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Should Trump Be “Removed”

Next week the Senate will consider what to do about disgraced ex-President Donald Trump, now in repose at his palatial Florida home/club. The House Managers of the Impeachment trial have filed their 80-page opening brief, and the counsel for Trump have filed a 14-page typo-laden brief arguing against anything being done, stating that Trump is no longer in office and can’t be tried for anything, and by the way, he did nothing wrong.

Both of these assertions by the Trump lawyers are wrong:

  • If a President can’t be tried for "High Crimes and Misdemeanors” after he leaves office, either by resignation or the expiration of his term of office, there is no accountability for any Presidential wrongdoing near the end of his term of office. The Senate could be in the midst of voting on his removal from office, and the President could tender his resignation by tweet or e-mail to the Senate, and any removal would have no effect? Ridiculous.
  • What if evidence emerged after a President left office that he sold the country’s top military and other secrets to Russia or China for $100 million, or some other sum of money or benefit. Is there no remedy? If the President cannot be prosecuted for a crime he commits while in office, unless he is impeached and convicted while in office, would he be free, under this argument, to run for President again?
  • If what Trump did is not an impeachable offense, what is? Trump spent months preparing for and implementing an insurrection against an equal branch of government, the Congress, as it was performing its Constitutionally-mandated function of counting the electoral votes and declaring that Biden had been elected President. There is strong evidence that the MAGA people at Trump’s “Stop the Steal” Rally were shot “like a cannon” down Constitution Avenue by his inflammatory words, with implied orders from him to invade the Capitol, kill Vice President Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others, and to capture and destroy the electoral votes sent to Congress by the states to be opened and counted.

Is it possible that the House Managers are urging the Senators to vote not to “Remove” Trump from office, as he left voluntarily at the end of his term, but rather to vote to “Disqualify” him from ever holding public office again? The Managers say that either “Remove” or “Disqualify”, or both, could be a Constitutional verdict reached by the Senators. Would Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and other GOP Senators who might run for President in 2024 vote to dump Trump from ever running again, as well as ridding the Republican Party of him for good?

The Insurrection Minute by Minute

About 22 minutes into his “Stop the Steal’ Rally speech, part of which was written for him and posted on a teleprompter behind his bullet-proof enclosure on the stage, Trump bellowed the following words, part spoken extemporaneously and part read off the teleprompter:

“Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully stated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

At this point, at about 12:25pm on January 6, many of the protesters who had assembled at the rally that morning were already walking from the Ellipse to the Capitol. At 12:58pm, the first barriers at the Capitol were breached. There were actually two groups of people gathering near the Capitol:

  • The MAGA people who had journeyed to D.C from all over the country to peacefully protest, at Trump’s urging, the “steal” of the election from him, who were walking from the rally to the Capitol; and
  • Other groups, alt-right militias such as the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, the “Three Percenters”, the QAnon crowd, and other quasi-Nazi groups. These militias were not in the audience at the rally, as they were carrying weapons and could not get into the rally with those items; rather, they gathered at other places in D.C. and in northern Virginia across the river, where they organized themselves for the planned invasion of the Capitol buildings. They arrived at the Capitol at about the same time as the first protestors from the rally arrived. They had no intention of “peacefully and patriotically” making their voices heard; they were there to destroy democracy.

At 1:03pm, Speaker Pelosi gaveled the Joint Session of Congress into session. Trump did not end his speech at the “Stop the Steal” Rally until 1:12pm. At the same time, several House GOP Congressmen and Senators objected to the certification of the Arizona electors, and the Joint Session was paused for the Senators and the House Members to address the objections in their respective chambers.

At 1:15pm, the protestors and Capitol Police outside sprayed chemical mace at each other, and at 1:30pm the Senate and House debates began in their respective chambers. By 1:49pm the Capitol Police requested National Guard assistance from the Defense Department civilian leaders, but did not get any commitment that they would get help.

How did all of these Trumpsters end up in D.C. from all over the country in early January, 2021? It took a lot of planning and money.

At the same time, rioters were climbing the scaffolding being set up for the Inauguration ceremony on the East Side of the Capitol, and by 1:58pm they had stormed past two police barriers and were approaching the Capitol doors. At 2:00pm, the break-in starts, and by 2:10pm the mob breaches the final barricade and within a minute the first rioters make it into the Capitol building.

At 2:12pm, Senators are debating the Arizona objection when Vice President Pence is suddenly ushered off the Senate floor by the Secret Service. A minute later, the Senate recesses, as the rioters near the main Senate door. At 2:15pm, Speaker Pelosi is ushered off the House floor, as the debate continues; the House goes briefly into recess at 2:18pm. At 2:24pm, Trump, now back in the White House, criticizes Pence on Twitter for lacking the courage to stand up to the Democrats and “do the right thing”: reject the electoral votes from the states he challenged.

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At 2:26pm, the rioters breach entry to the East Side of the Capitol. At 2:30pm, the House is again called into recess; at the same time, the Senators are evacuated from their chamber; the House Members remain in place.

By 2:35pm, the rioters have reached the main door to the House chamber, as Capitol Police block the door with a heavy piece of furniture and draw their guns as the windows on the door are broken. A rioter looks through the broken glass at the drawn guns. A police officer with his gun drawn tells the rioter “You don’t want to do this!” They retreat…

At 2:39pm the House members begin to evacuate out the two doors on the other side of the chamber between the Speaker’s desk, into the Speaker’s Lobby. At 2:42pm, as the House members are being evacuated steps away, the rioters reach the door to the Speaker’s Lobby and start screaming, pounding on and breaking the glass windows to the door, which has been blockaded by Capitol Police. At 2:44pm, Ashli Babbitt is shot and killed trying to enter the Speaker’s Lobby through the broken window.

Members of Congress in the House Gallery are trapped above the House floor, terrified, until they are able to escape out a Gallery door, stepping over rioters who’ve been spread-eagled on the hall floor at gunpoint by Capitol Police. The Congress Members descend stairs to the tunnel leading to the House Office Buildings.

At 2:47pm, the rioters reach the floor of the Senate chamber; they rifle the desks of Senators, stealing and photographing things, and some sit in Pence’s chair, screaming with delight.

At 3:04pm, the D.C. National Guard is finally activated by the civilian Trumpsters who head the Defense Department, who “slow-walked” the approval process. (Michael Flynn’s brother Charles, also a Lt. General, was in the group at the Pentagon on this call. Michael Flynn had pushed Trump to declare martial law to strong arm a coup to “win” the election.)

By 4:14pm, a FBI SWAT team was inside the Capitol building. At the same time, Trump tweets a video telling his “good people” to stand down and peacefully go home.

By 6pm, the Capitol building is under the control of the Capitol Police, the other law enforcement officers, and the National Guard, which finally has arrived; the rioters have been forced out of the building.

The Prelude

How did all of these Trumpsters end up in D.C. from all over the country in early January, 2021? It took a lot of planning and money. Alex Jones of InfoWars has been filmed saying that the the January 6 “Stop the Steal” Rally cost about $500,000, much of which was funded by a Publix Stores heiress. One other source stated that someone in France sent over $500,000 in Bitcoin to a number of militia groups in December, 2020 to fund their members’ trips to D.C. There were also “GoFundMe” efforts to raise money for these trips, made by air, chartered bus and car. Many robocalls were also sent out in the weeks ahead of the rally to urge Trumpsters to attend. Did Trump offer some of the $250 million or so that he had raised after the election to contest the election?

And there was not just the January 6 “Stop the Steal” Rally at which Trump spoke, but several other rallies were held on January 5 and 6: one hosted by Roger Stone on January 5, and a January 6 “Jericho March” featuring Michael Flynn, which had a religious tone.

On the night of January 5, a Rally to Save America was held at the Freedom Plaza in D.C. Speaking at that rally were convicted felon Roger Stone; Ali Alexander, who organized the next day’s “Stop the Steal” Rally; convicted felon George Papadopoulos, Rep. Lauren Bobbert, the gun toter from Colorado; Georgia state representative and Trumpster Vernon Jones, right wing pastor and Trumpster Mark Burns; and Joseph Flynn, another brother of Michael Flynn, (not Lt. General Charles Flynn, who was present the next day at the panicked call to the Defense Department to activate the National Guard to help control the rioters at the Capitol.)

The Jericho March on January 6 was scheduled to coincide with the “Stop the Steal” Rally/March, so no one knew where one march started and the other march ended. The Stop the Steal Rally had been sold as such, but Trump turned it into a march to the Capitol, which was not allowed by its National Park Service Permit. All of these events were planned by Stone, Alexander, Jones, Flynn, Giuliani, an event-planning company, Event Strategies (Paul Manafort was a founder and part owner), and of course, Steve Bannon, who revealed that the event on January 6 was to be “really special”.

Roger Stone falsely framed the “Stop the Steal” event as a Holy War, being waged against Trump voters by Democrats on Capitol Hill, and he spread “The Big Lie” that Trump won the election. He emphasized that the true election day was January 6, 2021, not November 3, 2020. He pleaded for the assembled Trumpsters at his January 5 rally not to let Trump down.

Interestingly, despite the fact that they all stated that they would march to the Capitol on January 6 with the protesters, Jones, Stone, Alexander and Trump himself did not go…

Finally, on the night before the “Stop the Steal” Rally, a meeting was held in the private residence of the President at the Trump International Hotel near the White House. Attending were Donald Trump, Jr. and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, his brother Eric, Michael Flynn, Peter Navarro, Corey Lewandowski (Trump’s 2016 campaign manager), David Bossie (2016 deputy campaign manager), Adam Piper (executive director of the Republican Attorneys General Association), Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville, Rudy Giuliani, My Pillow guy Michael Lindell, Nebraska Republican Charles Herbster, and Txtwire CEO Daniel Beck. Beck posted on Facebook that they “talked about the elections, illegal votes, court cases, the republics’ status, what to expect on the hill tomorrow.” Trump himself may have attended this secret meeting by speakerphone.

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Was the purpose of this Trump International Hotel meeting the final planning of the seditious conspiracy which unfolded the next day?

Ted Vaill