The final stretch of the Donald Trump era has caught fire. The latest maneuver by the president of the United States to reverse his electoral defeat, known through an explosive recorded conversation, caused stupor among Republicans and Democrats and put, once again, the system of counter-powers of the first world power, its strength democratic. And more are coming: legislators loyal to the president plan to torpedo the session of Congress that must ratify the victory of Democrat Joe Biden.
The peaceful transfer of power is one of those hallmarks that the United States has proudly displayed since its founding. “Heroes and philosophers, brave and vile men, from Rome and Athens have tried to make this particular transfer of power work effectively; no people have done it more successfully, or for longer, than the Americans, “wrote journalist Theodore White in The making of a president, a classic about the 1960 elections that brought John F. Kennedy to power.
What happened these days in the United States poisoned this image to the amazement of the world. A letter signed by the 10 former Defense Secretaries and published Sunday in The Washington Post, warning that to involve the Army in an electoral dispute would be to cross into dangerous territory, suggests that there is a real fear that even that peace is in danger. In the capital of the country, shops continue with boarded up shop windows and fences protecting the surroundings of the White House. The tension continues to breathe in the atmosphere and Trump continues to be locked in his conspiracy theories, agitating his followers on Twitter and, as it was discovered Sunday night, intimidating public officials into changing the result of the polls.
Throughout the hour-long conversation held this Saturday, Trump tries to convince Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, an electoral authority, that there have been multiple irregularities in his territory, something ruled out by justice and by the authorities after several reviews. In a moment of desperation, he directly urges him to “find” the “11,780” votes with which the winner of that State would exchange. Not 11,779, not 11,781, but those 11,780. Raffensperger, a Republican like Trump, stands firm and points out that the president is wrong, that the scrutiny is correct. The president, getting impatient, warns the official that he may incur a crime if he does not take action.
Biden’s lead campaign attorney, Bob Bauer, said the recording “reflects this whole shameful story of Donald Trump’s assault on America’s democracy.” Some analysts considered that what Trump said constitutes sufficient material to judge the president – another impeachment– for violating the federal law that prohibits interference in national or state elections, although the Republican’s words do not make it easy, since he insists all the time that there have been a string of irregularities that would justify this review of the results, and he does not explicitly threaten Raffensperger to sue him himself for covering up this alleged fraud that no court has found.
Something disconcerting about this call, apart from the pressure it reflects, is that it took place on Saturday, more than two weeks after the Electoral College of the United States certified the victory of Biden, when already more than fifty lawsuits alleging these frauds in different parts of the country they have failed and a good part of the Republican Party has already turned the page and recognized the Democrat as the new president-elect. Trump seems determined not to give up, despite the fact that the fate of this election is cast, as if the steps he is taking these days were actually intended for the future after January 20.
The attempt to annul the electoral results may experience a new episode this Wednesday, the day that the House of Representatives and the Senate hold a session to confirm Biden’s votes, the last step before the inauguration, on January 20. A group of legislators – at least a dozen senators and several dozen congressmen – plan to hinder this day by raising objections to the results. The action, doomed, reveals how many elected officials in the United States seem willing to question the legitimacy of their own elections and has raised blisters among many Republicans.
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan stressed that Biden’s victory is “completely legitimate” and warned that attempts to sow doubts “hit the foundation of the republic.” Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, one of the conservatives who sound like possible Republican candidates for 2024, noted that he will not be part of this ploy and warned that those objections “will not give him a second term.” For his part, Republican Congressman from Illinois Adam Kinzinger asked his party members not to follow the president. “You can’t do that and have a clear conscience,” he wrote on Twitter.
The scandal for the call to the high office of Georgia has also taken place one day after the election in which Republicans and Democrats were playing precisely in this State the Senate seats with which the majority of the House will be decided , a fundamental key to the freedom of movement of the Biden Administration. On Saturday, on his Twitter account, Trump reported the conversation and accused Raffensperger of not being “able” or “unwilling” to answer his questions about the election. The official responded on the social network, accusing him of lying, and advanced that the truth would come to light. The next day, the media published the recording.
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