Did Donald Trump and some of the people around him conspire to have others murder the Vice President and Speaker of the House in order to hold power and conceal his crimes for another four years?
Time and evidence will eventually prove or disapprove that question, but the evidence before us right now is pretty grim.
About a week after Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, he fired his Secretary of Defense and replaced him with a reliable toady, Christopher Miller. He also replaced several other senior civilian officials at the Pentagon around the same time, including one who was a "protégé" of Mike Flynn.
We learned from yesterday's testimony by Major General William Walker, the Commander of the Washington DC National Guard, that not only had he been prepared and ready to protect the Capitol on January 6, but that he was specifically ordered not to by that same recently-installed Acting Defense Secretary Miller.
The Capitol was under siege the afternoon of January 6th, and there was a very real possibility that Trump's militia followers would succeed in assassinating Vice President Pence and Speaker Pelosi and hijacking the ballots for the Electoral College. They'd even erected a gallows outside the Capitol.
And in the process, five people died, including a police officer. Typically, when people die in the commission of a crime, everybody participating in the crime is also charged with murder. Even getaway drivers who were otherwise uninvolved in a crime are typically charged with felony murder when somebody dies during the commission of that crime.
As this massive and deadly crime was being committed, General Walker and others repeatedly reached up through the chain of command to the Secretary of the Army and to Secretary of Defense Miller to beg for the DC National Guard to come protect the Capitol.
While Donald Trump gleefully watched the chaos from the White House on television, Kevin McCarthy, who just a month earlier was Speaker of the House and on January 6th led the House's Republicans, called Trump personally to beg him to stop the assault.
"Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are," Trump told him with a sneer as people were smashing in the windows to McCarthy's office to get at him.
Did Trump or his son organize or plan this? Did they intend for people to die? That possibility is so horrible, so unthinkable, that few in the media will go there.
But America must ask the question that the rest of the world is already saying out loud: Did the President of the United States, or people close to him operating under what they believed to be his orders, put together a plan to seize the ballots and murder the two most senior American officials in the Capitol, the Vice President and the Speaker of the House, so that the 12th Amendment could be invoked and Congress would decide who would be president?
Under that 12th Amendment scenario, each state gets one vote and that vote is determined by each states' legislature. More state legislatures are controlled by Republicans than Democrats, so if the vote went to the House, like it did in 1876, the result would be a Trump presidency for another four years. And Trump not only knew that but had spoken of it at rallies on more than one occasion.
There are multiple, troubling data points here.
- Just a week after Trump lost the November election, he replaced his Secretary of Defense with Christopher Miller (as well as others in the senior civilian ranks of the Pentagon).
- On January 4th or 5th, Acting Secretary of Defense Miller issued what was essentially a "stand down" order to the DC National Guard, something the Guard's commander testified before Congress yesterday was unprecedented. (Miller's letter is attached at the bottom of this article.)
- The evening meeting January 5 at the Trump Hotel that included Trump Junior and "stop the steal" leader Guilfoyle along with, allegedly, Senator Tommy Tuberville and others working to overturn the 2020 election result.
- Disgraced, confessed criminal Lt. General Michael Flynn openly advocated a military coup to keep Trump in power; his brother was on the call mid-afternoon January 6 and is allegedly the person who argued that sending in the National Guard to save the lives of the assembled legislators and their staffs would be "bad optics." That assertion apparently gave a few more hours to Trump's murderous followers at the Capitol.
- Trump's prediction, just three weeks before the election, that the House of Representatives, not the Electoral College, would decide who was going to be president after the election. "I guess, at a certain point it goes to Congress," he said on September 16th. "At a certain point it goes to Congress — you know that."
- While the nation watched in horror as the Capitol was under assault, Donald Trump locked Mike Pence's Chief of Staff out of the White House.
- It wasn't until it was quite clear to the public and to Donald Trump watching on television that Speaker Pelosi and Vice President Pence were safe and the ballots were sequestered that finally, at 5:20 pm, Secretary Miller allowed the National Guard to arrive and clean up the mess, although even then people were clearing out and there were no arrests of any consequence.
This is no small matter.
Richard Nixon once said, "People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook."
To update the sentiment, the American people "have got to know" if our last president conspired to commit treason and murder as part of a coup plot to end American democracy.
Originally posted on thomhartmann.medium.com.