Instruction manual for a Trump coup never made to Network News. Why not?


Eastman (L) and Rudy — January 6th
Bourg/Reuters

In a normal world, the “Eastman memo” would be infamous by now, the way “Access Hollywood” became the popular shorthand in 2016 for the damning recording of Donald Trump’s bragging about groping women…But it’s a good bet that most people have never even heard of the Eastman memo.

That says something troubling about how blasé the mainstream press has become about the attempted coup in the aftermath of the 2020 election — and how easily a coup could succeed next time.

The memo, unearthed in Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s new book, is a stunner. Written by Trump legal adviser John Eastman — a serious Establishment Type with Federalist Society cred and a law school deanship under his belt — it offered Mike Pence, then in his final days as vice president, a detailed plan to declare the 2020 election invalid and give the presidency to Trump.

In other words, how to run a coup in six easy steps.

Immediately after the memo was revealed, according to a study by left-leaning Media Matters for America, there was no on-air news coverage — literally zero on the three major broadcast networks: ABC, NBC and CBS.

Uniformly, they offer the same excuse. Essentially, they say, Well, it didn’t happen. There was no coup. So, it’s not news.

25 thoughts on “Instruction manual for a Trump coup never made to Network News. Why not?

  1. Mark says:

    Umm doesn’t a coup normally require the military to enforce it? The military leaders mostly hate Trumps guts.

    I say again. If it was a coup, it was the worst coup since the Beer-hall Putch. Looked to me like a bunch of knuckleheads cos-playing a Q-Anon fantasy. Wouldn’t surprise me that they we egged on and enabled by the FBI for the obvious benefit of the ruling party.

    Look at the ‘Freedom for Jan 6th’ rally last month. There were more media and spooks there than actual protestors. Seemed like a total stunt to me. Rent-A-Knucklehead.

    The Dems just love putting Jan 6th on the headlines to distract from their feeble and embarrassing attempt at legislation. Those cos-players that broke into the capitol or threatened people should have the book thrown at them, but coup? Nahhh…

  2. Grasping@straws says:

    “Critics pounded former Vice President Mike Pence’s claim on Monday that continued media reporting on the Jan. 6 insurrection was aimed at demeaning supporters of ex-President Donald Trump.
    Pence, appearing on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, suggested news outlets’ ongoing focus on the deadly U.S. Capitol riot by a mob of Trump fans was solely an attempt to “distract from the Biden administration’s failed agenda.”
    “They want to use that one day to try and demean the character and intentions of 74 million Americans who believed we could be strong again and prosperous again, and supported our administration in 2016 and 2020,” Pence charged. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/mike-pence-jan-6-sean-hannity-fox-news_n_615c01fae4b075408bdb29dc
    See also “Mike Pence just said something absolutely ridiculous about January 6” https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/05/politics/mike-pence-january-6-sean-hannity/index.html

  3. p/s says:

    “The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday released a sweeping report about how former President Donald Trump and a top lawyer in the Justice Department attempted to overturn the 2020 presidential election.” https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/07/politics/senate-judiciary-committee-investigation-trump-2020-election/index.html
    Appearing on CNN’s “New Day” Thursday morning, Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said the US was a “half a step away from a constitutional crisis, a full-blown constitutional crisis” and explained the events unfolded in three phases.
    “First phase, Trump goes to court. Loses every lawsuit, which claims there was voter fraud in the election. Next, he decides he has to take over the Department of Justice and the attorney general, and have the attorney general push this narrative on to the states to tell them to stop from sending in their Electoral College vote totals. When that failed — and our report goes into graphic detail of the efforts that were made — the third step was to turn the mob loose on the Capitol the day we were counting the ballots,” Durbin said, referring to the January 6 riot.

  4. Cooperating Witnesses says:

    The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection issued its third round of subpoenas on Thursday, this time targeting additional organizers of the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the violent Capitol insurrection. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-jan-6-committee/2021/10/07/131829f0-2796-11ec-8d53-67cfb452aa60_story.html
    The committee already issued subpoenas to 11 individuals affiliated with the planning of pro-Trump rallies before the attack and are now seeking information from right-wing provocateur Ali Alexander, the leader of Stop the Steal, and Nathan Martin, who said he is affiliated with Stop the Steal and is listed as the representative for “One Nation Under God” on a permit application to rally on Capitol grounds.

  5. Rule of Law? says:

    More than nine months after Jan. 6, the Department of Justice has opened more than 650 cases prosecuting those who allegedly participated in the attack on the U.S. Capitol, but none of those cases to date has targeted those accused of financially supporting the siege without entering the building. Pressed on news reports about suspected financial underwriters, Attorney General Merrick Garland told senators on Wednesday that he has “not constrained” his probe in any way, and his prosecutors will pursue “all investigative techniques”—including the old adage about following the money. https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/jan-6-investigation-is-not-constrained-to-capitol-rioters-and-all-investigative-techniques-are-being-pursued-ag-garland-tells-senate/
    Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse , who has frequently used his Judiciary Committee platform to criticize dark money’s effect upon the judiciary, asked Garland about the money “sloshing around in the background” of Jan. 6. The Rhode Island Democrat cited spending by the Bradley Foundation, Turning Point USA and other entities featured in the New Yorker investigation “The Big Money Behind the Big Lie,” by investigative reporter Jane Mayer. See https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/08/09/the-big-money-behind-the-big-lie

  6. Update says:

    John Eastman, a conservative lawyer working with then-President Donald Trump’s legal team, said in a radio interview in early January that then-Vice President Mike Pence had the power to throw the 2020 presidential election to the House of Representatives, saying it depended on whether Pence had “courage and the spine.” Those comments are more direct than how Eastman has recently described his conversation with Pence, when he has said he told the vice president it was an “open question” whether he could throw out seven states’ Electoral College votes and that it’d be a “foolish” option to pursue.
    Eastman made the comments, unearthed by CNN’s KFile, on the radio show of former Trump White House senior adviser Stephen Bannon on January 2 — just two days before Eastman briefed both Pence and Trump on his controversial memo about how Pence could overturn the election and just four days before January 6, when he spoke at the rally that preceded the attack on the US Capitol. https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/30/politics/kfile-john-eastman-said-pence-could-throw-election-to-house/index.html
    John Eastman, a lawyer for President Donald Trump told an aide of Vice President Mike Pence that he caused the attack on the Capitol by refusing to overturn the election, the Washington Post reports.
    Eastman made this claim in an email as rioters stormed the Capitol.
    The Pence aide had considered publishing the emails in January, along with an opinion article, but chose not to publish them. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/30/trumps-attorney-told-pence-his-refusal-to-overturn-the-election-caused-the-jan-6-riot.html

  7. Additionally says:

    “Timeline of the coup: How Trump tried to weaponize the Justice Department to overturn the 2020 election” https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/05/politics/january-6-timeline-trump-coup/index.html
    “A full year after the 2020 presidential election, new details are still emerging about former President Donald Trump’s unprecedented effort to overturn the results.
    Many of Trump’s actions were done in public view, including dozens of ill-fated lawsuits and tweets that undermined the electoral process. But congressional inquiries and news reports have shed new light on what happened behind the scenes as Trump tried to cling to power.
    Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of Trump’s attempted coup was how he relentlessly tried to weaponize the Justice Department to nullify President Joe Biden’s victory. The Democratic-run Senate Judiciary Committee investigated Trump’s conduct and concluded in a recent report that he “grossly abused the power of the presidency.”

    [A new CNN documentary, “Trumping Democracy: An American Coup,” about former President Donald Trump’s attempts to subvert the 2020 election, premieres at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, November 5.]

    • Crminal contempt says:

      Trump Justice official Jeffrey Clark, who pushed election fraud claims, stonewalls House January 6 committee https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/05/politics/jeffrey-clark-house-january-6/index.html
      In a letter to the US House of Representatives Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, the lawyer for Jeffrey Clark said his client’s conversations with Trump are confidential and privileged [link].
      Clark championed Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the November 4 election, which President Joe Biden won, and the committee is seeking to question him about allegations he had tried to help in that effort.
      A former acting assistant US attorney general, Clark has come under scrutiny after several people said he encouraged Trump to oust former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen.
      Rosen and others said Clark wanted to be installed himself, so he could launch investigations into Trump’s false election fraud claims. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/11/5/ex-us-official-declines-to-testify-about-election-advice-to-trump

    • Bongcloud Opening says:

      “Trump DOJ official who aided effort to overturn election declines to answer Jan. 6 questions
      The chair of the Hill select panel probing the Capitol riot said a contempt of Congress referral for Jeffrey Clark is “on the table.” https://www.politico.com/news/2021/11/05/jeffrey-clark-doj-hill-deposition-519703
      “As a sympathizer to election fraud conspiracy theories, Clark became Trump’s most useful asset inside the Justice Department in the days before January 6. Clark helped Trump devise a plan to oust the then-acting attorney general, place himself atop the department and have the DOJ intervene in Georgia to set aside its voting results in order to sway the state toward Trump.
      When Clark’s superiors learned of his scheming with Trump in early January, they threatened to resign en masse.”

  8. Smoking gun says:

    Sources have told the Guardian that just hours before the deadly attack on the US Capitol this year, Donald Trump made several calls from the White House to top lieutenants at the Willard hotel in Washington to discuss ways to stop or delay the certification of Joe Biden’s election win from taking place on 6 January.
    The former president relayed that his vice-president, Mike Pence, was reluctant to go along with the plan to commandeer his largely ceremonial role at the joint session of Congress in a way that would allow Trump to retain the presidency for a second term.
    He then pressed his aides about how to stop Biden’s certification from taking place, and delay the certification process to get alternate slates of electors for Trump sent to Congress.”
    The former President’s allies at the Willard Hotel in Washington reportedly included Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, and Steve Bannon.
    A spokesperson for Trump did not respond to The Guardian’s request for comment. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/30/donald-trump-called-capitol-riot-aides-first-thing

  9. Update says:

    Explosive PowerPoint presentation detailing plan to overturn election for Trump discovered by Jan 6 committee
    The actions recommended in the 36-page PowerPoint presentation are similar to what Trump allies were demanding of a top Defense Department official in the days leading up to the 6 January insurrection https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/mark-meadows-trump-capitol-riot-powerpoint-b1973809.html
    Eight days before the Jan. 6 rally in Washington, a little-known Trump donor living thousands of miles away in the Tuscan countryside quietly wired a total of $650,000 to three organizations that helped stage and promote the event.
    Now, Julie Fancelli, the 72-year-old daughter of the founder of the Publix grocery store chain, is facing public scrutiny as the House committee investigating the insurrection seeks to expose the financing for the rally that preceded the riot at the US Capitol. Fancelli is the largest publicly known donor to the rally, support that some concerned relatives and others attributed to her enthusiasm for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/12/09/nation/heiress-spotlight-over-jan-6-funding/

  10. Sassafras Flip says:

    Former Trump aide Jason Miller has had his deposition with the Jan. 6 commission postponed following his engagement with the select committee, a source familiar with the investigation told The Hill.
    A new date for the scheduled deposition has not been set. Miller was supposed to appear before the House select committee on Friday. https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/585260-jason-miller-deposition-postponed-commission-after-he-engages-with
    Miller was among a batch of six people who received subpoenas last month to appear before the committee. Others who received subpoenas at that time included former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, Trump campaign assistant Angela McCallum, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and conservative lawyer John Eastman.

  11. Benedict Arnold says:

    Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows sent an email saying the National Guard would be present to ‘protect pro Trump people’ in the lead up to the US Capitol insurrection, according to a new contempt report released by the January 6 committee Sunday night.
    It was just one of several new details in the report about Meadows’ actions before and during January 6, as well as his role in attempting to overturn the 2020 election. The resolution comes after the panel informed Meadows last week that it had “no choice” but to advance criminal contempt proceedings against him given that he had decided to no longer cooperate. https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/12/politics/mark-meadows-january-committee-contempt-of-congress-resolution/index.html

  12. Cassandra says:

    “Newly revealed text messages to Meadows undercut GOP whitewashing of the insurrection” https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/14/politics/january-6-committee-mark-meadows/index.html
    “…One of the unnamed lawmakers apologized the day after the Capitol riot for failing to stop the counting of electoral votes in key states Trump lost.
    “We tried everything we could in our objection to the six states,” they told Meadows, according to a message read by Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat on the committee. “I am sorry nothing worked.”
    Another lawmaker texted Meadows before January 6 insisting then-Vice President Mike Pence reject electoral votes, repeating back to the White House the proposal that was reportedly put forward in a much-discussed 38-page power point presentation that was seen as a recipe for a coup.
    “On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all,” the lawmaker told Meadows, according to the committee.”

  13. Doublethink says:

    “To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself—that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word—doublethink—involved the use of doublethink.” George Orwell, “Nineteen Eighty-Four” (1949) part 1, chapter 3, pp 32

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