The report details how the president exerted tremendous pressure on the Department of Justice after his election defeat. He wanted to nullify the elections.
The Department of Justice should declare the election flawed and publicly announce investigations into alleged election fraud: this is what then-President Donald Trump demanded of then-Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at the end of December nine times.
Trump’s chief of staff and his Republican vice president also lobbied. In doing so, they violated not only the usual rules, but also the statutory guard bars, which are intended to prevent abuse of the highest jurisdiction for personal and political purposes. When it became clear that Rosen and his deputy were being assertive, Trump planned to fire the two.
He wanted to replace the Minister of Justice with an obedient ministerial official who supported his own conspiracy theories about alleged massive election fraud.
Only on January 3, when in a dramatic meeting in the Oval Office, almost the entire top management of the Department of Justice threatened to resign under protest, did the president abandon his plan. Even Pat Cipollone, the White House’s legal counsel, threatened to resign at the meeting.
Data from those directly involved
The media had already reported some of these incidents in the past few weeks and months. But the Senate report goes deeper because it is based on official documents, interviews and emails from those directly involved. The report makes clear once again that Trump is not shy about abusing state institutions and jeopardizing basic democratic principles such as the independence of the judiciary.
Only when he succeeds in making it clear that his approach is doing him more harm than good, does he stop doing it. The Republican Minority Committee immediately published a counter-report. In this, Trump’s behavior is condoned by noting that, in the end, Trump has not committed any criminal offenses.
Followers are elected
This is equally troubling, as it reveals that Republicans in Congress give their political survival a higher priority than protecting the democratic legal system.
Meanwhile, the fear of being banned from Trump and crushing his supporters is very high in the party. Meanwhile, more than three-quarters of Republican voters believe the lie of a stolen electoral victory. The report will not change that.
Almost a year ago, Trump failed to cling to power by all means. Republicans steadfast in state election authorities and the Department of Justice prevented it. The fact that Trump now wants to vote on some of these officials in the upcoming elections and replace them with followers raises the alarm.
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