Illiberalism · Gilead · Donald Trump · Coup attempt · Prior to January 6, 2021



Donald Trump
Coup attempt

Prior to January 6, 2021

Fig. 1. “Jake Angeli (Qanon Shaman), seen holding a Qanon sign at the intersection of Bell Rd and 75th Ave in Peoria, Arizona, on 2020 October 15.” Photography by TheUnseen011101 [pseud.], October 15, 2020, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Fig. 2. Original: The White House. Derivative work: J. J. Messerly, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Fig. 3. “Jake Angeli (Qanon Shaman), seen holding a Qanon sign at the intersection of Bell Rd and 75th Ave in Peoria, Arizona, on 2020 October 15.” Photography by TheUnseen011101 [pseud.], October 15, 2020, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Mehdi Hasan, “Yes, Let’s Defeat or Impeach Donald Trump. But What If He Refuses to Leave the White House?” Intercept, March 6, 2019,

Will Bunch, “Trump’s diabolical plan to blow up democracy, get reelected and avoid jail just might work,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 5, 2019,

Isaac Stanley-Becker, “Claiming two years of his presidency were ‘stolen,’ Trump suggests he’s owed overtime,” Washington Post, May 6, 2019,

Chris Cillizza, “What happens if Donald Trump refuses to admit he lost in 2020?” CNN, May 6, 2019,

Douglas Perry, “How impeachment could lead to insurrection or even Dems backing Donald Trump,” Oregonian, May 17, 2019,

Peter Nicholas, “Trump’s Dark Assumption About America,” Atlantic, October 30, 2019,

George T. Conway, III, “I believe the president, and in the president,” Washington Post, February 5, 2020,

Ellen Nakashima et al., “Senior intelligence official told lawmakers that Russia wants to see Trump reelected,” Washington Post, February 21, 2020,

Fred Kaplan, “Trump Can’t Just Refuse to Leave Office,” Slate, June 1, 2020,

Ishaan Tharoor, “Is it time to call Trump the f-word?” Washington Post, June 3, 2020,

Oliver Milman, “Trump campaign asks supporters to sign coronavirus waiver ahead of rally,” Guardian, June 12, 2020,

Peter Nicholas, “Trump Could Still Break Democracy’s Biggest Norm,” Atlantic, June 16, 2020,

Eugene Daniels, “Trump campaign blames protesters for disappointing turnout at Tulsa rally,” Politico, June 20, 2020,

Donie O’Sullivan, “TikTok users are trying to troll Trump’s campaign by reserving tickets for Tulsa rally they’ll never use,” CNN, June 20, 2020,

Taylor Lorenz, Kellen Browning, and Sheera Frenkel, “TikTok Teens and K-Pop Stans Say They Sank Trump Rally,” New York Times, June 21, 2020,

Andrew Solender, “Turnout At Trump’s Tulsa Rally Was Just Under 6,200–A Fraction Of The Venue’s 19,200 Capacity,” Forbes, June 21, 2020,

Timothy E. Wirth and Tom Rogers, “How Trump Could Lose the Election—And Still Remain President,” Newsweek, July 3, 2020,

Max Boot, “What if Trump loses but insists he won?” Washington Post, July 6, 2020,

Sean Murphy, “Health official: Trump rally ‘likely’ source of virus surge,” Associated Press, July 8, 2020, copy in possession of author

Matt Ford, “Fear of a Forever-Trump Administration,” New Republic, July 9, 2020,

Felicia Sonmez, “Trump declines to say whether he will accept November election results,” Washington Post, July 19, 2020,

Kevin Liptak and Betsy Klein, “Trump floats delaying election despite lack of authority to do so,” CNN, July 30, 2020,

Amy Gardner, Josh Dawsey, and John Wagner, “Trump encounters broad pushback to his suggestion to delay the Nov. 3 election,” Washington Post, July 30, 2020,

Democracy Now!, “What If Trump Refuses to Accept a Biden Victory? A Look at How Electoral Chaos Could Divide Nation,” August 3, 2020,

Rod Dreher, “Is A New Civil War Possible?” American Conservative, August 4, 2020,

Henry Zeffman, “US election war game sees states ready to secede if Trump is sworn in,” Times, August 4, 2020,

George T. Conway, III, “I (still) believe the president, and in the president,” Washington Post, August 10, 2020,

Ed Kilgore, “How Trump Is Trying to Ensure an Early Election Night Lead,” New York, August 13, 2020,

Robert McCartney, “Here’s one way Trump could try to steal the election, voting experts say,” Washington Post, August 17, 2020,

Eric Lach, “What Happens if Donald Trump Fights the Election Results?” New Yorker, August 21, 2020,

Rosa Brooks, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Washington Post, September 3, 2020,

Robert Costa and Philip Rucker, “Woodward book: Trump says he knew coronavirus was ‘deadly’ and worse than the flu while intentionally misleading Americans,” Washington Post, September 9, 2020,

Rosa Brooks, “Woodward’s ‘Rage’ is a damning account of Trump’s cowering sycophants and enablers,” review of Rage, by Bob Woodward, Washington Post, September 10, 2020,

Colby Itkowitz, “Trump won’t commit to a ‘peaceful transfer of power’ if he loses,” Washington Post, September 23, 2020,

Barton Gellman, “The Election That Could Break America,” Atlantic, September 23, 2020,

Rosalind S. Helderman, Josh Dawsey, and Matt Zapotosky, “Trump’s suggestion of deploying law enforcement officials to monitor polls raises specter of voting intimidation,” Washington Post, August 21, 2020,

Greg Sargent, “On Hannity’s show, Trump reveals his corrupt, panicky endgame,” Washington Post, October 9, 2020,

Jonathan Chait, “Trump Says He Might Leave the Country If He Loses. Does He Mean It?” New York, October 17, 2020,

Josh Barro, “What If Trump Is All Too Eager to Give up Power?” New York, October 19, 2020,

Dan Alexander, “Trump Will Have $900 Million Of Loans Coming Due In His Second Term If He’s Reelected,” Forbes, October 19, 2020,

George T. Conway, III, “I believe in the president, now more than ever,” Washington Post, October 26, 2020,

Melissa Healy, “Super-spreading Trump rallies led to more than 700 COVID-19 deaths, study estimates,” Los Angeles Times, October 31, 2020,

Jane Mayer, “Why Trump Can’t Afford to Lose,” New Yorker, November 1, 2020,

Associated Press, “Leaders of settlers in Israel pray for a Trump victory in the US Election,” Al Arabiya, November 4, 2020,

Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein, “Trump team eyes legal, political Hail Marys as options for comeback fade,” Politico, November 6, 2020,

David Nakamura, “Trump’s bid to discredit election raises fear that he will undermine a smooth transfer of power,” Washington Post, November 8, 2020,

Mark Bray, “Trump’s Baseless Fraud Accusations Are Already Sparking Far Right Violence,” Truthout, November 9, 2020,

Deb Erdley, “State lawmakers call for creation of a panel to investigate, audit election,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 10, 2020,

Marjorie Cohn, “Trump’s Frivolous Lawsuits Are the Tip of the Iceberg in His Refusal to Concede,” Truthout, November 11, 2020,

Aaron Blake, “Trump lawyers suffer embarrassing rebukes from judges over voter fraud claims,” Washington Post, November 11, 2020,

Jonathan Freedland, “This is no conventional coup. Trump is paving the way for a ‘virtual Confederacy,'” Guardian, November 13, 2020,

Mike Allen, “Trump eyes digital media empire to take on Fox News,” Axios, November 12, 2020,

Marissa J. Lang et al., “After thousands of Trump supporters rally in D.C., violence erupts when night falls,” Washington Post, November 15, 2020,

Fred Hiatt, “Trump is putting this country through something unprecedented. Here are three scenarios,” Washington Post, November 15, 2020,

Kayla Ruble and Tom Hamburger, “Board in key Michigan county fails, then agrees, to certify vote totals by deadline,” Washington Post, November 17, 2020,

Pam Fessler, “Led By Giuliani, Trump Campaign Effort To Stop Certification Falters In Pennsylvania,” National Public Radio, November 17, 2020,

Stephanie Saul, “Lindsey Graham’s Long-Shot Mission to Unravel the Election Results,” New York Times, November 17, 2020,

Paula Reed Ward, “Federal judge to consider whether to dismiss case filed by Trump campaign in Pa.,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 17, 2020,

Josh Gerstein, “Trump campaign revises Pennsylvania suit, again,” Politico, November 18, 2020,

Robin Givhan, “Rudy Giuliani is a mess,” Washington Post, November 18, 2020,

Philip Rucker, Amy Gardner, and Josh Dawsey, “Trump uses power of presidency to try to overturn the election and stay in office,” Washington Post, November 19, 2020,

Jon Swaine, “In scathing opinion, federal judge dismisses Trump campaign lawsuit in Pennsylvania,” Washington Post, November 21, 2020,

Stephen Caruso, “Pa. conservatives’ hopes for subpoena-fueled election investigation quashed by political reality,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, November 22, 2020,

Josh Glancy, “Beaten Trump may never be able to retire to his winter White House,” Times, November 22, 2020,

Toluse Olorunnipa, Amy B. Wang, and Chelsea Janes, “Trump’s quest to overturn election runs into quiet resistance from local and state Republicans,” Washington Post, November 21, 2020,

Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker, and Josh Dawsey, “Trump privately plots his next act — including a potential 2024 run,” Washington Post, November 21, 2020,

Miranda Bryant, “Trump faces pressure from Republicans to drop ‘corrosive’ fight to overturn election,” Guardian, November 22, 2020,

Jeff Mason and Trevor Hunnicutt, “Trump finally gives the green light to proceed with Biden transition,” Reuters, November 23, 2020,

Josh Dawsey, “Trump commits to stepping down if electoral college votes for Biden,” Washington Post, November 26, 2020,

Jan Murphy, “26 state House Republicans call for withdrawing certification of presidential electors,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 28, 2020,

Elise Viebeck, “Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismisses lawsuit against mail ballots with prejudice in another defeat for Trump,” Washington Post, November 28, 2020,

Philip Rucker et al., “20 days of fantasy and failure: Inside Trump’s quest to overturn the election,” Washington Post, November 28, 2020,

Greg Sargent, “Georgia Republicans beg Trump to release them from his prison of lies,” Washington Post, December 1, 2020,

Amy Gardner, Emma Brown, and Rosalind S. Helderman, “Wisconsin and Arizona make it official as Trump fails to stop vote certification in all six states where he contested his defeat,” Washington Post, November 30, 2020,

Allie Malloy and Veronica Stracqualursi, “Trump pledges ‘orderly’ transition after riot and Biden win certification,” CNN, January 7, 2021,

Sadie Gurman and Jacob Gershman, “Barr Says No Evidence Voter Fraud Changed Election Outcome,” Wall Street Journal, December 1, 2020,

John Cassidy, “Donald Trump’s Latest Grift May Be His Most Cynical Yet,” New Yorker, December 3, 2020,

Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein, “Donald Trump’s brutal day in court,” Politico, December 4, 2020,

Stephen Caruso, “GOP leaders — once again — say they can’t overturn election results, but send letter disputing results to Congress,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, December 4, 2020,

Aram Roston and Brad Heath, “Trump campaign spent more than $2 million on election lawyers, including Jenna Ellis,” Reuters, December 4, 2020,

Simon Lewis, “Trump unveils $207 million fundraising haul after election in effort to overturn result,” Reuters, December 3, 2020,

Peter Slevin, “Trump’s Election-Fraud Bluster Finds an Audience,” New Yorker, December 5, 2020,

Kristen Holmes and Veronica Stracqualursi, “Trump pressured Georgia governor in call to help overturn Biden’s win in state,” CNN, December 5, 2020,

Robert Barnes, “Supreme Court denies Trump allies’ bid to overturn Pennsylvania election results,” Washington Post, December 8, 2020,

Kim Bellware and John Wagner, “Letter from 1,500 attorneys says Trump campaign lawyers don’t have ‘license to lie,’” Washington Post, December 8, 2020,

Rachael Bade, Josh Dawsey, and Tom Hamburger, “Trump pressures congressional Republicans to help in his fight to overturn the election,” Washington Post, December 9, 2020,

Robert Barnes, “Supreme Court dismisses bid led by Texas attorney general to overturn the presidential election results, blocking Trump’s legal path to a reversal of his loss,” Washington Post, December 11, 2020,

Christina Zhao, “Pro-Trump Rally Chants ‘Destroy the GOP,’ Boos Georgia ‘RINOs,’” Loeffler and Perdue,” Newsweek, December 12, 2020,

David Charter, “Trump announces law chief Bill Barr has quit as electoral college backs Joe Biden,” Times, December 15, 2020,

Marianne Levine and Melanie Zanona, “McConnell warns Senate Republicans against challenging election results,” Politico, December 15, 2020,

Michael Lind, “The ZIP Codes That Rule America,” Tablet, December 16, 2020,

Tina Nguyen, “MAGA leaders call for the troops to keep Trump in office,” Politico, December 18, 2020,

Mike Allen and Jonathan Swan, “Pentagon halts Biden transition briefings,” Axios, December 18, 2020,

Jonathan Chait, “Trump Floats Coup Plan That’s So Wild Even Rudy Giuliani Is Terrified,” New York, December 19, 2020,

Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein, “Trump sought to tap Sidney Powell as special counsel for election fraud,” Politico, December 20, 2020,

Felicia Sonmez et al., “A frustrated Trump redoubles efforts to challenge election result,” Washington Post, December 20, 2020,

Casey Michel, “What All the Secession Talk Really Means,” Politico, December 21, 2020,

Matt Zapotosky, “Undercutting Trump, Barr says there’s no basis for seizing voting machines, using special counsels for election fraud, Hunter Biden,” Washington Post, December 21, 2020,

Jonathan Swan, “Trump turns on everyone,” Axios, December 22, 2020,

Seung Min Kim, Josh Dawsey, and Toluse Olorunnipa, “Republicans plunge into open battle over attempts to overturn Trump’s loss to Biden,” Washington Post, December 22, 2020,

Paul Campos, “Pence Should Remove Trump From Office on Sunday,” New York, December 23, 2020,

Pamela Brown and Kevin Liptak, “Frustrated Trump met with Pence before holiday break,” CNN, December 24, 2020,

Lauren Fox, Jeremy Herb, and Phil Mattingly, “Congressional GOP grapples with ‘unhinged’ Trump,” CNN, December 23, 2020,

Kyle Cheney, “Gohmert suit may force Pence’s hand in effort to overturn Trump’s defeat,” Politico, December 28, 2020,

Bill Kristol, [Twitter thread], Thread Reader App, December 31, 2020,

Devlin Barrett, “Judge dismisses Gohmert lawsuit seeking to stymie Biden electoral college count,” Washington Post, January 1, 2021,

Elizabeth Thompson, “Texas congressman suggests street violence after judge rejects his legal effort to overturn election,” Chicago Tribune, January 2, 2021,

Saint Louis Post-Dispatch, “At least 11 GOP senators will back Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley in voting to reject electors,” January 2, 2021,

Amy Gardner, “‘I just want to find 11,780 votes’: In extraordinary hour-long call, Trump pressures Georgia secretary of state to recalculate the vote in his favor,” Washington Post, January 3, 2021,

Ashton Carter et al., “All 10 living former defense secretaries: Involving the military in election disputes would cross into dangerous territory,” Washington Post, January 3, 2021,

David Nakamura, “With brazen assault on election, Trump prompts critics to warn of a coup,” Washington Post, January 5, 2021,

Maggie Haberman and Annie Karni, “Pence Said to Have Told Trump He Lacks Power to Change Election Result,” New York Times, January 5, 2021,