Presidential historian and frequent CNN guest Jon Meacham appeared to be setting the stage for Democrats to cry foul if former President Donald Trump runs for the Oval Office again in 2024 and wins.
Meacham, a former speechwriter for President Joe Biden who also helped craft his inaugural address, responded to host Fareed Zakaria’s set-up on Sunday, in which he told his guest, “In 2024, whatever happens, he will claim he won. Doesn’t that present us with a constitutional crisis?”
“I think it’s an unfolding one,” Meacham, a frequent, vocal critic of Trump, responded before going on to compare the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol Building to the Civil War, though Washington, D.C., was never attacked or threatened during that conflict.
“I think we came as close to losing the Constitution … that day as we have since Fort Sumter,” he continued, referencing the opening battle of the war, which took place in South Carolina when Confederate forces attacked the Union-held fort.
Meacham then referenced the Greek roots of the word “crisis” as it applies to U.S. politics, adding, “It’s the moment in a disease where the patient lives or dies, and I think we’re certainly there.”
In December 2018, Meacham told MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough that he believed Trump may be guilty of treason in reference to the widely debunked ‘Russian collusion’ narrative, in which he again used the phrase “constitutional crisis.”
“Is it is possible that our ordinary political vocabulary, our ordinary vernacular, really isn’t commensurate with what’s happening here,” Meacham said. “If, in fact — and it’s a subjunctive — Donald Trump knew about the Russian efforts on his behalf, then there’s a live question about whether he has been giving aid and comfort to the enemy, which is the definition of treason in the Constitution.”
“So this just isn’t who wins the week, who loses the week conversation. This is an existential constitutional crisis because it’s quite possible that the President of the United States right now is a witting or at least partially witting agent of a foreign power,” Meacham claimed.
Subsequent congressional probes, as well as an investigation by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, turned up no evidence that Moscow and the 2016 Trump campaign conspired to steal the election from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Meacham has frequently praised former President Barack Obama, even once claiming he could “think in more complex terms” because he was a part-time senior lecturer at the Unversity of Chicago Law School.
As to Trump’s 2024 aspirations, he has yet to formally declare his candidacy, though he has frequently teased another run. Also, several confidants and allies have confidently declared that he will run if Republicans manage to retake partial or full control of Congress during the 2022 midterms.
Last week Mark Penn, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, gave Trump the upper hand in a 2024 rematch with President Joe Biden, noting that Biden would not be a favorite of Democrats if his polling numbers continued to remain low.
Trump, meanwhile, is “getting about 47 percent of Republicans against a matchup of other candidates. Not a majority, down a little bit, but way in the lead,” Penn told “Mornings With Maria.” “So he certainly has even more potential right now, if you look at the numbers, of getting the nomination.”
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