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Former federal judge: Trump now an even greater danger to American democracy

Former federal judge Michael Luttig doubled down Wednesday on previous comments about former President Trump, who he says now poses an even greater danger to the U.S. than when Luttig testified to the House Jan. 6 committee last year.

“More so today than he was last summer when I testified before the Congress,” Luttig said in a CNN interview.

He said Trump’s ongoing false claims about winning the 2020 election and being persecuted by the Justice Department have hurt the country, and that the Republicans who have backed the former president are also responsible.

“For the two-and-a-half years since Jan. 6, these false claims have corrupted American democracy. They’ve corrupted American elections and they’ve corrupted the perception of the American people in America herself,” he said.

Luttig, a conservative, was a federal appeals court judge until 2006 and has repeatedly criticized Trump’s election fraud claims. Trump attorney John Eastman, one of the unindicted co-conspirators mentioned in the former president’s 2020 election fraud criminal case, was one of his clerks. He also served as an informal adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence.

His testimony to the Jan. 6 committee included claiming that Trump “instigated” a “war over our democracy” so he could cling to power.

“This must come to a conclusion and the trials of the former president now will become, together with the events of January 6, the singular infamous events in American history,” Luttig said Wednesday.

Trump’s legal team has attempted to brush off the election fraud charges as politically motivated and an attack on Trump’s right to free speech.

Luttig denounced that defense, saying federal prosecutors chose charges in which a free speech defense would not work.

“The indictment makes crystal clear that the former president is not being charged for his speech,” he said. “The evidence is overwhelming that the former president knew full well that he had lost the election.”

The former president faces two other criminal cases, one over alleged mishandling of classified documents, and a New York state case over hush money payments.


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