The former president and his Republican supporters in Congress are launching a new effort to minimize the consequences of their crimes against democracy, burying the truth in what can now objectively be called a coup attempt.
- Trump has indicated that he will attempt to claim executive privileges to prevent a House select committee investigating a mob attack on the US Capitol by his supporters from receiving information from certain witnesses.
- That panel sent two new summons to Ali Alexander and Nathan Martin, two members of the “Stop the Steel” group, who were allied with Washington rally plans prior to the rebellion.
A key issue is how far the select committee and Justice Department are willing to go to fix accountability on those involved, including the former president.
Ultimately, the issue is whether there is any legal or political remedy equal to the scale of Trump’s crimes – or, perhaps more importantly, whether it is his relentless efforts to destroy the legitimacy of his successor and trust in an electoral system. can reflect that. Of a nation that wanted him to leave the Oval Office.
Some might argue that an unprecedented two impeachments represent a final acceptance and historical stain. But Trump’s acquittal in his first Senate trial by Republicans has only convinced him that he may be an abuse of power. And his second acquittal – once he was out of office – did little to mitigate his corrosive claims of electoral fraud, and no deterrent as he built a clear new presidential campaign on the lie that the previous election was corrupt.
Why Trump needs to be held to account
Accountability is important for many reasons. The Capitol rebellion and Trump’s multiple attempts to reverse the election in Washington and the states rank among the worst attacks on the American electoral system in history. It is important to pay a price for such behavior to prevent such abuse from happening again, and potentially include new laws to increase confidence in elections. The recent escalation of Trump’s attacks on basic democratic values and signs that he is planning a new White House bid prove that his threat to democratic governance has passed and is getting worse.
The January 6 committee’s role is significant in setting a contemporary and historical record of what happened that day, and Trump’s efforts by his media campaigners and political allies to whitewash the truth and downplay a humiliating attack on the epicenter of American democracy. Middle.
“It’s going to be a trial for this January 6th committee,” Carrie Cordero, a former senior Justice Department official and Granthshala legal and national security analyst, said on “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”
“How far are they willing to go to grant Congress the authority to enforce their authority and conduct this investigation? Will they seek criminal referral to the Justice Department for contempt or for potentially obstruction going to do it?”
Trump’s clear justification for trying to evade accountability here is that he is trying to protect the integrity of his former office while maintaining executive privilege — the president’s ability to receive confidential advice from subordinates. At least outside the scope of a narrow legal argument, it is a predictable but hardly credible defense.
After all, Trump spent four years dismantling the standards and codes of conduct enshrined by his office and showed no indication that he was concerned about preserving his ideal for generations to come. And in this case, he is trying to claim privilege to cover up what many accounts and reports suggest is an attempted coup.
“Executive privilege will be defended, not only on behalf of President Trump and his administration, but on behalf of the office of the President of the United States and the future of our nation,” Taylor Budovitch, director of communications for Save America and Trump, said in a statement. said in.
Trump may attempt to uphold his claims of executive privilege in court in an effort to advance the functioning of the committee. But the Biden White House, the current custodian of executive privilege, can take a comfortable look at document requests in this area.
Republicans again excuse Trump’s abuse of power
At the same time that Trump was trying to evade accountability, Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee report by the GOP response of majority Democrats again highlighted a trend that has enabled Trump’s past abuses of power and ensures that he remains a viable political figure. In a dialectical document, Republicans presented a different interpretation of the facts contained in the majority report to the committee.
His action was in line with a party that on January 6 blocked an independent 9/11-style commission in revolt at Trump’s orders, and it sought to appeal to the former president’s supporters on his political priorities and his duty to democracy. needs have been given priority. .
The GOP document essentially argued that since Trump was prevented by advisers from following many of his plans to destroy democracy and steal power, there is no case to answer. For example, the then-president didn’t actually carry out his plan to replace Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Clark—though not for wanting to try.
“The president rejected it. The president did the right thing,” said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the judiciary committee.
The argument that Trump’s nefarious plot failed so he is exempt from accountability is a familiar one. It was used by Republicans during his first impeachment to excuse an abuse of power on the grounds that the announcement of a criminal investigation into Biden in return for Trump’s plan to withdraw military aid to Ukraine had not actually occurred. It essentially boils down to a matter of whether a president who seeks to overthrow the Constitution is only guilty if he succeeds. For example, this exemption is strong evidence that Trump has repeatedly pressured officials in the Justice Department and in states like Georgia to reverse elections – a clear and startling abuse of power.
The courage and integrity of these officers was in the end all that stood between the United States of America and a lost democracy. But this time’s lapse should not mean that officers subordinate to the President are left under such pressure in future.
The danger is not over. Trump is backing candidates for the positions of secretary of state in the swing states of Georgia, Michigan and Arizona who have supported his election lies. If they are elected, such officials could have a huge impact on the 2024 election, in which Trump could be a candidate, amid growing fears that any Republican attempt to illegally seize power could work the next time around. Is.
All of this, and Trump’s refusal to acknowledge the reality of his election loss and his elaborate attempts to plot a potentially fraudulent path to power, help explain why the work of the select committee is so important.
Caitlin Polantz, Evan Perez, Ryan Nobles, Pock LeBlanc, Zachary Cohen and Annie Grier contributed to this report.
Credit : www.cnn.com