Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites
Georgia prosecutor seriously considering a criminal investigation into Trump's election interference, report says
  • Fulton County's district attorney is seriously considering launching a criminal investigation into President Donald Trump, according to The New York Times.
  • This follows calls by a watchdog group and Democratic lawmakers to have Trump investigated for interfering in the 2020 election.
  • The only Democrat on Georgia's state election board is demanding that an inquiry launch be announced before February 10, reported The Washington Post.
  • The inquiry would mainly focus on Trump's phone call with Brad Raffensperger, in which he asked the secretary of state to 'find' 11,780 votes.
  • Trump, who is reported to be considering pardoning himself, would not be protected from a state prosecution.
Fulton County's new district attorney, Fani Willis, is seriously considering whether to launch an official inquiry into Trump's attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 Election, the paper reported.

Willis has also deliberated over whether to hire a special assistant to oversee the inquiry, sources told the Times.

The calls for Trump to be investigated have come from watchdog groups and Democratic lawmakers.

Earlier this month, the sole Democrat on Georgia's state election board, David Worley, called on Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to look into Trump's controversial hour-long phone call, according to The Washington Post.

Worley referred to a Georgia state code that makes it illegal to solicit someone into committing election fraud, the paper reported. Violating § 21-2-604 is punishable by up to three years in jail.

... Federal pardons do not apply to state prosecutions. Trump, therefore, risks being charged with offenses that go beyond his pardoning power.

Giving Trump a free pass for the Capitol siege would be a disaster for America's image around the world
  • The world is watching whether the US holds President Donald Trump accountable for the attack on the US Capitol.
  • If Congress gives Trump a free pass, it will hurt America's standing on the world stage and embolden anti-democratic despots.
... Foreigners are particularly focused on what happens to some of the names they know best, like the president, his son Donald Trump Jr., and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Will there actually be consequences for those who fed an angry mob the very lies that led them to attack the US Capitol?

If there is little to no action, the ramifications will not be limited to our own country. From Brasilia to Budapest, authoritarian leaders who have been emboldened by the American president will have another argument to further seize power.

A lack of accountability will also be a favor to the parties and candidates abroad who were unsuccessful at the ballot box. Trump's extreme and egregious example of contesting the results offers them a potent playbook for undertaking their own undemocratic upheaval. Unfortunately, the institutions and rule of law in most of those countries is likely to be even weaker than in the US.

... But if Trump can no longer be considered a potential American president, the attempts by foreign governments and domestic businesses to curry favor with him will begin to dry up . Instead, Trump could occupy an uncomfortable spot as a leader emeritus of his movement who would have to cede the stage to another standard bearer.

Placing him in that political purgatory would go a long way toward reestablishing a modicum of deterrence for those who might seek to replicate his efforts to overturn the results of legitimate elections. He might well become a cautionary tale for populist politicians around the world. A reminder that if they or their supporters go too far, it may cost them more than just one election.

The horrific events on Capitol Hill echoed through the halls of power in capitals near and far. A lack of accountability at the top for those terrible transgressions against our democratic system will be heard more loudly than any promises of reform or rebuilding. It would embolden extremist leaders and usher in an era of unprecedented upheaval. A failure to impeach Donald Trump would ultimately threaten global stability and our very own national security interests.

Former Rep. Mickey Edwards says he's leaving the GOP because it has 'become a cult' under Trump: 'It's no longer a political party'
  • Former Rep. Mickey Edwards of Oklahoma, known as a stalwart conservative during his days on Capitol Hill, said on Thursday that he is leaving the Republican Party because it has become a "cult" under President Donald Trump.
  • In an interview with KFOR-TV, the Oklahoma City-based NBC affiliate, Edwards decried Republicans who backed Trump's months long effort to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's election win, even after the deadly Capitol riots that claimed five lives.
  • "This has become a cult," he said. "It's no longer a political party. It's a cult. It's the kind of a cult that when the leader of the cult does anything, no matter what it is, or how awful it is, they voted," he said.
"There is no Republican Party anymore that has values, principles, morals, anything," he told KFOR-TV. "We thought taxes could be too high and harmful, we thought regulation could be too much and harmful, we should have a strong military – I agreed with all of that. I still agree with that."

... He added: "They voted to question the election results even after people came into the Capitol, tried to kill them and killed a police officer who was trying to protect them."

... "You've got the Josh Hawleys, and the Ted Cruzes and the James Lankfords, and these people who are letting their personal ambition, and fear of the voters, they want to inherit those voters, and it's leading them to real dark paths," he said. "I don't know what the future is, but for me it's outside of the Republican Party."

Trump is planning an 'elaborate' send-off for himself before Biden's inauguration. He wants a red carpet, military band, and a 21-gun salute, reports say.
  • President Donald Trump is planning a red carpet, military band, and a US Air Force flypast on the morning of Joe Biden's inauguration, according to ABC News.
  • He's also asked about the possibility of a 21-gun salute, reported the Associated Press.
  • Trump — who will not be attending the ceremony — intends to depart for Mar-a-Lago on Wednesday morning, CNN said.
  • Biden's inauguration ceremony will be socially-distanced and star-studded.
Trump will go against tradition by skipping the inauguration and creating a split-screen moment on Inauguration Day.

The president hopes to outshine Biden's ceremony by concurrently hosting a televised political rally in Florida, sources told Axios last month.

Biden's inauguration plans will be pared-down and socially-distanced but, nonetheless, star-studded.

His inaugural committee announced that there would be performances by Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, and Justin Timberlake on Thursday.

It will feature a mix of virtual and in-person events and broadcast on social media and cable TV.

Biden official accuses Trump administration of 'sabotage,' following a string of controversial foreign policy decisions in the final days of the presidency
  • An unnamed transition official from President-elect Joe Biden's team has said that President Donald Trump's latest foreign policy moves "feel like sabotage," according to PBS NewsHour.
  • In the PBS exclusive interview, the official singled out Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for implementing controversial foreign policies in the final days of Trump's presidency.
  • He suggested that these decisions' timing was suspicious and was an effort by Pompeo's to "feed his own domestic political ambitions."
  • A lawmaker has described Pompeo's recent announcements about US relations with Iran, Taiwan, Cuba, and Yemen as "rushed" and "reckless."
The Biden official said: "We will manage this but it does start, at some point, to feel like sabotage. Not only do they know we don't want to implement some of these approaches; they don't even want to implement them."

The transition official then implied that the timing of these decisions was suspicious. "Which is why they're doing them now, rather than at any other point in the previous four years," they told PBS.

Rudy Giuliani said he is working on Trump's defense for the impeachment trial and that he's open to the president himself testifying, ABC News report says
  • Rudy Giuliani said he is working on President Donald Trump's defense for his upcoming impeachment trial, according to ABC News.
  • Giuliani said he plans to argue the president did not incite violence because the unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud are true — despite the fact that none of the claims have held up in court thus far.
  • He also said he would not be opposed to Trump himself testifying during the Senate trial.
"They basically claimed that anytime [Trump] says voter fraud, voter fraud — or I do, or anybody else — we're inciting to violence; that those words are fighting words because it's totally untrue," Giuliani told ABC. "Well, if you can prove that it's true, or at least true enough so it's a legitimate viewpoint, then they are no longer fighting words."

Giuliani and Trump have been spreading unsubstantiated claims of election and voter fraud since the president lost the 2020 election to President-elect Joe Biden in November. The Trump campaign and Republican allies have launched dozens of lawsuits based on such claims, though none of them have been successful, with many dismissed for a lack of relevant evidence.

The Department of Justice, and Trump ally Attorney General Bill Barr, also said in December it found no evidence of widespread fraud that would change the outcome of the election.

Nonetheless, Giuliani and the president have continued to spread those claims, including on January 6, the day of the US Capitol attack that is at the center of Trump's impeachment.

... Giuliani told ABC that he thinks Trump should first try to have the trial dismissed as "entirely illegal," in part due to how quickly it was carried out.

He also said he would not be "strongly opposed" to Trump himself testifying during the trial, despite the president's lawyers being against it in his first impeachment.

or Trump-ism

Trumpism refers to the nontraditional political philosophy and approach espoused by US President Donald Trump and his supporters. The term Trumpism can also be used to directly refer to an outrageous or idiosyncratic statement made by Donald Trump.

Trumpisms are Bushisms on steroids.