Ideation of a coup continues. At the center is one very desperate man.
In theory, POTUS is commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The deployment of 20,000 National Guard troops to Washington results in this ideation: “If only I could command those troops, I could overwhelm civil authority.” In the eye of a desperado, the mechanism is martial law.
It would explain the sacking of the Defense Policy Review Board, and the attempt to appoint a new NSA General Council. (CNN) Acting secretary of defense orders NSA chief to install Trump loyalist as agency’s general counsel. Alternately, the appointment could obfuscate impeachment trial testimony regarding presidential communications.
This does not imply a coup is viable, or that a cabal of conspirators even exists. It could simply be mad ideation, or the ideation of a small, a non-viable cabal.
History cautions that successful coups have occurred without force supremacy. The sequestration of key people, such as those responsible for presidential succession, and a hidden power base within government, can suffice.
Until the Inauguration, the defenders of the Constitution have a difficult task, to prevent a coup lead or instigated by POTUS, with these measures:
- Prevent use of the statutory chains of command for illegal, seditious purpose.
- Identify individuals who might facilitate illegal use, and attempt to limit their influence.
- Protect, from involuntary sequestration, individuals key to the processes of succession, and exercise of the 25th Amendment.
- Accomplish the above in the presence of possible violent civil unrest.
We cannot stop the ideations of the desperate. If these measures have already been taken with effect, realization of our worst fears cannot occur.