Former Office of Legal Counsel attorney Erica Newland thought she could limit the impending damage by an incoming President Donald J. Trump – but she now says she was “complicit” in the damage he inflicted on American democracy.
Writing for The New York Times Sunday, Newland explained, “If, early on, the Justice Department lawyers charged with selling the administration’s lies had emptied the ranks — withholding our talents and reputations and demanding the same of our professional peers — the work of defending President Trump’s policies would have been left to the types of attorneys now representing his campaign. Lawyers like Mr. [Rudy] Giuliani would have had to defend the Muslim ban in court.”
Newland now offers an apology for not doing more to stop Trump’s attacks on American democracy.
“No matter our intentions, we were complicit,” she writes. “We collectively perpetuated an anti-democratic leader by conforming to his assault on reality.”
Newland added, “We may have been victims of the system, but we were also its instruments. No matter how much any one of us pushed back from within, we did so as members of a professional class of government lawyers who enabled an assault on our democracy — an assault that nearly ended it.”
Newland now says she is “haunted by what I did” during the Trump White House. She has vowed to help “lead by example, and do everything in our power to ensure this never happens again. If we don’t, it will.”
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