Trump lawyers tailored election challenge to conservative justice Clarence Thomas

As they attempted to stop Joe Biden from assuming the presidency despite his victory in the 2020 election, lawyers for Donald Trump wanted to appeal specifically to Clarence Thomas, one of the most conservative justices on the supreme court, according to emails obtained by Politico.

“We want to frame things so that Thomas could be the one to issue some sort of stay or other circuit justice opinion saying Georgia is in legitimate doubt,” attorney Kenneth Chesebro wrote in an email to the then-president’s lawyers on the last day of 2020.

He called a ruling from Thomas “our only chance to get a favorable judicial opinion by Jan. 6, which might hold up the Georgia count in Congress.”

In the weeks after he lost the 3 November 2020 election, Trump and his allies tried to convince lawmakers and officials in swing states that voted for Biden, such as Georgia, to disrupt the certification of their results and potentially delay the Democrat from taking office. They also mounted a legal campaign with the same goal.

Politico obtained the emails from John Eastman, another lawyer for the president who is seen as a key architect of the campaign. The emails were among a batch Eastman unsuccessfully attempted to stop the January 6 committee from obtaining, according to Politico.

Key events

The reckoning over January 6 continues in Washington, where members of the Oath Keepers militia group are standing trial on charges of seditious conspiracy for their actions in the assault on the Capitol.

NBC News reports a government witness has recounted a message the Oath Keepers’s leader Stewart Rhodes wanted to be sent to Donald Trump days after the failed attempt to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election win:

New: Stewart Rhodes typed a message to send to Donald Trump on Jan. 10 through Jason Alpers, who is testifying on behalf of the government.

“President Trump, you can save the Republic by doing your duty as Commander in Chief… You must use the insurrection act…”

— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) November 2, 2022

“If you don’t then Biden/Kamala will turn all that power on you, your family, and all of us. You and your family wil be imprisoned and killed…You and your children will die in prison.”

— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) November 2, 2022

“You must do as Lincoln did. He arrested congressmen, state legislators, and issued a warrant for SCOTUS Chief Justice Taney. Take command like Washington would… Go down in history as the savior of the Republic, not a man who surrendered it…”

— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) November 2, 2022

“I am here for you and so are all my men. We will come help you if you need us. Military and police. And so will your millions of supporters.” — Stewart Rhodes, in a written message to Donald Trump, after the Jan. 6 attack

— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) November 2, 2022

Trump considering post-midterm announcement of new presidential campaign

Donald Trump could announce a new campaign for the White House in the days after Tuesday’s midterm election, the Associated Press reports.

The former president has been widely expected to again run for president in 2024, despite being embroiled in a number of investigations into various scandals from his time in office, such as the campaign to overturn the 2020 election and the January 6 assault on the Capitol.

According to the AP, Trump could announce a new campaign following next week’s vote, where Republicans are expected to retake the House from Democrats, and potentially the Senate.

“I’m like 95% he’s going to run,” his former chief of staff Reince Priebus told the AP, noting that the bigger question is if any other Republicans would bother to challenge him.

Polls indicate Trump is still the most popular of the GOP’s potential presidential aspirants, overcoming rivals like Florida governor Ron DeSantis.

Over the summer, Republicans worried Trump would announce a run before the 8 November election, giving Democrats an opportunity to shift voters’ attention away from issues like crime and the economy and towards the possibility of a return to office by the deeply divisive chief executive.

However, the AP notes that “even as discussions are underway about potential venues and dates for a formal announcement, Trump continues to tease the possibility of declaring his intentions at one of the rallies he’s planned for the election’s homestretch.”

The supreme court is in the midst of hearing arguments in cases it has taken up this term, but CNN reports today’s session began with a protest in the courtroom:

DISRUPTION INSIDE THE SUPREME COURT: at start of arguments at 10am, 3 women rose separately at back of the courtroom to protest overturning Roe v Wade. “The right to choose will not be taken away,” said one. All 3 were taken out of the courtroom; none of the Justices responded.

— Jessica Schneider (@SchneiderCNN) November 2, 2022

Trump lawyers tailored election challenge to conservative justice Clarence Thomas

As they attempted to stop Joe Biden from assuming the presidency despite his victory in the 2020 election, lawyers for Donald Trump wanted to appeal specifically to Clarence Thomas, one of the most conservative justices on the supreme court, according to emails obtained by Politico.

“We want to frame things so that Thomas could be the one to issue some sort of stay or other circuit justice opinion saying Georgia is in legitimate doubt,” attorney Kenneth Chesebro wrote in an email to the then-president’s lawyers on the last day of 2020.

He called a ruling from Thomas “our only chance to get a favorable judicial opinion by Jan. 6, which might hold up the Georgia count in Congress.”

In the weeks after he lost the 3 November 2020 election, Trump and his allies tried to convince lawmakers and officials in swing states that voted for Biden, such as Georgia, to disrupt the certification of their results and potentially delay the Democrat from taking office. They also mounted a legal campaign with the same goal.

Politico obtained the emails from John Eastman, another lawyer for the president who is seen as a key architect of the campaign. The emails were among a batch Eastman unsuccessfully attempted to stop the January 6 committee from obtaining, according to Politico.

In his speech this evening, PBS NewsHour reports Joe Biden will address the attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was assaulted by an intruder in their San Francisco home last week:

Biden will also address attack on Pelosi’s husband and increase in political violence, per source familiar. But it will be one part of much larger speech on threats to democracy

— Laura Barrón-López (@lbarronlopez) November 2, 2022

Biden plans primetime speech on threats to democracy

Joe Biden will this evening make a speech on threats to democracy, days after an attack on the residence of the speaker of the House and as Americans prepare to cast ballots in next week’s midterms.

The Associated Press reports the president will speak at 7 pm eastern time at a venue near the Capitol, which was stormed by rioters incited by Donald Trump during the January 6 insurrection.

Biden “will be very clear tonight that he is speaking to people who don’t agree with him on any issues, who don’t agree on his agenda, but who really can unite behind this idea of this fundamental value of democracy,” White House senior adviser Anita Dunn said today during an event hosted by Axios.

She added that the speech is “from Capitol Hill, because that is where there was an attempt to subvert our democracy.”

Democrats are in a tough battle to hold on their majorities in the House and Senate in Tuesday’s midterm elections. The Republican party, which is fielding several candidates who have refused to say if they will accept the election result and others who took part in the January 6 riot, is seen as likely to retake the House and potentially also the Senate.

While the Wisconsin GOP is hoping to use gerrymandering and legislative control to achieve their goals, Ed Pilkington reports that Republican candidates nationwide are refusing to say if they’ll concede their races – even if they lose:

Last month Kari Lake, a former local TV anchor on the Fox network, joined a rightwing podcast The Conservative Circus to discuss her bid to become Arizona’s next governor.

Lake, who has been endorsed by Donald Trump, began by complaining that Joe Biden had just made a speech about the threat to democracy posed by election deniers like herself who claim, without evidence, that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. The US president called them “extremists” and warned that they were preparing to repeat their subversion efforts in November’s midterm elections.

Moments later, when Lake was asked by the podcast host a direct question about whether she would concede were she to lose her own governor’s race against the Democrat Katie Hobbs, she was evasive.

Earlier this week, Wisconsin’s Democratic party chair laid out what would happen if the GOP manages to obtain supermajorities in the state legislature, wins the governor’s office, or both.

Wisconsin is considered a swing state, pivotal to each party’s path to the White House. Ben Wikler warns that with uncontested control of the legislature or a Republican governor, the GOP could turn the Great Lakes state into a bastion of hard-right conservatism:

In this moment, a tiny change in votes in Wisconsin could start a domino effect that could shape the future of American history. For worse, or better.

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) October 31, 2022

First, the nightmare scenario: Mandela Barnes and Tony Evers could lose, and Ron Johnson and Tim Michels could win. Republicans could get a veto-proof supermajority in our state legislature. What would happen?

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) October 31, 2022

Wisconsin’s been the tipping point state in the last two presidential elections. Both of those elections came down to less than a percentage point. If democracy breaks even further in Wisconsin, the Electoral College math gets grim—fast. https://t.co/IahUX86yxl

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) October 31, 2022

Tim Michels, running for governor of Wisconsin, has explicitly said that his first priority will be to “fix” the election system by signing all of the voter suppression and election subversion laws that Governor Evers, our Democratic incumbent, has vetoed.https://t.co/a0vgjS18fi

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) October 31, 2022

If Tim Michels rigs our elections, he will likely do it before the April 4, 2023 state Supreme Court election, which will determine the balance of power on Wisconsin’s highest court. The state court could uphold the rigging before the 2024 presidential. https://t.co/txmqPCowSn

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) October 31, 2022

Gov Evers, on the other hand, supports fair elections and has been a brick wall to save our democracy—refusing to concede to Republican attacks and allowing the bipartisan Wisconsin Election Commission to do its job.

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) October 31, 2022

If Tim Michels can scrap the bipartisan Wisconsin Election Commission and install radical Republicans—as he has promised—every rule governing how elections function could be shaped to advance the GOP’s partisan agenda. https://t.co/9DcK3c3CUa

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) October 31, 2022

But if that’s not enough to give Trump a victory, and Trump still loses 2024, Michels could refuse to certify the election.

In fact, when asked about it directly, he *only* committed to certifying the election *if* he can fix the election system first. pic.twitter.com/3mo5xWkYWj

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) October 31, 2022

To win the electoral college majority in 2024, we’ll need Wisconsin.

And if we lose the governor’s race now, the path to having a free, fair, and secure presidential election becomes stunningly bleak.

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) October 31, 2022

If Tim Michels wins, he’s likely to sign whatever bills the Republican-dominated legislature sends him.

But the GOP has another path to control: gaining supermajorities in both chambers of our state legislature. I talked about this with @ChrisLHayes:pic.twitter.com/PIpDUeasuO

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) October 31, 2022

While other states got better maps after redistricting, Wisconsin’s GOP-controlled state Supreme Court chose the most extreme gerrymander possible—a map literally drawn by Republicans in our state legislature to maximize their control.https://t.co/JCBry1CJjR

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) October 31, 2022

The Wisconsin GOP is incredibly close to supermajorities in the state legislature. Under these new maps, all they have to do is pick up a handful of additional legislative districts. Supermajorities are now “within reach.” https://t.co/0Fy4EziTvz

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) October 31, 2022

If the GOP gets supermajorities in the state legislature here, the governorship, or both, they can change election laws or subvert the results, and potentially move Wisconsin’s 10 Electoral College votes into the GOP column. We cannot let that happen.

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) October 31, 2022

GOP candidate for governor makes plain party’s real goal: permanent Republican rule

Good morning, US politics blog readers. Yesterday in Wisconsin, Tim Michels, who is standing as the Republican candidate for governor in Wisconsin, said the quiet part out loud when he declared: “Republicans will never lose another election in Wisconsin after I’m elected governor.” Wisconsin is a swing state that Democrats have relied on to win the White House, and the Republican’s comment underscores the reality that many in the party aren’t simply looking to win office this year – they’re aiming to find ways to make their control of government permanent. And while Wisconsin is one state, there are plenty of other examples nationwide.

Here’s what else is happening today:

  • The Federal Reserve will conclude its latest meeting and almost certainly announce another interest rate increase at 2 pm eastern time. The central bank has signaled it is committed to fighting inflation, but economists warn that if borrowing costs get too high, the economy could slow further, or even enter a recession.

  • It’s infrastructure day for Joe Biden, who will stump for his legislative accomplishments including the Chips act to boost American technological prowess and last year’s $1tn overhaul to the nation’s public works.

  • Six days to go until the 8 November midterm elections!





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