Qatar – Can US Elections Be Safe From Crowd Violence?

(MENAFN- Gulf Times)

The first anniversary of the mob attack on the United States Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump on January 6, 2021, in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election result, has coincided with a new phase drama of a congressional committee investigation into what happened. and what measures could prevent such violence from happening again.
In the days leading up to the anniversary, the United States House special committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol, made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans (most Republicans opposed any investigation), began to reveal the extraordinary amount of documents he had assembled so far. Unsurprisingly, Trump and his allies adopted the strategy of trying to drag out the committee’s work, assuming that a Republican victory in the November midterm election would allow them to shut down the committee before he had completed its work.
But in a recent interview, committee chairman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi said he would halt his investigation whenever necessary in order to draft his report and distribute it to the public. Obviously, they want it to be before the midterm elections.
Congressman Jamie Raskin from Maryland, who has perhaps the most intellectual weight of any committee member, recently told me, “The central objectives of the committee should be informative, educational and legislative. We need to tell a full and accurate story about the attack on America that will lead to our recommendations for strengthening American democracy. ”
This suggests that the committee seeks to follow the model of the 9/11 Commission, which examined the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in great detail and wrote a compelling account. In fact, the Capitol riot and the September 11 attacks, known by their dates, have other similarities.
The two shocked the nation because they broke long supposed borders. Neither should have been as surprising as they were: in either case, there was ample intelligence to warn of what was going on. But in both cases, critical figures have ignored this information.
As to how the January 6 committee sees its mission, Raskin told me, “January 6 had three circles of activity: an outer circle of a ‘savage’ demonstration that turned into a riot; a middle circle of a violent insurgency led by the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, militiamen and QAnon networks; and an inner circle of the coup where Trump, Bannon, Stone, Flynn and various congressional allies worked to overthrow the Biden Electoral College majority and force the contest into a contingent House election that will be decided by a tally State by State. We are working to understand all the strategic coordination and interaction between these three levels of activity.
One question lurking around the investigation has been whether prosecutions should be taken, not just for the protesters, hundreds of whom have been charged with their violent behavior in responding to then-President Trump’s appeal. to “fight like hell” to prevent Congress from validating Biden’s election. . But should we punish the followers while the instigator is left free? Another question that arises is whether it is more important to get lawsuits against key figures or to get more information by granting pardons.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has been widely criticized for not being more aggressive in pursuing high profile figures who worked to overthrow the 2020 election. In fact, it is understood that Biden’s White House has informed the ministry Justice that the president would prefer prosecutions against Trump stem from a civil investigation by the New York attorney general into charges against Trump, Donald Jr and Ivanka. tax evasion and bank fraud, rather than an action by the Department of Justice. (A separate criminal investigation into how the Trump business was run is also underway in New York.)
It’s understandable that Biden is reluctant to prosecute his opponent in the 2020 election and his potential opponent in 2024. Even if neither man shows up in 2024, the pursuit of a former president by his successor would be a huge distraction from the efforts. of Biden to rule, would divide the country even further, and possibly lead to even worse violence than a year ago.
In fact, the use of violence on political issues is acquiring alarming respectability in the United States. A few recent polls indicate a sharp increase in the percentages of Americans, especially among Republicans, who believe violence against the government is sometimes justified. And a CBS News-YouGov poll shows that 62% of Americans expect the losing side in a presidential election to react violently.
America has long experienced a streak of violence, whether in the settlement of the West or sectoral economic issues, including slavery. Attempts to obtain constitutional rights have met with violence.
I believe the recent use of violence to settle a presidential election began in 2000 when forces supporting George W Bush against Al Gore staged what has been called the “Brooks Brothers Riot” in Miami over the count. ballots to see who won Florida, and therefore the election. A common thread connecting this event to the Capitol Riot was the remarkable presence of both Roger Stone, Republican agent and longtime Trump ally.
In recent times it has become fashionable to talk about “how close we came” to losing our democracy in 2020 and 2021. I disagree, as Trump’s efforts were so flawed, amateurish and streaked with stupidity. Trump should have reversed the results in three of the six closely contested states, a tall order.
Reversing the legitimate outcome of a presidential election goes deeply against American tradition. Additionally, state and federal courts did not accept Trump’s arguments that the voting process in various states was corrupt.
But Steve Bannon, Trump’s close political adviser, took note of the places where, had Trump’s forces had more control, Trump could have been re-elected. Changes to achieve this increased control are underway across the country: in voting rights laws and, more importantly, in the way the vote is counted. Call it “counting rights”. Republicans have long been smarter than Democrats about the benefits of winning state legislatures.
So, however effective the committee’s report of January 6, the nature and security of America’s democratic system remains in limbo. – Project union

* Elizabeth Drew is a Washington-based reporter and the most recent author of the Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and the Fall of Richard Nixon.


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