Opinion New revelations show Biden was right: Trump does threaten democracy

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HR King
May 29, 2001
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By Max Boot
Columnist |
September 13, 2022 at 3:45 p.m. EDT

Polls show that President Biden’s attacks on extremist MAGA Republicans are working. In a recent Reuters-Ipsos survey, 58 percent of respondents said the MAGA movement threatens U.S. democracy — because, of course, it does.
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Having been exposed to public obloquy by the president, ultra-MAGA Republicans are reacting with the ultrasophisticated “I know what you are, but what am I?” defense. In their telling, it is Biden Democrats, not Trump Republicans, who threaten democracy. Don’t fall for this malarkey, as Biden might say.
Former vice president Mike Pence tweeted last week: “Never before in the history of our nation has a President stood before the American people, and accused millions of his own countrymen of being a ‘threat to this country.’ ” Pence, of all people, should understand that an unprecedented threat calls for an unprecedented response. If he had only a tiny bit of backbone, he, too, would be calling out the fascists who almost lynched him while Donald Trump did not lift a finger to save him.
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Naturally, the very same right-wingers who accuse Biden of intemperate rhetoric are engaging in not-so-temperate rhetoric themselves. While charging Biden with being divisive, Republicans compare him to Hitler and Satan. It’s pretty rich to hear Trump, in particular, excoriate Biden for delivering the “most vicious, hateful, and divisive speech ever delivered by an American president” when Trump himself has called Democrats “vicious, horrible” people — and “treasonous” and “un-American” to boot.

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Trump accuses Biden not just of hateful rhetoric but also of “weaponizing the Justice Department and the FBI like never, ever before, and raiding and breaking into the homes of their political opponents.” There is no acknowledgment from Trump, or his purblind defenders, that the FBI only searched Mar-a-Lago because he refused to turn over classified material that might endanger national security. The court-ordered search on Aug. 8 unearthed more than 100 classified documents — including, reportedly, top-secret information about another nation’s nuclear arsenal.
Far from being weaponized against Trump, the Justice Department has shown great forbearance in dealing with him. The FBI waited many months to take back the documents Trump was hoarding and did not arrest Trump when they were found in his possession, as it surely would have done with any other disgruntled former government employee.
If you want to see evidence of the Justice Department actually being weaponized against political opponents, read the new memoir by Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2018 to 2020.
Berman claims that political appointees at “Main Justice” repeatedly pressed him to investigate John F. Kerry after the former secretary of state and senator made Trump furious by criticizing his decision to leave the Iran nuclear deal. Trump demanded that Kerry be prosecuted for violations of the Logan Act, which forbids private citizens from engaging in unauthorized diplomacy. Berman writes that he refused to act, because the law is vague and no one has ever been convicted of violating it.
According to Berman, Trump appointees also pressured him to launch an investigation of Gregory B. Craig, a former White House counsel under President Barack Obama, on charges of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Berman reports that a Justice Department official told him, in reference to the indictments of Trump supporters, “It’s time for you guys to even things out.” After Berman refused to indict Craig, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia charged him with a single count of making false statements. Craig was acquitted by a jury.
While insisting that he go after Democrats, Berman writes, Trump appointees pressured him successfully to scrub from the indictment of Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen any references to Trump (“Individual 1”) having “coordinated with” Cohen to violate campaign finance laws.
For refusing to regularly do the president’s dirty work, Berman writes, he was fired in June 2020 by Attorney General William P. Barr: “The truth was that Barr was desperate to get me out of the job I was in, and it was not to put a better U.S. attorney in place. The reasons were perfectly obvious. They were based in politics.” (Barr himself would leave office a few months later after refusing to go along with Trump’s demands to use the Justice Department to overturn the election results.)
If we were dealing with a normal ex-president, the Berman revelations would be a major scandal that would be considered worse than Watergate. But because we are dealing with the most scandal-ridden president in U.S. history, they have barely registered. In a familiar pattern, Trump’s misconduct in keeping classified documents has drawn media attention away from his misconduct in politicizing the Justice Department. At least the Senate Judiciary Committee will now investigate Berman’s allegations.
These latest revelations, assuming they are accurate, further show that Biden was absolutely right to warn about the threat to democracy posed by Trump and his followers. If Trump returns to office, he will find minions far more pliable than Berman — or even Barr — to carry out his authoritarian agenda. Biden is defending democracy, not threatening it, by calling out the MAGA plot against America. Any suggestion otherwise is simply gaslighting.

 
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Huey Grey

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538 forecast shows a continued strength for the Dems in both the Senate and House. Lastest generic poll has Rs down 4 which essentially wipes outs their gerrymandered advantage if it holds true. At this point, don't be surprised if the Dems keep the House and pick up seats for their majority in the Senate.