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Coalition Calls on Americans to Reject Trump’s Threat to the Rule of Law and U.S. Democracy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of the bipartisan “Trump Is Not Above the Law” coalition today released an open letter to all Americans highlighting threats to democracy including former President Donald Trump’s comments that he would use the presidential pardon authority should he win a second term to help January 6th insurrectionists avoid prosecution.

The letter cites the increased threat of “lone wolf” attacks and “protests” that could escalate into mob violence, and the danger to the rule of law that Trump’s demagoguery presents. Organizations leading this effort are Public Citizen, MoveOn Civic Action, Stand Up America, and the Digital Democracy Project.

The letter states: “It’s crucial that the stewards of the institutions that protect and defend democracy respond to the ongoing legitimization of political violence and invocation of the pardon power to defend insurrectionists. Federal and state prosecutors can and should evaluate whether the former President’s public and private actions to date constitute obstruction of justice. The U.S. government must not allow conspirators at any level of government to evade accountability for subversion, sedition, or inciting an armed insurrection to try to obstruct the peaceful transfer of power.”

Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president, Public Citizen: “The actions of the former president and the Republican National Committee are intended to minimize the atrocity of the January 6th attack on our democracy. The inappropriateness of dangling pardons when out of office is just one more example of Donald Trump’s disdain for the rule of law. The prospect of pardons could potentially change the calculus of the hundreds of seditionists facing prosecution who might consider the possibility of ultimately being pardoned when choosing whether or not to plead guilty to their crimes. We expect the upcoming robust public airing of the findings of the January 6th investigation will shine a bright spotlight on the wrongdoing and harms from the insurrection and help push back on all bad actors working to undercut the important work of the investigation.”

Sean Eldridge, president & founder, Stand Up America: “In the year-plus since the insurrection Donald Trump incited at our Capitol, the threats to our democracy have escalated. Republican state legislators are enacting election subversion laws across the country and violent insurrectionists are still looking to Trump as their leader. Yet little has been done to hold Trump accountable or stop future presidents from similarly abusing their power. Thankfully, the House has passed the Protecting Our Democracy Act to prevent future presidential corruption and abuses of power. It’s time for the Senate to pick up the mantle and pass this bill and for prosecutors to hold Trump accountable for his crimes.”

Alex Howard, director, Digital Democracy Project: “A former president suggested he would pardon insurrectionists who assaulted federal police officers and engaged in seditious mob violence in an insurrection to overthrow an election. A corrupt demagogue is requiring loyalty to himself over party or Constitution and legitimizing political violence as a valid form of expression, it is a clear and present danger to American democracy itself. Congress, state legislatures, and prosecutors must not tolerate further obstruction of justice or undermining the rule of law.” 

Rahna Epting, executive director, MoveOn Civic Action: “We cannot allow Donald Trump to create two tracks for American law: one for Trumpland criminals, and one for the rest of us.”

Signers include:

The Digital Democracy Project
Public Citizen
Stand Up America
MoveOn Civic Action
People for the American Way
League of Conservation Voters
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
Equal Justice Society
American Family Voices
Coalition to Preserve, Protect & Defend
The National Vote
Common Defense
End Citizens United/Let America Vote
Lawyers Defending American Democracy
The Center for Popular Democracy
Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity
Bend the Arc: Jewish Action
Clean Elections Texas
Our Maryland