Conservative Judge warns that Trump and “his allies were a clear and present danger to American democracy”

J. Michael Luttig, a constitutional law professor and retired federal Judge, talked on MSNBC about how Trump and his allies represent “an imminent danger to American democracy today.”

The conservative legal expert is a vocal Trump critic

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Luttig, considered to be one of the founders of modern conservatism, already said that under the 14th Amendment, Trump is disqualified. However, talking to MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace, he also warned about the danger that revolves not only around the former president but his allies as well.

It started with the book

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Wallace mentioned a book, “Tired of Winning: Donald Trump and the End of the Grand Old Party,” written by ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl. In one excerpt, it discusses behind-the-scenes moments from the Waco, Texas, rally.

Wallace asked the legal expert about Steve Bannon’s involvement

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“I want to ask you one more question about a story we covered this week in Jon Karl’s new book,” said Wallace. She asked Lutig, “He talked about Steve Bannon talking about the ‘Trump-Davidians.’ What’s the threat, as you see it today?”

Luttig was clear

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The former federal Judge and professor answered, “As I said before to you, Nicolle, the former president and his allies were a clear and present danger to American democracy.”

They only get more dangerous

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Luttig added, “A year later, I was asked by Michael Schmidt of The New York Times. I said one year after January 6 that the former president and his allies were an even graver danger to American democracy than they were a year prior.”

And more

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“Most recently, I’ve said now, two and a half years thence, that the former president is a clear and present danger — an imminent danger to American democracy today,” the law professor said.

Luttig and Tribe brought the Fourteenth Amendment to the table

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Writing for The Atlantic, the retired federal Judge and legal scholar Laurence Tribe discussed the “disqualification clause” in depth. The disqualification clause “forbids the former president from holding the office of the presidency again because of his conduct in and around January 6, 2021,” said Judge Luttig.

It is not personal

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Tribe pointed out that it was not a sanction against an individual and wrote, “The framers of the 14th Amendment took great care not to treat this as a punishment … Nobody has a right to be president without meeting the qualifications.”

Trump’s Texas speech

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In his Waco speech, the former president said, “I am your warrior; I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution. I am your retribution.”

Karl did not understand at the time that it was more than a simple speech

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In his book, the ABC legend writes, “What I didn’t realize was that ‘Come Retribution,’ according to some civil war historians, served as the code words for the Confederate Secret Service’s plot to take hostage – and eventually assassinate – President Abraham Lincoln.”

Karl also writes that Bannon was proud

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Karl wrote, “When I spoke with Bannon a few days later, he wouldn’t stop touting Trump’s performance, referring to it as his ‘Come Retribution’ speech.”

Turning point

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In Karl’s estimation, the “Come Retribution” speech “was a turning point for Trump’s campaign” for re-election.

The sinister keyphrase

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The author of two best sellers also shared, “The use of the key phrase ‘Come Retribution’ suggests that the Confederate government had made a bitter decision to repay some of the misery that had been inflicted on the South.”

Luttig called the Republicans “spineless”

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Conservative former federal judge J. Michael Luttig called the Republicans “spineless” and slammed them for convincing “Mr. Trump of his political immortality.”

The Judge bared it all

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Writing an op-ed to The New York Times, a retired judge who worked in the Bush administration stated, “If the indictment of Mr. Trump on Espionage Act charges – not to mention his indictment for conspiring to obstruct Congress from certifying Mr. Biden as the president on Jan. 6 – fails to shake the Republican Party from its moribund political senses, then it is beyond saving itself. Nor ought it be saved.”

The Judge said Trump was asking to be prosecuted

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Talking to MSNBC’s Ali Velshi, Luttig continued discussing the second federal indictment for Trump. The Judge said, “On any given day over the past two and a half years, Donald Trump could have avoided and prevented these prosecutions. He didn’t want to.”

Trump wanted to be prosecuted

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The Judge continued, “He wanted to be indicted and prosecuted for his conduct on Jan. 6. So instead, for two and a half years, he dared, taunted, and provoked both DOJ and eventually Jack Smith to indict him.”

GOP is as responsible as Trump, claims the Judge

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The former Judge continued, “Jack Smith had no choice but to indict the former president, lest he make a mockery out of the Constitution and the rule of law.”

Political immortality

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Luttig declared that “the Republicans are as responsible for these indictments as Donald Trump is himself. Their unwavering support for Donald Trump since January 6th convinced him of his political immortality.”

Recapturing the White House

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Luttig added that Republicans, “in the meantime, they also convinced him that he could recapture the White House in 2024 on their behalf.”

It is not too late

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But, in his op-ed, the retired Judge gave conservatives some hope. After all, he titled his piece “It’s Not Too Late for the Republican Party.”

Spineless GOP members

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Luttig wrote, “The former president’s behavior may have invited charges, but the Republicans’ spineless support for the past two years convinced Mr. Trump of his political immortality.”


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The Judge added how the GOP is responsible for “giving him the assurance that he could purloin some of the nation’s most sensitive national security secrets upon leaving the White House — and preposterously insist that they were his to do with as he wished — all without facing political consequences.”

Luttig was the informal Pence advisor

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Luttig, also an informal advisor to former Vice President, Mike Pence, shared, “The stewards of the Republican Party have become so inured to their putative leader, they have managed to convince themselves that an indicted and perhaps even convicted Donald Trump is their party’s best hope for the future.”

The solution?

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The Judge previously called Trump’s support a “colossal political miscalculation.” While he suggested that the GOP may be “beyond saving itself,” it is clear what the Judge’s message is.

The warning 

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He repeatedly said that Trump’s continued push to decertify Biden’s victories in several states threatens democracy. In 2022, he warned, “Trump and his supporters in Congress and in the states are preparing now to lay the groundwork to overturn the election in 2024 was Trump, or his designee, to lose the vote for the presidency.”

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Source: NY Times