The United States vs. Donald Trump

Published: June 24, 2022

By Jim Lichtman
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If Attorney General Merrick Garland is looking for grounds for bringing criminal charges against Donald Trump and his allies in their attempts to overthrow the 2020 presidential election, he should begin with Tuesday’s compelling testimony from Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, a former local elections worker in Fulton County, Georgia, and end with the shocking statement Trump made to former Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue from yesterday’s hearing.

As Trump and company constantly touted their election fraud mantra, Moss testified that she received “a lot of threats wishing death upon me, telling me that, you know, I’m — I’ll be in jail with my mother, and saying things like being glad it’s 2020 and not 1920, yes. . . . A lot of them were racist, a lot of them were just hateful”

“I received a call from my grandmother,” Moss described, “This woman is my everything. I’ve never even heard her or seen her cry ever in my life. And she called me screaming at the top of her lungs, like, ‘Shaye, Shaye, oh my gosh, Shaye.’ Just freaking me out saying that there are people at her home and they, you know, they knocked on the door and of course, she opened it seeing who was there, who it was.

“And they just started pushing their way through, claiming that they were coming in to make a citizen’s arrest. They needed to find me and my mom. They knew we were there. And she was just, like, screaming and didn’t know what to do. And I wasn’t there. I just felt so helpless and so horrible for her.

Yesterday, former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, former Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, and Steven Engel, who served as assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel during the Trump administration, testified before the committee that they and hundreds of others at DOJ would resign en masse if Trump and his allies pushed justice officials to declare the election corrupt.

CNBC reports that “Trump planned to install a new acting attorney general, Jeffrey Clark, to help spread his false claim that President Joe Biden’s electoral victory was rigged through widespread fraud, the committee said.”

In a critical Oval Office meeting between department officials, including Clark, Donoghue was blunt.

“You’re talking about putting a man in that seat who has never tried a criminal case, who has never conducted a criminal investigation, and he’s telling you that he’s going to take charge of the department, 115,000 employees, including the entire FBI, and turn the place on a dime and conduct nationwide investigations that will produce results in a matter of days?” Donoghue asked.

“It’s impossible, it’s absurd, it’s not going to happen and it’s going to fail,” Donoghue said.

“Engel told Trump that Clark would be ‘leading a graveyard’ if he was appointed, according to Donoghue. ‘That comment clearly had an impact on the president,’ Donoghue said.”

But the most damning statement Donoghue shared with the committee was in this exchange.

“Acting AG Jeffrey Rosen,” CNBC reported, “told Trump that the DOJ could not and would not ‘snap its fingers’ and change the outcome of the presidential election.

“He responded very quickly, and said, essentially, ‘That’s not what I’m asking you to do, what I’m asking you to do is just say it was corrupt and leave the rest up to me and the Republican congressmen,’” Donoghue said Trump told them.

Much has been said about the political and legal calculations in bringing criminal charges against Trump citing upheaval, and the violence that such actions would likely bring.

However, my question is this: What would be the consequences to the country if Donald Trump were not held responsible for his crimes?

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