(Trump) Admits the U.S. Constitution Is Against Him.
Published December 3, 2022
Donald Trump hit a kind of anti-democracy benchmark on Saturday: In a post on his Truth Social platform, the former president literally called for the suspension of the U.S. Constitution in order to reverse his 2020 election loss.
Amid yet another rant about his two-year-old election defeat, Trump claimed that ‚Äúa massive fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.‚ÄĚ He then suggested that the ‚ÄúFounders‚ÄĚ (which he also put in quotation marks) would agree with him.
It‚Äôs not clear what, precisely, Trump believes ‚Äúallows‚ÄĚ for the termination of parts of the Constitution or how that would or could happen. There is, at this point, ample evidence that Trump has never had much grasp of what the U.S. Constitution is or means, let alone how much time, effort, and bipartisan consensus is required to modify it (legally). But Trump‚Äôs latest comment indicates he may have finally figured out that the Constitution stands in the way of his efforts to do something unconstitutional, like overturn the result of a presidential election.
‚ÄúUNPRECEDENTED FRAUD REQUIRES UNPRECEDENTED CURE!‚ÄĚ Trump added in another Truth Social post later Saturday.
The past month has been pretty rough for former president. Most of the hacky election-denying candidates he backed in the 2022 midterms were defeated at the polls. That prompted the closest we‚Äôve seen to a post-presidency revolt against Trump from both GOP insiders and right-wing media, while there was widespread praise for Trump-in-waiting Ron DeSantis. Then, barely a week after Trump announced his 2024 candidacy, the former president earned big headlines by having dinner at Mar-a-Lago with both a prominent white supremacist and someone who is now arguably America‚Äôs most well-known antisemite and Hitler fan.
Then on Thursday, a panel of 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (including two Trump appointed) legally eviscerated both Trump‚Äôs lawsuit against the Justice Department‚Äôs Mar-a-Lago raid as well as a lower Trump-appointed federal judge for intervening in the case. And on top of all that, a far richer and more successful businessman, Elon Musk, has quickly become the right‚Äôs new favorite loudmouth ‚ÄĒ and he‚Äôs publicly teasing the former president with memes.
Perhaps Trump has finally reached a breaking point after two years of fruitless bellyaching and now he‚Äôs finally willing to self-identify as a loud-and-proud would-be dictator. Maybe he‚Äôll become the first presidential candidate to rain Constitution confetti down onto supporters at the end of campaign rallies. Or maybe Trump‚Äôs just running his mouth on a weekend when a lot of his base is gawking at somebody else‚Äôs overhyped claims about Hunter Biden‚Äôs laptop. Whatever Trump is thinking or planning, attacking America‚Äôs most important living document might not resonate the way he expects.
Trump‚Äôs demand to jail Supreme Court leak reporter condemned as
‚Äėappalling‚Äô by press freedom advocate.
Published January 20, 2023
Donald Trump‚Äôs demand to jail a reporter who broke the story of a leaked Supreme Court draft has been denounced as ‚Äúappalling‚ÄĚ by a leading press freedom activist.
The top court has said that an eight-month investigation to try and identify who had leaked the draft of decision to overturn Roe v Wade had been unable to uncover the source of the leak.
The leaked draft, and its shuddering implications for the country, were published in May by Politico.
Shortly after its publication, Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the draft and announced an investigation to try and uncover the leaker.
Last year, ahead of the midterm elections, Mr Trump told a rally the only way to find the leaker would be to send them to jail, where they could be the victim of sexual assault.
On Thursday, Mr Trump doubled down on his suggestion, and claimed the reporters had to be jailed until they revealed the source, whom he termed a ‚Äúslime‚ÄĚ.
‚ÄúThey‚Äôll never find out, & it‚Äôs important that they do. So, go to the reporter & ask him/her who it was. If not given the answer, put whoever in jail until the answer is given. You might add the publisher and editor to the list,‚ÄĚ he wrote on Truth Social.
He later added: ‚ÄúIt won‚Äôt take long before the name of this slime is revealed.‚ÄĚ
The former president‚Äôs comments were condemned by many, including defenders of press freedom.
‚ÄúTrump‚Äôs statement isn‚Äôt exactly surprising, given he‚Äôs been saying similar things on the campaign trail, but it is appalling,‚ÄĚ Trevor Timm, Executive Director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, told The Independent.
(Trump) raised the idea of imposing (martial law) to (overturn)
the election in a White House meeting, according to reports.
Published December 20, 2020
President Donald Trump, in a White House meeting, raised the possibility of imposing martial law in a bid to overturn the result of the presidential election, according to reports Saturday.
In a raucous meeting Friday with top aides about his ongoing attempts to overturn the election, Trump was joined by General Michael Flynn, his former national security advisor, reported The New York Times.
A few days earlier on the conservative Newsmax network, Flynn had called for the president to impose martial law, and "rerun an election" in swing states that he lost to President-elect Joe Biden in November.
In the meeting, according to the Times, Trump asked about the idea.
According to the report, it wasn't the only last-ditch plan to subvert the election discussed in the meeting, with Trump also proposing appointing conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell as a special counsel to probe election fraud claims. Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney, touted the idea of ordering the Department of Homeland Security to seize voting machines.
Axios confirmed key details of the meeting, reporting that Trump had expressed interest in Flynn's plan, and that White House officials are concerned Trump is "spending too much time with people they consider crackpots or conspiracy theorists and flirting with blatant abuses of power."
Shouting matches broke out in the meeting as other officials pushed back against Flynn's and Powell's proposals, reported CNN, whose source said it was unclear if Trump had endorsed the notion. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and counsel Pat Cipollone were among the officials who pushed back against the ideas, according to the report.
In a tweet Saturday, Trump responded to the reports, dismissing them as "fake news."
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reports.
The president has broad powers to suspend normal legal constraints on his authority in response to a "national emergency," such as a natural disaster or terror attack, including deploying troops within the US to subdue unrest and assist law enforcement officers.
However, Joseph Nunn, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, in October, wrote that the legal precedents for a president imposing martial law are vague, with no clear Constitutional principles or Supreme Court rulings governing its use. He wrote that under current law, "the president lacks any authority to declare martial law."
In an interview on CNN Saturday night, John Bolton, Trump's former national security advisor, described Flynn's plan to impose martial law as "appalling."
"Look, this is appalling," he continued. 'There's no other way to describe it. It's unbelievable, almost certainly completely without precedent."
Trump has previously been accused of seeking to violate norms against deploying the military against US citizens. The president planned to invoke the Insurrection Act to deploy troops to quell anti-racism protests over the summer.
On Twitter, former White House ethics counsel Richard Painter responded to Trump discussing invoking martial law with a one-word message: "Treason."
On Friday, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville, in a joint statement reported by Task and Purpose, responded to Flynn's call for martial law to be imposed, reiterating the US military's policy of having no involvement in domestic elections.
They said that that there "is no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of an American election."