The Assault on American Democracy

                                                 Introduction


America is a house divided. Religious, racial, and ideological identities have been exploited to create a fault line between left and right, resulting in two tribes.[1] On the surface, this divide can seem unbridgeable, but core American values have nothing to do with these divisions. Neither universal health care, nor a southern border wall, are more American. We are a nation of religious tolerance.[2] There has never been a prototypical American race or ethnicity.[3] The American story is, and always has been, varied and eclectic.

We are a representative democracy. Popular elections, as well as anti-corruption laws, allow us to choose our officials and remove those who have violated the law or lost our confidence.[4] The basic structure of our democracy is laid out in the U.S. Constitution. It provides for three branches of government: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial, each with their own enumerated spheres of power, each meant to serve as a check on and balance the power of other branches.[5] The framers expressly chose this tripartite structure to protect individual liberty against authoritarianism.[6]   

As will be thoroughly demonstrated, the Republican Political Establishment has launched an assault on our core American principles. They are actively undermining our constitutional democracy in favor of authoritarianism. While some members of the Republican Political Establishment are more culpable than others, all Republican Politicians and the Right-Wing Media have aided and abetted their party’s degeneration. If the American people do not check this degeneration, it will accelerate and spread further into society. The fish rots from the head down.    

There are those who will dismiss this essay as partisan, but it is based on carefully researched facts. An endnote, citing source material, follows each factual assertion in this essay, and readers are encouraged to evaluate those sources on their own time. Many of the factual assertions in this essay are based on sworn testimony and physical evidence - such as emails and audio and video recordings - that would be admissible in any legitimate court of law. Facts belong to everyone. They are not partisan. Refusing to listen to facts contrary to your world view, that is partisan. Facts are statements about reality that all people can verify regardless of their political persuasion. To accuse a person, or group of people, of certain behavior for which there is sufficient evidence is not biased, nor prejudiced; it is sound thought necessary for a functioning society.      

This essay does not express opinions on partisan policy issues. It is about whether we tolerate dishonesty, lack of integrity, and undemocratic means of obtaining power in the highest echelons of our society. It is about whether we respect each other’s right to have a voice in our government, whatever our political persuasion.  It is about basic ethics. 

There are five sections in this essay: Election Lies and Incitement of Insurrection, Extortion of Ukraine and Obstruction of Congress, Russian Election Interference and Obstruction of Justice, Monetary Corruption, and Assault on the 4th Estate (Free Press). All of them are thoroughly researched and cited. All of them demonstrate a Republican Political Establishment, including a Right-Wing Media, without regard for the basic structure of our government and most cherished values.  

The Republican Political Establishment, not the average Republican, is responsible for this assault on U.S. Constitutional Democracy. Most Republicans are victims of unprincipled leadership and lies. Just as the average Russian citizen is not responsible for their government’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, the average Republican is not responsible for their party’s degeneration.

If the truth is hidden, people cannot choose it. The Republican Political Establishment, including the Right-Wing Media, have created an elaborate ruse to hide the truth.  They sell their policy initiatives – though often financed by and crafted for big business – as essential to the freedom of the common man. It is this perversion of the concept of American freedom that has won the loyalty of the average Republican. The time has come for people of good conscience to speak for the true, systematic principles underlying American freedom – those principles embodied in our Constitution and the basic structure of our government. 

 

Election Lies and Incitement of Insurrection

 

On election night 2020, before all the votes were counted, Donald Trump claimed victory at a televised press conference.[7] He did this despite the advice of his campaign manager and his top White House aides.[8] Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s private attorney, was the only person present who advised Trump to claim victory.[9] According to sworn eyewitness testimony from senior White House advisor Jason Miller, Giuliani was drunk.[10]          

On the morning of Saturday November 7th, 2020, the major network and cable news channels, including Fox News, called the 2020 Presidential Election for Joe Biden.[11] That same morning Trump tweeted, “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT."[12] Noticeably absent from his tweet was a request for the American public to wait for official results or judicial challenges. He simply claimed, in stark defiance of Rule of Law, “I WON…”[13] Then he went to a golf course for the 299th time since becoming president.[14]

Later that afternoon, in a Northeast Philadelphia office park, Rudy Giuliani held a press conference in front of Four Seasons Landscaping.[15] Just a few doors down from Fantasy Island Adult Book Store, Giuliani announced a series of lawsuits he claimed would prove election fraud.[16] Outside of rumors and inuendo, he offered the American public no concrete evidence.[17]

The Republican Political Establishment’s willingness to facilitate lies about voting – the right that defines our system of government – began well before the 2020 Election. The Heritage Foundation and other Right-Wing think tanks first dreamed up voter fraud as justification for voter suppression.[18] The Republican Trump White House merely weaponized those false claims.[19]

In 2016, Trump, citing no evidence, tweeted that he would not have lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton but for “millions of people who voted illegally.”[20] Out of 135 million votes in 2016, there were 4 documented cases of voter fraud.[21] One involved a mayoral race in Miami, the other 3 were Trump supporters.[22] Regardless, the emperor had spoken. A Voter Fraud Commission, including Mike Pence as Chair, was formed.[23] The Commission met just twice and never issued a report.[24] A subsequent Freedom of Information Act lawsuit forced the Commission to turn over the materials they considered.[25] These documents revealed no evidence of voter fraud in the 2016 Election and only marginal voter fraud historically.[26]

In April 2020, six months prior to the Presidential Election, the Republican Political Establishment began planting seeds of doubt in the Republican base. In a White House briefing, Trump told reporters, “Mail-in ballots are a very dangerous thing for this country. . . They’re fraudulent in many cases. . .”[27] He provided no basis for his claim.[28] On June 25th, Republican Attorney General William Barr echoed Trump’s dangerous rhetoric.[29] When asked if he had proof, the United States’ top practitioner of juris prudence said, “No. It’s obvious.”[30] In a July 19th interview with Fox News, Trump, once it was clear he was trailing in the polls, claimed “mail-in voting [was] going to rig [the] election. . .”[31] Again, he provided no evidence.[32] When asked whether he would accept a loss, Trump refused to commit.[33]

The United States has a long tradition of absentee or mail-in voting. In 17th Century Massachusetts, citizens were allowed to vote from home if leaving made them “vulnerable to Indian attack. . .”[34] During the Civil War, Union troops voted via mail-in ballot.[35] Ever since, mail-in voting has been a staple of U.S. military service.[36] Starting during World War I, lawmakers expanded absentee voting to non-military personnel.[37]

As of 2019, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, 5 States conducted all their elections through mail, 29 States allowed for “no excuse” mail-in voting, and every other state allowed mail-in voting based on a valid excuse.[38] In the 2016 Election, 1 in 4 ballots were cast via mail.[39] Only 0.00006% of mail-in ballots throughout history have been found fraudulent.[40] Voter impersonation “is less common a phenomenon than being struck by lightning.”[41] In the 2016 Election, the 2018 Mid-terms, and the 2020 Election, Donald Trump cast his ballots via mail.[42]

After Joe Biden won the 2020 Election by over 7 million votes, the Republican Political Establishment fell in line behind Trump’s Big Lie. It is called the Big Lie, because if it had succeeded, it would have been a dagger to the heart of U.S. Constitutional Democracy – a final death blow. More than just voting, democracies require a reliable, systematic process for determining results. If one candidate can simply declare victory, despite the findings of that process, there is no democracy.

Since the 2020 Election, the Republican Political Establishment has pushed one election fraud conspiracy after another.[43] Election experts have steadily debunked these conspiracies, but the Republican base, desperate to believe in the righteousness of their party, simply moves on to the next conspiracy, which the Republican Political Establishment is all too willing to provide.[44]

As a singular example of hundreds of dishonest election conspiracy theories, consider the documentary “2,000 Mules.” More than a year and a half after the 2020 Election, “2000 Mules” became the Republican Political Establishment’s new, favorite tool for misleading their base.[45] It purports to use digital cellphone tracking data to show a massive ballot stuffing operation, orchestrated by a shadowy Marxist organization, sufficient to alter the 2020 Election.[46]

Far from a scion of election integrity, the director of the documentary, Dinesh D’Souza, was previously convicted of campaign finance fraud.[47] In 2018, Trump pardoned him.[48] It is hard to imagine a more blatant conflict of interest, but the problems with the documentary do not end there. It presents zero evidence that a single ballot was falsified.[49] It merely claims some ballots were taken to the drop boxes by so called “mules.”[50] The documentary is also full of misrepresentations and fabrications.[51] It makes false and misleading claims about the capabilities and accomplishments of cellphone tracking technology.[52] Visual representations, including altering the position of ballot drop boxes and even passing off a map of Moscow as metropolitan Atlanta, are peppered throughout the documentary.[53] Finally, though the documentary presents its findings as conclusive, no law enforcement agency has brought a single criminal charge against any of the supposed “2000 mules.”[54]       

To arrive at truth, it is not necessary to debunk every conspiracy theory. In the United States, there is an established system for determining election results in accordance with individual state law.[55] That established system clearly determined Joe Biden won the 2020 Election.[56] In addition to the initial vote count, almost every state has statutory provisions for recounts and audits after an election.[57] Recounts assure the accuracy of the official vote count when a race is close.[58] Audits are designed to assure voting equipment worked properly and rule out cases of fraud.[59] All subsequent recounts and audits confirmed Joe Biden’s victory and ruled out significant fraud.[60]

In addition, almost every election expert in the country, including those who worked for the Trump White House, concluded there was insufficient fraud to alter the outcome.[61] In the immediate aftermath of the election, Matt Oczkowki, the lead election data person for the Trump campaign, concluded and informed Trump he lost the election.[62]  Chris Krebs, the director of cybersecurity and infrastructure security for the federal government, put his career on the line, publicly stating that the “2020 election was [the] most secure in U.S. history.”[63] Trump, soon thereafter, and without providing cause, fired him.[64] In mid-November, Alex Cannon, a Trump campaign lawyer hired for his expertise in election fraud, told White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows there was no fraud.[65] On January 2nd, the entire White House legal staff told Trump the evidence of election fraud was insufficient to alter the election.[66]

Despite the initial results, all subsequent recounts and audits, and the near unanimous conclusion of election experts, the Republican Political Establishment shamelessly pursued an unprecedented, multi-pronged attack on our electoral system.[67] The first wave of this attack came through the Right-Wing Media and the courts.[68] Republican attorneys – including Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Lin Wood – held press conferences in which they made wild, unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.[69] With help from a stable of Republican attorneys, they filed 62 lawsuits designed to overturn the election.[70] These lawsuits, of course, failed.[71] Judge after judge, some appointed by Trump himself, ridiculed and dismissed them.[72]

The final, blind stab to use the courts came from the Republican controlled State of Texas.[73] Filing in the Supreme Court, the State of Texas requested that the electoral votes of Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania be thrown out.[74] More than half of the Republican House Caucus, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, filed an Amicus Brief in support of this legal travesty.[75] The Supreme Court swiftly dismissed the case as not “judicially cognizable.”[76]

The fallout from the Republican Political Establishment’s lies about voting has been swift and severe.[77] Dominion and Smartmatic, companies that make voting machines, are suing Republican lawyers and sycophants who expounded and repeated Trump’s lies for billions in damages.[78] They are also suing Right-Wing Media outlets Fox News, OANN, Newsmax, and many of their on-air personalities.[79] Judges across the U.S. have refused to dismiss the cases.[80] It appears these liars are going to face serious financial reckonings.[81] Rudy Giuliani’s New York law license has been temporarily revoked, and he will likely be disbarred.[82] The court stated that he made “demonstrably false and misleading statements” on behalf of Trump.[83] A Michigan based federal judge recommended Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, and other Republican attorneys for disciplinary action.[84] The Judge further ordered the disgraced attorneys to pay $175 thousand in legal fees back to the State of Michigan for forcing it to defend against “a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process.”[85]   

After an election is held and recounts and audits are completed, local and state officials then certify the result.[86] With a resounding loss in the courts, Trump, and his Republican cohorts, turned their attention to preventing this legal certification.[87] State electors in Michigan confirmed direct pressure from and were even invited to the White House.[88] In Arizona, the White House, along with leading Republicans in the state, conducted an intense campaign to overturn the result.[89] In Nevada, the state’s Republican Party held a press conference where they claimed to cast the state’s electoral college votes for Trump, though he lost by 34,000 votes.[90] In seven states won by Joe Biden, Republican leaders drafted and filed fraudulent documents asserting to be the true state electors and claiming Trump won.[91] In Georgia, Trump was recorded pressuring Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes,” the exact amount necessary to give Trump victory.[92]

With ongoing attempts to influence the certification of the vote and the creation of a fraudulent slate of electors, the Republican White House began to pressure the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate rumors of fraud which lacked probable cause.[93] After years of acting more like Trump’s personal defense attorney, rather than head of the DOJ, William Barr finally took a stand for integrity.[94] On December 1st, 2020, he announced there was no evidence of “fraud on a scale that could have” overturned the election.”[95] In private White House meetings, Barr was even more forthright.[96] He went so far as to characterize the Republican Political Establishment’s claims that voting machines were tampered with as “complete nonsense” and “crazy stuff” that was resulting in “a grave disservice to the Country.”[97] In relation to specific allegations of voter fraud in Detroit, Michigan, Barr told Trump an investigation revealed they were “nonsense,” but the next day Trump still highlighted the claims in a video released from the White House.[98] Soon thereafter, Barr resigned as Attorney General.[99] He has since been outspoken about Trump’s lies and attempts to force the DOJ to be a front for false claims of voter fraud.[100]

After Barr’s resignation, Jeffrey Rosen became the acting Attorney General, and White House attempts to influence the DOJ escalated.[101] Richard Donoghue, Rosen’s deputy, characterized the pressure as “pure insanity.”[102] Hundreds of pages of subsequently released documents and emails, reveal a White House obsessively bent on using the DOJ to overturn a valid U.S. election.[103] In a December 7th, 2020, phone call, Trump point blank ordered Donoghue and Rosen to “just say the election was corrupt [and] leave the rest to me and the Republican Congressman.”[104] Thankfully, Rosen and Donoghue refused.[105]

Frustrated, Trump resumed his search for a Justice Department official depraved enough to spread his lies.[106] Jeffrey Clark, a former Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, stepped forward to meet the challenge, volunteering as a willing henchman.[107] Trump planned to fire Rosen and install Clark, despite the fact that Clark had never dealt, on any level, with a criminal case in his entire career.[108] Only when confronted with the threat of mass resignation throughout the White House Council and the DOJ, which would have rendered the U.S. Government inoperable, did Trump back down.[109]      

Beyond public lies, frivolous lawsuits, fraudulent electors, and a blatant attempt to corrupt the DOJ, the Trump White House also concocted plans to have the U.S. military, and then the Department of Homeland Security, seize state voting machines.[110] Of course, the plans never came to fruition, but perhaps, if Trump were given 4 more years in office, public officials and the American people would become so desensitized to allow for even that level of political madness.

The final step in the election of a new President is Congress’s certification of the Electoral College.[111] This certification is a mere formal recognition of each state’s electoral determination, based on state law.[112] Despite the official result, court decisions, and repeated statements from election experts that there was no fraud, more than a dozen Senate Republicans and over 100 House Republicans planned to object to the certification.[113]

Trump and yet another corrupt private attorney, John Eastman, concocted an even more aggressive plan.[114] They publicly and privately pressured Vice President Mike Pence not to certify the result.[115] It was an insane legal theory, claiming one man, the Vice President, could unilaterally determine a U.S. presidential election, regardless of the vote of the American people, state determinations, and the rulings of the courts.[116] Subsequent sworn testimony has revealed that they knew their plan was not only unconstitutional but illegal.[117]

What happened next, on January 6th, was one of the darkest days in American history. Tens of thousands of propagandized people gathered for a rally near the White House.[118] Some were wearing tactical gear and camouflage.[119] Given Trump’s recent instructions to far-right extremist groups, such as the Proud Boys and others, to “stand back and standby,” no one should have been surprised.[120] Over a 70-minute speech, Trump said the word “peacefully” once early on.[121] He made no other comments suggesting non-violence.[122] Every other bit of his speech was an incitement to violent insurrection.[123] The words “fight” or “fighting” came out his mouth 20 separate times.[124] “We will never give up, we will never concede,” he said.[125] “You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.”[126] He characterized the members of Congress who refused to concede the election as “warriors.”[127] He, without providing any evidence, rattled off a convoluted, non-sensical, laundry list of co-conspirators in the plot against “real Americans.”[128] “[Y]ou’ll never take back our country with weakness,” he said.[129]  “You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”[130] Over and over, he claimed, without providing a shred of evidence, the election was “stolen.”[131] He again called on Mike Pence to unilaterally reject the official vote count.[132] He concluded, “And we fight. We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”[133] He then told the crowd to “walk down Pennsylvania Avenue… We’re going to go and give them [Republicans] the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”[134]

As Nancy Pelosi banged her gavel to begin the joint session of Congress at 1:00 PM, the first wave of protestors, since identified as members of the Proud Boys (the same group Trump publicly instructed to “stand back and stand by”), was already clashing with Capitol Police.[135] By 1:30 PM, they had broken police lines.[136] Officers, beaten and battered, retreated into the Capitol.[137] From the House floor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel warned his Party that the “voters, the courts, and the states” had “spoken,” and that to “overrule them … would damage our republic forever.” Soon thereafter, suspicious packages, later confirmed to be pipe bombs, were found at the Democratic and Republican National Committee headquarters.[138]

At 2:00 PM, protestors breached the Capitol, climbing through smashed windows and busting open doors.[139] Minutes later, Nancy Pelosi was evacuated from the House floor.[140] At 2:24 PM, Trump tweeted, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country…”[141] 2 minutes later, the Secret Service led Mike Pence to a secure location.[142] Trump then repeated more baseless claims of voter fraud via Twitter.[143] Some members of Congress - including Mitt Romney and Vice President Pence – were nearly cornered by protestors and barely escaped.[144] Not until 2:38 PM did Trump tell protestors, as an apparent afterthought, to “stay peaceful.”[145] Noticeably absent was a request for his supporters to stop invading the Capitol.[146]

Though the exact time of the call is unknown, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, while in hiding, had a heated exchange with Trump.[147] McCarthy asked Trump to call off the protestors.[148] Trump apparently refused, saying, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”[149] Wide spread reports, originating from Republican Congressmen and White House staffers, indicated Trump, “delighted” and “excited,” watched intently from the safety of the White House as the insurrection unfolded.[150] As Mike Pence was led to a secure location, reports indicate Trump actually complained to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, saying words to the effect that perhaps the Vice President should be hanged.[151]  

At 3:00 PM, protestors breached the Senate Chamber.[152] They rifled through papers and took videos and selfies.[153] Throughout the Capitol, protestors broke into and ransacked offices.[154] Human feces was smeared on walls.[155] In the Speaker’s Lobby, protestors swarmed, punching out glass doors separating them from members of Congress protected by arm guard.[156] A young woman, Ashli Babbitt, tried to climb into the Lobby while in a rage and was fatally shot by Capitol Police.[157]

At 3:36 PM, more than two hours after protestors first breached the Capitol, the National Guard was activated.[158] Joint Chief of Staff Mark Milley subsequently testified under oath that Mike Pence, not Trump, ordered their deployment.[159] In fact, Trump, throughout the insurrection, called on no U.S. law enforcement agencies to defend the Capitol.[160]  

At 4:17 PM, Trump finally released a video for the insurrectionists.[161] He said, “I know your pain. I know your hurt. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You’ve seen the way others are treated. . . I know how you feel but go home. . .”[162] Not until 6:00 PM, did the Capitol Police, the Metropolitan Police, and the National Guard regain control of the United States Capitol.[163]

The American public, stunned, watched as this unfolded on live TV and rippled across social media. Protestors erected a noose and gallows for hanging the Vice President.[164] There were American’s brandishing the confederate flag and symbols of the American Revolution.[165] Some protestors wore gas masks, helmets, and bulletproof jackets.[166] They wore costumes and outfits reminiscent of Hitler’s brown shirts.[167] Rioters utilized chemical irritants.[168] They bludgeoned Capitol Police with flagpoles, baseball bats, and lead pipes.[169] One officer lost a finger, pinched off between a door and the weight of a crowd.[170] Officers suffered rib fractures, concussions, and burns.[171] D.C. police officer Michael Fanone was dragged down the Capitol steps, tasered, and beaten while suffering a mild heart attack.[172] 140 Capitol Police were injured.[173] Since the violent insurrection, 4 officers have committed suicide.[174]

How could this happen in America? The answer is not complicated. No reasonable person can doubt that there would not have been an insurrection but for the lies of Donald Trump, the Right-Wing Media, and the Republican Congress. When people are made to believe, despite a resounding lack of evidence, that a U.S. election has been stolen from them, the question is not “Why did some people storm the Capitol?” the question is “Why did not more people storm the Capitol?”.   

When the Senate, after being driven into hiding, reconvened at 8:00 PM, 147 Republican members of Congress still voted not to certify the election.[175] Most of these Republicans would not have been in Congress but for their acceptance of their own victory in the same election. Some reamplified unfounded rumors of fraud.[176] Other’s claimed their vote was merely a reflection of their constituents’ concerns, as though they had no responsibility to speak truth or lead.[177] Their overall message was clear: even in the immediate aftermath of senseless, lawless violence, they were willing to continue to destroy U.S. Constitutional Democracy for their party.[178]    

As the riot was ongoing, the misinformation machine of the Republican Political Establishment started a campaign to convince the Republican base that what they were witnessing, with their own eyes, was not happening.[179] As the riot was ongoing, Todd Herman, filling in for Rush Limbaugh, blamed the attack on BLM and Antifa.[180] Laura Ingram and Sarah Palin repeated those unsupported claims on Fox News.[181] Matt Gaetz, a Congressman from Florida currently being investigated for sex trafficking minors, stood on the ransacked House floor after the insurrection and repeated those lies yet again.[182]

As is common among the Republican base, these conspiracy theories spread and evolved.[183] Of course, they are ridiculous. Hundreds of hours of video, from dozens of angles, clearly show Trump supporters violently assaulting the Capitol.[184] Out of the more than 800 people since arrested for breaching the Capitol, all but one of them have been vocal Trump supporters.[185]    

On January 13th, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump for an historic second time.[186] The charge was “incitement to insurrection.”[187] All the Democrats, together with 10 Republicans, voted for impeachment.[188] 197 Republicans voted not to impeach, and 4 abstained from voting.[189]

From February 9th to February 13th, the Senate conducted a trial.[190] Despite overwhelming evidence of Trump’s guilt, he was acquitted along party lines.[191] Senate conviction requires a two-thirds majority.[192] 48 Democrats, 2 Independents, and 7 Republicans voted for conviction.[193] 43 Republicans voted for acquittal.[194] Senate Republican Bill Cassidy, who crossed party lines to vote with Democrats,  plainly stated, “I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty.”[195] Some Republicans claimed Trump did nothing wrong; other’s refused to comment on the biggest vote of their careers; still other’s expressed concern for Trump’s actions but said the circumstances did not warrant conviction.[196] For all honest observers, the Senate’s failure to convict demonstrated that, insofar as the Republican Political Establishment remained in power, impeachment – a fundamental component in our system of checks and balances – was meaningless.[197]     

After the Republican refusal to convict, there was hope for a bipartisan effort to hold Trump accountable in some other manner.[198] Unfortunately, House Republicans opposed plans for an independent bipartisan commission, consisting of 5 Republicans and 5 Democrats, and Senate Republicans later blocked the commission.[199] Instead, House Democrats established a Select Committee, consisting of 7 Democrats and 2 brave, honest Republicans.[200]  

The Republican Political Establishment, since the creation of the House Select Committee, has gone to unprecedented lengths to hide the truth from the American people.[201] Liz Cheney, one of the Republicans on the committee, was removed from the Republican Party leadership based on a secret party ballot.[202] Around the time Cheney was being removed from party leadership for nothing other than being willing to explore the truth, the Republican Party refused to sanction Marjorie Taylor Greene for spouting conspiracy theories, antisemitism, and white nationalism.[203]

When Steve Bannon, who played a role in organizing the Jan. 6th rally, and Mark Meadows, White House Chief of Staff, refused to comply with Congressional subpoenas, Republicans in Congress voted against holding them in contempt.[204] Subpoenas power is essential to Congress’s function, without it the constitutional power of impeachment is severely diminished.[205]

In February of 2022, the Republican Party officially censured Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, the other Republican member of the Select Committee.[206] They also, in a mind-boggling statement, officially declared the Jan. 6th attack “legitimate public discourse.”[207]

In Arizona, Texas, Michigan, and Wisconsin, Republican state legislators initiated highly controversial and partisan audits that perpetuated the myth of voter fraud.[208] No counties anywhere in the United States that Trump won were subject to these kinds of additional audits; they were partisan, Republican initiatives done outside existing law.[209]

The Arizona audit targeted just one district, the Democratic stronghold of Maricopa County.[210] In Maricopa County, there had already been a hand recount, as well a forensic audit, both done in accordance with state law, both found no counting abnormalities and no fraud.[211] The final audit, unilaterally initiated by Republican State Senators, was not authorized under state law and was funded with private money from Republican donors.[212] To conduct the audit, Republicans hired a Florida cybersecurity firm called Cyber Ninjas, whose founder, Doug Neal, was a vocal advocate for election fraud conspiracies.[213] What followed was a 6-month long circus that entertained absurd theories, ranging from Trump ballots being fed to live chickens to fraudulent Chinese ballots with bamboo in the paper.[214] Of course, not one of these theories proved anything but fantasy.[215] Despite numerous leaks meant to bolster Trump’s fraud lies, the final tally found 99 more votes for Biden and 261 fewer votes for Trump than the original count.[216]    

In March of 2022, Federal Judge David Carter ruled that John Eastman, the corrupt attorney who concocted the plan to prevent certification, had to turn over emails to the Select Committee.[217] In doing so, Judge Carter determined that it was “more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct Congress. . .”[218] He continued, “If Dr. Eastman and President Trump’s plan had worked, it would have permanently ended the peaceful transfer of power, undermining American democracy and the Constitution. . .”[219]  

Soon after Judge Carter’s ruling, a series of leaked text messages further demonstrated the unamerican conduct of the Republican Political Establishment. Leading up to the insurrection, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was actively involved in pressuring the DOJ to investigate baseless claims of voter fraud.[220] Eleven days after the insurrection, Republican House member Majorie Taylor Greene texted Meadows that several Republicans were calling for “Marshall (sic) law.”[221] Despite routinely pushing baseless conspiracy theories, the private messages of numerous Republican Congresspeople clearly demonstrate that they knew, both during and after the insurrection, that Trump was responsible.[222]

Perhaps most disturbing were Don Jr’s texts from 2 days after the election, before a winner was determined. “It’s very simple,” Trump Jr. texted Meadows, “We have multiple paths We control them all.”[223] He then spelled out the plan for overturning a valid election, including creating a slate of fake Republican electors and preventing certification.[224]     

A year and a half after the Jan. 6th insurrection, despite all these disgusting revelations, a strong contingent of Republican members of Congress, including the Republican Party as an organization, support the Big Lie and the myth of voter fraud.[225] Even those who do not outright support Trump’s Big Lie refuse to comment or dodge straightforward questions.[226] When House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was confronted with Trump’s claims that the 2024 Election will be rigged, he said simply, “people should participate in their elections” and refused to comment further.[227] 45% of registered Republicans fully believe the Big Lie.[228] 66% somewhat believe it.[229] Meanwhile, Trump holds rallies across the country and repeats his lies as he drains millions of dollars from his over trusting supporters.[230]

Since Trump’s loss, 19 Republican-controlled states have passed 33 laws that make it harder for American’s to vote.[231] 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.[232] Considering the real-world context of the Republican Political Establishment’s election lies and misinformation, all of these 33 laws can only be logically characterized as products of mass delusion or unamerican attempts to electioneer victories.[233]  

In January of 2022, congressional Democrats introduced legislation to protect the right to vote and improve campaign finance law.[234] Republicans – voting in a single, unified block – filibustered the legislation, leaving propagandized, partisan state officials free to continue their full-frontal assault on American democracy.[235]

 

Extortion of Ukraine & Obstruction of Congress

 

In early July of 2019, the Republican-controlled White House ordered a hold on nearly $391 million in congressionally approved U.S. aid to Ukraine.[236] This was a highly irregular move.[237] Though not many Americans understood it at the time, all applicable U.S. agencies, including the Department of Defense, the State Department, and the National Security Council, had repeatedly stressed that aid to Ukraine was essential to U.S. national security interests.[238] Not until Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, did the importance of this aid become obvious to the American public.[239]    

The Government Accountability Office, a non-partisan government watchdog agency, concluded the Republican White House’s decision to withhold aid from Ukraine, regardless of whether it was done for an improper purpose, violated the law.[240] More specifically, it violated the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, which provides rules whereby the executive branch can legally withhold congressionally approved funds.[241] Such rules are integral to the balance of power between our executive and legislative branches.[242]

On July 25th, 2019, one day after Robert Mueller testified about “sweeping and systematic” Russian election interference, Donald Trump spoke on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.[243] President Zelensky expressed a desire to purchase more javelin missiles to help prevent Russian aggression. Trump then said, “I would like you to do us a favor though…”[244] He then clearly conditioned U.S. aid on an investigation into Joe Biden and CrowdStrike.[245] Joe Biden was, of course, Trump’s primary political rival.[246] CrowdStrike was a U.S. company that played a vital role in proving that the Russian government illegally hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) prior to the 2016 Election.[247] There it was, plain as day: Trump made vital U.S. military aid dependent on a smear campaign against his primary political rival and a fake investigation meant to cover for the international crimes of his Russian allies.[248]

Ninety minutes after the phone call, Michael Duffey, a White House budget official, e-mailed the Pentagon.[249] He emphasized the importance of the hold on U.S. aid to Ukraine and urged Pentagon officials to keep it secret due to its “sensitive nature.”[250]         

When a U.S. President speaks with a foreign leader, it is typical for a team of foreign policy and national security experts to listen in, analyze, and assess the conversation.[251] The stakes are high.[252] Language and cultural barriers make communication between nations sensitive.[253] A minor miscommunication can lead to catastrophic foreign policy consequences.[254]

During the July 25th conversation between Trump and President Zelensky, such a team of experts was on the line.[255] They heard, first-hand, Trump’s brazen attempt to extort Ukraine.[256] After the conversation, an unnamed whistle blower wrote a letter to the chairmen of the Senate House Intelligence Committee.[257] It stated flatly, “the President of the United States… [used] the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. Election.”[258]

National Security Council Director for Russia and Ukraine, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, was also on the phone.[259] After listening to Trump extort the Ukrainian President, he reported his concerns to his superior.[260] In subsequent sworn testimony before Congress, he characterized Trump’s actions as clearly improper.[261] He, noting that Ukraine relied on U.S. military aid to defend against Russian aggression, stated the effect of Trump’s actions was to “undermine U.S. national security.”[262] He concluded, “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. . . [I]n certain regards, my wors[t] fear of how our Ukraine policy could play out was playing out...”[263] When asked why he reported the call to his superiors, he stated the obvious: “It is improper for the President of the United States to demand a foreign government [to] investigate a U.S. citizen and political opponent.”[264]

On October 3, 2019, Trump did a question and answer with reporters on the White House lawn. A reporter asked, “What, exactly, did you hope Zelensky would do about the Bidens after your phone call?” Trump responded, “Well, I think that if they were honest about it, they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens. It’s a very simple answer.”[265] Seconds later, Trump added that China should also investigate the Bidens.[266] And there it was again, plain as day, the President of the United States admitted, on live TV, that he was using his power to pressure foreign governments to investigate his primary political rival.[267]

Soon after, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney gave a press conference. A reporter asked him why aid was withheld from Ukraine.[268] Mulvaney responded, “The look back to what happened in 2016 was certainly part of what was worried about...”[269] The reporter followed up, “Let’s be clear, what you just described is a quid pro quo.” Mulvaney then gave the shocking response, “We do that all the time... Get over it! There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy.”[270] A later press release from Mulvaney took the opposite position, but both law and common sense recognize that spontaneous utterances are inherently more trustworthy than subsequent, planned, self-serving, contradictory statements.[271]

Despite a transcript clearly evidencing the crime, despite Trump admitting his crime on live TV, and despite the Republican Chief of Staff characterizing such crimes as common practice in the Trump Republican White House, the shameless misinformation machine of the Republican Political Establishment kicked into high gear.[272] Republican Politicians and Right-Wing Media immediately began an exhaustive sleight of hand campaign designed to mislead their own base.[273]

Republican Politicians, as though in a corrupt choir, repeated the dishonest mantra “no quid pro quo.”[274] This conceded Trump sought a foreign investigation into the Bidens and CrowdStrike but denied anything was being withheld or would be given in return; never mind the freeze on U.S. aid, Trump’s admission, Mulvaney’s admission, or common sense.[275] The talking heads in the Right-Wing Media repeated the buzzwords “witch hunt” and “hoax.”[276] They leaned into the logical fallacies of “deep state” and “fake news” to discredit the facts reported by real journalists.[277] Fox News hosts Jeanine Pirro and Lou Dobbs began to call impeachment – which is in the Constitution – “lawless” and “illegal.”[278] Trump referred to his conversation with Zelensky – in which he clearly attempted to leverage U.S. aid – as a “perfect call,” again and again.[279] Right-Wing Media outlets, instead of reporting the facts, echoed Trump’s statements.[280] Some conservative pundits completely ignored the substance of Trump’s actions.[281] Instead, they attacked the scandal itself as “boring” television, as though it were a badly produced reality TV show.[282]  

As the Republican Political Establishment conducted its master class on deception, a formal impeachment inquiry was underway in the U.S. House.[283] What followed was the most blatant obstruction of Congress undertaken by a White House in our nation’s history.[284] Though Congressional subpoena power is “indispensable” to the basic structure of our government, the Republican White House issued a blanket order for its employees and other federal agencies to defy subpoenas.[285] Without the subpoena power, the Constitutional power of impeachment is severely diminished, and impeachment, outside of elections, is the sole means to remove an authoritarian President.[286]

Federal Judge Ketanji Jackson, in a case involving White House Counsel Don McGahn’s refusal to respond to a subpoena, stated the obvious. “[N]o one is above the law… Presidents are not kings,” she said.[287] This kind of harsh language directed at the executive is almost unheard of from a federal judge. Regardless, the Republican White House continued to waste taxpayer dollars to defend against legitimate congressional subpoenas.[288] Throughout the congressional inquiry, several executive agencies, under White House direction, simply refused to produce a single witness or turn over a single document.[289]

The extreme illegality of the Republican White House’s obstruction of Congress was sadly lost on much of the American public. It is a basic principle of any just and orderly society that all people are subject to the law. [290]  Subpoenas are legally enforceable.[291] To ignore them is a violation of the law.[292] No honest human being can characterize the Republican White House’s refusal to cooperate with the investigation and the Republican Congress’s support for this illegality as anything but a craven, text-book example of corruption.

During the formal House impeachment hearings, the entire diplomatic core to Ukraine, including life-long civil servants and decorated war heroes, testified under oath as to the Republican White House’s brazen abuse of power.[293] The American public heard testimony from former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Maria Yavonovitch, former senior director for European and Russian affairs Fiona Hill, acting ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor, and many others.[294] No member of Congress, not even Republicans, raised a single doubt as to the credibility of any witness.[295]

As Maria Yovanovitch testified, however, Trump publicly attacked her via social media.[296] Everywhere she “went turned bad,” Trump tweeted. He then blamed her for conditions in Somalia where she briefly served as a junior diplomat.[297] After a break in her testimony, Democratic House member Adam Schiff asked Yovanovitch “[w]hat effect” Trump’s real-time tweets had on her “willingness to come forward and expose wrongdoing?”[298] She flatly replied, “it’s very intimidating.”[299] Intimidating a witness appearing before Congress is a federal crime.[300]

Perhaps the most damning testimony came from Gordon Sondland.[301] A registered Republican, he was a Trump appointee who donated over $1 million to the Trump Inaugural Committee.[302] It is hard to imagine a person who could be less motivated to tell the truth about a Republican White House filled with extortionists.[303] Regardless, he revealed that, in addition to the aid to Ukraine, the Republican White House was withholding a meeting between Trump and Zelensky.[304] Such a meeting would have been invaluable to Ukraine – a potential matter of life and death that could signal a strong U.S./Ukraine alliance and prevent Russian aggression.[305] Sondland testified the meeting was withheld as part of a clear “quid pro quo.”[306] He also testified that he knew aid was being withheld for an improper purpose like he knows “two plus two equals four.”[307] Finally, he testified that the highest ranking Republicans in the White House were “in the loop”, including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.[308]  

Further witness testimony can be summed up in a few key points. Trump’s intent was political, not a valid expression of U.S. Foreign Policy.[309] Rudy Giuliani, who would later spearhead the Republican White House’s plot to steal the 2020 Presidential Election, was running shadow diplomacy intended to benefit Trump, not America.[310] 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.[311]      

On December 18th, 2019, the House voted to impeach Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.[312] Though Democrats had the necessary votes, every Republican member of the House voted against impeachment on both counts.[313] They simply ignored the evidence to protect their party, clearly undermining the Rule of Law.

In January, the Senate began the impeachment trial.[314] Despite Republican complaints throughout the House impeachment proceedings that the procedures adopted were unfair (they were, in fact, the most transparent and fair procedures ever utilized in an impeachment in American history), Republicans conducted the Senate trial with zero witnesses.[315] It was, on its face, a complete farce.[316]

Just days before the commencement of the trial, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell even had the audacity to say, “I’m not an impartial juror . . . I’m not impartial about this at all.”[317] At the commencement of the impeachment trial, McConnell took an oath administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to “do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God.”[318]

During the Senate trial, even more information relevant to Trump’s guilt surfaced, but Republican Senators barred it from the proceedings.[319] John Bolton, who was the National Security Advisor during the events in question, publicly stated he would testify if the Senate subpoenaed him.[320] Excerpts from his book (yet to be published) were circulating in the media.[321] Relevant passages made clear that Bolton had first-hand knowledge of and objected to the Republican White House’s illegal scheme.[322] He went so far as to characterize it as a “drug deal.”[323] Lev Parnas, a close associate of Rudy Giuliani, also came forward, claiming to have direct knowledge of Giuliani’s role in pressuring the Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.[324] Parnas provided House members hundreds of text messages, letters, and photos to corroborate his claims.[325] None of these materials were allowed in as evidence at the Senate trial.[326]

Despite the overwhelming evidence of guilt, the Senate voted to acquit Trump on February 6th, 2020.[327] Senators voted along party lines with every Democrat voting to convict, and every Republican, excepting one, voting to acquit.[328] Republican Senators’ failure to consider the mountain of House evidence and their refusal to even hear new, relevant evidence made it clear that their decision to acquit was pre-ordained and entirely political.[329] In doing so, they placed party before country.

Senate Republican excuses for acquittal varied greatly. Some publicly acknowledged Trump’s guilt but did not think it rose to the level of conviction.[330] Republican Susan Collins of Maine admitted a president should not ask “a foreign country to investigate a political rival,” but she thought Trump had learned “a pretty big lesson,” as though he were an errant child and not the leader of the free world.[331] Many other Senate Republicans simply refused to publicly answer questions as to whether or not the President had done what was alleged.[332]

In an impassioned speech on the Senate floor, Mitt Romney, the sole Republican to vote for conviction, said the evidence showed “a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security, and our fundamental values.”[333] He concluded, “corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.”[334]

Of course, Romney was right, but his statements reveal a lack of imagination. Within the year, the emboldened Republican Political Establishment would turn half the American public against its electoral process, incite an insurrection, and attempt to establish an authoritarian regime.

 

Russian Election Interference & Obstruction of Justice

 

Russia has long engaged in activities designed to undermine democracy throughout the world, especially in the U.S.[335] In the 2016 Election, however, these efforts increased dramatically.[336] A U.S. Intelligence Community Assessment, representing the collective wisdom of all U.S. intelligence agencies, determined Russia’s 2016 efforts “demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity and scope.””[337] Furthermore, these efforts were undertaken with the express intent of electing Donald Trump.[338] In 2016, Russia, like the Trump White House 4 years later, engaged in a sustained, multi-pronged assault on U.S. democracy designed to hand the Presidency to the Republican Party.[339]

Russian operatives created tens of thousands of fake accounts on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other major social media platforms.[340] Troll farms, similar to corporate headquarters but dedicated to misinformation, sprang up in Russia and Eastern Europe.[341] On Instagram and Twitter, Russian operatives highjacked trending hashtags to promote divisive and false information.[342] They created thousands of vindictive memes which circulated widely on social media.[343] They ran special interest pages on Facebook, including several Christian pages.[344] To divide American’s along racial lines, they posed as militant African Americans and racist whites.[345] They created, out of thin air, protests and rallies that real Americans attended.[346] Verified fake posts read, “Hillary doesn’t deserve the black vote!” and “Trump is our only hope for a better future!”[347] A single, small sample revealed that just 120 fake Russian Facebook pages created 80 thousand posts that directly reached 29 million  Americans.[348]

But it went further than just troll farms inspiring hate and division on social media. The Russian military intelligence (GRU) utilized a process called narrative laundering.[349] They manufactured fake stories on alternative news sites and made-up think tanks.[350] The troll farms then pushed these fake stories on social media, as though they were legitimate sources of information.[351]  

Even more alarming, the GRU illegally hacked Democrats. They also attempted to hack all 50 state election systems.[352] A grand jury of U.S. citizens, after hearing the relevant evidence, indicted 12 members of the GRU for illegally hacking “the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Committee [DNC], and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.”[353]

The GRU then laundered this illegally hacked information through Wikileaks or sent it directly to American news organizations.[354] The plan was a stunning success.[355] Leaks from Russian operatives dominated the 2016 Election narrative.[356] Once these stories were picked up by mainstream media, Russian troll farms then amplified them on social media accounts, creating a vicious circle of propaganda.[357]

U.S. agencies have since taken steps to prevent Russian election interference, and social media companies have developed policies to try to prevent the spread of misinformation, but Russian propaganda remains an ongoing problem.[358] In 2017 and 2018, Russia opened 12 new troll farms.[359] In 2020, Russian operatives were still running some of Facebook’s most popular pages for Christians and African Americans.[360] According to leaked internal Facebook documents, Russian operatives created content that reached 140 million Americans, almost half of the U.S. population, per month leading up to the 2020 Election.[361]

During the 2016 campaign, the FBI began receiving tips that individuals involved in the Trump campaign were aiding Russian efforts to interfere with the election.[362] The Trump campaign also hired several people who were already under investigation for their Russian ties.[363] The FBI interviewed Paul Manafort twice before he became Trump’s campaign manager.[364]   

Throughout the 2016 Election, there were numerous public revelations showing damning connections between the Trump campaign and Russia.[365] During the 2016 campaign, Trump associates interacted with Russian agents on more than 100 occasions.[366]

In the second presidential debate, Trump looked the American public directly in the eye, and said, he does not “deal there. I have no business there.”[367] That was a blatant lie. Trump negotiated for and signed a letter of intent to build a Trump Tower Moscow while running for President of the United States.[368] If the deal had come to fruition, the Trump Organization would have made $100s of  millions.[369]

In 2008, Trump sold a 40-million-dollar mansion to a Russian oligarch for 95 million dollars.[370]  In a speech at a real estate conference that same year, Don Jr. said, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.”[371]  He continued, “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”[372] In 2013, Trump staged a Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.[373]  When a reporter asked if he knew Putin, Trump answered, “I do have a relationship with him.”[374]    

On July 27th, 2016, Trump, in a public press conference, said, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”[375] He was referring to private Hillary Clinton emails.[376] On or around that same day, Russian hackers launched an attempt to infiltrate Hillary Clinton’s private email account.[377] A Republican presidential candidate publicly asked a foreign dictatorship to attempt to illegally hack the private email account of his political rival, and then they did it.[378] At that moment, American politics reached a new low.[379]

On 13 separate occasions, Republican members of the Trump campaign denied any contacts with the Russian government.[380] These denials, like Trump’s claim not to do business with Russia, were blatant lies.[381]

In June of 2016, Rob Goldstone, a music promoter and former tabloid journalist, contacted Don Jr., writing “[t]he Crown Prosecutor of Russia” has “offered to provide… official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton]. . .”[382] The information was given, according to Goldstone, as part of the Russian Governments’ “support for Trump. . .”[383] Don Jr. then responded, “if it’s what you say, I love it. . .”[384] The next day, Trump Sr. gave a speech promising to release new compromising information about Hillary Clinton.[385] Two days later, Don Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jerrid Kushner met with Goldstone and Natalia Veselnitskaya, a lawyer with ties to the Kremlin, at Trump Tower.[386]  

The investigations into real-world Russian election interference, as well as the Trump campaign’s ties to the Russian Government, were eventually consolidated when Robert Mueller was appointed as a special prosecutor.[387] Ultimately, Mueller’s Russia probe determined that, though there was plenty of evidence against numerous members of Trump’s inner circle, there was insufficient evidence of conspiracy against Trump, but a lack of evidence is not proof of innocence.[388]

Trump’s dogged loyalty to Russia has played out publicly for years.[389] The American public has repeatedly witnessed him echo Russian propaganda.[390] At the Helsinki summit in July of 2018, when asked about Russian meddling, Trump denied it and took Putin’s side over all U.S. intelligence agencies, adding “I don’t see any reason why” he would lie.[391] The late Senator John McCain called Trump’s behavior “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”[392] As detailed earlier, Trump also used U.S. aid to extort the Ukraine to open a false investigation into the lie that it was Ukraine, and not Russia, that interfered with the 2016 Election.[393] Trump also tweeted that reports of Russian bounties for killing U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan were a “Fake News Media Hoax,” even though his own administration admitted their authenticity to  Congress.[394] Throughout his presidency, Trump showed nothing but disdain for NATO, Russia’s nemesis and the force now protecting Europe from Russian aggression.[395]

Beyond echoing Russian propaganda, Trump has showered Putin and other dictators with obsequious praise.[396] When Bill O’Reily pointed out that Putin is a killer, Trump, without skipping a beat, said, “We have a lot of killers… [Y]ou think our country is so innocent.”[397] When Russia brutally invaded the Ukraine, Trump called Putin “smart,” “savvy,” and “a genius.”[398] He then referred to Russian forces as a “peace force.”[399]   

The Mueller investigation, more than demonstrating Trump’s otherworldly affection for Putin and Russia, resulted in “37 indictments” and “seven guilty pleas or convictions, including several in Trump’s inner circle.”[400] Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, was convicted of 2 counts of bank fraud, 5 counts of tax fraud, and a count of failing to declare a foreign bank account.[401] While running the Trump campaign, Manafort was sharing internal campaign polling data with Russia.[402] Roger Stone, a long-time Trump confidant, acted as a go-between for Wikileaks and the Trump campaign.[403] Wikileaks held materials damaging to Democrats illegally obtained by Russian hackers.[404] He was convicted of witness tampering and lying to Congress, which, according to the presiding judge, he undertook to cover “up for the President.”[405] Rick Gates, top Trump campaign aid, pled guilty to illegal foreign lobbying and lying to investigators.[406] George Papadopoulos, Trump foreign policy advisor, pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian intermediaries.[407] Michael Cohen, long-time Trump lawyer and fixer, pled guilty to 8 types of financial crimes, 2 of which involved paying hush money with campaign funds to women with whom Trump allegedly had affairs.[408] Finally, though never convicted for reasons that will be discussed below, Michael Flynn, Trump’s first National Security Advisor, was charged with illegal foreign lobbying and lying to the FBI about his Russian connections.[409] Either Trump has terrible judgment and surrounded himself with felons out of ineptitude, or he escaped justice. 

A report released by Robert Mueller further detailed Trump’s repeated obstruction of the Russia probe.[410] Like so many of his crimes, Trump engaged in this obstruction in broad daylight.[411]

In the early stages of the investigation, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself, citing his role in the Trump campaign as a conflict of interest.[412] Trump then publicly pressured Sessions to take back his recusal, complained about not having an Attorney General who would protect him from investigations, and viciously attacked Sessions.[413]

The real obstruction, however, was just getting started. Trump then approached FBI Director James Comey and point-blank asked him to “let go” of the investigation into Michael Flynn.[414] Comey refused and so Trump fired him.[415] It was this blatant, public attempt to obstruct the investigation that prompted acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint special counsel Robert Mueller.[416] Trump then attempted to get White House Counsel Don McGahn to pressure Rosenstein into firing Mueller, but McGahn refused.[417] Throughout Mueller’s investigation, Trump, along with depraved Republican Politicians and the Right-Wing Media, publicly and brazenly questioned Mueller’s integrity, labelling the investigation a “witch hunt” and “hoax,” despite the fact that it produced numerous convictions in courts of law.[418] 

It is hard to imagine more clear-cut examples of obstruction of justice, but sensing the public wanted to move beyond the Russia investigation, Congress opted not to act.[419] Still, 1,000 former federal prosecutors signed a letter stating that if an average citizen had engaged in Trump’s conduct, charges would have been brought.[420]

After Trump’s obstruction of justice failed, he began to openly politicize the Department of Justice (DOJ).[421] The DOJ is part of the executive branch, and as such, the President oversees it, but it’s not like other departments within the executive: the role of the DOJ is to “enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law,” not according to political interests.[422] Every administration since Watergate has instituted policies to assure the DOJ’s independence from political pressure.[423]

When Hillary Clinton was under investigation for using a private email server for public business, conservatives legitimately exploded in anger when former President Bill Clinton had a short, private conversation with Attorney General Loretta Lynch.[424] Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton had a long-standing relationship, and they both denied discussing the investigation into Hillary Clinton.[425] Regardless, their conversation was improper, but that transgression now seems quaint. The Republican controlled White House, under Trump, completely ignored principles of impartiality, placing Republican political interests squarely before the Rule of Law.[426]

After Trump drove Jeff Sessions to resign, he nominated William Barr to replace him.[427]  There was, at the time, bi-partisan optimism that Barr would put a stop to the politicization of the DOJ. But it quickly became apparent that Barr, far from bringing legitimacy to the DOJ, was deepening, if not institutionalizing, that politicization.[428]

Once the Mueller report was complete, Barr published a sanitized synopsis, rather than the actual text.[429] It was a clear political ploy intended to mislead the American public at the expense of the DOJ’s integrity.[430] Mueller, the author of the report, publicly criticized Barr’s synopsis, stating it “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the actual report.[431]

Even more troubling, Barr, in a truly unprecedented fashion, disrupted the work of career DOJ attorneys.[432] He intervened in ongoing court proceedings against Trump associates Roger Stone and Michael Flynn.[433] Stone, on behalf of the Trump campaign, helped coordinate the release of materials illegally hacked by Russia to influence the 2016 Election.[434] As stated earlier, he was convicted of witness tampering and lying to Congress, which, according to the presiding judge, he undertook to cover “up for the President.”[435] The career prosecutors handling the case asked for 7 to 9 years in prison based on long-established Federal Sentencing Guidelines.[436]

Throughout the proceedings, Trump repeatedly and publicly criticized, without providing a shred of evidence, the presiding judge as biased.[437] That is not something a president should do in America, especially in a case involving the crimes of their associates, and it is just one of dozens of examples of Trump publicly attacking the independence of the judiciary in broad daylight.[438]

William Barr, America’s attorney, heard Trump’s directive loud and clear. The DOJ changed its course and requested a sentence “far less” than the original request.[439] Four of the original prosecutors then resigned in protest.[440]

Meanwhile, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn twice pled guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations he had with a Russian government official.[441] All that was left in the case was for Flynn to be sentenced, but Barr, in a highly unusual move, assigned Timothy Shea, an interim U.S. attorney, to review the case.[442] Shea then filed a motion to dismiss the case – a move that reeked of political bias, if not outright corruption.[443] Shea was one of Barr’s closest advisors in the DOJ.[444] He also signed the new sentencing recommendation in the Roger Stone case.[445]

The outcries of political bias were immediate.[446] Shae’s motion for dismissal relied on the analysis of Mary McCord, former assistant U.S. attorney general for national security.[447] Her words were referenced in Shae’s motion 25 times.[448] However, she went on record, stating the motion repeatedly “twisted” her words.[449] She also said there was no real legal justification for dismissal.[450]

Jonathan Kravis, the original prosecutor on the case, resigned in protest.[451] He then wrote an op-ed stating the DOJ was putting “political patronage ahead of its commitment to the Rule of Law” and doing “lasting damage to the institution.”[452] 2,000 former Justice Department officials then signed an open letter insisting Republican Attorney General William Barr interfered with the “fair administration of justice” and calling for his resignation.[453]

Beyond obstructing justice, beyond politicizing the DOJ, Trump then pardoned his convicted Republican allies, placing them completely above the law.[454] Presidential pardon power is in the Constitution and legal, but what is legally permissible and what is ethically right are not the same thing.[455] Trump’s pardons were unprecedented in United States history.[456] It was a case study in the complete absence of presidential ethics.[457]

He pardoned 9 Republican Politicians who were convicted in courts of law for crimes related to violations of the public trust.[458] He pardoned Charles Kushner, his son-in-law Jared Kushner’s father, who was convicted of witness tampering and tax evasion.[459] He pardoned Steve Bannon, his former chief strategist, who was charged with defrauding political donors.[460] And finally, he pardoned Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort, and Roger Stone, all people convicted of serious crimes, including lying about their ties to the Russian government.[461] Even more concerning, they were all suspected of having knowledge of Trump’s criminal conduct.[462] That set a horrendous precedent.[463] From there on out, if someone commits a crime with a president, all they need to do is keep quiet, and they will be free of legal consequences.[464] As if the bounds of basic ethics were not already obliterated, Trump even toyed with the idea of pardoning the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on January 6th.[465]        

How do you hide a criminal and deeply corrupt Republican administration in plain sight? What is needed are counter narratives.[466] The public can only be expected to ignore reality for so long. To distract the Republican base from reality, the Republican Political Establishment pushed counter narratives of the “deep state,” a “witch hunt,” and a “hoax.”[467] These are textbook examples of the logical fallacy of ad hominem attack, or attack against the person.[468] The Republican Political Establishment cultivated hatred for those who revealed the evidence to divert the Republican base from considering the evidence itself.[469]

Still, though clear logical fallacies, some aspects of these counter narratives are based in fact and raise valid questions of public concern, and so it is important to consider them.

Texts between two FBI employees involved in the Russian probe, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, were leaked to the media.[470] Their texts revealed unprofessional conduct, a dislike for a number of politicians across the political spectrum, and, most pronounced, a hatred for Donald Trump.[471]  

The Steele dossier, written by former British Intelligence officer Michael Steele, also posed possible ethical problems.[472] The Democratic Party, as well as the Clinton campaign, funded the creation of the dossier.[473] Once compiled, it contained a compendium of salacious allegations outlining criminal conspiracy between Trump and Russia.[474] It also influenced the media’s early reporting on the Russia investigation.[475] It was used in the FBI’s investigation of Trump and even played a key role in getting a FISA warrant against Carter Page, a member of the Trump campaign.[476] Over time, it became clear that many of the claims outlined in the dossier could not be corroborated.[477]   

The Inspector General of the Justice Department, an independent watchdog agency, investigated these irregularities.[478] In the course of the investigation, the Inspector General’s office looked at over a million pages of documentation and conducted 170 interviews.[479]

On December 9th, 2019, the Inspector General issued a report. The report expressed concerns about agents Strzok and Page’s conduct.[480] It also criticized the FBI’s use of the Steele dossier and concluded an FBI attorney made serious omissions in its application for the FISA warrant against Carter Page.[481] However, it also noted the Steele dossier was not a primary motive for the Russia probe; there were investigations into Trump associates opened long before the Steele dossier was written; Strzok and Page were not primary decision makers in the investigation; and, ultimately, political bias did not motivate the FBI’s Russia probe.[482] Regardless, the Republican Political Establishment continued to use these issues to divert the Republican base from unchallenged facts related to a Republican campaign filthy with convicted criminals.[483]

Despite the exhaustive 434-page Inspector General’s report, William Barr appointed special counsel John Durham to further investigate the investigators.[484] After more than a year and a half, and after spending approximately 5 million dollars, the Durham investigation has indicted just two private citizens, one of which has been found not guilty by a jury of his peers.[485] It has uncovered no wrongdoing among the actual investigators.[486]    

Durham’s first indictment was brought against Igor Danchenko.[487] Danchenko is a private Russian analyst who contributed to the Steele dossier.[488] The indictment alleges he lied to the FBI about the sources for his claims that appeared in the dossier.[489] More specifically, it alleges he lied about his connections to a specific Democrat political operative named Charles Dolan Jr., state chairman for the Clinton-Gore campaigns in Virginia in 1992 and 1996.[490] Danchenko pled not guilty and continues to deny wrongdoing.[491] He has yet to stand trial. 

The second indictment was brought against attorney Michael Sussman.[492] The indictment, as with Danchenko, alleged Sussman lied to the FBI about his connections to the Clinton campaign.[493] Sussman pled not guilty and denied all charges.[494] At trial, Durham put forward scant evidence to prove his case.[495] On May 31st, 2022, after just 6 hours of deliberation, a jury returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty.[496]

Despite the Durham investigations failure to demonstrate any governmental – let alone private – wrongdoing to date, the Right-Wing Media has made these cases primary news stories.[497] Prior to Sussman’s not guilty verdict, they went so far as to claim Donald Trump was spied on.[498] The New York Post, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch who also owns Fox News, ran an article with the headline, “Rep. [Jim] Jordan: Durham filing shows Trump was right about being spied on.”[499]  The Wall Street Journal, also owned by Rupert Murdoch, ran an op-ed entitled “Trump Was Really Spied On.”[500]

Such claims are absurd ploys to manipulate the Republican base. Opposition research is a given in politics.[501] The opposing party, whether Democrat or Republican, will research their opponents.[502] This research, if done ethically, can have positive effects.[503] It helps prevent criminals and moral degenerates from being elected to public office.[504] It is not spying.[505]

Neither Danchenko nor Sussman worked for the government at all, which is implied in the Republican Political Establishment’s accusations of spying.[506] Furthermore, neither Danchenko nor Sussman were accused of providing false evidence to the FBI.[507] They were accused of lying about their connections to the Clinton campaign.[508] Both men apparently believed the information they shared with the FBI was accurate.[509]

If while conducting opposition research a political operative uncovers information relevant to a potential crime, they should give it to authorities. What a political operative should not do is lie about connections to an opposing candidate. Sussman, according to a jury of his peers, was not guilty of violating the law.[510] Danchenko, if found guilty, should be punished as required under law, but the allegations against him are a far cry from a deep state scheme to spy on the Trump campaign.[511]     

Such blatant dishonesty is typical of the Republican Political Establishment.[512] Republican politicians make outrageous statements, and then the Right-Wing media reports those outrageous statements as though they were fact.[513] It is not news.[514] It is the repetition of lies designed to mislead the American public.[515]  

Again, the Inspector General’s report clearly concluded the Russia probe was not politically   motivated.[516] Several of Trump’s associates were under valid investigations prior to joining the Trump campaign.[517] The Durham investigation, despite the misinformation espoused by the Republican Political Establishment, does not change a single fact outlined in this essay.   

The Russian Government systematically undermined the 2016 Election to put a Republican administration in power. Members of that Republican administration publicly lied about their lucrative business ties to Russia. They had numerous contacts with, established meetings, and requested and exchanged information with Russian operatives. Finally, they lied to the public, the FBI, and Congress about those contacts. Again and again, that Republican administration went to extraordinary lengths to foster Russian propaganda and protect Russian interests. Once the conduct of the members of that Republican administration came under legal scrutiny, they used their power to obstruct justice and politicize our legal system and the pardon power. Throughout all of this, the Republican Political Establishment, including the Right-Wing Media, sought to cover for and hide that administration’s illegality. Finally, regardless of that administration’s perversion of our justice system, and the Republican Political Establishment’s efforts to obscure the facts, numerous high-ranking Republican officials were convicted under a standard of beyond a reasonable doubt in courts of law for their crimes. 

 

Monetary Corruption

 

As the Republican Trump White House represented the interests of the American people at home and abroad, Donald Trump’s private, for-profit businesses simultaneously negotiated and made deals with the Federal Government and with foreign allies and foes.  Unlike previous presidents, Trump refused to divest his businesses once elected.[518] Throughout the Trump Administration, the Right-Wing Media downplayed and dismissed these unprecedented conflicts of interest.[519] Republican Politicians, rather than fulfilling their constitutional duty, actively sheltered Trump from Congressional oversight.[520]  

From the start of the Republican Trump Administration to its violent end, core Constitutional provisions were simply ignored. Every day of his presidency, Trump violated our nation’s oldest and simplest anti-corruption laws, the Emoluments Clauses. 

The Domestic Emoluments Clause prohibits presidents form receiving any benefit, outside of salary, from federal or state and local governments.[521] Just as it is unethical for a corporate executive to make deals between the corporation he runs and a separate business he owns individually, it is unethical for a president, acting in his official capacity, to make deals with himself as a private businessperson. It is a simple, common-sense provision intended to prevent presidents from using their power to enrich themselves through the governmental entities they control.[522] It assures a president’s actions are for the benefit of the nation, rather than personal profit.[523]

The Foreign Emoluments Clause prohibits public officials, including a president, from receiving any benefit from foreign governments.[524] Just as it is unethical for a corporate executive to receive compensation from a competing company, it is unethical for a president to receive compensation from foreign governments. The obvious purpose of the Foreign Emoluments Clause is to prevent foreign powers from exerting undue influence on the affairs of our nation.[525]

Trump violated these core, constitutionally mandated, anti-corruption provisions in myriad ways. In violation of the Domestic Emoluments Clause, the Trump International Hotel, one of the largest in D.C., and located a stone’s throw from the White House, leased its space directly from the Federal Government while Trump was president.[526] Sean Spicer, Trump’s first Press Secretary, even had the audacity, when questioned about this obvious conflict, to encourage Americans to go visit the hotel.[527]

The Republican White House also repeatedly used Trump’s business properties for official state visits and events. In a visit to Ireland, Vice President Mike Pence, who travels with a large government bureaucracy, stayed at Trump’s Doonbeg property.[528] He did this at Trump’s insistence and despite going to Ireland for meetings 180 miles away in Dublin.[529] Trump Mar-a-Lago, which was dubbed the “Winter White House”, became the site of actual summits with foreign leaders.[530] At the conclusion of the G7 in 2019 (a gathering of seven of the world’s most powerful countries), the Republican Trump White House announced the next G7 would be held at Trump Doral in Miami.”[531] Only after a public outcry of disgust did the Trump administration backdown from openly pimping Trump Doral as the “perfect venue” for one of the most prestigious international foreign policy gatherings extent.[532] For the duration of the Trump administration, it is estimated the Trump Organization made $8 million off the American taxpayer.[533]

In violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause, Trump International became a monetary dumping ground for foreign governments seeking to curry favor.[534] Within a six-month period after Trump became President, lobbyists for Saudi Arabia spent $270 thousand at the hotel.[535] The governments of Bahrain, Kuwait, and Azerbaijani hosted conventions at the hotel.[536] Beyond D.C, Trump Tower in New York City rented three floors to China’s state-controlled bank.[537] Trump World Tower, also in New York City, rented space to seven separate foreign governments.[538] Trump sold real estate holdings in Las Vegas, Vancouver, and New York to Chinese investors, including a 2016 sale of a New York City penthouse to a Chinese businesswoman for $5.6 million in capital gain.[539] In the midst of a trade war with China, a Trump-affiliated company in Dubai awarded a bid to build a Trump golf course to a Chines state-owned company.[540]  

And the list goes on. Never in the history of our nation have a president’s conflicts run so deep, and never in the history of our nation has a political party so cavalierly flaunted those conflicts. William Barr, head of the DOJ, again intervened to protect the Republican president from the plain letter of the law.[541] Breaking with a previous legal interpretation held for more than a hundred years, the DOJ simply refused to enforce the Emoluments Clauses.[542] Republican Politicians went a step further. They not only refused to enforce the Constitution but openly sought to protect Trump from investigation.[543] During the Trump Presidency, the swamp grew deeper and muddier than ever before.

Trump made millions off his presidency, but these public accounts are, no doubt, but the tip of the iceberg. Trump, after all, refused to provide his tax returns before and throughout his presidency.[544] For 40 years prior to Trump, every president and presidential candidate provided their tax returns as a gesture of good faith and transparency.[545] But even if Trump had provided his returns, there are good reasons to doubt their reliability.[546] In 2022, Trump’s own accounting firm, claiming the numbers Trump provided were unreliable, disavowed 10 years of his financial statements.[547]

Lack of transparency and Emoluments violations are but the capstone of Trump’s long history of shady business practices.[548] Prior to becoming president, 6 Trump businesses declared bankruptcy, stiffing debtors, service providers, and shareholders.[549] He was involved in 3,500 state and federal lawsuits, far beyond any past president or businessperson of like stature.[550] During his 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly hocked his products during political press conferences.[551] During Trump’s presidency, Trump University reached a $25 million settlement based on allegations of defrauding its clients.[552] The White House embraced blatant nepotism as Trump put his unqualified children in high-ranking governmental positions.[553] He even used the White House as a backdrop for a partisan political convention.[554] A New York State judge ordered Trump Foundation – a  supposed “charity” – to return $2 million of misused funds to donors and forced it to dissolve.[555] The judge further ordered Trump’s children to undergo compulsory training for their fraud.[556]  

Perhaps the most straightforward proof of Trump’s complete and utter financial corruption came after his presidency. In June of 2021, a grand jury of U.S. citizens indicted the Trump Organization on multiple counts for a 15-year tax evasion scheme.[557] Among the charges brought were criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records.[558] A related New York civil investigation into Trump Organization is also pending.[559] Attorney General Latita James has filed motions indicating the Trump Organization inflated property values for purposes of obtaining loans and deflated property values for purposes of determining tax liability.[560] That Trump Organization used fraudulent numbers is clear.[561] All that remains to be determined is who, within the organization, is ultimately responsible.[562]

In the aftermath of the 2020 Election, Trump raised $250 million from his supporters to fight “election fraud.”[563] He did this despite the official vote count and results of every recount and election audit done in accordance with state law.[564] He did this despite nearly every election expert across the country, his Republican Attorney General, and all Republican White House staff attorneys’ insistence that there was no fraud.[565] The fact that Trump planned to lie about the election results even before the votes were counted further demonstrates his intent to defraud the American public.[566]

Trump told his supporters the money was being raised for an “Official Election Defense Fund,” but that was a lie.[567] Instead, the money was funneled into Trump’s general political action committee.[568] Though the Select Committee is still investigating how all the money was spent, it has been revealed that, rather than going to election fraud litigation, $1 million was given to a foundation ran by Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.[569] $1 million was given to the “America First Policy Institute, a conservative organization that employs several Trump administration officials.”[570] $204,857 was paid to the Trump Organization.[571] And $5 million was paid to the company that ran the January 6th rally which resulted in the storming of the United States Capitol.[572]  

The Republican Political Establishment, including the Right-Wing Media, have ignored these serious and flagrant instances of monetary corruption. They have systematically misled and misdirected their own base. As with the Russia probe, rather than confronting issues that strike at the heart of our nation’s integrity, they offer lame counter narratives.[573] Most notable among these counter narratives is their obsessive focus on Hunter Biden.[574] To be clear, Hunter Biden’s activities raise real ethical questions, but any honest parsing of the facts shows those questions pale in comparison to those that have been raised by the conduct of Trump and his family.[575]

Hunter Biden is Joe Biden’s son. He is also a Yale educated lawyer.[576] Regardless of his education, Hunter has, without doubt, profited inordinately off his family name, both during and after Joe Biden held elected office.[577] Among Hunter’s questionable deals was a five-year stint on the board of directors of a Ukrainian gas company for which he, despite having no previous experience in the energy field, received compensation in the millions.[578] He also, together with his Uncle James Biden, made a deal to consult for a Chinese state-controlled energy company, CEFC.[579] Over a 14 month period, CEFC paid Hunter and James Biden over $4.8 million in fees.[580] As though all this were not shady enough, Hunter is an admitted crack addict and is also the subject of a federal tax investigation.[581] In 2020, he paid the Federal Government a significant sum in back taxes, indicating he had in fact failed to report previous income.[582] Whether criminal or civil charges will be brought against Hunter is yet unknown.[583]     

It is illegal to hide income from federal tax authorities, and Hunter should be treated like anyone else under the law. It is also, no doubt, ethically questionable for Hunter to profit off his father’s name. There should at least be laws that require the utmost transparency when family members of high-ranking U.S. officials do business internationally. His behavior and business dealings are also valid news stories. However, when the Republican Political Establishment, including the Right-Wing Media, places the focus on Hunter Biden’s financial dealings, while ignoring those of Trump and his family, they are manipulating, not informing, the public.   

Hunter Biden, unlike Trump and his children, was never a U.S. official. His actions do not implicate the Emoluments Clauses or other U.S. anti-corruption provisions.[584] To better put Hunter’s actions in perspective, consider the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia’s decision to hire Jared Kushner’s newly-formed firm to invest $2 billion in Saudi Arabian money.[585] Jared was actively in charge, despite lacking the necessary qualifications, of U.S. Middle East policy.[586] When it was revealed that the Crown Prince likely had an American journalist assassinated, it was Kushner who publicly defended him.[587] Obviously, this raises serious doubts about whether Kushner was ever truly representing American interests.[588] The Right-Wing Media, however, simply did not report this story other than a handful of puff pieces congratulating Kushner on his financial prowess.[589]  

There is no indication that Joe Biden, in any manner, altered his official conduct to benefit his family.[590] Unlike Trump, Joe Biden publicly released his financial records.[591] His accounting firm has not disavowed his financial statements. His charity was not adjudicated a fraud. He does not run a company that is under indictment for defrauding the American public. He did not raise $250 million from over trusting supporters based on the Big Lie. He does not own a business that deals with the Federal Government and foreign powers while simultaneously acting as Commander in Chief. He is also no more responsible for his adult children’s financial dealings than any other parent is responsible for their adult children’s financial dealings.

The Republican Political Establishment, including the Right-Wing Media, will never offer this simple and all important context. They systematically deemphasize logically significant stories that harm their political interests, while putting an irrational emphasis on logically insignificant stories that serve their interests. Serious crimes or ethical conflicts of interest, if undertaken by their political allies, are ignored or minimized. Minor indiscretions, if undertaken by their political opponents, are dwelled upon and emphasized. The Right-Wing Media systematically manipulates and misleads the Republican base, insulting their intelligence day in and day out.

 

Assault on the 4th Estate

 

The “4th Estate” is a term of respect applied to the free press. It acknowledges the press’s role – along with the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government – as an essential component of our society.[592] The role of the free press is to act as check on rather than an apologist for or agent of the government.[593] Without a free, honest, independent press, U.S. citizens cannot make rational choices, and U.S. democracy will fail.[594]  

The Republican Trump Administration waged a 4-year open war on the free press.[595] Simultaneously, the Right-Wing Media grew more politicized.[596] The line separating Republican Politicians and Right-Wing Media has, for all practical purposes, vanished.[597] They have fused into a single, unchecked, deeply dishonest, and corrupt estate.[598]

Bias in the news media exists across the political spectrum, including on the left. All people are biased, and journalists are people. But there is a difference between having a political-point-of-view and espousing propaganda without context to create a false impression. Real journalists, whatever their political persuasion, strive for objectivity. They seek to inform, not mislead, the public.[599] The most powerful figures in Right-Wing Media have openly disavowed journalistic standards in favor of pure partisanship.[600]    

Ben Shapiro, a former Breitbart editor and owner of the conservative Daily Wire, is proudly antagonistic to the basic idea of objectivity in reporting.[601] He envisions a world in which people get their news directly from nakedly ideological and political institutions, rather than, in his words, people masquerading as the “grand arbiters of truth and falsity.”[602] Instead of attempting to overcome his bias, he makes it a point of virtue.[603] His business model, which is wildly profitable, is based on the cultivation of tribal outrage, not the dissemination of information.[604]

Fox News Channel’s few reputable journalists, including Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace, have quit in disgust as more profitable, partisan, political commentary has eclipsed journalistic integrity.[605] In many cases, Fox does not even pretend to be journalism any longer. In a federal slander case, Fox lawyers described Tucker Carlson Tonight as “non-literal commentary.”[606] Reasonable viewers, they maintained, cannot expect Tucker to use “actual facts.”[607] Throughout 2021, Tucker Carlson Tonight was the number one “news show” in the U.S.[608] Sean Hannity has openly stated, “I’m not a journalist. I’m a talk show host.”[609] When it suits his interests, however, Hannity takes the opposite position, claiming constitutional protections as a member of the free press.[610]     

Fox’s steady drift into political polemics has directly correlated with the rise of ultra conservative cable news competitors OAN and Newsmax.[611] OAN proudly proclaims that it is one of Trump’s “GREATEST supporters.”[612] Newsmax continues to air Trump’s entire full-length rally speeches, although Trump is no longer president.[613] According to a recent poll, nearly half of OAN and Newsmax consumers have a favorable view of QANON.[614] QANON espouses the belief that there is a far-left cabal of Satanist pedophiles in mainstream media, the entertainment industry, and government who work together to form a “deep state” that controls American life.[615] OAN and Newsmax viewers are not only misinformed but grossly misled.[616] Their business models are based on affirming what their viewers want to hear, not reality.[617]  

Trump installed a revolving door between Right-Wing Media and the Republican Party, institutionalizing media partisanship.[618] Steve Bannon, former head of Breitbart “News,” ran Donald Trump’s campaign and then became his first White House chief strategist.[619] Bill Shine, former producer of Hannity and then co-President of Fox “News,” became the White House Communications Director and deputy chief of staff.[620] While working in the White House, Shine received millions from Fox as part of his severance package.[621] Other Republican officials –  including Ben Carson, KT McFarland, John Bolton, and Donald Trump himself – were longtime, paid Fox “News” contributors.[622] Rush Limbaugh, who is widely regarded as the man most responsible for the news media’s downward spiral into partisanship, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an honor reserved for those who have provided a meritorious service to the national interests of the United States.[623]        

For 4 years, Fox “News” may as well have been called Trump TV. It was essentially a state-sponsored news organization, minimizing stories damaging to the Republican White House and emphasizing lesser stories that served its interests.[624] Trump watched hours of Fox, daily.[625] In a vicious feedback loop, Fox talking points became Trump tweets and vice versa.[626] Sean Hannity became a de facto member of the Trump cabinet.[627] He had backstage access to and actually spoke at Trump rallies.[628] The two men regularly talked privately on the phone.[629] Right-wing personalities Lou Dobbs and Pete Hegseth were included in official White House meetings.[630] Trump made long-winded calls to shows such as Fox & Friends.[631] In the first 3 years of his presidency alone, Trump made 60 appearances on Fox, eight times more than he appeared on any other network.[632]      

Bolstering this unholy alliance was Trump’s unprecedented attacks on real, professional journalists.[633] He used tactics mirroring those of authoritarians across the globe.[634] Any journalist who dared to criticize the Trump Administration became “the enemy of the people.”[635] At his rallies, Trump vocally promoted violence against journalists.[636] Ritualistic castigation became part of his standard stump speech.[637] “Absolute scum. Remember that. Scum. Scum. Totally dishonest people,” he would say, pointing toward the journalists who were relegated to metal cages at the edge of the crowd.[638] He threatened to revoke the licenses of entire media organizations.[639] Following Trump’s lead, most Republican Politicians, as well the Right-Wing Media, blindly labeled anything that contradicted their narrative as “fake news”.[640] And it worked: conservative trust in mainstream media plummeted from 70% in 2016 to 35% in 2021.[641]

Though always partial to cultural manipulation, Right-Wing Media has increased its focus on issues of identity to counter the obvious corruption of the Republican Political Establishment.[642] Culture wars intended to inflame prejudice, rather than inform, have replaced meaningful policy analysis.[643] Conservative audiences, like cattle, are systematically herded into a false panic over immigrants, Muslims, transgender athletes, and woke indoctrination.[644] The Right-Wing media presents the other – alien and strange – as the “true” cause of society’s ills.[645]

Fox’s Tucker Carlson has become the undisputed king of cultural grievance.[646] His show openly espouses the kind of right-wing white nationalism that would have been unthinkable a decade earlier.[647] He lifts his narratives directly from far right-wing internet sites.[648] He spends inordinate amounts of time on stories designed to create racial division, such as blacks killing white farmers in South Africa.[649] He describes Iraqis as “semiliterate, primitive monkeys.”[650] Mass murderers have cited replacement theory, which Carlson routinely promotes, as their primary motivation for killing other human beings.[651]  

In Carlson’s world, the voting rights and free press restrictions of far-right nationalist governments, such as Hungary, become something to be celebrated, not feared.[652] Since the brutal invasion of Ukraine, Carlson has openly defended Russia, so much so that Russian State controlled media regularly airs his and other Fox segments in their campaign to control the minds of the Russian people.[653]

During the Special Select Committee’s hearings on the Jan. 6th insurrection, OAN and Fox “News” were the only networks who refused to air it.[654] Instead, OAN aired a pro-insurrectionist documentary celebrating the people who invaded the Capitol.[655] Fox “News” eliminated commercials for a 2-hour block to keep their audience from engaging with the truth, foregoing hundreds of thousands of dollars in ad revenue.[656] Tucker Carlson began his hour stating, “This is the only hour on an American news channel that will not be carrying their propaganda live. They’re lying and we’re not going to help them do it.”[657] There was only one big problem with Carlson’s reporting: the hearings had not even begun yet.[658] What the Special Committee presented was sworn testimony and other concrete evidence that would be admissible in any legitimate court of law.[659] That evidence, much of which is duplicated in this essay, clearly shows that Trump and his Republican sycophants attempted to subvert U.S. democracy to establish an authoritarian regime.[660]   

The Right-Wing Media does not want their viewers exposed to official Congressional proceedings or real journalism, because they are utterly complicit in the Republican Political Establishment’s assault on American Democracy.[661] The release of White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’ texts demonstrates a Right-Wing Media – far from acting as a check on government – directly advising and coordinating with a criminal Republican White House.[662]  

On election day, Sean Hannity actually asked White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows where he could help “push” Republican voter turnout, as though he were part of the campaign.[663] Meadows rattled off some states, and Hannity replied, “Yes, sir. . . Got it. . .”[664] Though Hannity’s show continued to push election fraud conspiracies up until the insurrection, his private texts revealed his true, contradictory thoughts.[665] A week before the insurrection, he texted Meadows, “I do NOT see January 6th happening the way [Trump] is being told.”[666] The day before the insurrection, Hannity texted, “I’m very worried about the next 48 hours.”[667] During the actual insurrection, he texted, “Can [Trump] make a statement?  Ask people to leave [the Capitol].” These pleas, given that Hannity regularly blames the insurrection on “Antifa [and] other radical groups,” unequivocally demonstrate that he is a serial liar who shamelessly misleads his audience.[668]

Hannity was not alone in his deception either. Other Right-Wing Media personalities were in direct communication with the White House.[669] During the insurrection, Brian Kilmeade texted, “Please get [Trump] on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished.”[670] Laura Ingram, dropping all pretense to being anything but part of the Republican Political Establishment, texted, “the president needs to tell people in the capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us.”[671]

For weeks after the insurrection, both Hannity and Ingram were still texting the White House advice for handling the fallout.[672] On January 12th, Ingram suggested the president discourage Republican election protests at state capitols, especially “with weapons,” she added.[673]  In the immediate aftermath of the insurrection, Hannity texted Meadows and Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, “Guys. . . [Trump] can’t mention the election ever again. I did not have a good call with him today. . . Ideas?”[674] The next day he texted White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany a five-point plan for overcoming the public relations disaster that is a failed coup at the U.S. Capitol.[675]   

When members of the Right-Wing Media cannot be distinguished from White House staff and half the American public relies on them for “news,” there is no longer a viable 4th Estate. The Right-Wing Media has moved beyond bias. They conduct themselves with the complete and utter absence of journalistic integrity. They are partisan, political propagandists who are poisoning our nation through abusing the prejudices and trust of their viewers, plain and simple.  

 

Conclusion

 

The depths to which almost the entire Republican Political Establishment has sunk to protect their party is astounding. When confronted with uncontroverted evidence that Trump used taxpayer dollars to extort Ukraine to interfere in a US election, only 1 Republican Congressperson voted to hold him accountable.[676] 249 Republicans legitimized the use of the US Treasury to interfere with our democratic process.[677] They gave a Republican president a blank check to abuse his power to retain his power.[678] A year later, when Trump and his Republican sycophants systematically lied about the votes of Americans, tried to use the DOJ to defraud the American public, attempted to destroy our electoral process, and incited a violent insurrection of extremists at the United States Capitol, only 17 Republican members of Congress voted to hold him accountable, 240 ignored the heart of our Rule of Law.[679] The Republican Political Establishment has clearly indicated they have no intention of acting as a check on a Republican president’s abuses of power. Their failure to hold Trump accountable is the definition of organizational corruption.

Other precedents the Republican Political Establishment have set are just as terrifying. A president can now directly profit off his office. Our nation’s oldest anti-corruption laws, codified in our Constitution, have become mere suggestions. The Right-Wing Media has refused to report the criminal conduct of Republican Politicians. Behind closed doors, the media and politicians have coordinated to mislead the American people. Presidents and their staff can now interfere with investigations and ignore subpoenas with impunity. Republican administrations can vocally favor dictatorships and publicly request them to interfere with US elections. Suspected criminals tied to the White House can receive special treatment from the DOJ and be pardoned of all lawful responsibility.    

As more Americans become aware of the true depravity of the Trump Administration, some members of the Republican Political Establishment are beginning to gently criticize Trump’s conduct or claim to be focused on the future.[680] This approach is a gross double standard that reveals a profound hypocrisy. Is there any doubt that Republican Congresspeople would hold a Democrat president responsible for such repeated, abhorrent behavior?

Their approach also ignores that Trump is still the leader of their party.[681] If the primaries were held tomorrow, Trump would be the Republican nominee.[682] 45% of Republicans fully believe Trump won the 2020 election; 65% partially believe his lies.[683] He is successfully supporting radical candidates that back him across the country.[684] He is raising 100s of millions for a political war chest that is being used to lie to Americans.[685] He has already claimed the 2024 election will be stolen.[686] These are ongoing problems that threaten the survival of our nation and cannot be ignored.  

When it mattered most, the vast majority of Republican Politicians failed to do the right thing. This unequivocally demonstrates their lack of credibility and integrity. If someone does not stand against an attempted coup, they have no business as a representative of the United States Government going forward.  It does not matter what party they belong to.         

Trump did not materialize out of thin air either.[687] He is not something that just happened to the Republican Political Establishment.[688] He is the symptom, not the disease.[689] Their rhetoric and tone made his leadership possible.[690] He adopted and radicalized their talking points.[691] His imitators now swell throughout their ranks.[692]     

Long before Trump, the Republican Congress demonstrated their lack of respect for basic democratic values.[693] They have passed legislation designed to restrict voting rights for decades for no legitimate reason.[694] They have prevented the people of Washington D.C., who tend to vote Democrat, from having Congressional representation for years.[695] They held up a vote on a Democrat nomination for the Supreme Court for 10 months.[696] They rushed a Republican nomination falling in the final days of a criminal, unpopular, and twice impeached president.[697] The Supreme Court is now a fundamentally political institution. The conservative justices are altering long-established, core constitutional law in ways that the majority of Americans vehemently oppose.[698] Republican members of Congress have used the debt ceiling as a partisan tool, negotiating with the threat of total economic collapse.[699]  Repeatedly, they have simply shut down the government while in the minority to achieve goals they could not achieve democratically.[700] In placing their policy initiatives above the systematic principles of our constitutional democracy, the Republican Political Establishment has embraced authoritarianism.  

What used to be radical right-wing extremism is now mainstream. Millions of Americans, including Republican members of Congress, ascribe to insane conspiracy theories.[701]  Entire “news” organization are proudly, vehemently partisan.[702] Membership in Right-Wing hate groups is surging as Republican Politicians and the Right-Wing Media openly espouse white nationalism.[703] Republican ad campaigns featuring military assault weapons and not so veiled threats against political rivals have become commonplace[704] The myth of voter fraud is the central message of many Republican congressional campaigns.[705] Numerous Republican representatives in our US Congress are completely belligerent, ignorant, and disrespectful human beings.[706] Even the most “civil” of Republican Congresspeople willfully entered an alliance with these radical elements and are being overrun.[707]   

To counter uncontroverted facts that demonstrate their corruption, the Right-Wing Media and many Republican Politicians increasingly rely on lies and propaganda to control their base and avoid responsibility. They sell a culture war designed to inflame prejudice that has almost nothing to do with sound US policy. Under Biden, America is depicted as a dystopian hellscape.[708]  They blame Democrats for general inflation and rising gas prices, though they well know these are largely caused by factors outside the government’s control and part of worldwide economic trends.[709] They repeat the lie of an open U.S. border to inflame the prejudices of their base.[710] Without the slightest hint of shame, they blithely accuse Biden of bungling foreign policy while refusing to even acknowledge that their party leader extorted Ukraine with U.S. military aid and routinely acted in a manner indistinguishable from a Russian agent.[711] They mindlessly label Democrats as “radical,” new Democrat policy initiatives as “socialist” or “communist,” real journalists as “fake;” and fake journalists as “real.”[712]  The overall effect of their propaganda is a Republican base increasingly out of touch with reality and more willing to tolerate the corruption of the very people who lie to them.  

The Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have done unto yourself – seems to have lost its luster for a slightly less gullible element of the Republican base. Millions support abject corruption so long as it is undertaken by their party.

What these compromised Republicans do not realize is that they have forsaken not just the Golden Rule but their self-interest. There is no higher priority than protecting our democratic institutions as provided for in the Constitution. They are the bedrock of our true, shared, political identity. They are the source of our freedom. A person can believe in limited or more government, universal health care or personal responsibility, the separation of church and state or the right to pray in a classroom, but they will soon learn that their opinions do not matter without the protections of our core constitutional principles. No country without such principles has remained free for long.  The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was making people believe he was on their side.

The Republican Political Establishment is assaulting American Constitutional Democracy. They are hiding blatant corruption, ignoring the Rule of Law, and interfering with democratic elections. Only an informed American public can stop them. Our fate will be our own making.  

 

 Not the End -     



 

[1] See Bremmer, Jan; The U.S. Capital Riot was Years in the Making: Here is Why America is so Divided; Time; Jan. 16th, 2020; available at Why Is America So Divided Today? | Time.

See also Dimock, Michael, and Wike, Richard; America is exceptional in the nature of its political divide; PEW Research Center; Nov. 13th 2020; available at America is exceptional in the nature of its political divide | Pew Research Center.

[2] U.S. Const. amend. I.

[3] It is a simple truism that, at the time of its inception, the United States was one of the most inclusive systems of government then extent. Many civil liberties that had been previously denied to citizens of other nations were finally recognized. Of course, that meant nothing to people who were not afforded the status of full citizenship. African Americans, women, and other minority groups were either considered property or denied basic civil rights for more than a century after. The history of America is largely the history of extending full citizenship to all people, regardless of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability.    

[4] See U.S.Const., art. I, clause 2 (providing for the election of Members of the House of Representatives);

see also U.S.Const., amend XVII (providing for the election of Senators);

see also U.S.Const., art. II; clause 2-6 (providing for the election of the President and Vice President);

see also U.S.Const., amend XII (altering the manner in which the President and Vice President are chosen);

see also U.S.Const., amend. XXIII (amending the how electors are chosen);

see also U.S. Cont., art. II, clause 4 (providing for the power of impeachment). 

[5]U.S.Const., art. I, art. II, and art. III (laying out the three branches of the U.S. Government).

(The Constitution also provides for a Federal Republic, whereby the powers of the Federal Government are enumerated with all other powers reserved to the States and the people. Under this system, federal law, so long as it is constitutional, is supreme.)

[6] Hamilton, Alexander or Madison, James, The Federalist Papers, No. 51, Feb. 8th, 1788, available at Federalist Nos. 51-60 - Federalist Papers: Primary Documents in American History - Research Guides at Library of Congress (loc.gov)

[7] 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.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Nuzzi, Olivia; The Full(est possible) Story of the Four Seasons Total Landscaping Press Conference; New York Magazine, Dec. 21, 2022; available at Four Seasons Total Landscaping: The Full(est Possible) Story (nymag.com).

See also Global National; Nov. 7, 2020: Biden set to become next U.S. President, Trump refuses to concede; You Tube; Nov. 7th, 2020; available at Global National: Nov. 7, 2020 | Biden set to become next U.S. president, Trump refuses to concede - YouTube.

[12] Trump Twitter Archive V2; available at TTA - Search (thetrumparchive.com).

[13] Ibid.

[14] Nuzzi, Olivia; The Full(est possible) Story of the Four Seasons Total Landscaping Press Conference; New York Magazine, Dec. 21, 2022; available at Four Seasons Total Landscaping: The Full(est Possible) Story (nymag.com).

See also Global National; Nov. 7, 2020: Biden set to become next U.S. President, Trump refuses to concede; You Tube; Nov. 7th, 2020; available at Global National: Nov. 7, 2020 | Biden set to become next U.S. president, Trump refuses to concede - YouTube.

[15]  Eyewitness News WEHT WTVW; Rudy Guiliani holds a press conference; You Tube; Nov. 7th, 2020; available at Rudy Giuliani holds a press conference - YouTube.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Brennan Center for Justice; Background on Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission; July 18th, 2017; available at Background on Trump's 'Voter Fraud' Commission | Brennan Center for Justice.

See also Mayer, Jane; The Big Money Behind The Big Lie, The New Yorker; Aug. 2nd, 2021; available at The Big Money Behind the Big Lie | The New Yorker

[19] Ibid.

[20] McCausland, Phil; With No Evidence, Trump Claims ‘Millions’ Voted Illegally; NBC News; Nov. 27th 2016; available at With No Evidence, Trump Claims 'Millions' Voted Illegally (nbcnews.com).

[21] Bump, Phillip; There have been just four documented cases of voter fraud in the 2016 election; Washington Post; Dec. 1st, 2016; available at There have been just four documented cases of voter fraud in the 2016 election - The Washington Post

[22] Ibid.

[23] Brennan Center for Justice; Background on Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission; July 18th, 2017; available at Background on Trump's 'Voter Fraud' Commission | Brennan Center for Justice.

[24] Associated Press; Trump commission found no wide spread voter fraud, report says; LA Times; Aug. 3rd, 2018; available at Trump commission found no widespread voter fraud, report says - Los Angeles Times (latimes.com).

See also Tackett, Michael, and Wines, Michael; Trump Disbands Commission on Voter Fraud; The New York Times; Jan. 3rd, 2018; available at Trump Disbands Commission on Voter Fraud - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[25] Associated Press; Trump commission found no wide spread voter fraud, report says; LA Times; Aug. 3rd, 2018; available at Trump commission found no widespread voter fraud, report says - Los Angeles Times (latimes.com).

[26] Ibid.

[27] Parks, Miles; Fact Check: Is Mail Ballot Fraud As Rampant As President Trump Says It Is?; NPR; Apr. 7th, 2020; available at  Fact Check: Is Mail Ballot Fraud As Rampant As President Trump Says It Is? : Coronavirus Updates : NPR

[28] Ibid.

[29] 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.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Waxman, Olivia B.; Voting By Mail Dates Back to America’s Earliest Years. Here’s How It’s Changed Over the Years; Time Magazine; Sept. 8th, 2020; available at Voting By Mail History: When Mail-In Ballots Started inU.S.| Time.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Seitz-Wald, Alex; How do you know voting by mail works? The U.S. military’s done it since the Civil War; NBC; April 19th, 2020; available at How do you know voting by mail works? The U.S. military's done it since the Civil War. (nbcnews.com).

[37] Ibid.

[38] Waxman, Olivia B.; Voting By Mail Dates Back to America’s Earliest Years. Here’s How It’s Changed Over the Years; Time Magazine; Sept. 8th, 2020; available at Voting By Mail History: When Mail-In Ballots Started in U.S. | Time.

[39] Ibid.

[40] Ibid. 

[41] Mehrbani, Rudy; Heritage Fraud Database: An Assessment; Brennan Center for Justice; Sept. 8th, 2017; available at Heritage Fraud Database: An Assessment | Brennan Center for Justice.

[42] McEvoy, Jemima; Trump Votes by Mail (Again) Despite Months of Voter Fraud Claims; Mar. 9th, 2021; available at Trump Votes By Mail (Again) Despite Months Of Voter Fraud Claims (forbes.com).

[43] 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

[44] 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).

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

[45] Masyr, Evan D; 2000 Mules Becomes the Most Successful Political Documentary in a Decade, Seen by 1 Million; Businesswire; May 12th, 2022; available at 2000 Mules Becomes the Most Successful Political Documentary in a Decade, Seen by 1 Million | Business Wire.

See also Hakim, Danny, and Berzon, Alexandra; A Big Lie in a New Package; New York Times; May 29th, 2022; available at ‘2000 Mules’ Repackages Trump’s Election Lies - The New York Times (nytimes.com). 

[47] Ibid.

[48] Ibid.

[49] Hakim, Danny, and Berzon, Alexandra; A Big Lie in a New Package; New York Times; May 29th, 2022; available at ‘2000 Mules’ Repackages Trump’s Election Lies - The New York Times (nytimes.com). 

[50] Ibid.

[51]  Dreisbach, Tom; A pro-Trump film suggests its data are so accurate, it solved a murder. That’s false; NPR; May 17th, 2022; available at Dinesh D'Souza film '2000 Mules' Falsely Implies Data Solved A Murder : NPR

[52] Ibid.

[53] Bump, Philip; Even the geolocation maps in ‘2000 Mules’ are misleading; Washington Post; May 19th, 2022; available at Even the geolocation maps in ‘2000 Mules’ are misleading - The Washington Post

[54] Reuters Fact Check; Fact-Check – Does ‘2000 Mules provide evidence of voter fraud in the 2020U.S.presidential election?; Reuters; May 27th, 2022; available at Fact Check-Does ‘2000 Mules’ provide evidence of voter fraud in the 2020U.S.presidential election? | Reuters.

[55] Staff; Presidential Election Process; USA Gov; No Date; available at Presidential Election Process | USAGov

[56] Staff; 2020 Electoral College Results; National Archive; No Date; available at 2020 Electoral College Results | National Archives.

[57] Staff; Election recount laws and procedures in the 50 states, 2020; Ballotpedia; No Date; available at Election recount laws and procedures in the 50 states, 2020 - Ballotpedia.

[58] Izaguiree, Anthony; EXPLAINER: What’s with all the election audits?; AP News; Nov. 21st, 2020; available at EXPLAINER: What's with all the election audits? | AP News.

[59] Ibid.

[60] Reuters; No evidence of U.S. election fraud, says coalition of federal and state officials; The Guardian; Nov. 13th, 2020; available at No evidence of U.S. election fraud, says coalition of federal and state officials |U.S. elections 2020 | The Guardian.

See also Penegally, Martin, and Singh, Maanvi; Joe Biden confirmed as Georgia winner; The Guardian; Nov. 19th, 2020; available at Joe Biden confirmed as Georgia winner after recount | Georgia | The Guardian.

See also Associated Press; Completed Wisconsin recount confirms Biden’s win over Trump; PBS; Nov. 29th, 2020; available at Completed Wisconsin recount confirms Biden’s win over Trump | PBS NewsHour Weekend

See also Fifield, Jen, and Anglen, Robert; Hand count in audit confirms Biden beat Trump in Maricopa County, Arizona; AZ Central Sept. 23, 2021; available at Arizona audit draft report confirms Biden beat Trump in 2020 (azcentral.com)

[61] Staff; It’s Official: The Election Was Secure; Brennan Center for Justice; Dec. 11th, 2020; available at It’s Official: The Election Was Secure | Brennan Center for Justice.

[62] You Tube; January 6th Committee Holds Public Hearing On 2021 Capitol Attack; NBC News Broadcast; June 9th, 2022; see 52:56 into video; available at  January 6th Committee Holds Public Hearing On 2021 Capitol Attack | NBC News - YouTube (sworn testimony demonstrating Donald Trump was told he lost the election prior to lying about his victory).

[63] Budryk, Zack; Krebs doubles down after threat: ‘2020 election was most secure in U.S. history’; The Hill; Dec. 2, 2020; available at  Krebs doubles down after threat: ‘2020 election was most secure in U.S. history’ | The Hill

[64] Davis, Charles R.; “It’s not how I wanted to go out’: Krebs, the election security official fired by Trump, opens up in new interview and dismisses ‘farcical’ claims of voter fraud; Business Insider; Nov. 27th, 2020; available at Chris Krebs Dismisses 'Farcical' Claims of Voter Fraud (businessinsider.com)

[65] You Tube; January 6th Committee Holds Public Hearing On 2021 Capitol Attack; NBC News Broadcast; June 9th, 2022; see 54:18 into video; available at  January 6th Committee Holds Public Hearing On 2021 Capitol Attack | NBC News - YouTube (sworn testimony demonstrating the White House was well aware there was no voter fraud by mid-November of 2019).

[66] You Tube; Jan. 6 committee investigating the U.S. Capitol holds second day of testimony – 6/13/22; CNBC; June 13th, 2022; see video at 7:45; available at Jan. 6 committee investigating the U.S. Capitol attack holds second day of testimony — 6/13/22 - YouTube (sworn testimony of Matt Morgan, White House staff attorney).

[67] Halderman, Rosalind; All the ways Trump tried to overturn the election – and how it could happen again; Washington Post; Feb. 9th, 2020; available at All the ways Trump tried to overturn the election — and how it could happen again - Washington Post

[68] Ibid.

[69] Rutenberg, Jim, and Corasiniti, Nick, and Feuer, Alan; Trump’s Fraud Claims Died in Court, but the Myth of Stolen Election’s Live on; The New York Times; Dec. 26th, 2020; available at Trump’s Fraud Claims Died in Court, but the Myth of Stolen Elections Lives On - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

[70] Halderman, Rosalind; All the ways Trump tried to overturn the election – and how it could happen again; Washington Post; Feb. 9th, 2020; available at All the ways Trump tried to overturn the election — and how it could happen again - Washington Post

[71] Wheeler, Russel; Trump’s judicial campaign to upend the 2020 election; a failure, but not a wipe-out; Brookings Institute; Nov. 30th, 2021; available at Trump’s judicial campaign to upend the 2020 election: A failure, but not a wipe-out (brookings.edu)

[72] Helderman, Rosalind, and Viebeck, Elise; ‘The last wall’: How dozens of judges across the political spectrum rejected Trump’s efforts to overturn the election; Washington Post; Dec. 12th, 2020; available at Judges across the political spectrum rejected Trump?s efforts to overturn the election - The Washington Post. 

[73] Brice, Makini; Texas asks U.S. Supreme Court to help Trump upend election in long-shot lawsuit; Reuters; Dec. 6th, 2020; available at Texas asks U.S. Supreme Court to help Trump upend election in long-shot lawsuit | Reuters.

[74] Ibid.

[76] Quinn, Melissa; Supreme Court rejects Texas bid to overturn election results in four states; CBS; Dec. 12th, 2020; available at  Supreme Court rejects Texas bid to overturn election results in four states - CBS News.

[77] Durkee, Alison; After Court Lets Fox News Challenge Move Forward, Here’s Where Dominion and Smartmatic’s Defamation Suits Stand Now – And Who Could Be Next; Forbes; March 9th, 2022; available at After Court Lets Fox News Challenge Move Forward, Here’s Where Dominion And Smartmatic’s Defamation Suits Stand Now—And Who Could Be Next (forbes.com).

[78] Ibid.

[79] Ibid.

[80] Ibid.

[81] Ibid.

[82] Hong, Nicole, and Rashbaum, William, and Protess, Ben; Court Suspends Giuliani’s Law License, Citing Trump Election Lies; The New York Times; June 24th, 2021; available at Giuliani's Law License Is Suspended Over Trump Election Lies - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[83] Ibid.

[84] Helderman, Rosalind; Sidney Powell, L. Linn Wood among attorneys ordered to pay $175,000 over Michigan’s Kraken suit; Washington Post; Dec. 2nd, 2021; available at Sidney Powell, L. Lin Wood among attorneys ordered to pay $175,000 over Michigan ‘Kraken’ suit - The Washington Post.

[85] Ibid.

[86] Rivero, Cristina, and Esteban, Chiqui; How the electoral college works; Washington Post; Dec. 9th, 2020; available at How the electoral college works - The Washington Post.

[87] Elias, Mark; It Is Time To Protect the Certification Process; Democracy Docket; June 22nd, 2021; available at It Is Time To Protect the Certification Process - Democracy Docket.

[88] Hamburger, Tom, and Ruble, Kayla, and Fahrentold, David A, and Dawsey, Josh; Trump invites Michigan Republican leaders to meet him at White House as he escalates attempts to overturn election results; Washington Post; Nov. 19th, 2020; available at Trump invites Michigan Republican leaders to White House as he escalates attempts to overturn election results - The Washington Post

[89] Sanchez, Yvonne Wingett; ‘We need you to stop the counting’: Records detail intense efforts by Trump allies to pressure Maricopa County supervisors; AZ Central; July 2nd, 2021; available at Records: Trump allies pressed Maricopa County supervisors on election (azcentral.com).

[90] McLeod, Paul; Pro-Trump Republicans Are Holding Fake Electoral College Votes While The Real Electoral College Meets To Formalize Biden’s Win; Buzz Feed News; Dec. 14th, 2020; available at Pro-Trump Republicans Hold Fake Electoral College Votes (buzzfeednews.com)

[91] Parks, Miles; Prosecutors in multiple states are investigating false Electoral College submissions; NPR; Jan. 25th, 2022; available at Prosecutors in multiple states are investigating false Electoral College submissions : NPR.

[92] Sullivan, Andy, and Martina, Michael; In recorded call, Trump pressures Georgia official to ‘find’ votes to overturn election; The Hill; Jan. 3, 2021; available at In recorded call, Trump pressures Georgia official to 'find' votes to overturn election | Reuters.

[93] Helderman, Rosalind; All the ways Trump tried to overturn the election – and how it could happen again; Washington Post; Feb. 9th, 2022; available at All the ways Trump tried to overturn the election — and how it could happen again - Washington Post.

[94] Zapotosky, Matt, and Barrett, Devlin, and Dawsey, Josh; Barr says he hasn’t seen fraud that could affect the election outcome; Dec. 1st, 2020; available at Barr: No evidence of election fraud that would swing the race for Trump - The Washington Post.

[95] Ibid.

[96] You Tube; January 6th Committee Holds Public Hearing On 2021 Capitol Attack; NBC News Broadcast; June 9th, 2022; see 56:24 into video; available at  January 6th Committee Holds Public Hearing On 2021 Capitol Attack | NBC News - YouTube.

[97] Ibid.

[98] Dorning, Mike, and Niquette, Mark, and House, Billy; Trump Raised Millions Citing 2020 Election Fraud That Aides Told Him Was False; Bloomberg News; June 13th, 2022; available at  Jan. 6 Hearing: Trump Raised Millions on Election Fraud Aides Told Him Was False - Bloomberg.

[99] Karl, Jonathan D, Inside William Barr’s Breakup With Trump; The Atlantic; June 27th, 2021; available at How Barr Finally Turned on Trump - The Atlantic.

[100] Pengelly, Martin; William Barr uses new book to outline case against Trump White House run; The Guardian; Feb. 28th, 2022; available at William Barr uses new book to outline case against Trump White House run | Books | The Guardian.

See also Karl, Jonathan D, Inside William Barr’s Breakup With Trump; The Atlantic; June 27th, 2021; available at How Barr Finally Turned on Trump - The Atlantic.

[101] Zapotosky, Matt, and Helderman, Rosalind, and Gardner, Amy, and Demirjian, Karoun; ‘Pure insanity’: How Trump and his allies pressured the Justice Department to help overturn the election; Washington Post; June 16th, 2021; available at ‘Pure insanity’: How Trump and his allies pressured the Justice Department to help overturn the election - Washington Post.

[102] Ibid.

[103] Ibid.

[104] Herb, Jeremy; Trump to DOJ last December: ‘Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me’; CNN; July 31st, 2021; available at Trump to DOJ: 'Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me' - CNNPolitics.

[105] Ibid.

[106] Ibid.

[107] Ibid.

[108] Ibid.

[109] Ibid.

[110] Reuters Staff; Trump directly involved in plans to seize voting machines – reports; Reuters; Feb. 1st, 2022; available at Trump directly involved in plans to seize voting machines -reports | Reuters.

[111] Aldridge, Bailey; Congress is set to certify the Electoral College votes Wednesday. Here’s how it works; McClatchy; Jan. 6th, 2021; available at How does Congress certify the Electoral College vote? | McClatchy Washington Bureau (mcclatchydc.com).

See also Congressional Research Service; Counting Electoral Votes: An Overview of Procedures at the Joint Session, Including Objections by Members of Congress; Dec. 8th, 2020; available at  Counting Electoral Votes: An Overview of Procedures at the Joint Session, Including Objections by Members of Congress (fas.org).

[112] Ibid.

[113] Grisales, Claudia; Here Are The Republicans Challenging Congress’ Tally of Election Results; NPR; Jan. 6th, 2021; available at Republicans Objecting To Electoral Count: Ted Cruz, Mo Brooks And More : Capitol Insurrection Updates : NPR.

[114] Gengel, Jamie, and Herb, Jeremy; Memo shows Trump lawyer’s six-step plan for Pence to overturn the election; CNN; Sept. 21st, 2021; available at Memo shows Trump lawyer's six-step plan for Pence to overturn the election - CNNPolitics.

[115] Ibid.

[116] Ibid.

[117] Cortellessa, Eric; Eastman Told Trump That Pence Plan for Jan. 6 Was Illegal; Time; June 16th, 2022; available at John Eastman Told Trump That Pence Jan. 6 Plan Was Illegal | Time.

[119] Ibid.

[121] Naylor, Brian; Read Trump’s Jan. 6 Speech, A Key Part of Impeachment Trial; NPR; Feb. 10th, 2021; available at Transcript Of Trump's Speech At Rally Before Capitol Riot : NPR

[122] Ibid.

[123] Ibid.

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)

[124] Ibid.

See also Woodward, Calvin; AP Fact Check: Trump’s team glosses over his Jan. 6 tirade; AP News; Feb. 12th, 2021; available at AP FACT CHECK: Trump's team glosses over his Jan. 6 tirade | AP News

See also Associated Press; WATCH: Trumped used ‘fight’ or ‘fighting’ 20 times in rally speech, Dean says; Feb. 10th, 2021; available at WATCH: Trump used ‘fight’ or ‘fighting’ 20 times in rally speech, Dean says | PBS NewsHour.

[125] Naylor, Brian; Read Trump’s Jan. 6 Speech, A Key Part of Impeachment Trial; NPR; Feb. 10th, 2021; available at Transcript Of Trump's Speech At Rally Before Capitol Riot : NPR

[126] Ibid.

[127] Ibid.

[128] Ibid.

[129]] Ibid.

[130] Ibid.

[131] Ibid.

[133] Naylor, Brian; Read Trump’s Jan. 6 Speech, A Key Part of Impeachment Trial; NPR; Feb. 10th, 2021; available at Transcript Of Trump's Speech At Rally Before Capitol Riot : NPR. 

[134] Ibid.

[136] Ibid.

[137] Ibid.

[138] Ibid.

[139] Ibid.

[140] Ibid.

[141] Ibid.

[142] Hsu, Spencer; Pence spent Jan. 6 at underground Senate loading dock, Secret Service confirms; Washington Post; March 21st, 2022; available at Mike Pence’s whereabouts on Jan. 6 confirmed during trial of Couy Griffin, Republican elected official and Cowboys for Trump founder - The Washington Post.

[143] 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

[144] Ibid.

[145] Ibid.

[146] Ibid.

[147] 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.

[148] 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

[149] Ibid.

[150] 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.

[151] Haberman, Maggie, and Broadwater, Luke; Trump Said to Have Reacted Approvingly to Jan. 6 Chants About Hanging Pence; New York Times; May 25th, 2022; available at Trump Said to Have Reacted Approvingly to Jan. 6 Chants About Hanging Pence - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[153] Ibid.

[154] Ibid.

[155] Cineas, Fabiola; Whiteness is at the core of the insurrection; VOX; Jan. 8th, 2021; available at Trump supporters rioted at - Vox

[157] Ibid.

[158] Ibid.

[159] Wise, Lindsay; Cheney: Trump Never Called Military to Defend U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 – But Pence Did; Wall Street Journal; June 9th, 2022; available at Cheney: Trump Never Called Military to Defend U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 – But Pence Did (wsj.com).

[160] Ibid.

[161] 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

[162] Ibid.

[163] Ibid.

[164] Romey, Kristin; Decoding the hate symbols seen at the capitol insurrection; National Geographic; Jan. 12th, 2021; available at Decoding the hate symbols seen at the Capitol insurrection (nationalgeographic.com).

[165] Ibid.

[166] Ibid.

[167] Ibid.

[168] Ibid.

[170] Ibid.

[171] Ibid.

[172] Elfrink, Tim; D.C. officer who suffered heart attack on Jan. 6 calls out Trump for downplaying ‘brutal, savage’ riot; Washington Post; Apr. 28th, 2021; available at https://www.washintonpost.com/nation/2021/04/28/michael-fanone-trump-gop-riots/.

[173]  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).

[174] 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.

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

[176] Yourish, Karen, and Buchanen, Larry, and Lu, Denise; The 147 Republicans Who Voted to Overturn the Election Results; The New York Times; Jan. 7th, 2021; available at The 147 Republicans Who Voted to Overturn Election Results - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[177] Zhou, Li; 147 Republican lawmakers still objected to the election results after the Capitol attack; VOX; Jan. 7th, 2021; available at List of Senate and House members objecting to election: All 147 Republican lawmakers challenging the count of electoral votes - Vox.  

[178] Ibid.

[179[ Gynbaum, Michael, and Alba, Davey, Epstein, Reid; How Pro-Trump Forces Pushed a Lie About Antifa at the Capitol Riot; The New York Times; March 1st, 2021; available at How Pro-Trump Forces Pushed a Lie About Antifa at the Capitol Riot - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[180] Ibid.

[181] Ibid.

[182] Ibid.

[183] Klepper, David; Conspiracy theories paint fraudulent reality of Jan. 6 riot; PBS Newshour; Jan. 1st, 2022; available at Conspiracy theories paint fraudulent reality of Jan. 6 riot | PBS NewsHour Weekend

[184] Gynbaum, Michael, and Alba, Davey, Epstein, Reid; How Pro-Trump Forces Pushed a Lie About Antifa at the Capitol Riot; The New York Times; March 1st, 2021; available at How Pro-Trump Forces Pushed a Lie About Antifa at the Capitol Riot - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[185] Hall, Madison, and Harrington, Rebecca, and Shamsian, Jacob, and Haroun, Azmi, and Ardrey, Taylor, and Snodgrass, Erin; At least 800 people have been charged in the Capitol insurrection so far. This searchable table shows them all; Insider; March 17th, 2022; available at Capitol Riot Arrests: Updated List of Who Has Been Charged so Far (insider.com).

[186] 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.

[187] Ibid.

[188] Ibid.

[189] Ibid.

[190] Weiyi, Cal; A Step-by-Step Guide to Second Impeachment of Donald J. Trump; New York Times; Feb. 13th, 2021; available at A Complete Timeline of Trump's Second Impeachment - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[191] Lantry, Lauren; Former President Donald Trump acquitted in 2nd Impeachment trial; ABC News; Feb. 13, 2021; available at Former President Donald Trump acquitted in 2nd impeachment trial - ABC News (go.com).

See also Falvey, Dean; Last Call at the Barr: Grading the Briefs in Trump Impeachment 2.0; Verdict; Feb. 5th, 2021; available at  Last Call at the Bar: Grading the Briefs in Trump Impeachment 2.0 | Dean Falvy | Verdict | Legal Analysis and Commentary from Justia (This contains analysis of the House and defense briefs, as well as links to them.)

[192] Booker, Braakton; Trump Impeachment Trial Verdict: How Senators Voted; NPR; Feb. 13th, 2021; available at  How Senators Voted In Impeachment Trial Verdict : Trump Impeachment Aftermath: Updates : NPR.  

[193] Ibid.

[194] Ibid.

[195] Lantry, Lauren; Former President Donald Trump acquitted in 2nd Impeachment trial; ABC News; Feb. 13, 2021; available at Former President Donald Trump acquitted in 2nd impeachment trial - ABC News (go.com).

[196] Goodman, Ryan, and Asabor, Josh; In Their Own Words: The 43 Republicans’ Explanations of Their Votes Not to Convict Trump in Impeachment Trial; Just Security; Feb. 15th, 2021; available at In Their Own Words: The 43 Republicans' Explanations of Their Votes Not to Convict Trump in Impeachment Trial (justsecurity.org)

[197] See United States Senate; About Impeachment; available at U.S. Senate: About Impeachment (explaining the fundamental importance of impeachment to our system of checks and balances).  

[198] Alemany, Jacqueline, and Hamburger, Tom; The Jan. 6 committee: What it has done and where it is headed; Washington Post; Jan. 4th, 2022; available at The Jan. 6 committee explained - The Washington Post.

[199] Ibid.

See also 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

[200] Alemany, Jacqueline, and Hamburger, Tom; The Jan. 6 committee: What it has done and where it is headed; Washington Post; Jan. 4th, 2022; available at The Jan. 6 committee explained - The Washington Post.

[201] Weisman, Jonathan, and Epstein, Reid J.; GOP Declares Jan. 6 Attack ‘Legitimate Political Discourse’; New York Times; Feb. 4th, 2022; available at G.O.P. Declares Jan. 6 Attack ‘Legitimate Political Discourse’ - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

[202] Sprunt, Barbara; GOP Ousts Cheney From Leadership Over Her Criticism of Trump; NPR; May 12th, 2021; available at Liz Cheney Removed From GOP Post Over Trump Criticism : NPR.

[203] Allen, Jonathan; Republicans could expel Marjorie Taylor Greene. They won’t; NBC News; May 25th, 2021; available at Republicans could expel Marjorie Taylor Greene. They won't. (nbcnews.com)

See also Smith, David; Calls to expel Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene after speech at white nationalist event; The Guardian; Feb. 26th, 2022; available at Calls to expel Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene after speech at white nationalist event | CPAC | The Guardian.

[204] Alfaro, Mariana, and Alemany, Jacquiline; House votes to hold Meadows in contempt for refusing to comply with Jan. 6 committee subpoena; Washington Post; Dec. 15th, 2021; available at House votes to hold Meadows in contempt for refusing to comply with Jan. 6 committee subpoena - The Washington Post.

See also Grisales, Claudia; The House votes to hold Steve Bannon in contempt for defying subpoena; NPR; Oct. 21, 2021; available at The House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress : NPR

[205] Eastland v. United States Servicemen’s Fund; 421U.S.491 (1975); Pg. 505.

[206] Weisman, Jonathan, and Epstein, Reid J.; GOP Declares Jan. 6 Attack ‘Legitimate Political Discourse’; New York Times; Feb. 4th, 2022; available at G.O.P. Declares Jan. 6 Attack ‘Legitimate Political Discourse’ - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

[207] Ibid.

[208] Graham, David A.; All is Not Well That Ends Well; The Atlantic; Sept. 24th, 2021; available at The Arizona Recount’s Happy Ending Does Not Justify Its Existence - The Atlantic.

[209] Ibid.

[210] Graham, David A.; The Unfolding Disaster in Arizona; The Atlantic; May 7th, 2021; available at The Unfolding Disaster in Arizona - The Atlantic

[211] Ibid.

[212] Ibid.

[213] Ibid.

[214] Millhiser, Ian; What’s behind Arizona’s bizarre, haphazard, and highly partisan ‘audit’ of the 2020 election; Vox; May 5th, 2021; available at Arizona’s bizarre, haphazard, and partisan “audit” of the 2020 election - Vox.

[215] Ibid.

[216] Graham, David A.; All is not well that ends well; The Atlantic; Sept. 24th, 2021; available at The Arizona Recount’s Happy Ending Does Not Justify Its Existence - The Atlantic.

[217] Cheney, Kyle, and Gerstein, Josh, and Wu, Nicholas; Trump likely committed felony obstruction, federal judge rules; Politico; March 28th, 2022; available at Trump likely committed felony obstruction, federal judge rules - POLITICO.

[218] Ibid.

[219] Ibid.

[220] Cohen, Zachary, and Murray, Sara; New details shed light on ways Mark Meadows pushed federal agencies to pursue dubious election claims; CNN; Dec. 2nd, 2021; available at New details shed light on ways Trump's chief of staff pushed federal agencies to pursue dubious election claims - CNNPolitics

[221] Cillizza, Chris; This is the scariest thing the new Mark Meadows texts; CNN; Apr. 25th, 2022; available at Analysis: Marjorie Taylor Greene's text about martial law is is the scariest thing in the new Mark Meadows texts - CNNPolitics

[222] Gangel, Jamie, and Herb, Jeremy, and Stuart, Elizabeth; CNN Exclusive: Mark Meadows’ 2,319 text messages reveal Trump’s inner circle communications before and after January 6; CNN; Apr. 25th, 2022; available at Mark Meadows' 2,319 text messages reveal Trump's inner circle communications before and after January 6 - CNNPolitics.

[224] Ibid.

[225] Beavers, Olivia, and Wu, Nicholas; 1 year later, GOP still chained to Trump’s baseless election fraud claims; Politico; Nov. 3rd 2021; available at 1 year later, GOP still chained to Trump's baseless election fraud claims- POLITICO.

[226] Ibid.

[227] Ibid.

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

[229] Ibid.

[230] Ibid.

See also Kline, Charlotte; Trump’s Attempts to Fundraise Off His Big Lie are Actually Working; Vanity Fair; Aug. 1st, 2021; available at Trump’s Attempts to Fundraise Off His Big Lie Are Actually Working | Vanity Fair.

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

[232] 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).

[233] Ibid.

[234] 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).

[235] Ibid.

[237] Ibid.

[238] 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; Pg. 8;  December 2019; available at https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/the_trump-ukraine_impeachment_inquiry_report.pdf.

[239] Mangan, Dan, and Pramuk, Jacob; Biden details new aid to Ukraine, promises “more in the days and weeks ahead” to help combat Russian invasion; CNBC; available at Russia-Ukraine: Biden details $800 million in military, civilian aid (cnbc.com)

[240] Cochrane, Emily and Lipton, Eric and Cameron, Chris; “GAO Report Says Trump Administration Broke Law in Withholding Ukraine Aid”; The New York Times, January 15, 2020; available at www.nytimes.com/2020/01/16/us/politics/gao-trump-ukraine.html.

[241] Ibid.

[242] Chairman Yarmuth, John; The Impoundment Control Act of 1974: What is it? Why does it matter?; House Committee on the Budget; Oct. 23, 2019; available at HBC ICA74 Explainer 2019.pdf (house.gov).

[243] Vindman, Alexander; What I Heard in the White House Basement; Atlantic; Aug. 1st, 2021; available at Alexander Vindman: Trump's Phone Call Changed My Life - The Atlantic. 

See also Risen, James; Donald Trump’s Call With Ukrainian Leader, One Day After Robert Mueller’s Congressional Testimony, Shows the President Is a Brazen Criminal; The Intercept; Sept. 26th, 2019; available at Trump’s Ukraine Call Shows the President Is a Brazen Criminal (theintercept.com).

See also Meuller, Robert S; Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election; U.S. Department of Jusitice; March, 2019; pg. 1; available at https://www.justice.gov/storage/report.pdf.

[245] Ibid.

[246] Dovere, Edward-Isaac; Joe Biden is Running for President; The Atlantic; Apr. 19th, 2019; available at Joe Biden Is Running for President - The Atlantic.

[247] Bertrand, Natasha; How to read Trump’s wild phone call with Ukraine’s president; Politico; Sept. 25th, 2019; available at  How to read Trump’s wild phone call with Ukraine’s president - POLITICO.

[248] ABC News; Read the transcript of Trump’s call with the Ukraine President; ABC; Sept. 25th, 2019; available at Read the transcript of Trump's call with the Ukraine president - ABC News (go.com).

[249] Wong, Edward; Officials Discussed Hold on Ukraine Aid After Trump Spoke with Country’s Leader; The New York Times; December 21, 2019; available at www.nytimes.com/2019/12/21/us/politics/white-house-pentagon-ukraine-aid.html.

[250] Ibid.

[251]  See Vindman, Alexander; What I Heard in the White House Basement; Atlantic; Aug. 1st, 2021; available at Alexander Vindman: Trump's Phone Call Changed My Life - The Atlantic.  

[252] Ibid.

[253] Ibid.

[254] See Rascoe, Ayesha; Who Was On the Trump Ukraine Call; NPR; Nov. 7th, 2019; available at Who Was On The Trump-Ukraine Call On July 25? : NPR (detailing who participated in the July 25th phone call between Trump and Zelensky).

[255] Ibid.

[256] Ibid.

[257] Anonymous, Whistlblower Complaint, Concerning the President’s Attempt to Interfere with the 2020 Presidential Election, to the Chairmen of the House and Senate Intell. igence Committees; August 12, 2019; available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/context/read-the-whistleblower-complaint-regarding-president-trump-s-communications-with-ukrainian-president-volodymyr-zelensky/4b9e0ca5-3824-467f-b1a3-77f2d4ee16aa/.

[258] Ibid.

[259] Vindman, Alexander; What I Heard in the White House Basement; Atlantic; Aug. 1st, 2021; available at Alexander Vindman: Trump's Phone Call Changed My Life - The Atlantic.  

[260] Baker, Peter; Shear, Michael D.; Key Moments from the Impeachment Inquiry Hearing: Vindman, Williams, Morrison, and Volker Testify; The New Times; Updated November 21st, 2019; available at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/19/us/politics/impeachment-hearings.html.

[261] Ibid.

[262] Ibid.

[264] Ibid.

[265] Washington Post; Trump talks to reporters as he departs the White House; You Tube; Posted October 3, 2019; available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR8-3D8DeFw

[266] Ibid.

[267] Ibid.

[268] CNBC TV; White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney Holds Press Briefing – 10/17/2019; see 19:32 into video; You Tube; Posted October 17, 2019; available at https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=mick+mulvaney+press+conference+2019#id=2&vid=6e48e3d62f80ba1c538beb75177d9b1d&action=click.  

[269] Ibid.

[270] Ibid.

[271] Taylor, Jessica; ‘Get Over It’: Politics is Part of Foreign Policy, Mulvaney Says; NPR; October 17, 2019; available at https://www.npr.org/2019/10/17/770979659/watch-white-house-holds-now-rare-press-briefing-amid-impeachment-syria-conflicts.

See also  O’Connel, Stuart; “Hearsay Exceptions: Res Gestae (Spontaneous Utterances)”; Donich Law; available at https://mydefence.ca/hearsay-exceptions-res-gestae-spontaneous-utterances/.

[272] Bekiempis, Victoria; ‘A circus and a hoax’: how right wing media are covering impeachment; The Guardian; November 11, 2019; available at 'A circus and a hoax': how rightwing media are covering impeachment | Trump impeachment inquiry (2019) | The Guardian.

See also Allsop, Jon; An anatomy of a Republican talking point; Columbia Journalism Review; November 19, 2019; available at  An anatomy of a Republican talking point - Columbia Journalism Review (cjr.org).

[273] Ibid.

[274] Qui, Linda; 15 Times Trump and His Allies Claimed ‘No Quid Pro Quo; The New York Times; November 20, 2019; available at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/17/us/politics/quid-pro-quo-trump.html.

[275] Ibid.

[277] Ibid.

[278] Ibid.

[279] Ibid.

[280] Folkenflik, David; How Conservative Media Outlets Are Reacting To The Trump Ukraine News; NPR; Sept. 27th, 2019; available at How Conservative Media Outlets Are Reacting To The Trump-Ukraine News : NPR.

[281] Turner, Lauren; Trump impeachment inquiry: Right-wing media denounce ‘boring’ TV premier; BBC News; November 14th, 2019; available at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50412128.

[282] Ibid.

[283] Keith, Tamara; Trump, Ukraine And The Path To The Impeachment Inquiry: A Timeline; NPR; Oct. 19th, 2019; available at Timeline: Trump, Ukraine And The House Impeachment Inquiry : NPR

[284] Montanaro, Domenico; ‘Impeachment Lite?’ How Articles Against Trump Compare to Clinton and Nixon’s; Dec. 13th, 2019; available at How Trump Impeachment Articles Compare To Clinton, Nixon Articles : NPR

[285] 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.

[286] Stern, Michael, How Impeachment Proceedings Would Strengthen Congress’s Investigatory Powers; Just Security; May 28th, 2019; available at www.justsecurity.org/64318/how-impeachment-proceedings-would-strengthen-congresss-investigatory-powers/.

[287] Gerstein, Josh; That time Jackson shredded Trump in a federal court ruling; Politico; Feb. 25th, 2022; available at That time Jackson shredded Trump in a federal court ruling - POLITICO.

[288] Bowman II, Frank O; Trump’s Defense Against Subpoenas Makes No Legal Sense; The Atlantic; Jan. 28th, 2020; available at Trump's Defense Against Subpoenas Makes No Legal Sense - The Atlantic.

[289] Ibid.

[290] American Bar Association; Rule of Law; available at https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/rule-of-law/.

[291] Eastland v. United States Servicemen’s Fund; 421U.S.491 (1975)

[292] Ibid.

[294] Ibid.

[295] Ibid.

[296] Bennet, Brian, and Vesoulis, Abby; Trump Aims at U.S. Diplomat, Shoots Himself in the Foot; Time; Nov. 15th, 2019; available at President Trump's "Intimidating" Yovanovitch Tweet Backfires | Time.  

[297] Ibid.

[298] Ibid.

[299] Ibid.

[300] 18 USC Sec. 1512.

[301] 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.

[302] Fritze, John; How well does Trump know $1 million donors like Gordon Sondland? Some now work for him; USA Today; Updated November 21st, 2019; available at https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/11/20/donald-trump-dismisses-relationship-1-million-donor-gordon-sondland/4252260002/. 

[303] Ibid.

[304] 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.

[305] Ibid.

See also Keith, Tamara; Trump, Ukraine And The Path to The Impeachment Inquiry: A Timeline; NPR; Oct. 12th, 2019; available at Timeline: Trump, Ukraine And The House Impeachment Inquiry : NPR (provides background on the importance of a U.S. summit meeting for Ukraine).

[306] 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.

[307] Shear, Michael; Baker, Peter; Key Moments From Sondland, Cooper, and Hale Testimony; The New York Times; Updated December 30th, 2019; available at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/20/us/politics/impeachment-hearings.html.

[308] Ibid.

[309] 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.

[310] 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.

[311] 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.

[312] Ewing, Phillip; President Impeached By The House In Historic Rebuke; NPR News; December, 18th, 2019; available at https://www.npr.org/2019/12/18/789020525/president-trump-impeached-by-the-house-in-historic-rebuke.

[313] Fandos, Nicholas, and Shear Michael D.; Trump Impeached for Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress; The New York Times; Feb. 10th, 2021; available at Trump Impeached for Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

[314] Farrington, Dana; Hurt, Alyson; Mcminn, Sean; How the Senate Impeachment Trial Works; NPR News; February 3rd, 2020; available at https://www.npr.org/2019/12/31/787235305/how-a-senate-impeachment-trial-could-work.

[315] 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 Subramanium, Tara; Fact-checking Republican complaints about the impeachment inquiry; CNN; October 24th, 2019; available at  https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/24/politics/impeachment-republican-complaints-fact-check/index.html; last visited June 5th, 2020 (fact checking Republican claims of procedural unfairness)

[316] 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/.

[317] Snell, Kelsey; McConnell: ‘I’m Not Impartial’ about Impeachment; NPR News; December 17th, 2019; available at https://www.npr.org/2019/12/17/788924966/mcconnell-i-m-not-impartial-about-impeachment. 

[318] Carney, Jordaine; Senators take oath for impeachment trial; The Hill; January 16th, 2020; available at https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/478639-senators-take-oath-for-impeachment-trial.

[319] 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. 

[320] Ibid. 

See also Chalfant, Morgan; Trump falsely claims House Democrats ‘never’ asked Bolton to testify; The Hill; January 27th, 2020; available at https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/480040-trump-falsely-claims-house-democrats-never-asked-bolton-to-testify.

[321] 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; last visited June 5th, 2020. 

[322] Ibid.

[323] 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).

[324] 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.

[325] Ibid.

[326] Ibid.

[327] Baker, Peter; Impeachment Trial Updates: Senate Acquits Trump, Ending Historic Trial; The New York Times; February 6th, 2020; available at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/05/us/politics/impeachment-vote.html.

[328] Ibid.

[329] Rupar, Aaron; Republicans complain about the impeachment trial’s lack of new evidence while blocking new evidence; Vox; Jan. 23rd, 2020; available at Impeachment trial: Republicans decry lack of new evidence while blocking it - Vox.

[330] Phillips, Amber; Democrats’ silver lining?  Some Senate Republicans at least agree that Trump ‘did it.’; The Washington Post; January 31st, 2020; available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/01/31/democrats-silver-lining-some-senate-republicans-least-agree-that-trump-did-it/.  

[331] Bowden, John; Collins: Trump has learned ‘a pretty big lesson’ from Impeachment; The Hill; Feb. 4th, 2020; available at  Collins: Trump has learned ‘a pretty big lesson’ from impeachment | The Hill.

[332] Ibid.

[333] CNN; Mitt Romney says he will vote to convict Trump; You Tube; Posted February 5th, 2020; 4:05 into the video; available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-rnsJo0_yI.

[334] Ibid.

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

[336] Ibid.

[337] Ibid.

[338] Ibid.

See also Matishak, Martin, and Desiderio, Andrew; Senate Intel report confirms Russia aimed to help Trump in 2016; Politico; April 21, 2020; available at Senate Intel report confirms Russia aimed to help Trump in 2016 - POLITICO

[340] BBC; Russia ‘meddled in all big social media’ around U.S. election; BBC; Dec. 17th, 2018; available at Russia 'meddled in all big social media' around U.S. election - BBC News.

[342] Ibid.

[343] Thompson, Nicholas, and Lapowsky, Issie; How Russian Trolls used Meme Warfare to Divide America; Wired; Dec. 17th, 2018; available at How Russian Trolls used Meme Warfare to Divide America | WIRED

[344] Hao, Karen; Troll farms reached 140 million Americans a month on Facebook before the 2020 election, internal report shows; MIT Technology Review; Sept. 16th, 2021; available at Troll farms reached 140 million Americans a month on Facebook before 2020 election | MIT Technology Review

[345] Thompson, Nicholas, and Lapowsky, Issie; How Russian Trolls used Meme Warfare to Divide America; Wired; Dec. 17th, 2018; available at How Russian Trolls used Meme Warfare to Divide America | WIRED

[346] Lee, Dave; The tactics of a Russian troll farm; BBC; Feb. 16th, 2018; available at The tactics of a Russian troll farm - BBC News.

[347] Ibid.

[348] Solon, Olivia; Russia backed Facebook posts ‘reached 126 million Americans’ during U.S. election; The Guardian; Oct. 30th, 2017; available at Russia-backed Facebook posts 'reached 126m Americans' during U.S. election | Facebook | The Guardian

[349] Kelly, Meg, and Samuels, Elyse; How Russia weaponized social media, got caught and escaped consequences; Washington Post; Nov. 18th 2019; available at Why Russia’s weaponization of social media will continue in 2020 - The Washington Post. 

[350] Ibid.

[351] Ibid.

[352] Ibid.

See also Sanger, David E., Edmondson, Kate; Russia Targeted Election Systems in all 50 States, Report Finds; New York Times; July 25th, 2019; available at Russia Targeted Election Systems in All 50 States, Report Finds - The New York Times (nytimes.com). 

[353] Eckel, Mike; U.S. Intelligence Charges 12 Russian Intelligence Officers For 2016U.S.Election Meddling; Radio Free Europe; July 13th, 2018; available at us Charges 12 Russian Intelligence Officers For 2016U.S.Election Meddling (rferl.org)

[354] Kelly, Meg, and Samuels, Elyse; How Russia weaponized social media, got caught and escaped consequences; Washington Post; Nov. 18th 2019; available at Why Russia’s weaponization of social media will continue in 2020 - The Washington Post. 

[355] Enten, Harry; How Much Did Wikileaks Hurt Hillary Clinton?; Five Thirty Eight; Dec. 23rd, 2016; available at How Much Did WikiLeaks Hurt Hillary Clinton? | FiveThirtyEight

See also Abrams, Abigail; Here’s What We Know So Far About Russia’s 2016 Meddling; Time; Apr. 18th, 2019; available at Here's What We Know So Far About Russia's 2016 Meddling | Time

[356] Kelly, Meg, and Samuels, Elyse; How Russia weaponized social media, got caught and escaped consequences; Washington Post; Nov. 18th 2019; available at Why Russia’s weaponization of social media will continue in 2020 - The Washington Post. 

[357] Ibid.

[358] Hao, Karen; Troll farms reached 140 million Americans a month on Facebook before the 2020 election, internal report shows; MIT Technology Review; Sept. 16th, 2021; available at Troll farms reached 140 million Americans a month on Facebook before 2020 election | MIT Technology Review

See also Nakashima, Ellen, and Timberg, Clay; U.S. agencies mount effort to prevent Russian interference in the election even though Trump downplays threat; Washington Post; Oct. 21st, 2020; available at us agencies mount major effort to prevent Russian interference in the election even though Trump downplays threat - The Washington Post.

[359] Kelly, Meg, and Samuels, Elyse; How Russia weaponized social media, got caught and escaped consequences; Washington Post; Nov. 18th 2019; available at Why Russia’s weaponization of social media will continue in 2020 - The Washington Post. 

[360] Hao, Karen; Troll farms reached 140 million Americans a month on Facebook before the 2020 election, internal report shows; MIT Technology Review; Sept. 16th, 2021; available at Troll farms reached 140 million Americans a month on Facebook before 2020 election | MIT Technology Review

[361] Ibid.

[362] Levine, Mike; The Russia probe: A timeline from Moscow to Mueller; ABC; July 23, 2019; available at The Russia probe: A timeline from Moscow to Mueller - ABC News (go.com)

[363] Ibid.

[364] Helderman, Rosalind S.; Paul Manafort was interviewed twice by FBI before joining the Trump campaign, new documents show; Denver Post; Apr. 24th, 2018; available at Paul Manafort was interviewed twice by FBI before joining Trump campaign, new documents show – The Denver Post

[366] Ibid.

[367] Fillipov, David, and Roth, Andrew; Donald Trump’s confusions and contradictions about Russia; Washington Post; Oct. 19th, 2016; available at Donald Trump’s confusion and contradictions about Russia - The Washington Post.

[368] The Editorial Board; Trump pursued a deal in Russia and hid it from voters; USA Today; Jan. 22nd, 2019; available at Donald Trump pursued a business deal in Russia and hid it from voters (usatoday.com).

[369] 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

[370] Mosk, Mathew; ‘Follow the money’: Senator probes Trump 95million Palm Beach mansion sale; ABC; Feb. 9th, 2018; available at 'Follow the money': Senator probes Trump's $95 million Palm Beach mansion sale - ABC News (go.com).

[371] Crowley, Michael; Trump and the oligarch; Politico; July 29th, 2016; available at Trump and the oligarch – POLITICO

[372] Ibid.

[373] Swaine, Jon, and Walker, Shaun; Trump in Moscow: what happened at Miss Universe 2013; Sept. 18th, 2017; available at Trump in Moscow: what happened at Miss Universe in 2013 | Donald Trump | The Guardian.

[374] Ibid.

[375] Hendry, Erica R.; Trump asked Russia to find Clinton’s emails. On or around the same day, Russia targeted her accounts; PBS; July 13th, 2018; available at Trump asked Russia to find Clinton’s emails. On or around the same day, Russians targeted her accounts | PBS NewsHour.

[376] Ibid.

[377] Ibid.

[378] Crowley, Michael, and Pager, Tyler; Trump urges Russia to hack Clinton’s email; Politico; July 27th, 2016; available at Trump urges Russia to hack Clinton's email - POLITICO.

[379] Ibid.

[380] Holpuch, Amanda; Timeline: Trump and associates denied Russia involvement at least 20 times; the Guardian; July 11th, 2016; available at Timeline: Trump and associates denied Russia involvement at least 20 times | Donald Trump | The Guardian.

[381] Ibid.

[382] Diehm, Jan, and O’Key, Sean; The email exchange Trump Jr. released, in chronological order; CNN; available at The email exchange Trump Jr. released, in chronological order - CNN.com

[383] Ibid.

[384] Ibid.

[385] Herb, Jeremy, and Cohen, Marshall; A Trump Tower meeting: A timeline; CNN; July 31st, 2018; available at The Trump Tower meeting: A timeline | CNN Politics.

[386] Ibid.

[387] TheU.S.Department of Justice; Appointment of Special Counsel; May 17th, 2017; available at Appointment of Special Counsel | OPA | Department of Justice.

[388] American Bar Association; Mueller finds no collusion with Russia, leaves obstruction question open; ABA; available at Mueller finds no collusion with Russia, leaves obstruction question open (americanbar.org)

[389] Blake, Aaron; The frequent overlap between Trump’s conspiracy theories and Russian propaganda; Washington Post; June 9th, 2020; available at The frequent overlap between Trump’s conspiracy theories and Russian propaganda - The Washington Post.

[390] Ibid.

[391] BBC; Trump sides with Russia against FBI at Helsinki summit; BBC; July 16th, 2018; available at Trump sides with Russia against FBI at Helsinki summit - BBC News

[392] Elving, Ron; Trump’s Helsinki Bow to Putin Leaves World Wondering: Why?; NPR; July 17th, 2018; available at Trump's Helsinki Bow To Putin Leaves World Wondering: Why? : NPR.

[393] Feiner, Lauren; Why Trump asked Ukraine’s president to look into Crowdstrike, a U.S. cybersecurity company that recently went public; CNBC; Sept. 25th, 2019; available at Why Trump asked Ukraine's president to look into CrowdStrike (cnbc.com)

[394] Sprunt, Barbara; Trump Calls Bounty Report a “Hoax” Despite Administration’s Briefing of Congress; NPR; July 1st, 2020; available at Trump Calls Bounty Report A 'Hoax' Despite Briefing Of Congress : NPR

[395] Collinson, Stephen, How Trump’s disdain for NATO could help Putin; CNN; July 12, 2018; available at How Trump's disdain for NATO could help Putin | CNN Politics

[396] Cillizza, Chris, and Williams, Brenna; 15 times Donald Trump praised authoritarian leaders; CNN; July 2nd, 2019; available at 15 times Donald Trump praised authoritarian rulers | CNN Politics.

[397] Phillip, Abby; O’Reilly told Trump that Putin is a killer. Trump’s reply: ‘You think our country is so innocent.’; Washington Post; Feb. 4th, 2017; available at O’Reilly told Trump that Putin is a killer. Trump’s reply: ‘You think our country is so innocent?’ - The Washington Post.

[398] Wise, Alana; Trump praises Putin as ‘savvy’ amid new escalations on Russia-Ukraine border; NPR; Feb. 22, 2022; available at Trump praises Putin as 'savvy' amid new escalations on Russia-Ukraine border : NPR

[399] Ibid.

[401] Parks, Miles, and Lucas, Ryan; Paul Manafort, Former Trump Campaign Chairman, Sentenced to Just Under 4 Years; NPR; March 7th, 2019; available at Paul Manafort, Ex-Trump Campaign Chairman, Sentenced To 47 Months In Prison : NPR.

[402] Weiner, Rachel, and Hsu, Spencer S., and Helderman, Rosalind S.; Paul Manafort shared 2016 polling data with Russian associate, according to court filing; Washington Post; Jan. 8th, 2019; available at Paul Manafort shared 2016 polling data with Russian associate, according to court filing - The Washington Post

[403] Naylor, Brian; Attorney General Barr to Testify in House Amid Criticism of Roger Stone Case; NPR; February 12th, 2020; available at https://www.npr.org/2020/02/12/805159485/trump-praises-attorney-general-barr-for-taking-charge-of-roger-stone-case.  

[404] Ibid.

[405] Mangan, Don; Breuninger, Kevin; Roger Stone sentenced to over 3 years in in prison as judge slams him for ‘covering up for’ Trump; CNBC; Updated February 20th, 2020; available at https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/20/trump-friend-roger-stone-sentenced-to-prison-for-wikileaks-lies.html. 

[406] Phillips, Kristine; Rick Gates, witness in Russia investigation, sentenced to 45 days in jail; USA Today; Dec. 17th, 2019; available at Rick Gates, former Trump campaign aide, sentenced to 45 days in jail (usatoday.com).

[407] Mazzetti, Mark, and LaFraniere, Sharon; George Papadopoulos, Ex-Trump Advisor, Is Sentenced to 14 Days in Jail; New York Times; Sept. 7th, 2018; available at George Papadopoulos, Ex-Trump Adviser, Is Sentenced to 14 Days in Jail - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

[408] Breuninger, Kevin; Here are the charges Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen admitted to in federal court; CNBC; Aug. 21st, 2018; available at Here are the charges Michael Cohen admitted to in federal court (cnbc.com)

[409] Lucas, Ryan; Trump Pardons Michael Flynn, Who Pleaded Guilty to Lying About Russia Contact; NPR; Nov. 25th, 2020; available at Trump Pardons Michael Flynn, Who Pleaded Guilty To Lying About Russia Contact : NPR

[410] Conway, Michael; Mueller passed the impeachment baton to Congress.  They could still drop it; NBC News; May 30th, 2019; available at Mueller passed the impeachment baton to Congress. They could still drop it. (nbcnews.com).

[411] Shaw, Conor; President Trump’s staggering record of uncharged criminal misconduct; CREW; March 1st, 2022; available at President Trump's staggering record of uncharged criminal misconduct - CREW | Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (citizensforethics.org) (detailing Trump’s uncharged crimes).

[412] Viswanatha, Aruna; Lee, Carol E; Andrews, Natalie; Jeff Sessions to Recuse Himself from Trump Campaign Probes; The Wall Street Journal; March 2nd, 2017; available at https://www.wsj.com/articles/attorney-general-sessions-will-recuse-himself-from-involvement-in-any-probe-related-to-trump-campaign-1488489010.

[414] Rohde, David; From the Justice Department to the Intelligence Community, Donald Trump and William Barr have Won; The New Yorker; May 14th, 2020; available at https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/from-the-justice-department-to-the-intelligence-community-donald-trump-and-william-barr-have-won. 

See also Frum, David; The Secrets Flynn was Desperate to Conceal; The Atlantic; May 8th, 2020; available at https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/secrets-flynn-lied-conceal/611377/. 

[415] Shear, Michael D; Apuzzo, Matt; FBI Director James Comey is Fired by Trump; The New York Times; May 9th, 2017; available at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/09/us/politics/james-comey-fired-fbi.html.

[416] Ibid.

[417] Protect Democracy; Special Counsel Report Details President Trump’s Interference with DOJ; available at https://protectdemocracy.org/timeline/special-counsel-report-details-president-trumps-interference-with-doj/. 

[418] Wagner, John; Trump attacks Mueller, says he would have brought charges if he had evidence of a crime; The Washington Post; May 30th, 2019; available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-attacks-mueller-says-he-would-have-brought-charges-if-he-had-evidence-of-a-crime/2019/05/30/bf8ab798-82ca-11e9-bce7-40b4105f7ca0_story.html.

See also Ford, Matt; The Republicans’ Witch Hunt; The New Republic; May 18th, 2018; available at The Republicans’ Witch Hunt | The New Republic.  

[419] Mariotti, Renato; The Obstruction Case Against Trump That Barr Tried to Hide; Politico; Apr. 19th, 2019; available at The Obstruction Case Against Trump that Barr Tried to Hide - POLITICO Magazine.

[420] Medium; Statement By Former Federal Prosecutors; May 6th 2019; available at https://medium.com/@dojalumni/statement-by-former-federal-prosecutors-8ab7691c2aa1. 

[421] Baker, Peter; Benner, Katie; Shear, Michael D; Jeff Sessions is Forced Out as Attorney General as Trump Installs Loyalist; The New York Times; November 7th, 2018; available at Jeff Sessions Is Forced Out as Attorney General as Trump Installs Loyalist - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

See also Everett, Burgess; Jeff Sessions grapples with new round of Trump attacks; Politico; May 8th, 2020; available at https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/08/sessions-grapples-with-new-round-of-trump-attack-s-244991. 

See also Protect Democracy; Special Counsel Report Details President Trump’s Interference with DOJ; available at https://protectdemocracy.org/timeline/special-counsel-report-details-president-trumps-interference-with-doj/. 

See also Ayer, Donald; Barr Must Resign; The Atlantic; February 17th, 2020; available at https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/02/donald-ayer-bill-barr-must-resign/606670/.

[422] The United States Department of Justice; History & Art of the Department of Justice; May 30th, 2020; available at https://www.justice.gov/about.

[423] Goldsmith, Jack; Independence and Accountability at the Justice Department; Lawfare; Jan. 30th, 2018; available at https://www.lawfareblog.com/independence-and-accountability-department-justice.

[424] Matthews, Dylan; Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch’s meeting scandal is every Clinton scandal in miniature; Vox; July 1st, 2016; available at https://www.vox.com/2016/7/1/12079366/bill-clinton-loretta-lynch-plane-meeting.

[425] Ibid.

[426] Blake, Aaron; Trump’s ever present – and still growing – exploitation of the Justice Department; Washington Post; June 11th, 2021; available at Trump’s exploitation of the Justice Department - The Washington Post.

[427] Baker, Peter; Benner, Katie; Shear, Michael D; Jeff Sessions is Forced Out as Attorney General as Trump Installs Loyalist; The New York Times; November 7th, 2018; available at  Jeff Sessions Is Forced Out as Attorney General as Trump Installs Loyalist - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

See also Protect Democracy; Special Counsel Report Details President Trump’s Interference with DOJ; available at https://protectdemocracy.org/timeline/special-counsel-report-details-president-trumps-interference-with-doj/. 

[428] Ayer, Donald; Barr Must Resign; The Atlantic; February 17th, 2020; available at https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/02/donald-ayer-bill-barr-must-resign/606670/.

[429] Rohde, David; William Barr, Trump’s Sword and Shield; The New Yorker; January 13th, 2020; available at https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/01/20/william-barr-trumps-sword-and-shield.

[430] Ayer, Donald; Why Bill Barr is so Dangerous; The Atlantic; June 30th, 2019; available at https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/06/bill-barrs-dangerous-pursuit-executive-power/592951/.

[431] Gonzales, Richard; Ingber, Sasha; Mueller’s Letter to Barr Complained that Trump-Russia Summary Lacked ‘Context’; NPR; April 30th, 2019; available at https://www.npr.org/2019/04/30/718883130/mueller-complained-that-barr-summary-of-trump-russia-probe-lacked-context.

[432] Ayer, Donald; Barr Must Resign; The Atlantic; February 17th, 2020; available at https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/02/donald-ayer-bill-barr-must-resign/606670/.

[433] Ibid.

[434] Ibid.

[435] Mangan, Don; Breuninger, Kevin; Roger Stone sentenced to over 3 years in in prison as judge slams him for ‘covering up for’ Trump; CNBC; Updated February 20th, 2020; available at https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/20/trump-friend-roger-stone-sentenced-to-prison-for-wikileaks-lies.html. 

[436] United States Government v. Roger J. Stone; Criminal no. 19-cr-18-ABJ; Government’s Sentencing Memorandum; Filed February 10th, 2020; available at https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.203583/gov.uscourts.dcd.203583.279.0_1.pdf. 

[437] Brennan Center for Justice; In His Own Words: The President’s Attacks on the Court; available at www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/his-own-words-presidents-attacks-courts.

[438] Ibid.

[439] Naylor, Brian; Attorney General Barr to Testify in House Amid Criticism of Roger Stone Case; NPR; February 12th, 2020; available at https://www.npr.org/2020/02/12/805159485/trump-praises-attorney-general-barr-for-taking-charge-of-roger-stone-case.

[440] Ibid.

[441] Goldman, Adam; Ex-Justice Department Officials Lash Out at Barr Over Flynn and Stone Cases; The New York Times; May 18th, 2020; available at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/11/us/politics/mccord-kravis-barr.html.

[442] Savage, Charlie; Goldman, Adam; Apuzzo, Matt; Barr Installs Outside Prosecutor to Review Case Against Michael Flynn, Ex-Trump Advisor; The New York Times; Updated May 7th, 2020; available at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/14/us/politics/michael-flynn-prosecutors-barr.html.

[444] Hsu, Spencer S; Alexender, Keith L; Weiner, Rachel; U.S. Attorney Timothy Shea’s role in Roger Stone sentencing storm remains in question; The Washington Post; February 14th, 2020; available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/us-attorney-timothy-sheas-role-in-roger-stone-sentencing-storm-remains-in-question/2020/02/14/947c6c30-4dc8-11ea-9b5c-eac5b16dafaa_story.html.  

[445] Ibid.

[446] Goldman, Adam; Ex-Justice Department Officials Lash Out at Barr Over Flynn and Stone Cases; The New York Times; May 18th, 2020; available at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/11/us/politics/mccord-kravis-barr.html.

[447] Ibid.

[449] Ibid.

[450] Ibid.

[451] Kravis, Jonathan; I left the Justice Department after it made a disastrous mistake. It just happened again.; The Washington Post; May 11th, 2020; available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/05/11/i-left-justice-department-after-it-made-disastrous-mistake-it-just-happened-again/. 

[452] Ibid.

[453] Williams, Pete; 2,000 former DOJ, FBI, officials call on Barr to resign over Michael Flynn case; NBC; May 11th, 2020; available at 2,000 former DOJ, FBI officials call on Barr to resign over Michael Flynn case (nbcnews.com)

[454] Washington Post Staff; All the people President Trump pardoned on his way out of office; Washington Post; Jan. 20th, 2021; available at Trump pardons list: Who was pardoned, granted clemency - The Washington Post.

[455] Elsen, Lauren-Brooke, and Stroud, Hernandez D., and Bell, Josh; Presidential Pardon Power Explained; Brennan Center for Justice; Jan. 9th, 2021; available at Presidential Pardon Power Explained | Brennan Center for Justice

[456] NPR Interview; Comparing Trump’s Wave of Pardons To Those of Past Administrations; NPR; Dec. 25, 2020; available at  Comparing Trump's Wave Of Pardons To Those Of Past Administrations : NPR

[457] Ibid.

[459] Ibid.

[460] Ibid.

[461] Ibid.

[462] Ibid.

[463] NPR Interview; Comparing Trump’s Wave of Pardons To Those of Past Administrations; NPR; Dec. 25, 2020; available at  Comparing Trump's Wave Of Pardons To Those Of Past Administrations : NPR

[464] Ibid.

[465] Pengelly, Martin; Trump pardon promise for Capitol rioters ‘stuff of dictators’ – Nixon aide; The Guardian; Jan. 30th, 2022; available at Trump pardon promise for Capitol rioters ‘stuff of dictators’ – Nixon aide | Donald Trump | The Guardian.

[466] Rupar, Aaron; Fox News has normalized a lie about the origins of the Russia Investigation; Vox; Mar. 22nd, 2019; available at Fox News has normalized a lie about the Steele dossier - Vox (demonstrating Right-Wing Media’s reliance on counter narratives).

See also King, Erika Y.; Trump attacks ‘Mueller Witch Hunt’ in new tweetstorm; ABC; July 23, 2018; available at Trump attacks ‘Mueller Witch Hunt’ in new tweetstorm - ABC News (go.com) (demonstrating Republican Politician’s reliance on counter narratives).

See also Ford, Matt; The Republican’s Witch Hunt; The New Republic; May 18th, 2018; available at The Republicans’ Witch Hunt | The New Republic  (demonstrating the Republican Political Establishment’s reliance on counter narratives).

[467] Ibid.

[468] Staff, Fallacies; The Writing Center – University of North Carolina Chapel Hill; available at https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/fallacies/.

[469] Ibid.

See also Rupar, Aaron; Fox News has normalized a lie about the origins of the Russia Investigation; Vox; Mar. 22nd, 2019; available at Fox News has normalized a lie about the Steele dossier - Vox.

See also King, Erika Y.; Trump attacks ‘Mueller Witch Hunt’ in new tweetstorm; ABC; July 23, 2018; available at Trump attacks ‘Mueller Witch Hunt’ in new tweetstorm - ABC News (go.com)

See also Ford, Matt; The Republican’s Witch Hunt; The New Republic; May 18th, 2018; available at The Republicans’ Witch Hunt | The New Republic

[470] Aguilara, Jasmine; Rod Rosenstein Authorized the Release of Text Messages Between FBI Employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page: Court Filing; Time; Jan. 18th, 2020; available at Rosenstein Released FBI's Peter Strzok and Lisa Page Texts | Time.

[471] Graham, David A.; The Real Bias at the FBI; Atlantic; Feb. 8th, 2018; available at  What the Texts Between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page Show - The Atlantic

[472] Gorbachev, Alexey; Discredited ‘Steele Dossier’ Flags Important Lesson for Media; Voice of America; Dec. 7th, 2021; available at  Discredited ‘Steele Dossier’ Flags Important Lessons for Media (voanews.com).

[473] Kates, Graham; FEC fines Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic Party, clears “Steele dossier” author of wrongdoing; CBS; March 31st, 2022; available at FEC fines Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic Party, clears "Steele dossier" author of wrongdoing - CBS News

[474] Ibid.

[475] Ibid.

[476] Bertrand, Natasha, and Samuehlson, Darren; Inspector General Report on Russia probe: Key Takeaways; Politico; Dec. 9th, 2019; available at Inspector general’s report on Russia probe: Key takeaways - POLITICO

See also Goldman, Adam, and Savage, Charlie; Authorities Arrest Analyst Who Contributed to Steele Dossier; New York Times; Nov. 4th, 2021; available at Authorities Arrest Analyst Who Contributed to Steele Dossier - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

See also Office of Inspector General: U.S. Department of Justice; Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation; December, 2019; available at 120919-examination.pdf (justice.gov).

[477] Gorbachev, Alexey; Discredited ‘Steele Dossier’ Flags Important Lesson for Media; Voice of America; Dec. 7th, 2021; available at  Discredited ‘Steele Dossier’ Flags Important Lessons for Media (voanews.com).

[478] NPR Staff; Read: DOJ Inspector General’s Report on the Russia Investigation; NPR; Dec. 9th, 2021; available at READ: IG Report From Justice Department On Russia Investigation : NPR

[479] Ibid.

[480] Ibid.

[481] Ibid.

[482] Bertrand, Natasha, and Samuehlson, Darren; Inspector General Report on Russia probe: Key Takeaways; Politico; Dec. 9th, 2019; available at Inspector general’s report on Russia probe: Key takeaways - POLITICO.

See also Office of Inspector General: U.S. Department of Justice; Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation; December, 2019; available at 120919-examination.pdf (justice.gov).

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/.

[483] Rupar, Aaron; Fox News has normalized a lie about the origins of the Russia Investigation; Vox; Mar. 22nd, 2019; available at Fox News has normalized a lie about the Steele dossier - Vox.

See also King, Erika Y.; Trump attacks ‘Mueller Witch Hunt’ in new tweetstorm; ABC; July 23, 2018; available at Trump attacks ‘Mueller Witch Hunt’ in new tweetstorm - ABC News (go.com)

See also Ford, Matt; The Republican’s Witch Hunt; The New Republic; May 18th, 2018; available at The Republicans’ Witch Hunt | The New Republic

[484] Savage, Charlie; Barr Makes Durham a Special Counsel in a Bid to Entrench Scrutiny of the Russia Inquiry; New York Times; Dec. 1st, 2020; available at Barr Makes Durham a Special Counsel in a Bid to Entrench Scrutiny of the Russia Inquiry - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

[485] Zapotosky, Matt; Since October 2020, Durham has spent $3.8 million probing Russia investigation; Washington Post; Dec. 22nd, 2021; available at As special counsel, John Durham has spent $3.8 million so far - The Washington Post. (if extrapolated out since the writing of this article, you arrive at approximately 5 million. Since there are now U.S. Government resources being used to prosecute the 2 private citizens that have been indicted, the actual amount is likely much more.)

See also Barrett, Devlin; Special counsel loses first trial of Trump probe; Sussman acquitted; Washington Post; May 31st, 2022; available at Sussmann not guilty of lying to FBI in 2016 for Hillary Clinton - The Washington Post.

[486] Zapotosky, Matt; Since October 2020, Durham has spent $3.8 million probing Russia investigation; Washington Post; Dec. 22nd, 2021; available at As special counsel, John Durham has spent $3.8 million so far - The Washington Post.

[487] U.S. Department of Justice; Special Counsel’s Office: Press Release; Russian National Indicted for Making False Statements to the FBI; Nov. 4, 2021; available at Russian National Indicted for Making False Statements to the FBI | SCO | Department of Justice.

[489] Ibid.

[490] Ibid.

[491] Ibid.

[492] U.S. Department of Justice: Special Counsels Office; Grand Jury Indicts Attorney with Making False Statement to the FBI in 2016 Regarding Alleged Communications Between Trump Organization and Russian Bank; Sept. 16, 2021; available at Grand Jury Indicts D.C. Attorney with Making False Statements to the FBI in 2016 Regarding Alleged Communications Between Trump Organization and Russian Bank | SCO | Department of Justice

[493] Ibid.

[496] Ibid.

[498] Savage, Charlie; Court Filings Started a Furor in Right-Wing Outlets, but Their Narrative is Off Track; New York Times; Feb. 14th, 2022; available at Court Filing Started a Furor in Right-Wing Outlets, but Their Narrative Is Off Track - The New York Times (nytimes.com). 

[499] Moore, Mark; Rep. Jordan: Durham filing shows Trump was right about being spied on; New York Post; Feb. 13th, 2022; available at Rep. Jordan: Durham filing shows Trump was right about spying (nypost.com).

[500] Wall Street Journal Editorial Board; Trump Really Was Spied On; Wall Street Journal; Feb. 14th, 2022; available at  Trump Really Was Spied On - WSJ.

[501] CBS; How do politicians gather opposition research on other candidates; CBS; July 14th, 2017; available at How do politicians gather opposition research on other candidates? - CBS News. 

[502] Ibid.

[503] Ibid.

[504] Staff; What is Opposition Research? Understanding the Tactics used by Political Campaigns to Conduct Opposition Research; Master Class Articles; Sept. 29th, 2021; available at What Is Opposition Research? Understanding the Tactics used by Political Campaigns to Conduct and use Opposition Research - 2022 - MasterClass

[505] Ibid.

[506] U.S. Department of Justice: Special Counsels Office; Grand Jury Indicts Attorney with Making False Statement to the FBI in 2016 Regarding Alleged Communications Between Trump Organization and Russian Bank; Sept. 16, 2021; available at Grand Jury Indicts D.C. Attorney with Making False Statements to the FBI in 2016 Regarding Alleged Communications Between Trump Organization and Russian Bank | SCO | Department of Justice

See also U.S. Department of Justice; Special Counsel’s Office: Press Release; Russian National Indicted for Making False Statements to the FBI; Nov. 4, 2021; available at Russian National Indicted for Making False Statements to the FBI | SCO | Department of Justice.

[507] Ibid.

[508] Ibid.

[509] Ibid.

[510] Barrett, Devlin; Special counsel loses first trial of Trump probe; Sussman acquitted; Washington Post; May 31st, 2022; available at Sussmann not guilty of lying to FBI in 2016 for Hillary Clinton - The Washington Post

[511] Chait, Jonathan; John Durham and the Right’s Media Paranoia; Intelligencer; Feb. 15th, 2022; available at John Durham and the Right’s Mainstream-Media Paranoia (nymag.com).

[512] Ibid.

[513] Rupar, Aaron; Fox News has normalized a lie about the origins of the Russia Investigation; Vox; Mar. 22nd, 2019; available at Fox News has normalized a lie about the Steele dossier - Vox (demonstrating Right-Wing Media’s reliance on counter narratives).

See also King, Erika Y.; Trump attacks ‘Mueller Witch Hunt’ in new tweetstorm; ABC; July 23, 2018; available at Trump attacks ‘Mueller Witch Hunt’ in new tweetstorm - ABC News (go.com) (demonstrating Republican Politician’s reliance on counter narratives).

See also Ford, Matt; The Republican’s Witch Hunt; The New Republic; May 18th, 2018; available at The Republicans’ Witch Hunt | The New Republic  (demonstrating the Republican Political Establishment’s reliance on counter narratives).

[514] Mayer, Jane; Making of the Fox News White House; The New Yorker; March 11, 2019; available at https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/03/11/the-making-of-the-fox-news-white-house.

See also Coppins, McKay; What if the right-wing media wins; Columbia Journalism Review; Fall 2017; available at https://www.cjr.org/special_report/right-wing-media-breitbart-fox-bannon-carlson-hannity-coulter-trump.php; last visited November 15, 2020.

[515] Ibid.

[516] Office of Inspector General:U.S.Department of Justice; Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation; December, 2019; available at 120919-examination.pdf (justice.gov).

[517] Ibid.

[518] 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.  

[519] See Klukowski, Ken; Appeals Court Gives Trump Big Win Against Democrats Over Trump Hotel; Breitbart; July 11th, 2019; available at Appeals Court Gives Trump Big Win Against Democrats over Trump Hotel (breitbart.com) (demonstrating the Right-Wing Media’s preoccupation with Trump’s purely procedural legal victories)

See also Blitzer, Ron; Federal court revives emoluments lawsuit against Trump over DC hotel; Fox News; May 14th, 2020; available at Federal court revives emoluments lawsuit against Trump over DC hotel | Fox News (again, demonstrates the Right Wing-Media’s focus on purely procedural issues. The article also gives more credence to the dissenting opinion than the actual ruling of the court).

[520] O’Connel, Jonathan; Congressional Republicans question report critical of Trump hotel lease; Washington Post; Feb. 4th, 2019; available at Congressional Republicans question report critical of Trump hotel lease - The Washington Post.

[521] 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/; last visited May 27th, 2020.

[522] Ibid.

[523] Ibid.

[524] Hickey, Kevin J; and Foster, Michael A.; The Emoluments Clauses of the U.S. Constitution; Congressional Research Service; available at https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/IF11086.pdf.

See also The Law Dictionary; Emolument definition; available at https://thelawdictionary.org/emolument/ (providing that an Emolument is “profit arising from office or employment; that which is received as a compensation for services, or which is annexed to the possession of office as salary, fees, and perquisites; advantage; gain, public or private.”)

[525] 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/.

[527] Ibid.

[528] Collins, Sean; Mike Pence stayed at Trump hotel 180 miles away from his Ireland meetings – for ‘safety’; Vox.com; September 3rd, 2019; available at https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/9/3/20847247/mike-pence-ireland-doonbeg-trip-180-miles-away-trump-hotel.

[529] Ibid.

[530] Dawsey, Josh; Fahrenthold, David A.; Near the airport, ample parking: Why Trump says his Florida golf club should host the next G7; Washington Post; August 26th, 2019; available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-sings-the-praises-of-his-resort-in-florida-as-g-7-host-for-2020/2019/08/26/17409c1e-c7ea-11e9-8067-196d9f17af68_story.html. 

See also Confessore, Nicholas; Haberman, Maggie; and Lipton, Eric; Trump’s ‘Winter White House’: A Peak at the Exclusive Members List at Mar-a-Lago; The New York Times; available at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/18/us/mar-a-lago-trump-ethics-winter-white-house.html.

[531] McCarthy, Tim; Trump defends bid to host G7 at his Miami resort: ‘I don’t care about money’; The Guardian; August 26th, 2019; available at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/26/trump-2020-g7-summit-national-doral-miami-resort.

See also Rupar, Aaron;  Trump’s move to host the G7 at his Doral resort takes self-dealing to new levels; Vox; Oct. 17th, 2019; available at Trump’s move to host G7 at Doral takes his corruption to new levels - Vox.

[532] Law, Tara; President Trump Backs Down on Hosting G7 Meeting at His Florida Doral Resort; Time; Updated October 20th, 2020; available at https://time.com/5705628/donald-trump-g7-doral-resort/.

[533] 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)

See also Collins, Sean; Mike Pence stayed at Trump hotel 180 miles away from his Ireland meetings – for ‘safety’; Vox.com; September 3rd, 2019; available at https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/9/3/20847247/mike-pence-ireland-doonbeg-trip-180-miles-away-trump-hotel; last visited May 27th, 2020.

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

[535] Ibid.

[536] Ibid.

[538] American Oversight; State Correspondence Regarding Foreign Government Leases at Trump’s New York Properties; August 19th, 2019; available at https://www.americanoversight.org/document/state-correspondence-regarding-foreign-government-leases-at-trumps-new-york-properties. 

See also Kumar, Anita; How Trump fused his business empire to his Presidency; Politico; January 20th, 2020; available at https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/20/trump-businesses-empire-tied-presidency-100496.

[539] McIntire, Mike, and Buettner, Russ, and Craig, Susanne; Trump Records Shed Light on Chinese Business Pursuits; New York Times; Oct. 20th, 2020; available at  Trump Records Shed New Light on Chinese Business Pursuits - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

[540] Kumar, Anita; How Trump fused his business empire to his Presidency; Politico; January 20th, 2020; available at https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/20/trump-businesses-empire-tied-presidency-100496.

See also Stevenson, Alexandra; Complex with New Trump Golf Club will get Chinese Help; New York Times; June 15th, 2018; available at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/15/business/trump-china-dubai.html.

[541] Stone, Peter; Trump Hotels exempted from ban on foreign payments under new stance; The Guardian; April 9th, 2019; available at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/09/dojs-new-stance-on-foreign-payments-or-gifts-to-trump-blurs-lines-experts. 

[542] Ibid.

[543] O’Connel, Jonathan; Congressional Republicans question report critical of Trump hotel lease; Washington Post; Feb. 4th, 2019; available at Congressional Republicans question report critical of Trump hotel lease - The Washington Post

[544] Hanlon, Seth; President Trump Cannot Hide His Tax Returns From Congress; American Progress; April 1st, 2019; available at President Trump Cannot Hide His Tax Returns From Congress - Center for American Progress.

[545] Davis, Julie Hirschfield; Trump Won’t Release His Tax Returns, a Top Aide Says; New York Times; Jan. 22nd, 2017; available at Trump Won’t Release His Tax Returns, a Top Aide Says - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[546] Barstow, David, and Craig, Susanne, and Buettner, Russ; Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches from His Father; New York Times; Oct. 2nd, 2018; available at Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[547] Conway, Michael; Trump Organization accounting firm delivers blow that could be pivotal to NY AG case; NBC News; May 6th, 2022; available at Michael Conway: Trump Organization accounting firm delivers blow that could be pivotal to NY AG case (nbcnews.com).  

[548] Prokop, Andrew; Donald Trump’s history of corruption: a comprehensive review; Vox; Oct. 31st, 2016; available at Donald Trump’s history of corruption: a comprehensive review - Vox.

[549] Lee, Michelle; Fact Check: Has trump declared bankruptcy four or six times; Washington Post; Sept. 26th, 2016; available at Fact Check: Has Trump declared bankruptcy four or six times? - The Washington Post.

[550] Penzenstadler, Nick; Page, Susan; Exclusive: Trump’s 3,500 lawsuits unprecedented for a presidential nominee; USA Today; available at www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/06/01/donald-trump-lawsuits-legal-battles/84995854/.

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

[552] Winter, Tom, and Clark, Dartunorro; Federal court approves $25 million Trump University settlement; NBC News; Feb. 6th, 2018; available at Federal court approves $25 million Trump University settlement (nbcnews.com)

[553] Adams, Christine; Nepotism is bad for government. Trump’s convention reminds U.S. why; Washington Post; Aug. 27th, 2020; available at Nepotism is bad for government. Trump’s convention reminds U.S. why. - The Washington Post

See also Libowitz, Jordan; Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made millions in Washington. But at what cost?; NBC; Feb. 15th, 2021; available at Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made millions in Washington. But at what cost? (nbcnews.com).

[555] Kennedy, Merrit; Judge Says Trump Must Pay $2 Million Over Misuse of Foundation Funds; NPR; Nov. 7th, 2019; available at President Trump Ordered To Pay $2 Million For Misusing Trump Foundation Funds : NPR.

[556] Ibid.

[557] Protess, Ben, and Rashbaum, William K, and Bromwich, Jonah E; Trump Organization is Charged with Running 15-Year Employee Tax Scheme; The New York Times; July 1st, 2021; available at Trump Organization Is Charged With Running 15-Year Employee Tax Scheme - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[558] Ibid.

[559] Bromwich, Jonah E, and Rashbaum, William K.; N.Y. Attorney General Outlines Pattern of Possible Fraud at Trump Business; New York Times; Jan. 18th, 2022; available at N.Y. Attorney General Outlines Pattern of Possible Fraud at Trump Business - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

[560] Ibid.

[561] Ibid.

[562] Ibid.

[563] Dorning, Mike, and Niquette, Mark, and House, Billy; Trump Raised Millions Citing 2020 Election Fraud That Aides Told Him Was False; Bloomberg News; June 13th, 2022; available at  Jan. 6 Hearing: Trump Raised Millions on Election Fraud Aides Told Him Was False - Bloomberg.

[564] Kertscher, Tom; Proof has not emerged to change Joe Biden’s election or his wins in Ariz., Ga.; Politifact; July 22nd, 2021; available at PolitiFact | Proof has not emerged to change Joe Biden’s election or his wins in Ariz., Ga..

[565] Dorning, Mike, and Niquette, Mark, and House, Billy; Trump Raised Millions Citing 2020 Election Fraud That Aides Told Him Was False; Bloomberg News; June 13th, 2022; available at  Jan. 6 Hearing: Trump Raised Millions on Election Fraud Aides Told Him Was False - Bloomberg.

[566] 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.

See also Nobles, Ryan, and Cohen, Zachary, and Grayer, Annie; CNN Exclusive: ‘We control them all’: Donald Trump Jr. texted Meadows ideas for overturning the 2020 election before it was called; CNN; Apr. 9th, 2022; available at CNN Exclusive: 'We control them all': Donald Trump Jr. texted Meadows detailed plan for overturning 2020 election before it was called - CNNPolitics (outlining Trump Jr.’s plan to overturn a valid U.S. election before the votes were counted)

See also United States Department of Justice Archives; Criminal Resource Manual; Section 949: Proof of Fraudulent Intent; updated Jan. 21st, 2020; available at 949. Proof of Fraudulent Intent | JM | Department of Justice.

[568] Ibid.

[569] Dorning, Mike, and Niquette, Mark, and House, Billy; Trump Raised Millions Citing 2020 Election Fraud That Aides Told Him Was False; Bloomberg News; June 13th, 2022; available at  Jan. 6 Hearing: Trump Raised Millions on Election Fraud Aides Told Him Was False - Bloomberg.

[570] Ibid.

[571] Ibid.

[572] Hall, Richard; Trump raised $250m to fight non-existent voter fraud but gave most of it to his own PAC, Jan. 6 committee hears; Independent; June 14th, 2022; available at Trump raised $250m for bogus voter fraud fight but gave most of it to his own PAC, Jan 6 committee hears | The Independent.

[573] Desiderio, Andrew, and Beavers, Olivia; ‘All over Hunter Biden: Republicans lay plans for their own investigations, despite the DOJ probe; Politico; Apr. 6th, 2021; available at ‘All over Hunter Biden’: Republicans lay plans for their own investigation, despite the DOJ probe - POLITICO.

[574] Ecarma, Caleb; Hunter Biden is Opening Up About Life in the Conservative Media Crosshairs; Apr. 5th, 2021; available at Hunter Biden Is Opening Up About Life in the Conservative-Media Crosshairs | Vanity Fair.

[575] See Desiderio, Andrew, and Beavers, Olivia; ‘All over Hunter Biden: Republicans lay plans for their own investigations, despite the DOJ probe; Politico; Apr. 6th, 2021; available at ‘All over Hunter Biden’: Republicans lay plans for their own investigation, despite the DOJ probe - POLITICO.

[576] Benner, Katie, and Vogel, Kenneth P, and Schmidt, Michael S; Hunter Biden Paid Tax Bill, but Broad Financial Investigation Continues; New York Times; March 16th, 2022; available at Hunter Biden Paid Tax Bill, but Federal Investigation Goes On - The New York Times (nytimes.com).  

[577] Ibid.

[578] Prokop, Andrew; How much legal jeopardy is Hunter Biden in?; Vox; Apr. 11th, 2022; available at What we know about the Hunter Biden investigation - Vox.

[579] Ibid.

[580] Ibid.

[581] Benner, Katie, and Vogel, Kenneth P, and Schmidt, Michael S; Hunter Biden Paid Tax Bill, but Broad Financial Investigation Continues; New York Times; March 16th, 2022; available at Hunter Biden Paid Tax Bill, but Federal Investigation Goes On - The New York Times (nytimes.com).  

[582] Ibid.

[583] Ibid.

[584] Hickey, Kevin J, and Foster, Michael A; The Emoluments Clauses of the U.S. Constitution; CRS; Jan. 27th, 2021; available at The Emoluments Clauses of theU.S.Constitution (congress.gov).

[585] Kirkpatrick, David D, and Kelly, Kate; Before Giving Billions to Jared Kushner, Saudi Investment Fund Had Big Doubts; New York Times; Apr. 10th, 2022; available at Before Giving Billions to Jared Kushner, Saudi Investment Fund Had Big Doubts - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[586] McGreal, Chris; ‘Don’t talk about history’: how Jared Kushner crafted his Middle East ‘peace plan’; The Guardian; Jan. 20th, 2020; available at 'Don't talk about history': how Jared Kushner crafted his Middle East 'peace' plan | Jared Kushner | The Guardian.

[587] Clawson, Laura; Treatment of Jared Kushner and Hunter Biden shows big differences between Republicans and Democrats; Daily Kos; Apr. 13th, 2022; available at  Treatment of Jared Kushner and Hunter Biden shows big differences between Republicans and Democrats (dailykos.com).

[588] Ibid.

[589] Ibid.

See also Holland, Steve; Jared Kushner investment firm Affinity raises $3 billion in committed funding; Fox Business News; Dec. 23, 2021; available at Jared Kushner investment firm Affinity raises $3 billion in committed funding | Fox Business (demonstrating Right-Wing Media’s suppression of necessary context).

[590] Wehle, Kimberly; Hunter Biden controversy explained; The Hill; Apr. 11th, 2022; available at Hunter Biden controversy explained | The Hill.

[591] Faler, Brian; Biden releases tax returns, reports paying 24.6 percent rate; Politico; April 15h, 2022; available at Biden releases tax return, reports paying 24.6 percent rate - POLITICO.

[592] Gill, Kathy; What is the Fourth Estate?; ThoughtCo; Jan. 16th, 2020; available at What is the Fourth Estate? (thoughtco.com).

[593] Ibid.

[594] Ibid.

[595] Roig-Franzia, Manuel, and Ellison, Sarah; A history of the Trump War on Media – the obsession not even the coronavirus could stop; Washington Post; March 29th, 2020; available at A history of the Trump War on Media — the obsession not even coronavirus could stop - The Washington Post.

[596] Mayer, Jane; Making of the Fox News White House; The New Yorker; March 11, 2019; available at https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/03/11/the-making-of-the-fox-news-white-house; last visited November 15, 2020.

See also Bump, Philip; Republican Politics and Right-Wing Media Continue to Fuse; Washington Post, March 30th, 2021; available at Republican politics and right-wing media continue to fuse - The Washington Post.

[597] Ibid.

[598] Ibid.

[599] Staff; SPJ Ethics Code; Society of Professional Journalists; Sept. 6th, 2014; available at SPJ Code of Ethics - Society of Professional Journalists.

[600] See Klein, Ezra; Why the media is so polarized – and how it polarizes us; Vox; Jan. 28th, 2020; available at Ezra Klein’s Why We’re Polarized excerpt: The media’s role - Vox.

See also Illing, Sean; Rush Limbaugh gave U.S. Fox News and the Tea Party: How his conservative media revolution wrecked Washington for good; Salon; Nov. 5th, 2016; available at Rush Limbaugh gaveU.S.Fox News and the Tea Party: How his conservative media revolution wrecked Washington for good | Salon.com        

See also Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics; available at SPJ Code of Ethics - Society of Professional Journalists

[602] Ibid.

[603] Ibid.

[604] Parks, Miles; Outrage as a Business Model: How Ben Shapiro is using Facebook to Build an Empire; NPR; July 19th, 2021; available at How Ben Shapiro Is using Facebook To Build A Business Empire : NPR

[605] Grynbaum, Michael M, Chris Wallace Leaves Fox News as Right Wing Hosts Hold Sway; The New York Times; Dec. 12th, 2021; available at Chris Wallace Leaves Fox News as Right-Wing Hosts Hold Sway - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[606] Folkenflik, David; You Literally Can’t Believe The Facts Tucker Carlson Tells You. So Say’s Fox’s Lawyers; NPR; Sept. 29th, 2020; available at The Legal Defense For Fox's Tucker Carlson: He Can't Be Literally Believed : NPR.

[607] Ibid.

[608] Katz, AJ; Top Cable News Show of 2021: Tucker Carlson Tonight Is No. 1 in All Measurements For First Time Ever; TV Newser; Jan. 3rd, 2022; available at  Top Cable News Shows of 2021: Tucker Carlson Tonight Is No. 1 in All Measurements For First Time Ever (adweek.com).

[609] Marans, Daniel; Sean Hannity: “I’m Not a Journalist. I’m A Talk Show Host”; HuffPost; Apr. 14th, 2016; available at Sean Hannity: ‘I’m Not A Journalist. I’m A Talk Show Host.' | HuffPost Latest News.

[610] Ibid.

See also Borchers, Callum; Sean Hannity now claims to be a journalist. He should be judged as such; Washington Post; Nov. 29th, 2017; available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/11/29/sean-hannity-now-claims-to-be-a-journalist-he-should-be-judged-as-such/.

See also Sullivan, Margaret; The ridiculous hypocrisy of Sean Hannity hiding behind ‘freedom of the press’; Washington Post; Jan. 5th, 2022; available at Sean Hannity is a hypocrite for claiming ’freedom of the press’ to duck the Jan. 6 committee - The Washington Post.

[611] Mitchell, Amy; Large Majorities of Newsmax and OAN News Consumers Also Go to Fox News; PEW Research; March 23rd, 2021; available at Newsmax and OAN News Consumers Also Likely To Turn to Fox News | Pew Research Center.

[612] Axelrod, Tal; Conservative outlet complains about lack of Trump shout-out at rally; The Hill; March 29th, 2019; available at https://thehill.com/homenews/media/436553-conservative-outlet-complains-about-lack-of-trump-shout-out-at-rally.

[613] Rupar, Aaron; Why Newsmax is failing; Vox; July 28th, 2021; available at Why Newsmax is failing, explained by an expert - Vox

[614] Bump, Phillip; New data bolster the idea that far-right media ecosystem is a conspiracy-theory Petri dish; Washington Post; May 27th, 2021; available at New data bolsters the idea that the far-right media ecosystem is a conspiracy-theory Petri dish - The Washington Post.

[615] WSJ Staff; What is QAnon? What we know about the conspiracy theory; Wall Street Journal; October 15th, 2020; available at https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-is-qanon-what-we-know-about-the-conspiracy-theory-11597694801.

[616] See Breland, Ali; Meet the Propagandists and Conspiracy Theorists Behind the One America News Network; Mother Jones; June 9th, 2020; available at Meet the Propagandists and Conspiracy Theorists Behind the One America News Network – Mother Jones (noting the networks’ propensities for airing partisan, fact-free, propaganda).

[617] Gillette, Felix, and Smith, Gerry; This Trump Loving Network Could Become the President’s Fall Back Plan; Bloomberg; Oct. 22, 2020; available at How OAN Built a TV Network That’s Further to the Right Than Fox News - Bloomberg

[618] Mayer, Jane; Making of the Fox News White House; The New Yorker; March 11, 2019; available at https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/03/11/the-making-of-the-fox-news-white-house.

[619] Smith, David; Steve Bannon: rise and fall of the Trump aide who preached “American Carnage”; The Guardian; August 20th, 2020; available at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/20/steve-bannon-profile-donald-trump-breitbart.

[621] Ibid.

[623] Vigdor, Neil; Rush Limbaugh Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom at the State of the Union; The New York Times; February 4th, 2020; available at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/04/us/politics/rush-limbaugh-medal-of-freedom.html?auth=login-email&login=email.

[624] Gertz, Mathew; I’ve Studied the Trump-Fox Feedback Loop for Months. It’s Crazier Than You Think; Politico Magazine; Jan. 5th, 2018; available at I’ve Studied the Trump-Fox Feedback Loop for Months. It’s Crazier Than You Think. - POLITICO Magazine.

[625] Ibid.

[626] Ibid.

[627] Costa, Robert, and Ellison, Sarah, and Dawsey, Josh; Hannity’s rising role in Trump’s world: ‘He basically has a desk in the place”; Washington Post; Apr. 17th, 2018; available at Hannity’s rising role in Trump’s world: ‘He basically has a desk in the place’ - The Washington Post

[628] Ibid.

[629] Ibid.

[630] Mayer, Jane; Making of the Fox News White House; The New Yorker; March 11, 2019; available at https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/03/11/the-making-of-the-fox-news-white-house.

[631] Graham, David A; Donald from DC Calls Into Fox and Friends; The Atlantic; Apr. 16th, 2018; available at Donald Trump Calls in to Fox and Friends - The Atlantic

[632] Hutzler, Alexander; Donald Trump Has Appeared on Fox Eight Times More Than Any Other Network; Newsweek; July 26th, 2019; available at Donald Trump Has Appeared on Fox News Eight Times More Than Any Other Network (newsweek.com).

[633] Repucci, Sarah; Media Freedom: A Downward Spiral; Freedom House; 2019; available at Media Freedom: A Downward Spiral | Freedom House.

[634] Ibid.

[635] Samuels, Brett; Trump ramps up rhetoric on media, calls press ‘the enemy of the people; The Hill; Apr. 5th, 2019; available at Trump ramps up rhetoric on media, calls press ‘the enemy of the people’ | The Hill.

[636] Robertson, Katie; Trump Turns Attack on MSNBC Journalist into Rally Fodder; New York Times; Sept. 23rd, 2020; available at Trump Turns Attack on MSNBC Journalist Into Rally Fodder - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[637] Coppins, McKay; What if the right-wing media wins; Columbia Journalism Review; Fall 2017; available at https://www.cjr.org/special_report/right-wing-media-breitbart-fox-bannon-carlson-hannity-coulter-trump.php.

[638] Ibid.

[639] Repucci, Sarah; Media Freedom: A Downward Spiral; Freedom House; 2019; available at Media Freedom: A Downward Spiral | Freedom House.

[640] Sullivan, Margaret; It’s time to retire the tainted term ‘fake news’; Washington Post; Jan. 8th, 2017; available at Why the term 'fake news' should be retired in 2018 - The Washington Post

See also Ratcliffe, Chris; The term ‘fake news’ is doing great harm; The Conversation; July 27th, 2018; available at  The term 'fake news' is doing great harm (theconversation.com).

[641] Meek, Andy; Republicans are Abandoning the Mainstream Media in Droves; Forbes; Sept. 6th, 2021; available at Republicans Are Abandoning The National Mainstream Media In Droves (forbes.com).

[642] Hamid, Shadi; The Forever Culture War; The Atlantic; Jan. 8th, 2022; available at The Forever Culture War - The Atlantic.

See also Robertson, Derek; How the War on Christmas Became America’s Latest Forever War; Politico; Dec. 18th, 2021; available at How the War on Christmas Became America’s Latest Forever War - POLITICO

See also Waldman, Paul; Why Republicans are excited about a culture war they know they are losing; Washington Post; March 18th, 2022; available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/03/18/republicans-losing-culture-war/

[643] Ibid.

[644] Kilgore, Ed; Why Republicans are Turning an Easy Election Into a Culture War; New York Magazine; Apr. 14th, 2022; available at Why Republicans Are Turning the Midterms Into a Culture War (nymag.com).

See also Stahl, Chelsea; Transgender Facebook content dominated by right-wing sources, study finds; NBC News; July 20th, 2020; available at Transgender Facebook content dominated by right-wing sources, study finds (nbcnews.com)

See also Wong, Julia Carrie; From viral videos to Fox News: how rightwing media fueled the critical race theory panic; The Guardian; June 30th, 2021; available at From viral videos to Fox News: how rightwing media fueled the critical race theory panic |U.S.education | The Guardian

[645] Aschwanden, Christie; Why Hatred and ‘Othering’ of Political Foes Has Spiked to Extreme Levels; Scientific American; Oct. 29th, 2020; available at Why Hatred and 'Othering' of Political Foes Has Spiked to Extreme Levels - Scientific American.

[646] Confessore, Nicholas; How Tucker Carlson Reshaped Fox News - and Became Trump’s Heir; New York Times; Apr. 30th, 2022; available at How Tucker Carlson Reshaped Fox News — and Became Trump’s Heir - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[647] Lenz, Lyz; The Mystery of Tucker Carlson; Columbia Journalism Review; Sept. 5th, 2018; available at The mystery of Tucker Carlson - Columbia Journalism Review (cjr.org).

See also Shepard, Alex; How Tucker Carlson Lost It; The New Republic; Sept. 16th, 2021; available at How Tucker Carlson Lost It | The New Republic.

[648] Chait, Jonathan; Tucker Carlson is a White Nationalist, and Conservatives are Okay with It; New York Magazine; May 2nd, 2022; available at The Right Is Okay With Tucker Carlson’s White Nationalism (nymag.com)

[649] Ibid.

[650] Ibid.

[651] Confessore, Nicholas, and Yourish, Karen; A Fringe Conspiracy Theory, Fostered Online, Is Refashioned by the G.O.P.; New York Times; May 15th, 2022; available at Replacement Theory, a Fringe Belief Fueled Online, Is Refashioned by G.O.P. - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

[652] Novak, Benjamin, and Grynbaum, Michael M; Conservative Fellow Travelers: Tucker Carlson Drops in on Victor Orban; New York Times; Oct. 4th, 2021; available at Conservative Fellow Travelers: Tucker Carlson Drops In On Viktor Orban - The New York Times (nytimes.com).  

[653] Thompson, Stuart A; How Russian Media uses Fox News to Make Its Case; New York Times; Apr. 15th, 2022; available at https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/15/technology/russia-media-fox-news.html.

Wade, Peter; Russian State TV Can’t Get Enough of Putin Sycophant Tucker Carlson; March 13th, 2022; available at Russian State TV Can't Get Enough of Putin Sycophant Tucker Carlson - Rolling Stone.

[654] Lewis, Bobby; OAN counterprogrammed the first January 6 hearing with a pro-insurrectionist documentary and unhinged attacks; Media Matter for America; June 10th, 2022; available at OAN counterprogrammed the first January 6 hearing with a pro-insurrectionist documentary and unhinged attacks | Media Matters for America.

[655] Ibid.

[656] Bump, Phillip; Fox News didn’t just ignore the Jan. 6 hearing. It did something worse.; Washington Post; June 10th, 2022; available at Fox News didn’t just ignore the Jan. 6 committee hearing on the Capitol attack. It did something worse. - The Washington Post.

[657] Ibid.

[658] Ibid.

[659] Ibid.

[660] Ibid.

[661] Gertz, Matt; Fox News’ ongoing complicity in the January 6th insurrection; Media Matters; June 8th, 2022; available at Fox News’ ongoing complicity in the January 6 insurrection | Media Matters for America.

[662] Staff; READ: Text messages Sean Hannity, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ivanka Trump and others Sent to Mark Meadows; CNN; Apr. 25th, 2022; available at READ: Text messages Sean Hannity, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ivanka Trump and others sent to Mark Meadows - CNNPolitics

[663] Ibid.

[664] Ibid.

[665] Relman, Eliza, and Sheth, Sonam; A timeline of Sean Hannity’s panicked texts to Trump’s inner circle reveals how ‘worried’ he was about the January 6th rally and Capitol riot; Business Insider; Jan. 5th, 2022; available at Timeline: Sean Hannity's Panicked Texts to Trump Inner Circle (businessinsider.com)

[666] Ibid.

[667] Ibid.

[668] Ibid.

See also CNN; Side-by-side look at Fox News host’s contradicting view of Jan. 6; You Tube; posted Jan. 5th, 2022; available at Side-by-side look at Fox News host's contradicting view of Jan. 6 - YouTube

[669] Alemany, Jacqueline, and Hamburger, Tom, and Dawsey, Josh, and Remmel, Tyler; Texting through an insurrection; Washington Post; Feb. 16th, 2022; available at How thousands of text messages from Mark Meadows and others reveal new details about events surrounding the Jan. 6 attack - Washington Post.

[670] Ibid.

[671] Ibid.

[672] Alemany, Jacqueline, and Hamburger, Tom, and Dawsey, Josh, and Remmel, Tyler; Texting through an insurrection; Washington Post; February 16th, 2022; available at How thousands of text messages from Mark Meadows and others reveal new details about events surrounding the Jan. 6 attack - Washington Post .

[673] Ibid.

[674] Ibid.

[675] Ibid.


[676] Staff, Impeachment of Donald Trump, 2019-2020; Ballotpedia; No Date; available at Impeachment of Donald Trump, 2019-2020 - Ballotpedia.

[677] Ibid.

[678] Ibid. 

[679] Staff; Impeachment of Donald Trump, 2021; Ballotpedia; No Date; available at Impeachment of Donald Trump, 2021 - Ballotpedia

[680] Sorkin, Amy Davidson; The GOP Looks for New Ways to Ignore the Capitol Riot; New Yorker; May 20th, 2021; available at The G.O.P. Looks for New Ways to Ignore the Capitol Riot | The New Yorker.

See also Wong, Scott, and Nicholas, Peter; Trump Fumes as Republicans ignore Jan. 6 panel; NBC News; June 23rd, 2022; available at Trump fumes as Republicans ignore Jan. 6 panel (nbcnews.com).

[681] 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.

[682] 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.

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

[684] 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.

[684] 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.

[686] 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.

[687] Coppins, McKay; The Man Who Broke Politics; The Atlantic; Nov. 2018; available at How Newt Gingrich Destroyed American Politics - The Atlantic.

See also Gupta, Kabir; The Demise of the Moderate Republican: The GOP’s Rightward Drift from Nixon to Trump; McGill Journal of Political Studies; Feb. 1st, 2019; available at The Demise of the Moderate Republican: The GOP’s Rightward Drift from Nixon to Trump - MJPS (ssmu.ca).

See also Caldwell, Leigh Ann; A Party Divided: How Donald Trump emerged from decades of GOP tension; NBC; July 7th, 2016; available at The Republican History That Led to Trump: A Party Divided - NBCNews.

[688] Ibid.

[689] Ibid.

[690] See Rosenthal, Lawrence; Trump, The Tea Party, The Republicans and The Other; Othering and Belonging; No Date; available at Trump, The Tea Party, The Republicans and the Other - Othering and Belonging;

See also Calmes, Jackie; Op-Ed: My front row seat to the radicalization of the Republican Party; LA Times; June 13th, 2021; available at Op-Ed: My front row seat to the radicalization of the Republican Party - Los Angeles Times (latimes.com).

[691] Ibid.

[692] Guild, Blair, and Rieger, JM; How the Republican Party became the party of Trump; Washington Post; June 11th, 2021; available at How Donald Trump took control of the Republican Party - The Washington Post.

[693] Linker, Damon; How Republicans became anti-democratic; The Week; July 24th, 2018; available at How Republicans became anti-democratic | The Week.

[694] Brennan Center for Justice; Background on Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission; July 18th, 2017; available at Background on Trump's 'Voter Fraud' Commission | Brennan Center for Justice.

See also Mayer, Jane; The Big Money Behind The Big Lie, The New Yorker; Aug. 2nd, 2021; available at The Big Money Behind the Big Lie | The New Yorker

[695] Chait, Jonathan; Why Republicans Have No Good Arguments Against D.C. Statehood; Intelligencer; March 22nd, 2021; available at Republicans Have No Good Arguments Against D.C. Statehood (nymag.com).

[696] Everett, Burgess, and Levine, Marianne; The Supreme Court question Republicans won’t answer; Politico; Apr. 8th, 2022; available at The Supreme Court question Republicans won't answer - POLITICO.

[697] Brownstein, Ronald; What the Rush to Confirm Amy Coney Barret Is Really About; The Atlantic; Oct. 15th, 2020; available at The Republican Rush to Confirm Amy Coney Barrett - The Atlantic.

See also Shaw, Conor; President Trump’s staggering record of uncharged criminal misconduct; CREW; March 1st, 2022; available at President Trump's staggering record of uncharged criminal misconduct - CREW | Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (citizensforethics.org) (detailing Trump’s crimes).

[698] Scherer, Michael; Supreme Court goes against public opinion in rulings on abortion, guns; Washington Post; June 24th, 2022; available at Supreme Court goes against public opinion in rulings on abortion, guns - The Washington Post.

[699] Staff; Opinion: On debt ceiling, House Republicans try government by extortion; LA Times; Sept. 27th, 2013; available at On debt ceiling, House Republicans try government by extortion - Los Angeles Times (latimes.com).

[700] Blake, Aaron; Republicans usually lose shutdown fights. So why are they going there again?; Washington Post; Sept. 22nd, 2021; available at Republicans usually lose shutdown fights. So why are they going there again? - The Washington Post

[701] White, John Kenneth; Lies, conspiracy theories and the Republican PartyThe Hill; Opinion; May 3rd, 2022; available at Lies, conspiracy theories and the Republican Party | The Hill.

See also Milligan, Susan; A Quarter of Republicans Believe the Central Views of QAnon Conspiracy Movement; US News; Feb. 24th, 2022; available at A Quarter of Republicans Believe Central Views of QAnon Conspiracy Movement (usnews.com).

[702] Axelrod, Tal; Conservative outlet complains about lack of Trump shout-out at rally; The Hill; March 29th, 2019; available at https://thehill.com/homenews/media/436553-conservative-outlet-complains-about-lack-of-trump-shout-out-at-rally.

See also Bump, Phillip; New data bolster the idea that far-right media ecosystem is a conspiracy-theory Petri dish; Washington Post; May 27th, 2021; available at New data bolsters the idea that the far-right media ecosystem is a conspiracy-theory Petri dish - The Washington Post

See also Breland, Ali; Meet the Propagandists and Conspiracy Theorists Behind the One America News Network; Mother Jones; June 9th, 2020; available at Meet the Propagandists and Conspiracy Theorists Behind the One America News Network – Mother Jones

[703] O’Harro Jr., Robert, and Tran, Andrew Ba, and Hawkins, Derek; The Rise of Domestic Extremism in America; Washington Post; Apr. 12th, 2021; available at Domestic terrorism data shows right-wing violence on the rise - Washington Post.

[704] Itkowitz, Colby; Guns are all over GOP ads and social media, prompting some criticism; Washington Post; May 31st, 2022; available at Guns are all over GOP ads and social media, prompting some criticism - The Washington Post 

See also Bort, Ryan; GOP Candidate Fantasizes About Murdering Political Opponents in New Ad; June 20th, 2022; available at  Eric Greitens Releases 'RINO-Hunting' Campaign Ad - Rolling Stone

[705] Gardner, Amy, and Arnsdorf, Isaac; More than 100 GOP primary winners back Trump’s false fraud claims; Washington Post; June 14th, 2022; available at More than 100 GOP primary winners back Trump’s false fraud claims - The Washington Post.

[706] Lowndes, Joseph; Far-right extremism dominates the GOP. It didn’t start – and won’t end – with Trump; Washington Post; Nov. 8th, 2021; available at Far-right extremism dominates the GOP. It didn’t start — and won’t end — with Trump. - The Washington Post.

[707] Drutman, Lee; Why There Are So Few Moderate Republicans Left; Five-Thirty-Eight; Aug. 24th, 2020; available at Why There Are So Few Moderate Republicans Left | FiveThirtyEight.

[708] Smith, David; Attack, attack, attack: Republicans drive to make Biden the bogeyman; Guardian; Jan. 17th, 2022; available at Attack, attack, attack: Republicans drive to make Biden the bogeyman | US news | The Guardian.

[709] Smialek, Jeanna, Inflation Has Arrived. Here’s What You Need to Know; New York Times; Jan. 10th, 2022; available at What Causes Inflation and Should I Worry About It? - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

See also McCausland, Phil; What is causing inflation? Economists point fingers at different culprits; NBC; Jan. 28th, 2022; available at What is causing inflation? Economists point fingers at different culprits (nbcnews.com)

[710] Tesler, Michael; Republican Views on Immigration are Shifting Even Further to the Right Under Biden; Five Thirty Eight; Aug. 17th, 2021; available at Republican Views On Immigration Are Shifting Even Further To The Right Under Biden | FiveThirtyEight.

See also Ulloa, Jazmine; G.O.P. Concocts Fake Threat: Voter Fraud by Undocumented Immigrants; New York Times; Apr. 28th, 2022; available at G.O.P. Concocts Threat: Voter Fraud by Undocumented Immigrants - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

See also Kertscher, Tom; US-Mexico border not ‘wide open’ most people trying to enter US are turned away; PolitiFact; July 28th, 2021; available at  PolitiFact | US-Mexico border not ‘wide open,’ most people trying to enter US are turned away.

[711] See Brown, Hayes; Republican attacks on Biden over Ukraine are hypocritical gaslighting; MSNBC; Dec. 9th, 2021; available at Republican attacks on Biden over Ukraine are hypocritical gaslighting (msnbc.com).

See also Boot, Max; Opinion: Republicans are guilty of mind-boggling hypocrisy in their attacks on Biden’s Afghanistan exit; Washington Post; Sept. 1st, 2021; available at Opinion | Hawley, Cruz are guilty of mind-boggling hypocrisy in their attacks on Biden’s Afghanistan exit - The Washington Post.

[712] Rieger, JM; Republicans have been tying Democrats to socialism for 90 years. Trump is going all in on the tradition; Washington Post; June 20th, 2019; available at Republicans have been tying Democrats to socialism for 90 years. Trump is going all in on the tradition. - The Washington Post.

See also Gordon, Michael; Opinion: Republicans have been hammering Democrats with ‘socialism’ smears for years. Now Democrats have chance to turn these ridiculous claims into an advantage; Yahoo News, first appeared in Business Insider; Aug. 1st, 2021; available at Republicans have been hammering Democrats with 'socialism' smears for years. Now Democrats have a chance to turn these ridiculous claims into an advantage. (yahoo.com).

See also Stolberg, Sheryl Gay; Republicans Hope to Sway Voters with Labels that Demonize Democrats; New York Times; Feb. 17th, 2019; available at Republicans Hope to Sway Voters With Labels That Demonize Democrats - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

See also Bardella, Kurt; Op-Ed: The GOP likes to tar Democrats as radical extremists. But look at who incited an insurrection; LA Times; Jan. 8th, 2021; available at GOP tars Democrats as radical. But who incited the D.C. mob? - Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)


Comments

  1. do you have a board or group of SDns behind this? excellent posts!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Lorna. Thanks for your interest! There is an informal group who have provided some input and helped get the word out, but it is essays I have written, and I am the sole source of funds behind the project. We have a page on Facebook page under the name South Dakotans for Political Integrity and are on Twitter @southdintegrity. The concept is to communicate respectfully through facts on a grassroots level directly to the people who have been propagandized by the Republican Political Establishment. We use social media to share the essays on the Facebook pages of Republican Congresspeople and direct email to community leaders. The volume of comments on social media we are dealing with now is overwhelming, so I am always interested in finding people who are dedicated to spreading the truth. They can reach me at sdforpoliticalintegrity@gmail.com.

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