Trump teased a run for months, announced his candidacy—and then hid in his room, former aide says

I think we all know why former President Donald Trump is running again in 2024: to keep his ass out of jail. Trump is dogged by indictments and subpoenas, and although he may have dodged two impeachment bullets, federal district attorneys aren’t so easy to outrun.

Despite his many legal issues, Trump and his BFF, hubris, announced his candidacy from his Florida manse.

“In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” Trump told an eager crowd at Mar-a-Lago in mid-November.  

RELATED STORY: Now that he’s out, let’s be truthful: Walker was a giant embarrassment for Black Americans

Fast-forward to December and aside from a now-infamous dinner the former president shared with two other antisemites, he’s barely left his bedroom, a 2020 Trump campaign adviser told CNN.

“So far, he has gone down from his bedroom, made an announcement, gone back up to his bedroom, and hasn’t been seen since except to have dinner with a White supremacist,” the unnamed adviser said, adding, “It’s 1000% a ho-hum campaign.”

Just three days after Trump made his lackluster announcement, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to oversee not one but two ongoing criminal investigations against the former president.

As for polling on Trump’s support for 2024, it appears he’s just a bit ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 36% to DeSantis’ 30%. But a Quinnipiac poll suggests that Republicans prefer DeSantis as their candidate over Trump.

And Republicans smell blood in the water. It seems nearly everyone, from former Vice President Mike Pence to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy—along with scads of others—have all condemned his dinner with Kanye “Ye” West and his buddy, notorious Holocaust-denier Nick Fuentes. When you add that nearly every single candidate Trump endorsed lost in the midterm elections, it’s not looking great.

But here’s that hubris again as Trump goes into full denial mode, confidently telling his advisers that the backlash over the dinner is “dying down.”

Trump’s campaign team tells CNN their candidate is simply “taking a breather.” And an unnamed adviser told the outlet:

“The question a lot of us have is can Trump sustain a campaign for two years? That’s the real difficulty here. The pacing we’re seeing right now is designed to do that.”

Breather or not, the Trump of 2015—with all the vim and vigor of a white supremacist hoping to take control of the nation—seems to have dimmed. What Trump can’t face is that politics are fickle. When you’re hot, you’re hot; and when you’re not, you’re Trump.

Roger Stone bemoans DeSantis’ ‘ingratitude’ and ‘treachery’ for considering 2024 run against Trump

Former Trump campaign adviser and longtime cartoon villain Roger Stone is hoping to frighten away any competition Trump may have in his 2024 presidential run. Roger Stone has set his sights on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a man who no doubt expected support from the former president after years of public ass-kissing. Like Mike Pence, Ron DeSantis is finding out that loyalty is not a two-way street in Trump’s world. 

HuffPost reports that Stone seems convinced of a third Trump presidential run in 2024, despite the fact that the former president has never announced it.

Stone wrote on Telegram that Trump has given “every indication that he’s running for president in 2024,” adding that if DeSantis ran against him, it would be the “most stunning act of ingratitude and treachery in the history of American politics,” which is funny because if anyone understands treachery, it’s Roger Stone, and if anyone understands the history of American politics, they’d know this is not even in the top 20 moments of treachery.

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Stone went on to write that Trump’s gubernatorial endorsement of DeSantis in 2019 “MADE Ron DeSanctimonius Governor” and finished his post by adding the hashtag “ingrate.”

In a debate last Monday against his Democratic opponent Charlie Crist, DeSantis was asked by Crist whether he could commit to serving the entire four years if he were reelected as governor. In response, DeSantis stood like a zombie for an uncomfortably long time.

“You talk about Joe Biden a lot. I understand you think you're going to be running against him. I can see how you might get confused. But you're running for governor. You're running for governor. And I have a question for you. You're running for governor. Why don't you look in the eyes of the people of the state of Florida and say to them, if you're reelected, you will serve a full four-year term as governor?”

While DeSantis waited for the clock to run out, Crist continued:

“Yes or no? Yes or no, Ron? Will you serve a full four-year term if you're reelected governor of Florida? It's not a tough question. It's a fair question. He won't tell you.”

Still, DeSantis said nothing.

This isn’t the first time Stone has gone hard against DeSantis. In April, The Daily Beast reported that Stone, a self-proclaimed “dirty trickster,” posted a video ripping into DeSantis and calling the Florida governor “a piece of [shit].”

This weekend, Roger Stone posted a video of himself telling Trump that Ron DeSantis is “a piece of [shit].”

— Zachary Petrizzo (@ZTPetrizzo) April 17, 2022

Stone told The Daily Beast at the time, “Ron DeSantis would not be governor without the Republican primary endorsement of president Donald Trump. [...] While DeSantis has been a good governor and I support his re-election, I believe he should tell the former president that he will step aside if Trump decides to run in 2024. DeSantis has not done so I therefore I will not stop criticizing him for disloyalty.”

But, as we know, Stone’s loyalty is as fleeting as a snowflake in Florida.

The Daily Beast, which originally reported the story, wrote that during one scene filmed on Jan. 20, 2021, in the new documentary A Storm Foretold, Stone is seen trashing his BFF Trump. He says he told the former president that if he ran again, he’d get his “f***ing brains beat in.” Stone goes on to say that he’s “done with this president” and is “gonna go public supporting impeachment—I have no choice. He has to go. He has to go.”

Footage from Jan 20 2021. Stone supports impeaching Trump:“Run again you’ll get your fucking brains beat in.”

— Christoffer Guldbrandsen (@cguld) October 15, 2022

This was after Trump apparently refused to pardon Stone for his role on the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

In another scene, Stone was filmed as he attacked Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

“Jared Kushner has an IQ of 70. He’s coming to Miami. We will eject him from Miami very quickly; he will be leaving very quickly.”

Stone went on to rant about Ivanka Trump, calling her Trump’s “abortionist bitch daughter.”

Trump did go on to use the power of his office to commute Stone’s sentence on seven felony convictions that left Stone facing a sentence of 40 months in federal prison, The New York Times reported in July 2020.

One Republican lawmaker spoke out about the commutation.

Mitt Romney tweeted, “Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.”

Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.

— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) July 11, 2020

Today on The Brief, we speak with Way To Win’s co-founder and vice president, Jenifer Fernandez Ancona. Ancona comes in to discuss how grassroots progressive groups are spending money in the hopes of getting as many voters as possible out for the midterm elections. She also talks about which campaign advertisements are effective and which are not. One thing is for sure, though: We are living in historic times, and what that means for these midterms cannot be easily predicted—so Get Out The Vote!

Trump’s ambassador to the EU says what we all know about his ex-boss: He’s a ‘dick’

A U.S. ambassador appointed by former President Donald Trump has written in his new memoir that his ex-boss was a “dick” and a “narcissist.” We hope there’s more, because that’s not revelatory news to anyone with a brain in their head.

Gordon Sondland was appointed to his role in 2018, two years after donating $1 million to Trump after the 2016 election. The former hotelier, like all of Trump’s appointees, had zero skills or experience for the job, but that didn’t stop him from taking it.

His new book, titled, The Envoy: Mastering the Art of Diplomacy with Trump and the World, will be published on Oct. 25, The Guardian (which got an advance copy of the book) reports. 

RELATED STORY: Georgia's GOP has challenged 65,000 voter registrations this year, analysis shows

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Barnes and Noble describe Sondland’s book as a “behind-the-scenes look at Trump, his cabinet, and an international diplomacy you’ve never seen before—written by someone with no scores to settle, no hidden agenda, no check to cash, and no fucks to give.”

In the book, Sondland, 64, compares working for Trump to “staying at an all-inclusive resort. You’re thrilled when you first arrive, but things start to go downhill fast. Quality issues start to show. The people who work the place can be rude and not so bright. Attrition is a huge problem. And eventually, you begin to wonder why you agreed to the deal in the first place.”

That said, according to Sondland, he was following Trump’s order in the blackmail phone call of the recently elected president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He confirmed the whole quid pro quo with Trump and Zelenskyy during his 2019 testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in Trump’s first impeachment hearing.

Sondland explained at the time that Trump wanted Zelenskyy to investigate Hunter Biden, and in exchange, Zelenskyy would get military aid to Kyiv and an Oval Office visit, The Washington Post reports.

In his book, Sondland brushes off the whole thing, writing that “Quid pro quos happen all the time,” adding that “studies that show when married men pitch in and clean the bathroom, they have more sex.” Who’s the dick now?

Sondland didn’t earn any friends by testifying about folks such as Mike Pompeo, the former secretary of state, who was deeply connected to the infamous Trump-Zelenskyy phone call.

Mostly Sondland just drags his former boss, describing an Oval Office with loud country music “blasting from inside” and Trump spending more time “vetting the theme music for his next rally” than preparing for meetings with foreign dignitaries.

“Trump does focus on some details, and this is an important one,” Sondland writes. “Never mind that the Oval Office sounds like a country western bar, and we are supposed to be prepping for a visit with a foreign leader.”

At one point, Sondland writes that he once reminded Trump in 2016, “you were kind of a dick to me when we first met,” and, according to The Guardian, Sondland made reference to the former president’s narcissist tendencies.

Sondland’s testimony during Trump’s first impeachment: 

Donald Trump and his MAGA allies came close to overthrowing our democracy on January 6, and they will try again if they win in 2022. The best thing you can do is to help get out the Democratic vote for the midterms, and we need everyone to do what they can. Click here to find all the volunteer opportunities available.

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MAGA crowd just as dangerous as ever: New study shows ‘messianic’ support for Trump

It’s no real surprise that former President Donald Trump’s supporters would literally go to battle for their leader. It’s a frightening reality, but as we quickly approach the midterms and see the many MAGA nominees the Republican Party is supporting, it’s clear that Trumpsters are desperate to have the twice-impeached former president back at the helm.

CBS News reported on a new study from the University of Chicago that found 13 million U.S. adults believe violence is justified if it means putting Trump back into the White House, and another 15 million believe violence would be warranted to keep Trump from being indicted over the FBI’s investigation into his mishandling of classified government secrets.

During a Sept. 8 appearance on Face the Nation, Dr. Robert Pape, the director of the University of Chicago's Chicago Project on Security and Threats (CPOST), told moderator Margaret Brennan, "We have not just a political threat to our democracy, we have a violent threat to our democracy [...] Today, there are millions of individuals who don't just think the election was stolen in 2020; they support violence to restore Donald Trump to the White House."

RELATED STORY: Roger Stone: ‘F**k the voting, let’s get right to the violence.' Also Stone: 'That's a deepfake'

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According to CBS, there is some good news: The number of members of Trump’s cult has gone down since last year, when it hovered around 23 million willing to fight for the 45th president.

When asked why the group was so invested that they would be willing to use force to put Trump back in office or defend him from an indictment, CBS reports that Pape and his team found that it was both QAnon rhetoric and fears of being replaced, with many in the mostly white group of urban respondents buying wholeheartedly into the “Great Replacement” theory.

"[Great Replacement] is a conspiracy theory, but it's not just on fringe social media like Parler or Gab, 4chan or 8chan ... This is every day on Fox News, it's on Newsmax, it's on One America, it's on talk radio," Pape said.

Politico writer Jack Shafer states that Trump’s support from his most extreme MAGA followers is “messianic.”

“Although evicted from the White House 19 months ago, Trump still postures as if he were president. In addition to calling for reinstatement and a do-over election, Trump ensures that his office calls him the ‘45th president,’ not the former president. He continues to unlawfully use the presidential seal for commercial purposes. And his capricious handling of sensitive and secret documents at Mar-a-Lago — his idea that the papers belong to him and that he’s above the law — make the case that he’s come to believe in his own, permanent divinity. Trump said in 2019 that being president gave him ‘the right to do whatever I want,’ which is consistent with thinking you’re God’s co-pilot,” Shafer writes.

With about six weeks until the Nov. 8 midterm elections, Pape says he is worried about Trump’s supporters and how far they may go.

"If it's just a political threat, well, then we can have elections. Once it's not just denying an election, but using violence as the response to an election denial, now we're in a new game."

Trump and his followers proved on Jan. 6 how dangerously close they came to overturning our democracy. Help cancel Republican voter suppression with the power of your pen by clicking here and signing up to volunteer with Vote Forward, writing personalized letters to targeted voters urging them to exercise their right to vote this year.

Good judges are more important now than ever. In some states, judges are on the ballot this November. In this episode of The Downballot, we shine a spotlight on elections for state supreme courts: actor and activist Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Together, Daily Kos and Julia are proud to announce their endorsement of seven Democratic candidates running for closely divided courts in Michigan, North Carolina, and Ohio. You can support this slate by going to and donating today.

John Eastman’s attorneys advised him not to testify in Georgia’s presidential election probe

The Fulton County, Georgia, district attorney’s office is demanding that John Eastman answer questions for the special grand jury investigating election tampering in the state in 2020. The former attorney for Donald Trump is pleading the Fifth.

According to USA TODAY, Eastman’s lawyers issued a statement stating that they had advised him to “assert attorney-client privilege and the constitutional right to remain silent where appropriate.”

“By all indications, the District Attorney’s Office has set itself on an unprecedented path of criminalizing controversial or disfavored legal theories, possibly in hopes that the federal government will follow its lead,” the statement reads. “Criminalization of unpopular legal theories is against every American tradition and would have ended the careers of John Adams, Ruth Ginsburg, Thurgood Marshall and many other now-celebrated American lawyers."

RELATED STORY: Lindsey Graham believes he’s above the law, tells judge that Georgia DA must explain her questioning

The attorney, infamously known for creating the bogus falsehood that Joe Biden didn’t actually win the election, is among such MAGA notables as former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, and whiny Trump lapdog Sen. Lindsey Graham. All were called to testify in front of the Georgia grand jury and all have put up a fight—mostly to no avail.  

Eastman was behind the idea of sending a group of fake electors out into swing states in hopes of blocking the congressional certification of the 2020 election.

The New York Times reports that Eastman continued looking for election irregularities long after Trump was out of office. In one of a slew of previously uncovered emails, Eastman wrote, “A lot of us have now staked our reputations on the claims of election fraud, and this would be a way to gather proof… If we get proof of fraud on Jan. 5, it will likely also demonstrate the fraud on Nov. 3, thereby vindicating President Trump’s claims and serving as a strong bulwark against Senate impeachment trial.”

Kemp’s attorneys tried everything to save the incumbent governor from giving a sworn statement. But according to reporting from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney refused to allow the governor to skirt his testimony but did allow him to push it off until after the Nov. 8 midterm elections.

Giuliani tried to play the “too sick to testify” card but was staunchly shut down by McBurney and appeared in Atlanta on Aug. 17 to give testimony.

Graham is doing everything he can to avoid testifying to the special grand jury in Georgia, including filing a brief on Aug. 24 that reasons that the subpoena to testify is invalid based on a rarely used section of the U.S. Constitution.

“The Constitution guarantees that a Senator ‘shall not be questioned’ about his protected ‘Speech or Debate’—and yet the District Attorney insists that Senator Graham must submit to questioning to ascertain whether he can be questioned or is immune from questioning. That makes no sense,” Graham’s motion reads.

Eastman also pleaded the Fifth in refusing to answer questions from the House committee investigating the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, per USA TODAY.

GOP lawmakers out of their minds over search on their leader by Trump-appointed FBI director

Just when you thought things couldn’t get even more dystopian, former President Donald Trump confirmed Monday night that the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) were at his Mar-a-Lago beachfront estate carrying out a search warrant. Trump described the raid as “dark times for our Nation” and said that his home was “under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”

Trump went on to release an extensive statement on the raid.

It didn’t take long for Trump’s most loyal MAGA lawmakers to proclaim their outrage over the audacity that their leader be investigated. After all, he’s above the law, they believe.  

RELATED STORY: Nancy Thompson’s MAGA train—Mothers Against Greg Abbott—may just run down the Texas governor

Sign if you agree: No one is above the law

Texas Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson tweeted, “Tonight the FBI officially became the enemy of the people!!”

Tonight the FBI officially became the enemy of the people!!!

— Ronny Jackson (@RonnyJacksonTX) August 9, 2022

Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene initially tweeted to “Defund the FBI,” then Tuesday morning called the raid “tyrannical” and suggested that the FBI’s search will only stoke GOP voters in November.


— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) August 9, 2022

“I’ve talked a lot about the civil war in the GOP and I lean into it because America needs fearless & effective Republicans to finally put America First. Last night’s tyrannical FBI raid at MAR is unifying us in ways I haven’t seen. In January, we take on the enemy within.”

I’ve talked a lot about the civil war in the GOP and I lean into it because America needs fearless & effective Republicans to finally put America First. Last night’s tyrannical FBI raid at MAR is unifying us in ways I haven’t seen. In January, we take on the enemy within.

— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) August 9, 2022

Indiana Rep. Jim Banks offered that “Republicans have a moral duty to fight back!”

Republicans have a moral duty to fight back!

— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) August 9, 2022

Florida Sen. Rick Scott claimed on Fox News that the FBI execution of the warrant was something you’d see from the “Gestapo” and the “Soviet Union and Latin America.”  

Rick Scott says the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago is like the Nazis and the Soviet Union and Latin American dictatorships

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 9, 2022

Georgia Rep. Jody Hice met with Trump and Greene in 2020 to discuss plans to overturn the presidential election results. According to Georgia Democrats, “video surfaced of Hice promising that if elected, he would work to retroactively ‘decertify’ the 2020 election results.”

Monday night, Hice wrote on Twitter, “What does the FBI know about Hunter Biden?”

What does the FBI know about Hunter Biden?

— Rep. Jody Hice (@CongressmanHice) August 9, 2022

New York Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney accused the Department of Justice and the FBI of “being weaponized” and demanded that President Joe Biden and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland “answer immediately” for the Mar-a-Lago search.

“The DOJ & FBI are being weaponized like never before to target political opponents. This Admin has thrown the rule of law and faith in our democratic institutions out the door. Joe Biden and Merrick Garland must answer immediately for today’s raid against an American president.”

The DOJ & FBI are being weaponized like never before to target political opponents. This Admin has thrown the rule of law and faith in our democratic institutions out the door. Joe Biden and Merrick Garland must answer immediately for today’s raid against an American president.

— Rep. Claudia Tenney (@RepTenney) August 9, 2022

Republican Florida Rep. John Rutherford tweeted Monday night that he wanted to see the FBI search warrant and “probably cause.” Well, we don’t know the cause of the search, but it was “probably” because Trump has committed a crime—probably.

I want to see an immediate release of the search warrant and the "probably cause" used to obtain it. Release it Director Wray, NOW. (2/2)

— Rep. John Rutherford (@RepRutherfordFL) August 9, 2022

Rep. Guy Reschenthaler of Pennsylvania called the FBI search harassment of Trump and suggested that law enforcement should be focused on “terrorists at our southern border.”

“So far this year, CBP arrested more than 50 terrorists at our southern border but we have no idea how many evaded capture and entered our country. The FBI should be answering that question, not harassing a former president.”

So far this year, CBP arrested more than 50 terrorists at our southern border but we have no idea how many evaded capture and entered our country. The FBI should be answering that question, not harassing a former president.

— Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (@GReschenthaler) August 9, 2022

Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert called the search something “Stalin would be proud of…”

We evolved to a #JusticeSystem that was the fairest in the world. Now, #DOJ & House Dems are taking us back 6-7 DECADES, approaching a Soviet-style justice system. Stalin would be proud of what they’re doing. It’s grossly unfair, grossly unjust.

— Louie Gohmert (@replouiegohmert) August 8, 2022

Sen. Rand Paul called the search “outrageous and unjust, but predictable.” Paul is the same man who said he was “proud of the job Donald Trump has done,” and called Trump’s impeachment the “antithesis of unity.”

The @FBI raid on President Trump was approved by Director Wray, who also claimed that the illegal FISA warrants used to spy on Trump were constitutional. Today’s raid is outrageous and unjust, but predictable.

— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) August 9, 2022

Sen. Marsha Blackburn referred to the “Obama FBI” and warned, “If they can do this to Trump, they will do it to you!” So try not to steal any classified documents from the White House, folks.

The Obama FBI began spying on President Trump as a candidate. This isn’t how a justice system should operate, and it should outrage every American. If they can do this to Trump, they will do it to you!

— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) August 9, 2022

The head of the FBI is Christopher Wray. He became the eighth director on Aug. 2, 2017. He was formally nominated by Trump on June 26, 2017, and confirmed by the Senate on July 12, 2017.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy chose to put Garland on notice with a warning to the attorney general to “preserve your documents and clear your calendar.”

I swear, I thought that message was for Trump.

Attorney General Garland: preserve your documents and clear your calendar.

— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) August 9, 2022

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Despite overwhelming evidence of guilt, the DOJ has a tough decision around prosecuting Trump

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As many of us watched the first public congressional hearings from the Jan. 6 committee investigating the insurrection last Thursday, we saw the seven members carefully lay out how they intended to prove former President Donald Trump’s guilt in attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential elections. And even though they will continue to reveal more evidence in the coming days, the question that looms is whether or not Attorney General Merrick Garland’s Justice Department has the guts to actually prosecute Trump.

Garland gave a speech at Harvard University’s commencement ceremony last month, where mentioned he would “follow the facts whether they lead.” And as NBC News reports, Lisa Monaco, Garland’s deputy attorney general, told CNN, “Federal prosecutors are reviewing fake Electoral College certifications that declared former President Donald Trump the winner of states that he lost… We've received those referrals. Our prosecutors are looking at those, and I can't say anything more on ongoing investigations.”

But following leads and taking notes during the House select committee hearings is one thing—prosecuting a U.S. president is a whole other beast.

RELATED STORY: In case you missed it: Here’s how Liz Cheney skewered her GOP colleagues in Jan. 6 committee hearing

Barbara McQuade, an NBC legal analyst and former U.S. attorney warned that filing criminal charges against Trump in his attempt to subvert the elections “will very likely spark civil unrest, and maybe even civil war.” However, “not charging [Trump] is even worse because not charging means you failed to hold someone criminally accountable who tried to subvert our democracy,” she explained.

Indicting Trump would be a first in U.S. history. The only case even remotely close was that of former President Richard Nixon, who resigned from office in 1974 before his expected fate of impeachment for his role in Watergate. Former President Gerald Ford later pardoned Nixon prior to the possible filing of criminal charges.

The other issue Garland is likely facing is the ethics of whether or not prosecuting Trump is in the best interest of the nation—an issue that essentially pits the two parties against each other.

“I don’t think we want to be the kind of country where this happens often,” McQuade told NBC News.

Joyce Vance, a former U.S. attorney and NBC News legal analyst said, “Prosecuting Trump destabilizes the country more than it puts it upright.”

Committee members have been clear from the start that all of the accusations against Trump will be backed up with evidence and testimony from the players involved—some who’ve come forward voluntarily and others who’ve been subpoenaed.

Rep. Adam Schiff has said that he’s expecting the DOJ to “investigate any credible allegation of criminal activity on the part of Donald Trump,” the Associated Press reports, 

Schiff added:

“Once the evidence is accumulated by the Justice Department, it needs to make a decision about whether it can prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt the president’s guilt or anyone else’s. … But they need to be investigated if there’s credible evidence, which I think there is.”

According to CNN, Rep. Jamie Raskin has said he will not “browbeat” Garland, but the committee has clearly highlighted the many crimes Trump has committed.

“I think that he knows, his staff knows, the U.S. attorneys know, what’s at stake here. … They know the importance of it, but I think they are rightfully paying close attention to precedent in history as well, as the facts of this case.  

“So we have laid out in different legal pleadings the criminal statutes that we think have been violated. And Judge Carter in California said he thought it was likely that President Trump committed federal offenses.”

Huh? Powerful @AP & @axios headlines. But that's not what AP report ( or quotes in Axios actually say.@RepAdamSchiff comments apparently refers to threshold for opening investigations (not indictment). Here's also @RepRaskin transcript in context👇

— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) June 13, 2022

We talk to gun control advocate and executive director of Guns Down America, Igor Volsky on Daily Kos' The Brief podcast

Liz Cheney had strong words for Republicans in first Jan. 6 committee hearing. Here’s a transcript

In case you missed Republican Rep. Liz Cheney’s powerful opening remarks as prepared for the Jan. 6 select committee’s initial public hearing Thursday evening, we’ve provided her full statement below, courtesy of Politico. 

The Wyoming congresswoman is the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney; as one of only two Republicans on the committee, she serves as vice-chair. 

Almost every Republican has chosen to side with former President Trump’s version of events on that fateful day. Cheney is not one of them, and she is paying the price in her pursuit of the truth of what happened and who was behind the events of Jan. 6. 

In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Dana Milbank writes that “Republican members of Congress forced Cheney out of her party leadership position and are trying to oust her in a primary.” 

It’s worth noting that while we appreciate Cheney's presentation and performance last night, she remains diametrically opposed to a lot of progressive ideology and has actively worked (and voted) against racial and economic justice. 

RELATED STORY: Capitol Police Sergeant Gonell talks about Jan. 6 hearings and what really happened that day

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And let me echo those words about the importance of bipartisanship, and what a tremendous honor it is to work on this committee.

Mr. Chairman, at 6:01pm on January 6th, after he spent hours watching a violent mob besiege, attack and invade our Capitol, Donald Trump tweeted. But he did not condemn the attack. Instead he justified it:

“These are the things and events that happen,” he said, “when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.”

As you will see in the hearings to come, President Trump believed his supporters at the Capitol, and I quote, “were doing what they should be doing.” This is what he told his staff as they pleaded with him to call off the mob, to instruct his supporters to leave. Over a series of hearings in the coming weeks, you will hear testimony, live and on video, from more than a half dozen former White House staff in the Trump administration, all of whom were in the West Wing of the White House on January 6th. You will hear testimony that “The President didn’t really want to put anything out” calling off the riot or asking his supporters to leave. You will hear that President Trump was yelling, and “really angry at advisors who told him he needed to be doing something more.” And, aware of the rioters’ chants to “hang Mike Pence,” the President responded with this sentiment: “maybe our supporters have the right idea.” Mike Pence “deserves” it.

You will hear evidence that President Trump refused for hours to do what his staff, his family, and many of his other advisors begged him to do: immediately instruct his supporters to stand down and evacuate the Capitol.

Tonight, you will see never-before-seen footage of the brutal attack on our Capitol, an attack that unfolded while, a few blocks away, President Trump sat watching television in his dining room off the Oval Office. You will hear audio from the brave police officers battling for their lives and ours, fighting to defend our democracy, against a violent mob Donald Trump refused to call off.

Tonight and in the weeks to come, you will see evidence of what motivated this violence, including directly from those who participated in this attack. You will see video of them explaining what caused them to do it. You will see their posts on social media. We will show you what they have said in federal court. On this point, there is no room for debate. Those who invaded our Capitol and battled law enforcement for hours were motivated by what President Trump had told them: that the election was stolen, and that he was the rightful President. President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack.

You will also hear about plots to commit seditious conspiracy on January 6th, a crime defined in our laws as “conspir[ing] to overthrow, put down or destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to oppose by force the authority thereof.” Multiple members of two groups, the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, have been charged with this crime for their involvement in the events leading up to and on January 6th. Some have pled guilty. The attack on our Capitol was not a spontaneous riot. Intelligence available before January 6th identified plans to “invade” the Capitol, “occupy” the Capitol, and take other steps to halt Congress’ count of Electoral Votes that day. In our hearings to come, we will identify elements of those plans, and we will show specifically how a group of Proud Boys led a mob into the Capitol building on January 6th.

Tonight I am going to describe for you some of what our committee has learned and highlight initial findings you will see this month in our hearings. As you hear this, all Americans should keep in mind this fact: On the morning of January 6th, President Donald Trump’s intention was to remain President of the United States despite the lawful outcome of the 2020 election and in violation of his Constitutional obligation to relinquish power. Over multiple months, Donald Trump oversaw and coordinated a sophisticated seven-part plan to overturn the presidential election and prevent the transfer of presidential power. In our hearings, you will see evidence of each element of this plan.

In our second hearing, you will see that Donald Trump and his advisors knew that he had, in fact, lost the election. But, despite this, President Trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information – to convince huge portions of the U.S. population that fraud had stolen the election from him. This was not true.

Jason Miller was a senior Trump Campaign spokesman. In this clip, Miller describes a call between the Trump campaign’s internal data expert and President Trump a few days after the 2020 election:

A: I was in the Oval Office. At some point in the conversation, Matt Oczkowski who was the lead data person was brought on and I remember he delivered to the President in pretty blunt terms that he was going to lose.

Q: And that was based, Mr. Miller, on Matt and the data team’s assessment of this sort of county by county state by state results as reported?

A: Correct.

Alex Cannon was one of President Trump’s campaign lawyers. He previously worked for the Trump Organization. One of his responsibilities was to assess allegations of election fraud in November 2020. Here is one sample of his testimony -- discussing what he told White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows:

A: I remember a call with Mr. Meadows where Mr. Meadows was asking me what I was finding and if I was finding anything and I remember sharing with him that we weren’t finding anything that would be sufficient to um change the results in any of the key states.

Q: When was that conversation?

A: Probably in November, mid to late November, I think it was before my child was born.

Q: And what was Mr. Meadows’ reaction to that information?

A: I believe the words he used were “so there’s no there there.”

There’s no there there. The Trump Campaign’s General Counsel Matt Morgan gave similar testimony. He explained that all of the fraud allegations and the campaign’s other election arguments taken together and viewed in the best possible light for President Trump, could still not change the outcome of the election.

President Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr also told Donald Trump his election claims were wrong:

A: And I repeatedly told the President in no uncertain terms that I did not see evidence of fraud, you know, that would have affected the outcome of the election. And frankly, a year and a half later, I haven’t seen anything to change my mind on that.

Attorney General Barr also told President Trump that his allegations about Dominion voting machines were groundless:

“I saw absolutely zero basis for the allegations, but they were made in such a sensational way that they obviously were influencing a lot of people, members of the public that there was this systemic corruption in the system and that their votes didn’t count, and that these machines, controlled by somebody else, were actually determining it, which was complete nonsense. And it was being laid out there. And I told him that it was crazy stuff and they were wasting their time on that and that it was doing great, great disservice to the country.”

But President Trump persisted, repeating the false Dominion allegations in public at least a dozen more times even after his Attorney General told him they were “complete nonsense.”

And after Barr’s resignation on December 23rd, the Acting Attorney General who replaced him, Jeff Rosen and the acting Deputy, Richard Donoghue told President Trump over and over again that the evidence did not support allegations he was making in public.

Many of President Trump’s White House staff also recognized that the evidence did not support the claims President Trump was making. This is the President’s daughter, commenting on Bill Barr’s statement that the Department found no fraud sufficient to overturn the election:

Q: How did that affect your perspective about the election when Attorney General Barr made that statement?

A: It affected my perspective. I respect Attorney General Barr so I accepted what he was saying.

As you will hear on Monday, the President had every right to litigate his campaign claims, but he ultimately lost more than 60 cases in state and federal courts. The President’s claims in the election cases were so frivolous and unsupported that the President’s lead lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, not only lost the lawsuits, his license to practice law was suspended. Here is what the court said of Mr. Giuliani:

Giuliani “communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large in his capacity as lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump and the Trump campaign in connection with Trump’s failed effort at reelection in 2020.”

As you will see in great detail in these hearings, President Trump ignored the rulings of our nation’s courts, he ignored his own campaign leadership, his White House staff, many Republican state officials, he ignored the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security. President Trump invested millions of dollars of campaign funds purposely spreading false information, running ads he knew were false, and convincing millions of Americans that the election was corrupt and he was the true President. As you will see, this misinformation campaign provoked the violence on January 6th.

In our third hearing, you will see that President Trump corruptly planned to replace the Attorney General of the United States so the U.S. Justice Department would spread his false stolen election claims. In the days before January 6th, President Trump told his top Justice Department officials “Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican Congressmen.” Senior Justice Department officials, men he had appointed, told him they could not do that, because it was not true. So President Trump decided to replace them.

He offered Jeff Clark, an environmental lawyer at the Justice Department, the job of Acting Attorney General. President Trump wanted Mr. Clark to take a number of steps, including sending this letter to Georgia and five other states, saying the U.S. Department of Justice had “identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election.” This letter is a lie. The Department of Justice had, in fact, repeatedly told President Trump exactly the opposite – that they had investigated his stolen election allegations and found no credible fraud that could impact the outcome of the election. This letter, and others like it, would have urged multiple states to withdraw their official and lawful electoral votes for Biden.

Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue described Jeff Clark’s letter this way: “This would be a grave step for the Department to take and could have tremendous constitutional, political and social ramifications for the country.” The Committee agrees with Mr. Donoghue’s assessment. Had Clark assumed the role of Attorney General in the days before January 6th and issued these letters, the ramifications could indeed have been grave. Mr. Donoghue also said this about Clark’s plan:

“And I recall towards the end saying, what you’re proposing is nothing less than the United States Justice Department meddling in the outcome of a Presidential Election.”

In our hearings, you will hear first-hand how the senior leadership of the Department of Justice threatened to resign, how the White House Counsel threatened to resign, and how they confronted Donald Trump and Jeff Clark in the Oval Office. The men involved, including Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen and Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, were appointed by President Trump. These men honored their oaths of office. They did their duty, and you will hear from them in our hearings.

By contrast, Jeff Clark has invoked his 5th Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and refused to testify. Representative Scott Perry, who was involved in trying to get Clark appointed as Attorney General, has refused to testify here. As you will see, Representative Perry contacted the White House in the weeks after January 6th to seek a Presidential Pardon. Multiple other Republican congressmen also sought Presidential Pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.

In our fourth hearing, we will focus on President Trump’s efforts to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to count electoral votes on January 6th. Vice President Pence has spoken publicly about this:

“President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election. The presidency belongs to the American people and the American people alone. And frankly, there is no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president.”

What President Trump demanded that Mike Pence do wasn’t just wrong, it was illegal and it was unconstitutional. You will hear this in great detail from the Vice President’s former General Counsel. Witnesses in these hearings will explain how the former Vice President and his staff informed President Trump over and over again that what he was pressuring Mike Pence to do was illegal.

As you will hear, President Trump engaged in a relentless effort to pressure Pence both in private and in public. You will see the evidence of that pressure from multiple witnesses live and on video. Vice President Pence demonstrated his loyalty to Donald Trump consistently over four years, but he knew that he had a higher duty – to the United States Constitution. This is testimony from the Vice President’s Chief of Staff:

A: I think the Vice President was proud of his four years of service and he felt like much had been accomplished in those four years. And I think he was proud to have stood beside the President for all that had been done. But I think he ultimately knew that his fidelity to the Constitution was his first and foremost oath, and that’s – that’s what he articulated publicly and I think that’s what he felt.

Q: His fidelity to the Constitution was more important than his fidelity to President Trump and his desire …

A: The oath he took, yes.

You will also hear about a lawyer named John Eastman. Mr. Eastman was deeply involved in President Trump’s plans. You will hear from former Fourth Circuit Federal Judge Michael Luttig, a highly respected leading conservative judge. John Eastman clerked for Judge Luttig. Judge Luttig provided counsel to the Vice President’s team in the days before January 6th. The Judge will explain how Eastman “was wrong at every turn.” And you will see the email exchanges between Eastman and the Vice President’s Counsel as the violent attack on Congress was underway. Mr. Jacob said this to Mr. Eastman: “And thanks to your bullshit, we are under siege.” You will also see evidence that John Eastman did not actually believe the legal position he was taking. In fact, a month before the 2020 election, Eastman took exactly the opposite view on the same legal issues.

In the course of the Select Committee’s work to obtain information from Mr. Eastman, we have had occasion to present evidence to a federal judge. The judge evaluated these facts and he reached the conclusion that President Trump’s efforts to pressure Vice President Pence to act illegally by refusing to count electoral votes likely violated two federal criminal statutes. And the judge also said this: “If Dr. Eastman and President Trump’s plan had worked, it would have permanently ended the peaceful transition of power, undermining American democracy and the Constitution. If the country does not commit to investigating and pursuing accountability for those responsible, the Court fears January 6th will repeat itself.” Every American should read what this federal judge has written. The same Judge, Judge Carter, issued another decision on Tuesday night, indicating that John Eastman and other Trump lawyers knew that their legal arguments had no real chance of success in court. But they relied on those arguments anyway to try to “overturn a democratic election.”

And you will hear that while Congress was under attack on January 6th and the hours following the violence, the Trump legal team in the Willard Hotel war room continued to work to halt the count of electoral votes.

In our fifth hearing, you will see evidence that President Trump corruptly pressured state legislators and election officials to change election results. You will hear additional details about President Trump’s call to Georgia officials urging them to “find” 11,780 voted – votes that did not exist, and his efforts to get states to rescind certified electoral slates without factual basis and contrary to law. You will hear new details about the Trump campaign and other Trump associates’ efforts to instruct Republican officials in multiple states to create intentionally false electoral slates, and transmit those slates to Congress, to the Vice President, and the National Archives, falsely certifying that Trump won states he actually lost.

In our final two June hearings, you will hear how President Trump summoned a violent mob and directed them, illegally, to march on the U.S. Capitol. While the violence was underway, President Trump failed to take immediate action to stop the violence and instruct his supporters to leave the Capitol.

As we present these initial findings, keep two points in mind. First, our investigation is still ongoing, so what we make public here will not be the complete set of information we will ultimately disclose. And second, the Department of Justice is currently working with cooperating witnesses, and has disclosed to date only some of the information it has identified from encrypted communications and other sources.

On December 18, 2020, a group including General Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani and others visited the White House. They stayed late into the evening. We know that the group discussed a number of dramatic steps, including having the military seize voting machines and potentially rerun elections. You will also hear that President Trump met with that group alone for a period of time before White House lawyers and other staff discovered the group was there, and rushed to intervene.

A little more than an hour after Ms. Powell, Mr. Giuliani, General Flynn and the others finally left the White House, President Trump sent the tweet on the screen now, telling people to come to Washington on January 6th: “Be there,” he instructed them. “Will be Wild!”

As you will see, this was a pivotal moment. This tweet initiated a chain of events. The tweet led to the planning for what occurred on January 6th, including by the Proud Boys who ultimately led the invasion of the Capitol and the violence that day. The indictment of a group of Proud Boys alleges that they planned to “oppose by force the authority of the government of the United States.” And according to the Department of Justice:

“On Jan. 6, 2021, the defendants directed, mobilized and led members of the crowd onto the Capitol grounds and into the Capitol, leading to dismantling of metal barricades, destruction of property, breaching of the Capitol building, and assaults on law enforcement.”

Although certain former Trump officials have argued that they did not anticipate violence on January 6th, the evidence suggests otherwise. As you will see in our hearings, the White House was receiving specific reports in the days leading up to January 6th, including during President Trump’s Ellipse rally, indicating that elements in the crowd were preparing for violence at the Capitol. And, on the evening of January 5th, the President’s close advisor Steve Bannon said this on his podcast: All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. Just understand this, all hell is going to break loose tomorrow.

As part of our investigation, we will present information about what the White House and other intelligence agencies knew, and why the Capitol was not better prepared. But we will not lose sight of the fact that the Capitol Police did not cause the crowd to attack. And we will not blame the violence that day, violence provoked by Donald Trump, on the officers who bravely defended all of us.

In our final hearing, you will hear a moment-by-moment account of the hours-long attack from more than a half dozen White House staff, both live in the hearing room and via videotaped testimony. There is no doubt that President Trump was well aware of the violence as it developed. White House staff urged President Trump to intervene and call off the mob. Here is a document written while the attack was underway by a member of the White House staff advising what the President needed to say: “Anyone who entered the capitol without proper authority should leave immediately.”

This is exactly what his supporters on Capitol Hill and nationwide were urging the President to do. He would not. You will hear that leaders on Capitol Hill begged the President for help, including Republican Leader McCarthy, who was “scared” and called multiple members of President Trump’s family after he could not persuade the President himself.

Not only did President Trump refuse to tell the mob to leave the Capitol, he placed no call to any element of the U.S. government to instruct that the Capitol be defended. He did not call his Secretary of Defense on January 6th. He did not talk to his Attorney General. He did not talk to the Department of Homeland Security. President Trump gave no order to deploy the National Guard that day, and he made no effort to work with the Department of Justice to coordinate and deploy law enforcement assets. But Vice President Pence did each of those things. For example, here is what General Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified to this committee:

A: There were two or three calls with Vice President Pence. He was very animated, and he issued very explicit, very direct, unambiguous orders. There was no question about that. And I can get you the exact quotes from some of our records somewhere. But he was very animated, very direct, very firm to Secretary Miller. Get the military down here, get the guard down here. Put down this situation, et cetera.

By contrast, here is General Milley’s description of his conversation with President Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on January 6th:

A: “He said: We have to kill the narrative that the Vice President is making all the decisions. We need to establish the narrative, you know, that the President is still in charge and that things are steady or stable, or words to that effect. I immediately interpreted that as politics. Politics. Politics. Red flag for me, personally. No action. But I remember it distinctly.”

And you will hear from witnesses how the day played out inside the White House, how multiple White House staff resigned in disgust, and how President Trump would not ask his supporters to leave the Capitol. It was only after multiple hours of violence that President Trump finally released a video instructing the riotous mob to leave, and as he did so, he said to them: “We love you. You’re very special.”

You will also hear that in the immediate aftermath of January 6th, members of the President’s family, White House staff and others tried to step in to stabilize the situation “to land the plane” before the Presidential Transition on January 20th. You will hear about members of the Trump cabinet discussing the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment, and replacing the President of the United States. Multiple Members of President Trump’s own Cabinet resigned immediately after January 6th. One member of the Cabinet suggested that remaining Cabinet Officers needed to take a more active role in running the White House and the Administration. But most emblematic of those days is this exchange of texts between Sean Hannity and former President Trump’s Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany. Sean Hannity wrote in part: “Key now, no more crazy people.” “No more stolen election talk.” “Yes, impeachment and 25th amendment are real, and many people will quit.” Ms. McEnany responded in part: “Love that. That’s the playbook.”

The White House staff knew that President Trump was willing to entertain and use conspiracy theories to achieve his ends. They knew the President needed to be cut off from all of those who had encouraged him. They knew that President Donald Trump was too dangerous to be left alone. At least until he left office on January 20th. These are important facts for Congress and the American people to understand fully.

When a President fails to take the steps necessary to preserve our union, or worse, causes a constitutional crisis, we are at a moment of maximum danger for our Republic. Some in the White House took responsible steps to try to prevent January 6th. Others egged the President on. Others, who could have acted, refused to do so. In this case, the White House Counsel was so concerned about potentially lawless activity, that he threatened to resign, multiple times. That is exceedingly rare and exceedingly serious. It requires immediate attention, especially when the entire team threatens to resign. However, in the Trump White House, it was not exceedingly rare and it was not treated seriously. This is a clip of Jared Kushner, addressing multiple threats by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and his team of White House lawyers to resign in the weeks before January 6th.

Q: Jared, are you aware of instances where Pat Cipollone threatened to resign?

A: I kind of, like I said, my interest at that time was on trying to get as many pardons done, and I know that he was always, him and the team, were always saying oh we are going to resign. We are not going to be here if this happens, if that happens … So, I kind of took it up to just be whining, to be honest with you.

Whining. There is a reason why people serving in our Government take an oath to the Constitution. As our founding fathers recognized, democracy is fragile. People in positions of public trust are duty-bound to defend it – to step forward when action is required.

In our country, we don’t swear an oath to an individual, or a political party. We take our oath to defend the United States Constitution. And that oath must mean something. Tonight, I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible: There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain.

Finally, I ask all of our fellow Americans as you watch our hearings over the coming weeks, please remember what’s at stake. Remember the men and women who have fought and died so that we can live under the Rule of Law, not the rule of men. I ask you to think of the scene in our Capitol rotunda on the night of January 6th. There, in, a sacred space in our constitutional republic, the place where our presidents lie in state, watched over by statues of Washington and Jefferson, Lincoln and Grant, Eisenhower, Ford and Reagan, against every wall that night encircling the room, there were SWAT teams, men and women in tactical gear with long guns deployed inside our Capitol building.

There in the rotunda, these brave men and women rested beneath paintings depicting the earliest scenes of our Republic, including one painted in 1824 depicting George Washington resigning his commission, voluntarily relinquishing power, handing control of the Continental Army back to Congress. With this noble act, Washington set the indispensable example of the peaceful transfer of power. What President Reagan called, “nothing less than a miracle.” The sacred obligation to defend this peaceful transfer of power has been honored by every American president...Except one.

As Americans, we all have a duty to ensure what happened on January 6th never happens again, to set aside partisan battles to stand together to perpetuate and preserve our great Republic.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Big surprise: Fox News won’t air Jan. 6 hearings

 It’s not really a huge surprise that Fox News is declining to air the public hearings of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. I mean, what did we expect?

The conservative media outlet made the announcement Monday, stating that its hosts will “cover the hearings as news warrants.” Shannon Bream, Fox News’ chief legal correspondent, will anchor a two-hour live special on the hearings, and anchors from Fox Business (the lower-rated network) Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum will host live continuous coverage, The Hill reports.

There are numerous reasons one can point to for why Fox won’t air the coverage, starting with the fact that the constant stream of bullshit from off-the-rails GOP faves Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham garners the network millions of eyes nightly. The loss of revenue is probably a consideration since the network has spent every second since Jan. 6 assuring its viewers that the entire event was a tourist trip and the investigating committee is a witch hunt.

RELATED STORY: Trump campaign instructed bogus GOP electors in Georgia to use ‘complete secrecy,’ email shows

But another important reason is the direct involvement of many of Fox News’ biggest players on Jan. 6 itself—the day a bunch of white supremacists and QAnon-ers stormed the Capitol, cheered on by Trump and assured by Fox News that the election had been stolen.

As we reported in January, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, and Jeanine Pirro, to name a few, were on the Oval Office’s speed dial, and on Jan. 6, Ingraham, Brian Kilmeade, and Hannity all texted Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, in the hopes of getting him to intervene during the insurrection.

“Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home,” Ingraham wrote, per The Washington Post. “This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy.”

Kilmeade urged Meadows to get Trump “on TV” and stop the terrorists, and Hannity begged Meadows to demand Trump “make a statement” and “ask people to leave the Capitol.”

According to CNN, one of the last texts on the chain of the 2,319 texts to and from Meadows starting from Election Day 2020 to President Joe Biden’s 2021 inauguration was from Hannity.

The Fox News host shared the video of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell denouncing Trump from the Senate floor, saying the insurrectionists were “provoked by the President and other powerful people.” Hannity’s text read: “Well this is as bad as this can get.”

Hannity has been remarkably comfortable appearing in public with former President Donald Trump for years. He appeared on stage with Trump during a midterm election rally in Missouri in 2018, where he had the audacity to call the assembled media covering the event “fake news,” just as he’s referred to the five Democrats and two Republicans on the select committee continuously as “fake,” The New York Times reports.

But Trump ignored his buddies at Fox News and elsewhere and allowed the riot to explode, resulting in the deaths of five police officers who served at the Capitol. Fox News has mostly refused to acknowledge or cover what happened on Jan. 6.

Philip Bump, a national correspondent with The Washington Postcompared coverage of Jan. 6 by Fox News with its competitors MSNBC and CNN to find that on average, Fox rarely mentioned it at all—less than 1% during any 15-second segments in a week. They also rarely, if ever, mentioned the House select committee, the riot at the Capitol, the Proud Boys, the bogus GOP electors, and certainly not text messages from Meadows.

Oh, were the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers in the news over the past year? Who knew! Mark Who's Whats?

— Philip Bump (@pbump) June 7, 2022

Bump also sites Fox’s coverage of Trump's impeachments. During impeachment hearing number one, the networks aired it without sound, allowing its hosts to babble on about it audibly. And during impeachment hearing number two, “the network cut away at key points,” Bump writes.

At least one Republican lawmaker has spoken up about Fox News’ cowardly decision not to air the hearings. Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois wrote on Twitter, “If you work for Fox News and want to maintain your credibility as a journalist, now is a good time to speak out, or quit. Enough is enough.”

If you work for @FoxNews and want to maintain your credibility as a journalist, now is a good time to speak out, or quit. Enough is enough.

— Adam Kinzinger🇺🇦🇺🇸✌️ (@AdamKinzinger) June 7, 2022

McCarthy said he’d tell Trump to resign after Jan. 6. McConnell thought he’d be out, book reports

What Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Sen. Mitch McConnell said behind closed doors about President Trump’s involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection and what they said to his face were in complete opposition, according to a book set to hit shelves next month.  

This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future releases May 3, and with it will come a few surprises about the conversations key GOP members reportedly had about their leader.

The New York Times exclusively reports that not only did McCarthy and McConnell believe that Trump was directly responsible for the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, but they told other GOP lawmakers they intended to ask the president to resign. “I’ve had it with this guy,” McCarthy reportedly told a group of Republican leaders. Naturally, a spokesperson for McCarthy, Mark Bednar, denied to the Times that the congressman ever “said he’d call Trump to say he should resign.”

RELATED STORY: Can Kevin McCarthy be any more gutless? Yes, he can ‘forget’ what he said to Trump on Jan. 6

The book, co-written by Jonathan Martin and  Alexander Burns, two New York Times reporters, compiles interviews and records of hundreds of lawmakers and officials, according to the Times, and lays out a timeline where McCarthy and McConnell both lost their respective chutzpah—a great Yiddish word for nerve.

Listen Jennifer Fernandez Ancona from Way to Win explain what how Democrats must message to win on Daily Kos' The Brief podcast with Markos Moulitsas and Kerry Eleveld

According to the Times, before McCarthy’s spine dissolved, he reportedly suggested that several GOP lawmakers should be banned from social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook following the insurrection.

“We can’t put up with that,” McCarthy reportedly said. “Can’t they take their Twitter accounts away, too?”

Again, Bednar denied to the Times that Rep. McCarthy ever suggested any GOP leaders be banned from social media.

However, we know that McCarthy did publicly say in mid-January 2021 that Trump was at least partially responsible for the riot. "He told me personally that he does have some responsibility. I think a lot of people do."

Here's the audio of McCarthy saying Trump has responsibility for Jan. 6th and Trump admitted responsibility. He strongly urges a commission to investigate the attack. McCarthy said Thursday he didn't recall telling members Trump took responsibility.

— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) January 14, 2022

McCarthy also blabbed about Trump to House Republicans during a private conference call on Jan. 11. CNN obtained a copy of a transcript of that call.

"Let me be clear to you, and I have been very clear to the President. He bears responsibility for his words and actions. No if, ands, or buts," McCarthy said. "I asked him personally today if he holds responsibility for what happened. If he feels bad about what happened. He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened. But he needs to acknowledge that."

But four days later, McCarthy conveniently forgot all that he’d said.

Here's McCarthy yesterday when asked directly if he told members on a 1/11/21 call about Trump taking responsibility. "I'm not sure what call you're talking, so....," pivots quickly to next question.

— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) January 14, 2022

According to the Times, McCarthy was told by Rep. Bill Johnson of Ohio that Trump supporters did not want their president challenged on Jan. 6 events.

“I’m just telling you that that’s the kind of thing that we’re dealing with, with our base,” Johnson said.

As a result, by the end of January and after seeing that a scant 10 House Republicans would support a Trump impeachment, McCarthy reversed course and stepped away from any condemnation of HerrTrump. He shut his mouth and kept his job as the House Minority Leader.

As for McConnell, theTimes reports that he initially believed Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 were so heinous that he was convinced his GOP colleagues would surely break with the president. He reportedly even predicted a conviction vote for Trump’s impeachment.

“The Democrats are going to take care of the son of a bitch for us,” he reportedly said during a Jan. 11 meeting with Terry Carmack and Scott Jennings, two of his advisors. “If this isn’t impeachable, I don’t know what is,” he reportedly said.

McConnell was so convincing in his ire against Trump, the Times reports, that Senators John Thune and Rob Portman privately said they believed he’d vote to convict Trump.

But as we all know, McConnell eventually voted to acquit Trump, despite following it with a blistering speech against the president.

Then, he too, shut his mouth to keep his job and the support of a failed, twice-impeached president and his millions of supporters.