Opinion: These two women reminded America why Trump must be prosecuted

But the story that former Georgia election workers Wandrea “Shaye” Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, told the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is more than just a narrative. of how Trump’s assault on the 2020 election took its toll on two people. This provides further proof of why the man who continues to attempt to undermine American democracy must be prosecuted.

Trump and his cronies don’t just undermine trust in the system, and they don’t just normalize misinformation — they poison the well that sustains democracy.

Admittedly, prosecuting a former president is a risky proposition. But the evidence against Trump is solid and it is imperative: legal action must be taken.

The case being rolled out by the House Select Committee theoretically focuses on what happened on January 6, 2021. It’s about the past, but more importantly, it’s about the present as well as the past. future of the country.

Looking at what Moss and Freeman say they went through, consider how the ideals of democracy were trampled on in Trump’s plot to steal the election.

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Moss and Freeman were neither prominent nor highly paid, but the jobs they did were essential to the functioning of democracy, and they knew it. Moss recalled how his grandmother told him “how important it is to vote and how people before me, a lot of people, old people in my family, didn’t have that right.” She shared that her favorite part of the job is helping seniors and voters with disabilities participate in democracy.
But then she participated in the 2020 vote count in Georgia and Trump lost. It is then that she says that the most powerful man in the world has opposed her with the venom of his lies. He rebelled against her and her mother Ruby. “He targeted me, Lady Ruby,” Freeman said, “a small business owner, a mother, a proud American citizen, who stood up to help Fulton County hold an election in the midst of a pandemic.”
Trump called Freeman, the mother, a “professional voting scammer and hustler” during a call with Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. His lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said they had passed “USB ports like they were vials of cocaine or heroin,” as he invented increasingly wacky concoctions in an attempt to deprive American voters of the president they chose. (On Wednesday, Moss said his mother handed him a ginger mint.)
CNN’s Ryan Nobles remembers attending one of Trump’s rallies where Moss was accused of tampering with ballots. “The crowd was vicious… Trump smiled and nodded.”
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Trump supporters have unleashed their fury on women. Threats, racist insults followed one another. “Be glad it’s 2020 and not 1920,” read one post, according to Moss, possibly suggesting a lynching or who knows what horror.
As the threats mounted, the FBI alerted Freeman to the danger. She had to move out of her house. “There’s nowhere I feel safe. Nowhere,” she told the committee. “Do you know what it’s like to be targeted by the President of the United States?”
In a heartbreaking description of how her life has been turned upside down, her daughter Moss said: “I don’t give out my business card anymore…I don’t want anyone to know my name. I don’t want go anywhere,” she said. “I don’t go to the grocery store at all. I haven’t been anywhere. I gained about 60 pounds.” She was nervous but she kept her cool. Tears escaping from her eyes, she said, “I’m not doing anything anymore.”

One of the things that neither she nor her mother Ruby do anymore is campaign work. After what Trump and his supporters have done, who can blame them?

Moss received a Kennedy Profile in Courage award, but that hardly makes up for the harm she has suffered or the damage done to the country.
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Much of the evidence presented at the hearings was provided by Republican officials who worked for Trump, showing that he not only assaulted democracy, he ruined lives, intimidated officials, stirred up a crowd and endorsed a plan that amounted to an attempted coup. of state. As the Jan. 6 committee presents layer after layer of damning evidence against the former president, all eyes are on Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Garland said he and his prosecutors are paying close attention to the hearings. They have a historic choice before them. Indicting a former president is a daunting move that could open Pandora’s box.

Advanced democracies usually don’t go after election losers. It has never happened here, and the prospect of it becoming a new trend is truly worrying. Then there’s the risk of further inflaming a deeply divided and heavily armed country, where the former president’s supporters have shown a willingness to use violence to advance his cause.

But Trump was not a normal presidency. And his behavior since the election is egregious beyond measure. If he had lied about the election, claimed he had won and left it at that, he might be justified in moving on in the name of national reconciliation. But that’s not what happened.

Every day that passes, every day that Trump gets away with what he has done and continues to do to the country is a day that makes the hurt deeper, the healing harder, and the future more uncertain. .

Even if Garland doesn’t prosecute, Trump could still be indicted. The assault on the Capitol is not the former president’s first transgression. A grand jury in Georgia is hearing evidence on whether the former president, who called Georgian officials and urged them to ‘find’ votes, committed crimes in an effort to void the election of 2020.

Trump’s approach to elections seems reminiscent of his tax tactics: testing the limits and hoping for only the benign consequences. This strategy seems to have paid off for him so far.

But it’s one thing to try tricks on your taxes and another to attempt a coup.

Destroying the lives of two women may not even have been seen as an afterthought in Trump’s campaign to steal the election. But for the rest of the country awaiting a decision from the Justice Department, Moss and Freeman are proof of how Trump is dismantling American democracy one creed at a time, one election worker at a time, one citizen idealistic at the same time. It’s not just heartbreaking. It requires action.

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