As former President Donald Trump left Washington after responding to accusations of trying to subvert democracy, it seemed that all the previous traumas and divisions of his eight-year journey in the nation’s psyche were just the beginning.
The United States now faces the prospect of a former president repeatedly going to trial in an election year in which he is the favorite of the Republicans and promises a new term of revenge in the White House. He is responding with the same kind of extreme rhetoric that infuriated his political base and erupted in violence after the last election. Ominous and tense days may lie ahead.
Trump spent the afternoon in federal court within sight of the United States Capitol, which was looted by his supporters on January 6, 2021. He pleaded not guilty in the most serious of the three cases in which he has been charged so far: for four charges stemming from an alleged attempt to stop the “collection, counting and certification” of votes after the 2020 election.
5 conclusions from Donald Trump’s appearance in the electoral subversion case
Live video of Trump heading to an airport and arriving in another city for another appearance on his branded plane has become part of a sudden new normal. But if a former president’s appearance seems routine, it’s a measure of the historic chaos Trump has wreaked since he broke into politics in 2015.
Dressed in his classic dark suit and long red tie, Trump stood tall on Thursday in court and slowly and clearly elucidated the words “innocent” in a hearing in which his fall from president to defendant was underscored when he had to wait in silence. for the judge to arrive. He was irritated, sources familiar with his mentality told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, that the judge referred to him simply as “Mr. Trump” instead of the presidential title he continues to use at his clubs.
The 45th president and special counsel Jack Smith – who also indicted him for the alleged mishandling of classified documents – shared several looks, ahead of a proceeding that, unlike when he was president, means Trump’s fate is now out of the question. your control.
The whole day was surreal, but given the historical implications of it—after Trump became the first former president indicted in connection with alleged crimes committed in office—also sad.
This Thursday was a day in which the country crossed a point of no return. For the first time, the United States formally accused one of its past leaders of trying to subvert its political system and its fundamental values.
It was Trump who forced the country to cross this dangerous threshold. A man whose creed in life is never to be seen as a loser refused to concede defeat in a democratic election in 2020, then set off on a disastrous course because, as Smith’s indictment states, “he was determined to stay in the game.” can”.
Lawyer allied with Trump accused of tampering with voting machines in Michigan 0:40
Trump is steering a stormy course towards an unknown destination. If he wins the White House again, the already twice-imputed new president could trigger a new constitutional crisis by sweeping the federal cases against him or even by pardoning himself. Any alternative Republican president could find himself besieged by demands from Trump supporters for a pardon that, if granted, could cast a shadow over his entire presidency. And if Trump is convicted and loses the 2024 general election, he risks a lengthy jail term, which would likely become fuel to incite his supporters into further protests.
Conservative legal scholar J. Michael Luttig tweeted after Trump’s latest impeachment Tuesday that it was an “all the more tragic and regrettable day as the former President has cynically chosen to inflict this shameful spectacle on the nation, and it will be a spectacle.” Luttig warned that the world would no longer regard American democracy as the same inspiration it has been for nearly 250 years.
Trump portrays himself, not the country, as the victim
Trump, behaving in the same way that he did after the 2020 elections, insisted again this Thursday that he — and not the country — was the victim, further raising the temperature in a tense and divisive summer.
“If you can’t beat them, you go after them or sue them,” he said from under a black umbrella as a downpour fell on the airfield before flying back to his New Jersey golf club.
For Geoff Duncan, a former Republican lieutenant governor of Georgia, his comments reminded him of the rhetoric that sent his home state on edge after the last election.
“I was sitting watching today’s proceedings and I started to get this uneasy feeling and this deluge