1/05 A Presidential Inflection Point

Published: 1.5.21

Tonight, it’s all eyes on Georgia. Tomorrow, we’ll pivot to Capitol Hill and the Joint Session of Congress. While this final tally of the Electoral College votes is typically an unremarkable affair, tomorrow is sure to be one for the history books. At least we know how the chapter ends: with Joe Biden as President-elect. Amid reports of Republican members of Congress planning to object tomorrow to slates of lawfully chosen electors, former New Jersey Attorney General John Farmer, a VPP Advisory Board member, penned an op-ed for The Hill calling on Republican leaders to stop fostering disbelief in the election results.

Ahead of the joint session tomorrow, our country is reaching an inflection point. Washington, D.C. is bracing for 48 hours of potentially violent demonstrations, egged on by President Trump himself. In anticipation of similar demonstrations this fall, the VPP shared guidance for law enforcement on how to prepare for and manage such events.

Additionally, following the fallout from Trump’s now infamous phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger pressuring him to “find 11,780 votes,” the VPP issued a backgrounder detailing the potential criminal implications of the call and outlining the need for a full investigation.

All the while, President Trump continues to spout lies about the process (see VPP outside counsel Ambassador Norm Eisen’s tweet on how Vice President Pence can’t change the outcome).

Here is today’s update:

National Update

DC Braces for Unrest: The first of multiple demonstrations supporting President Trump and his unproven claims of widespread election fraud have started in D.C. and are anticipated to continue through Wednesday. Road closures started Tuesday morning. Local leaders are urging D.C. residents to avoid protest areas. Mayor Muriel Bowser and acting D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee warned those who plan to attend this week’s protests not to bring guns. And the National Guard has been activated in the District to assist police. Read more here.

Adieu to a Key Trump Advisor: Republican lawyer Cleta Mitchell, who advised President Trump during his Saturday phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in an effort to overturn the election, resigned on Tuesday as a partner in the Washington office of the law firm Foley & Lardner. Mitchell’s resignation came after the law firm on Monday issued a statement saying it was “concerned by” her role in the call. The firm noted that as a matter of policy, its attorneys do not represent “any parties seeking to contest the results of the election.” Read more here.

Full-Court Pence Press: PresidentTrump escalated his efforts to force Vice President Mike Pence to overturn President-elect Biden’s victory, despite the Vice President playing a largely ceremonial role in certifying the election results in Congress. Aides close to Pence concede that he is facing a politically perilous moment and are convinced that he will follow the law and historical precedent and confirm Biden’s election. Read more here. VPP outside counsel Ambassador Norm Eisen assured viewers on CNN today that President Trump’s claim that Pence has the power to reject electors is ”totally false.”

State Updates

Colorado: Amid plans by some congressional Republicans to object to President-elect Biden’s Electoral College win this week and Trump’s potentially illegal attempt to fabricate a victory in Georgia, Attorney General Phil Weiser and other Democratic officials on Monday called such actions alarming. Read more here.

Georgia: Yesterday, on the eve of her runoff Senate election, Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia announced plans to vote against the Electoral College certification process on January 6, joining a group of fellow Republican senators seeking to overturn President-elect Biden’s victory. Read more here.

Message Guidance: Election-related Demonstrations

  • We understand that some people are disappointed in the election results. But the American people have spoken, and it’s time to move forward as a country.
  • Everyone has the right to peacefully express themselves in our democracy, and that’s what we call for this week.
  • While we respect the First Amendment, we won’t tolerate criminal behavior or violence.
  • The Constitution doesn’t give anyone the right to commit violence, vandalize property, or engage in acts of hate.The President and his supporters have repeatedly tried to incite violence from extremist groups. If there’s any attempt to create chaos or cause violence, we will take immediate action.

Social Media:

Below, you will find social media messaging tailored to the Joint Session of Congress on January 6th, demonstrations planned in the nation’s capital, and op-eds penned by VPP Advisory Board members to uplift on your social media. You can retweet messages directly from the VPP or use our sample messaging to post directly from your accounts.

Amplify: below are three VPP tweets to consider for amplification/retweets.

Share: below are three articles to consider sharing with accompanying messaging.

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