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Shaw: Donald Trump must be prosecuted

Shaw writes, "He orchestrated an attempted coup against the United States government. His relentless efforts were devious, illegal and un-American. Not to be overlooked was his scam, where he raised $250 million for a bogus election defense fund."

Jim Shaw
Jim Shaw
We are part of The Trust Project.

After watching the January 6th hearings, one thing has become clear. Former President Trump must be prosecuted. Trump’s actions make Watergate look like Hopscotch. He orchestrated an attempted coup against the United States government. His relentless efforts were devious, illegal and un-American. Not to be overlooked was his scam, where he raised $250 million for a bogus election defense fund.

We know all about Trump’s dangerous behavior because courageous Republicans told us. Not just any Republicans, but Trump supporters who worked closely with him.

We now know that Trump absolutely knew he lost the presidential election fair and square. Attorney General William Barr and Trump’s closest advisers told him. Still, Trump did everything in his power to overturn the election results and spread the big lie that the election was stolen.

It was Trump who tried to bully election officials to criminally falsify the results. Trump’s threatening call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger demanding that he find more votes for him was clearly a case of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Trump was also behind an illegal scheme to approve phony electors.

In addition, he tried to weaponize the Justice Department as an arm of his re-election campaign to steal the election. Trump also knew that Vice President Mike Pence had no power to reject the electoral votes, but he tried to intimidate Pence into doing it anyway.

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All this led to one of the worst days in American history. Trump incited the violent riot and insurrection on January 6th, knowing that an armed mob was heading to the Capitol. After the riot started, Trump shamefully did nothing for hours to stop it. He didn’t care that Pence could have been hanged. He didn’t care that 140 brave police officers were badly injured that day, and five people eventually died.

As former federal judge J. Michael Luttig accurately said, “Donald Trump and his allies and supporters are a clear and present danger to American democracy.”

Meantime, Trump has his spineless enablers in Congress. They include North Dakota Rep. Kelly Armstrong, Minnesota Rep. Michelle Fischbach and North Dakota Sens. Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven. Cramer and Armstrong’s downplaying of the important and frightening revelations from the hearings is pathetic. Fischbach’s disgraceful and treasonous vote to overturn the results of the presidential election should never be forgotten or forgiven.

If Attorney General Merrick Garland really means that nobody is above the law, then Trump must be held accountable. Trump’s actions to try to overthrow the government are just too serious and dangerous to ignore. If there are no charges against Trump, then this would open the door for future presidents to participate in any illegal activity they want. It would also encourage conniving lapdogs, such as Jeffrey Clark and John Eastman, to do criminal things to support corrupt presidents.

After all this, if you still believe that the election was stolen, then you are delusional. You are also delusional if you think that Donald Trump cares about democracy and the Constitution. And you are delusional if you think that Donald Trump cares about you.

Shaw is a former WDAY TV reporter and former KVRR TV news director.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

READ MORE FROM INFORUM COLUMNIST JIM SHAW
Scott Faul is serving a life sentence for his part in a shooting that left a U.S. marshal and deputy marshal dead.

Opinion by Jim Shaw
InForum columnist Jim Shaw is a former WDAY TV reporter and former KVRR TV news director.
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