When an outgoing President runs amok, is there nothing we can do?

See “How Trumo Wins (Updated November 15, 2020),” The Trenchant Observer, November 11, 2020.

When a defeated incumbent President launches a vast criminal conspiracy to overturn the results of a presidential election, is there nothing we can do?

When a defeated incumbent President decapitates the Defense Department and the National Security team, is there nothing we can do?

When President Donald Trump simply stops working and carrying out the duties of his office (e.g., to manage an effective response to the Covid-19 pandemic), and simply plays golf instead, is there nothing we can do?

When a defeated incumbent President engages in a continuing pattern of obstruction of justice, seeking to destroy, remove, or taint evidence of his crimes and those of his collaborators, is there nothing we can do?

When President Trump explores options to launch a military strike against Iran in flagrant violation of international law, is there nothing we can do?

When a defeated incumbent President withdraws troops from Afghanistan, against the unanimous advice of his military leaders, underming a 19-year war effort and negotiations currently underway to resolve the conflict, is there nothing we can do?

When a defeated President Trump poses a huge security risk (e.g., of turning over classified information to Putin and Russia), is there nothing we can do?

When a defeated incumbent President abuses his power by pressuring a bureaucrat not to declare an “apparent winner” in the 2020 Presidential election, is there nothing we cab do?

If by exerting pressure on that official he intentionally prevents a normal transition to the new incoming administration, thereby causing thousands of people to die from Covid-19 due to delays he is causing in the distribution of supplies and vaccines, is there nothing we can do?

When President Trump interferes,  through his agents, with the vote counts and certification of electoral results at the state level, is there nothing we can do?

When President Trump lauches a massive campaign of big lies about electoral fraud to stir up the population, is there nothing we can do?

Donald Trump is attempting to hang on to power by illegal and unconstitutional means. Is there nothing we can do to stop him and his Republican collaborators?

What would the Founders of our nation have done in such circumstances?

Is the great American experiment in democracy to be surrendered to such a tyrant, a defeated incumbent President who will stop at nothing to tear down our constitutional government and the Rule of Law?

Do Joe Biden and the Democrats recognize the fascist nature of the threat to  our democracy?

Do Biden and the Democrats recognize the nature of the fascist threat to American democracy?

It is far from clear that they do.

Perhaps they are only focused on taking control of the White House on January 20, 2021.  Perhaps, flushed with victory, they are overconfident and complacent.

Whichever the case may be, they must wean 40% of the electorate from their current flirtation with fascism. They should not underestimate their Republican opponents, the very real danger they pose, or how difficult it may be to tame their ideological and cult-like appeal to voters.  To do this, they need to start talking about what is at stake.

This s not a game.

Both big “D” Democrats and little “d” democrats should now all–everyone–move to man the barricades, and defend America’s democracy from this potentially lethal threat.

How might that be done?

A first step would be to start investigating and prosecuting each indivual who is participating in the defeated incumbent President’s vast criminal conspiracy.

Individuals like Senator Lindsey Graham, who allegedly attempted to intervene with the Georgia Secretary of State in order to affect the voting counts, should be the first to be criminally investigated.  And then prosecuted.

But other participants in the conspiracy, such as county officials who refuse to certify vote results without real cause, should also be prosecuted, by state attorneys general now and by federal prosecutors after January 20, 2021.

It must be made clear to them that they will be held criminally responsible for their actions.

The President-elect’s lawyers should immediately move in the respective courts for judicial sanctions against any and all Republican lawyers who bring or have brought frivolous lawsuits.

They should also immediately initiate disbarment proceedings against all Republican lawyers who have brought such lawsuits.

It is time for the President-elect’s lawyers to fight back, tooth and nail, to defend this American democracy, which will not be safe so long as the defeated incumbent President does not resign, or is replaced in the White House by the President-elect on January 20, 2021.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

The Observer
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by The Observer, an international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. He is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (IACHR), where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, The Observer has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. The Observer speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, The Observer has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on the best articles that have appeared in the blog.

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