If there’s one thing every President should have learned from Nixon, it’s never fuck with Bob Woodward. Donald Trump — who spent years trashing Bob Woodward publicly despite always giving him the interviews he wanted — has learned this lesson the hard way time and time again. In 2020, Woodward was the reason we learned that Donald Trump intentionally downplayed COVID-19 because he “didn’t want to cause a panic.” Through the small amount of his new book Peril—which is not even out yet, but is out for pre-order — we learn that the Donald Trump White House had a deep entrenched culture that encouraged deeply illegal actions if it helped President Trump.
You likely remember the “Pence Card” theory, or the idea that Vice President Mike Pence could — somehow — overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential Election through throwing out the Electoral Votes for Joe Biden, which would keep Trump in office. Donald Trump constantly argued that Mike Pence had that power — he did not. Congressman Louie Gohmert even sued to give Mike Pence to power to overturn the Presidential Election (which should have made it rather obvious Pence did not have that power — why would Gohmert sue to give Mike Pence a power he already had?) — he still did not.
Well, we have found out through reporting in Peril that Mike Pence seriously considered it. Here is that story being told in The Washington Post — the newspaper Woodward works for — on 9/14/2021:
So intent was Pence on being Trump’s loyal second-in-command — and potential successor — that he asked confidants if there were ways he could accede to Trump’s demands and avoid certifying the results of the election on Jan. 6. In late December, the authors reveal, Pence called Dan Quayle, a former vice president and fellow Indiana Republican, for advice.
While Pence was eventually pressured by Dan Quayle — of all people — to certify the election results, it’s reported that this did not sit well with the sitting President:
When Pence said he planned to certify the results, the president lashed out. In the Oval Office on Jan. 5, the authors write, Pence told Trump he could not thwart the process, that his role was simply to “open the envelopes.”
Donald Trump wanted his Vice President to violate the law in order to overturn a democratic election — that is an objective fact. We now have concrete evidence from the most respected journalist alive toady that this is the case.
Part of me just wants to end this with my email and a list of coup denialists who owe me — and everyone else who made the objectively correct claim — an apology. Try as I might, I could not find a statement from the coup-denying duo of Glenn Greenwald and Micheal Tracey on this recent revelation — although Michael Tracey has been busy recently giving speeches to colleges that don’t want to talk to him.
At this point, coup denialists are nothing more than what the late James Randi called “unsinkable ducks.” These people not only want it to be true, but they need it to be true. They need the idea that Donald Trump did not try and cause a coup to be true — and reality keeps showing that, no, Donald Trump really did want a coup to take place.
Again, what we saw on 1/6/2021 was the obvious end result of Donald Trump’s talk — because it was supposed to be. Overthrowing the government was always the end goal, and Donald Trump did everything he could to make it happen.
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