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Was Donald Trump the target of a coup? No

With much of the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller now public, President Donald Trump has abused his origins as evidence of his own victim.

On several occasions, Trump used the word "coup" to describe law enforcement efforts to examine Russia's influence on the 2016 elections.

For example, he said this in an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News on April 25, 2019:

"This was a coup." This was an attempt by the United States government to overthrow … I think it is much bigger than Watergate .I think it may be the biggest scandal in political history in this country, maybe beyond politics … This was a coup .This was not a theft of information from an office in the US Watergate apartments. This was a coup attempt. "

We wondered if Trump was justified in saying he had been targeted in a coup ̵

1; the abbreviation for" coup d'etat, "a French term meaning a fall of the government. Experts told us that Trump uses the term practically and legally incorrectly.

What is Trump referring to?

The White House did not respond to a request for this article, but Philip Bump of the Washington Post described the origins of the conversation as part of a "classic Fox News feedback loop."

Trump seems to believe that enemies within law enforcement agencies had reasons to override the Russia contacts of his campaign. Among the names that frequently appear in this alleged conspiracy are Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, two officials who were involved in the FBI investigation of the then candidate Trump. The two were romantically involved and shared text messages that Trump said were biased against him. (Trump regularly attacks Strzok and Page on Twitter, calling them "two sick lovers" in an interview with Hannity.)

For those outside the orbit of the Fox News, "the connections may not make sense," writes Bump. "But for a Hannity viewer, and especially for Trump and Hannity, it all makes perfect sense, it's a summary of a case about bias, personal flaws, and unfairness that Fox News and Hannity have been doing for a year."

The development of this "feedback loop" can be seen in Trump's tweets.

In the weeks before Hannity's appearance, when Trump talked about a coup, he tweeted several tweets to allies or quoted them in tweets. The first was pro-Trump commentator Dan Bongino, who said on Feb. 18 that "this was an illegal coup attempt against the President of the United States."

Trump also tweeted or retweeted Tom Fitton from the conservative group "Judicial Watch" and Maria Bartiromo. by Fox Business Network with the word "coup" before appearing on Hannity.

How the investigation actually began

According to the Mueller report, the triggering event for the FBI was the opening of an investigation into counterintelligence between Trump. The campaign and the Russian government were the result of a meeting in April 2016 between electoral consultant George Papadopoulos and According to a source, Russian government officials could offer Clinton in the form of "thousands of e-mails."

Mueller's report confirms prior reporting of the sequence of events that set the probe in motion. Papadopoulos told a senior Australian diplomat in an upscale London bar in May 2016 that Moscow had "politically smeared" Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of e-mails.

End of July 2016 – Days after WikiLeaks dumped thousands of internal news Democratic National Committee documents that have proven harmful to Clinton – US law enforcement became aware of Papadopoulos' claim.

"Within a week of being released (WikiLeaks), a foreign government informed the FBI about its interaction with Papadopoulos in May 2016 and its statement that the Russian government could support the Trump campaign," said Müller (p 1). "On July 31, 2016, based on foreign government reporting, the FBI launched an investigation into possible coordination between the Russian government and individuals in connection with the Trump campaign."

This investigation became a special investigation by Müller after Trump dismissed an FBI director James Comey. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who had stood up for then Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had withdrawn from Russian affairs, ordered Mueller to conduct the independent investigation.

It is worth noting that Müller did not conspire with Russia; If Muller had been involved in a coup, he could have thrown out the Justice Department's guidelines and charged Trump.

What is a coup?

The key point in this summary is that the investigations were conducted by the law enforcement agencies. and that he complied with the relevant laws.

In contrast, the defining element of a coup is that it goes beyond the bounds of legality.

"We define a coup d'état as a sudden and irregular (ie illegal or extra-legal removal or postponement of the executive authority of an independent government," wrote the Coup Décétrate Project of the University of Illinois Cline Center for Democracy in 2013.

Michael Klarman, a Harvard Law School professor told PolitiFact that the investigation in Russia is not a coup because the FBI had very good reasons to launch an investigation into Trump FBI's intention to undermine a duly elected president 19659002] Anthony Cl ark Arend, a professor of government and foreign service at Georgetown University, agreed.

"The term" coup "suggests the president that Muller and his own judiciary acting outside the law. "Arend said." Mueller ", however, was chosen by Rod Rosenstein, the elected stellver Of the 12 Clinton-centered coups, nine appear to have nothing to do with what Trump is talking about. These included military coups, rebel plasters, popular uprisings, dissident actions, palace coups, foreign coups, international mediation Transitions, forced resignations, and auto coups, where the leader strengthened other branches of the government by force of arms.

Two other types listed by the center are defined by the extent to which they came – coup attempts (which attempted and failed) and coup conspiracies (which never reach the stage of execution). Any alleged coup against Trump would have been a coup attempt since he is still in office. However, this does not mean that there actually was a coup attempt.

"As the investigation in Russia began before Trump's election and at a time when it was widely believed that Hillary Clinton would be elected, this can not have been an attempt to overthrow the US government," said Richard Bulliet, historian Columbia University. "It was an attempt by the state's well-established crests to prevent the seizure of government by a witty or ignorant Russian agent."

The lead author of the Cline Center report, a University of Illinois political scientist, Peter F. Nardulli, agreed with this definition of Trump's failure.

"The vast majority of the government's extra-legal crashes involve violence," Nardulli said. "What happened to Trump was simply the unfolding of normal governmental procedures in accordance with the rule of law, it was a completely different genre than a coup."

In the categories of the Cline Center, Trump presumably refers to a "counter-coup," which is defined as "the elimination of a usurper by members of the former regime within a month of the first coup."

In Trump's case, he took over but not by a coup duly elected by the electoral college) and the alleged counter-coup actually began before he actually won the presidency. Therefore, it is also problematic to call it a counter-coup.

"I can not see how this would reasonably be a coup," said Richard Nephew, adjunct professor and senior research scientist at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. "We have a long historical legacy to hold our senior officials and agents to account for their behavior."

Our verdict

Trump said the investigation in Russia was a coup. This is an attempt by the United States Government. "

Investigations in Russia stemmed from a law-enforcement investigation into the rules, which is very different from a coup d'état where the dominant feature is that it takes place outside the legal system, and it is worth noting that the investigation was already under way before the swearing-in Trump, which means he was not even allowed for a coup.

We rate the statement Pants on Fire.

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