Former Attorney General William Barr called Trump’s behavior “a betrayal of his office and his supporters.” Republicans in Congress have encouraged articles of impeachment against the president. Twitter and Facebook have suspended Trump.

Some TV talkers have speculated that Trump could disappear into a retired life of buffets and golf at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. It has emerged, at least for a moment, that Trump could become persona non grata at the national level. Politics.

Yet over the past year, Trump’s grip on the party has not diminished. Instead, critically, he stands firm.

Trump is holding a court in Palm Beach, where a constant stream of Republican candidates and agents come to seek his approval and, they hope, his approval. Lawmakers are still answering phone calls from the former president and some, like McCarthy and Graham, have flocked to his compound for a meeting and to pose for a photo as well. Trump organized MAGA rallies, did interviews with conservative media, and went on tour with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. His Christmas 2021 picture book has sold thousands of copies. It is taken for granted in some corners that Trump will not just represent himself, but will easily become the Republican Party candidate.

“You currently have two camps of people who should speak out and haven’t. The first camp knows that Trump is a dangerous and vindictive man, but does not want to turn their lives upside down by angering him. The second camp is more purely transactional, ”said Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff in the Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security who turned out to be the author of“ Anonymous, ”an anti-Trump revealer. “They see the GOP is still drunk on MAGA Kool Aid, and they don’t want to be left behind.”

A Trump spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

As Trump sought to reclaim his throne, those who resigned in protest moved away from public view – rarely, if ever, speaking of this day. David Shulkin, who was tweeted by Trump as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, said he was not surprised. “We have seen countless times that people who have spoken out” against the former president have “paid the price for personal attacks against them,” he noted. He said his philosophy was to denounce Trump only on substantive issues.

But even the basic criticisms were hushed up. Instead, some January 6 defectors have come to dispute the idea that they ever quit in protest, while others seem to content themselves with simply admitting that their former boss remains de facto the ringleader. of their party. Most, mainly, have resorted to silence.

Here are their stories.

ELAINE CHAO


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