump and end our democracy.

If we hope to keep our democratic republic, everyone involved in this attempted coup must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Anything less will only encourage Trump and others to adopt the same behavior — and given how close they’ve come this time around, they may well be successful next time around.


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