The most chilling statement in the Trump indictment Skip to content

The most chilling statement in the Trump indictment

It’s one sentence in a 45-page document. But it says so much. Pay attention to it.

2 min read

For the most part, the latest Trump indictment recounts events we are already familiar with, thanks to the January 6 hearings in Congress. The fake elector scheme, the calls to Georgia, the pressure on Pence, the lies, lies, lies – they are all common knowledge.

But one part of the indictment is new, and deserves attention: after they had overturned the election in order to stay in power, what their plan was for dealing with the aftermath.

Jeffrey Clark, the DOJ lawyer who supported Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, was told that if Trump actually succeeded, there would be riots in the streets all across the country. Clark’s reply? “That’s why there is an Insurrection Act.”

Do you get that? Do you understand what that means?

It means that the Trumpists were willing to invoke martial law, to use our own military against us. It means that they were willing to take power by force, and to arrest or even kill anyone who stood in their way.

As noted by Thom Hartmann,

It’s the only exception to the Posse Comitatus Act, which forbids the US military from engaging in domestic law enforcement activity. Under the Insurrection Act, the President could order the entire US military into the streets, with live ammunition and the power to both make arrests and kill protestors who resist.

Section 253 of the Act, for example, permits the president to send troops to put down “any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy” that “opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.”

And you can bet that Donald Trump would do just that. America would be under martial law — under the control of the US military, complete with curfews and a total ban on public demonstrations, enforced by soldiers wielding fully automatic weapons and live ammunition — all within a day or two.

That was the end-game of the Trump criminal conspiracy: taking over the country by force, and then using more force to keep it – including deadly force.

Let your imagination work through that scene, those scenes. Think about what it would have meant for America if that had happened. Think about what it would have meant for you, for me, if that had happened.

I would absolutely have been one of those in the streets. You might have been as well. But if the Insurrection Act had been enacted, we both could have been, would have been arrested, held without bail, possibly held indefinitely – simply for peacefully protesting.

Or, we could have been simply shot and killed, for trying to stand up for democracy.

It’s a chilling thought, a horrifying scenario. But one we all know is absolutely possible. And could still happen – in 2024.

That same criminal is running again for president, and is leading the GOP field by double digits. What will happen if he is elected? Do you think he would hesitate to invoke the Insurrection Act?

That is why that part of the indictment is so chilling – we see that is almost happened in the 2020 election, and we know that it could still happen.

Don’t miss it. It’s one of the most important pieces of the indictment. It reminds us all of just how fragile our democracy is. And it calls us to never let anyone near the Oval Office again who would even consider such an act.


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Bruce Maples

Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)

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