voice for democracy

If Donald Trump runs again, our democracy is in danger – Chicago Sun-Times

Filed under:
The new best-seller “Peril,” by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, details the plot to overturn the 2020 election. Trump may try to do the same in 2024.
The past peril fomented by former president Donald J. Trump could be just a taste of what’s ahead.
“If this person Donald Trump wins the presidency again, what will he do if he actually has power again? Because he’s tested American democracy to the extreme, he has tried to contest an election by claiming fraud when there was no fraud, by pushing his entire party to echo him on his claims,” Robert Costa declared Thursday on “At the Virtual Table,” the show hosted by me and Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times Washington Bureau chief.
Costa and fellow Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward are the co-authors of their new, best-selling book, “Peril.”
They were the first to report the memo by John Eastman, a conservative lawyer and Trump ally, who detailed a breathtaking plan to overturn the legal results of the 2020 presidential election.
In-depth political coverage, sports analysis, entertainment reviews and cultural commentary.
In the days before the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Eastman presented his rationale to Trump. Among other offenses, Eastman’s two-page memo claimed that Pence could reject certified electoral votes from millions of voters.
Eastman’s complex rationale aimed to persuade Vice President Mike Pence to throw out the election results in key states, including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania. That would enable Congress to deny Biden’s legitimate election and secure a second term for Trump.
“The fact is that the Constitution assigns this power to the Vice President as the ultimate arbiter,” Eastman wrote in the memo.
Pence resisted the pressure and instead presided over the Jan. 6 session of Congress that certified Biden’s win.
After Pence declined to go along, Trump called into a “war room” at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., where Trump allies Rudy Giuliani, Steve Bannon, and adviser Jason Miller were plotting strategy, Costa and Woodward reported.
“They talk through what to do now. They issue a statement from the campaign in Trump’s name, defining Pence as in lockstep with Trump, even though that was a lie,” Costa told us.
That showed “that Trump was coordinating with Bannon and Giuliani on the eve of the insurrection, (and) we’ve shown a connection between the presidency and these outside agitators on the Trump legal and political side ahead of Jan. 6th.”
The book is hot fodder for a U.S. House Select Committee that is investigating the events of Jan. 6. It’s too soon to know whether it will unearth evidence of criminal activity.
But another presidential election is coming, and Trump is likely running.
A weekly overview of opinionsanalysis and commentary on issues affecting Chicago, Illinois and our nation by outside contributors, Sun-Times readers and the CST Editorial Board.
“Constitutional scholars are already worrying about another Jan. 6 crisis, and they warn that the next election might be harder to save,” The Atlantic reports.
Therein lies new peril.
Trump was impeached twice. He has lied so many times, I’ve lost count. He and his allies conspired to overthrow an election. “And, based on our reporting, (Trump) shredded and tested every single democratic norm in this country,” Costa said.
Still, Trump’s base is staunch and avidly loyal.
Trump enjoys an 86% favorable rating and a 10% unfavorable rating among Republican adults, according to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted Oct. 15 -18.
Why?
Trump “created a new message” for his party, said Costa, who has covered the former president for years.
The former president focused on protectionism, low taxes, and moving the federal judiciary to the right, Costa said. And he is “much more incendiary and hard right on immigration, non-interventionist on foreign policy.”
Trump gives Republicans “enough of what they want,” Costa adds. They are willing to forgive the rest.
That leaves the rest of us in great peril.
Catch At The Virtual Table at https://chicago.suntimes.com/events
See more of Laura S. Washington’s columns here. Follow her on Twitter: @MediaDervish
Send letters to [email protected]

Know about breaking news as it happens. We follow the stories and update you as they develop.
Check your inbox for a welcome email.
“We started with maybe one out of four or five orders where we’d have a back order,” says a co-owner of StitchMine Custom Embroidery in Glenview. “Now, it’s every order.”
With his biggest supporter having resigned and his team struggling on the ice, Colliton’s future as the Hawks’ coach is uncertain.
Every night man wakes up girlfriend to grouse about the snoring or the machine she’s using to control it.
Two of the four killed were shot in Avondale.
The 22-year-old was in his living room about 1:15 a.m. in the 6100 block of South Campbell Avenue when he was shot in the shoulder and grazed in his head, Chicago police said.
A gray Dodge Charger was going north on Stoney Island Avenue when it struck the driver side of a brown Nissan SUV that was attempting to cross from East to West on 82nd Street, Chicago police said.

source