Former President Donald Trump is a traitor. He betrayed America by attempting to subvert the 2020 presidential election and hang on to power. He rejected the laws of America and the US Constitution, which he swore a solemn oath to defend, to try to seize power for himself. In doing so, he betrayed America and everything it stands for. No person who believes in the ideals of America should support this traitor.

Trump is in the same category as the other traitors of American history, like Benedict Arnold, who betrayed America during the war of independence, like confederates such as Jefferson Davis, who attacked America in their attempt to secede and maintain slavery, and like Fritz Duquesne, who ran a massive spy ring in the United States during World War II to steal military secrets for the Nazis.

Trump should be held in the same disgust and revulsion as these traitors.

The Betrayal

Trump’s betrayal of America is documented in the report of the January 6th Committee, and the indictment documents of the prosecutions of Trump for his attempt to subvert the election, both in federal court and in Georgia.

You should read the federal indictment of Trump if you have not already, which lays out the details of Trump’s betrayal. I will summarize the key elements of Trump’s betrayal here, from that indictment. Much of this writeup is taken directly from that indictment, though I have condensed it and added my own commentary in places. Trump has not presented any substantive evidence to call into doubt any of the claims in the indictment.

Starting immediately after election day on November 3rd, 2020, Trump conducted a pressure campaign to attempt to sway a wide swath of government officials to corruptly declare him president, in contravention of the will of the American voters and the laws of America. His principal traitorous subordinates in these efforts were Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Kenneth Chesebro, and Jeffrey Clark. Trump conducted these pressure campaigns against government officials in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. He convened fraudulent, traitorous slates of electors in those four states as well as in Nevada, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. Moreover, he attempted to pressure federal government officials, including the Vice President and the members of the Houses of Congress, to subvert the country and the election and keep him in power. Among the many tools of this pressure campaign was the insurrection against the capital on January 6th, 2021, which Trump and his criminal subordinates used to continue to pressure federal officials into handing the presidency to him.

Trump’s betrayal of America should live in infamy, and I will lay out the details here.

Betrayal in Arizona

On November 22nd, 2020, Trump and his criminal subordinate Rudy Giuliani called the Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, a Republican named Rusty Bowers, to pressure him to use the Arizona legislature to throw out the legitimate election results and corruptly declare that Trump had won the election. As part of this attempt to suborn Bowers, Trump and Giuliani falsely claimed that many non-citizens and non-residents had voted in Arizona, and that many fraudulent votes were cast in the names of dead people. Trump and Giuliani knew their claims were false, as they presented no evidence of fraud, and knew they had no evidence of fraud. The attempt was solely an attempt to hang on to power, cloaked in a paper-thin veil of claims of election fraud. Bowers rejected Trump’s demands that the Speaker betray his state and the nation and corruptly hand the election to Trump.

On December 1st, 2020, Giuliani met with Bowers in person, to continue the pressure campaign. When the Arizona Speaker asked for evidence of the outcome-determinative election fraud that he and Trump had been claiming, Giuliani acknowledged to Bowers that he had no evidence of this fraud.

On December 4th, Bowers issued a public statement in reference to this pressure campaign, stating in part:

I and my fellow legislators swore an oath to support the U.S. Constitution and the constitution and laws of the state of Arizona. It would violate that oath, the basic principles of republican government, and the rule of law if we attempted to nullify the people’s vote based on unsupported theories of fraud. Under the laws that we wrote and voted upon, Arizona voters choose who wins, and our system requires that their choice be respected.

It was this oath, these laws, and these basic principles that Trump betrayed, and that he attempted to convince Bowers to betray.

On January 4th, 2021, John Eastman, another criminal subordinate of Trump’s, pressured the Arizona Speaker to use the state legislature to decertify the state’s legitimate presidential electors, who had voted three weeks previously in now-President Biden’s favor. Eastman did not dispute the fact that there was no evidence of substantial fraud in Arizona, but implored Bowers to decertify the results anyways. Bowers again refused, stating that he would stick to the oath he had made to uphold the US Constitution.

In 2022, Bowers was defeated in a primary election to remain in the Arizona state legislature, losing against a Trump-endorsed opponent as a direct result of refusing to join Trump’s traitorous plot. The threat to support a primary candidate in running against the Speaker if he did not join Trump’s scheme was an implicit part of Trump’s pressure campaign, and was carried out even after the pressure campaign failed.

Betrayal in Georgia

On December 3rd, Giuliani and other agents of Trump’s gave a presentation to a Judiciary Subcommittee of the Georgia State Senate, with the intention of misleading and pressuring state senators to block the ascertainment of the legitimate election outcome.

During the presentation, a Trump agent falsely claimed that 10,000 fraudulent votes were cast in Georgia in the names of dead people, a claim that Trump and his agents were well aware was false. The Trump organization’s estimate at the time was that 12 such fraudulent votes had been cast. Another Trump agent played a misleading excerpt of a ballot-counting video recording, insinuating that it showed suitcases of illegal ballots being counted.

John Eastman then encouraged the legislators to decertify the state’s legitimate election result based on these false allegations of election fraud.

On December 4th and 7th, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Chief Operating Officer rejected and debunked the claims made at Giuliani’s presentation.

On December 8th, Trump called the Georgia Attorney General, Christopher Carr, a Republican, to pressure him to support Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filled that day in the Supreme Court which sought to throw out the electoral results of four states, including Georgia. Carr resisted this pressure, and a spokesperson for Carr described the lawsuit as “constitutionally, legally and factually wrong about Georgia.”

On December 10th, appeared at a hearing before the Georgia House of Representatives’ Government Affairs Committee, reiterating the false claim that the previously-shown video showed voter fraud, and personally targeting two of the election workers shown in the video. For his defamatory actions against these election workers, Giuliani has been found liable for $148 million in damages.

On January 2nd, Trump and his criminal associates called Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffesnsperger, a Republican. During the hour-long call, Trump continually lied to Raffensperger to pressure him into corruptly altering Georgia’s election result. These pressure tactics and lies included:

  • Repeating the false allegations from the aforementioned video,
  • Disparaging one of the aforementioned election workers,
  • Peddling rumors about paper ballots being destroyed,
  • Claiming that 5000 votes were cast in the names of dead people in Georgia,
  • Claiming that thousands of out-of-state voters had voted in Georgia,
  • Demanding that Raffensperger find 11780 votes, the exact number of votes necessary to corruptly flip the election result,
  • Threaten Raffensperger with criminal prosecution if he didn’t accede to Trump’s demands.

Raffensperger stood firm and rejected Trump’s traitorous demands.

In 2022, Raffensperger won a primary election against a Trump-backed opponent, another implicit part of Trump’s pressure campaign.

Betrayal in Michigan

On November 20th, three days before Michigan’s Governor was due to ascertain Michigan’s election results, Trump summoned the Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives, Lee Chatfield, and the Majority Leader of the Michigan Senate, Mike Shirkey, to the Oval Office. Both were Republicans. In the meeting, Trump falsely claimed that illegitimate ballots were delivered around four in the morning, the morning after election day. The Michigan officials rejected these claims. Immediately after the meeting, the Michigan government officials issued a public statement rejecting these claims.

On December 4th, Giuliani continued the effort to pressure Chatfield to corruptly overturn the Michigan election outcome, without evidence. On December 7th, Giuliani similarly attempted to pressure Shirkey towards the same end.

On December 14th, Chatfield and Shirkey publicly announced that they would not move to decertify the election results, saying that by doing so, they would “lose our country forever.”

This attempt to destroy the country was the heart of Trump’s betrayal, which Chatfield and Shirkey rejected.

Shirkey’s rejection of Trump’s pressure is particularly interesting, given that he later falsely alleged that the January 6th storming of the U.S. Capitol was a staged hoax, and that dead people voted in Michigan during the 2020 election. Despite endorsing these false claims, he did not join Trump’s betrayal of Michigan and of America.

Betrayal in Pennsylvania

On November 25th, the day after Pennsylvania’s Governor certified Pennsylvania’s election outcomes, Giuliani organized an event attended by Pennsylvania state legislators in which he falsely and without evidence claimed that 700,000 more absentee ballots had been cast than had been issued in the state. I voted absentee in Pennsylvania in that election, as I was out of state during the election.

On December 4th, four Republican leaders of the Pennsylvania legislature issued a public statement that the state legislature lacked the authority to throw out the popular vote and decide the outcome unilaterally. In response, Trump publicly decried the legislators as cowards.

Betrayal via Fraudulent Slates of Electors

His efforts to suborn state officials to his traitorous cause having failed, Trump and his criminal subordinates developed an additional plan: They organized individuals who would’ve served as Trump’s electors, had Trump won the election in each of seven states in which he lost the election: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Moreover, they directed those would-be electors to falsely claim to the Vice President and to Congress that they were legitimate electors. By doing so, Trump and his subordinates planned to create a fake controversy at the January 6th certification proceeding. Then, they planned to pressure the Vice President to throw out the legitimate election results and corruptly install Trump as president.

The core of this traitorous strategy was crafted by Kenneth Chesebro, culminating in memos written on December 6th and 9th.

On December 6th, Trump and Eastman called the Chairwoman of the Republic National Committee to verify that the plan was in motion. In the call, Eastman falsely claimed that the electors’ votes would be used only if ongoing litigation in one of the states involved changed the results in Trump’s favor. In reality, Trump and his subordinates had no intention of holding to such restrictions, and would go on to promote the false slates of electors without any success in litigation. The RNC Chairwoman reported to Trump that progress was underway.

On December 8th, Chesebro called an Arizona attorney to recruit him to this traitorous plan. He summarized Eastman’s proposal as “[having] our electors send in their votes [,] even though the votes aren’t legal under federal law” and that “we would just be sending in ‘fake’ electoral votes to Pence”. The Arizona attorney wrote that he didn’t see anything wrong with these actions, and joined the plot.

On December 11th, Chesebro (on Giuliani’s instructions) instructed the Arizona lawyer to file a petition before the Supreme Court without any hope of success, as a pretext to provide cover for the fraudulent Arizona electors’ actions. Giuliani and Chesebro took these actions because they had heard from a state official and state provisional elector that “it could appear treasonous for the AZ electors to vote on Monday if there is no pending court proceeding. These Arizona individuals were right: The actions of the fraudulent electors and of Trump, Giuliani, Chesebro, and the Arizona attorney were indeed treasonous.

On December 12th, the Trump campaign organized a conference call with the prospective fraudulent Pennsylvania electors, at which Giuliani and Chesebro spoke. Some of the prospective fraudulent electors expressed concern about signing certificates falsely representing themselves as legitimate electors. Giuliani falsely assured them that the certificates would only be used if Trump succeeded in litigation. Another Trump subordinate circulated conditional language to that effect. A Trump campaign official instructed not to offer the conditional language to other states, demonstrating their intent at this point in time to use the fraudulent elector slates regardless of litigation outcomes. Some of the prospective Pennsylvania electors refused to participate.

On December 13th, Chesebro confirmed to Giuliani that their assurances were false, and that they planned to falsely push the fraudulent slates regardless of litigation.

Also on December 13th, Trump asked a senior campaign advisor for an update on the fraudulent elector plan, and directed him to “put out [a] statement on electors.” The senior campaign advisor discussed the developments with several senior Trump campaign employees, describing the plan as “Certifying illegal votes.” The participants in this discussion refused to write a statement regarding electors, as they could not stand by Trump’s efforts.

Also on December 13th, Chesebro added New Mexico to the fraudulent elector plan, sending the fraudulent certificates to the prospective fraudulent electors. There was no relevant pending litigation in New Mexico at all. The next day, Trump’s campaign filed a suit at 11:54am, six minutes before the deadline for the submission of the elector’s votes, as another pretext.

On December 14th, the legitimate electors in each of the seven targeted states submitted their votes for Biden. On the same day, at the direction of Trump and Giuliani, fraudulent electors convened sham proceedings to cast fraudulent ballots for Trump. In several states, in order to satisfy legal requirements for legitimate electors, state officials were enlisted to provide the fraudulent electors access to state capitol buildings to give their fraudulent ballots a veneer of legitimacy.

Shortly afterwards, these fraudulent elector certificates were mailed to the President of the US Senate and the Archivist of the United States, purporting to be the legitimate ballots. That evening, the RNC Chairwoman forwarded Trump an email informing him that the fraudulent electors had submitted their fraudulent ballots in six of the targeted states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Betrayal via attempts to corrupt the Justice Department

In late December, Trump attempted to use the Justice Department to promote his false claims of election fraud. He pressured the Acting Attorney General to formally claim that the Justice Department supported his false claims, as part of his efforts to pressure state officials to subvert the election to his benefit.

Trump’s principal criminal subordinate in these efforts was Jeffrey Clark, who was the Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division, and who had recently been appointed acting head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, a division which does not handle cases related to elections law.

On December 27th, after several meetings with Clark, Trump called the Acting Attorney General, Jefferey Rosen, and the Acting Deputy Attorney General, Richard Donoghue, both of whom he had appointed, and who had only risen to those positions on December 24th, when the former Attorney General had resigned. In the conversation, Trump raised several false claims of election fraud, which Barr and Rosen refuted. Trump also said “People tell me [Clark] is great. I should put him in.”, implicitly threatening that if Barr and Rosen did not join Trump’s corrupt scheme, he would fire them, replace them with Clark, and get him to do it. When Barr told Trump that the Justice Department could not and would not corruptly overturn the election, Trump responded, “Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen.”

On December 28th, Clark sent a draft letter to Barr and Rosen, which he proposed that they all sign. The draft was addressed to state officials in Georgia – Clark further proposed sending similar letters to elected officials in several other states. The proposed letter made many knowingly false claims, including:

  • that the Justice Department had “identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple States,”
  • that the Justice Department believed that the fraudulent electors which Trump had organized were equally legitimate to the real electors,
  • that the Justice Department urged the state legislature to convene a special legislative session to create the opportunity to choose the fraudulent electors over the legitimate electors.

Rosen promptly rejected Clark’s entreaties to join Trump’s traitorous conspiracy.

On December 31st, Trump summoned Barr and Rosen to an Oval Office meeting, where he reiterated his false claims about election fraud, and suggested he might again change the leadership in the Justice Department, after Rosen and Ronoghue had been in their positions for a week.

On January 2nd, Clark again tried to coerce Rosen and Donoghue to sign and send Clark’s false letter, saying that Trump was considering making Clark the new Acting Attorney General, but that Clark would decline Trump’s offer if Rosen and Donoghue would join Trump and Clark’s corrupt plot. Rosen and Donoghue refused.

On January 3rd, the Deputy White House Counsel told Clark that if Trump corruptly clung to power after January 20th, there would be “riots in every major city in the United States.” Clark responded “[…] that’s why there’s an Insurrection Act.” The Insurrection Act gives the president the authority to deploy the US military within the US in particular circumstances. By referring to the Insurrection Act, Clark indicated that his plan was to aid Trump in conducting a violent military coup to retain power.

On January 4th, Clark met with Trump in the White House, and accepted Trump’s offer that he become Acting Attorney General. Later that afternoon, Clark met with Rosen, and told him that Trump had replaced Rosen with Clark. Rosen did not accept this, and immediately scheduled a meeting with Trump.

That evening, Trump met with Rosen, Clark, Donoghue, the White House Counsel, and other Justice Department and White House Counsel’s office officials. At the meeting, Trump expressed frustration with Rosen for not joining his plot to corruptly overturn the election outcome. The group discussed Clark’s plans to send his proposed letter to state officials. Trump was told that his plan to replace Rosen with Clark would result in mass resignations at the Justice Department and of the White House Counsel. Only at this point did Trump relent in his plan to replace Rosen with Clark.

At this meeting, Clark suggested that the Justice Department should put out a statement falsely declaring that the Vice President had the option to overturn the election result during the January 6th election certification proceeding. Trump responded that “No one here should be talking to the Vice President. I’m talking to the Vice President.”

Betrayal via the January 6th Election Certification

Trump next sought to enlist Vice President Mike Pence to his traitorous plan, pressuring him to use his ceremonial role at the January 6th certification to corruptly hand the election to Trump.

Trump initially tried to convince Pence by using knowingly false claims of election fraud. When this failed, Trump attempted to use a crowd of his supporters who he had gathered near the location of the election certification proceeding to intimidate Pence into fraudulently overturning the election.

On December 23rd, Trump publicly falsely asserted that Pence could unilaterally disqualify legitimate electors. On the same day, Eastman circulated a plan for Pence to unlawfully declare Trump the winner of the presidential election, by falsely declaring that the fraudulent electors that Trump had organized were equally legitimate to the real electors and throwing out all votes from those states. Then, Eastman proposed further steps that would knowingly violate the law, and ended with Pence declaring that Trump was re-elected.

On several private phone calls in late December and early January, Trump pushed his claims of election fraud to Pence and pressured Pence to fraudulently overturn the election results. Pence resisted these entreaties, which included:

  • On December 25th, in response to Pence calling Trump to wish him a Merry Christmas, Trump attempted to pressure Pence into defrauding the election, which Pence rejected.
  • On December 29th, Trump falsely claimed to Pence that the Justice Department was finding major infractions.
  • On January 1st, Trump berated Pence for opposing a lawsuit which sought to declare that Pence had the authority to reject votes at the January 6th certification. When Pence resisted Trump’s pressure, Trump told Pence, “You’re too honest.”
  • On January 3rd, Trump again told Pence that he had the absolute right and ability to overturn the election at the certification. Pence again rejected these false claims, and pointed out that the aforementioned lawsuit had failed.

On January 4th, Trump held a meeting with Eastman, Pence, and members of Pence’s staff, in attempt to pressure Pence to reject Biden’s legitimate electoral votes. In the meeting, Trump made knowingly false of election fraud, claiming that they “won every state by 100,000s of votes”. Trump and Eastman then pressured Pence to unilaterally reject the legitimate electors from the seven targeted states.

Later on January 4th, Eastman acknowledged to a senior Trump advisor that no court would support his proposal. The senior advisor told Eastman that he was “going to cause riots in the streets.” Eastman responded that there had previously been points in the nation’s history where violence was necessary to protect the republic. In doing so, he indicated that, like Clark, he also planned to support Trump in conducting a violent military coup to retain power.

On January 5th, Trump met with Pence. When Pence refused to agree to the Trump’s request that he corruptly overturn the election, Trump grew frustrated and told Pence that Trump would have to publicly criticize him. This was an intimidation tactic, cloaked in plausible deniability. When Pence’s Chief of Staff heard about this conversation, he feared for Pence’s safety, and alerted the head of Pence’s Secret Service bodyguard team.

In parallel to these direct pressure tactics against Pence, Trump was also encouraging his supporters to travel to Washington D.C. for his “Stop the Steal” rally, to be held concurrently with the January 6th election proceedings. He had been encouraging his supports to attend the rally since the middle of December. By the night of January 5th, crowds of Trump’s supporters had begun to gather in Washington, and were audible to Trump from the Oval Office.

That night, Trump disseminated a knowingly false public statement claiming that “The Vice President and I are in total agreement that the Vice President has the power to act”, contrary to his conversation with Pence from hours before.

On the morning of January 6th, Trump sent knowingly false public statements aimed at pressuring Pence into fraudulently altering the election outcome, falsely claiming that many states wanted to decertify their election results, and falsely claiming that Pence had the authority to send the ballots back to the states.

On the morning of January 6th, a Trump subordinated contacted a US Senator to ask him to hand-deliver fraudulent elector certificates to Pence. When one of the senator’s staggers contacted one of Pence’s staffers to arrange for delivery, Pence’s staffer rejected the fraudulent certificates.

At 11:15, Trump again called Pence to pressure him to reject Biden’s legitimate electoral votes, while the Stop the Steal rally was ongoing. Pence again refused. In response to this call, Trump decided to single out Pence in public remarks that he would make at the rally in under an hour, reinserting language that he had personally written that morning which falsely claimed that Pence had the authority to send the electoral votes back to the states, and which he had previously been convinced to remove from his speech.

During the rally, Trump selected Giuliani and Eastman to give speak prior to himself. In both of their speeches, Giuliani and Eastman intensified pressure on Pence to overturn the election based on new, knowingly false election fraud claims. Giuliani falsely claimed that five legislatures had requested that their elector slates be overturned, and called for “trial by combat”. Eastman claimed that “[w]e no longer live in a self-governing republic if we can’t get the answer to this question.” In both of their speeches, Giuliani and Eastman pushed the attendees at the rally to ignore the laws and use violence to pressure Pence to corruptly overturn the election result.

Next, beginning at 11:56am, Trump gave his speech at the rally. He repeated false claims of election fraud, falsely claimed that the Pence had the authority to change the election outcome, and directed the rally attendees to go to the Capitol to block the certification and pressure Pence to fraudulently overturn the election. He also suggested that he would go with the rally attendees to the Capitol to pressure Pence and members of congress to join his plan, and implied that violence was necessary and appropriate in these efforts.

During and immediately after Trump’s speech, thousands of people marched from his rally to the Capitol.

Betrayal via Capitol Violence

The rally attendees who marched to the Capitol soon broke through barriers around the Capitol grounds and advanced on the building where the election certification proceedings were underway. In their efforts, the rally attendees violently attacked the police officers who were trying to secure the Capitol.

Trump watched these events unfold on the television in a White House dining room.

At 2:13pm, after over an hour of violet advancement, the crowd broke into the Capitol.

Trump was told that there was a riot at the Capitol and that rioters had breached the building. When Trump’s advisors urged him to issue a calming message aimed the rioters, Trump refused, repeatedly remarking that the people at the Capitol were angry because the election had been stolen, indicating that he approved of their actions and that he supported them.

At 2:24pm, when Trump’s advisors had left him in his dining room, Trump sent a public statement targeting Pence specifically, writing “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should’ve been done to protect out Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!”

At 2:25pm, Pence’s Secret Service bodyguards evacuated Pence to a secure location.

At the Capitol, throughout the afternoon, the rioting crowd chanted phrases including “Hang Mike Pence!”, “Where is Pence? Bring him out!” and “Traitor Pence!”.

Trump repeatedly refused to send a message directing rioters to leave the Capitol, despite being urged to do so by a multitude of his most senior advisors.

At 3:00pm, Trump had a phone call with the Minority Leader of the US House of Representatives, where Trump took the rioters’ side over the Minority Leader’s position on the election.

At 4:17pm, Trump finally released a public statement asking rioters to leave the Capitol, while reiterating his knowingly false election claims and telling the rioters that he loved them.

Afterwards, while watching the Capitol attack on television, Trump continued to speak approvingly of the rioters’ actions.

At 6:01pm, Trump released another public statement asking rioters to leave the Capitol, while reiterating his false election claims, and reiterating that he loved the rioters.

Throughout the evening of January 6th, Trump and Giuliani attempted to exploit this violence to pressure federal lawmakers to delay the certification. At 6pm, Trump tried to call two US Senators. From 6:59pm to 7:18pm, Giuliani called five US Senators and one US Representative. In a message intended for a US Senator, Giuliani repeated knowingly false claims of election fraud, claimed that Pence’s actions had been surprising, and asked the Senator to object to every state’s election results, to further delay the proceedings.

After 6 hours’ delay due to the Capitol riot, the Senate and House reconvened, starting at 8:06pm and 9:02pm respectively.

At 11:44pm, Eastman emailed Pence’s legal counsel, advocating that Pence break the law and seek further delay of the certification. In his email, he acknowledged that what he was advocating was illegal, and requested a 10 day delay on no legal grounds whatsoever.

At 3:41am on January 7th, Pence announced the certified results of the election, that Biden had won.

Comprehending Trump’s Betrayal

I have laid out, in deep detail, the scope of Trump’s betrayal of America. He schemed and plotted through a wide variety of illegal tactics to subvert the will of the election and install himself as president, in efforts spanning most of two months. I have not laid out all of the allegations against Trump and his subordinates, but merely the most grievous ones, and the ones that I most firmly believe.

When seeing a betrayal of this magnitude, some are tempted to close their eyes, to look away, to pretend it never happened.

Some try to pretend that this was a story of partisan tension: That Trump and Republicans believed one thing, and Democrats believed another, and that was the entire controversy. This could not be further from the truth.

Again and again, Trump tried to pressure Republican officials to join his corrupt scheme: Officials like Rusty Bowers, Christopher Carr, Brad Raffensperger, Lee Chatfield, Mike Shirkey, Jeffrey Rosen, Richard Donoghue, and most of all Mike Pence. The Republican officials refused Trump’s traitorous entreaties, sticking to the oaths they had made to uphold the US Constitution and the laws of America.

Some try to pretend that Trump simply honestly believed that he had won the election, and was trying to bring about that outcome. This could not be further from the truth.

Trump knew that his election fraud claims were based on no evidence. He knew that this election lawsuits had failed. He knew that he was lying to the fraudulent electors he was recruiting, when he told them that their elector certificates would only be used if their lawsuits succeeded. He knew that he was lying when he claimed that Pence agreed that he could throw out the election results. And he continued to support and express his love for the rioters that he had instructed to march on the Capitol, when they broke in to the Capitol and screamed for Pence’s head.

We must acknowledge Trump’s actions for what they are: A failed self-coup. A self-coup is attempted when a nation’s leader, who previously rose to power through legitimate means, seeks to stay in power through illegal means. There have been over a hundred self-coup attempts in the last century: It is not a rare event, on a world scale. This is the first attempted self-coup in American history, but we should not shy away from calling it what it is. Trump attempted to seize power over the United States through corrupt means, by attempting to sway a multitude of government officials to hand him the presidency. He used the legitimacy that his position as the rightful outgoing president gave him, to attempt to corruptly cling to power.

Trump’s attempted self-coup is among the worst possible betrayals of America. He essentially sought to crown himself king: To place himself as the ruler of America via whatever methods possible, whoever he had to lie to, whoever he had to pressure, whatever violence he needed to foment. He stands alongside those who have sold out America to our enemies, like Benedict Arnold, and those who have declared war on America, like Jefferson Davis.

He is the lowest of the low, a traitor of the worst order.

Where do we go from here

Trump is a Republican. Many Republicans have voted for him repeatedly, in 2016 and 2020. Many Republicans voted for Trump because he advocates for Republican policies, which they support. I cast no blame on people who did that in the past.

But those votes were cast before Trump betrayed America. Before the magnitude of that betrayal was clear to us all. A future vote is nothing like those votes in the past. Now, voting for Trump would be voting for a traitor.

If you can vote in the upcoming Republican primaries, starting in four days, vote for any candidate other than Trump. None of the other candidates betrayed America.

If the general election comes and Trump is the Republican nominee, do not vote for him. Do not let it be written on the history of your life that you voted for a traitor to America.