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Trump’s insurrection

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What should count as insurrection for Article III purposes and (especially) the prudence of enforcing it are difficult questions. As Biden said yesterday, though, whether Trump is guilty of insurrection in the colloquial and political sense is not a remotely difficult question:

Then-President Donald Trump personally pressured two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers not to sign the certification of the 2020 presidential election, according to recordings reviewed by The Detroit News and revealed publicly for the first time.

On a Nov. 17, 2020, phone call, which also involved Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, Trump told Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, the two GOP Wayne County canvassers, they’d look “terrible” if they signed the documents after they first voted in opposition and then later in the same meeting voted to approve certification of the county‚Äôs election results, according to the recordings.

“We’ve got to fight for our country,” said Trump on the recordings, made by a person who was present for the call with Palmer and Hartmann. “We can’t let these people take our country away from us.”

Note the language here — the “fraud” Trump is alleging is “these people” winning elections although Republicans are entitled to rule irrespective of what a majority of voters might think. Also note Ronna McDaniel being in on the call because this is a mainstream position within the Republican Party.

McDaniel, a Michigan native and the leader of the Republican Party nationally, said at another point in the call, “If you can go home tonight, do not sign it. … We will get you attorneys.”

To which Trump added: “We’ll take care of that.”

Trump quite simply wanted the abrogation of American democracy, and his views about whether this is desirable haven’t changed. The evidence on this point is entirely unambiguous.

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