NYT editorial board demands Trump face ‘consequences’ if guilty, admits it may cause ‘civil unrest’

The New York Times’ notoriously far-left editorial board has effectively come out in support of indicting former President Donald Trump for committing the supposed crime of doubting the results of the 2020 presidential election.

In an editorial published Friday, the board complains, and complains, and complains about both Trump’s past efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 election and his continued insistence that it was stolen from him.

“The disturbing details of his postelection misfeasance, meticulously assembled by the Jan. 6 committee, leave little doubt that Mr. Trump sought to subvert the Constitution and overturn the will of the American people,” the board writes.

“The president, defeated at the polls in 2020, tried to enlist federal law enforcement authorities, state officials and administrators of the nation’s electoral system in a furious effort to remain in power.”

So did Democrats.

“When all else failed, he roused an armed mob that stormed the Capitol and threatened lawmakers,” the board continues.

This is patently false. As noted by many on the right, all the president did on Jan. 6th was hold a rally at the U.S. Capitol.

Moreover, during the rally he explicitly called for peace, not violence, telling the attendees that they should “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

Here’s a reminder of what that sounded like:

The Times’ board continues by kvetching about the former president’s continued claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

“Even now, the former president continues to spread lies about the 2020 election and denounce his vice president, Mike Pence, for not breaking the law on his behalf. Meanwhile, dozens of people who believe Mr. Trump’s lies are running for state and national elected office,” the board writes.

“Many have already won, some of them elevated to positions that give them control over how elections are conducted. In June the Republican Party in Texas approved measures in its platform declaring that Mr. Biden’s election was illegitimate. And Mr. Trump appears prepared to start a bid for a second term as president.”

None of this is illegal.

The board then admits that prosecuting Trump could trigger massive civil unrest from the former president’s millions of avid supporters.

“Pursuing prosecution of Mr. Trump could further entrench support for him and play into the conspiracy theories he has sought to stoke. It could inflame the bitter partisan divide, even to the point of civil unrest. A trial, if it is viewed as illegitimate, could also further undermine confidence in the rule of law, whatever the eventual outcome,” the board writes.

This is arguably true. Many on the right already feel like the system is rigged against them. Democrats have for years challenged election results. And don’t forget that after the 2016 presidential election, Democrats engaged in plenty of their own riots:

In addition, the FBI recently raided former President Trump’s home because of his possession of classified documents. Yet former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, never faced the same consequences despite committing the same alleged crime.

The Times’ board concludes its post by saying point-blank that if Attorney General Merrick Garland is able to conjure up “sufficient evidence to establish Mr. Trump’s guilt on a serious charge in a court of law, then they must seek an indictment.”

A serious charge of what? Anything that would stick, apparently.

“If Mr. Garland decides to pursue prosecution, a message that the Justice Department must send early and often is that even if Mr. Trump genuinely believed, as he claimed, that the election had been marred by fraud, his schemes to interfere in the certification of the vote would still be crimes,” the board writes.

“And even though Mr. Trump’s efforts failed, these efforts would still be crimes. More than 850 other Americans have already been charged with crimes for their roles in the Capitol attack. Well-meaning intentions did not shield them from the consequences of their actions. It would be unjust if Mr. Trump, the man who inspired them, faced no consequences.”

Yet participating in the Jan. 6th riot is not the same thing as challenging the results of an election. Because if they were the same, then countless Democrats would have been prosecuted and sentenced. But they weren’t.

It’d therefore be equally unjust, conservative critics argue, if Trump was prosecuted for “interfer[ing] in the certification of the vote” but Democrats were left off the hook despite having done the exact same thing countless times before.

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Vivek Saxena

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