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Political Crisis, Electoral Reforms & The CEC Appointment

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Electoral System in Pakistan has always remained a question mark upon the elected representative and the election Commission of Pakistan. Pakistan is a democratic country where five year tenure is fixed for every party to complete and installs the interim Government itself with consultation of opposition party leader for both the National and Provincial Assemblies.

The Democracy has been undergoing the process of transformation and transition, and the people have not tested or reaped the fruit of true democracy .With frequent Coup D’états, Pakistan has remained more under rule of Military leaders than the elected Civilian Government. The  Political confrontation and  denial or disrespect of mandate of parties led the  Separation  of Bangladesh  in 1971  when Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-rahman’s Awami League was denied to hand over the power  besides having a simple majority or thumping majority .

Had they (Bengalis) have been given chance to form the Government, the scenario should have completely change. The handing over of the rein may be considered a key issue but there were other factors which prompted them to opt for independence such Justice, equal rights and humiliation on the grounds ethnicity.

Pakistan presents a bleak picture of Political tenures if compared with our neighboring India where electoral system has improved with the passage of time and the democracy has been transformed into real democracy where every Government completes its term and goes away and Chief Election Commissioner becomes the head of the Governments and holds elections in phases and hands over the reins of Country in the hands of Party having simple majority or the party leading any coalition.

In Pakistan, in last five decades from 1947 to 1999, the country was ruled by mighty Armed Forces Heads by imposing Marshal Law and over throwing the Civilian Governments. The Civilian Governments were hardly to complete three and half years.  The maximum time completed by any Party was in PPP led Government from 2008 to 2013. Though, PPP failed to deliver. Given the circumstances, yet it could be said that it was first civilian Government to complete its tenure in entirety. Whereas the Military rulers such as Yahya Khan ,Ayoob khan ,General Zia ul Haq , and General Pervez Musharraf remained the Heads of State in both Marshal Law and Civilian Regime .

But it is very important to be shared here that whenever , the Political parties plan to fail or oust the government , they invite the Mighty Army  to come and hold the reins country giving the instanced of Bad Governance , law and Order Situation ,Inter and External Security threat to the existence of Pakistan . But in the end when they feel that they need to be the part of the Government, they start agitating the Army that they derailed democracy by over throwing the Elected Civil Government by terming the Marshal Law Administrators as dictators.

Given the contradictory History of Military intervention in the Civilian Government, The Current Army Chief Raheel Shareef remained aloof from the Political Saga staged at D-Chowk by Pakistan Awami Tehreek Chief Allama Dr. Tahir-ur- Qadri against Model Town Incident and PTI Chief Imran Khan against rigging in the Elections. Though, Army was dragged into the Political matter several times either by giving the name of Third umpire or Making him mediator or facilitator to set the matters peacefully. General Raheel Shareef remained cool and calm and played a wise role which saved the country from another Political Crisis. This attitude may have disappointed both  PTI and PAT for not imposing Marshal law or forcing Govt to resign on the charges rigged Election But the sensible role played by Raheel Shareef made it clear for the  Political pundits that  Army cannot be dragged to Political quagmire where the Stains on the Generals imposing marshal law have not been completely removed .

As the case of high Treason Charges against General Pervez Musharraf for November, 03 Emergency is Prejudice before the Apex Court of Pakistan.  The Current General Mr. Shareef has set limitations for the Powerful Institution of Military that they should not be dragged in the Political crisis and the matters should be resolved through dialogue as dialogue is the best method to solve the bottlenecks and differences. At this critical Juncture when the nation’s Armed Forces are at war against the Militants and anti-state elements, Pakistan cannot afford to have a Martial Law.

If We come back to PPP led Government which remained in power  from 2008 to 2013 ,We will find that during PPP led Government , PM  Yusuf raza Gillani was disqualified on the grounds  that he had not written the letter to Swiss Government to initiate legal action against the then President of Pakistan Mr Asif Ali Zardari on the orders of Apex Court , He  lost the PM Slot and was replaced with Raja Pervez Asharf who was called again  by the Supreme Court on the same issue . However, He wrote the letter to Swiss authorities in compliance to Apex Court order.

Despite such unfavorable conditions, the PPP-led government completed its term sustaining serious challenges of law and Order Situation, Militancy and Confrontation on the campaigning of restoration of Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry. Even the current PM and his brother CM Punjab was the part of that campaign and expressed their aggression against  Government by reciting the Great Revolutionary Poet  Habib Jalib . Despite all these past odds, PPP supported the Government Specially PM in such tense situations to forge any move against the democracy or chances of its derailment. The Islamabad show may not have been fruitful for the protesting Leaders but it remained  very fruitful for the Public that their Rulers at last considered the voice  a genuine issue and forced the Government against such problems such Electricity and Gas Shortage and Over Billing , Rising Prices and abysmal law and Order  Situation.

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The media remained skeptical about the Long March in August 2014 as it was divided. Some were leftists and some were rightists .But very few were covering the Show impartially. The Media had created the hype to the extent that People started believing that Government’s days are numbered and it will either dissolve the assemblies itself or Military will intervene to impose Martial law as Islamabad was presently a scene of battlefield where Pat and PTI workers were protesting violently and The Capital police was shilling over the Crowd.

But in all this, the political parties whether in coalition or opposition showed utmost maturity and did not play any proactive or anti-Government role and showed confidence in the PM and raised voice against violation of Sanctity of Parliament.

The Charter of demand presented by  Both PAT and PTI was the  same but PAT demanded lodging FIR against PM , CM and IG first where as PTI demanded Resignation of PM to investigate the Rigging 0r vacation for Three Months so that investigation in the Rigging by the Apex Court may be completed without any influence .

If we go through the Electoral System or Framework of Pakistan, It will be observed it helps the partiality than impartiality. First the tenure of government is too long which should be Four years as Proposed by the opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah. Second is the most problematic issue of Induction of interim federal or provincial Governments. The Party which rules for five years, The Same party selects the PM in Federal Govt and CM Provincial with the consultation Opposition leaders in national and Provincial Assemblies. One feels that how the selection of elected Representatives will be impartial since the chance of fixing or partiality cannot be ruled out as the person being nominated may support Either of the party or demand favors or use its office for personal gains.

It will be fine that unlike India, the outgoing Government must hand over the power to Election Commission of Pakistan to hold the Free, fair and transparent election within the stipulated time. This will empower CEC to hold elections without any political influence. He may be provided the required Funds for Printing of the Ballot Papers, Stipends to Polling Staff, Transportation and Shipping Costs and IT support for Consolidated Results at District and Taluka Offices of Revenue. The polling may also be held in Phases for Example in two or three Phases for both Provincial and National level.

The Polling station may be divided into clusters and a cluster in charge may be deputed to collect the results of Polling Stations on the Spot and material without compelling Presiding Officers to Submit the Results before ROs or DROs Mostly Judges. The Employees may be given Postal ballot, E-ballot facility to exercise their Vote. The EVS may be introduced so that Transparency can be insured at all levels.

Electronic Voting System will attract a large number of Youth and Women who avoid casting their vote either Political pressure or Family Restriction such as veiled Environment. With Introduction of EVS, Such families may cast their vote either by a nearby ATM, NADRA Kiosk or Touch enabled Smartphone or Tab at home. ECP only has o develop an APP or Software which gets connected through Internet or Mobile 3G or 4G.

It is irony for us that the Electoral system in Pakistan has not improved despite passage of 66 Years  of Independence .Where as in the world technology has provided a great  Support to democracy by ensuring transparency . We have so far some nominal changes specially introduction of thumb on the ballot papers though it was on the single part of ballot paper raising doubts about the authentication of the Vote, the magnetic Ink. But the NADRA findings are shocking the even the Ink cannot be indicator for fake votes or verified .The SMS system for Voter List .0

Excluding the above  , rest all the system is such as  forms and formats are the same  .The Presiding officer is compelled to write the names 0f the Candidates since the forms are not area specific with the names of candidates contesting in the Elections in the respective Constituency.

For Security of the Ballot papers, it is advised that these should be kept in the Strong room of the Banks so that security of Ballot papers may insure at all levels. Besides, Bank Security personnel. , police may deploy for guarding the ballot papers. The Voter Education may be imparted to the people who are either uneducated or less educated by Organizing Orientation Workshops at the Villages with help of local NGO and Civil administration.

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There should be Returning Officers from Election Commission. Election officer must act as DROs and at Tehseel Levels, ACs or DDOs of Revenue Department may be made as Teasel Returning Officer. They may be assisted by Revenue and District Election Officer Staff for compiling the consolidated vote Position.

Whereas DRO role should be to compile the results of  Tehseels  and announce the Winner and the Runners up . The Staff for polling may be hired locally or deputing the Officers from Banks, revenue, police besides education as well as hiring volunteers from NGOs. Election Debate either face to face in form of Conference or Open Public Debate may be made mandatory for the entire Candidate. The Condition of Graduate will sift the candidates who are uneducated or Less Educated. The Degree of the Candidates may be got verified from boards and Universities prior to launching election Campaigns’. This will enable the real candidates to go for election and fake Degree holders will not be able to make their way to either national or Provincial Assemblies.

The Assets may be verified from CBR, SBP and Excite Revenue and Custom Department so that Tax Evaders or Loan or land Revenue Tax defaulters may not be able to make their way to assemblies.

The District and Tehseel Evaluation Committees should evaluate the Progress of Candidates it they remained as MNA and MPA and forward their Reports to DRO for Scrutiny and Decision on the Basis of his suitability for the Position of MPA or MNA. The Utility Bills copy should be required from candidates to ensure that they are not the defaulters of nay state institution. The Assets of the Candidates may display on polling Station for Scrutiny and Complains may be recorded if received.

The Budget for Campaign may not exceed the 50000 to 10000 so that a Common man can contest Elections. Nomination forms may be given and received without any fee. This will enable the poor segments of the society to contest Election without the condition or obstacle of fee.

Finally , for the Selection of chief Election Commissioner it is necessary that he may  be in the age range of 45 to 55 as Person aged more than 55 ,will not be able to travel and monitor the process since he would be lazy in discharge of duties . As the last CEC Fakhuruddin  was  aged about  86,  which might have affected the pace of his work as Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan .

The Electoral Reforms Committee must have the mandate of all the Political Parties so that their Recommendation may be given due consideration and Weight age and may be implemented in letter and Spirit. So far the Committee has missed the Deadline to create Strategy or Report for Recommendation to reform The Elections.  The Committee must review the Proposed Amendments Draft sent by ECP to the Parliamentary Committee besides including the input from various Opinion leaders, Writers, NGOs, Legal Experts and Ex-Legislators who have expertise in drafting laws for Electoral Process.

Moreover, it is not necessary that CEC should from Judiciary; He may be from Corporate Sector, retired Bureaucrat with Clear Service Record, Development Sector person, A Journalist or a Noted Lawyer.

But he should be free in taking decisions to implement the policies in letter and Spirit. CEC can also be from Police from the Ranks such as IG or from the Ranks of Rangers or Military such as Rtd General or Technocrat or a retired Professor from College or University, A retired Attorney. He may be a retired Chairman of Planning Commission or Bureau of Statistics, Ambassador the Choice is infinite. But the Proposed CEC must have the will to bring change in the Electoral Systems so that ECP may not be criticized Disappointing Results.

The CEC is to be appointment Before 1st December, 2014 as per statement of opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah but before the Selection of Final Candidate a consensus may be developed with all the Stakeholders so that no any party blame PPP and PML-N to have selected a candidate of their choice and did not value the opinion of other Parties. The office of CEC is very important when it comes to the question of holding free, fair and Transparent Elections to transfer the Power to Elected Party with Simple or Thumping majority.

The PML-N may also devised a policy to handle with PTI’s November 30 Protest which is said to be very resistant since Mr. Khan appears to very confident about the D-Chowk Dharna. Let’s see that whether PML-N deals with the Mob peacefully or it turns to be a Battlefield where workers likely scuffle with Police and Other Security Agencies if the Government resorted to Use of force against the Protesters in the Red Zone. The Sensible thing done by the Government so far that they will arrest any Person.

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Trump Accused of Violating Gag Order Ahead of Hush Money Trial

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As former US President Donald Trump’s ‘hush money’ trial is set to begin, he has been accused of violating the gag order that was put in place to prevent him from discussing the case publicly. The trial relates to allegations that Trump paid off two women, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, during his 2016 election campaign to keep them quiet about their affairs with him.

The gag order was imposed on Trump and his legal team in 2018, but prosecutors allege that he violated it by commenting on the case in a recent interview with Fox News. They have requested that the judge impose sanctions on Trump for his actions. The trial is expected to be a significant event, with the potential to damage Trump’s reputation and political career if he is found guilty.

This is not the first time that Trump has been accused of violating a gag order. During the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Trump was accused of attempting to intimidate witnesses and obstruct justice by making public statements about the case. While he was not charged with violating the gag order, his actions were seen as evidence of his disregard for the rule of law and the judicial process.

Background of the Hush Money Trial

Allegations Against Trump

The hush money trial involves allegations that former US President Donald Trump violated a gag order by discussing the case with his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. The trial is related to payments made to two women, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, who claimed to have had affairs with Trump before the 2016 presidential election.

According to prosecutors, Trump directed Cohen to make the payments to the women to keep them quiet about the alleged affairs. The payments were made just before the election and were seen as an attempt to influence the outcome of the election.

Legal Proceedings Before the Gag Order

The hush money trial is not the first legal proceeding related to the allegations against Trump. In 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and other charges related to the payments. He also implicated Trump in the scheme, saying that he acted at Trump’s direction.

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Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has called the investigation a “witch hunt” and a “hoax.” He has also criticized Cohen, calling him a “rat” and a “liar.”

The gag order in the hush money trial was put in place to prevent Trump from discussing the case publicly. However, prosecutors allege that Trump violated the order by making comments to the media about the case. The trial is set to begin soon, and it remains to be seen what the outcome will be.

Details of the Gag Order Violation

Nature of the Accusation

Donald Trump, the former President of the United States, was accused of violating a gag order by discussing the details of the hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. The gag order was issued by a federal judge in March 2018, as part of the ongoing legal battle between Daniels and Trump over the alleged affair.

The gag order prohibited both parties from discussing the case or making any public statements that could prejudice the trial. However, in an interview with Fox News in April 2018, Trump acknowledged that he knew about the payment and claimed that it came from his personal funds, contradicting earlier statements by his lawyer.

The accusation of violating the gag order was made by Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, who argued that Trump’s comments were a clear violation of the order and could prejudice the trial. Avenatti filed a motion with the court asking for sanctions against Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, who had made the payment to Daniels.

Evidence Presented

The evidence presented in support of the accusation included the transcript of the Fox News interview, in which Trump discussed the payment, and a statement by Cohen, who pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations related to the payment.

Cohen’s guilty plea included an admission that he made the payment to Daniels at the direction of Trump and that the payment was made to influence the 2016 presidential election. Cohen also admitted that he had made false statements to Congress about the payment, in an attempt to conceal Trump’s involvement.

The evidence presented by Avenatti was deemed sufficient by the court, which ruled that Trump had indeed violated the gag order. The ruling led to further legal action against Trump, including an investigation by the Federal Election Commission into the campaign finance violations.

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Implications for the Trial

Trump’s violation of the gag order could result in legal consequences. The gag order was put in place to prevent Trump from potentially influencing the jury pool or witnesses. Violating the gag order could be considered contempt of court, which could result in fines or even imprisonment.

Furthermore, Trump’s alleged involvement in the hush money payments could also result in legal consequences. If it is proven that Trump directed the payments, he could be charged with campaign finance violations. This could result in fines and even imprisonment.

Impact on Public Perception

Trump’s violation of the gag order and alleged involvement in the hush money payments could also impact public perception of the trial. It could be seen as an attempt to obstruct justice and could further damage Trump’s reputation.

Moreover, the trial could lead to a public debate about the role of money in politics and the legality of hush money payments. This could further polarise public opinion and lead to increased scrutiny of politicians and their financial dealings.

Overall, the implications for the trial are significant, both legally and politically. The trial could have far-reaching consequences for Trump and the wider political landscape.

Next Steps in the Legal Process

As the trial of former President Donald Trump for violating a gag order and hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels is set to begin, the legal process will follow a specific timeline.

First, the trial will begin with opening statements from both the prosecution and defence. The prosecution will present evidence and call witnesses to testify against Trump, while the defence will argue against the charges.

After the opening statements, the prosecution will present its case, including any evidence and witness testimony. The defence will then have the opportunity to cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses and present their own evidence and witnesses.

Once both sides have presented their cases, the trial will move on to closing arguments. The prosecution and defence will have the opportunity to summarise their cases and persuade the jury to vote in their favour.

After the closing arguments, the jury will deliberate and reach a verdict. If Trump is found guilty, he could face fines, imprisonment, or other penalties. If he is found not guilty, he will be acquitted of the charges.

It is important to note that the legal process can be complex and time-consuming. The trial may take weeks or even months to complete, and appeals may be filed after the verdict is reached. However, the legal system is designed to ensure that justice is served and that individuals are held accountable for their actions.

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Sources Reveal New Details on Trump’s Inaction During Jan. 6 Insurrection

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Introduction

According to sources familiar with the matter, the special counsel investigating the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol has uncovered new details about former President Donald Trump’s inaction during the insurrection. The sources say that Jack Smith’s team has discovered previously undisclosed information about Trump’s refusal to help stop the violent attack on the Capitol while he was watching TV inside the White House. The findings shed new light on the extent of Trump’s role in the events of that day.

The special counsel’s investigation has been ongoing since shortly after the events of January 6th, 2021. The probe has been tasked with uncovering the truth about the attack on the Capitol and any potential involvement by Trump or his allies. The investigation has been a source of controversy, with Trump and his supporters claiming that it is a politically motivated witch hunt. However, the new details uncovered by the special counsel suggest that there may be more to the story than Trump and his supporters have been willing to admit.

Key Takeaways

  • The special counsel investigating the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol has uncovered new details about former President Donald Trump’s inaction during the insurrection.
  • The investigation has been ongoing since shortly after the events of January 6th, 2021, and has been a source of controversy.
  • The new details uncovered by the special counsel shed new light on the extent of Trump’s role in the events of that day.

Origins of the Special Counsel Investigation

The Special Counsel Investigation is a legal process used in the United States to investigate potential criminal conduct by government officials. The origins of the Special Counsel Investigation can be traced back to the Watergate scandal in the 1970s.

The Watergate scandal involved the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. by members of President Nixon’s re-election campaign. The scandal led to the resignation of President Nixon and several of his top advisors.

In response to the Watergate scandal, Congress passed the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, which established the Office of Independent Counsel. The purpose of the Office of Independent Counsel was to investigate and prosecute allegations of misconduct by high-level government officials.

The Office of Independent Counsel was replaced by the Special Counsel Investigation under the Department of Justice in 1999. The Special Counsel Investigation is appointed by the Attorney General and is authorized to investigate and prosecute allegations of criminal conduct by government officials.

The appointment of a Special Counsel is intended to ensure that investigations are conducted independently and free from political interference. The investigation into former President Trump’s inaction on Jan. 6 is the latest example of the Special Counsel Investigation being used to investigate potential criminal conduct by a high-level government official.

Key Findings of the Special Counsel

The special counsel probe into the events of January 6th has uncovered new details about former President Donald Trump’s inaction during the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol. According to sources familiar with the investigation, Trump refused to help stop the attack as he sat watching TV inside the White House.

The investigation, led by special counsel Jack Smith, has found previously undisclosed details that shed light on Trump’s lack of action during the attack. Witnesses have testified that Trump was aware of the violence and chaos unfolding at the Capitol, but he did not take any steps to stop it.

The special counsel’s team has also uncovered evidence that Trump may have been involved in efforts to overturn the election results. The investigation has looked broadly at efforts to stop the peaceful transfer of power and has focused on dozens of witnesses, including top Trump advisers.

In addition, the investigation has criticized the FBI’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 Trump campaign. The final report, which runs to 306 pages, highlights flaws in the FBI’s investigation and raises questions about the agency’s handling of the case.

Overall, the special counsel’s investigation has provided new insights into the events of January 6th and the actions of former President Trump. The findings suggest that Trump may have been involved in efforts to overturn the election results and that he failed to take action during the violent attack on the Capitol.

Trump’s Inaction on January 6

Special counsel Jack Smith’s team has uncovered new details about former President Donald Trump’s inaction on January 6, 2021, as he sat watching TV inside the White House, according to sources familiar with the probe [1]. The sources said that Smith’s team has discovered previously undisclosed information about Trump’s refusal to help stop the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol, which left five people dead and more than 140 police officers injured.

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Smith’s team has reportedly learned that Trump was glued to the television as the rioters stormed the Capitol, and that he showed little interest in intervening to stop the violence [1]. The sources said that Trump’s inaction was due to his belief that the rioters were “his people” and that they were fighting for him.

The new details about Trump’s inaction are expected to be presented at his trial on charges of unlawfully trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election [1]. The trial is set to begin on February 7, 2024, and is expected to last for several weeks.

The revelations about Trump’s inaction on January 6 have raised questions about his fitness for office and his loyalty to the United States. Some have accused him of inciting the violence that led to the attack on the Capitol, while others have criticized him for failing to take action to stop it [2]. The new details uncovered by Smith’s team are likely to add fuel to the ongoing debate about Trump’s role in the events of January 6 and his fitness for office.

Timeline of Events on January 6

On January 6, 2021, a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol building in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. The attack resulted in the deaths of five people and numerous injuries.

Here is a timeline of events leading up to and during the attack:

  • 11:00 a.m.: Trump speaks at a rally near the White House, telling his supporters to “never give up” and “never concede” the election.
  • 12:53 p.m.: The first breach of the Capitol building occurs as protesters break through a police barricade and enter the building.
  • 1:00 p.m.: Vice President Mike Pence is evacuated from the Senate chamber.
  • 1:10 p.m.: The House and Senate are both recessed and lawmakers are evacuated.
  • 2:11 p.m.: Trump tweets a video message to his supporters, telling them to “go home” but also saying “we love you” and repeating false claims about the election being stolen.
  • 2:24 p.m.: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy calls Trump to ask him to publicly condemn the violence. Trump reportedly tells McCarthy, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”
  • 3:44 p.m.: The D.C. National Guard is activated to help quell the violence.
  • 4:17 p.m.: Trump releases a video statement on Twitter in which he repeats false claims of election fraud but also tells his supporters to “go home in peace.”
  • 8:06 p.m.: Congress reconvenes and certifies the Electoral College results, officially declaring Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

The events of January 6 have been the subject of multiple investigations, including a special counsel probe that has uncovered new details about Trump’s inaction during the attack.

Legal Implications of New Findings

Potential Charges

The latest findings from the special counsel probe into the January 6th attack on the US Capitol have uncovered previously undisclosed details about former President Donald Trump’s inaction during the insurrection. According to sources, the special counsel’s team has found evidence that Trump refused to help stop the violent attack, which resulted in the deaths of several people and widespread destruction of property.

These new revelations could have significant legal implications for Trump, who has already faced impeachment twice during his presidency. The potential charges that could arise from these findings include incitement of insurrection, obstruction of justice, and dereliction of duty.

Constitutional Considerations

The legal implications of these new findings also raise important constitutional considerations. Specifically, the question of whether a former president can be held accountable for actions taken while in office.

While there is no clear precedent for holding a former president accountable for actions taken during their time in office, legal experts argue that the Constitution does not provide immunity for criminal conduct. Furthermore, the fact that Trump was impeached twice during his presidency suggests that there is a precedent for holding a sitting president accountable for their actions.

Overall, the new findings from the special counsel probe into the January 6th attack on the US Capitol could have significant legal and constitutional implications for former President Donald Trump. As the investigation continues, it remains to be seen what charges, if any, will be brought against him and what the ultimate outcome of the investigation will be.

Impact on Public Perception and Politics

The new details uncovered by the special counsel probe regarding former President Donald Trump’s inaction on the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, have the potential to impact public perception and politics in several ways.

Firstly, the findings could further damage Trump’s reputation among the American public and his supporters, who have remained loyal to him despite his controversial actions and statements. The revelation that Trump refused to help stop the attack on the Capitol, which resulted in the deaths of several people, could lead to increased criticism of his leadership and decision-making abilities.

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Secondly, the new information could have political implications for the Republican Party, which has been grappling with the fallout from the Jan. 6 attack. The revelation that Trump failed to take action during the attack could further divide the party, with some members distancing themselves from Trump and others remaining loyal to him.

Finally, the special counsel probe’s findings could have broader implications for the U.S. political system and democracy as a whole. The attack on the Capitol was a direct assault on the foundations of American democracy, and the revelation that the former president failed to take action to stop it could lead to increased scrutiny of the government’s ability to prevent similar attacks in the future.

Overall, the impact of the special counsel probe’s findings on public perception and politics remains to be seen. However, the new information has the potential to further polarize an already divided country and raise important questions about the strength of American democracy.

Responses from Trump and His Allies

Former President Donald Trump and his allies have responded to the recent revelations about his inaction on Jan. 6 in different ways. Some have denied the allegations, while others have downplayed the severity of the situation.

In a statement released by his spokesperson, Trump denied that he refused to help stop the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol. He claimed that he “immediately deployed the National Guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders.” However, this statement has been contradicted by multiple sources, including members of his administration.

Other Trump allies have downplayed the severity of the situation, arguing that the former President’s actions were not unusual given the circumstances. For example, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has argued that Trump was simply “monitoring the situation” and that his inaction was not a sign of negligence or indifference.

Despite these responses, the revelations about Trump’s inaction on Jan. 6 have raised serious questions about his fitness for office and his commitment to upholding the rule of law. Many lawmakers and legal experts have called for further investigation into the matter, and some have even suggested that Trump could face criminal charges for his role in the events of that day.

In the end, it remains to be seen how the public and the legal system will respond to these new revelations. But one thing is clear: the Special Counsel’s probe has uncovered new details about Trump’s inaction on Jan. 6 that are likely to have far-reaching implications for his legacy and his future political prospects.

Congressional Reactions and Next Steps

The recent revelations about former President Donald Trump’s inaction during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol have sparked strong reactions from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Some Democrats have called for Trump to be held accountable for his actions, with some even suggesting that he could face criminal charges. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that the new details uncovered by the special counsel probe are “very significant” and that they “raise more questions than they answer.”

Republicans, on the other hand, have largely downplayed the significance of the new information. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has said that he does not believe Trump “had any responsibility” for the attack, and that the former president “has the right to defend himself” against any charges that may be brought against him.

Despite the differing opinions on Capitol Hill, the special counsel probe is expected to continue its work. It remains to be seen what additional information may be uncovered in the coming weeks and months, and what impact it may have on the ongoing investigation into the Jan. 6 attack.

Long-Term Implications for Presidential Powers

The Special Counsel probe into former President Donald Trump’s inaction on Jan. 6 has raised questions about the extent of presidential powers during a national crisis. According to sources familiar with the probe, the investigation has uncovered previously undisclosed details about Trump’s refusal to help stop the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol three years ago as he sat watching TV inside the White House.

The probe has highlighted the need for clear guidelines and limitations on presidential powers during times of crisis. While the president has broad authority to respond to emergencies, the lack of clear boundaries can lead to abuse of power. The probe has also shown the importance of holding presidents accountable for their actions during a crisis.

One potential long-term implication of the probe is the possibility of legislation to limit presidential powers during a national emergency. This could include measures to require the president to seek congressional approval for certain actions or to establish clear guidelines for the use of military force.

Another potential implication is the impact on public trust in government. The probe has revealed the extent to which political considerations can influence decision-making during a crisis. This could lead to increased scepticism of government actions and a loss of confidence in the ability of elected officials to handle emergencies.

Overall, the Special Counsel probe has highlighted the need for clear guidelines and limitations on presidential powers during times of crisis. It has also raised important questions about the role of the president in responding to emergencies and the importance of accountability and transparency in government decision-making.

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Analysis

Trump’s Legal Twister: Michigan Court Keeps Him on the Ballot, But Can He Survive the Whirlwind?

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Introduction

The air crackled with anticipation in Lansing, Michigan, as the state’s Supreme Court announced its verdict on a lawsuit seeking to banish Donald Trump from the 2024 Republican primary ballot. In a decision as momentous as it was controversial, the court refused to intervene, leaving Trump’s political aspirations seemingly on track. While his supporters erupted in cheers, a sense of unease lingered – has Trump truly dodged the electoral bullet, or is this merely a momentary reprieve on a treacherous legal roller coaster?

The Fourteenth Amendment’s Shadow: Can It Bar Trump from Power Again?

At the heart of the lawsuit lay the rarely invoked Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, a relic of the Civil War era forbidding anyone who “engaged in insurrection” from holding federal office. The plaintiffs, a progressive legal group, argued that Trump’s actions leading up to and during the January 6th Capitol riot constituted such an insurrection, rendering him ineligible to seek the presidency once more.

However, the court sidestepped this thorny issue, opting instead for a technical knockout. Their 5-2 decision focused on the lawsuit’s timing, deeming it premature to remove Trump from the ballot before voters even cast their first primary vote. “The people of Michigan, not the courts,” wrote Chief Justice Mary McCormack, “should determine Mr. Trump’s fate through the ballot box.”

This legal finesse may feel like a technicality to some, but its implications are far-reaching. On the one hand, it keeps Trump’s 2024 hopes very much alive. His supporters interpret the decision as a resounding vindication, proof that the “witch hunt” against him is failing. Trump himself predictably took to Truth Social, trumpeting the ruling as “a tremendous victory for democracy,” his signature exclamation marks punctuating the air with triumph.

Legal Landmines Ahead: The Ghost of January 6th Still Haunts Trump

But beneath the celebratory fireworks, a disquieting undercurrent simmers. The Fourteenth Amendment question remains unresolved, a spectre lurking in the shadows. Legal challenges in other states, wielding the same “insurrectionist ban” weapon, are still very much in play. Even if Trump triumphs in the primaries, future court battles could potentially derail his entire candidacy, stripping him of the general election ballot or barring him from assuming office if victorious.

“This may be just a tactical retreat for Trump,” warns law professor Leah Green of Georgetown University. “The Fourteenth Amendment hurdle remains, and other courts might interpret it differently, potentially throwing a wrench into his entire 2024 machinery.”

The Republican Conundrum: Embracing the Tempestuous Titan or Seeking Safer Shores?

The Michigan Supreme Court’s decision also throws the Republican Party into a strategic quagmire. While some party leaders welcome Trump’s return to the national stage, others remain deeply apprehensive. His loyal base – a potent force in the GOP ecosystem – remains fiercely devoted, but his legal baggage and the ever-present January 6th spectre raise concerns about alienating moderate voters and jeopardizing the party’s chances of reclaiming the White House.

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“The party is deeply divided on Trump,” observes political analyst David Brooks. “Many Republicans recognize that his candidacy could be a liability, potentially handing the Democrats the election on a silver platter. But they also fear the wrath of his base if they try to push him aside.”

A Nation on Edge: Democracy’s Tightrope Walk and the January 6th Reckoning

The implications of the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision stretch far beyond the legal arena. It reignites the fierce national debate about Trump’s role in the January 6th attack and his fitness for the presidency. It forces voters to confront a stark question: does past behaviour, however egregious, disqualify someone from the highest office in the land?

This isn’t just about Trump’s personal ambitions; it’s about the soul of American democracy. Can a nation heal and move forward with a leader whose actions on January 6th remain shrouded in controversy? Or will the ghosts of that fateful day continue to haunt the nation, casting a long shadow over the 2024 election and beyond?

Prediction: A Rocky Road Ahead, But Trump’s Phoenix Potential Endures

While the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision keeps Trump’s 2024 dreams afloat, it’s far from smooth sailing. The Fourteenth Amendment elephant remains in the room, legal challenges lurk on the horizon, and the Republican Party faces a delicate dance between Trump’s base and the broader electorate.

However, one cannot underestimate Trump’s resilience. He has defied political logic time and again, rising from the ashes of seemingly insurmountable setbacks. His ability to tap into populist anger and connect with a segment of the American electorate remains potent.

Therefore, predicting the ultimate fate of Trump’s candidacy is akin to gazing into a crystal ball clouded by legal uncertainties and political turbulence. Several scenarios seem plausible, each with its own implications for the 2024 election and the nation as a whole:

Scenario 1: The Legal Gauntlet – Trump Navigates the Maze of Lawsuits

In this scenario, Trump manages to successfully navigate the legal minefield. The Fourteenth Amendment challenges in other states fall flat, or the Supreme Court, if it takes up the issue, rules in his favour. He sails through the primaries, galvanizing his base and potentially attracting new supporters by portraying himself as a victim of a Democratic-led witch hunt. This scenario could lead to a Trump vs. Democratic nominee showdown in the general election, a rematch that would likely be one of the most fiercely contested and divisive in American history.

Scenario 2: The Republican Rupture – The Party Splits Over Trump

This scenario envisions a fracturing of the Republican Party. Trump’s continued candidacy alienates moderate Republicans and independents, leading to a split in the party’s support. A challenger emerges, perhaps a popular Republican governor or senator, who capitalizes on the anti-Trump sentiment within the party and runs as a more electable alternative. This scenario could result in a three-way race, further fragmenting the electorate and potentially handing the Democrats an easy victory.

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Scenario 3: The Phoenix Rises – Trump Weathers the Storm and Wins

In this unlikely but not impossible scenario, Trump defies all odds and emerges victorious in the general election. His base remains fiercely loyal, his populist message resonates with a segment of the electorate disillusioned with the political establishment, and the Democrats fail to unite behind a strong candidate. This scenario would mark a remarkable comeback for Trump, solidifying his position as a dominant force in American politics and raising concerns about the future of American democracy.

Scenario 4: The Unexpected Twist – A Wild Card Upends the Game

Of course, the 2024 election cycle is still two years away, and the political landscape is notoriously unpredictable. A major unforeseen event, a scandal surrounding one of the candidates, or a surge in support for a third-party candidate could completely upend the current dynamics. This scenario serves as a reminder that in the ever-churning political machine, even the most carefully laid plans can be thrown into disarray by the forces of chaos and surprise.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision may have kept Trump’s 2024 hopes alive, but it has also set the stage for a political drama that promises to be as suspenseful as it is consequential. Whether Trump triumphs over legal hurdles, navigates the treacherous waters of Republican infighting, or ultimately succumbs to the weight of his past actions, one thing is certain: the 2024 election will be a watershed moment in American history, a defining test of the nation’s resilience and its commitment to the democratic ideals upon which it was founded.

FAQs

The Michigan Supreme Court’s decision to keep Donald Trump on the 2024 ballot has sent shockwaves across the political landscape. With legal battles, party divisions, and the spectre of January 6th looming, it’s no surprise that everyone has questions. Here are some of the hottest FAQs buzzing around.

1. Can Trump really be President again after January 6th?

The Michigan Supreme Court didn’t address Trump’s eligibility under the Fourteenth Amendment’s “insurrectionist ban.” Other lawsuits in different states are still pending, so the jury’s still out. It’s a legal hurdle he needs to clear before assuming office, even if he wins the primary.

2. Will the Republican Party stick with Trump?

It’s a house divided. Some Republicans see him as their ticket back to the White House, while others fear his baggage could sink the party’s chances. Expect internal clashes and potential splits as the 2024 race heats up.

3. What are the chances of Trump actually winning the general election?

Too early to say definitively. His base will stay loyal, but alienating moderates and independents could cost him. It’ll depend on the Democratic nominee, unforeseen events, and how the political winds blow over the next two years.

4. Could we see a three-way race with another Republican challenging Trump?

Certainly possible. If anti-Trump sentiment within the GOP grows, a popular Republican governor or senator could emerge as a more electable alternative, leading to a potentially chaotic three-horse race.

5. Is there any chance this whole thing blows up in some unexpected way?

Always! Remember 2016? The political landscape is notoriously unpredictable. A major scandal, a surprise third-party surge, or even an unforeseen global event could completely change the game.

6. Does this mean American democracy is doomed?

Not necessarily. While the divisions are stark, this is also a moment for voters to engage, be informed, and hold their elected officials accountable. A healthy democracy thrives on debate and scrutiny, even when it’s messy.

7. Where can I stay updated on all the latest developments?

Stay glued to reputable news sources, follow reliable political analysts, and fact-check information before sharing it online. Remember, critical thinking is your strongest weapon in this complex and ever-evolving political drama.

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