Where did they find these people? Roger Stone. Paul Manafort. Sidney Powell. John Eastman.
How is it that any of these people could ever be at the elbow of the most powerful man on the planet?
We know where they found Rudy Giuliani: begging for pizza crust and publicity on the sidewalks of New York.
And someone made a deep dive into the sewer where Steve Bannon dwells.
How did any in this police lineup gain entrance to the White House?
They were there at the behest of the former president who, if “justice” is more than a seven-letter world, will wear numbers on his chest for his next portrait.
So much to digest from Republicans inside the administration who appeared live and videotaped in the public hearings of the Jan. 6 Committee:
Team Crazy knew Donald Trump lost bigly, knew the courts wouldn’t help him, ran into “deep state” resistance on seizing voting machines and appointing a special counsel (Powell) to declare the election stolen.
What was the final option for a pack of political thieves?
Chaos. That’s what.
This is what Bannon was referring to in a podcast a few days before the 2020 election.
“What Trump’s gonna do is just declare victory, right? He’s gonna declare victory. But that doesn’t mean he’s a winner. He’s just gonna say he’s a winner.”
This, he said, would create a “firestorm.”
Bannon knew of what he was speaking. Chaos is what the man is all about, and why Trump so values his opinion.
Chaos – to disrupt the electoral count and cause discord in the streets with the hope of sending all of it back to pliant Republican-controlled legislatures.
“This is about Trump pushing for uncertainty in our country.” That’s not some liberal MSNBC talker venting. It’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale in a text exchange expressing deep regret for having served “a sitting president asking for civil war.”
Mike Pence’s former chief counsel Greg Jacob testified to the committee that the whole idea – fake electors and all — was to create a violence-inducing “constitutional jump ball” to create rage and confusion, with a void to be filled by the loser who wouldn’t leave.
This is a criminal conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, plain and simple. People died, and democracy was gravely wounded.
Speaking of fraud, that’s what the Department of Justice said Bannon did, claiming in 2020 that he siphoned from a fund ostensibly to raise private dollars to build a border wall. He got a Trump pardon, and returned to being one of America’s loudest voices for political chaos.
If one wants a “smoking gun” on Donald Trump’s intentions for Jan. 6, it comes from the caldron of chaos that is Bannon’s own mouth.
After two phone calls Jan. 5 with the president, Bannon broadcast, “All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. It’s all converging and now we’re on the point of attack.”
Attack? The attack on democracy.
Again, where did they find these goons? Before he became editor of Breitbart, the online MAGA mouthpiece, Bannon was involved in a deep-data exploitation operation called Cambridge Analytica.
The now-defunct company, a client of the Trump campaign (after having helped Ted Cruz in his losing bid for the GOP nomination) dug into online activities of millions of average Americans on Facebook and then used targeted fake social media posts, pure disinformation, to influence them in advance of the 2016 election.
Read about it in the book “Mindf*ck” by former Cambridge Analytica insider Christopher Wylie.
In particular, posts were meant to discourage Black Americans from voting at all. It was cunningly evil. No bloc was more crucial to Donald Trump’s victory than those who didn’t vote.
So, how in the world did Trump and Bannon end up in a position to blow up the democracy that’s the envy of the world? Apathy and disinformation, that’s how.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: email@example.com.