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A Clear and Present Danger

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to democracy. His actions both on and before January 6th, as well as the things he’s done since, have left America teetering on the brink of all out Civil War. Despite this, he is likely to evade punishment and even has a chance of running again for the office where he lost the popular vote twice!

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Our justice system is so broken that it’s easier to get away with attempting to overthrow the government than it is to get out of a speeding ticket, even if there is a smoking gun. Apparently all you have to do is to convince enough people that you REALLY believed you won the election.

That’s it!

Legal “scholars” have argued that, in order to even charge Donald Trump with a crime, there needs to be overwhelming proof that he knew he was lying about a stolen election, and that his words incited to January 6th insurrection. They claim in order to charge him, they would need to know exactly what Trump’s thought process was at the time.

According to these pundits, it all boils down to the question of intent. Did Donald Trump intend for the mob to storm the Capitol to stop the certification of Joe Biden as president when he made his infamous speech at the January 6th Stop the Steal rally? Did he truly mean to send a murderous mob after his own Vice President and the leader of the Democratic Party?

As the January 6th committee hearings continue, there is increasing evidence of Trump’s complicity in the attempt to overturn the election results, including allowing the mob to murder his own vice president for not doing his bidding. Other revelations include that he knowingly continued to lie about the “stolen election” despite being told the opposite by numerous members of his staff.

Future hearings will focus on his efforts to pressure state officials to change the election results, the establishment of an illegal slate of alternative electors who would declare Trump the victor and efforts to install individuals who would support overturning the will of the voters.

We had a preview as to how Republicans could usurp the voters’ will in the recent New Mexico primaries. Officials, including the founder of the group “Cowboys for Trump” refused to certify the results citing unsubstantiated concerns over the Dominion voting machines that were used. They were eventually forced to certify the votes after a judge intervened, but this is a preview of the chaos Republicans will cause in the midterms and in 2024 if Trump is allowed to be on the ballot.

Even with the mounting evidence, actually charging Trump remains an uncertainty. Despite a federal judge publicly stating that Trump “more likely than not” committed a crime, and calling him a “clear and present danger”, there are major issues with charging him with criminal activity.

First, there’s the aforementioned matter of intent. Did he truly believe his own lies? Then, there is the possibility of violence associated with his supporters. The idea that charging him could result in violence, and even all-out Civil War is something that need’s to be taken into consideration.

Do we risk destroying democracy just to hold one man accountable?

And there is even disagreement with the particulars attempting to expose the lies. Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Co-Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) are at odds as to whether or not they will even pursue criminal charges, with Thompson refusing to say they will and Cheney demanding justice.

There is also growing resentment between the January 6th committee and the Justice Department. While the January 6th committee is revealing more and more damning evidence of Trump’s guilt, it is refusing to share the information with the Justice Department. They say they will share their research following the committee’s conclusion, which they believe should be some time in September.

This is problematic given the long-standing tradition that the Justice Department will not charge someone two months prior to an election. Even though Trump isn’t on the ballot, they fear leveling charges at this point would unfairly prejudice those who are.

It’s also a problem because, although the January 6th committee can recommend charges, it’s up to the Justice Department to actually present the case to a Grand Jury. While they certainly have been pursuing an investigation of their own, having the additional evidence collected by the committee can bolster their case.

So, the reason for the lack of cooperation between the groups is puzzling.

However, the Justice Department may be secretly relieved at the pushback it is getting from the committee. It gives them an excuse not to immediately press charges against Trump, which it maybe reluctant to do out of fear that it may spark civil unrest and maybe even Civil War. By not prosecuting Trump it forestalls any potential violence.

Failing to prosecute Trump is not only a dereliction of their duty, along with Attorney General Merrick Garland’ promise to go after those who took part in the insurrection “at any level”, but it also allows Donald Trump to run again in 2024.

Failing to pursue charges also gives Trump and his allies another reason to discredit the work of the January 6th committee. As they did with the Mueller Report, they could claim trying to connect Trump to the insurrection was just another partisan “Witch Hunt”, which would give them tremendous campaign leverage.

If Trump were to run in 2024, there could be only two possible outcomes. Neither of them would be beneficial to democracy. If he were to lose, it would no doubt touch off violence from his supporters who would see this as verification that the election, like the 2020 election, was stolen. Trump would certainly fan these flames of discord, demanding he be installed as the rightful winner.

If he were to win, he would no doubt launch a “revenge tour”, attacking those he perceived as doing him wrong. With the likelihood that Republicans will retake the Senate, and maybe even the House, in the 2022 midterms, there would be no stopping him. Republicans have already shown their lack of backbone when it comes to challenging him, and Trump has shown no penchant for following the norms of office. He would most certainly abuse the authority granted to him and take full advantage of the trappings of his office.

Which is why cooperation between the two investigative organizations is so vital. They need to have an airtight case in order to charge Trump. If Trump was prosecuted and won his case, there would be no stopping him. He would laud this over the Democrats and easily win in 2024, possibly taking even the popular vote for the first time.

Because prosecuting Trump is such a risky proposition, the likelihood it will actually happen seems depressingly remote. Instead, the Justice Department may seem content with convicting Steve Bannon, Peter Navarro and John Eastman along with a few other lower level targets. They would almost certainly be pardoned if Trump were to win in 2024, so little pressure can be applied to gain their cooperation.

Until he is somehow removed from the equation, Donald Trump will continue to be a clear and present danger to our national interests.

1 Comment

miss tree
miss tree
Jun 28, 2022

In his own words, "Lot him up!" Period.

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