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Trump’s Rally in Texas Will Be Able to Overlook the Crisis Surrounding His Phoney Electors. The Committee on January 6 Will Not.

At the Houston-area “Save America” event on Saturday, Trump is expected to feed red meat to his followers while also preparing for a future presidential bid in 2024.

In this parallel world, the continuing inquiry into his election rigging is a witch hunt, those “alternate electors” were only attempting to assist America, and he and his fellow plotters are the true victims.

Back in the real world, the Justice Department confirmed on Tuesday that it was looking into the Trump campaign’s phoney elector slate plan, which has fast been the focus of the House select committee looking into it since January 6.

The plan began in December 2020, when Republicans in seven states sent fake and phoney substitute electoral slates to Congress declaring Donald Trump the presidential election won.

This Justice Department statement, like the Justice Department’s prosecution of 11 Oath Keepers on seditious conspiracy charges on Jan. 13 and the committee’s subpoena surgeon on Jan. 6, is another step toward complete accountability.

Trump's Rally in Texas Will Be Able to Overlook the Crisis Surrounding His Phoney Electors. The Committee on January 6 Will Not.
Trump’s Rally in Texas Will Can Overlook the Crisis Surrounding His Phoney Electors. The Committee on January 6 Will Not.

Importantly, the discovery of the false electoral slates, together with the recent discovery of a draught presidential order that would have instructed the Defense Department to seize voting equipment, indicates the existence of “Plan A.”

The Trump administration’s campaign to sabotage the 2020 election began with this strategy. If “Plan A” failed, the Capitol attack intended at pressing Vice President Mike Pence to obstruct the certification of President Joe Biden’s win “Plan B” would have been needed as a backup.

The 14 “alternative electors” in the fraudulent electoral slate operation were subpoenaed by the select committee on Jan. 28. The select committee’s investigation is continuing to uncover evidence that the violence on Jan. 6 is inextricably linked to the events that preceded it.

It’s also critical for the Justice Department to link the peaceful and violent aspects of Trump’s coup attempt. If leaders are indicted, this would allow the entire picture to be presented to jurors.

At the very least, the criminal investigation into both aspects of the conspiracy might result in accusations of defrauding the United States, “corruptly hindering” an official action, and seditiously plotting against the government under 18 USC 371, 1512, and 2384.

Trump's Rally in Texas Will Be Able to Overlook the Crisis Surrounding His Phoney Electors. The Committee on January 6 Will Not.
Trump’s Rally in Texas Will Can Overlook the Crisis Surrounding His Phoney Electors. The Committee on January 6 Will Not.

It would be a huge mistake not to include both sides of the plot in any indictment of leaders. Prosecutors may only persuade juries that any attempted coup is unlawful by connecting all of the plot’s evidentiary dots, which is especially true when the failure of a peaceful revolt results in bloodshed and death.

Before any insurgent stepped foot on Capitol grounds, the electoral slate plot and a draught executive order to confiscate voting equipment added pieces to the puzzle of all that was being prepared behind the scenes.

Pence’s involvement in delaying Congress’ official announcement of Biden’s victory by suspending the electoral count was crucial to “Plan A.”

Officials of Trump’s team asked Republicans in seven states to submit fictitious substitute slates. The operation was overseen by Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer at the time.

The fraudulent certifications were sent to the National Archives to be forwarded to the Senate, but the National Archives turned them down.

Boris Epshteyn, a lawyer for Trump’s campaign, was also engaged. He now accepts his involvement, but claims he was just assisting in the creation of the slates as “contingencies” in case the original slates were proved to be tainted by widespread voter fraud.

(More than 60 judges have dismissed Trump campaign lawsuits based on the “big lie,” and former Attorney General William Barr has labelled Trump’s charges of voting fraud “bull——.”)

Trump's Rally in Texas Will Be Able to Overlook the Crisis Surrounding His Phoney Electors. The Committee on January 6 Will Not.
Trump’s Rally in Texas Will Can Overlook the Crisis Surrounding His Phoney Electors. The Committee on January 6 Will Not.

Unfortunately for Epshteyn’s “contingent slates” cover storey, the “contingency” phrase was only found in the certificates of New Mexico and Pennsylvania.

The phrasing in five states’ certificates did not mention that the papers were submitted just “in case” the certified Democratic slate of electors was overturned by a court. Rather, the Republican certificates stated categorically and erroneously that they listed the states’ official “duly appointed electors.”

In Pennsylvania, for example, the substitute “electors” had declined to sign the Trump campaign’s nonconditional version.

The Pennsylvania electors’ rejection, when combined with the five other states’ certificates that include the original text, confirms the Trump campaign’s deceptive phrasing and design.

The Justice Department should look into the role of Republican congressmen like Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert in the plan. Gohmert filed a lawsuit on Dec. 27, 2020, seeking a judicial judgement that Pence has the constitutional authority to decide what to do with rival slates.

The lawsuit erroneously claimed that “the State of Arizona (and numerous others) had selected two rival slates of electors,” leaving no question about Gohmert’s awareness of the deceptive scheme. (The lawsuit was thrown out.)

Some elements of “Plan A” might have been hidden in plain sight, suffocated by a torrent of conspiratorial nonsense.

When retired Gen. Mike Flynn suggested Trump “could quickly… seize every single one of these computers throughout the country” on Dec. 18, 2020, we could have been forgiven for believing he was on a lark of his own.

He may have been “in the loop” of Plan A, as it turns out.

Flynn and his lawyer, Sidney Powell, were present at a tumultuous White House meeting two days later discussing the plot to take polling equipment.

(Powell was fined last year for making false statements in a lawsuit disputing Michigan’s election results.) Trump was said to be considering selecting Powell as a special counsel at the time.

The executive order may have gone into force if it hadn’t been for White House Counsel Pat Cipollone’s vehement objection during a White House meeting on December 20.

As Cipollone was well aware, it is illegal to deploy the military to “engage in civilian law enforcement” within the United States unless “expressly authorised by a legislation or the Constitution.”

We anticipate the Justice Department to look into this strategy as soon as possible if it hasn’t already. If Congress changes hands in 2023, it will almost certainly magnify Trump’s portrayal of the inquiry as a witch hunt, making any investigation, indictment, or trial more difficult.

Nothing short of a conviction for Trump’s involvement in the insurgency will prevent him from running for president in 2024 as a martyred hero rather than a discredited and convicted insurrectionist.

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For the time being, the main focus is on thoroughly probing the entire post-election scheme as a two-part conspiracy aimed at maintaining Donald Trump in office.

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