Victor Wynne

Trump’s words, and deeds, reveal depths of his drive to retain power

Shane Goldmacher:

A series of new remarks by Donald J. Trump about the aftermath of the 2020 election and new disclosures about his actions in trying to forestall its result – including discussing the use of the national security apparatus to seize voting machines – have stripped away any pretense that the events of Jan. 6, 2021, were anything but the culmination of the former president’s single-minded pursuit of retaining power.

Mr. Trump said on Sunday that Mike Pence “could have overturned the election,” acknowledging for the first time that the aim of the pressure campaign he focused on his vice president had simply been to change the election’s result, not just to buy time to root out supposed fraud, as he had long insisted. Those efforts ended at the Capitol with a violent riot of Trump supporters demanding that Mr. Pence block the Electoral College vote.

Over the weekend, Mr. Trump also dangled, for the first time, that he could issue pardons to anyone facing charges for participating in the Jan. 6 attack if he is elected president again – the latest example of a yearslong flirtation with political violence.

And, ignoring what happened the last time he encouraged a mass demonstration, Mr. Trump urged his supporters to gather “in the biggest protests we have ever had” if prosecutors in New York and Atlanta moved further against him. The prosecutor examining Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the election in Georgia immediately asked the F.B.I. to conduct a “risk assessment” of her building’s security.

One hell of a lede on this piece.