I considered this on three occasions:
- 12/21/2020: Coup in the United States? In May of 1964, this almost happened… The plot of Seven Days in May, in which the chairman of the Joint Chiefs plots to overthrow a president, is the opposite of the actual threat. There is no equivalent dramatic work, because it’s hard for our imaginations to embrace the fragility of our democracy.
- 1/6/2021: (CNN) Top White House national security officials are considering resigning; Please Don’t.
- 1/8/2021: 12 Days Till Inauguration, a Very Dangerous Time, Lacking Statutory Authority..
My nagging fear became epiphany on 12/5/2020, with (CNN) Trump purges Pentagon advisory board and gives seats to former campaign managers. Unlike earlier appointments, with conceivable policy objectives, 12/5 aligns most closely with state capture. Quoting Wikipedia,
The classical definition of state capture refers to the way formal procedures (such as laws and social norms) and government bureaucracy are manipulated by government officials, state-backed companies, private companies and/or private individuals, so as to influence state policies and laws in their favour. private individuals and firms so as to influence state policies and laws in their favour.
The World Bank originated the term in (pdf) State Capture, Corruption, and Influence in Transition. It is not a perfect fit, since in the World Bank definition, pecuniary gain is the motive.
The motive may have been to obtain declarative justification from the advisory board, for employment of the military as an ultimate, personally controlled police power, bypassing the justice system.