Donald Trump Jr. Just Spitballing Coup Plots Over Text With Mark Meadows

Donald Trump Jr. Just Spitballing Coup Plots Over Text With Mark Meadows

The New York Times ran a story about the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails on page one, above the fold. Six years later, its story about Donald Trump Jr.’s coup-plotting texts runs on page A15, and it’s not like an alien invasion was on the front page instead.

The Maggie Haberman special boasts the headline "Text From Donald Trump Jr. Set Out Strategies to Fight Election Outcome.” It misses the words “steal” and “sedition.” Trump Jr. wasn’t discussing how to fight the good fight. He wanted to keep his father in office against the will of the people.

Here’s the subhed:

In a message two days after Election Day 2020, the president’s son conveyed a range of ideas for keeping his father in office.

Trump Jr.’s “ideas” range from anti-democratic to possibly criminal. There were no legal means for Donald Trump to remain president. An election was held, and he lost. End of story, unless you consider democracy more of a suggestion than a principle.

On November 5, two days after Election Day, Biden had pulled ahead in the vote count in Pennsylvania and Georgia. He’d already taken Arizona, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Normal presidential candidates would’ve conceded at this point. However, Trump Jr. texted White House Chief Of Staff Mark Meadows and proposed declaring bankruptcy his father the winner of the election he’d clearly lost.

“It’s very simple,” Donald Trump Jr. wrote to Mr. Meadows on Nov. 5, 2020. He wrote at another point, “We have multiple paths. We control them all.”

These multiple paths were all Putin-esque. According to former White House comms director Alyssa Farah Griffin, Trump and his cronies planned to use “every lever of the federal government and legislatures that were friendly to them to try to cling to power."

Seriously, the Times ran this on A15.

Trump Jr. went on to suggest every dirty trick Donald Trump and his stooges eventually used in their desperate effort to overturn the results of a free and fair election. This included the bogus legal challenges and the fake electors for swing states. Haberman describes them as “alternate slates of electors,” a rather benign term for blatant fraud. CNN is more straightforward:

Trump Jr. makes specific reference to filing lawsuits and advocating recounts to prevent certain swing states from certifying their results, as well as having a handful of Republican state houses put forward slates of fake "Trump electors."

There’s no indication Trump Jr. legitimately believed the election was stolen or that any actual fraud took place. The baseless lawsuits and multiple recounts were stalling tactics intended to exploit what Trump Jr. considered weaknesses in the post-election period prior to the inauguration. This was a hostile takeover, and Trump Jr. spent the next couple months undermining faith in the presidential election. These corrupt actions directly led to the January 6 insurrection.

Trump Jr. wanted to leverage GOP legislative control in key states to reinstall Trump as president. If that failed, plan B was Republican “lawmakers” in Congress voting to block Biden’s legal victory on January 6.

His text stated ominously: "We have operational control. Total leverage. Moral High Ground. POTUS must start 2nd term now.”

From the Times:

In a statement, the younger Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Alan Futerfas, confirmed that the text message was sent but suggested it was someone else’s idea that Donald Trump Jr. was passing along.

“After the election, Don received numerous messages from supporters and others,” Mr. Futerfas said. “Given the date, this message likely originated from someone else and was forwarded.”

What a defense! “My client is too stupid to come up with an original criminal conspiracy.” Trump Jr. is like every white dude corporate executive who passes off people’s ideas as his own. He probably assumed sending the text to Meadows was the hard part, and in fairness, that does seem like Trump Jr. operating at his peak efficiency.

Haberman writes, “Donald Trump Jr. and his brother Eric called on Republicans to keep fighting on their father’s behalf in the immediate aftermath of Election Day, as votes were still being counted in a string of close races in battleground states like Pennsylvania and Arizona.” God, is this lady a journalist or the Trumps’ PR flak? She promotes the fiction that the 2020 election was actually close, and even Mitch McConnell agrees that’s not true.

The time for fighting was over. The bell had rung. The parties should’ve returned to their corners and waited for the vote count, but Trump and his ghoulish family’s aim was to ignore the legitimate results and rig the election in their favor.

The same day Trump Jr. texted Meadows, he’d whined on Twitter, “The total lack of action from virtually all of the '2024 GOP hopefuls' is pretty amazing. They have a perfect platform to show that they’re willing & able to fight but they will cower to the media mob instead. Don’t worry @realDonaldTrump will fight & they can watch as usual."

It’s rare for a political party to win the White House for three straight terms, so it wasn’t actually in the 2024 hopefuls' best interests to go out of their way to help the Trump crime family’s daylight election heist.

Trump Jr. told Meadows, "We either have a vote WE control and WE win OR it gets kicked to Congress 6 January 2021."

Voters choose the president, but the Trump campaign had no interest in that quaint notion. These people should never again come within the same zip code as the White House, and if we can’t prevent that from happening, despite all this evidence, America is truly dead.

[New York Times / CNN]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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