It is imperative that a wide variety of urgent questions are fully answered by an independent subpoenaer in order to review documentary evidence and obtain sworn testimony. The crisis sparked by Trump must be examined with the equivalent of the 9/11 commission founded after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
At first glance, the comparison seems to have been revised. Obviously nothing that has happened in the last ten weeks – including the grotesque and deadly mob takeover of The Capitol during the official confirmation of Biden’s victory is the same terrible, history-changing size as September 11th.
The similarity stems from the way both events require understanding and public accountability. Both events were attacks on the basic functions of American institutions. Both revealed weaknesses in our customs and procedures that many people underestimated until the disaster.
Here’s what we know for sure: There was an attack on the rule of law in the U.S. Capitol, led by people who were inspired by Trump and believed they would do what he wanted them to do. If events had turned out even slightly differently, the five deaths would have been many times higher, including many members of the House and Senate.
Here’s what we reasonably wonder about and have a profound responsibility to clarify: To what extent are the events at the Capitol part of a systematic effort by Trump to reverse an election result through what must openly be called an attempt Coup.
Does this sentence hyperventilate? There are many questions to be answered before we can know for sure. We shouldn’t rely on the next wave of journalists’ books or memoirs by officials for answers. An official body created by a piece of legislation like the 9/11 Commission can shed light on possible scandals such as:
– Why did Trump fire Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on November 9th, preceded by pressure from Trump or his appointees to elicit Esper’s support for military support in his quest to keep power?
– What reflections on attempting to reverse the election results are known to former Attorney General William Barr, and what would affidavits, texts and emails show about the circumstances of his departure in late December? This departure followed public criticism from Trump of Barr and numerous news reports Extensive negotiations also ensued between Barr and White House attorney Pat A. Cipollone.
– What interactions did Trump or his deputies have with the US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, Byung J. “BJay” Pak? Pak’s forced resignation on January 4th?
– What will testimonials, emails and texts reveal about the exact nature of communication between Trump, White House aides or Trump external advisers and people who participated in the January 6 uprising at the Capitol?
– Now that events have highlighted the importance of something that many people haven’t given much thought to before – the central role of the obscure General Services Administration in facilitating presidential transitions – which changes in law or procedure would prevent future transitions from being delayed will bidens war once the results are clear? What interactions took place between Trump White House and GSA Administrator Emily W. Murphy?
– There were reports of discussions with Cabinet officials including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Call of the 25thth Change to remove Trump from office. What was the nature of these considerations, and what testimony would administrators give to shed light on Trump’s psychological stability or willingness to faithfully carry out the laws and duties of his office?
– What role does Trump’s pardon power play in his deliberations or in talks with allies about how to hold onto power?
– What were the exact interactions between Trump and Vice President Mike Pence? To Trump’s anger, Pence released a statement that he had no constitutional authority to intervene in Biden’s election certificate, but the statement also included a view that there were pervasive questions regarding the 2020 presidential count. Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short said after Pence’s announcement He was denied access to the White House Reasons, apparently on orders from Trump.
– The deepest question is probably: Who, if any, actually heads government? Journalists have described Trump as largely checked out of most of the work in the midst of a deadly pandemic, aside from being annoyed by the election and his claims it was stolen.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the chairman of the Joint Chief General Mark A. Milley on Friday He expressed concern about an unpredictable Trump ordering rash military action while he held onto power, and apparently urged Milley to get the military to oppose it if he tries. The idea of this type of conversation taking place in the leadership of a nuclear armed country and facing opponents who also have them is breathtaking. Let’s hope we’re lucky. However, it is entirely possible that a full investigation could reveal the Trump transition as one of the most dangerous moments in national security since 9/11 or the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Note that most of the questions listed above do not directly relate to the numerous questions about how the security of the Capitol was breached and what happened immediately before, during, and after this emergency. Many of these questions are likely to fall straight into the provinces of the criminal justice system and Congressional own investigation into security flaws.
Trump’s transition, however, was a widespread outrage and therefore requires a thorough review. Many of Trump’s actions or those of his allies may not be strictly illegal, but could nonetheless raise fundamental questions of a political or political nature. Punishing the guilty is a task. Another is to illuminate the public records in an authoritative way. And this lighting should be isolated as much as possible from the influence of the partisans.
Therefore the comparison of the 9/11 Commission is relevant. The commission had a mandate to examine systemic factors that preceded the 9/11 attacks and make recommendations on what the government should do in the future. As managing director, Philip Zelikow, explained later: “I think it is healthy for organizations and countries to produce such improvement reports, especially when there has been a major national trauma. Not just a report from an Inspector General waving a finger looking for government wrongdoing – even though there is that part – but more like “What really happened here? Why is that happend? “To fully understand and then prepare a report that could be made available to the American people and make recommendations on how we could avoid it in the future.”
Trump’s efforts to make an effective transition and undermine public confidence in the legitimacy of the presidential election are an attack on the nation’s system of government that must be avoided in the future. A commission with credible figures from both parties could consider the need to protect ongoing law enforcement and the privilege of the executive branch. (After Trump steps down, his privileges for his actions during the transition should be virtually nil.)
In particular, a commission could highlight recommendations for reform. The Trump transition has magnified issues that have long been beyond justification, such as the abuse of the pardon process to aid cronies and contributors, or the dangerous Cold War politics, the sole authority of the president to launch nuclear weapons. The exercise doesn’t have to be just a club against Trump. There may be recommendations on how to build public confidence in elections during important outside events such as a pandemic or war.
Another reason to be commissioned is that many of the events of the past ten weeks are ripe targets to be mythologized in a distorted way. The terrorists who bombed a Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 believed they were right to avenge the government’s disastrous efforts to end a siege on a Waco cult site two years earlier.
The grievances and malice that enliven national politics do not go away, but their most damaging expressions can be mitigated by keeping a clear and credible record of how this president’s transition off the rails.