The Good News: Everyone now knows Trump is planning a coup d’etat


1) Barton Gellman, “The Election That Could Break America; If the vote is close, Donald Trump could easily throw the election into chaos and subvert the result; Who will stop him?” The Atlantic, November, 2020 (currently on their website).

2) “Trump’s creeping coup d’état: Democrats must get ready to impeach again (Part I)”, The Trenchant Observer, July 25, 2020.

3) “Trump’s creeping coup d’état: Democrats must get ready to impeach again (Part II),” The Trenchant Observer, July 27, 2020.

4) “Trump’s blatant assaults on democracy continue (Updated),” The Trenchant Observer, The Trenchant Observer, September 15, 2020.

5) “REPRISE: Rehearsal for a coup d’état? Violence in American cities and ‘the chaos president’,” The Trenchant Observer (Updated July 17, 2020), July 17, 2020.

The good news is that, among broader and broader sections of the country, the last illusions about Donald Trump are falling away. Even if they cannot say the words yet, more and more civilian and military leaders are coming to understand that Donald Trump intends to hold on to power no matter what the election results may be on November 3.

There is likely to be civil strife and violence in the streets, as already suggested by armed civil militia roaming the streets in some cities, without being arrested by the police.

Trump may well foment violence by his right-wing partisans, in order to give him an excuse to send in federal police forces, as he did in Portland. And/or National Guard troops, and even U.S. military, as he tried to do in Washinton, D.C.–in Lafayette Square, with other troops held in reserve ready to deploy.

Trump is a dictator-in-the-making, trying out his potential dictatorial powers every day. And standing with him, or behind him, is Vladimir Putin, who never ceases to receive favors from Donald Trump.  The latest has been Trump’s taking down of the leadership and top reporters of the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).

This has been a great gift to Putin, one of the greatest.  Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty has broadcast to the Soviet Union and Russia for 70 years, embodying U.S. ideals of freedom of the press and independent journalism. It has been a real thorn in the side for Putin, who depends on propaganda and the state-owned media to maintain himself in power.

The good news is that the most important leaders in the country who are not Trump Cult followers or Collaborators, including military leaders, can now see the game Trump is playing. He means to remain in power at all costs, by force if necessary.

What can we and the Democrats do?

The House Democrats can draft articles of impeachment, to be updated as necessary, which can be quickly approved and sent to the Senate in the event Trump actually attempts to hold on to power by force, or other unconstitutional means.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.