The evidence presented at the hearings lends weight to the idea that Trump knew exactly what he was doing.
If the case piles up, Trump should face the full force of the law for any crime. About 800 protesters he incited to trash the Capitol have already been charged. In fact, Trump’s behavior is, in fact, more reprehensible because it lasted for months – and continues today – and he acted solely for the selfish motive of retaining power.
On the other hand, bringing Trump to justice carries grave risks for America’s already fragile democracy.
A majority of Republicans believe Trump’s wild claims that the Democrats stole the 2020 election and that the attack on the Capitol was “just a protest that got out of hand.”
Trump is already claiming that Congress’ investigation into his actions is a political witch hunt. If Trump is charged, his supporters would see it as an attempt to sabotage their idol’s chances if he tries to run again in 2024.
Australians can only regret that American democracy is going through such a dangerous period. Whether Trump is charged or not, the United States must end hyperpartisanship and recommit to shared values and institutions.
That could start with reforming the antiquated system of counting and certifying elections, where politicians seem to have far too much room for bias and subterfuge.
The United States should look to the Australian Electoral Commission as an example of how to safeguard this most basic democratic mechanism.
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