Throughout most of his life, Donald Trump has bragged about his allegedly superior intellect and judgment. As President he claimed to be a “stable genius” who knows more than generals about war, more than economists about the economy, and more than doctors about healthcare. The American people – according to a Fox News poll – didn’t agree.
However, if anything puts to rest Trump’s terminally narcissistic impression of himself, it is his latest deranged outburst regarding the election that he lost and his efforts to subvert democracy and coronate himself an American king. In a tweet posted by his Twitter ban defying spokes-shill, Trump raged that…
“If the Vice President (Mike Pence) had ‘absolutely no right’ to change the Presidential Election results in the Senate, despite fraud and many other irregularities, how come the Democrats and RINO Republicans, like Wacky Susan Collins, are desperately trying to pass legislation that will not allow the Vice President to change the results of the election? Actually, what they are saying, is that Mike Pence did have the right to change the outcome, and they now want to take that right away. Unfortunately, he didn’t exercise that power, he could have overturned the Election!”
To the surprise of no one, Trump has utterly misunderstood the law and what a bipartisan effort in Congress is engaged in. The fact that members of both parties are joining together to draft a clarification of the Electoral Count Act of 1887 only affirms the broad-based consensus that Trump’s actions have been deemed dangerous and warrant a refinement of the legal language to prevent future misrepresentations of what the law already says. Which is that the vice-president’s role is strictly ceremonial and that he has no power to “change the Presidential Election results” or to “overturn the election.” Furthermore, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution stipulates that the vice-president is only authorized to open the certificates of the votes provided by the states and to announce the results.
What Trump has provided in his statement is a public confession of his conspiracy to stage a coup and to usurp the power of the presidency by unlawful means. It’s a plot that he tried to execute by force with his support for January 6th insurrection and the insurrectionists he said that he loves. He even promised to pardon the domestic terrorists who assaulted Congress, and presumably those who might commit such assaults in the future.
This isn’t the first time that Trump has lied to bully the Vice-President into joining his treasonous plot. In a couple of his last tweets before being banned from Twitter, Trump wrote that “If Vice President @Mike_Pence comes through for us, we will win the Presidency,” and that “The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors.”
None of that is true. And even if it were, Trump hasn’t thought it out very well. His misinterpretation would mean that Vice-President Kamala Harris could decide unilaterally who would become president after the 2024 election, regardless of the vote count. That’s something the “stable genius” failed to consider.
Trump, however, has an even bigger problem. His tweeted statement is yet another affirmation of his participation in an attempted insurrection. And the Constitution – which he certainly has never read – addresses that in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment:
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
In short, Trump’s confession prohibits him from ever serving in any government office. The Constitution unambiguously bars him from running for, or serving as, president again. And that’s just the beginning of his problems. After spending the last year trying unsuccessfully to suppress his White House documents, he has now provided prosecutors with the final piece of the evidentiary puzzle needed to indict him and his accomplices for his coup attempt and for conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government. Now it’s just up to the Justice Department to do its job.
UPDATE I: Jen Psaki steps up and condemns Trump “whose actions have represented a unique and existential threat to our democracy,” and are “a reminder of how unfit he is for office.”
“It’s just a reminder of how unfit he is for office.”
— WH Press Sec. Jen Psaki on Trump’s speech this weekend defending 1/6 insurrectionists pic.twitter.com/4G61ZPE2HI
— The Recount (@therecount) January 31, 2022
UPDATE II: Trump doubles down on his confession. In another tweet he attempts to elaborate on his assertion that Pence had the right to reject the state-certified vote counts. But all Trump is doing is reiterating his intent to illegally overturn the election results, subvert democracy, and violate the Constitution. He’s just getting himself in deeper.
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