Donald Trump has 16 days left to pardon himself. He will have to seize the time because it seems increasingly unlikely that this president can get away with it after his term in office. What Trump has done in the phone call with Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s interior minister, and five immediate eavesdroppers should be enough to bring him to justice for attempted incitement to a crime and threats to electoral officials. The public prosecutor’s office has an obligation to investigate the president.
Trump has the chutzpah to threaten and urge witnesses in a semi-public phone call. He violates laws protecting fair and equal elections, he calls for election fraud and opens paths to illegality. In all of this, he pretends to be invulnerable. A constitutional state cannot accept that from any of its citizens.
Even before his term in office, this man’s understanding of law and behavior were close to that of the criminal milieu. It is widely documented that he also influenced the judiciary from the presidency. No president before him has exerted so much influence on investigations by the judiciary, and no one before him has so openly intervened in the constitutional process.
Trump lives in a state of persistent violation of the law
From the Russia investigations to accusations of enrichment to the no longer subtle request to the Ukrainian President to start an investigation at the expense of political opponent Joe Biden: Donald Trump lives in a state of ongoing violation of the law – which is now clearly demonstrated by a telephone recording leaves.
It was presumably the Minister of the Interior of Georgia or one of his colleagues who published the conversation. They acted in preventive security, because Trump dragged them down into his swamp a few days before the all-important Senate by-election in the state. With the release, Georgia Republicans protected themselves but reduced their chances of winning the election. The phone call will not exactly mobilize their voters and force the party to split. But they have done the rule of law a service.
Now that the majority situation has been resolved, the fear of the president’s revenge is gone. Trump has become vulnerable. In the impeachment proceedings a year ago, the president was able to discipline his own camp with his destructive power. Now every Republican interior minister, public prosecutor, member of parliament or senator must ask himself whether he or she continues to support Trump’s injustice system.
Brad Raffensperger shows the way. It is predetermined by the law and ends in court – also for Donald Trump, whose complete collection of legal violations will only become public in the coming weeks and months. As the crowning highlight, the only thing missing is an attempt at self-amnesty.