Nancy Pelosi may no longer hold the Speaker’s gavel, but she is already hammering home the point that Donald Trump is ‘inciting’ his supporters ahead of his expected arrest next week.
“Whatever the Grand Jury decides, its consideration makes clear: no one is above the law, not even a former President of the United States,” Pelosi tweeted.
“The former president’s announcement this morning is reckless: doing so to keep himself in the news & to foment unrest among his supporters,” she added. “He cannot hide from his violations of the law, disrespect for our elections and incitements to violence. Rightfully, our legal system will decide how to hold him accountable.”
He cannot hide from his violations of the law, disrespect for our elections and incitements to violence.
Rightfully, our legal system will decide how to hold him accountable.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) March 18, 2023
Pelosi is referring to a post that Donald Trump put on Truth Social calling for his supporters to “protest” ahead of an arrest warrant for him that he expects to be issued from the Soros-funded Manhattan District Attorney.
“IT’S TIME!!!” Trump exclaimed. “WE ARE A NATION IN STEEP DECLINE, BEING LED INTO WORLD WAR III BY A CROOKED POLITICIAN WHO DOESN’T EVEN KNOW HE’S ALIVE, BUT WHO IS SURROUNDED BY EVIL & SINISTER PEOPLE WHO, BASED ON THEIR ACTIONS ON DEFUNDING THE POLICE, DESTROYING OUR MILITARY, OPEN BORDERS, NO VOTER I.D., INFLATION, RAISING TAXES, & MUCH MORE, CAN ONLY HATE OUR NOW FAILING USA. WE JUST CAN’T ALLOW THIS ANYMORE. THEY’RE KILLING OUR NATION AS WE SIT BACK & WATCH. WE MUST SAVE AMERICA! PROTEST, PROTEST, PROTEST!!!”
The charges hinge on Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen sending $130,000 to pornstar Stormy Daniels to prevent her from disclosing a purported 2006 affair with Trump, who has denied the allegation. Trump allegedly reimbursed Cohen with campaign funds, allegedly claiming them as “legal expenses.”
Alvin Bragg responded on Saturday night to pushback ahead of the expected Trump arrest, as reported by Breanna Morello.
In part, Bragg told the members of his office, “Please know that your safety is our top priority. We have full confidence in our outstanding security staff and investigators, along with our great OCA and NYPD colleagues, and will continue to coordinate with all of them. We do not tolerate attempts to intimidate our office or threaten the rule of law in New York.”
Constitutional attorney Jonathan Turley is among critics of the Trump prosecution that believes the charges against him are “short on the law.”
“Although it may be politically popular, the case is legally pathetic,” Turley argued. “Bragg is struggling to twist state laws to effectively prosecute a federal case long ago rejected by the Justice Department against Trump over his payment of ‘hush money’ to former stripper Stormy Daniels. In 2018 (yes, that is how long this theory has been around), I wrote how difficult such a federal case would be under existing election laws. Now, six years later, the same theory may be shoehorned into a state claim.”
“It is extremely difficult to show that paying money to cover up an embarrassing affair was done for election purposes as opposed to an array of obvious other reasons, from protecting a celebrity’s reputation to preserving a marriage,” he continued. “That was demonstrated by the failed federal prosecution of former presidential candidate John Edwards on a much stronger charge of using campaign funds to cover up an affair.”
“In this case, Trump reportedly paid Daniels $130,000 in the fall of 2016 to cut off or at least reduce any public scandal,” he added. “The Southern District of New York’s U.S. Attorney’s office had no love lost for Trump, pursuing him and his associates in myriad investigations, but it ultimately rejected a prosecution based on the election law violations. It was not alone: The Federal Election Commission (FEC) chair also expressed doubts about the theory.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reacted to news about the imminent indictment and arrest that it was an “outrageous abuse of power” and he announced that he is launching an investigation.
Here we go again — an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues political vengeance against President Trump.
I’m directing relevant committees to immediately investigate if federal funds are being used to subvert our democracy by… https://t.co/elpbh7LeWn
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) March 18, 2023
“Here we go again — an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues political vengeance against President Trump,” McCarthy said. “I’m directing relevant committees to immediately investigate if federal funds are being used to subvert our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions.”
California Congressman Adam Schiff lashed out at McCarthy for his reaction to the radical D.A. preparing to arrest the former president.
Here we go again:
Kevin McCarthy once again playing the part of criminal defense counsel to shield Trump from accountability.
Heedless of the consequences to the country, he stirs the pot, and calls for an investigation of the investigators.
It’s all part of Trump’s playbook.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 18, 2023
“Here we go again: Kevin McCarthy once again playing the part of criminal defense counsel to shield Trump from accountability,” tweeted Schiff. “Heedless of the consequences to the country, he stirs the pot, and calls for an investigation of the investigators. It’s all part of Trump’s playbook.”
Rep. Eric Swalwell, also from California, similarly accused McCarthy of “using his powers in government to stop an independent prosecution of his boss.”
The guy who created a committee to look into “weaponization of government” is using his powers in government to stop an independent prosecution of his boss. https://t.co/h57vURgJvE
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) March 18, 2023
Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu, also from California, blasted McCarthy for calling for an investigation.
Dear @SpeakerMcCarthy: Do you even know what the charges are? Have you seen any of the grand jury evidence? No.
You are being a craven, partisan politician who doesn’t respect the rule of law. In America, no one is above the law, including the person to whom you bend your knee. https://t.co/PaAYVqPAjx
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 18, 2023
“Dear [McCarthy]: Do you even know what the charges are?,” wrote Lieu. “Have you seen any of the grand jury evidence? No. You are being a craven, partisan politician who doesn’t respect the rule of law. In America, no one is above the law, including the person to whom you bend your knee.”
Maxine Waters, Congresswoman from California, also set the framing that Donald Trump is calling for “domestic terrorists” to protest on his behalf next week.
“Most people have never seen or believed that we would have a president who has acted in the way that he has, who has disrespected the Constitution of the United States of America, who has lied, who has tried to organize domestic terrorists,” she claimed.
“And some believe that he did organize them as they attacked our Capitol on January 6,” she went on. “This president has conducted himself in a way that he does not deserve not to be arrested. He should be arrested. He should be indicted. And the charges that he’s being indicted on are minimal, as opposed to the charges that I believe he could have been indicted on. I don’t know what’s going to happen when he announces himself. It’s almost like he’s attempting to organize his domestic terrorists to show up and to resist him being arrested. You have to be careful with him.”
It is interesting that Waters is claiming that Donald Trump is organizing “domestic terrorists” to protest, when he has held over a hundred rallies with no incident of violence, the FBI has found no evidence tying Trump to a centrally organized plot to carry out a so-called “insurrection,” and the only people killed at the Capitol Riots on January 6 were Trump supporters.
New York Democrat Hakeem Jeffries also set the framing that Donald Trump is a “right-wing extremist” who is going to “fan the flames of political violence.”
We live in a democracy.
Right-wing extremists who fan the flames of political violence with inflammatory rhetoric are not fit to serve.
American values over autocracy.
— Hakeem Jeffries (@hakeemjeffries) March 18, 2023
“We live in a democracy,” Jeffries said. “Right-wing extremists who fan the flames of political violence with inflammatory rhetoric are not fit to serve. American values over autocracy.”
Yet the Democratic Party set the framing for Donald Trump allegedly “inciting” his supporters to riot nearly a year before the Capitol Riots. It was all described in a now-infamous Time article.
The “Architect” of the Democrats’ campaign to “fortify” the 2020 election was John Podhorzer, senior adviser to the president of the AFL-CIO. He led a massive Trump resistance network comprised of big tech companies, corporations, labor unions, and radical activist groups.
The “shadow cabal” meetings were driven by the premise there was a high likelihood of a contested election. Although contested elections were not rare — the Democrats themselves objected to election results in 2000, 2004, and 2016 — the speculation appeared to be highly certain that it would occur. It all began in March 2020:
On March 3, Podhorzer drafted a three-page confidential memo titled “Threats to the 2020 Election.” “Trump has made it clear that this will not be a fair election, and that he will reject anything but his own re-election as ‘fake’ and rigged,” he wrote. “On Nov. 3, should the media report otherwise, he will use the right-wing information system to establish his narrative and incite his supporters to protest.”
Let’s read that again: Trump “will use the right-wing information system to establish his narrative and incite his supporters to protest.” The three-page Podhorzer memo is still being withheld from the public as “confidential.”
How were they so sure there would be Electoral College challenges? Biden was a weak candidate with a divided base who did a no-show campaign that would result in numerous election oddities. Something was up.
The 2020 election was also secretly “war-gamed” after the March meetings. A Boston Globe report from July called, “A Bipartisan Group Secretly Gathered To Game Out A Contested Trump-Biden Election. It Wasn’t Pretty,” lays it out:
On the second Friday in June, a group of political operatives, former government and military officials, and academics quietly convened online for what became a disturbing exercise in the fragility of American democracy.
The group, which included Democrats and Republicans, gathered to game out possible results of the November election, grappling with questions that seem less far-fetched by the day: What if President Trump refuses to concede a loss, as he publicly hinted recently he might do? How far could he go to preserve his power? And what if Democrats refuse to give in?
“All of our scenarios ended in both street-level violence and political impasse,” said Rosa Brooks, a Georgetown law professor and former Defense Department official who co-organized the group known as the Transition Integrity Project. She described what they found in bleak terms: “The law is essentially … it’s almost helpless against a president who’s willing to ignore it.”
A declassified report shows that the FBI was tracking extremists as early as November who may fit the profile of future Capitol rioters. It reportedly tapped into a National Security Agency database that trawls and records Americans’ communications in order to perform unconstitutional mass surveillance.
“The FBI’s requests for access to masses of electronic communications harvested by the National Security Agency (NSA) is revealed in a newly declassified report from the United States’ secret surveillance court,” the Daily Mail reported.
“It shows the FBI has continued to perform warrantless searches through the NSA’s most sensitive databases for routine criminal investigations, despite being told by a federal judge in 2018 and 2019 that such a use was an unconstitutional breach of privacy,” the report continued.
Now, we know that the Capitol Police was well aware that millions of protesters could show up on the capitol at Trump’s rally for the convening of the Electoral College to certify Joe Biden’s election.
The United States Capitol Police had information at least two days before the events of Jan. 6, 2021 that attendance at President Donald Trump’s rally could swell to 3 million people. A federal trial exhibit and court testimony showed an email from USCP Capt. Jessica Baboulis, who said at 1:13 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2021 that organizers of the Trump rally expected 3 million people to show up.
“Activity on the 6th. Women for America. March for Trump (POTUS attend at 11) 20k (organizer says 3 million to attend),” the email read.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi failed in her duty to protect the Capitol from a riot that had been predicted as early as March of the previous year. Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund asked for increased National Guard presence from the House and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms at least six times beginning on January 4, according to his testimony, but no action was taken.
The House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving averred that no request was made until the day of January 6; however, his timeline is that he asked for permission for the National Guard twenty minutes before he got the request, raising questions about him potentially “covering” for Pelosi.
Former President Donald Trump asked for 10,000 more National Guard troops, but his informal request was ignored by the Department of Defense. Major General William J. Walker, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, complained in Congressional witness testimony that he received an “unusual” order “to seek authorization from the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of Defense” to protect his Guardsman. “No civil disturbance equipment could be authorized, unless it came from the Secretary of Defense,” he added.
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser also insisted on in a January 5 letter to the Secretary of the Army that there be a light National Guard and police presence at the Capitol. The Pentagon also placed limits on the National Guard’s ability to mobilize and prepare for the riots, the Washington Post reported.
“[Acting Defense Secretary Christopher] Miller and other senior Pentagon officials never relayed the 10,000 figure to anyone outside the Defense Department, according to a former U.S. official who was familiar with the matter,” the WaPo report admitted.
“They didn’t act on it because based on discussions with federal and local law enforcement leadership, they didn’t think a force of that size would be necessary,” the former official said.
The Inspector General of the Capitol Police in April 2021 laid bare all of the disturbing issues involved with the way the January 6th Electoral College security was mishandled.
“A new report by the Capitol Police’s internal watchdog found that department leaders overlooked key intelligence in the run-up to the riot on Jan. 6, including a warning that ‘Congress itself is the target,’ and barred the force’s riot response unit from using its most powerful crowd-control measures,” the New York Times reported.
National Guard presence was deliberately kept low over purported “optics” concerns. It was hampered in its ability to prevent an attack on the Capitol. The Capitol Police opened doors. We know at least 20 FBI/ATF agents were in the crowd on January 6 from court documents.
Thus, the House and Senate Sergeant at Arms, the D.C. Mayor, and the Department of Defense put a number of unusual roadblocks in the way of providing security at the Capitol on January 6. The systematic refusal to increase security, despite knowing that extremist groups would be descending on the capitol, raises serious questions about whether the security denials were mere negligence or a deliberate trap.
Thus, MAGA supporters tempted to lash out at an expected Trump arrest should be very wary of protesting, especially in a major city. They very well might be walking into another “insurrection” trap.
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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.