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On Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, as one of Colorado’s nine members of the Electoral College whose primary duty was to prevent unqualified candidates from becoming president, we stated that Donald Trump was unfit. That came after receiving reports of Russian influence. It was alleged that they interfered with cyber attacks and by hacking email accounts that had an impact on the election results.
I stated back then: “We don’t have time to prosecute and investigate this. We have to start making our own decisions [as electors].” I called it “an attack on our representative form of government.”
That attack on our representative form of government is not only being perpetrated by foreign enemies upon American democracy but upon all Western democracies as demonstrated last week by Russians hacking the French election. And these attempts to undermine our representative form of government appear now to have domestic abettors led by our own President Donald Trump. Trump fired, without just case, FBI Director James Comey, the person in charge of investigating Russian interference in the president’s own election.
This is a well-reported pattern. The president also fired Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York who was investigating Russian businessmen and at least one Trump official. Also fired by Trump was acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who informed the White House that Trump’s national security advisor Michael Flynn was also under investigation.
All of this is an obvious effort to obstruct justice and it is what I feared as an elector was going to ensue.
I can still recall the stunning news 44 years ago when I was 16, on Oct. 20, 1973, that fateful Saturday night when then-President Richard Nixon attempted a similar effort to obstruct justice by firing those who were investigating him and his infamous and ‘crooked’ administration. I recall then the lame, disingenuous and deceitful justifications for what became known as the Saturday Night Massacre. Last night was no different in the mendacity that Trump and his cronies expressed about his reasons for firing Comey.
The result of the Saturday Night Massacre marked the beginning of the end to Richard Nixon’s presidency.
Now, at 60 years old, I see this nation facing a parallel circumstance with even greater stakes. This Trump-Russia crisis equates to how our Republic was challenged during the Civil War. I have confidence that, like in 1973, yesterday will mark the beginning of the end of Trump’s fake presidency. I predict patriotic Americans will respond to this challenge with country over partisanship, resurrecting the rule of law, reaffirming our constitutional Republic and rebuilding and repairing a functioning democracy while expelling those Russian enemies.
This will not be easy, and it will necessitate ordinary brave Americans to step forward as they have before, throughout generations, back to our Founders when “Give me liberty or give me death” was our original rallying cry.