“bad mafia movie” – Peril in the Trumper-bunkers on the eve of the Insurrection
From the Insurrection, we know that conspiring to commit felonies is also a felony. We know with greater certainty that Trump knew what was going to happen, despite Pence’s resistance and his cronies were guided by the John Eastman blueprint for the coup. Scaramango, the man with The Midas Touch Gold, knew what he was doing, even if he is The Worst Super-Villain Ever.
“WHAT DID HE KNOW, AND WHEN DID HE KNOW IT?”
- “As staffers filed in, some began to shiver. Still, Trump did not close the door… The noise outside grewe louder, almost like a party.
'Isn't that great?' Trump exclaimed. 'Tomorrow is going to be a big day.'” (p. 231)
- “Trump went around the room, asking for advice about congressional Republicans. 'How do we get them to do the right thing?' he asked. No one offered an answer that satisfied him.”
- Trump then calls Senator Cruz. You need to object to all the states that could be raised by the House, Trump said. Cruz says his group will object to Arizona and focus on calling for his proposed commission to probe the election. Trump is unhappy, wants more to be done. (p. 232)
With his back to the wall and Pence not budging, and Senate Rs holding to doing their own thing, Trump decides to turn to the Willard group for backup, for more aggression. He knows the mob is outside. He knows Bannon, Giuliani, Boris, Eastman, etc. are over there. (p. 232-233)
- “People in the streets were yelling, delighted and almost euphoric about Trump possibly taking back the election on Wednesday. They waited to see Giuliani and other Trump stars emerge from the Willard. They nodded warmly at others in red hats, a movement in total solidarity.”
- Trump decides to act, with help from Willard war room. Push Pence to brink.
“Late Tuesday evening… Trump directed his campaign to issue a statement claiming that he and Pence were in 'total agreement that the Vice President has the power to act.' [Marc] Short was stunned.”
- “This breaks protocol,” Short said tersely.
- [Jason] Miller refused to retract a word.
- “The vice president has the ability to do this, he needs to be loyal,” Miller said.
- Trump soon called Giuliani, and then called Steve Bannon, who was also at the Willard. (p. 234)
- With Bannon, Trump brought up his meeting with Pence. There had been a power shift. “He was very arrogant,” Trump said. “Very arrogant,” Trump repeated. To Bannon and others, Trump's four words were sobering. Pence was not going to break.
- But Trump, Willard crew kept pushing…
Giuliani wonders if he should go see Pence at the Naval Observatory. A 1-on-1. Make it happen. Old school, Trump lawyer to VP. For Pence advisers, the suggestion “felt straight out of a bad mafia movie.” (p. 233)
- Based on our reporting, the Willard scene on Jan. 5, 2021 and into early hours of Jan. 6, 2021 is the culmination of a pressure campaign to prevent Biden from taking office. They first tried (and failed) in the courts. Then they pushed Eastman memo/argument to VP. Relentless.
- By the time Trump takes the stage on Jan. 6, he has pulled every possible lever of power to try to stay in power. Courts via Rudy. VP via Eastman. Lawmakers. DOJ. Now, all that is left to stoke, the last lever, is the sprawling crowd before him./end
• • •