Photo: Alex Brandon Associated Press The chaos was fueled outside the walls of Congress by the Republicans' hyper favorite in the next presidential election, Donald Trump (him again), whose campaign collided twice with the country's justice system this week. He is seen here Thursday at a rally in Las Vegas.
February 9, 2024 Analysis
- United States
The week was particularly chaotic for American Republicans, once again faced with deep divisions behind which Donald Trump is never far away. The political climate is “complicated”, admitted this week the Republican President of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, at the head of a majority which exposed the inability of his party's elected officials to properly operate the legislative apparatus , both to come to the aid of Ukraine and to lead their own fight there.
And as if that were not enough, the chaos was fueled outside the walls of Congress by the Republicans' hyper favorite in the next presidential election, Donald Trump (him again). A man whose electoral campaign, far from following a normal political cycle, twice collided with the country's justice system this week.
On Tuesday, the Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia rejected the idea that the former head of state had presidential immunity which should, according to him, protect him from prosecution for conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 electoral vote which now weigh on him. The high point of this stratagem came on January 6, 2021, when the populist launched his supporters against the seat of the American legislative power.
In a 57-page document, the three judges of the Court established that the ex-president is ultimately not immune from criminal prosecution for acts which, claims his defense team , fell within his duties as president. He will indeed have to stand trial.
The thing was to open on March 4, but it was postponed to a later date, pending the hearing of the appeal procedures that the ex-president is multiplying at all levels to delay his court dates. The Washington court gave him until February 12 to challenge his decision before the United States Supreme Court, which the Republican candidate is preparing to do.
Eligible or not ?
The address of the highest court in the country is well known to Donald Trump, whose political destiny entered the institution this week. This is because the 9 judges began to examine on Thursday the crucial question of his eligibility with a view to next November's election.
- The ineligibility of Donald Trump before the Supreme Court of the United States
- Appeals court rejects Donald Trump's request for criminal immunity
- A long presidential campaign that is out of the ordinary
Background: The Colorado Supreme Court ruled last December that his name could be removed from the state's ballots because he engaged in an insurrection on January 6, 2021, against the Capitol. A point in the United States Constitution—Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, to be precise—dating from the post-Civil War period was taken out of mothballs to justify the court's decision.
The former reality TV star, who has since become a politician with authoritarian and anti-democratic overtones, faces similar sanctions in Maine, Oregon and Michigan, thus forcing the American high court to rule quickly on the issue. However, this could take several weeks.
A few doors from the Supreme Court, in the House of Representatives, the Republicans did not succeed in presenting the image of better stability: they rejected on Wednesday a bipartisan bill that they had nevertheless -same claimed.
For months, a group of elected Democrats and Republicans have sought to alleviate their divisions by assembling a bill that includes both measures to resolve the migration crisis at the country's southern border and to provide financial support Ukraine and Israel in their respective wars. At the call of Donald Trump, his most radicalized allies in Congress derailed an agreement that included $60.1 billion to help kyiv protect its democracy against attacks by the Russian dictatorship. Ironically, the border security bill was one of the toughest passed to U.S. lawmakers in decades.
US aid to Israel, but also to Taiwan against Chinese aggression, has also been compromised by the Trumpist hard core in the House.
In this election year, the ex-president is seeking to take advantage of the growing opposition, in conservative ranks, to financing other people's wars. He also wants to bring down Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who negotiated the rejected bill. While keeping the crisis on the southern border of the country alive until the presidential election in order to take advantage of it.
This manipulation of emotions stirred up at the expense of immigrants, however, suffered a spectacular failure this week for the Republicans.
After months of increasing pressure on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas by placing this Democratic border control official at the center of impeachment proceedings, Donald Trump's party has finally suffered another defeat. Three elected officials from the Republican camp decided to vote against this resolution, accusing their colleagues of politicizing a constitutional mechanism intended to punish crimes and not simply to express political disagreements. In a House of Representatives where the Republican Party only has a tiny majority, this was enough to confirm its rejection.
Like an autoimmune disease
In impasse and in discord: this is where the Republicans seem to find themselves, placed under the strong influence of the vengeful Donald Trump. Which, according to the editorial team of the Wall Street Journal, a very conservative daily, puts political training at the heart of a “revolution [which] is in eating his own.”
The president of the Republican National Committee (RNC), Ronna McDaniel, risks being the next victim. She announced to the real estate mogul on Monday her intention to leave her post after the South Carolina Republican primary at the end of February. For months, the woman who was put at the head of the party by Donald Trump in 2017 has no longer been in the populist's good graces. The ex-president holds her responsible for his past electoral defeats and for fundraising that he considers mediocre in view of next November's presidential election.
Behind the scenes, the name of Michael Whatley is circulating as one of his possible replacements. The man would have the support of Donald Trump after having boosted the finances and electoral capacities of the party in North Carolina in the past. He also supported the ex-president in his campaigns denouncing – wrongly and on the basis of conspiracy theories – electoral fraud which would have cost him power in 2020.
An ideal distribution so that the chaos of one week remains well anchored in the following…