Jonathan Kraut | How Do I Subvert Thee, Let Me Count the Ways

Jonathan Kraut

Some of you may still be uncertain if there was a concerted effort by Donald Trump and his allies to ignore the last election results in order to stay in power.  

Although the certified tally from the Electoral College confirms Trump lost the election by a wide margin, it is evident that Trump, Republican members of Congress, Republican state legislators and others nevertheless implemented a carefully orchestrated and complex scheme designed to bypass election results. 

In case you are still in a Fox bubble, allow me to recap according to actual facts. 

In preparation for a 2016 presidential loss, Trump ally Roger Stone helped create “Stop the Steal” to protest the 2016 election on the basis of anticipated fraud. But Trump won in 2016. So, the movement was shelved until 2020. “Stop the Steal” demonstrates the intent to cause turmoil in order to challenge valid votes. 

On Aug. 16, 2020, Trump said, “The only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged,” setting up the false choice that either Trump wins or there is fraud if he loses.  

On Sept. 24, 2020, when asked if the election was to be fair, Trump replied, “I don’t know that it can be with this whole situation — unsolicited ballots. They’re unsolicited; millions being sent to everybody.” Trump claimed those absentee ballots, sent to voters due to the pandemic and used predominantly by Democratic voters, should not count. 

There were six swing states Trump needed to win to retain power: Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and Nevada. Prior to the 2020 vote, lawyers were already retained to file electoral challenges in each of these swing states, presuming any loss was only due to fraud, regardless of whether fraud occurred. 

In fact, false claims of fraud were claimed 62 times, to include claims in each of these six key swing states.   

It was no coincidence that numerous Republican legislatures in those swing states attempted to the supplant the official vote count in attempts to override the actual vote on the basis of fraud, although fraud did not occur.  

Rolling Stone reported, “Jan. 6 Protest Organizers Say They Participated in ‘Dozens’ of Planning Meetings With Members of Congress and White House Staff.” These meetings, including with the right-wing extremist Proud Boys, reportedly were to implement ways to prevent Congress from receiving the formal Electoral College count.  

Rolling Stone also interviewed two planning meeting attendees who independently named members of Congress with whom they coordinated the Jan. 6 event. These included “Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).” 

We also know Trump wanted to dissuade Congress from declaring Biden as the victor on Jan. 6 from his Jan. 5 quote as reportedly asking his staff, “What are your ideas for getting the RINOS to do the right thing tomorrow? How do we convince Congress?”  

Trump publicly asked Vice President Mike Pence to not accept the Electoral College count. Trump’s tweets include admonishing Pence for “not doing the right thing.” CNN reported, “When Pence refused to intervene, Trump turned on his vice president, attacking him on Twitter even as the insurrection at the Capitol was unfolding on Jan. 6.”  

There are recordings of Trump, to include with the Georgia secretary of state, “to find me the votes” that Trump needed to win. This interference, also perpetrated by Rudy Giuliani and Sen. Lindsey Graham, was a broadly coordinated pressure campaign to change vote counts.  

Some 147 Republican members of Congress, in a pre-scripted effort, challenged the certification process of Electoral College allocation to dissuade Pence from accepting the official election outcome. 

Former Trump campaign advisor and attorney Boris Epshteyn admits he coordinated in five of those key swing states the creation of documents claiming “duly elected and qualified electors” had been allocated to Trump and not Biden. This fraudulent activity has been referred to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation. 

On Dec. 16, 2020, a prepared but unpublished White House memo entertained how to use martial law and confiscating voting machines in order to suspend a transition of power.   

This multilayered plot, executed with thousands of participants, over many months, was thoughtful, multi-facetted, and well-coordinated.   

American democracy is founded on the principle that voters elect its leaders.   

Trump must have asked himself, “How do I subvert thee? Let me count the ways.” 

I just listed 13.  

Investigations must continue and criminal prosecutions are imminent. The rule of law demands this. Democracy demands this.  

Jonathan Kraut directs a private investigations agency, is the CEO of a private security firm, is the COO of an accredited acting conservatory, a published author, and Democratic Party activist. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal or of other organizations.

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