While it’s been clear for some time now that former President Donald Trump was directly involved in fomenting the violence that took place on January 6 at the U.S. Capitol, reporting from The New York Times suggests that some Republicans in Congress also played a role in the efforts to subvert the 2020 election and keep power through a violent uprising.
Specifically, the Times reveals that notes taken by a top deputy to then-Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen point directly to a coordinated effort between Trump and members of Congress. Those notes, which were handwritten by deputy AG Richard Donoghue, report what Trump told Rosen:
That, many legal experts said, is a literal smoking gun, and it means that several Republicans in Congress are facing indictment for their role in what transpired on that fateful day.
Philip Bump of The Washington Post focused in on the notation from Donoghue:
“What Donoghue’s notes suggest is that Trump had fully bought into the effort that would eventually become his Alamo: having Republican legislators block the electoral-vote counting due to take place at the Capitol on Jan. 6.”
Failing to certify counting of the electoral votes would have resulted in a Constitutional crisis. The added chaos of a riot at the Capitol would have provided the perfect opportunity for Trump to declare a national emergency and refuse to hand over the reins of power to Joe Biden. It also would have provided an “excuse” for a coup d’etat. And it would have even had the blessing of a faction in Congress.
Once again, quoting Philip Bump:
“Some congressional Republicans clearly did their best to aid Trump’s effort. On the morning of Jan. 6, (Rep Mo) Brooks spoke before Trump at a rally outside the White House. It was time, he said, to ‘start taking down names and kicking ass.’ It’s not clear if any of those in attendance did the former, but some clearly did the latter.”
Brooks, along with Reps. Jim Jordan, Jim Banks, Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Kevin McCarthy (and perhaps others) may well find themselves charged with crimes by the Justice Department.