Federal District 4 Judge J. Michael Luttig, twice interviewed for Supreme Court Justice, submitted a written statement to Congress after he testified during the January 6 hearings. Here is his 12-page statement boiled down to two pages. He proposes how we avoid an imminent civil war.
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Excerpts from a Statement Of
J. Michael Luttig
Before The United States House Select Committee
on the January 6, 2021, Attack on the United States Capitol
Washington, D.C. June 16, 2022
Our democracy today is on a knife’s edge.
America was at war on that fateful day, but not against a foreign power. We Americans were at war with each other -- over our democracy.
A peaceful end to these wars is desperately needed. The war for our democracy could lead to the peaceful end to the war for America’s cultural heart and soul.
These wars were conceived and instigated from our Nation’s Capital by our own political leaders collectively and they have been cynically prosecuted by them to fever pitch, now to the point that they have recklessly put America herself at stake.
America is now the stake in these unholy wars.
These wars … are immoral wars, not moral ones, being immorally waged over morality itself … [over] what shared national ideals, values, beliefs, purposes, goals, and objectives.
America is adrift … until we Americans can once again come to our senses.
The war on democracy instigated by the former president and his political party allies on January 6 was … a well-developed plan by the former president to overturn the 2020 presidential election at any cost.
The Vice President finally declared that Joe Biden had been elected the 46th President of the United States. Had the Vice President obeyed the President of the United States, America would immediately have been plunged into … a revolution within a paralyzing constitutional crisis.
Over a year and a half later, in continued defiance of our democracy, both the former president and his political party allies still maintain that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from him, despite all evidence. … More alarming still is that the former president pledges that his reelection will not be “stolen” from him next time around.
False claims … corrupt our democracy, as they corrupt us. [Those claims are] an affront to our democracy and to the Constitution of the United States.
The essence of our participation in democracy is not knowledge, but judgment – studied, discerning judgment.
The time has come for [Americans] to decide whether we allow this war over our democracy to be prosecuted to its catastrophic end or whether we ourselves demand the immediate suspension of this war and insist on peace instead.
This week reminds us of what was at stake that day and still, in what is this most unholy of wars.
No American ought to turn away from January 6, 2021, until all of America comes to grips with what befell our country that day, and we decide what we want for our democracy from this day forward.
The mercenaries know better than we that what we forcibly put out of our minds or what we forget, we are destined to repeat.
The genius that is America’ democracy is this. The Constitution vest all power in “We the People.” We agreed in the Constitution to delegate our power to our representatives. Our representatives [use] the power that we have delegated to them, in turn and in trust.
America’s democracy was almost stolen from us on January 6.
If we fail to learn the lessons, we will consign ourselves to another January 6 in the not-too-distant future, and another after that. While for some, that is their wish, that cannot be our wish for America.
The relentless assaults on America and its democracy designedly call into question the very legitimacy of the institutions and instrumentalities of our democracy, [and] are simply not contemplated by the Constitution.
Today, America is in constitutional crisis.
For years now we have borne witness to vicious partisan attacks on the bulwarks of that democracy – our institutions of government and governance and the institutions and instrumentalities of our democracy – by our own political leaders.
For years, we have been told by the very people we trust that these institutions are no longer to be trusted.
Nor do we any longer seem to agree on the ideals, values, and principles upon which America was founded and that were so faithfully nurtured and protected by the generations and generations of Americans that came before us.
All of a sudden it seems that we are in violent disagreement … for no other reason than that none of us is interested in agreement.
This is not who we Americans are or who we want to be.
America finds itself in desperate need of reawakening and quickening to the vision, truths, values, principles, beliefs, hopes, and dreams upon which the country was founded.
Or, if it is to be, we are in need of a revival around a new vision, new truths, new values, new principles, new beliefs, new hopes and dreams that hopefully could once again bind our divided nation together into the more perfect union that “We the People” originally ordained and established it to be.
Where do we begin? Who has the patriotic and political courage to go first?
As to the first question, we begin where the reconciliation of all broken human relationships [begins], by talking with each other, and listening to one another again, as human beings.
For years now, taking the lead from our politicians, we Americans have spoken only coarse, desensitizing, dehumanizing political vile at each other, … annihilative of America’s future, not promising of that future.
Leaders … need to go first: Extend their hands, and ask of the others – and of all Americans – “Can we talk? America needs us.”
Michael Pence called on highly respected conservative Judge Luttig for advice when Trump suggested that Pence reject elector votes. Luttig is a former Federal Judge of the U.S. Fourth District and was twice interviewed for the Supreme Court.