The former president, who has proved to be a liability for the party in the midterm elections, is running a candidacy morally undermined by the report that blames him for the assault on the Capitol
Donald Trump was the chief instigator of the assault on the Capitol. This is the serious conclusion of the congressional investigation into the attack on the home of the U.S. legislature on Jan. 6, 2021, which attributes four crimes to the former president: “incitement to insurrection, obstruction of an official congressional proceeding, attempted fraud against the United States and conspiracy to present false electoral testimony.”* It calls for Trump, not only to be prosecuted, but also to be disqualified from holding public office in the future.
The committee’s recommendations are not binding — it has no power to indict — but they carry enormous symbolic weight, as they would be the first to demand criminal accountability for a former president and advise the creation of a “formal mechanism” to bar him from holding any federal or state office.
The arguments of the legislators — seven Democrats and two Republicans — are based on a monumental 845-page document that compiles the testimonies of 1,000 people related to the riots, from family members and advisers from the former president’s circle to police officers who tried in vain to contain the mob outside the gates of Congress. Most agree that the former president is responsible for one of the biggest attacks on democracy in the U.S., which also left five dead and 140 injured.
For starters, the report states that Trump lied in a premeditated way by claiming victory in the election, making false allegations of large-scale fraud that even his own lawyers did not endorse, and pressuring his vice president, Mike Pence, not to abide by the verdict of the ballot box.
His rhetoric about an alleged conspiracy to seize power from him, the document warns, was the magnet that drew the assailants to the U.S. capital. The document cites a tweet in which the former president called for a “big protest” in Washington and encouraged protesters to turn out and “be wild.”** It also accuses him of passivity in containing the violence on Capitol Hill, despite the alarms that were sounded by legislators inside the building.
Trump has revealed himself to be a toxic asset for the Republican Party, weighing down the results of a midterm election that was going to be a cakewalk for Joe Biden’s rivals (an unpopular leader who leads a country with soaring inflation due to the energy crisis and that is polarized between extremes) and, finally, giving the Senate to the Democrats. The failure of the radical candidates he endorsed is now joined by a report of his culpability in the rebellion that morally undermines his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election. It is time for the Republican Party to turn the page on Trumpism and face a renewal that will allow it to once again become a solid alternative for the United States.
*Editor’s Note: This quote, thought accurately translated, could not be independently verified.
**Editor’s Note: The Final Report of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol quotes Trump as saying, “Be there. Will be wild!”