Trump’s hold on Republicans has weakened - GulfToday

Trump’s hold on Republicans has weakened

Donald Trump

The January 6 House of Representatives Committee led by the Democrats which investigated the mob in Washington that attacked the Capitol, which housed the House of Representatives and the Senate, to pressurise then Vice President Mike Spence not to sign the certification that showed Joe Biden as the winner came to the predictable conclusion, but it is of great importance despite its predictability. It showed that former US President Donald Trump made ‘criminal’ attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election verdict by trying to pressurise federal and state officials, and finally Vice President Spence from declaring the result. The world’s oldest democracy, which boasted of its free and fair political traditions, was literally on the edge on January 6, 2021 as a nonchalant Trump addressed a vast gathering of his supporters who then marched towards the Capitol, and entered the building by force.

At that moment and on that day, it seemed that American democracy was at the tipping point. The man who saved the day was Trump’s presidential mate, Vice President Spence. Trump had expected the Vice President, a fellow Republican, to be loyal to him, and hold back the verdict. As the vice president and as the head of the Senate, it was the constitutional obligation of Pence to endorse the election result. The House committee will now give way to the Republican-majority as the Republicans forged ahead in the biennial election in November. Trump has remained unaffected even as he had declared after the November mid-term election that he was in the race for the 2024 presidential election.

The 845-page report referred four criminal charges against Trump. The committee does not have the powers to prosecute, and it is not for the Justice Department to file the criminal charges against the former president. Interestingly, Trump commands popularity in a large section of the voters, and going by the 2020 presidential election where he polled 70 million votes to Biden’s 73 million, it is a large one. It is not clear whether all of those who voted for Trump in November 2020 believe in Trump’s claim that the election was stolen. But he does have a brigade of loyal supporters, including in the Republican Party, who continue to back Trump. But after the Republican setbacks in the November election, when it turned out that there was no Republican wave, the Trump hold on the Republican Party has weakened.

The committee had reached the unambiguous conclusion that the man who is responsible for the events of January 6 was Trump. The report said: “…evidence has led to an overriding and straightforward conclusion: the central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump, who many others followed.

None of the events of January 6th would have happened without him.”  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who headed the January 6 committee, in her foreword to the report said that it (the report) was “a clarion call to all Americans: to vigilantly guard our Democracy and to give our vote to only those dutiful in their defence of our Constitution.” It would be of great interest whether the Justice Department would pursue the criminal charges against Trump based on the report.

The committee has recommended that Trump should be barred from contesting for office again, and thee lawyers who had helped Trump plan to overturn the elections verdict should be barred by barred. Trump in his reaction to the report said that it was partisan. It is to be seen how far the report will change the thinking of the Republican Party in its future dealings with Trump, and whether it would allow him to be part of the presidential primaries in the run-up to the 2024 presidential election.


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