The US is going to hell, says Trump on his return to Washington

David Brooks

Correspondent

Newspaper La Jornada
Wednesday, July 27, 2022, p. 25

New York. For the first time since he was ousted by the electorate and left the White House in disgrace on January 20, 2021 without participating in the inauguration of his successor, Donald Trump returned to Washington yesterday, in what is supposed to be part of preparations to launch his 2024 presidential election campaign and present himself as the return of the conqueror, and not a criminal.

In his speech before the so-called America First Agenda Summit – convened by former collaborators of his government – Trump, obsessed by his unbearable electoral defeat in 2020, attacked the fake investigations against him and repeated his lie that he won the 2020 election

He made clear, without explicit announcement, his apparent intention to run again for the presidency, and when addressing the investigations around him, he accused that the legislators of the “establishment corrupt wants to hurt me so I can’t come back to work for you,” to which the roughly 800 participants—including Republican lawmakers like Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham, as well as former officials—chored: another four years (referring to the next presidential period).

“Never forget that everything that is establishment corrupt is doing to me has everything to do with preserving his power and control over the American people.” He spoke of a country in decomposition, and prescribed more power to the police, severe criminal action against migrants, expanding its border wall and expelling the homeless to the outskirts of the cities. He warned that “our country is going to hell…”, inferring that only he can rescue it.

But the capital has still not overcome the wounds of the attempted coup and other maneuvers to derail the democratic process, and the first time in history that the peaceful transfer of power was interrupted. The same Tuesday (yesterday) that Trump arrived, one of his fans was sentenced to more than five years in prison for attacking three Capitol police officers during the assault on the legislative headquarters on January 6, one of more than 850 who have been criminally prosecuted for responding to the former president’s invitation to subvert the presidential election.

Trump is at the center of a House select committee investigation that has detailed in eight public hearings how the then-president tried to subvert the election, culminating in calling on fanatics to storm Capitol Hill to stop electoral vote certification. Largely because of the extensive documentation, multiple White House witnesses, and other extensive evidence presented by the select committee, there is mounting pressure on the Justice Department to announce the initiation of criminal proceedings against Trump.

The attorney general of the nation -and head of the Department of Justice-, Merrick Garland, stressed last week, in response to a series of questions about whether or not he will proceed against the former president, that no one is above the law in this country and yesterday he assured that will promote justice without fear or favor when evaluating whether to file formal charges.

There will be accountability

In an interview with NBC News yesterday, he added: we intend to hold accountable anyone who is criminally responsible for the events of January 6, or any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another.

By the way, last night Washington Post reported that the Justice Department is already investigating Trump as part of its broader criminal investigation into efforts to subvert the results of the 2020 election. Some of its sources commented that the focus could be: seditious conspiracy and possible fraud.

It is worth remembering that in the country’s history, a former president has never been formally accused of a crime.

At the same time, Trump and his accomplices face possible criminal charges in Georgia for their attempts to reverse the presidential election result in that state.

Steve Bannon, one of his main accomplices, was charged with criminal contempt of Congress last Friday and is awaiting a prison sentence. However, like his former boss, Bannon continues to deny the accusations and justify his actions with the repeated lie that his opponents are criminals. Let’s destroy this illegitimate regimestated on Monday.

Meanwhile, Trump’s control of his party has eroded somewhat, though the vast majority of Republicans — despite all the evidence of his attempted coup and lies about the election that have spread since he left the White House — he still believes that the election was not legitimate and continues to support him.

But other leaders, including his former Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, are already running against the former president. A recent survey of New York Times recorded that almost half of Republican voters want to support someone other than Trump.

At the same time, warnings continue about how the tycoon and his allies continue to pose a threat to American democracy, a constant theme during the hearings on the attempted coup. For example, three admirals and three generals, all four-star retirees, published an op-ed in the New York Times last week, in which they claim that during the attack on the Capitol on January 6, President and Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump abdicated his duty to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitutionand it also put at risk a foundation of this democracy, civilian control of the armed forces. They concluded that “the president’s dereliction of duty…endangered American lives and our democracy.”

Some analysts suggest that Trump could run for president just to avoid potential criminal consequences for his attempts to subvert the country’s democratic order.