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A Constitutional law professor on Saturday called out the Republican party after President Donald Trump was blamed for inspiring political violence amid an alleged kidnapping plot against a Democratic governor, and the alleged discussion of a possible plot against another one.
"The headline here is that not a single Republican member of Congress has declared this to be disqualifying for the office of President, nor has any Executive Branch official resigned in protest," said Marty Lederman, who served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel during the presidency of Barack Obama. "THE ENTIRE GOP IS FINE WITH PROMOTING TERRORIST ATTACKS ON GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS."
The criticism follows after Elizabeth Neumann, a former Assistant Secretary for Threat Prevention and Security Policy in the Trump administration, blamed the president for inspiring political violence amid an alleged kidnapping plot against Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and the alleged discussion of a possible plot against Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, both Democrats.
"If anyone still questioned whether the president's rhetoric encourages violence, the plot against Whitmer provided the answer," Neumann wrote in an op-ed Friday in The Washington Post. "Regardless of his intent, the president's effect is to embolden white supremacists, violent militias and anti-government extremists. He has been warned of this numerous times, yet he persists. He knows. He just does not care. And the country, I fear, will pay the price."
In the Whitmer matter, the governor had been facing criticism, usually from conservative critics, for her implementing social restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump's response in April:
Neumann, a Republican, resigned from the administration in April. For some time, she has asserted that the Trump presidency enabled domestic extremism. The White House disparaged her.
"This sounds more like a case of this former disgruntled employee being ineffective at their job, than an indictment of the career professionals who swear an oath to work every day to protect our country from threats foreign and domestic," White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah told NPR in a September report.
Trump does have a demonstrable history of slow-walking, or equivocating criticism of white nationalists, who support him.
"And then I guess they said [Whitmer] was threatened, right?" Trump said at a rally Saturday. "She was threatened. And she blamed me. She blamed me. And our people were the ones that worked with her people so let's see what happens. Let's see what happens."
[Screengrab via NBC]