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May 18, 2024

Timeline: Donald Trump, Loser of 2020 Presidential Election, Tries to Thwart Transfer of Power

Trump Watchdogs warned in 2016 that Donald Trump has autocratic tendencies. Now at the start of 2021, Trump is denying that he lost the 2020 presidential election. Reportedly he might even try to stay in the White House past his voter-decreed move-out date. Below are related links and Trump Watchdogs’ live notes of the deadly January 6, 2020 riot incited by Trump at the US Capitol. 

2020 Presidential Election Results – See the 2020 electoral map at CNN. This page documents Biden’s 306 electoral votes and Trump’s 232. It also shows the final popular vote count with Joe Biden’s winning margin of more than 7 million. 

1. Trump Considered Using the Military for a Coup – On December 19, 2020 The New York Times reported on Trump’s December 18 meeting with lawyers and Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser. Trump asked the group about Flynn’s idea of deploying the military to “rerun” the presidential election. 

2. Trump’s Attorney General Says Election Was NOT Rigged – On December 21, 2020 Trump’s Attorney General William Barr contradicted Trump by publicly stating that Joe Biden is the rightful winner of the 2020 presidential election. Barr resigned from his job later that week. You can read the news at ABC’s site.

3. Lawmaker Tried to Change Vice Presidential Powers to Favor Trump – US House member Louis Gohnert recently filed a lawsuit with the hopes of changing Mike Pence’s role. If Gohnert had his way, the VP would get the “exclusive authority and sole discretion in determining which electoral votes to count for a given State.” As reported by NBC News, judges rejected the suit on December 27, 2020.

4. Trump Pressured Georgia Secretary of State to Change Election Outcome – During a recorded phone call on January 2, 2020, President Trump pressured Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find votes” in his favor and swing Georgia’s electoral points his way. You can read the full transcript at The Washington Post website. Hear the hour-long audio in this YouTube video from NBC: 

5. Trump Protests Outside Biden’s Confirmation – On January 6, 2020 Trump supporters rally in Washington, DC to protest Biden’s confirmation. Trump declared, “We will never concede!”

He also told the crowd, “If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election.” Pence does not have the authority to overturn the election.

Most important, Trump urged the crowd to storm the Capitol: “We’re going to the Capitol, and we’re going to try to give… our Republicans, the weak ones… the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”

As Trump Watchdogs write this article during Biden’s confirmation, the US Capitol is under lockdown because of disruptive Trump supporters scuffling with Capitol police outside. Here are live notes:

  • As of 2:30 p.m. EST, Trump protestors have breached security and are on the second floor of the US Capitol. This can be seen on live video coverage from CBS.
  • 2:50 EST – The mayor of Washington, D.C. announces a 6:00 p.m. curfew. [Soon this is extended for 15 days.]
  • 2:52 p.m. EST – CBS News reports that a pro-Trump mob has breached the Senate chamber. Lawmakers are relocating to an undisclosed location with help from Capitol police.
  • At 3 p.m. it’s reported by CBS News that as pro-Trump protestors breached security, lawmakers were told to retrieve gas masks that are stored in their seating areas.
  • At 3:10 p.m. it’s reported by CBS that the mayor of Washington, DC has requested 200 National Guard members in response to the pro-Trump mob.
  • At 3:50 p.m. a gunshot victim is shown on CBS news. The woman was reportedly shot inside the Capitol. [We first heard a report of the shot about an hour ago. The report came from a sequestered member of the US House of Representatives.]
  • 3:58 p.m. – The FBI has reportedly been deployed to assist Capitol police. Members of the mob may be charged with sedition.
  • 4:02 p.m. – CBS News reports that five people have been hospitalized as a result of the pro-Trump activism today. The woman shot inside the Capitol is said to be in critical condition. [The next day we learn that four people died in relation to the riot.]
  • 4:06 p.m. – Joe Biden addresses the nation about the chaos at the Capitol today. He describes the protest as an “assault on the rule of law” and an assault on “the doing of the people’s business.” He calls the assault “borderline sedition” and calls for Trump to go on national TV now and demand an end to the storming of the Capitol. “President Trump, stand up! Enough is enough is enough.”
  • Trump addresses the mob via Twitter at approximately 4:15. [Twitter deactivated Trump’s account the next day.] He posts a one-minute video in which he says “I know your pain” and “the election was stolen” but we need “law and order” and “don’t want anyone hurt.” He then repeats his claim that the election was fraudulent and that the opposition is “evil.” He concludes by telling his mob, “We love you. You’re very special.”
  • As the 6:00 curfew nears, tension is growing between the remaining protestors and law enforcement. Police used tear gas within the past 15 minutes. On live TV members of the crowd are seen climbing into the Capitol through a window. The window reportedly leads to the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi or her aides.
  • Around 4:50 p.m. Senator Duckworth reports by phone to the media that senators have the electoral college ballots. They can proceed with their work tonight.
  • At 6:08 p.m. Rep. Susan Wild reports concern of COVID-19 spreading among the sequestered lawmakers. She says that about 200 members of Congress are not wearing masks although hundreds of people are together.
  • 6:14 p.m. EST – CBS News reports that the woman shot today at the Capitol has died.
  • 7:40 p.m. – Melania Trump’s press secretary Stephanie Grisham resigns as a result of today’s events.
  • Congress reconvenes to confirm electoral votes at approximately 8:30 p.m. Ultimately Joe Biden’s electoral votes are certified at 3:40 in the morning on January 7.

[Added January 7] A Call for Trump’s Removal

By early afternoon the day after Trump’s riot, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are calling for Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment. Meanwhile Elaine Chao has resigned from her Cabinet position, thereby excusing herself from weighing in on revoking Trump’s position. (Former Transportation Secretary Chao is married to Mitch McConnell. Read about her cocaine scandal!)

Late afternoon, Pelosi told CNN that the chief of Capitol Police hasn’t returned her calls since the riot. Mitch McConnell states that the failure of Capitol Police to control the mob should be investigated.

By nighttime Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has resigned from the Cabinet. Capitol Police Chief Sund has resigned from his post as well.

And in popular entertainment: Today comedian Seth Meyers took a break from joking to call for Trump’s removal. This video gives a thoughtful overview with details of the January 6 insurrection:

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