First posted on November 14th, 2020, then updated: how Trump and his GOP cronies will attempt to steal the 2020 US election.
The opinion piece in the Washington Post that I linked in “Numbers” contains itself a link to a text that appeared in the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal: “Preparing for a Disputed Presidential Election: An Exercise in Election Risk Assessment and Management Election Risk Assessment and Management“.
This is a 55-page long frightening document of the procedures (or perhaps, inadequacies) of the Electoral College system and everything that comes after the election, and which scenarios might play out.
If you find that too long, read this one (still long) in The Atlantic: The Election That Could Break America:
Close students of election law and procedure are warning that conditions are ripe for a constitutional crisis that would leave the nation without an authoritative result. We have no fail-safe against that calamity.
Another article in the New Yorker asks: “How Far Could Republicans Take Trump’s Claims Of Election Fraud?”
If several states’ electors were to diverge from the popular vote, in theory, on December 14th, the Electoral College vote could result in a win for Trump, and, on January 6th, the newly seated Congress tabulating the electoral votes could declare Trump reëlected.
Forgive me if I’m sounding paranoid here, or as if I’m spinning conspiracy theories. I really hope I’m not, but right now, I’m a bit freaked out. And I don’t know what the chances are for these things to actually happen, but we’re dealing with Trump here, and his Bananarepublican enablers. Why are they so quiet on Biden’s win? Why does Trump still insist that “it’s a long way to go”, instead of conceding?
In my head, after reading the papers and articles linked above (and some others), I’ve been putting the domino pieces together that need to “fall”:
- Trump does not concede
- Continually cast doubt and sow mistrust on the election results
- build pressure on the Republican state legislatures where Biden flipped the state
- Attempt to prevent certification of election results
- Republican state legislatures, giving in to the pressure, state their doubts about the official election results and, instead of respecting the popular vote in their state, select their own electors (essentially, they’ll elect their own candidate!) → December 14 deadline
- If it works entirely then on January 6th, Trump is re-elected. Or one of the fucked up scenarios (too many to list here) begins to play out, with competing electoral ballots from states that Biden won, but have a Republican state legislature, and the mess of a split Congress (Senate accepts the vote count, House doesn’t);
- Activate the military to strike down protests and riots. The Pentagon personnel shuffle to help with that has already taken place.
To-do list for stealing the election: 3 out of 6 done – and they still have almost a month’s time to get state legislatures from Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin on board. Again: it’s Trump and the Bananarepublicans we’re talking about. It entirely possible. And, after all that I read and understood – it’s legal.
The Electoral College has turned into a lighter in the hands of pyromaniacs. And it sure looks like they intend to set American democracy on fire.
Updates (Domino Pieces)
Let’s call it what it is: an attempted auto-coup.
- 11/09/2020: Trump campaign files Pennsylvania lawsuit to stop certification of election results
- 11/16/2020: in Georgia, Republican (!) secretary of state Brad Raffensberger came under immense pressure from Republican Sen. Graham, and received death threats from Trump supporters*
- 11/18/2020: Detroit, Michigan attempt to prevent certification in Wayne County
- 11/18/2020: Summary of threats & tensions in the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/18/us/politics/trump-election.html
- 11/18/2020: Many G.O.P. Governors Avoid Stating Plainly That Biden Won
- 11/18/2020: Wisconsin Recount (only where Trump didn’t win)
- 11/19/2020: Trump tries to subvert the election, inviting Michigan G.O.P. lawmakers to the White House
- 11/19/2020: Official GOP Twitter account tweets about “Trump landslide”
- 11/19/2020: Michigan GOP official leaning toward seeking to delay certification of vote
- 11/22/2020: Trump campaign requests recount of the Georgia recount
- 11/22/2020: Trump campaign files narrow appeal in Pennsylvania
- 11/24/2020: Trump’s pressure worked: Michigan certifies Biden’s win but one of the board members (Norman Shinkle, the same Republican who was invited to the White House by Trump a few days earlier!) abstained
- 11/30/2020: Arizona certifies Biden’s victory in the state but the article mentions that Trump is still pressuring the state legislature to select its own slate of (Trump-voting) electors
- 11/30/2020: How Trump’s Hill allies could take one last shot to overturn the election (this is of course nothing new; it is one of the “fucked up scenarios” mentioned in the study above and the reason why Trump keeps spewing lies about the election – he needs to continue casting doubt on it to make this step appear justified; also: I am 100% certain they’re going to try this)
- 12/01/2020: Rep. Mike Kelly asks Supreme Court to nullify Biden win over Trump in Pennsylvania as he challenges mail-in ballot rule
- 12/03/2020: Georgia Republicans hold election hearings as Trump and Obama duel over the state’s Senate seats
- 12/04/2020: Top Pennsylvania Republicans pressure congressional delegation to challenge Biden’s victory
- 12/04/2020: 75 Pennsylvania Republicans Ask State to Dispute 2020 Elections in Congress
- 12/04/2020: Military: White House fires Pentagon advisory board members, installs loyalists
- 12/05/2020: Military: Backing Trump, Some Ex-Military Officers Spread Conspiracies, Urge Martial Law
- 12/05/2020: Trump urged the [Georgia] governor to call a special legislative session to overturn Joe Biden’s win in the state
- 12/06/2020: GOP senator Mike Braun calls for continued pursuit of voter fraud claims – is he “Trump’s Senator” for the January 6 dispute, and Matt Gaetz will join him as a Representative in the House?
- 12/07/2020: Michigan: in this Politico article we learn that there has been an attempt to override the vote not only in Georgia, but in Michigan as well (led by the delusional Sidney Powell).
- 12/08/2020: Trump Asked Pennsylvania House Speaker About Overturning His Loss – this contempt for the democratic process is simply shocking. Trump wants to be an autocrat and dictator.
- 12/08/2020: Texas contests election results in Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania
- 12/09/2020: 17 Republican Attorneys General Back Trump in Far-Fetched Election Lawsuit
- 12/14/2020: Michigan House punishes GOP Rep. Gary Eisen for hinting at Electoral College disruption
- 12/14/2020: Stephen Miller: ‘Alternate’ electors will keep Trump election challenge alive
- 12/16/2020: North Carolina GOP lawmaker urges Trump to suspend civil liberties to keep power: ‘Invoke the Insurrection Act’
- 12/20/2020: Trump wants Supreme Court to overturn Pennsylvania election results
- 12/21/2020: House Republicans meet with Trump to discuss overturning election results
- 12/29/2020: Gohmert suit may force Pence’s hand in effort to overturn Trump’s defeat (this is part of the “coup endgame”, and why “alternative electors” cast their votes for Trump in states like Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin.)
- 12/29/2020: Trump Campaign Asks Supreme Court to Overturn Biden’s Wisconsin Win
*) I guess there’s no honor among thieves… not that anyone would have expected it from those Republicans who aligned themselves with Trump, of course.