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    The Three Faces of Don

    When I worked at Time magazine in the early ’80s, I bought a frame at the company gift shop that was a mock-up of the Time Man of the Year cover, but it was Mother of the Year. I put in a picture of my mom, looking chic in a suit, holding me as a baby.I gave it to her for Mother’s Day as a goof.But for Donald Trump, whose office at Trump Tower was an infinity mirror of his magazine covers, the annual Time rite has always been a serious obsession. He complained after it was changed in 1999. He asked women at a rally in 2016, “What sounds better, Person of the Year or Man of the Year?”In 2015, when Time made Angela Merkel Person of the Year, he whined that he wasn’t the choice. “They picked person who is ruining Germany,” he sour-grapes tweeted.Even though the prestige of the once-mighty Time had dwindled, Trump was thrilled when he finally got Person of the Year in 2016. About the cover line, “President of the Divided States of America,” he demurred that the country would be “well healed” under his leadership.Well, turns out he was just a heel.In 2017, David Fahrenthold revealed in The Washington Post that the framed copies of Trump on the cover of Time, hung in at least five of the president’s golf clubs from Florida to Scotland, were fakes.The red border of the faux covers was skinnier; even my Mother of the Year frame got that detail right.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Trump Refuses to Commit to Accepting Election Outcome in Milwaukee Interview

    Former President Donald J. Trump told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Wednesday that he would not commit to accepting the results of the 2024 election, as he again repeated his lies that the 2020 election was stolen from him.“If everything’s honest, I’ll gladly accept the results. I don’t change on that,” Mr. Trump said, according to The Journal Sentinel. “If it’s not, you have to fight for the right of the country.”In an interview with Time magazine published on Tuesday, he also dismissed questions about political violence in November by suggesting that his victory was inevitable.When pressed about what might happen should he lose, he said, “if we don’t win, you know, it depends. It always depends on the fairness of an election.”Mr. Trump’s insistent and fraudulent claims that the 2020 election was unfair were at the heart of his efforts to overturn his loss to President Biden, and to the violent storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, by a mob of supporters who believed his claims. Mr. Trump now faces dozens of felony charges in connection with those events.Mr. Trump’s vow to “fight for the right of the country” also echoes his speech on the Ellipse on Jan. 6, where he told his supporters that “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” before urging his supporters to march to the Capitol.As he campaigns in battleground states this year, Mr. Trump has repeatedly tried to sow doubt about the integrity of the fall election, while repeating many of the same lies that he used to assail the integrity of the 2020 election. Months before any voting has taken place, Mr. Trump has regularly made the baseless claim that Democrats are likely to cheat to win.“Democrats rigged the presidential election in 2020, but we’re not going to allow them to rig the presidential election — the most important day of our lives — in 2024,” Mr. Trump said at a rally in Freeland, Mich.The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.Mr. Trump has for years promoted the lie that he won Wisconsin in 2020, and he did so again in the Journal Sentinel interview. Even after Jan. 6, 2021, and years after his exit from office, he has repeatedly pressured Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, the top Republican in the State Legislature, to help overturn Mr. Trump’s loss in the state and to impeach the state’s nonpartisan chief of elections.More than 1,250 people have been charged with crimes in connection to the Jan. 6 attack — and hundreds of people have been convicted. Mr. Trump said in a recent interview that he would “absolutely” consider pardoning every person convicted on charges related to the storming of the Capitol. A bipartisan Senate report found that at least seven people died in connection with that attack.The former president and his allies have also installed election deniers in influential positions in his campaign and in Republican Party institutions. In March, Trump allies newly installed to the leadership of the Republican National Committee appointed Christina Bobb, a former host at the far-right One America News Network, as senior counsel for election integrity. A self-described conspiracy theorist, she has relentlessly promoted false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.Ms. Bobb was indicted in Arizona last week, along with all of the fake electors who acted on Mr. Trump’s behalf in that state and others, on charges related to what the authorities say were attempts by the defendants to overturn the 2020 election results in Arizona.The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee have made an aggressive approach to “election integrity” — a broad term often used by Republicans to cast doubt on elections that the party lost — central to their efforts heading toward November.Last month, the committee announced a plan to train and dispatch more than 100,000 volunteers and lawyers to monitor the electoral process in each battleground state and to mount aggressive challenges.On Wednesday, Mr. Trump said at the rally in Freeland that his campaign and national and state Republican parties would put together “a team of the most highly qualified lawyers and other professionals in the country to ensure that what happened in 2020 will never happen again.”“I will secure our elections because you know what happened in 2020,” Mr. Trump said at a rally in Waukesha, Wis., on Wednesday.Mr. Trump lost Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes. More

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    Trump Acknowledges He Wanted to Go to the Capitol on Jan. 6

    Former President Donald J. Trump said on Wednesday that he asked his Secret Service detail to take him to the Capitol after his speech at the Ellipse on Jan. 6, 2021, acknowledging a key detail of his actions that were central to the findings of the House committee established to investigate the attack.During a campaign rally in Waukesha, Wis., Mr. Trump brought up a sensational but disputed element of testimony given to the House Jan. 6 committee by a Trump White House aide: that Mr. Trump had lunged for the wheel and physically struggled with Secret Service agents when they refused to take him to join the large crowd of supporters who were marching toward the Capitol.“I sat in the back,” Mr. Trump said, giving his version of events. “And you know what I did say? I said, ‘I’d like to go down there because I see a lot of people walking down.’ They said, ‘Sir, it’s better if you don’t.’ I said, ‘Well, I’d like to.’”“It’s better if you don’t,” Mr. Trump recounted an agent saying. The former president said he replied, “All right, whatever you guys think is fine,” and added, “That was the whole tone of the conversation.”President Biden’s campaign immediately highlighted Mr. Trump’s comments, amplifying that the former president had intended to participate in what would become an attack by his supporters on the Capitol in an effort to overturn Mr. Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.It is not the first time that Mr. Trump has spoken of his effort to go to the Capitol on Jan. 6. He has said in several interviews that he regretted not marching on the Capitol with his supporters that day, and that his Secret Service detail prevented him from doing so.“Secret Service said I couldn’t go,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with The Washington Post in April 2022. “I would have gone there in a minute.”Cassidy Hutchinson, the former White House aide, later testified to Mr. Trump’s conversation with Secret Service agents during televised hearings held by the House Jan. 6 committee. Ms. Hutchinson was not in the car with Mr. Trump, and said that her testimony to those events came secondhand or thirdhand from what other people had told her that day.In an interview with the same committee, Mr. Trump’s driver, whose name was not disclosed, said: “The president was insistent on going to the Capitol. It was clear to me he wanted to go to the Capitol.”Mr. Trump at the rally on Wednesday portrayed his requests to his Secret Service detail as casual ones.In the interview with investigators for the House panel, the driver said that while he did not see Mr. Trump accost agents or reach for the steering wheel, “what stood out was the irritation in his voice, more than his physical presence.”After Mr. Trump was driven back to the White House by his Secret Service detail, the former president sat and watched the ensuing violence play out on television, according to testimony by an array of former administration officials. After Mr. Trump’s speech at the Ellipse where he repeated his false claims that the election was stolen from him and urged attendees to march on the Capitol, a mob of his supporters overran police barricades to storm the building, temporarily disrupting the certification of Mr. Biden’s victory.In a lengthy interview with Time magazine published on Tuesday, Mr. Trump said he would “absolutely” consider pardoning every person who had been convicted on, or pleaded guilty to, charges related to the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6. He also would not rule out the possibility of political violence after this year’s election.“I think we’re going to win,” he said. “And if we don’t win, you know, it depends. It always depends on the fairness of an election.” More

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    Mike Johnson, Like Pence, Does What Passes for Brave in Today’s GOP: His Job

    In the Republican Party of 2024, styled in the image of former President Donald J. Trump, a norm-preserving, consensus-driven act — even a basic one — can be a career-ending offense.The accolades directed at Speaker Mike Johnson in recent days for finally defying the right wing of his party and allowing an aid bill for Ukraine to move through the House might have seemed a tad excessive.After all, a speaker’s entire job is to move legislation through the House, and as Saturday’s vote to pass the bill demonstrated, the Ukraine measure had overwhelming support. But Mr. Johnson’s feat was not so different from that of another embattled Republican who faced a difficult choice under immense pressure from hard-right Republicans and was saluted as a hero for simply doing his job: former Vice President Mike Pence.When Mr. Pence refused former President Donald J. Trump’s demands that he overturn the 2020 election results as he presided over the electoral vote count by Congress on Jan. 6, 2021 — even as an angry mob with baseball bats and pepper spray invaded the Capitol and chanted “hang Mike Pence” — the normally unremarkable act of performing the duties in a vice president’s job description was hailed as courageous.Mr. Pence and now Mr. Johnson represent the most high-profile examples of a stark political reality: In today’s Republican Party, subsumed by Mr. Trump, taking the norm-preserving, consensus-driven path can spell the end of your political career.Mr. Johnson and Mr. Pence, both mild-mannered, extremely conservative evangelical Christians who have put their faith at the center of their politics, occupy a similar space in their party. They have both gone through contortions to accommodate Mr. Trump and the forces he unleashed in their party, which in turn have ultimately come after them. Mr. Pence spent four years dutifully serving the former president and defending all of his words and actions. Mr. Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, played a lead role in trying to overturn the election results on Mr. Trump’s behalf.Vice President Mike Pence refused to accede to President Donald J. Trump’s demands that he overturn the 2020 election results as he presided over the certification of the electoral college votes on Jan. 6, 2021, even after a mob assaulted the Capitol. Anna Moneymaker for The New York TimesWe are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Prosecutions Tied to Jan. 6 Have Ensnared More Than 1,380

    The investigation of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack is already the largest criminal inquiry in Justice Department history, federal prosecutors have said. And even after more than three years, it has shown little sign of slowing down.Every week, a few more rioters are arrested and charges against them are unsealed in Federal District Court in Washington. Prosecutors have suggested that a total of 2,000 or 2,500 people could ultimately face indictment for their roles in the attack.More than 1,380 people had been charged in connection with the attack as of early this month, according to the Justice Department. Among the most common charges brought against them are two misdemeanors: illegal parading inside the Capitol and entering and remaining in a restricted federal area, a type of trespassing.About 350 rioters have been accused of violating the obstruction statute that the Supreme Court is considering at its hearing, and nearly 500 people have been charged with assaulting police officers. Many rioters have been charged with multiple crimes, the most serious of which so far has been seditious conspiracy.Almost 800 defendants have already pleaded guilty; about 250 of them have done so to felony charges. Prosecutors have won the vast majority of the cases that have gone to trial: More than 150 defendants have been convicted at trial and only two have been fully acquitted.More than 850 people have been sentenced so far, and about 520 have received at least some time in prison. The stiffest penalties have been handed down to the former leaders of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, far-right extremist groups that played central roles in the Capitol attack.Enrique Tarrio, the former Proud Boys leader, was sentenced to 22 years in prison, and Stewart Rhodes, who once led the Oath Keepers, was given an 18-year term. More

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    Inside Donald Trump’s Embrace of the Jan. 6 Rioters

    Two days before former President Donald J. Trump was booked at an Atlanta jail on his fourth indictment, he held an event at his golf club in New Jersey for another group of people facing criminal charges: rioters accused of storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.Standing next to a portrait of himself portrayed as James Bond, Mr. Trump told the defendants and their families that they had suffered greatly, but that all of that would change if he won another term.“People who have been treated unfairly are going to be treated extremely, extremely fairly,” he said to a round of applause at the event last August in Bedminster, N.J. “What you’ve suffered is just ridiculous,” he added. “But it’s going to be OK.”That private event was emblematic of how Mr. Trump has embraced dozens of Jan. 6 defendants and their relatives and highlights how he has sought to undermine law enforcement when it suits him, while he also puts forth a law-and-order campaign.Recently, however, his celebrations of the Capitol riot and those who took part in it have become more public as he has promoted a revisionist history of the attack and placed it at the heart of his 2024 presidential campaign.Despite the nearly 1,000 guilty pleas and convictions that have been secured in criminal cases stemming from Jan. 6, Mr. Trump has repeatedly described the rioters who broke into the Capitol as “hostages” and has started to open his campaign events with a recording of riot defendants singing the national anthem from their jail cells.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Prosecutors Ask Supreme Court to Reject Trump’s Immunity Claim in Election Case

    The filing was the main submission from Jack Smith, the special counsel prosecuting the former president. The case will be argued on April 25.Jack Smith, the special counsel prosecuting former President Donald J. Trump on charges of plotting to overturn the 2020 election, urged the Supreme Court on Monday to reject Mr. Trump’s claim that he is immune from prosecution.“The president’s constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed does not entail a general right to violate them,” Mr. Smith wrote.The filing was Mr. Smith’s main submission in the case, which will be argued on April 25.He wrote that the novelty of the case underscored its gravity.“The absence of any prosecutions of former presidents until this case does not reflect the understanding that presidents are immune from criminal liability,” Mr. Smith wrote. “It instead underscores the unprecedented nature of petitioner’s alleged conduct.”He urged the justices not to lose sight of the basic legal terrain.“A bedrock principle of our constitutional order,” he wrote, “is that no person is above the law — including the president.” He added, “The Constitution does not give a president the power to conspire to defraud the United States in the certification of presidential-election results, obstruct proceedings for doing so or deprive voters of the effect of their votes.”Mr. Smith urged the court to move quickly, though he did not directly address the pending election.When the Supreme Court said in February that it would hear the case, it set what it called an expedited schedule. But it was not particularly fast, with oral arguments scheduled about seven weeks later. That delay was a significant partial victory for Mr. Trump, whose trial had been expected to start March 4.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Donald Trump’s Insatiable Bloodlust

    An earthquake. An eclipse. A bridge collapse. A freak blizzard. A biblical flood. Donald Trump leading in battleground states.Apocalyptic vibes are stirred by Trump’s violent rhetoric and talk of blood baths.If he’s not elected, he bellowed in Ohio, there will be a blood bath in the auto industry. At his Michigan rally on Tuesday, he said there would be a blood bath at the border, speaking from a podium with a banner reading, “Stop Biden’s border blood bath.” He has warned that, without him in the Oval, there will be an “Oppenheimer”-like doomsday; we will lose World War III and America will be devastated by “weapons, the likes of which nobody has ever seen before.”“And the only thing standing between you and its obliteration is me,” Trump has said.An unspoken Trump threat is that there will be a blood bath again in Washington, like Jan. 6, if he doesn’t win.That is why he calls the criminals who stormed the Capitol “hostages” and “unbelievable patriots.” He starts some rallies with a dystopian remix of the national anthem, sung by the “J6 Prison Choir,” and his own reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance.The bloody-minded Trump luxuriates in the language of tyrants.In “Macbeth,” Shakespeare uses blood imagery to chart the creation of a tyrant. Those words echo in Washington as Ralph Fiennes stars in a thrilling Simon Godwin production of “MacBeth” for the Shakespeare Theater Company, opening Tuesday.“The raw power grab that excites Lady Macbeth and incites her husband to regicide feels especially pertinent now, when the dangers of autocracy loom over political discussions,” Peter Marks wrote in The Washington Post about the production with Fiennes and Indira Varma (the lead sand snake in “Game of Thrones.”)We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More