Press Release: Seeking To Restore American Democracy After Trump’s Attacks
Washington, D.C. – After the terrible assaults President Trump has unleashed on American democracy, it is now time to survey his overall campaign and consider how to repair the damage. That is exactly what Lawyers Defending American Democracy (LDAD) is doing in its just released compendium, “Repairing Trump’s Assaults on Our Democracy: Primer on Damages Done and Repairs Needed.” LDAD is speaking on behalf of more than 2,000 lawyers nationwide.
“Repairing Trump’s Assaults” focuses on seven fundamental principles and norms of American democracy that Mr. Trump has purposefully and relentlessly attacked. These principles include the separation of powers, the impartiality of the U.S. Department of Justice, the truthfulness of public officials, protecting the right to vote, and respect for the rights and dignity of all individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin or religion.
The compendium describes specific actions that Mr. Trump and his enablers have taken to violate each of the seven principles. It explains why each violation is damaging to our democratic system. And it identifies what actions Congress, lawyers, and the American people need to take to undo, and seek to prevent the recurrence of, the severe harms the President has caused. As former Massachusetts Attorney General and LDAD’s leader, Scott Harshbarger, stated: “This is a visual roadmap addressing the violations Donald Trump has scorched in the earth.”
Violations include refusing to submit to congressional subpoenas and other oversight, using federal law enforcement to unconstitutionally attack protesters for the President’s personal political self-interest, hiring unqualified family members for key government positions, and repeatedly using lies and misinformation as tools of public policy.
As Harshbarger said: “We have sounded a persistent and urgent call for the President to abandon his dangerously destructive behavior and turn to a style of leadership that lies within the boundaries illuminated by the law, by our rich history and by our deeply embedded traditions.”
Former appellate judge James McHugh elaborated: “The President has refused to do so. Instead, he has amplified his assaults on democratic values in ways that have deeply divided the nation, pitting neighbor against neighbor. Indeed, his malevolent divisiveness has been so deep and sustained that even in the face of a national pandemic of historic proportions he has managed to turn the simple, socially protective act of wearing a facemask into a divisive political statement.”
About Lawyers Defending American Democracy
Founded in 2019, Lawyers Defending American Democracy (LDAD) is a 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to fostering adherence to the rule of law. LDAD has issued a variety of Open Letters and statements calling for adherence by public officials to the rule of law and encouraging fellow lawyers, the leaders of bar associations, and the legal academy to join in speaking out against threats to the rule of law.
In late May, the group filed two amicus briefs in the case of Michael Flynn and in July co-authored an ethics complaint against Attorney General William Barr, filed with the DC Bar. All letters, statements and briefs are available at lawyersdefendingdemocracy.org/statements/.