“A Clear and Present Danger,” Judge J. Michael Luttig

Published: June 21, 2022

By Jim Lichtman
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The House select committee investigating the attack on the Capitol on January 6 is expected to hear testimony from three top Department of Justice officials on Trump’s push to overturn 2020 election results within the department. I will be live-tweeting at 3:00pm EST and 12:00pm PST: @jimlichtman This is subject to any time change.

After the third installment of the House select committee hearings investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, three statements stood out.

Retired conservative, federal judge J. Michael Luttig issued a dire warning to the country. “Donald Trump and his allies and supporters are a clear and present danger to American democracy.

“That’s not because of what happened on January 6. It is because to this very day the former president and his allies and supporters pledge that in the presidential election of 2024, if the former president or his anointed successor as the Republican party presidential candidate were to lose that election, they would attempt to overturn that 2024 election in the same way that they attempted to overturn the 2020 election but succeed in 2024 where they failed in 2020.”

The second statement comes from Manchester, New Hampshire resident, Maureen Harms, a 45-year-old accountant who told The New York Times that she was deeply disturbed by Capitol Police officer Caroline Edward’s story detailing the attack against her by rioters.

“Listening to her testimony that it was like war, I was shocked,” Harms said.

“There’s no amount of television or media that will convince [Trump supporters] that they’re wrong,” Harms added.

Another Manchester resident, Rick Hyotte, 50, told The Times, “I’ve made up my mind — it’s just a show.” Hoyotte has not watched the hearings but believes that Trump bears no responsibility for the January 6 attack.

The third statement foreshadows a grim future for political leaders who side with the truth.

In an interview on the ABC News show, This Week, with George Stephanopoulos, Adam Kinzinger, one of only two Republicans on the House committee, received a death threat.

“‘This threat that came in, it was mailed to my house. We got it a couple of days ago, and it threatens to execute me, as well as my wife and 5-month-old child,’ the GOP lawmaker explained. ‘We’ve never seen or had anything like that. It was sent from the local area…I don’t worry, but now that I have a wife and kids, of course, it’s a little different. There’s violence in the future, I’m going to tell you. And until we get a grip on telling people the truth, we can’t expect any differently.’”

Walter Holt, 79, a Dover, New Hampshire resident and veteran of the Vietnam War told The Times that Trump was responsible for the country’s loss of its “moral compass.”

During last week’s hearing, we not only learned of the immense pressure – even shouts of death – brought to bear on Vice President Mike Pence to illegally overturn an election, but the demonstrable character and courage Pence took to fulfill his duty under the Constitution.

While the House evidence rely substantially on testimony from those closest to Trump – former AG Bill Barr, the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, attorneys and other Republicans – it appears that none of that carries any sway for die-hard supporters of the former president’s lies.

“America is adrift.” Luttig said in a statement before the committee. “We pray that it is only for this fleeting moment that she has lost her way, until we Americans can once again come to our senses.”

If people are unwilling to open their minds to facts, what chance does democracy have?

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