Time for the DOJ to Act
Ed Shaffer, Letter to the Editor, 08/06/2022
The series of public hearings held by the January 6 Select Committee has produced a wealth of evidence regarding potential crimes committed by former president Donald Trump. The authority of this committee, however, stops at the investigatory level and cannot proceed to an indictment phase. That is the job of the Justice department.
Since the election, Trump has produced a constant barrage of false information about his loss, despite an absolute absence of evidence to support it. Trump is not just a sore loser, he is a danger to our democracy. It is one thing to complain, but quite another to foment illegal activities in an attempt to change a valid election result.
Having lost 63 lawsuits that could have affected the result, Trump embarked on a path of devious, anti-democratic schemes that included pressuring state election officials to “find votes” for him; forming bogus, alternate state elector lists; and badgering his vice-president to commit an illegal act during the final elector tally. When all these failed, he incited an armed attack on the Capitol for the purpose of stopping the joint session of Congress from completing the tally. He then retired to his private dining room to watch his mob attack the police, threaten to hang Vice-President Mike Pence, and ransack the Capitol for over three hours. During this time, he not only did nothing to stop the violence, he sent out a message on Twitter that further enflamed the violent mob.
It is time to measure Trump’s actions under the looking glass provided by the “rule of law.” As noted in Wikipedia: “Rule of law is a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the state itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced, and independently adjudicated…”
The Department of Justice (DOJ) must now use its investigatory and Grand Jury authority to determine if any indictable offences have been committed. Legal observers have said that Trump’s actions have put him at great risk of being charged with fraud, inciting a riot, and obstructing election certification. He is certainly guilty of dereliction of duty.
Convicted or not, this democracy wrecking ball must never be allowed to hold office again!