Trump endorses “America First” politicians at North Carolina rally

On Saturday, former President Donald Trump headlined a relatively small campaign-style rally in North Carolina ahead of the May 17 Republican state primaries.

As in Michigan the week before, the would-be dictator threw his weight behind a batch of far-right Republican politicians, all of whom pledged their loyalty to Trump and echoed his claim that the 2020 election was rigged.

The rally was held at The Farm at 95, located in rural Selma, North Carolina. Less than 3,000 people attended the event, which was live-streamed by C-Span and several right-wing networks.

With his image projected behind him, former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally Saturday, April 9, 2022, in Selma, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)

Speakers at the rally included MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, Hitler admirer and North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn, Republican candidate in North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District Beau Hines, North Carolina Lt. Governor Mark Robinson and North Carolina Reps. Dan Bishop, Greg Murphy and Ted Budd. The latter is seeking the Republican nomination to run for the US Senate.

In his brief speech, Cawthorn promised that with “Donald Trump back in command,” the government would “investigate Anthony Fauci and send him to jail,” and Congress would “impeach Joe Biden.”

He was followed by Trump-endorsed congressional candidate Beau Hines, who attacked “radical Marxists, leftists” and “cowardly RINO Republicans” who want to “destroy our country” and “dismantle the America First movement.”

In a by now standard, hour-long fascist rant, Trump—a frequent flier on Jeffrey Epstein’s private plane, unofficially known as the “Lolita Express”—presented himself as an implacable defender of “Judeo-Christian” principles” and fighter for “women sports” and “children.”

He incited racist violence against immigrants, whom he called “rapists” and “criminals,” and targeted educators for “teaching far-left gender theories to children.”

Justifying the January 6, 2021, coup, Trump promised that if the Republicans take back Congress and the White House, they will “demand justice for the January 6 prisoners and full protection for their civil rights, like was received by Antifa and Black Lives Matter, who murdered people throughout our country.”

Seeking to blame Democrats for his failed coup, Trump falsely claimed that “Nancy Pelosi and the mayor of D.C.” were “in charge of all security in the Capitol.” Trump claimed that he “offered 10,000 soldiers” to guard the Capitol, adding that “if they would have accepted that, there would have been no January 6 as we know it.”

The previous day, North Carolina Proud Boys leader Charles Donohoe pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, in connection with his actions on January 6. He also pleaded guilty to assaulting, resisting or impeding officers. In seeking a reduced sentence, Donohoe, who faces a minimum of six years in prison, had agreed to turn state’s evidence.

According to the Statement of Offense, Donohoe was part of the Proud Boys Ministry of Self Defense (MOSD) leadership team that discussed attacking the Capitol to prevent the certification of Biden’s election victory. The court documents note that the plan to storm the Capitol was not put into motion by the Proud Boys leadership until after a December 19, 2020, tweet from Trump calling on his followers to come to Washington. The tweet read: “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”

According to a separate Department of Justice statement, Donohoe “believed that storming the Capitol would achieve the group’s goal of stopping the government from carrying out the transfer of presidential power. Donohoe understood from discussion that the Proud Boys would pursue their objective through the use of force and violence.”

Donohoe is the third Proud Boy in the last week to plead guilty for crimes committed in furtherance of Trump’s coup. On Thursday, California Proud Boy Rick Wilden pleaded guilty to spraying a Capitol police officer with a chemical agent on January 6.

The day before that, West Virginia Proud Boys leader Jeff Finely pleaded guilty to illegally entering the Capitol. In court documents, Finely is said to have posted a message titled “Boots on the Ground” at 5:03 p.m. He wrote: “I just got out myself, dude, I was in there, you know, f*cking taking pictures with the boys. Yo, Captain Trump, proud of your f*cking boy.”

New evidence has emerged over the past week confirming that the plot emanated from the White House. On Friday, CNN, citing text messages turned over to it by the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack, reported that on November 5, two days after the 2020 presidential election and before a winner had been declared, Donald Trump Jr. texted then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows: “We have operational control Total leverage. Moral High Ground POTUS must start 2nd term now.”

In the text messages, according to CNN, Trump Jr. “lays out ideas for keeping his father in power by subverting the Electoral College process.”

“It’s very simple,” Trump Jr. wrote to Meadows. “We have multiple paths. We control them all.”

The CNN report states the message goes on to outline “a strategy that is nearly identical to what allies of the former president attempted to carry out in the months that followed. Trump Jr. makes a specific reference to filing lawsuits and advocating recounts to prevent certain swing states from certifying their results, as well as having a handful of Republican state houses put forward slates of fake ‘Trump electors.’”

In the face of overwhelming evidence confirming that Trump and his Republican co-conspirators in Congress, the courts and the police-military-intelligence apparatus were all involved in a plot to overthrow the election of Biden, the Democratic Party continues to downplay the ongoing danger and seek unity with its “Republican colleagues” in prosecuting the US-NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine.

California Democrat and member of the House Select Committee Zoe Lofgren, in a recent article in the New York Times, again stated her opposition to the committee sending a criminal referral against Trump to the Department of Justice and Attorney General Merrick Garland, telling the newspaper she thought it was superfluous.

“Maybe we will, maybe we won’t,” Lofgren said of the referral. “It doesn’t have a legal impact.”