It is assumed now. Everyone understands. There is sufficient evidence to easily charge Trump with a crime. Left to be determined is which crime. How high does the DOJ want to reach? Does DOJ want to be aggressive and charge Trump with what he did, traitorously attempt to overthrow what would be the legitimate government? Or charge some lesser crime in lieu of the big dagger over hanging Trump? One that would, nonetheless, given the gravity of prosecuting an ex-president, still manifest itself as an almost unthinkable endeavor? There is not necessarily a “right” answer to the above, either might be the right choice. It will be dangerous and difficult with the nation already teetering on the brink of a hot civil war. But Liz Cheney says there is greater danger in not prosecuting Trump.
From ABC News and Jonathan Karl:
The Justice Department should not avoid prosecuting Donald Trump in relation to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack if a prosecution is warranted, Rep. Liz Cheney said in an interview with ABC News’ “This Week” co-anchor Jonathan Karl.
“I think it’s a much graver constitutional threat if a president can engage in these kinds of activities, and the majority of the president’s party looks away; or we as a country decide we’re not actually going to take our constitutional obligations seriously,” Cheney said.
“I think that’s a much, a much more serious threat. I really believe we have to make these decisions, as difficult as it is, apart from politics. We really have to think about these from the perspective of: What does it mean for the country?”
She is certainly right long-term and that is the only measure; What kind of country are we handing to the next generation, and the next? Short term, it would certainly be less dangerous to not prosecute Trump, let him slink away, wounded. His loyalists have already proven themselves to be violent and we should accept reality, stare it in the eye, acknowledging that arresting and prosecuting Trump will instill violence, at least in isolated areas.
And yet, that should be a price one is willing to pay. Thousands of Americans ran straight into machine guns in Normandy for a cause larger than themselves. As parents, it’s difficult to say that the possibility of asymmetric violence, isolated and chaotic terrorist attacks, is an acceptable risk. And yet there is no other acceptable answer or we’re handing our children a fascist country, where a man like Donald Trump can literally attempt to violently steal an election and get away with it. We cannot let that happen.
It is our responsibility, one put upon a few generations that haven’t been asked to do a lot for our nation compared to many in the past. We are here temporarily. We only borrow a long tradition, and the duty isn’t that different than when camping where one always leaves the campsite in better condition than when one arrived. It is the same with one’s country. We have a choice. We can lose our democracy altogether, handing our children an uncertain and even more chaotic and violent future.
Or, we can put the country through the difficulty of strengthening the rule of law by doing the hard work of self-government and rule by law. We inherited the richest nation ever to grace the planet, with the world’s oldest, highly imperfect, democracy. No one said it would be easy. Liz Cheney is correct.
It makes sense to prove an obvious case of seditious conspiracy, and then consider charging Trump with a lesser crime, one with an agreed-upon plea and sentence, one that keeps him from running and obligates him to continually urge that there be no violence. There are a lot of options. Letting it go without any sort of criminal charge isn’t one of them.