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Donald Trump and his allies relaunch the Big Lie elections. They could again incite violence.

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The 2020 election has long been over, but the big lie that they were illegitimate appears to be making a comeback with federal, state and local leaders, including ex-President Donald Trump, perpetuating that lie over the past week . This lie fueled the events of January 6; as such, we must consider its repetition as a simple permanent incentive. We must use criminal, civil and regulatory tools to reverse it before there is a new outbreak of anti-democratic violence.

Trump appeared this week on fringe right-wing TV stations like Newsmax and One America News Network to make a baseless claim that he won the election by making the same false claims that led to the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Republican House Whip Steve Scalise stopped by ABC News “This Week” to dodge questions and make a baseless claim that states did not follow their own laws established by law.

In Michigan, state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey called the assault on the U.S. Capitol as all organized, ” and the Republican mistakenly said in a Tory radio appearance that the dead had voted.

In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis continued to spread lies about election security by unveiling his proposed voting restrictions. And in more than two dozen states, lawmakers have introduced more than 100 bills to limit access to the ballot box.

The lies that sparked the violence

The repetition of the fundamental lie that led to the deadly insurgency should not be taken lightly. Trump used the lies about his electoral defeat to fuel the rage of his supporters for months that culminated in the deadly attack on Capitol Hill. If Trump and his ilk are successful in co-opting the genuine patriotism felt by their millions of followers, turning love for the country into a powerful undemocratic force, they will most likely spur more violence. They are also breaking the foundation of our democracy: faith in our free and fair elections.

This ongoing campaign of lies must be stopped by an aggressive legal campaign.

The story continues

Former US President Donald Trump September 21, 2020 in Washington, DC

First and foremost, all civil remedies for the continued traffic in the Big Lie must be pursued. We welcome the trial of Mississippi Democratic Representative Bennie Thompsons with the NAACP, alleging that Trump, Rudy Giuliani and far-right groups Proud Boys and Oath Keepers conspired to incite violence in the Electoral College vote.

Thompson alleges that all of these defendants violated the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, a law created during Reconstruction and properly deployed here to prevent, by force, intimidation or threat, any public servant from performing their duties.

As demonstrated during the impeachment trial this month (and agreed by a bipartisan group of 57 senators during the vote to condemn), Trump played an active role in inciting the January 6 riot. Even Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnel admitted it in his post-trial remarks.

While the Thompson case focuses on the events leading up to and included January 6, it will undoubtedly come to include Trumps’ more recent comments as evidence of his bad faith. If successful, the combination will help deter the continuation of the big lie.

Trump: In Donald Trump Against Democracy, Acquittal Shows Depth And Danger Of A Trumpist Pandemic

Second, accountability should go beyond the role of civil affairs. There is a long tradition of members of Congress holding their colleagues to account and it is fair to say that Congressman Scalise should face ethical consequences under House Rule XXIII for his weekend statements. last end. The House has just stripped Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Of her committee assignments for her dangerous promotion of conspiracy and lies. Scalise knows the danger of people believing lies, as do his colleagues in the House. They experienced it on January 6. An ethical inquiry into Scalise is one way to get our elected officials to be honest with their supporters and with all of us.

If you are committed to the truth, fight the lies

Third, civil and regulatory avenues need to be complemented by criminal investigations into wrongdoing that are part of this pattern of wrongdoing still ongoing. Trump, Giuliani and others are under investigation in Georgia by Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis for trying to influence the election outcome. Willis specifically leans on Trump for his infamous appeal asking Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to find 11,780 votes.

Trump isn’t giving up, and neither will Willis. Statements like the ones he made this week should be factored into the criminal investigation. They show his complete lack of remorse for his actions, which should help him assess his criminal intent. If he is arraigned and charged, Trump’s perpetuation of lies long before and after January 6 will play into his potential conviction and sentence.

But litigation is not enough. We also need to tackle lies in the courts of public opinion by quickly correcting misinformation and, where appropriate, taking action such as deplatformance. No person or platform should give more oxygen to these lies. Scalise shouldn’t have another chance to broadcast misinformation on TV and should be discontinued if it does. Likewise, the media should truncate the stream to Trumps’ upcoming speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference if he remakes the election lies or perhaps consider not wearing it at all, given its history.

Twitter permanently banned him for this reason. His continued propensity to lie is expected to impact the decision of Facebook’s supervisory boards whether or not to confirm that platform’s decision to keep him permanently depleted.

Condemning Trump: Banning the 45th President from American Democracy

Finally, all of us who believe in the truth must be more committed to it than those who support the lie. It’s tempting to take a break after going through the post-election turmoil and the past four years. But we cannot, which is why we at the Voter Protection Program wrote a report that solves all the lies about the 2020 election. Vigorous and continued action is demanded by all groups and individuals who have worked so hard to ensure that the will of the American people is heard and that the 2020 election is safe, secure and accurate. The big lie clearly does not go away, so we need even stronger and more persistent truths to overcome it.

Norman Eisen (@NormEisen), former Ambassador to the Czech Republic and Ethics Czar to President Barack Obama, served as Special Advisor on Impeachment to the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee in 2019-2020. Lizzie Ulmer (@LizziUlmer) is the Director of Communications for the Non-Partisan Voter Protection Program (@Protect_Voters). Katherine Reisner (@katiereisner) has served as an Advisor to the Secretary and Under Secretary in the Department of Homeland Security in the Obama Administration, and is a member of the Truman National Security Project.

You can read various opinions from our Committee of Contributors and other editors on the Opinion home page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily opinion bulletin. To reply to a column, submit a comment to [email protected]

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Donald Trump’s Big Election Lie is replaying. Turn it off.

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