Trump was always planning to try to steal the election

It’s pretty clear now—as I think Matt Grossman pretty accurately predicted—that his goal was always to steal the election if he didn’t win fairly. He was pretty transparent about this long before the election. He spent months saying that mail-in or early ballots were rife with fraud. He told all of his voters to vote on Election Day. He expected this would give him a “mirage” lead that night, and then, because he had already established the illegitimacy of mail-in ballots, he could pretend to be justified in proclaiming victory on Election Night.

Sure, there would be lawsuits and the like later, but Trump would have momentum on his side. He even telegraphed over and over that he expected the Supreme Court to come to his rescue amid the chaos. That was his primary explanation for why he thought it was important to get Amy Coney Barrett confirmed…

Tucker is right when he says, “What Powell was describing would amount to the single greatest crime in American history.” And he’s right that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

But he doesn’t close the circle. If our political system were sufficiently sclerotic and decadent that Powell’s con yielded the results she desires, it would be the greatest crime in American history, too. I don’t see the moral difference between stealing the election using cutting-edge Venezuelan algorithms and stealing the election by peddling deranged nonsense about Venezuelan algorithms.