The January 6 hearings are heating up, and the testimony of former aide to the White House Chief of Staff's testimony has opened a floodgate of new witnesses, filling in the gaps about who knew what when and who did what.
But now there are rumblings from the camp of former President Donald Trump that the team is expecting to set the former Chief of Staff himself, Mark Meadows, up to take the fall for what went down on January 6.
Is that a realistic expectation though? Is Trump delusional about his chances to dodge responsibility - and will Meadows stay loyal to the end? Here's a look at what the Trump team hopes will happen, and the reality of the likelihood that it ends the way they hope.
The Fall Guy
So far, former Chief of Staff Meadows has stayed loyal. Even after his former aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, blew the lid off a number of January 6 actions that had previously been shielded by the loyal circle close to the former President, Meadows has stayed silent.
But how long his silence will remain in the face of new information is a question that remains to be answered.
According to a report by Rolling Stone, Trump's legal team is expecting for Meadows to take the fall for January 6 - and they're strategizing ways to handle his downfall.
Business Insider writes, "'Mark is gonna get pulverized,' one of Trump's current legal advisers told the outlet. 'And it's really sad.'
The lawyer, who was not named, believed that Meadows didn't buy into Trump's election-fraud lies but was "trying to perform" for the former president and may have 'screwed himself completely' in the process, per Rolling Stone.
The outlet also reported that Trump has recently been trying to distance himself from Meadows in anticipation of the latter facing crippling legal troubles or possible criminal charges related to the Capitol attack.
Rolling Stone's reporting was based on comments from eight anonymous sources working on Trump's political or legal team or in Republican circles that often have contact with the former president.
Two sources told Rolling Stone that Trump has been telling associates that he had no idea what Meadows was doing on his behalf in the months leading up to the riot."
To summarize: Trump and his team want the American people and the Department of Justice to believe that he wandered around blindly while Meadows set everything up and orchestrated the whole disastrous riot.
But there's a few problems with that approach and it really speaks to the delusion the former President operates under; the blind spot he has for his own legal culpability.
Unfortunately for Trump, enough key witnesses have already come forward talking about how often people warned Trump of what was to come and how deeply involved the former President was. This time, he won't be able to throw it all on Meadows.
And the game could change entirely if Meadows decides he's not going to jail for his former boss; attempts to intimidate witnesses notwithstanding, the threat of criminal punishment may be enough to shake Meadows' so-far rock solid loyalty to Trump.
If Meadows speaks about what he knew and explains exactly how much Trump knew - the attempt to make Meadows the fall guy could come crumbling down.
Whether he will choose to do that or not remains to be seen.
Bannon Footage Shows Trump Planned to Declare Victory Whether He Won or Not
Meanwhile, another news story is beginning to make the rounds about former Trump pal and advisor, Steve Bannon.
Leaked audio footage of Bannon days before the election may derail the Trump's team attempt to deflect responsibility to Meadows all on its own.
Per Business Insider, Bannon was in a meeting with supporters of Guo Wengui, a right-wing exiled Chinese businessman whom Bannon has close ties to. "In the audio clip, recorded during a meeting between Bannon and his associates on October 31, 2020, Bannon says that the former president is 'just gonna say he's a winner.'
'What Trump's gonna do, is just declare victory. Right? He's gonna declare victory. But that doesn't mean he's a winner,' Bannon said in the clip, laughing. 'He's just gonna say he's a winner.'
Later in the audio Bannon says to expect 'crazy sh--' from Trump after the election and that, 'at 10 or 11 o'clock Trump's gonna walk in the Oval, tweet out, 'I'm the winner. Game over. Suck on that.' "
Although the audio footage has not yet been verified, if it's true it could show that Trump was already planning to subvert the election results before they were even tallied.
Regardless of Meadow's planning between the election and January 6 and any attempt to paint him as the mastermind, proving that Trump planned to upend the election results places him squarely in the crosshair of responsibility for the January 6 riots.