Trump indictments are crucial for saving the Constitution and preventing 'future coups': historian

Trump indictments are crucial for saving the Constitution and preventing 'future coups': historian

Two of the four criminal indictments that former President Donald Trump is facing pertain to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

There are some major differences between special counsel Jack Smith's federal election-related case against Trump and the one being prosecuted by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for the State of Georgia. Legal experts have been describing Smith's as lean and mean while characterizing Willis' (which lists 18 Trump allies as co-defendants) as broad and expansive. Moreover, Willis, unlike Smith, is using RICO laws in her prosecution.

But in both cases, prosecutors allege that Trump committed criminal acts when he lost the 2020 election and tried to stay in the White House anyway.

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In a think piece/essay published by the conservative website The Bulwark on September 15, historian Lindsay M. Chervinsky argues that the election-related prosecutions of Donald Trump are more than a criminal matter — they are about protecting the U.S. Constitution and preventing "future coups."

Chervinsky covers a lot of ground in her article, explaining why the events of the 1780s are relevant to the events of the 2020s.

"In the early republic," the historian writes, "few laws existed to protect citizens' rights, to secure the balloting process, or to secure the transition from one administration to the next. Instead, precedents and norms had to be taught; citizens had to learn to cherish the peaceful transfer of power as a bedrock of American democracy. Over the next 200 years, states and the federal government legislated to protect ballots from interference, ensure increasingly equal, if still imperfect, access to voting, and prohibit attempts to manipulate the counting of votes."

Chervinsky continues, "But the expectation that presidents would hand over power peacefully to their duly elected successors remained a foundational element of the American democracy. For the most part, they did — until Donald Trump. The widespread conspiracy to overthrow the 2020 election, depicted in both the federal Washington, D.C. indictment and the Fulton County, Georgia indictment, was an attack on the foundations of the republic. The efforts that played out on our television screens for weeks, culminating in the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, were an overt threat to the rule of law."

READ MORE:Rural Georgia voters are now demanding answers in Trump election indictment: report

The historian emphasizes that the "conspiracy to overturn the election and the attack on January 6, (2021)" were "an assault on the Constitution' that disrespected the United States' "peaceful transfer of power."

"The efforts to overthrow the election did tremendous damage to this norm built up across more than two centuries," Chervinsky warns. "Holding Donald Trump and those who helped him accountable defends the rule of law and serves as a deterrent against future coups. But just as importantly, it also helps in the process of reestablishing and revalidating some of the norms and precedents that Trump transgressed — without which the Constitution cannot survive."

READ MORE:The four phases of Donald Trump’s attempted coup

Read Lindsay M. Chervinsky'sfull article for The Bulwark at this link.

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