New article by Zhao Li and Richard Disalvo in the American Political Science Review. The abstract reads:
An unprecedented number of major U.S. companies announced changes to their campaign contributions following the Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021. We analyze the role of corporate stakeholders in these announcements as well as their implications for democratic institutions and business–government relations. Mirroring polarized public reactions to the Capitol insurrection, companies with more Democratic-leaning stakeholders (e.g., employees, consumers, shareholders) were more likely to publicly refuse contributing to Republican legislators who objected to the electoral college results. Moreover, these pledges held up in available campaign finance records through the third quarter of 2021, implying significant losses in corporate political action committee contributions for said Republican legislators. Given increasing polarization and heightened expectations of the civic responsibility of businesses, the partisanship of corporate stakeholders may prove important in mobilizing businesses to protect democratic institutions. However, such stakeholder pressure may also weaken businesses’ bipartisan legislative coalitions and compel corporate influence-seeking activities to go dark.
U.S.A. Today reports on Ginni Thomas’ meeting with the January 6 Committee, where she “repeated claims the 2020 election was stolen, despite a lack of evidence.” The New York Times’ take on the hearing is here and the Washington Post’s is here. It adds the following:
“In an opening statement provided to the committee and obtained by The Washington Post, Thomas denied discussing her post-election activities with her husband, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She also denied that her husband has ever discussed his work at the court with her.
“I can guarantee that my husband has never spoken with me about pending cases at the Court. It’s an iron clad rule in our home,” Thomas added. “Let me also add, it is laughable for anyone who knows my husband to think I could influence his jurisprudence – the man is independent and stubborn, with strong character traits of independence and integrity.”
Jamie Gangel reports for CNN.
Emma Brown of the Washington Post has this article on Ginni Thomas. From the article:
Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed 29 Republican state lawmakers in Arizona — 27 more than previously known — to set aside Joe Biden’s popular vote victory and “choose” presidential electors, according to emails obtained by The Washington Post.
Cardozo Law Professor Kate Shaw in the Atlantic on the Electoral College. From the article:
John Eastman. Rudy Giuliani. Donald Trump himself.
These people all bear some responsibility for the events of January 6, 2021. But there is another contributing factor—an institution, not a person—whose role is regularly overlooked, and that deserves a focus in the ongoing January 6 committee hearings: the Electoral College. The Electoral College isn’t responsible for President Trump’s efforts to remain in office despite his clear loss. But it was integral to Trump’s strategy, and it has everything to do with how close he came to success.
Put plainly, for a candidate determined to win at all costs, the Electoral College was central to a postelection strategy designed to convert loss into victory. Last night’s opening hearings of the January 6 committee made clear that Trump and his advisers were well aware no good-faith legal basis existed to dispute the election’s results. In a nationwide popular vote, a deficit of 7 million votes would have been impossible to challenge using ostensibly lawful means; the fact of the Electoral College meant that flipping a few close states, or coercing the vice president into throwing out those states’ votes, would have been enough to change the election’s outcome.
Luke Broadwater has this story for the NY Times. From the article:
The House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the United States Capitol opened a landmark set of hearings on Thursday by showing video of aide after aide to former President Donald J. Trump testifying that his claims of a stolen election were false, as the panel laid out in meticulous detail the extent of the former president’s efforts to keep himself in office.
Over about two hours, the panel offered new information about what it characterized as an attempted coup orchestrated by Mr. Trump that culminated in the deadly assault on the Capitol. The panel’s leaders revealed that investigators heard testimony that Mr. Trump endorsed the hanging of his own vice president as a mob of his supporters descended on Congress. They also said they had evidence that members of Mr. Trump’s cabinet discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.
Washington Post reports. We know Trump wanted to overturn the result of the election. What we don’t (yet?) know is the full extent of the lengths he went in this effort and whether anything he did crossed the line into seditious conspiracy under 18 U.S. Code § 2384. There is also the possibility of Trump crossing the line into criminal culpability under 18 U.S. Code § 371, which involves intent to defraud the United States. Trump’s various conversations in December and early January concerning so-called “stop the steal” activities, including those he had with Acting AG Rosen, could potentially be relevant to the inquiries that the Select Committee and the current DOJ are pursuing.
Significant development in litigation over the Big Lie and its consequences.
Some emphasize the division between Republicans, others the attempt by Democrats to enlist Cheney and Kinzinger in establishing a responsibly bipartisan investigation:
The Hill, Politico, Washington Post, NY Times, WSJ
… to the January 6 select committee? Reports are that she might.
It’s fascinating to hear Trump talk about the historical example that Bruce Ackerman and David Fontana wrote about in their article, Thomas Jefferson Counts Himself into the Presidency. One could rehash how that precedent should be characterized (a point I consider in Ballot Battles) and why it’s inapposite to Pence’s situation in 2020. But it seems more relevant for present purposes to reflect on what’s inside Trump’s head, as revealed by his words and tone of voice, compared to the reality of the situation as it concerns both the popular vote and relevant Electoral College procedures applicable to the 2020 election. If one is trying to get a handle on Trump’s “Big Lie” and specifically the gap between Trump’s claim of a stolen election and the truth of Biden’s valid victory, this audio from Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, for their new book, is as good as place as any to start.