From Adam Serwer's 9-23-21 ATLANTIC article entitled "Trump's Plans for a Coup Are Now Public":
Last year, John Eastman, whom CNN describes as an attorney working with Donald Trump’s legal team, wrote a preposterous memo outlining how then–Vice President Mike Pence could overturn the 2020 election by fiat or, failing that, throw the election to the House of Representatives, where Republicans could install Trump in office despite his loss to Joe Biden. The document, which was first reported by the Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa in their new book, is a step-by-step plan to overthrow the government of the United States through a preposterous interpretation of legal procedure.
Pence apparently took the idea seriously—so seriously, in fact, that,
according to Woodward and Costa, former Vice President Dan Quayle had to talk him out of it.
Prior to November, the possibility of Trump attempting a coup was seen
as the deranged fever dream of crazed liberals. But as it turns out,
Trump and his advisers had devised explicit plans for reversing Trump’s
loss. Republican leaders deliberately stoked election conspiracy
theories they knew to be false,
in order to lay a political pretext for invalidating the results. Now,
more than 10 months after the election, the country knows of at least
five ways in which Trump attempted to retain power despite his defeat.
Serwer then goes on to explain, in detail, those five methods: 1) Trump tried to pressure secretaries of state to not certify, 2) He tried to pressure state legislatures to overturn the results, 3) he tried to get the courts to overturn the results, 4) He tried to pressure Mike Pence to overturn the results, and 5) When all else failed, he tried to get a mob to overturn the results.
At the rally prior to the vote count in Congress, Trump urged the crowd to act, saying, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” The explicit goal of the rally and subsequent riot was to pressure Congress, and Pence in particular, into overturning the election results. Trump told his followers, “If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election.”
This scheme didn’t work on its own, but it certainly could have helped one of the others: Imagine if Pence had gone along
with Eastman’s absurd plan, and a mob had been present at the Capitol
to help enforce the decision and menace lawmakers who tried to oppose
it—then what? As it stands, the mob ransacked the Capitol and forced
lawmakers to flee. Had the mob succeeded at reaching any actual
legislators, the consequences could have been catastrophic [...].
Those who attempted to subvert democracy have faced few political or legal consequences. As is typical, some rioters are facing prosecution while the elites who tried to overthrow the election through more bureaucratic or procedural means remain in good standing with their peers. The failure to impose accountability for an attempt to overthrow the constitutional order will encourage further such efforts.
Meanwhile, those rare Republicans who did stand up against this attempt to destroy American democracy are the only ones dealing with real political consequences from their party, facing primary challenges, being forced into retirement, or being stripped of their leadership positions. Republican officials who were unwilling to use their office to overturn the election results are seeing challenges from Trump devotees who will, should the opportunity arise again.
To read Serwer's entire article, click HERE.