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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/11/21

Accountability for the Attempted Coup

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From Robert Reich Blog

Most wanted terrorists.
Most wanted terrorists.
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Call me old-fashioned, but when the president of the United States encourages armed insurgents to breach the Capitol and threaten the physical safety of Congress, in order to remain in power, I call it an attempted coup.

Last week' rampage left five dead, including a Capitol Hill police officer who was injured when he tangled with the pro-Trump mob. We're fortunate the carnage wasn't greater.

That the attempted coup failed shouldn't blind us to its significance or the stain it has left on America. Nor to the importance of holding those responsible fully accountable.

Trump's culpability is beyond dispute. "There's no question the president formed the mob, the president incited the mob, the president addressed the mob. He lit the flame," said Rep. Elizabeth Cheney, the third-highest ranking Republican in the House.

He should be impeached, convicted, and removed from office -- immediately.

To let the clock run out on his presidency and allow Trump to seek the presidency again would signal that attempted coups are part of the American system. If Senate Republicans can install a new Supreme Court justice in eight days, Trump can be removed from office within 10.

He should then be arrested and tried for inciting violence and sedition (along with Trump Jr. and Rudy "trial-by-combat" Giuliani).

Those who attacked the Capitol should also be prosecuted. They have no First Amendment right to try to overthrow the U.S. government.

Trump's accomplices on Capitol Hill, most notably Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, should be forced to resign. Knowing Trump's allegations of voting fraud were false, Cruz and Hawley nonetheless led an attempt to exclude Biden electors, even after the storming of the Capitol.

The United States Constitution says that "no Person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress" who "shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against" the Constitution, "or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof."

Both Cruz and Hawley are eyeing runs for the presidency in 2024. They should be barred from running.

Other abettors are now trying to distance themselves, but their conversions come too late.

Senator Lindsey Graham now says Trump must "understand that his actions were the problem, not the solution," and criticizes the White House for making "accusations that cannot be proven."

Graham had been one of Trump's key attack dogs, even bullying state election officials to change voting tallies. If Graham is not forced to resign, he should at least be censured and stripped of his ranking membership on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

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