Monday, June 8, 2020

No. 376: Trump's Plan for November 2020

On February 27, 2019, Michael Cohen, who is President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, testified before the Committee on Oversight and Reform of the U.S. House of Representatives. The hearing was chaired by Elijah Cummings (D-MD). (When Cummings died six months later, he became the first African American lawmaker to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol.) Cohen made these comments during his testimony:
My loyalty to Mr. Trump has cost me everything: my family's happiness, friendships, my law license, my company, my livelihood, my honor, my reputation and, soon, my freedom. And I will not sit back, say nothing, and allow him to do the same to the country. Indeed, given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020 that there will never be a peaceful transition of power, and this is why I agreed to appear before you today.
Cohen's comments have stayed with me, and I have wondered precisely what he meant by his statement that "there will never be a peaceful transition of power." Now, given the massive demonstrations over the murder of George Floyd, and given the events in Lafayette Square next to the White House, I think I know what Cohen meant.

If Trump loses the election—irrespective of the margin—I think he will declare that the election was rigged. Then, as commander-in-chief, he will order U.S. military forces to "dominate" our states, cities, towns, and countryside. In his attempted coup, he will have the support of his lap dogs in the White House, the Pentagon, the Department of Justice, and the Senate.

Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) succeeded Cummings as Chair of the House Committee on Oversight. She recently said:
I am horrified by President Trump's statements and actions. The President deployed federal police against American citizens peacefully protesting the unjust murders of Black people—for a photo opportunity. He commanded the use of tear gas and rubber bullets on innocent men and women—tactics employed by white segregationists in the 1960s. His actions are despicable, and as Americans, we will not stand for them. He should resign immediately.
James Mattis, until recently, was our Secretary of Defense. He has weighed in with a strong statement entitled "In Union There Is Strength." His statement is here.

With the presidential election only five months away, urgent action is needed. I think the House of Representatives should take the steps necessary to make Trump the first president in our history to be impeached twice.