Far-right conspiracy theorists and ultra conservative members of the GOP—who have less and less daylight between them as the days go by—have gone into collective meltdown mode, apparently triggered, at least in part, by calls for violence by Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Trump-allied lawyer L. Lin Wood.
On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Kernodle, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, dismissed a hail-mary lawsuit filed by Gohmert and 11 Arizona Republicans that attempted to give Vice President Mike Pence the ability to overturn the results of the November presidential election won by Joe Biden. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals swatted the same lawsuit down on Saturday.
As the president of the Senate, Pence will preside over the ceremonial counting of the Electoral College votes, which have already certified Biden as the clear winner, on Wednesday.
In an interview Friday evening on pro-Trump news network Newsmax, Gohmert falsely claimed that letting the will of the voters stand would “mean the end of our republic, the end of the experiment in self-government."
Gohmert then seemed to encourage violence as a means to this end. “But bottom line is, the court is saying, ‘We’re not going to touch this. You have no remedy’—basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you gotta go the streets and be as violent as Antifa and BLM.”
Gohmert, a former judge, sits on the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees federal courts and law enforcement.
At the same time, pro-Trump lawyer Wood fanned the flames by suggesting Friday that Pence could “face execution by firing squad” for “treason” if he doesn’t go along with the attempt to subvert the election—which Trump’s own former Attorney General, William Barr, declared free of any fraud that could have potentially swung the results.
This prompted some key Trump loyalists like Jenna Ellis, a Trump campaign attorney, to swiftly distance themselves from Wood.
“I do not support the statements from Attorney Lin Wood,” Ellis said in a tweet late Friday. “I support the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution.”
Trump-loving Newsmax host Greg Kelly, who called Wood a “legend” for “getting to the bottom of this mess in Georgia” just two weeks ago, apparently woke up to reality on Friday.
“This WHIPE just called for the arrest of Mike Pence,” he tweeted. “Wood is doing a crazy man act.”
In another, he wrote: “His heart may be in the right place but his BRAIN is either TOTALLY FRIED. Or OWNED BY CHINA.”
Trump himself has gleefully poured gasoline on the fire, tweeting his support for street protests planned for Jan. 6 in D.C., during which his supporters will reportedly try to stop lawmakers from getting to the Capitol and finalizing the election results. Pence’s role is merely a constitutional formality.
Eleven Republican senators also said Saturday they would object to certifying the Electoral College vote on Wednesday—a stunt that will most likely have no impact on the result but will perpetuate Trump’s claim that the election was somehow stolen from him.
Wood’s broadsides are only the latest in his increasingly unhinged—and so far unsuccessful—attempts to undermine Biden's victory.
He has filed lawsuits in Georgia and Michigan to stop the states from certifying their results, all to no avail. He recently suggested that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is a pedophile and was behind Justice Antonin Scalia's 2016 death from natural causes, and has publicly embraced the QAnon conspiracy movement.
His Friday remarks had QAnon types excitedly welcoming "the great awakening," a mass delusion that expects “criminally corrupt government leaders, celebrities, religious leaders, media figures, and corporate heads [to] be tried and punished for crimes involving treason, human trafficking, ritual sacrifice and unspeakable perversions.”
Wood fired back at Ellis on Twitter, saying that he has been “fighting” for the rule of law since “7 years before you were born.” Following questions about Wood’s mental state, he posted another tweet saying that he was “fine,” signing off his message with a quote from Vernon Linwood Howard, author of, among other things, The Mystic Path to Cosmic Power.
“A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.”
The Daily Beast was unable to reach Gohmert for comment, and left a phone message at Wood’s home. He did not reply.
Trump is the first sitting president to lose a re-election campaign in nearly three decades. He continues to blame his loss on nebulous claims of voter fraud, and has since lost every court challenge but one.
The president is now attempting to convince supporters that next week’s special Senate election in Georgia is “both illegal and invalid” because of another nonsensical conspiracy theory involving what he claims are “massive changes made to the voting process.”