Former president Donald Trump is on trial in the Senate for inciting a mob to insurrection on Jan. 6. Republican leaders such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have acknowledged Trump’s guilt, but they don’t want him tried for this crime.
Other Republican leaders have said the country needs to move on, that looking back is bad for unity. They think Democrats should just forget that Trump helped incite a riot that desecrated our Capitol with millions of dollars in damage, cost five lives and left 140 officers seriously injured.
In 2008, when Sen. Barack Obama was running for president, a “birther” conspiracy started, claiming Obama was not born in the U.S. To eliminate the rumors, Obama released his certified birth certificate, proving he was born in Hawaii. On April 27, 2011, he released the certified “long form.”
On March 23, 2011, Donald Trump picked up on the conspiracy, attacking Obama. Even after the release of the long form, Trump continued to promote the birther lies. After five years of attacks, presidential candidate Trump finally admitted on Sept. 16, 2016, that Obama was born in the U.S. Trump never apologized for the years of harassment and falsehoods. He never gave Obama a break.
During the Benghazi, Libya, attack in 2012, four lives were lost. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was accused of covering up facts about the attack. Congress held endless hearings and spent tens of millions of tax dollars. Even with all that, no one ever implied that Hillary actively incited the terrorists to attack the Benghazi compound.
Hillary has never been indicted, let alone convicted, for any crime. Despite that, Trump still has his followers chant, “Lock her up!” at his rallies. In the meantime, he has pardoned actual convicted felons. Trump is happy to pardon his law-breaking cronies and sycophants. But does he give Hillary a break, or move on from his feelings of revenge? No.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., has been advocating violence since before she was elected to Congress. Here are some examples of her words: “Greene’s Facebook feed featured several endorsements of violence against Democrats and federal agents. In one case, she liked a comment that said “a bullet to the head would be quicker” than removing Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) from her speakership. She also liked a comment about Pelosi that said “through removal or death, doesn’t matter, as long as she goes.”
“She responded to another commenter who suggested hanging former president Barack Obama and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton by saying: ‘Stage is being set. Players are being put in place. We must be patient. This must be done perfectly or liberal judges would let them off.’ She also liked comments suggesting execution for FBI agents who were viewed as working with the ‘deep state’ against then-President Donald Trump.” (Washington Post, Jan. 27)
Greene even filed Articles of Impeachment against President Joe Biden on Jan. 21. She continues to lie and advocate violence, while Republican congressional members do nothing to silence her. Apparently, violence by Republicans is acceptable. Greene certainly isn’t moving on or giving anyone a break.
During the rally preceding the Jan. 6 insurrection, Trump criticized Vice President Mike Pence. When the mob invaded the Capitol, they chanted, “Hang Mike Pence!” Someone even set up a sample gallows outside, to reinforce the message.
Trump never tried to restrain the mob from threatening Pence. “Law and order” Trump was perfectly willing to ignore the law in order to punish those he was angry with. He’s incapable of giving anyone a break or moving on from any perceived insult.
As far as unity, Trump has never been interested unless it meant getting his way. For Republicans to excuse Trump’s crimes with claims of “unity” is the height of hypocrisy.
Because the Republican senators are cowards, Trump may be acquitted in the Senate trial. Hopefully, he won’t be as lucky with the many other civil and criminal charges he faces. Holding criminals accountable is justice, not vengeance. The only “break” Trump should get is impartial trials with fair sentences. Then we can move on. Everyone who believes in our Constitution and system of laws should agree.
Jeanette Strong, whose column appears every other week, is a Nevada Press Association award-winning columnist. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— to www.nevadaappeal.com