A prominent former conservative federal judge appointed by President George H.W. Bush slammed Republicans who are still staunchly backing former President Donald Trump after he was indicted by a federal grand jury.
Michael Luttig, a former judge on the 4th U.S. Court of Appeals, wrote a Sunday opinion piece for The New York Times titled “It’s Not Too Late for the Republican Party,” haranguing members of his party that continue to demonstrate “spineless support” for the twice-indicted Trump.
“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, 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 wrote.
Luttig opined that the conservative party’s best hope was to divorce itself from all affiliations with Trump and cease emboldening and validating the ex-president and his antics.
“Indeed, their fawning support since the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol has given Mr. Trump every reason to believe that he can ride these charges and any others not just to the Republican nomination, but also to the White House in 2024,” Luttig argued.
“In a word, the Republicans are as responsible as Mr. Trump for this month’s indictment — and will be as responsible for any indictment and prosecution of him for Jan. 6,” he continued.
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Luttig asserted that endorsing Trump for the 2024 presidential election would be a “colossal political miscalculation.”
“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,” Luttig stated.
“If the indictment of Mr. Trump on Espionage Act charges — not to mention his now almost certain 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,” he added.
Legal experts say Luttig, who testified before the House Jan. 6 committee about his role as an informal advisor to former Vice President Mike Pence at the time of the deadly Capitol insurrection, may be a potential witness in the government’s investigation of Trump’s actions on Jan. 6.
“Luttig advised Pence about his authority to prevent certification of the electoral college vote. Seems like that would make him a witness & we’ve not seen any litigation over privilege issues, so, very likely he’s spoken with prosecutors. That makes this an interesting take,” tweeted former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Judge Luttig was interviewed by Jack Smith’s team as a potential witness,” added former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti.
“Although his conversations with Pence could be protected by privilege, that appears to have been waived,” he added. “Accordingly, Luttig may know more than we do about Smith’s intentions.”
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