Commentary, National Commentary

Jan. 6 Committee is Documenting the Extreme Crimes of Trump

Back in 1973, too few of us fully appreciated the momentous times we were living in, how massive the Watergate scandal was and the magnitude of its consequences. The idea of a U.S. president having to resign was simply unheard of, and even I, being more than your average U.S. history buff, was, relatively speaking, incapable of fully grasping the scale of the whole thing.

This, now, is such a time again. Kids, if you felt like you missed out on paying close enough attention to some things of grave import earlier, this is your chance to hop into the events of our present time and experience them to the fullest. In fact, it is even better this time than in the Watergate period. That is because the evidence now being provided in such an impactful way by the January 6 Committee is revealing a magnitude of former President Trump’s horrendous violation of not only U.S. law but of fundamental human decency. It is unparalleled, not only for a president, but for any average, even admittedly highly flawed, human being.

Can you imagine, here is a man who was willing to have his vice president strung up on gallows at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, to have him and others summarily executed in front of TV cameras for the entire world to see. This is the behavior of a totally sociopathic person who finds himself cornered but in a position to execute a lot of power.

In its two sessions to date, the January 6 Committee has already made the case conclusively that the November 2020 election was not “stolen,” and that Biden won legitimately by a margin of over seven million votes. All claims to the contrary have been thoroughly examined by the committee and found to be totally groundless, just all part of Trump’s “Big Lie.”

Yet this week, a year and a half later, according to the lead headline in the Washington Post, “Over 100 GOP Primary Victors Backed ‘Big Lie,’” noting in subheads that “2020 Falsehoods Now Drive Party” and “Embracing Trump Claims is Part of Winning Formula.”

There is no way to correct this sad situation other than by doing what the committee is now doing, by sticking to the facts and presenting them with the greatest clarity possible, and using former pro-Trump witnesses to say so.

It will also be necessary for Trump to face the music on all this, to face criminal charges, even though some committee leaders say they don’t want to go there. It is simply not credible that a body with legal authority would find so much of a criminal nature and choose to do nothing about it. Of course, the Justice Department can act on its own without a request from the committee, and to this point, it is hard to imagine that everyone there has not already checked all the boxes for a classic, if outrageous, criminal enterprise.

Trump has been a grifter, a sociopath and thug all his life who thinks nothing of doing anything and everything possible to advance his perceived selfish self interests with no regard for any single other human being, including members of his own family.

As perhaps the nation’s foremost legal mind, Lawrence Tribe of Harvard University, has said plainly after the first two days of the January 6 Committee’s hearings, it would be “very strange” for the Department of Justice to examine all that is now being documented in the face of 18 USC 1343 and not to prosecute. (18 USC 1343 alludes to fraud and carries sentences of up to 20 years.) Involved has been the “most blatant attempt to overthrow the U.S. government in 246 years,” and, Tribe pointed out, the fact that the perpetrator might be deranged or otherwise disabled, is not an excuse for breaking the law.

Crimes ranging from fomenting a riot to seditious conspiracy and defrauding millions from gullible people in the name of a non-existent vote fraud fighting effort are clear cases of what Trump now faces. Only by holding him accountable for these many crimes can the millions of Americans who’ve been duped by him see any way to recover.