A consortium of television networks yesterday released a joint statement inviting President Joe Biden and his presumptive opponent, Donald Trump, to debate on their platforms: There is simply no substitute for the candidates debating with each other, and before the American people, their visions for the future of our nation.”

President Biden’s spokesperson should answer like this: The Constitution is not debatable. The president does not participate in forums with a person under criminal indictment for his attempt to overthrow the Constitution.”

Until tried and convicted, Trump must be regarded as innocent in the eyes of the law.

But the political system has eyes of its own. No doubt exists about what Trump did, or why, or what his actions meant. Trump lost an election, then incited a violent mob to attack the Capitol. He hoped that the insurrectionists would terrorize, kidnap, or even kill his own vice president in order to stop the ceremony to formalize the victory of Biden and his vice president, Kamala Harris. By disrupting the ceremony, Trump schemed to cast the election’s result to the House of Representatives, where Republican voting strength might proclaim him president in place of the lawful winner. Many people were badly injured by Trump’s violent plan, and some died as a result.

David Frum

April 17, 2024

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