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Desiring to retain power, the president engages in a multi-layered conspiracy to pressure high-ranking officials in the judiciary to seize the legitimacy of his electoral lies – the facts are damning.
“Tell me this is corruption, and leave the rest to me and Republicans in Congress,” former President Trump said in the testimony of former Acting Attorney General Richard Donoku during the committee’s hearing on Thursday, January 5th.
Donoku, who took contemporary notes in that conversation, and many others with the former president, insisted it was a “perfect” quote. Trump made the remarks in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election defeat and the January 6 uprising.
This is one of the many dramatic moments of the investigation that draws scenes that appear straight from a Hollywood political thriller – in vivid color.
But this is not the film.
These are the last days of the Trump presidency – these investigations show how thinly a string of American democracy is bound together.
Here are four things taken from the investigation:
1. The details of the pressure on the judiciary showed that Trump transcends all boundaries of departmental independence.
The judiciary acts at the behest of the president, but the president’s involvement in the department’s investigations and internal affairs has long been a distraction from American tradition.
According to several witnesses on Thursday, it did not matter to Trump.
Trump called high-ranking officials almost every day after election day and made false allegations to investigate them. But when he was told there was no evidence for conspiracy theory after the conspiracy theory, witnesses said it was not enough for him.
“We have a duty to tell the people that this is an illegal, corrupt election,” Donok recalled, referring to his behind-the-scenes notes behind the board members.
The clock was ticking on Trump, and the group portrayed Trump as a man who would do anything to stay in power – and saw the judiciary as a key vehicle.
He did not publicly agree with his attorney general, Bill Barr, who left under pressure. Trump wanted Bar to appoint a special lawyer. Conspiracy theorist lawyer Sidney Powell testified on camera that Trump asked her to be that special adviser.
Trump leaned on new acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen, who called or met him almost every day, except Christmas and New Year’s Eve, Rosen testified. And Trump threatened to appoint someone to replace Rosen That Action on his election lies.
2. If senior DOJ officials do not go along, Trump will find someone.
Trump has threatened to fire low-level DOJ environmental lawyer Jeffrey Clark from a top job. Representative Scott Perry introduced Clark to Trump, and Clark was ready to bid on Trump.
Clark went to meet the president behind the backs of his superiors and violated departmental protocols, officials said. Clark, citing lack of evidence of voting difficulties, drew up a letter urging state officials to take steps to reverse the election.
“This other guy might do something,” Trump told Rosen, recalling Rosen, noting that Trump was frustrated with Rosen.
Donogue said for the record that he and others in the department investigated every distant conspiracy of Trump. All are ineligible, he said. He and Rosen testified to that, and they told Trump that – as Trump went from one accusation to another, they repeatedly corrected him “in series style.”
Trump and his chief executive, Mark Meadows, have spoken out about the remote conspiracy theory that Italian satellites were rigged to transfer votes from Trump to Biden. It went so far that despite Donoku calling the theory “pure madness” and “generally absurd”, Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, acting on Meadows’ request, summoned the defense liaison in Rome, who also thwarted the plot.
Trump thought there was something there. Why? “You may not follow the internet like I do,” Trump said, according to Donoku’s remarks.
Frustrated, Trump appointed Clark as attorney general. He only hesitated when Donogue made it clear at a high-pressure Oval office meeting that he and many others would resign if Trump took that drastic step.
“What should I lose?” Trump said at one point, to Donok. Donoku tried to convince him that he personally – and the country – had little to lose.
Donoku told Trump that Clark’s promises were empty, that he could not deliver what he wanted, and that he could not do so in a few days, especially since the allegations had already been investigated and proven false.
“This is ridiculous,” he told Trump. “It’s not going to happen, he’s going to fail.”
3. Many members of Congress apologized
Another notable feature of Thursday’s hearing is that many right-wing Republicans in Congress, in some ways, are January. Those involved in 6 have apologized.
Several witnesses, including lawyers and White House staff, testified that at least five or six Republicans had apologized – Delegates Matt Gates, R-Fla. Aris., And Scott Perry, R.-Pa.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, R-Ka had some questions. Asked one, as well as a White House employee who testified that he heard what Green did, but did not know in person. Green denies asking for anything.
Everyone has denied the mistake.
R-Ill., Who presided over the hearing on Thursday, said Adam Kingsinger, “the only reason I know of to apologize if you have committed a crime.”
Of course, these members, deeply embroiled in conspiracy, may have thought in their minds that they would pursue the newly created judiciary under a Democratic president.
“Apologizing is not a crime in the United States,” said committee member D-Md., Rep. Jamie Raskin apologized on CNN after questioning co-workers. “No one can be prosecuted for that, but if we use our common sense, if our Tom Panion uses common sense, it will indicate guilt or the fear that you may be prosecuted for what you have done.”
4. No one is big or small for Trump’s pressure campaign in a desperate attempt to stay in power.
This five-day trial has revealed just how far Trump is going to take power.
His pressure is unrelenting and versatile. No one in the government is immune, from high-ranking officials such as his deputy and top judicial officials to others who do the job of enforcing elections like Vandria “Shay” Moss.
On Tuesday, Moss testified that his life had been turned upside down and that his personal life had really been ruined because of Trump’s relentless attempt to stick to the White House.
He urged diligent local election officials – let alone death threats – who normally receive no attention, to go into the schemes devised by him and those around him to improve the American electoral system.
Trump should be tormented that it didn’t work, for all his efforts, he couldn’t pull it off. If all this is put in a bright light, it is remarkable to see how Americans move on after this. Will Trump continue to influence the Republican Party or will he appear to be the most vulnerable if he decides to run again in 2024?