You would be living in a very different nation right now had the seditionists incited by Trump succeeded in their plan to overturn the democratic will of the people.
Defending democracy doesn't stop because you're tired of hearing about it. Justice isn't served when you've decided you've seen enough.
The people who are asking us to “turn the page” on Donald Trump and the January 6 insurrection need to remember how close we came to losing our hard-won democracy, including the – I can't believe I'm writing this - potential hanging of the then Vice President Mike Pence and the assassination of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Had Trump succeeded in his plan, do you have any doubt there would have been Putin-like show trials to silence his remaining critics and purge the United States government of all push back?
Now, just as those who heeded his call to “fight like hell” and invade the nation's capitol on the dark day of January 6, 2020 are receiving long prison sentences for participating in the violent attack, so should the man who incited them all.
“An insurrection is a rebellion against the authority of the United States. It is a grave federal offense, anchored in the Constitution itself,” Representative Jamie Raskin, said as he announced the January 6 Committee's charges against Trump last month.
The panel asked federal prosecutors to charge Donald Trump with four crimes, including obstruction and insurrection, for his central role in inciting the lethal riot.
This historic request to the Justice Department was not made lightly. It was made after more than 1,000 witness interviews and the collection of hundreds of thousands of incriminating documents – documents assembled after a meticulous investigation that concluded by referring a former president for criminal prosecution.
Trump faces legal peril as a special counsel is overseeing two other federal probes related to his attempt to violently overturn the 2020 election he lost as well as his inexcusable removal of highly classified files from the White House.
“Among the most shameful of this committee's findings, was that President Trump sat in the dining room off the Oval Office, watching the violent riot at the Capitol on television,” said former Representative Liz Cheney, one of two Republicans on the committee and its vice chairperson.
For hours Trump refused to make a call, post a Tweet, or give a public statement until it eventually became clear his coup had failed, the committee found.
Five people, including a police officer, died during or soon after the riot and more than 140 police were seriously injured whilst the Capitol building itself suffered millions of dollars in damage.
Recall that on January 6, according to the committee’s final report, Trump “repeatedly and unlawfully pressured” Vice President Pence to reject several states electoral votes for an election he knew he'd lost in favor of fraudulent ones. The work the committee did to cite Trump's motives and actions now make a public trial more likely than ever.
Willis will refer closely to Georgia law, including the statute on criminal solicitation of election fraud, one that has dire implications for the phone call in which Trump bluntly and outrageously demanded Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger should “find” him the eleven thousand votes he needed to win the state.
“Trump lost the 2020 election and knew it,” Representative Thompson concluded. “But he chose to try to stay in office through a multi-part scheme to overturn the results and block the transfer of power.” So the question for all of us is the same in 2023 as it was in 2022, what are we going to do about it?