New Orleans If the Congressional investigation committee, the so-called January 6th committee, chaired by Mississippi Representative Bennie Thompson, is even half-right, this whole matter of former President Trump and the Capitol assault has now transcended partisan politics and score settling. This matter has now become a matter of protecting the country and any semblance of democratic institutions. If the live broadcast sharing of information by the committee does nothing else, it has to have stamped Trump’s expiration date as a potential pretender to the presidency in the future and tarred his legacy indelibly in the most heinous manner.
The evidence thus far makes it clear on a number of counts that January 6th was not an isolated event, but the showcase for a larger effort, let’s call it a conspiracy to not mince words, for Trump to remain in power in defiance of the will of the people expressed by their legitimate votes for Joe Biden to become president. The testimony presented by the committee seems to establish the following:
- Trump was fully informed by his staff, cabinet officers and others that there was no evidence of voter fraud and that he had lost the election, and that any claims to the contrary were baloney.
- Justice Department officials and the White House counsel threatened to quit if Trump persisted in deploying the lie to retain power. Officials told Trump it was illegal to pressure former vice president Mike Pence to throw the election to him.
- Despite having defended him publicly in the past, White House officials and Republicans who had worked closely with him, when sworn to tell the truth to the committee either in person or via video, were clear about Trump’s role and his fabrications.
- In multiple instances, whether with the Proud Boys or those threatening to lynch or kill then Vice-President Mike Pence, Trump either overtly abetted the violence or refused to do anything to prevent it, including the insurrection at the Capitol.
I could go on, and more will come out on all of this as the committee continues to reveal its work, but there’s no way that any American can defend Trump at this point and pretend to care about the country and our system of government. This was not just one bad day for Trump or an honest series of mistakes and misunderstandings. This was a concerted effort to overturn the election that he and all of the other sycophants knew that he had lost. His was, and still is, the “big lie.”
Trump will still yell and carry on, but it’s got to be over for him. Period. Republicans can do better than this. Surely, they can find someone, in fact, anyone, to carry their banner who doesn’t want to destroy the country and our system of government?
We all have friends, relatives, and casual acquaintances who for one reason or another have continued to be Trumpers. In the past, we all try to change the subject and walk away. That’s got to be over now. Everyone has to confront the evidence and embrace the truth. We all have to be Never Trumpers now, for the sake of the country and our fellow Americans.