Today, we all witnessed one of the most disturbing days in the history of our Democracy. Incited and directed by the sitting President of the United States, the loser in the Federal Election for his re-election Donald Trump, directed, incited, participated in and created nothing more nor less than an attempted coup of the American government.
Together with allied Senators and Congressmen from the Republican Party he invited a group of insurrectionists to join him on the steps on the U.S. Capitol and urged them on to “do what was right” and to “act with strength” to reject the results of the election he lost after all States had ratified their votes, the Electoral College had voted and pressured his own Vice President to violate the Constitution and reject a completed election for the Presidency of this country. Rudy Giulliani called for actual “combat” on behalf of the President.
The resulting incitement by the President and his Co-Conspirators in Congress directly caused an enraged mob to storm and occupy the seat of our Government, the Capitol. Insurrectionists breached the Capitol defenses which were curiously thin to nonexistent to the point where Congressman and Senators had to shelter for their own personal safety. A woman was shot and killed in this action.
This action, directed by the sitting President was an attempt at a coup by force, duress, persuasion and delusion. Members of our Congress willingly participated in these crimes. The Capitol building was vandalized. Insurrectionists violated the Capitol floor with the intention to commit crimes; and not lawful first amendment protected activities.
As disturbing as it was to see these actors engaging in this, was the almost complete inaction by the DC Police Department. I was personally present at the Portland Federal Building protests and can attest that Federal Law Enforcement are well equipped with gas and rubber bullets which were fired at me and other peaceful protestors who at no time ever tried to breach Federal property. DC Police were then seen walking these dangerous insurrectionists away and saw not one single arrest take place. This was more than poor planning. This was complicity.
Today, the President, members of congress and their minions committed multiple serious crimes that threaten the credibility of our Democracy. The world is aghast. Leaders in the free world are mocking us and challenging us to right this wrong as the very credibility of the institution of democracy is in dire jeopardy. This will continue. These people are not going away on January 20thonce Joe Biden is elected. We must stop it.
My own preliminary research shows that the President, the complicit members in the Congress may be guilty of multiple Federal crimes. The President may or may not have the ability to pardon himself but if so, only for Federal crimes. This is an unsettled question. If we stand by and do not respond to these actions with the full force and power of the criminal law our democracy has become a sham. It will be incumbent on the next administration to consider Federal prosecutions for those that participated or who may think to carry this behavior on.
We are at a dangerous time in our history. People must go to prison for this. We in the legal community will be standing up to defend and support the Constitution as it our duty to this country regardless of our personal politics or our personal areas of legal practice.
To this end I am attempting to gather a large group of American lawyers to sign a letter of petition to urge the new Attorney General, and if applicable, State Attorneys General to stand up and do justice on behalf of us all and indict. This is sedition. It cannot lie. The sitting President was right about one thing. We must act with strength. Our strength is the power of the law and not the rage of the mob.