John Thune's Complicity in the Assault on American Democracy

 

John Thune’s Complicity

in the Assault on American Democracy

 

John Thune is the second highest ranking Republican in the United States Senate. As such, he is uniquely responsible for the unamerican precedents his party has set over the past 6 years. He has obfuscated election lies, corruption of the electoral process, incitement of insurrection, politicization of our justice system, profiteering directly off public office, extortion of foreign governments with taxpayer dollars to interfere with elections, and much more. Again and again, he has sheltered and tolerated the criminal conduct of his party members, placing them above the Rule of Law. His loyalty is to his party, not his country.    

These accusations are not made lightly. They are sound inferences based on thoroughly researched facts. An endnote, citing source material, follows each factual assertion in this informational, and readers are encouraged to evaluate those sources on their own time. 

John Thune’s affirmative actions in furtherance of the Republican Political Establishment’s assault on American Democracy are as follows:    

  • After just 3 weeks on the job, Michael Flynn resigned as White House National Security Advisor. He did so because he lied to the FBI, as well as the Vice-President, about his contacts with Russian Government officials.[1] John Thune dismissed this unprecedented event with a blithe, “These things happen.”[2]    
  • Michael Cohen, long-time Trump attorney and fixer, pled guilty in a court of law to 2 campaign finance violations and lying to Congress about Donald Trump’s attempts to build a Trump Tower Moscow while campaigning for the presidency.[3] As to the campaign finance violations, Cohen used campaign donations to pay hush money to women that allegedly had affairs with Trump.[4]]  As the story broke, John Thune publicly defended the president, saying, “Most of us have made mistakes when it comes to campaign finance issues.”[5] He then called any assertion that Trump violated the law mere “speculation.”[6] Trump was an unnamed co-conspirator, and Cohen pled guilty.[7] According to Cohen's guilty plea, he made the pay-offs at Trump’s direction.[8] The checks used to make the pay-offs were signed by Trump. Thune did not address whether a presidential candidate should be seeking a deal worth $100s of millions with a dictatorship that is simultaneously interfering with a US election on behalf of that candidate.[9]
  • The Trump campaign had numerous suspicious contacts with the Russian government.[10] They also repeatedly lied to the American public and U.S. law enforcement agencies about those contacts.[11] Numerous high-ranking Trump campaign officials were convicted in courts of law of serious crimes. John Thune routinely downplayed and excused that unamerican conduct.[12]
  • When Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in a blatant attempt to obstruct the Russia investigation, John Thune publicly excused Trump’s actions as “ultimately a judgement call.”[13] When it subsequently became clear that Trump, only days before firing Comey, asked him to “let go” of the investigation into Michael Flynn, Thune publicly dismissed this revelation as a mere “sideshow” and “distraction.”[14] 
  • Every Republican member of Congress, including John Thune, refused to enforce the Emoluments Clauses of the United States Constitution, our nation’s oldest anti-corruption provisions.[15] Everyday Trump was in office, he was in violation of these provisions.[16] Upon becoming president, Trump, unlike all previous predecessors, refused to divest his business interests.[17] Throughout his presidency, his companies did business with the Federal Government as well as foreign allies and foes.[18] It is estimated he made at least $8 million in illicit personal profit directly off the American taxpayer while holding public office.[19] Thune’s refusal to enforce or even investigate clear violations of our nation’s oldest anti-corruption provisions was an abdication of his duty to uphold the United States Constitution.[20]
  • On U.S. Independence Day in 2018, John Thune, together with other high-ranking Republican Congresspeople, went to Russia on a diplomatic tour meant to foster “a better relationship” between our two nations.[21] The entire U.S. intelligence community had already determined that Russia “significantly” interfered with the 2016 Election to elect a Republican candidate.[22]  It was also clear that the Trump campaign had numerous suspicious contacts with the Russian Government and had lied to the American public and U.S. law enforcement agencies about those contacts.[23]
  • When the Mueller Report, which outlined the various steps Trump took to obstruct justice, was released, John Thune publicly claimed it was unclear whether a president could be found guilty of obstruction.[24] This interpretation of the law leads to the absurd result that a president can simply shut down any investigation into his/her illegal conduct with impunity.[25]  
  • During Trump’s first impeachment, John Thune openly complained about the lack of transparency in the House proceedings, though they were, in fact, the most transparent and fair proceedings ever utilized in an impeachment in American history.[26] John Thune and other Republican Senators then voted to conduct a Senate trial with zero witnesses and no evidence, making a mockery of the concept of a trial.[27]
  • As new, relevant evidence came to light, which had not been heard during the House impeachment proceedings, John Thune and his Republican cohorts voted not to allow it into the trial.[28] The evidence consisted of testimony and documents from former National Security Advisor John Bolton and Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani.[29] John Bolton had first-hand knowledge of and objected to the Republican White House’s illegal scheme to extort Ukraine with taxpayer dollars to interfere in a U.S. election.[30] He went so far as to characterize it as a “drug deal.”[31] Lev Parnas claimed to have direct knowledge of Giuliani’s role in pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.[32] He provided House members hundreds of text messages, letters, and photos to corroborate his claims.[33]
  • On the charge of obstruction of Congress in Trump's first impeachment trial, the evidence clearly showed Trump issued a blanket order for White House employees, as well as those in other federal agencies, to completely ignore congressional subpoenas.[34] Several executive agencies, under White House direction, simply refused to produce a single witness or turn over a single document throughout the investigation.[35] Regardless, John Thune voted for acquittal.[36] In his explanation on the Senate floor, his only reason given was executive privilege, but, of course, that privilege is not, nor has it ever been, absolute.[37] The ultimate effect of John Thune’s vote was to legitimize a president’s power to ignore valid congressional subpoenas and obstruct Congress from conducting lawful investigations.  
  • On the charge of abuse of power in Trump’s first impeachment trial, the evidence consisted of a reconstructed transcript of a phone conversation in which Trump clearly tried to leverage Ukrainian President Zelensky with taxpayer paid U.S. military aid to investigate the Bidens.[38] There were also videos of both Trump and White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney admitting Trump was attempting to extort Ukraine.[39] The entire diplomatic core to Ukraine – including life-long civil servants, decorated war heroes, and even Trump appointees and campaign donors – unequivocally testified as to Trump’s abuse of power while under oath.[40] Other key points of their testimony were that Trump’s intent was political, not a valid expression of U.S. Foreign Policy; Rudy Giuliani was running shadow diplomacy intended to benefit Trump, not America; and the overall effect of the Republican White House’s illegal foreign policy was to strengthen Russia, undermine democracy internationally, and make a mockery of U.S. foreign policy.[41] Regardless, Thune voted for acquittal. In doing so, he said, “[Trump’s actions] do not meet the high bar the founders set for removal from office.”[42] He generically claimed the evidence was insufficient, but he did so without acknowledging any of it.[43] If a president can use the United States Treasury to attack his political opponents, that president has a blank check to abuse his power to retain his power.   
  • In 1998, John Thune voted to impeach President Bill Clinton.[44] Bill Clinton had lied in a sworn deposition in a civil case about an extra-marital affair.[45] Thune rationalized his vote, saying, “Either he has a reckless contempt for the truth, or he can’t discern truth from lies. In either case, that’s a miserable commentary on the elected leader of the free world.”[46]
  • Leading up to the 2020 Election, Trump systematically lied about the security of the U.S. electoral process.[47] After it was determined he lost the election, he claimed victory anyway.[48] He and a cadre of Republicans then incessantly spread unfounded rumors that the election was “rigged” and “stolen.”[49] On January 6th, at Trump’s invitation, 10s of thousands of Americans came to protest the certification of President Joe Biden.[50] At the rally, Trump and his corrupt Republican cohorts gave virulent speeches, repeating the lie that the election was stolen and vociferously encouraging Americans to “fight like hell” or “lose” their “country.”[51] The propagandized crowd – including members of the Proud Boys who Trump specifically told to “stand back and stand by” in a televised presidential debate – predictably stormed the U.S. Capitol.[52] Congress, including John Thune, fled for their lives and went into hiding.[53]  More than 140 Capitol Police Officers were injured during the attack and 4 committed suicide in the aftermath.[54] During the attack, Trump continued to tweet that the election was stolen and refused to take any official action to protect the United States Capitol.[55] On January 13th, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump for an historic second time.[56] The charge this time was “incitement to insurrection.”[57] John Thune, once again, voted to acquit a clearly guilty Republican president.[58]  
  • John Thune’s justification for not holding Trump responsible for his clear incitement of an insurrection boiled down to the argument that Trump no longer held elected office and, therefore, could not be impeached.[59] Thune admitted, in his words, that Trump “undermine[d] faith in our election system and disrupt[ed] the peaceful transfer of power,” but still voted to acquit him.[60] The vast majority of legal scholars are in agreement that a former President not only can but should be impeached if found guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors” committed while in office.[61] Whether that president has since left office does not matter.  The question before the Senate is whether the President is guilty of what has been charged.[62] Among the many flaws of Thune’s mendacious rationalization are that presidents would be free to commit any crime in the final days of their presidency without facing impeachment.[63] A president could even, assuming their party controls Congress and will not impeach for any reason, simply refuse to turn over power, making America a dictatorship.[64]   
  • In the aftermath of the January 6th insurrection, members of Congress attempted to form a bipartisan commission to hold Trump accountable outside of impeachment.[65] John Thune voted against that commission, attempting to shelter Republicans from a lawful congressional investigation.[66] In our system of government, one of Congress’s primary functions is to conduct oversight of the executive branch and investigate abuses of power.[67] John Thune’s vote made it clear that he will not perform that function against a Republican, even when confronted with the worst imaginable abuse of power.
  • In January of 2022, congressional Democrats introduced legislation to protect the right to vote and improve campaign finance law.[68] They did this in the wake of 19 Republican-controlled states passing 33 laws that make it harder for American’s to vote.[69] Ten of these laws, despite Trump’s documented attempts to strong-arm state officials to commit fraud, give unprecedented powers to control elections to partisan state officials.[70] John Thune, together with his Republican colleagues, filibustered the voter protection legislation, leaving propagandized, partisan state officials free to continue their full-frontal assault on American Democracy.[71]     
  • John Thune is a regular on conservative media where he routinely participates in their thoughtless campaign to propagandize the Republican base. Without providing any context, he doggedly labels Democrat policy initiatives as an “extreme radical agenda” of a “far-left woke movement.”[72] The Right-Wing Media has been all too willing to turn his baseless, ad hominem attacks into “news.”[73]        
  • As the American public has learned more about Trump’s crimes, John Thune has taken the position that America needs to move on. “It’s the future, not the past,” he said.[74] This approach ignores reality. Trump is currently still the leader of the Republican Party.[75] If the primaries were held tomorrow, Trump would be the Republican nominee.[76] 45% of Republicans fully believe Trump won the 2020 election; 65% partially believe his lies.[77] He is successfully supporting radical candidates that back him across the country.[78] He is raising 100s of millions for a political war chest that is being used to lie to Americans.[79] He has already claimed the 2024 election will be stolen.[80] These are serious, ongoing problems that cannot be simply ignored.  
  • While John Thune’s affirmative acts in furtherance of the Republican Political Establishment’s assault on American Democracy are voluminous, his inaction is just as problematic. Each member of Congress takes an oath to defend the Constitution.[81] More than just a prohibition on harmful conduct, this oath creates an affirmative duty to act.[82] Members of Congress are not merely representatives of their party’s policy agenda.[83] They play an integral role in our system of checks and balances. John Thune’s inaction in the face of abject corruption demonstrates that he is unfit to be a representative of the United States.



[1] Habberman, Maggie, and Rosenberg, Mathew, and Appuzo, Matt, and Thrush, Glenn; Michael Flynn Resigns as National Security Advisor; New York Times; Feb. 13th, 2017; available at  Michael Flynn Resigns as National Security Adviser - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[2] Staff; Letter: Thune’s response to Flynn resignation; Aberdeen News; March 4th, 2017; available at Letter: Thune's response to Flynn resignation (aberdeennews.com).

[3] Mangan, Dan; Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying to Congress about Trump Tower project in Moscow, cuts deal with special counsel Robert Mueller; CNBC; Nov. 29th, 2018; available at Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen reaches guilty plea deal in Mueller probe (cnbc.com).

Abramson, Alana, and Beckwith, Ryan Teague; Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty to 8 Federal Charges and Says He Worked to Influence the 2016 Election; Time; Aug. 21st, 2018; available at Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty to Campaign Finance Violations and Tax Evasion | Time.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Smith, Allen; ‘I don’t care’: GOP soft-pedals campaign finance violations that ensnare Trump; NBC; Dec. 11th, 2018; available at 'I don't care': GOP soft-pedals campaign finance violations that could ensnare Trump (nbcnews.com)

[7] Watson, Kathryn; Thune says drawing conclusions about Trump from Cohen case amounts to “mostly speculation;” CBS; Dec. 9th, 2018; available at John Thune on "Face the Nation" says drawing conclusions about Trump from Cohen case is "speculation" - CBS News

[8] Smith, Allen; ‘I don’t care’: GOP soft-pedals campaign finance violations that ensnare Trump; NBC; Dec. 11th, 2018; available at 'I don't care': GOP soft-pedals campaign finance violations that could ensnare Trump (nbcnews.com)

[9] Wolfe, Jan; Why an unbuilt Moscow Trump Tower caught Mueller’s attention; Reuters; March 18th, 2019; available at Why an unbuilt Moscow Trump tower caught Mueller's attention | Reuters  (estimates the potential profits from a Trump Tower Moscow in the $100s of millions).

See also Intelligence Community Assessment; Assessing Russian Activities in Recent U.S. Elections; Jan. 6th, 2017; available at ICA_2017_01.pdf (dni.gov). (Intelligence Community Assessment outlining the extensive Russian Government efforts to interfere in the 2016 Election to elect Trump).

[10] Abrams, Abigail; The Attorney General Said There Was ‘No Collusion.’ But Trump Associates Still Interacted with Russians More Than 100 Times; Times; April 18th, 2019; available at Here Are All the Times Donald Trump and His Associates Intersected With Russians | Time.

See also Wolfe, Jan; Why an unbuilt Moscow Trump Tower caught Mueller’s attention; Reuters; March 18th, 2019; available at Why an unbuilt Moscow Trump tower caught Mueller's attention | Reuters.

[12] Benen, Steve; GOP senator: It’s time to ‘move on’ from Trump’s Russia scandal; MSNBC; Nov. 30th, 2018; available at GOP senator: It's time to 'move on' from Trump's Russia scandal (msnbc.com).

See also Ferguson, Dana; South Dakota delegates don’t mention President Trump, but affirm Russian interference; Argus Leader; July 16th, 2018; available at South Dakota delegates affirm Russia interference, don't mention Trump (argusleader.com).

See also Beckwith, Ryan Teague; Here Are All of the Indictments, Guilty Pleas and Convictions From Robert Mueller’s Investigation; Time; March 22nd, 2019; available at https://time.com/5556331/mueller-investigation-indictments-guilty-pleas/.

[13] Staff; Congressional response to the firing of James Comey; Ballotpedia; No Date; available at Congressional responses to the firing of James Comey - Ballotpedia.

See also Savage, Charlie; Trump, Comey and Obstruction of Justice: a Primer: New York Times; June 8th, 2017; available at  Trump, Comey and Obstruction of Justice: A Primer - The New York Times (nytimes.com). (background on the firing of Comey and obstruction of justice).  

[14] Lovelace Jr., Berkely; G.O.P. Sen. Thune to Trump: It’s up to you to get the ‘train back on the track; CNBC; May 17th, 2017; available at GOP Sen. Thune to Trump: Up to you to get the 'train back on the track' (cnbc.com);

See also Taylor, Jessica; Comey: Trump Asked for ‘Loyalty,’ Wanted Him to ‘Let’ Flynn Investigation Go; NPR; June 7th, 2017; available at Comey: Trump Asked For 'Loyalty,' Wanted Him To 'Let' Flynn Investigation 'Go' : NPR.  

[15] O’Connel, Jonathan; Congressional Democrats seek ruling against Trump to enforce emoluments clause; Washington Post; June 7th, 2018; available at Congressional Democrats seek ruling against Trump to enforce emoluments clause - The Washington Post (evidencing Republican Congress’s refusal to enforce the emoluments clauses)

See also Gerstein, Josh; Appeals court rejects Democrats’ emoluments suit against Trump; Politico Feb. 7th, 2020; available at Appeals court rejects Democrats' emoluments suit against Trump - POLITICO; (evidencing how Republican obstruction prevented the enforcement of the emoluments clauses).

[16] Altman, Alex; Donald Trump’s Suite of Power; Time Magazine; June 8th, 2017, available at The Suite of Power | TIME.

See also Gorod, Brianne J; Frazelle, Brian R.; Houshower, Samuel; The Domestic Emoluments Clause: It’s Text, Meaning, and Application to Donald J. Trump; Constitutional Accountability Center; available at https://www.theusconstitution.org/think_tank/the-domestic-emoluments-clause-its-text-meaning-and-application-to-donald-j-trump/

[17] Sullivan, Andy; Stephenson, Emily; Holland, Steve; Trump says’ won’t divest from his business while president; Reuters; January 11th, 2017; available at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-finance/trump-says-wont-divest-from-his-business-while-president-idusKBN14V21I. 

[18] Altman, Alex; Donald Trump’s Suite of Power; Time Magazine; June 8th, 2017, available at The Suite of Power | TIME

[19] Sheth, Sonam; Trump’s properties have raked in more than $8 million from U.S. taxpayers and the president’s supporters since he took office; Business Insider; Oct. 27th, 2020; available at Trump Properties Got Over $8 Million From Taxpayers, Supporters: WaPo (businessinsider.com)

[20] 5 U.S. Code Section 3331 (the oath all members of the U.S. take when being sworn into office)

[21] Demirjian, Karoun; Republicans on Russia trip face scorn and ridicule from critics at home; Washington Post; July 5th, 2018; available at Republicans on Russia trip face scorn and ridicule from critics at home - The Washington Post.

[22] Intelligence Community Assessment; Assessing Russian Activities in Recent U.S. Elections; Jan. 6th, 2017; available at ICA_2017_01.pdf (dni.gov).

[23] Abrams, Abigail; The Attorney General Said There Was ‘No Collusion.’ But Trump Associates Still Interacted with Russians More Than 100 Times; Times; April 18th, 2019; available at Here Are All the Times Donald Trump and His Associates Intersected With Russians | Time.

[24] Carney, Jordain; GOP senators: A president can obstruct justice; The Hill; June 4th, 2018; available at GOP senators: A president can obstruct justice | The Hill.

[25] Illing, Sean; Trump’s lawyer: the president can’t obstruct justice. 13 legal experts say, yes, he can; Vox; Jan. 5th, 2018; available at Trump, obstruction of justice, and the Russia-Mueller probe: legal experts weigh in - Vox.

[26] See Melton, Buckner F; Impeachment Wasn’t Always This Fair; The Atlantic; October 31st, 2019; available at https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/impeachment-process/601189/ (arguing House of Impeachment of Trump was the most fair in history).

See also Everett, Burgess; Senate Republicans duck for cover after explosive Taylor testimony; Politico; Oct. 23rd, 2019; available at  Senate Republicans duck for cover after explosive Taylor testimony - POLITICO (details John Thune’s criticism of the house proceedings).

[27] Allyn, Bobby; White House Says President Trump Won’t Participate in Wednesday Impeachment Hearing; NPR News; December 1st, 2019; available at https://www.npr.org/2019/12/01/783989343/as-impeachment-inquiry-moves-to-judiciary-committee-republicans-attack-the-proce.

See also Buckner, Melton F.; A Trial Without Witnesses is no Trial at All; The Atlantic; February 1st, 2020; available at  https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/02/trial-without-witnesses-no-trial-all/605869/.

[28] Haberman, Maggie; Schmidt, Michael S; Trump Tied Ukraine Aid to Inquiries He Sought, Bolton Book Says; The New York Times; updated January 28th, 2020; available at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/26/us/politics/trump-bolton-book-ukraine.html. 

[29] Naylor, Brian, and Allyn, Bobby; Senate to Vote on Impeachment Articles Wednesday; NPR; Jan. 31st, 2020; available at No Witnesses In Impeachment Trial, Senators Vote : NPR.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Baker, Peter, and Fandos, Nicholas; Bolton Objected to Ukraine Pressure Campaign, Calling Giuliani a Hand Grenade; New York Times; Nov. 26th, 2019; available at Bolton Objected to Ukraine Pressure Campaign, Calling Giuliani ‘a Hand Grenade’ - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[32] Ibid.

[33] Cheney, Kyle; Desidereo, Andrew; Everret, Burgess; Parnas and Ukraine aid bombshells jolt impeachment trial; Politico; January 16th, 2020; available at https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/16/lev-parnas-trump-impeachment-trial-099781.

[34] Cippolone, Pat A.; October 8th, 2019, White House Counsel Letter; available at www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/PAC-Letter-10.08.2019.pdf.

See also Diaz, Alexa; Trump impeachment inquiry: A timeline; Los Angeles Times; October 24, 2012; available at www.latimes.com/politics/story/2019-09-26/ukraine-trump-impeachment-inquiry-timeline. 

See also McPherson, Lindsey; Democrats to punish Trump for obstructing Congress.  What about top employees?; Roll Call; www.rollcall.com/news/congress/democrats-punish-trump-obstructing-congress-top-employees. 

See also Gorod, Brianne; The Need for Congressional Oversight Goes Far Beyond Impeachment; The Atlantic; September 30th, 2019; available at www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/09/future-congressional-oversight-risk/598996/.

See also Eastland v. United States Servicemen’s Fund; 421U.S.491 (1975); Pg. 505 (Describing Congressional subpoenas power as an “indispensable ingredient” in lawmaking)

[35] Ibid.

[36] You Tube; WATCH: Sen. Thune’s full statement on Trump’s impeachment trial / Trump’s first impeachment trial; Feb. 4th, 2020; available at WATCH: Sen. Thune's full statement on Trump's impeachment trial | Trump's first impeachment trial - YouTube (demonstrating John Thune’s insane level of partisan B.S. while excusing the crimes of his party members). 

[37] Ibid.

[38] See Report of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Pursuant to H. Res. 660 in Consultation with House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; The Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report; December 2019; available at https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/the_trump-ukraine_impeachment_inquiry_report.pdf;

[39] Ibid.

[40] See Report of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Pursuant to H. Res. 660 in Consultation with House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; The Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report; December 2019; available at https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/the_trump-ukraine_impeachment_inquiry_report.pdf;

See also LaFraniere, Sharon, and Kramer, Andrew E., and Hakim, Danny; Trump, Ukraine and Impeachment: The Inside Story of How We Got Here; New York Times; July 29th, 2021; available at Trump, Ukraine and Impeachment: The Inside Story of How We Got Here - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[41] Report of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Pursuant to H. Res. 660 in Consultation with House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; The Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report; December 2019; available at https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/the_trump-ukraine_impeachment_inquiry_report.pdf.

See also Dreyfuss, Bob; How Rudy Giuliani Became Trump’s Shadow Secretary of State; The Nation; March 6th, 2020; available at How Rudy Giuliani Became Trump’s Shadow Secretary of State | The Nation.

[42] You Tube; WATCH: Sen. Thune’s full statement on Trump’s impeachment trial / Trump’s first impeachment trial; Feb. 4th, 2020; available at WATCH: Sen. Thune's full statement on Trump's impeachment trial | Trump's first impeachment trial - YouTube (demonstrating John Thune’s insane level of partisan B.S.)

[43] Ibid.

[44] Pasley, James; 28 senators who were in Congress for Clinton’s impeachment, and how they voted then; Business Insider; Jan. 31st, 2021; available at All the Senators Still in Office Who Voted in Clinton's Impeachment (businessinsider.com).

[45] Ibid.

[46] Ibid.

[47] Inskeep, Steve; Timeline: What Trump Told Supporters for Months Before They Attacked; NPR; Feb. 8th, 2022; available at Timeline: The False Election Fraud Story Trump Told For Months Before Jan. 6 : NPR.

[48] Sprunt, Barbara, and Bustillo, Ximena; Former trump advisors testify they urged him not to declare victory on election night; NPR; June 13th, 2022; available at Former Trump advisers testify they urged him not to declare victory on election night : NPR.

[49] Eggars, Andrew, and Garro, Harritz, and Grimmer, Justin; No evidence of voter fraud: A guide to statistical claims about the 2020 election; PNAS; Nov. 2, 2021; available at No evidence for systematic voter fraud: A guide to statistical claims about the 2020 election | PNAS

See also Gomez, Melissa; Election experts and officials respond to Trump’s false claims of victory, fraud; LA Times; Nov. 4, 2020; available at 2020 election: Experts respond to Trump's false claims - Los Angeles Times (latimes.com).

See also Spencer, Saranac Hale; Nine Election Fraud Claims, Non Credible; Factcheck.org; available at Nine Election Fraud Claims, None Credible - FactCheck.org.

[52] Lonsdorf, Kat, and Dorning, Courtney, and Isackson, Amy, and Kelly, Mary Louise, and Chang, Ailsa; A timeline of how the Jan. 6 attack unfolded – including who said what and when; NPR; Jan. 5th, 2022; available at Timeline: How the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol unfolded : NPR

[53] Ibid.

[54] Schmidt, Michael, and Broadwater, Luke; Officer’s Injuries, Including Concussions, Show Scope of Violence at Capitol Riot; The New York Times; Feb. 11th, 2021; available at Officers’ Injuries, Including Concussions, Show Scope of Violence at Capitol Riot - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

See also Zou, Jie Jenny, and Logan, Erin; Jan. 6: By the numbers; LA Times; Jan. 5th, 2022; available at Jan. 6: By the numbers - Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)

See also Wolfe, Jan; Four officers who responded to U.S. Capitol attack have died by suicide; Reuters; Aug. 2nd, 2021; available at  Four officers who responded to U.S. Capitol attack have died by suicide | Reuters.

[55] Lonsdorf, Kat, and Dorning, Courtney, and Isackson, Amy, and Kelly, Mary Louise, and Chang, Ailsa; A timeline of how the Jan. 6 attack unfolded – including who said what and when; NPR; Jan. 5th, 2022; available at Timeline: How the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol unfolded : NPR

See also Gangel, Jamie, and Liptak, Kevin, and Warren, Michael, and Cohen, Marshall; New details about Trump-McCarthy shouting match show Trump refused to call off rioters; LA Times; Feb. 12th, 2021; available at New details about Trump-McCarthy shouting match show Trump refused to call off the rioters - CNNPolitics.

See also Lonas, Lexi; Sasse says Trump was ‘delighted’ and ‘excited’ by reports of Capitol riot; The Hill; Jan. 8th, 2021; available at Sasse says Trump was 'delighted' and 'excited' by reports of Capitol riot | TheHill.

[56] Chappel, Bill; House Impeaches Trump a 2nd Time, Citing Insurrection atU.S.Capitol; NPR; Jan. 13th, 2021; available at Trump Impeached By House Over Capitol Insurrection : House Impeachment Vote: Live Updates : NPR.

[57] Ibid.

[58] John Thune; Thune Statement on Conclusion of Senate Impeachment Trial; Feb. 13th, 2021; available at Thune Statement on Conclusion of Senate Impeachment Trial - Press Releases - U.S. Senator John Thune.

[59] Ibid.

[60] Ibid.

[61] Bertrand, Natasha; Legal scholars, including at Federalist society, say Trump can be convicted; Politico; Jan. 21st, 2021; available at Legal scholars, including at Federalist Society, say Trump can be convicted - POLITICO.

See also Buchanen, Neil H.; Impeaching a Former President is Plainly Constitutional; Verdict; Jan. 28th, 2021; available at Impeaching a Former President Is Plainly Constitutional | Neil H. Buchanan | Verdict | Legal Analysis and Commentary from Justia.

[62] Ibid.

[63] Ibid.

[64] Ibid.

[65] Naylor, Brian; Senate Republicans Block a Plan For An Independent Commission On Jan. 6 Capitol Riot; NPR; May 28th, 2021; available at Jan. 6 Commission Fails In Senate Following GOP Opposition : NPR

[66] Ibid.

[67] Staff; The Legislative Branch; The White House; Our Government; No Date; available at The Legislative Branch | The White House.

[68] Hulse, Carl; After a day of debate, the voting rights bill is blocked in the Senate; New York Times, Jan. 19th, 2022; available at Voting Rights Bill Is Blocked in the Senate - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[69] Brennan Center for Justice; Voting Laws Roundup: October 2021; Oct. 4th, 2021; available at Voting Laws Roundup: October 2021 | Brennan Center for Justice. 

[70] Scanlan, Quinn; 10 new state laws shift power over elections to partisan entities; ABC; Aug. 16th, 2021; available at 10 new state laws shift power over elections to partisan entities - ABC News (go.com).

[71] Ibid.

[72] Fox News Staff; Sen. Thune on ‘America’s Newsroom’: Dems woke agenda getting crushed in middle America; Fox News; Feb. 18th, 2022; available at Sen. Thune on 'America's Newsroom': Dems' woke agenda getting 'crushed' in middle America | Fox News.

[73] Ibid.

[74] Carney, Jordan; The latest House-Senate GOP split: How to respond to Jan. 6 hearings; Politico; June 8th, 2022; available at The latest House-Senate GOP split: How to respond to Jan. 6 hearings - POLITICO.

[75] Everett, Burgess, and Beavers, Olivia; Trump reasserts his GOP dominance; Politico; May 5th, 2022; available at Trump reasserts his GOP dominance - POLITICO.

See also Staff; Trump’s GOP: Party Further Tightens Tie to Former President; Feb. 5th, 2022; available at Trump’s GOP: Party Further Tightens Tie to Former President | Chicago News | WTTW.

[76] Beavers, Olivia, and Everett, Burgess; GOP leaders won’t get in the way of Trump 2024; Politico; July 22nd, 2022; available at GOP leaders won't get in the way of Trump 2024 - POLITICO.

See also Blake, Aaron; The top 10 GOP presidential candidates for 2024, ranked; Washington Post; Feb. 19th, 2022; available at The top 10 GOP presidential candidates for 2024, ranked - The Washington Post.

[77] Hendrix, Justin; The Big Lie is a Reality; Just Security; Feb. 23rd, 2022; available at The Big Lie Is a Reality (justsecurity.org).

[78] Shin, Youjin, and Beesch, Courtney, and Narayanswamy, Anu; Trump’s endorsements in the 2022 Republican primaries; Washington Post; updated July 19th, 2022; available at Trump’s endorsements in the 2022 Republican primaries - Washington Post.

[79] Lange, Jason, and Ulmer, Alexandra, Donald Trump’s fundraising juggernaut slows as other Republicans gain; Reuters; July 15th, 2022; available at Donald Trump's fundraising juggernaut slows as other Republicans gain | Reuters.

[80] Gellman, Barton; Trump’s Next Coup Has Already Begun; Atlantic; Dec. 6th, 2021; available at How Donald Trump Could Subvert the 2024 Election - The Atlantic

[81] 5 U.S. Code Section 3331 (the oath all members of the U.S. take when being sworn into office)

[82] Ibid.

[83] Staff; The Legislative Branch; The White House; Our Government; No Date; available at The Legislative Branch | The White House.

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