Published 8/3/2023 5:05 PM | Edited 8/3/2023 5:38 PM
The closer the US presidential elections approach, the more US republican institutions are exposed to embarrassment by former President Donald Trump. Accused of trying to reverse the result of the 2020 elections in a coup and fraudulent way, he is the first former president of the country to be criminally charged.
The electoral race in the United States, which begins in 2024 with its complicated party calendar, will be accompanied by these trials of Trump and internal confrontations in the Republican Party. However, even if he is convicted, his political career is unaffected.
In the case of this conclusion for the trials, Trump could still run and even be president under house arrest (in the White House). As if this picture were a little embarrassing for a country that boasts its “liberal democracy” as a model for the world, the president-elect will still be able to forgive himself for any crime. The global extreme right is aware of the benefits it can derive from all this imbroglio, while.
As the Constitution is very lean and old, the Supreme Court has a huge responsibility to create legal precedents for crimes never committed before. Trump’s acquittal would imply disrespect for the vote, as well as giving freedom to electoral disputes and conspiracies of all kinds. American institutions find it difficult to provide moderate responses to the dilemma, as there is no traditional political center in the current polarization.
The fact that Trump has stolen top-secret documents on defense matters, such as reports of nuclear material, itches a wound in American history. People have been executed or banished on unsubstantiated charges of conspiracy involving classified information about the construction of the atomic bomb in 1953.
Accumulation of accusations
In addition to the charges in the case of secret documents taken from the White House, Trump was summoned to appear in court this Thursday (3), in Washington, to answer for four other crimes.
All are somehow connected to the invasion of the Capitol, on January 6, 2021. They are crimes of conspiracy against the country (5 years in prison), to disrespect civil rights (right to vote), plus five years, and trying to obstruct a official procedure (20 years); and obstruction of an official procedure by preventing the recognition of elections on Capitol Hill (20 years).
Since there is no precedent for a former president to be accused of any of these things, a scenario like this has never been seen in the US. Trump can prolong these proceedings with pleas of not guilty, which would take the cases to the Supreme Court, where he would have a majority of conservative justices, three of whom were appointed by the former president.
The latest news involves the disclosure by the Department of Justice of telephone conversations between Trump and his deputy, Mike Pence, trying to convince him to change the election result by rejecting the vote count, days before the siege of the Capitol. Trump told Pence, “You’re too honest.” Pence is now Trump’s main opponent in the GOP primary.
Another novelty is the discovery of six names involved in the conspiracy with Trump. They are believed to be his lawyers, such as former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Names that can be pressured to win a prize.
All of this serves as a didactic tool to clarify for the population of voters the seriousness of what happened in that period. A process of raising awareness about the risks to US democracy, which has been carried out by Congress for over a year.
Despite this, the work of the Trump administration to discredit the institutions and the American electoral process was efficient and is allied to the growing resentment of an electorate that lives in increasingly precarious economic and labor conditions. For this reason, he is a favorite among Republicans and preserves a strong electoral base. For convenience, even republican leaders avoid attacking the businessman who could be the alternative of power.
The persecutory argument has been widely used by the pre-candidate. Donald Trump’s lawyer classifies the conspiracy charges as “an attack on freedom of expression and political defense”, giving the clue to his defense arguments. John Lauro said on Tuesday night that it was “an effort not only to criminalize but also to censor free speech” by Donald Trump.