Thanks to Peter Navarro’s new memoir, we now have a first-person account of just how President Trump and his closest friends planned to do a coup on Jan. 6.
But it’s not, Navarro claims, the one we saw violently come into fruition.
TPM detailed some of the latest reports on Navarro’s new book as well as recent interviews with the former White House trade adviser here. But a reasonable conclusion to draw about the purpose of Navarro’s latest press tour is a relatively simple one: He’s attempting to signal that Trump and his team couldn’t possibly be blamed for the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection because that attack actually scuttled their plans for a different, friendlier coup.
The Bulwark does a great job of making this point. In Navarro’s telling — which should absolutely be taken with a grain (or more) of salt — he was in cahoots with Steve Bannon and Trump to devise a plan, coined the “Green Bay Sweep” (which this writer learned is a Sportz Thing just today), to steal the presidency from President Joe Biden on Jan. 6 and the days leading up to it. As Navarro puts it, he, Trump and Bannon had schemed to whip congressional Republicans into blocking the certification of the 2020 election by objecting to results in six battleground states. The idea was: If enough congressional Republicans objected to the results in those six states it would open the door for hours of debate, delaying certification long enough for Veep Mike Pence to get uncomfy, step in and send the disputed counts back to those six states. They hoped to weaponize the media, too, positing national coverage of the objections would light a fire under Pence to do their unconstitutional bidding.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) were on board and prepped for attack.
“It started out perfectly,” Navarro said, referring to the two lawmakers who followed through in objecting, claiming he and Bannon had at least 100 Republicans ready and willing to oppose the results.
But the other attempted coup got in the way.
“It was a perfect plan. And it all predicated on peace and calm on Capitol Hill. We didn’t even need any protestors, because we had over 100 congressmen committed to it,” Navarro told the Daily Beast.
Not to give anyone undue credit for trying to, idk, steal an election — but this media tour is a rather well-timed move for Navarro, as he, Trump, Bannon and others in Trumpworld face mounting pressure from the House Jan. 6 select committee to answer for their alleged roles in inciting the insurrection. (These three in particular are doing all they can to avoid playing ball: Navarro has refused to comply with the committee’s requests and skipped his deposition last month, Bannon was held in contempt of Congress for doing the same, Trump is trying to take his fight against the committee’s requests to the Supreme Court.)
In his book the former White House official claims the trio of men were “the last three people on God’s good Earth who want to see violence erupt on Capitol Hill” because “it was this violence that finally put an abrupt end to any hope the president had for taking back an election likely stolen from him.”
Why would Trump and these other Trump Guys back a violent, unsuccessful coup when they already had a perfectly legal plan to do a coup in the works; a scheme that was foiled by the deadly one???, Navarro conveniently puzzles.
The Best Of TPM Today
Here’s what you should read this evening:
Forecasting a history re-writing: McConnell Claims State Legislatures Would Never Overturn Elections
Is anyone surprised: Manchin Calls Filibuster Reform A ‘Heavy Lift’
From ProPublica and the Washington Post: Facebook Hosted Surge of Misinformation and Insurrection Threats in Months Leading Up to Jan. 6 Attack, Records Show
Yesterday’s Most Read Story
What We Are Reading
January 6th May Have Been Only the First Wave of Christian Nationalist Violence — Samuel L. Perry and Andrew Whitehead
The next US civil war is already here – we just refuse to see it — Stephen Marche