The right-wing Claremont Institute published a report in mid-October 2020 that gamed out a scenario where Donald Trump would remain in office through an alliance between law enforcement and militant extremists.
The report was prepared by attorney John Eastman, who authored a memo laying out another strategy for keeping Trump in office, and former Trump deputy national security advisor K.T. McFarland, as well as Kevin Roberts, then-executive director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, alt-right figure Jeff Giesea and right-wing blogger Charles Haywood, reported The Bulwark.
"Despite the authors' pretensions to scholarship and rigor — 'for a simulation to be valuable, the other side gets a vote and actions must be based in realism' — the final document is a frenzied and paranoid piece of work, revealing of the anxieties and aspirations of the authoritarian right," writes columnist Christian Vanderbrouk. "Practically, the report is an instruction manual for how Trump partisans at all levels of government — aided by citizen 'posses' of Proud Boys and Oath Keepers — could, quite literally, round up opposition activists, kill their leaders, and install Donald Trump for a second term in office."
Most of the predictions in the report, titled "79 Days to Inauguration," did not come to fruition, such as the authors' belief that some states' voting results would be fatally tainted by cyber attacks and suspicious fires, and left-wing mobs did not converge on Washington, D.C., to incite violence, and police did not execute antifa/Black Lives Matter leaders as part of a federal operation.
"A barely concealed bloodlust runs through the report," Vanderbrouk writes. "This isn't a serious wargame or a policy study so much as a bowdlerized retelling of The Turner Diaries."
The report was produced in response to the bipartisan Transition Integrity Project's (TIP) exercise on "Preventing a Disrupted Presidential Election and Transition," which considered the prospect of Trump refusing to concede an election loss and made recommendations for avoiding a crisis -- which seems to be the opposite intent of the Claremont Institute's exercise.
"To the extent that the Claremont-TPPF report offers recommendations, they are mostly focused on how to emerge victorious from the chaos, including preparation 'for destructive urban unrest [with] potential targets includ[ing] ballot counting facilities, government buildings, especially state capitols and city halls, as well as television and radio studios,'" Vanderbrouk writes. "The Claremont task force seems either resigned to—or perhaps energized by—the view that 'prudent steps are likely to be spun as preparations for a military takeover or coup and may result in negative consequences either way.'"
"Either way. It's as if they're steering into the violence instead of trying to avoid it," he adds. "The message is clear: do whatever it takes to crush your opponents and all will be forgiven in the second Trump term."