““This is a very weighty decision. All of us have prayed for God’s discernment. I know I’ve prayed for each of you individually,” Johnson said at the meeting, according to a record of his comments obtained by POLITICO, before urging his fellow Republicans to join him in opposing the results.
A review of the chaotic weeks between Trump’s defeat at the polls on Nov. 3, 2020, and the Jan. 6 Capitol attack shows that Johnson led the way in shaping legal arguments that became gospel among GOP lawmakers who sought to derail Biden’s path to the White House — even after all but the most extreme options had elapsed.
As Trump’s legal challenges faltered, Johnson consistently spread a singular message: It’s not over yet. And when Texas filed a last-ditch lawsuit against four states on Dec. 8, 2020, seeking to invalidate their presidential election results and throw out millions of ballots, Johnson quickly revealed he would be helming an effort to support it with a brief signed by members of Congress.
Throughout that period, Johnson was routinely in touch with Trump, even more so than many of his more recognizable colleagues.
Some of Johnson’s vocal opponents at the Jan. 5, 2021, closed-door meeting were Reps. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Don Bacon (R-Neb.), who warned Johnson’s plan would lead to a constitutional and political catastrophe.
“Let us not turn the last firewall for liberty we have remaining on its head in a bit of populist rage for political expediency,” Roy said at the time, according to the record.
Nearly three years later, on Wednesday afternoon, Roy and Bacon cast two of the unanimous House GOP votes to make Johnson the next speaker.”
“Johnson then ran through a litany of allegations of election law changes in key states that he said were unconstitutional — and then he lent credence to a discredited claim of election fraud: “The allegation about these voting machines, some of them being rigged with the software by Dominion — look, there’s a lot of merit to that.”
In the same interview, Johnson — who as speaker will be privy to the nation’s most sensitive intelligence secrets — returned to the Dominion matter. He embraced the false description of Dominion machines as “a software system that is used all around the country that is suspect because it came from Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela.”
When the hosts pressed Johnson on Trump’s losses in court, the Louisianan noted that there were still a dozen suits pending but it was an “uphill climb.” Later that day, House Republicans elected Johnson as the vice chair of the GOP conference.
When Johnson joined the effort to support Texas’ fight at the Supreme Court, he said Trump had been in touch with him yet again.
“President Trump called me this morning to let me know how much he appreciates the amicus brief we are filing on behalf of Members of Congress,” Johnson tweeted the next day.”
“Democrats did well.
Gov. Andy Beshear (D) won reelection in deep-red Kentucky. Democrats seemed set to hold onto the Virginia state Senate and take over the Virginia state House, blocking Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s hopes of passing conservative policies (and perhaps his ambitions in national politics). Meanwhile, Ohio voters enshrined the protection of abortion rights in the state constitution and legalized recreational cannabis.
Strangely, all this happened while President Joe Biden has been getting some of his worst polling numbers yet. As in the 2022 midterms, though, national dissatisfaction with Biden did not lead to a red wave sweeping out Democrats across the country or to wins for conservative policy proposals in ballot initiatives.”
“the TV ratings Nielsen reports have no correlation to the viewership numbers Twitter is reporting. For starters, as always, Nielsen is reporting the average viewership the debates generated, not the total number of views, which is what online outlets generally report. That’s not a new discrepancy, and at this point everyone in tech and media should know better but either doesn’t or pretends not to.
More important, under Musk, Twitter has moved to an even more fanciful description of “viewership,” where it’s not even pretending to count people who watch the video. Instead, it’s simply measuring the number of times someone has seen the tweet with the video scroll through their feed, as the Washington Post’s Will Oremus reports.”
“Districts in which one or more minority racial or ethnic groups constitute a majority of the population now make up nearly one-third of all House seats. Correspondingly, the number of representatives who identify as Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native Hawaiian, American Indian and/or Alaska Native has also increased. Around 7 in 10 of these members hail from majority-minority seats, indicative of these seats’ importance in ensuring representation for minority groups. At the same time, people of color are winning more majority-white seats than in the past. Success in those sorts of districts has increased as our politics have grown more partisan, as voters are increasingly likely to back their party regardless of the candidate their party nominates.”
“after the 2020 round of redistricting, majority-Black constituencies were roughly halved while seats that were 40 to 50 percent Black nearly tripled. Slow population growth in Northern states led to lost seats in reapportionment, which notably increased each state’s population per district and complicated drawing seats with Black majorities. For instance, New York’s three majority-Black districts in New York City became plurality-Black seats as the state lost a seat and the average number of people per district grew by about 60,000. Lines drawn by partisan mapmakers or independent redistricting commissions also affected the number of majority-Black seats. Florida, for example, drew two fewer majority-Black seats after the 2020 census (although those seats remained solidly majority-minority overall) and controversially unwound one plurality-Black seat; the latter move faces continued litigation.
Black representation, like that of other groups, also intersects with our sharply polarized politics. Because voters of color tend to lean Democratic — Black voters overwhelmingly so — concentrating voters of color in one district can make surrounding seats more Republican. As a result, recent redistricting conflicts have largely centered on GOP attempts to pack more Black voters in majority-Black districts to make nearby seats redder and Democrats’ efforts to unpack heavily Black districts to add Democratic-leaning voters to surrounding districts. Lublin’s research shows that Black candidates (again usually Democrats) can regularly win seats that are 40 to 50 percent Black, depending in part on the share of white voters in the seat and how Republican-leaning they are.”
“this case “will legally define what a politician is able to do to reverse a defeat.” The outcome of this case could have major implications for the 2024 election and every race that follows: If Trump isn’t held accountable for the actions he took on January 6 and leading up to it, he and others could try to pull the same schemes in the future.
Ultimately, this case has a significant bearing on the future of US democracy.
Number of charges: Four felony counts. They include:
Charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States, which includes plotting to overturn the results of the 2020 election
Conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, including plotting to prevent the 2020 election certification
Obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, which includes actually blocking the certification of the 2020 election results
Conspiracy against rights, which includes a plan to deprive someone of a constitutional right (in this case, that is the ability to vote)”
” Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis accused Trump and several of his associates of a sprawling racketeering conspiracy related to their efforts to overturn Biden’s win in the state. In contrast to the federal election indictment, where Trump is the only one charged so far, here 18 others were also charged for participating in this alleged conspiracy. These include famous names like Rudy Giuliani and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, notorious Trump lawyers like John Eastman and Sidney Powell, and lower-level Georgia players.”
“This case centers on a president’s ability to endanger the country’s national security by taking and mishandling classified documents after leaving office. Documents that Trump kept addressed everything from US nuclear programs to the country’s defense and weapons capabilities to how America could respond in the face of a possible attack. Additionally, the case looks at how Trump obstructed FBI efforts to take back the documents.”
“Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel this week announced criminal charges against 16 Republicans who presented themselves as the state’s electors after the 2020 presidential election. Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Norman Eisen and New York University law professor Ryan Goodman responded with a New York Times essay headlined “Trump’s Conspirators Are Facing the Music, Finally.” As Eisen and Goodman see it, the Michigan defendants participated in a criminal conspiracy to overturn Joe Biden’s victory by posing as the state’s true electors.
The defendants, of course, do not accept that narrative. As they see it, their conduct was a legitimate way of preserving objections to a contested election, grounded in historical precedent and the advice they received from Donald Trump’s lawyers. The “contingent” Trump electors in Georgia, who have been informed that they are targets of a similar investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, make the same basic argument. Press coverage of these investigations, which routinely describes the targets as “fake” or “bogus” electors, tends to dismiss that argument out of hand. But it is worth a closer look, because it is central to the question of whether prosecutors can prove that would-be electors who followed the Trump campaign’s advice acted with criminal intent.”
“The Enforcement Acts, one of which was known also as the Ku Klux Klan Act, given its prime target, criminalized widespread attempts by former Confederates to deny Black Southerners their right to vote, to have their votes counted and hold office — rights they enjoyed under the Reconstruction Act of 1867, the 14th Amendment and soon, the 15th Amendment. Coming at a time when American democracy teetered on the edge, these laws gave teeth to the federal government’s insistence that no eligible voter could be denied the right to vote and have his vote counted. (At the time, only men could exercise the franchise.) The laws were a direct response to Southern Democrats’ efforts to abrogate the practical effects of the Civil War and nullify Black political participation and representation.
Today, American democracy stands once again at a crossroads. The refusal of many Republican officeholders to accept the outcome of a free and fair election, and Trump’s outright appeal to fraud and violence in an effort to overturn that election, are precisely the kinds of antidemocratic practices the Enforcement Acts were intended to criminalize and punish.”
“In the days to come, Trumps’ defenders may claim that the 1870 Enforcement Act is antiquated and obsolete or, as the National Review argued, irrelevant to the case in hand.
In fact, as the Washington Post recently documented, while the act was precipitated by Klan violence in the 1860s, throughout the 20th century and even in more recent times, “Section 241 has also been used to prosecute a wider range of election subversion, including threatening or intimidating voters, impersonating voters, destroying ballots and preventing the official count of ballots.” That includes its use to prosecute white people who terrorized civil rights volunteers during the 1964 Freedom Summer in Mississippi and in cases involving election interference in states like Oklahoma, Tennessee and Kentucky. In other words, it is hardly what legal observers call a “strange law,” or a law still on the books but no longer relevant or enforceable.
Moreover, the acts of which Trump stands accused of committing are precisely what the Enforcement Act was intended to combat. Nullifying the votes of citizens. Fraudulently submitting fake elector slates. Attempting to intimidate state officials into falsifying returns. Bullying a vice president into discarding the official election count. And yes, inciting violence in the furtherance of overturning a free and fair election.
Our system presumes that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. It is now incumbent upon the Department of Justice to make its case. But the shameful events of late 2020 and early 2021 only reinforce the lasting relevance and importance of the 1870 Enforcement Act, a law constructed to meet challenges that, a century and a half later, still hang over America’s fragile democracy.”
“In state after state, fast-growing, traditionally liberal college counties like Dane are flexing their muscles, generating higher turnout and ever greater Democratic margins. They’ve already played a pivotal role in turning several red states blue — and they could play an equally