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January 6th was the Final Act of a Failed Coup – Paul Jay

Paul Jay is a guest on Muslim Network TV discussing Trump’s attempt to enlist a military intervention in the transfer of power and McConnell’s role in the lack of security on Capitol Hill.

Transcript

Malik Mujahid

Salaam and peace. This is Malik Mujahid, and you are watching Muslim Network TV, we are there 24/7 on Galaxy 19 satellite as well as Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and of course you can download our apps, Muslim Network TV, or watch online muslimnetwork.tv, and if you’re into watching everything on YouTube, we are there, but do remember to subscribe.

Today we will be talking about the politics of impeachment 2.0. There are many interesting, you know he [Trump] was impeached, but the Senate did not agree with the House, except that some of the senators did agree with the House, but not enough votes to punish former President Trump, but many interesting angles are coming out. The professor who was quoted by Trump’s defense, that professor is going to be our guest. He’s saying actually he was misquoted there, and we have someone who is not a constitutional lawyer, but with a keen eye on the development starting from the beginning of January about the military coup and why the police were incapable of dealing with all the crowds and things like that, and that is Paul Jay.

Welcome to Muslim Network TV, Paul.

Paul Jay

Thank you for inviting me.

Malik Mujahid

Paul Jay is a journalist and a filmmaker, is the founder and publisher of TheAnalysis.news and has been to the White House and Capitol Hill as a journalist, with passes and everything, and has good insight into that. So, Paul, tell me. You have a unique take on it. Do you think Trump actually was trying to have a military coup that didn’t quite work out? So what is your thesis about it?

Paul Jay

Well, honestly, it’s kind of my thesis in the sense that it’s all out there in the public domain. It’s just for reasons, I guess, we can get into, the media and the political class don’t want to talk about because I think it reveals a great weakness and dysfunctionality in the American political structure, but essentially, what I’ve been able to piece together and I say it’s nothing secret that it’s all out there, but on January 4th, this is sort of the trigger into it, 10 former Secretaries of Defense from both parties organized by Dick Cheney, no less, apparently, issue a letter warning the Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, who had just recently been appointed by Trump after firing the previous secretary of defense, warning him in no uncertain terms not to interfere or let the military interfere in the outcome of the elections.

In a letter that comes out the same day by an admiral, I always mess up his name, it’s a Greek name, [James G.] Stavridis. This is a retired admiral, but he’s not just a retired admiral, he’s also the former Supreme Commander of NATO, and he’s also an operating executive board member of Carlyle Group, which is one of the largest private equity firms on Wall Street and a major investor in arms manufacturers, and the industrial-military complex.

He writes an op-ed column in Time magazine supporting the letter of the ten secretaries of defense. So they obviously think there is a real possibility because the admiral names Christopher Miller. He actually uses the words the secretary of defense doesn’t have the “temperament to stand up to a willful president.” So they are clearly concerned that Trump is leaning on his new secretary of defense not to get involved in the elections, and then the admiral says that the letter of the former secretaries of defense, is specifically written in response to the statement by retired General Michael Flynn, recently pardoned Flynn in mid-December, where he calls for martial law, that means military intervention and a new election.

So this is all out there in the public domain that obviously all these guys thought there was a real possibility of what amounts to a coup. It begins in mid September. Steve Bannon is on the Tucker Carlson show on Fox TV in mid-September. So this is six weeks or so before the election. It’s already clear Trump’s going to lose and Bannon calls and these are his words, for a “war” that begins on November 4th to stop the steal. So they’re already talking about the stealing of the election. The campaign begins in mid-September and then what happens after the election result? It’s obvious that the elections are as fair as these elections can be and there’s no widespread fraud and so on. Trump simply won’t hand over power.

And at first, I think it looks to people like it’s another Trump sideshow to make himself the center of attention, and he’ll do it for a while, and then eventually he’ll concede and play ball with the system. But as time goes on after the election, it starts to become clear to the elites, even to the leaders of the Republican Party that Trump is out of his mind. He’s absolutely delusional.

He really believes he can organize a coup, and one of the things that’s the trigger for these guys and the admiral specifically mentions this in his article in Time magazine, he says that when the ten secretaries who he says has been studying this for months, as all of this unfolded, meaning from September, when they saw the efforts Trump went to undo the election results in Georgia.

Now I’m quoting from the admiral’s article, “A shiver must have gone down their spine”. Well, why? If the vote in Georgia is overturned, it’s not enough Electoral College votes to change the outcome. So why does Trump put so much effort into doing it to the point that he so pisses off the secretary of state of Georgia that he releases publicly their telephone conversation? Why take such a risk?

Because as part of this crazy coup plan the overturning of the vote in Georgia would give him something to hang his hat on in terms of the election being fraudulent because up until that point, he had nothing. So in the article by the admiral, he points to this Georgia case as evidence that shook secretaries of defense and himself, and for me too, I was saying at the time, there’s something going on here, Trump is risking too much. So, I mean, I can get into more detail of it, but the gist of it is Trump attempted to enlist the apparently, based on what these authoritative figures are saying, tried to get the acting secretary of defense to get the military to intervene, and it must be to intervene on January 6th.

That’s the only thing that makes sense, that they create such deliberate chaos at Congress on January 6th in an attempt to stop the certification of the vote for Biden, that it’s such a threat that the military comes in, declares martial law, and orders a new election.

And they were expecting, Bannon and those guys, they’ve been doing a national campaign on stop the steal, they thought there would be similar attacks on state capitals across the country. Well, the whole plot failed.

The military refused to get involved. The leadership, not just the acting secretaries, but the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley, all the senior leadership, at least what one can see in public, said do not get involved and issued very stern warnings to the military, do not get involved, and I don’t see any evidence that they did or were going to. I think the efforts of the senior military leadership asserted themselves and the military were not going to get involved, but apparently that it was that this thing was blowing up in his face.

Malik Mujahid

So, Paul, if there is no evidence that the military is going to get involved, then don’t you think this whole thesis falls apart, which you’re developing, that the military was about to get involved, but it didn’t get involved because there was so much opposition to it before it happened?

Paul Jay

Oh, I’m not. No, no. My thesis isn’t that the military was going to get involved. My thesis is Trump attempted a coup, attempted to get the military involved, and it was going to be done through this. The reason he fired the former secretary of defense, one of maybe the main reason for the military thinking

Malik Mujahid

If there had been things since September about the military coup. When was he fired? Do you remember that?

Paul Jay

Oh, I don’t know if the military coup starts in September. I have no idea when that begins. Bannon starts the campaign to stop the steal in September. They start organizing the crowds, the mob, they start getting ready to march on Washington. The military part, the only public evidence of it is mid-December when Flynn calls for martial law, and according to the admiral’s letter in Time magazine, the letter from the ten secretaries of defense is, quote, in response to Flynn’s statements.

So I don’t know any more than what’s in the public domain. I’m guessing I’m only seeing the tip of the iceberg, but it’s a heck of a tip of an iceberg.

Malik Mujahid

So do you think America will ever know what transpired, all of that? Do you think that intelligence agencies, the FBI, the CIA, and the military intelligence? I don’t know how many other agencies are there. Will anybody take all that information together to know how close America came to undermining democracy?

Paul Jay

Well, I’m not sure how close it was in the sense that I don’t know if anyone serious in the military ever considered getting involved. There’s no evidence either way on that, but there must have been something going on because, for these 10 secretaries of defense to have such a public letter and the admiral, it shows weakness. It shows dysfunctionality. It shows the possibility that a president is so deranged he’ll get his secretary of defense to try this. So I don’t know how close it came to reality, but the fact they went public suggests that was closer than maybe we think. As far as, it doesn’t require any intelligence agencies in the sense that I think it’s known.

I mean, obviously, the guys that wrote the letter. The admiral, the military knows exactly what happened or they wouldn’t have written the letter. So I don’t think it’s any secret here. I think it goes further than that. My guess is that at the top levels of the political establishment, they know what happened.

Malik Mujahid

Of course, if Bannon is talking about these things way before the election actually happened and they’re organizing, mobilizing, talking about all of that, and the fact of the matter was that there were many former military and some – the president of the sheriff’s association told me that active-duty sheriffs were present there in the insurrection. So all this conversation and Flynn’s calls for military martial law and all of that, all of that is public information.

So how come the people who are supposed to secure Capitol Hill were not taking all of that into consideration?

Paul Jay

Well, Yogananda, I’m probably butchering her first name, her last name is Pittman, she’s the acting chief of police of the Capitol Hill Police.

Malik Mujahid

Now?

Paul Jay

Right now. Yeah, after January 6th, the guy who was chief of police, Sund, I think, was his name. He retired right after. He was forced to retire. She testified to the House Appropriations Committee, I believe it was on January 26th, I think, and in her testimony, which was supposed to be a closed hearing, but New York Times got hold of the testimony and published it.

She said they knew everything that was coming. They knew that there were white supremacists coming. They knew it was going to be violent. They knew it might be armed. They knew they were going to storm the buildings and tried to enter the buildings. They knew they were going to try to threaten members of Congress. It’s all there in my article. That’s all in theAnalysis.news. I have the whole quote from her that comes from her testimony. Of course, they knew exactly what was on its way.

She also testifies that on January 5th, the day before, the then chief of police asks the sergeant of arms of the Senate and the House to call in the National Guard and have them on the perimeter the next day.

They get a no, the sergeant of arms of House and Senate and now the sergeant of arms of the Senate is the more senior person in this process because the Senate is more in charge of infrastructure than the House is.

Who does the sergeant of arms of the Senate answer to? Mitch McConnell. That is his boss. And he says so in an article in The Washington Post where he’s interviewed a couple of weeks after the 6th, and he calls McConnell his boss. In fact, he says on January 6th itself in the afternoon. At 3:45 in the afternoon when the mob has already breached the buildings, he says he asked McConnell to call in the National Guard.

Now, the chief of police says he asked the sergeant of arms of the Senate to call the National Guard in right away, and he says, I have to ask my boss, Mitch McConnell. And the chief of police says, I never hear back from them. That’s the quote out of The Washington Post, and I have all these quotes in the article.

It’s beyond any reason that McConnell doesn’t know before the 6th what’s coming. The chief of police says it, the acting chief of police says it, the D.C. police knew it. There were all kinds of intelligence and they made a decision not only not to call the National Guard they don’t even call reinforcements from Maryland and Virginia, which later in the day on the 6th they did, but could have before.

Oh, why? The only theory now is they didn’t like the optics of soldiers standing on the perimeter. Well, anybody who knows anything about security in these kinds of situations, if you really are worried about optics and sometimes they are, you hide the reinforcements. Congress has miles of tunnels beneath it.

You could have put thousands of police and National Guard in the tunnels and if you needed them, bring them out, which is what the Capitol Hill police essentially was asking for. And they get a no. Well, McConnell had to be in on that. No, it’s just not possible that the Senate sergeants at arms say no without asking.

Malik Mujahid

Well, let’s take a short break. You’re watching Muslim Network TV, and we’re talking with Paul Jay about January 6th, some aspects of things which are not in common knowledge and Paul Jay is putting them together. We’ll be right back after these messages.

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Malik Mujahid

Welcome back to Mulsim Network TV. This is Malik Mujahid talking with Paul Jay. So you think that McConnell knew.

Paul Jay

He had to.

Malik Mujahid

Why McConnell was not worried about his safety and the safety of all of the people?

Paul Jay

Well, the fact is the leadership got taken out pretty quickly, but let me say why I think McConnell didn’t take and now I’m into the area of speculation because now I’m speculating on his intent.

I think it’s pretty good speculation, but still speculation. I think by the 6th it was obvious that one, Trump was out of his mind. That the military intervention wasn’t going to happen and maybe never was, but there was certainly an attempt, or you wouldn’t have had all these letters being written, but I think the most important thing is that the elites and by elites, I’m talking about the financial elites, the big banks, the corporate elites, they had had enough of this guy, Trump, and they wanted a peaceful transition. And something happens on January 6th, which is.

Malik Mujahid

Are you saying that the deep state stood up?

Paul Jay

Well. It depends on what you call the deep state, if McConnels the deep state, I don’t know, I’m talking about something called the American Manufacturers Association. I don’t think it’s the deep state. It’s a public lobbying arm for corporate America.

The doors of Congress get breached around 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon at 3:34 p.m, and I can be precise because that’s what they have on their website, the American Manufacturers Association, in the midst of all the chaos issues a statement calling on Vice President Pence to issue or use the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office. So 90 minutes after the doors are breached, the National Association for Manufacturers, one of the most powerful lobbyists in Washington, one of the most important voices for corporate America that had been pro-Trump for four years after getting every tax cut they wanted, every deregulation they wanted, milking the Trump presidency for everything they possibly could.

Now they decide Trump’s not good for business anymore and they want him gone because he’s nuts. You can’t come to a conclusion to issue a statement for Pence to remove Trump in 90 minutes, at the very least, the American Manufacturers Association had to already have deliberated and decided Trump has to go and then can they have this quick emergency meeting? We’re going to issue this statement calling for the 25th Amendment.

Maybe, I don’t know, but it’s pretty weird. So what my point here is McConnell, Lindsey Graham, who votes to certify, Pence under enormous pressure from Trump to the point where they’re running around with a noose to hang the guy. He votes to certify and plays his role as vice president, certify Biden. Why? Because the elites at this point want Trump gone. He’s too insane.

They don’t mind volatility in the markets, but the craziness of not having a transition after an election, that’s too much volatility and they want this crazy guy gone. So this has to be seen what McConnell’s role is in the context. The banks come out later and say they’re not going to fund anyone that voted not to certify Biden. The elites made it clear to McConnell and Pence I don’t care how much you piss off this Republican base, you get rid of this guy. And they did.

Malik Mujahid

So your use of the term elite don’t you think comes very close to how the right-wing extremists are talking about elite.

Sure well, there is an elite. So you talk about them and you can talk about it from the right, from the left as a journalist. I mean, it exists. Actually you raise an interesting point, because I think there are sections of the right, particularly, who have started to adopt the language of the left. If you look at Trump’s messaging, it’s actually almost identical to the messaging of Ronald Reagan, which means it’s all anti-government. You don’t really talk about the corporate elites.

You don’t talk about big business all that much. You know, a little bit, but mostly the problems is government, government, government and Reagan’s famous line government’s not the solution it’s the problem. Well, what the right has done over the last few years and the best representative of this is Tucker Carlson, who started to actually use language from the left to attack corporate elites and sound like a leftist. Of course, he’s totally in the service of corporate elites.

But, you know, Hitler used to attack big business. I mean, Hitler called himself a socialist. It’s nothing new about the right picking up the language of the left in order to actually serve those elites.

Malik Mujahid

Hmm. That’s an interesting point. I mean, yeah, Hitler is socialist nationalism or something like that. What was the name of the party? National Socialist.

Paul Jay

He picked up the language of being like a socialist. He attacked big business, especially if they were Jews, but all big business, but of course, what did he do in power? He was completely at the service of corrupts and the German corporate and arms manufacturers.

Malik Mujahid

With the same thing happening in India now. Now I mean the fascist government is using the socialist terminology while almost killing farmers.

Paul Jay

Yes, I mean, it’s a perfect example. They learn to pick up the language of populism and call them like right-wing populists. It’s a contradiction in terms, really, but they learn the language of populism in order to fool people because it’s all about. Listen, when there was slavery in the United States, what kept these tens of thousands of slaves, slaves? It wasn’t the weapon itself, and there weren’t even enough guns on these plantations. It was the fear and the psychology that people were simply convinced, not everyone, because some escaped, some fought, but the psychology that I can’t be anything other than a slave. It’s my lot in life.

And the same thing happens with workers. India is a wonderful example. Millions and millions and millions of people destitute in poverty. If they ever organized and got together, they would wipe these Indian fascists – you’re right they are fascist –fascists off the face of the earth with a sweep of their hand. Why don’t they? Because they’ve been convinced it’s their lot in life and they can’t do anything else. So it’s an old thing. I mean, how did feudalism last so long?

Malik Mujahid

Remember in the case of India the caste system and historic control. But you know this is India I mean twenty-five thousand British soldiers control hundreds of millions of people through the years. And so psychological component is very critical. How you think the psychological impact of Trump’s survival is, I mean, is just a huge number of people that he’s the messiah?

Paul Jay

Well, exactly, yeah that’s what it is. There’s a very interesting thing that was in the New York Times yesterday, I think it was. There’s a congressman from Illinois. I forget his name.

Malik Mujahid

Yeah.

Paul Jay

He’s a Republican, voted to impeach Trump, and he gets a letter from his cousins who denounce him as having joined, quote, “the devil’s army,” and they say he’s pro-abortion, he’s a slave to socialism, and three or four times they call him part of the “devil’s army.” There’s a big component of this religious fanaticism that’s going on.

Malik Mujahid

The guy is pretty conservative. I mean, we’re based in Illinois, a conservative, and he is, other than this particular action. What do you see as the future of Trump and the Republican Party? Do you think McConnell, if you know, there is no evidence of it, but there is common sense that he knew what is coming and he’s an extremely smart, silent guy who knows how to play his cards and who could deny Obama an appointment of a Supreme Court justice?

Well, he will get it done. So he knows and is a clever operator. So do you think you know him not thoroughly protecting, which needs to be investigated.

Paul Jay

He left the door open, never mind thoroughly protecting. He virtually left the door open. But here’s the rub.

Malik Mujahid

Was it to wrestle back some of the Republican Party from Trump?

Paul Jay

Yeah he does it because, here’s where I speculate, but he did it so it would turn into such a mess that they blame it all on Trump. And they did. And that for a while there, it looked like they were going to reverse, so discredit Trump and so inflame public opinion against him, their hope was they could pry his hands off the Republican Party and he would leave office so discredited. That was their hope. I call this a failed coup within a failed coup because that McConnell coup against Trump also failed because the fanatical support for Trump is so strong.

His people didn’t even care. In fact they don’t even believe it was his people that did. What percentage of Republicans think it was Antifa and Black Lives Matter or whatever? I mean, it’s craziness, but there’s another thing here that might let McConnell off the hook here and why they didn’t target him in the impeachment hearings and why they may not even if they have these “9/11” – I do quotation marks around 9/11 because I don’t think the 9/11 Commission, while as a commission, it might be a good model, but the conclusions 9/11 Commission came to, I don’t think they got to the truth of what happened. But anyway, that’s another conversation – but, the sergeant of arms of the Senate reports to McConnell but the sergeant of arms of the House reports to Nancy Pelosi.

So did Nancy Pelosi not know what was going on? Now, I don’t know, but I do know that she has since and some people that work with her have since said the sergeant of arms of the House lied to them, that they did ask, meaning staff of Pelosi did ask what are the security plans and that they were lied to, and this is in the press, so I don’t know, maybe Pelosi didn’t know, but there’s an interesting thing happen at the end of the Senate impeachment hearings.

Jamie Raskin, who’s the head manager of the impeachment, announces they’re going to call witnesses and they have several witnesses they want to call, starting with this congresswoman who knows about the phone call that Trump has with McCarthy, and then all of a sudden Ted Cruz says, OK, you call witnesses, well then so are we, and we’re going to start with Nancy Pelosi and we’re going to ask her, what did she know about what was going to happen on the 6th and what did she do about it?

And all of a sudden, Raskin says, OK, we’re not going to call witnesses, and when he stands up to announce that they’ve worked out a deal where they’re just going to have a written submission from this congresswoman about the phone call, what does he give as the reason why they’re not going to call witnesses, he says, because the Republicans threatened to call Nancy Pelosi and turn this into a circus.

Malik Mujahid

All right.

Paul Jay

Let me just add one little thing now. You think if they start questioning Nancy Pelosi as Ted Cruz threatened, wouldn’t they worry about McConnell, but Ted Cruz hates McConnell and McConnell hates Ted Cruz, so I don’t think Ted Cruz would have minded if it ended up on McConnell.

Malik Mujahid

We will continue this conversation but more on the constitutional side, as a professor of law is going to join us. You’re watching Muslim Network TV. This is Malik Mujahid I’m talking with Paul J and we will continue our conversation as Professor Brian Kalt joins us. Stay with us. We’ll be right back after these messages.

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Malik Mujahid

Welcome back to Muslim Network TV and thank you so much Professor Brian Kalt for joining us. He’s a professor of law at Michigan State University and the author of Constitutional Cliffhangers: A Legal Guide for the President and Their Enemies. So, Professor, welcome to Muslim Network TV. How many presidents have been reading your book?

So it seems that we have a little audio problem as we resolve Paul Jay, you talk about that President Trump should have been charged with sedition and what else here was treason. And I wanted to ask Professor Galt whatever his thought, whether that’s a possibility or not, I hope he’s still listening while we try to figure it out his audio issues, but why do you think that would have been a better charge than insurrection? Because insurrection everybody saw defining it as treason would have been a little difficult. So they probably wanted to go for the…

Paul Jay

I think well, insurrection probably leads to a charge of sedition, which is more in the realm of – I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve been reading recently – is more in the realm of incitement of insurrection is more like a charge of sedition.

The reason I say treason is because of what seems to be evidence of the attempt to get the secretary of defense to involve the military in intervening. I think if you look just at the events of January 6th, if that was an isolated event, then probably it doesn’t rise to the level of treason, although even it might, that there’s one opinion from a Supreme Court justice, I believe his name was Chase, who specifically says any use of organized force to overturn or prevent the government from exercising the law and in this case, would be the law of transition from one president to the other that would be treason, maybe.

As I say, I’m not an expert, but I think the issue of the attempt, maybe it’s conspiracy to commit treason, but in Justice Chase’s decision, he says it’s irrelevant whether it succeeds or not, and it’s also irrelevant how many people are involved in the act of force, although in this case, it’s many it’s thousands in the buildings. It’s at least hundreds. So based on Chase’s definition, I certainly to a layman’s eyes or journalist’s eyes, it looks like treason.

But the reason I think it should be treason is to force pressure, a real investigation into the events that led up to January 6th, which is this potential attempt to organize a military intervention.

Malik Mujahid

What is the punishment for treason?

Paul Jay

I don’t have it in front of me, but there are two parts to it in the Constitution. One part is an attack on the government, which I’m not quoting exact words, but it does not have to be in the service of a foreign power. The first part is an attack on the government to overthrow the government. I forget the exact words, but then it’s an or, not an and, or in the service of a foreign power, attacking the government. So treason doesn’t require any relationship to a foreign power, and that’s where I think it gets confused, a lot of people think treason necessarily means in the service of a foreign power.

So if I’m understanding it correctly and I hope our constitutional lawyer gets his audio fixed so he can help answer this, my understanding is any organized attempt to use force to prevent the government or attempt to overthrow the government is treason, and that seems to me that’s what happened.

Malik Mujahid

So do you think that Nancy Pelosi, if she was in on what was going on, will actually go ahead and have the commission?

Paul Jay

I’m not saying she was in on it. I have no idea. I only know that [inaudible]. She may have been lied to. It’s very possible she was lied to. If she was lied to.

Malik Mujahid

Congresspersons Paul, different congresspersons are saying there were text messages between congresspersons to be careful on January 6th, and AOC has said, other people have said, there were text messages. People were aware of these things.

Paul Jay

Oh, yeah. No, I think people knew something bad was coming. There are some congresspeople that were planning to bring their families and then didn’t. But the question is, did she or someone that works for her ask the House sergeant of arms that reports to her about security precautions and was she lied to? That’s what they’re claiming. It may be true. It may not be true. I don’t know. If she really pursues this 9/11 type investigation it will come out and maybe she was lied to. I mean, I have no opinion on it because I don’t have any evidence.

Malik Mujahid

So do you think that commission will actually come into being or not?

Paul Jay

Let me add just one other little piece. One could argue, well, if Pelosi was lied to,   couldn’t have McConnell been lied to. Well, yeah, it’s theoretically possible, but given that it’s primarily the Senate’s responsibility, the security, and given that on the 6th, the sergeant of arms of the Senate says, I got to go ask my boss, McConnell, about calling in the National Guard, at least one could think he probably asked his boss before the 6th about the National Guard, but an investigation will show that.

Do I think there will be a 9/11 Commission? I said again, I wish they’d come up with some other terminology because I’m not a big fan of the 9/11 Commission and I’m more a fan of the investigation conducted by Senator Bob Graham and the joint congressional committee that investigated 9/11. I think they got at far more what the truth of what happened than the official 9/11 Commission, and people should look up. I did a bunch of interviews with Bob Graham. Do I think it’s going to happen? I don’t know.

I think the American Manufacturers Association. I think Wall Street would very much like the evidence that there might have been a coup not to come out, it’s not good for business for the United States to look so like a third world country, to look potentially so unstable, to look like there could have been military intervention. So will this come out? I don’t know how it doesn’t in the sense it’s just like I say, everything I’m talking about is completely in the public domain. So I don’t know.

Malik Mujahid

Professor Carter, thank you so much. I hope this time the audio works. Is it true that you were cited 15 times for Trump’s defense team, but do you feel they did not properly quote you?

Brian Kalt

Yes, hopefully, you can hear me now. Both the House managers cited me about 19 times, by my count and the Trump lawyers cited me about 15 times. The article I had written in 2001 on impeaching former officers was the only full-length piece of scholarship out there. So it was inevitable that both sides were going to use it as best they could.

Malik Mujahid

How does your work on Constitutional Cliff hanger: A Legal Guide for Presidents and Their Enemies. So it seems the president and enemies are not reading what the lawyers are reading, what you are writing?

Brian Kalt

Well, the book itself was looking through six different scenarios where the Constitution isn’t perfectly clear and we can get into some uncertainty and some mischief perhaps. So there is a chapter on presidents pardoning themselves, for instance, a chapter on prosecuting sitting presidents. This is back in 2012. And the idea was to think about these things before we have an actual case to set out all the arguments and evidence, before we know which side we’re rooting for, because that way we can get a more honest answer, a better legal analysis once the case actually arose, because it’s an ambiguous situation, both sides had plenty to look at.

So I weighed all of the evidence about what I called late impeachment, and I concluded that the better argument was that ex-presidents can be impeached and tried, but there was a lot of evidence on the other side, too. It just wasn’t as much as on the late impeachment side. So what I expected them to do, what I expected Trump’s lawyers to do was to take what I said was the best argument for their side and use that and maybe cite my article for that.

What they actually did was to take things that I said and then cite me as though I had said the opposite. So, for instance, I said, well, you could argue this against late impeachment. Here’s why that’s wrong. And then they cited me for the this part, not the you could argue this, but it would be wrong, and here are all the reasons. I don’t know why they did that. They didn’t need to do that, but they did, and it was very unfortunate.

Malik Mujahid

 Pennsylvania law, that lawyers have a responsibility to state facts as they are. Do you think there will be some repercussions on using your scholarship in a false way?

No, I think that’s a sort of a different thing that they’re dealing with there. So, for instance, if you were to say in a brief that someone was at a certain place at a certain time and then it turns out they weren’t, that’s, I think, more what they’re talking about, the way that you cite authorities and the footnotes. That’s a little more I don’t know. I mean, lawyers all have experienced this where a brief cites a case or cites an article or cites a brief, and then you look at it and it says the opposite.

I mean, it’s dishonest in a way, but that’s not the sort of thing that gets you disbarred. It can get you called out in court, and the judge won’t be very happy with you, and it severely can affect your credibility with the judge, but it’s, again, not the sort of thing that gets you disbarred unless it’s just, I don’t know, more than a few times in one brief.

Malik Mujahid

Hmm. Why Chief Justice Roberts did not preside and why it was not made a big deal. I mean there was nothing big about it just happened and oh, it’s all right.

Brian Kalt

Well, I think that the Trump lawyers did make a big deal out of it, but the reality is the Constitution says that when the president is tried, that the chief justice presides, and Donald Trump, when the trial began, was not the president. If they had started the trial before January 20th, that would have worked, but it’s ambiguous. So if you say if the president is on trial, does that mean that he was the president when he did what he was being impeached for?

Does it mean he was the president when he was impeached or does it mean at the time of the trial? I think the best reading is that it means at the time of the trial, but you could argue both sides. If Roberts had said that he should preside and the Senate had agreed, I don’t think that would have been all that problematic. The way that they wanted to use that, though, as an argument against late- impeachment was to say, well, it says that, and they did say this. It says that if the president is tried that, the chief justice presides and it says the president is removed if he’s convicted, it doesn’t say anything anywhere about ex-presidents.

So that to them was sort of more evidence of that when it talks about the president being impeachable it doesn’t mean ex-president, they said. And so you can’t take president to mean only the sitting president and the chief justice clause and then take it separately to also include ex-presidents in the removal clause.

But that’s, again, not what the Constitution says. The Constitution says if the president is convicted, he’s removed. Well, OK. But if he’s not the president and he’s convicted, then he’s not removed. The Constitution doesn’t say only sitting presidents can be tried. It doesn’t say the timing of the trial has to be while he’s still in office. It just says if he’s convicted and he’s still in office, then he’s removed. It does limit it to things he did as president.

It’s not that they’re saying you can impeach anybody. It has to be official misconduct, but this is a very good example of just the intricacies and the ambiguities of the text coming into these where anyone can make an argument about it. And you really need to sit down and work through all of the evidence and figure out what does it really mean, what does it really say? What did the founders intend here?

Malik Mujahid

 Tell me this Professor, General Flynn, when the whole idea about the military takeover and martial law and all that he says that know martial law has been instituted sixty-four times in the past. I don’t know whether that is true or not, but what is the constitutionality of this martial law business?

Brian Kalt

Well, that’s sort of outside of my area of expertise, but I know just as a historical matter, that martial law has never been part of a presidential election before. I mean, that’s you have civil unrest. You have the civil war and the need to reconstruct the south afterwards. OK, the military has a role in that, but something like we don’t like how the election came out that would have been unprecedented. Flynn was saying some pretty out there things, and it didn’t have any resonance in the end, but again, that didn’t really come up in the impeachment. They didn’t go after Trump for what he did with those sorts of ideas that Flynn had.

Malik Mujahid

Well, a lot of questions, Professor, with you, I thought on one point, Paul Jay, who is a journalist, and you could also be involved, but hopefully we’ll invite you again, because our Constitution seems to have a whole lot, you know, but with amendments and all that, but there are questions on which, you know, people continue to fight.

 The people who invaded on January 6th were doing that to save the Constitution and the people who are drawing those people that are trying to save the Constitution. So Constitution seems to prevail in terms of rhetoric, but that seems to be a whole lot of ambiguities, which probably will never be removed and really will be used, but hopefully we’ll invite you again. So thank you so much, Paul Jay and Professor Kalt, really appreciate your time with us.

And thank you so much, Sheratilin Pakradruni, for producing today’s show, and thank you for watching. We have interesting conversation here 24/7. So stay tuned for other programming. You’re watching Muslim Network TV on Galaxy 19 satellite, Amazon, fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and you can download our app on your phone. Muslim Network TV on our website. Peace and salaam.

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2 Comments

  1. My first comment here, sorry if it came out confusing. The beginning was a quote from the interview. My comment on that quote starts with “Nonsense ….”.

  2. Listen, when there was slavery in the United States, what kept these tens of thousands of slaves, slaves? It wasn’t the weapon itself, and there weren’t even enough guns on these plantations. It was the fear and the psychology that people were simply convinced, not everyone, because some escaped, some fought, but the psychology that I can’t be anything other than a slave. It’s my lot in life.

    Nonsense. It was the guns. There were plenty enough of them on the plantations. There were slave revolts. They were put down. By people with guns. If there had been a simultaneous, coordinated uprising, perhaps there would have been better odds, and many might have escaped, but even then, against a coordinated enemy, most probably would not, huge numbers would die. And how would the slaves coordinate, plan? With their iPads? The masters owned “coordination” too.

    There has been precisely one successful slave uprising in history. Haiti. That’s it. And Haiti had a rather higher percentage of slave population than the US South.

    This is a serious, serious problem on the Left. A Disney version of politics and history that idolizes wishing-will-make-it-so. Voluntarism, adventurism in old Left/socialist vocabulary. Leading to deranged attacks on and inaccurate revisionist history of people who are or were on the side of the common people, but lived and worked in the real world, not the Disney version of these critics: Corbyn, Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez today, Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt in the past. Interestingly such attackers also practice the standard apologetics and excuses for genuine traitors, who had power, but used it against their supporters – Mitterrand, Tsipras, etc.

    So whose water is being carried by this pattern of wishful thought?

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