Trump pardon beneficiary Conrad Black continued his embrace of Trump's Big Lie about the election in his Dec. 17 column. First, though, he took shots at "pompous, insubordinate hypocrite Gen. Mark Milley" at "the woke Fifth Column inserted by President Barack Obama" into the military, then moved to complaining that everything was great under Ronald Reagan until George H.W. Bush succeeded him, than "allowed the political charlatan Ross Perot to steal 20 million mainly Republican votes and bring on the Clintons." When Black transition to huffing about "the monstrous falsehood that Trump had wrongfully connived with the Russian government to rig the 2016 election," it was clearly time for more Trump hagiography and whitewashing:
Hillary Clinton, in her book about the election, stated that "Trump's treason" was one of the principal reasons for her defeat and former National Intelligence Director James Clapper publicly stated his belief that Trump was "a Russian intelligence asset." Former CIA Director John Brennan repeatedly accused Trump of treasonable activity.
By their hysterical claims that Trump was threatening democracy, they understandably incited Trump and his vast army of followers to believe that the political establishment that Trump had previously thought of as only incompetent, was, in fact, the real threat to democracy.
Meanwhile, a number of swing states altered their voting and vote counting rules, supposedly to facilitate voting during the pandemic, with the chief consequence of producing more than 40 million ballots that were not cast by the voters identified with them in a process called "ballot harvesting" that is impossible to verify.
In these circumstances there was plenty of room to question the validity of the election result as a flip of only about 53,000 votes spread between Pennsylvania and any two of Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin, would have given the election to Trump.
Trump again disserved himself by a somewhat helter-skelter series of legal challenges over individual complaints. But the media effectively suppressed the fact that all 19 challenges to the legality of the alteration of the voting and vote counting rules (because they violated the constitutional disposition of that authority to the state legislatures and failed in the duty to assure fair elections) were rejected on process grounds.
Both sides felt confirmed in their views by the invasion of the Capitol on Jan. 6. To Trump's enemies, he had attempted an "insurrection." To Trump and his followers, his enemies had failed to listen to warnings that hooligans would attach themselves to the Trump meeting on the Ellipse on Jan. 6, and attack the Capitol.
Legislators assumed a posture indicative of their courage and hid under their desks wearing ridiculous gas masks when the warning was sounded, and have responded with this new malicious fiction of "insurrection." Of course, the "insurrection" is utter nonsense, and even after detaining hundreds of the trespassers and sweating them in the usual abuse of the plea bargain system, extorting false inculpatory testimony with dire threats and interrogation but a promise of immunity from perjury charges if the "evidence" extorted is useful, no hint of insurrection has emerged.
The last thing Trump wanted was any illegalities at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and the only person who died violently in the incident was an unarmed Trump supporter, mysteriously shot dead by Capitol Police.
Black went on to again justify the Capitol riot:
The anger of Trump and his 75 million followers was, in the circumstances, understandable. Approximately half the country thought the election was stolen, and the other half believes that it was fairly decided and that the losers attempted to overturn the result by assaulting the Capitol.
The House of Representatives' investigation, in which the Republican side is composed of nothing but anti-Trump zealots probably on their way out of politics as the Republicans nominated by the House minority leader were cavalierly rejected by the speaker — is clearly another rabidly partisan anti-Trump assassination squad.
Black concluded by asserting, "Political conditions are more dangerous than at any time since the bottom of the Great Depression 90 years ago, and there is no FDR at hand." He will never admit Trump's central role in ratcheting up the danger by spreading lies about the election.