Letter: Trump must be held accountable for crimes


187 minutes.

That’s how long Trump knowingly failed to act while his armed supporters stormed our nation’s Capitol. Instead, he watched the violence unfold on cable news, and even sent messages of encouragement by social media, telling the insurrectionists that he “loved” them.

This is one of many disturbing details in the most recent indictment against Trump, where he was charged with four federal criminal counts, including conspiracy to defraud our country in an unprecedented attempt to remain in power.

According to the indictment, Trump deliberately lied about voter fraud, then used those lies to try to pressure local officials to illegally overturn election results and create a fake slate of electors. He then pressured Vice President Mike Pence to toss out the legitimate results and count the fake electoral votes instead.

When all that failed, the January 6th insurrection was Trump’s last desperate attempt to cling to power. Elected officials and law enforcement officers were attacked, simply for doing their jobs—acting on the will of the people and certifying the election results. It was violent, destructive and in some cases, fatal.

There can be no more serious crime than a conspiracy to overturn the foundation of our democracy itself: the vote of the American people. Fame, fortune and former office cannot and should not prevent someone from standing trial and being held accountable for their crimes.

Robert Panerio