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Carl Bernstein calls for investigation into supporters of 'psychopath' Trump

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Watergate sleuth Carl Bernstein says supporters of former President Donald Trump need to be investigated as part of a broader examination beyond the Capitol riot.

During a recent interview on CNN, Bernstein warned there is "a kind of civil war in this country ignited by Donald Trump," who may yet run again for the White House in 2024, and he argued a "coup attempt" took place on Jan. 6 that was propped up on lies about a stolen election in 2020 that a large number of Republicans continue to believe in.

"Let's say that perhaps we have a sociopath, or a psychopath, who has been the president of the United States and seeks perhaps to be the next president of the United States and has ignited this movement," Bernstein said, riffing off of host Anderson Cooper's statement that "psychopaths" are able to run wild because they openly wear down everyone around them.

"We have never had a period in our history when 40, 45% of the people in our country have said, 'Oh, yeah, I'll go along with this psychopath. I'll go along with this sociopath.' We need to be looking at these facts, as well as the coup and what this individual did. We need to look at why are our people, so many of our people, following this sociopathic undermining of our democracy? It's extraordinary," Bernstein said.

CARL BERNSTEIN URGES REPUBLICANS TO MAKE NIXON-ERA MOVE: 'DAMN PAST TIME' TO RISE UP AGAINST TRUMP

Investigations into the Capitol riot are already underway.

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the El Paso County Coliseum on Feb. 11, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The interview, conducted on Oct. 7, took place as the House Jan. 6 Select Committee began to ramp up its efforts with subpoenas for documents and testimony from Trump aides and allies. In addition, hundreds of people have been charged in connection to the riot, which disrupted Congress as lawmakers met to certify President Joe Biden's victory.

The conversation between Bernstein and Cooper began with a discussion about the Senate Judiciary Committee report on a Trump administration pressure campaign against top Justice Department officials to challenge the November contest results. A GOP rebuttal report, led by Sen. Chuck Grassley, stressed available evidence that shows Trump followed the advice and recommendations of his senior advisers and did not use the Justice Department to overturn the election, which prompted criticism from Bernstein.

Journalist and author Carl Bernstein toasts the First Amendment during the White House Correspondents' Dinner in Washington on April 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

"Chuck Grassley was once a really honorable man with a terrific record, serving his party," he said of the 88-year-old Iowa Republican, who is seeking reelection in 2022. "And it is a long time ago," he added after Anderson said the same, "because what he is doing is a disgrace."

In November, Bernstein unveiled a list of 21 Republican senators who privately expressed "extreme contempt" for Trump. On that list was Grassley, whose office shot back at the journalist.

"Mr. Bernstein’s sources clearly aren’t what they used to be. This simply isn’t true. Sen. Grassley has been a strong supporter of the president and, at the same time, has made it no secret when he disagrees with the president. There is no difference between what Sen. Grassley says publicly and privately," a Grassley spokesperson told the Washington Examiner at the time. "Washington journalists might be wise to reconsider trafficking in baseless second- and third-hand rumor. It may restore some lost credibility."

In this April 29, 1974, photo, President Richard Nixon points to the transcripts of the White House tapes in Washington after he announced during a nationally televised speech that he would turn over the transcripts to House impeachment investigators. (Associated Press)

Bernstein helped expose the Watergate scandal in the 1970s with Bob Woodward using anonymous sources while at the Washington Post. As the controversy reached its zenith, a trio of influential Republicans (1964 presidential nominee Sen. Barry Goldwater, Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott, and House Minority Leader John Rhodes) went to the White House in 1974 to tell Nixon he did not have the support in Congress to survive impeachment, after which he resigned.

Trump, who was impeached by the Democratic-led House on a charge of inciting the Jan. 6 siege of Congress, was acquitted by a GOP-led Senate despite seven Republicans voting to convict him. Bernstein said this shows the GOP is playing dirty to win elections despite how they may feel personally.

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"What the Republican Party is doing today is unprecedented in our history, going along with subversion of the Constitution of the United States. This is not about a set of unknown facts. It's very clear to these people in the Republican Party what happened. They want to win and prevail in this civil war at any cost," he said.

"And the cost to the country is something that we have not seen in this nation since 1860 to 1865," Bernstein added. "That's the only period in our history we can look at as to when the forces of undemocratic, to say the least, but when the forces gathered to undermine our unity as a country and what we stand for and who we are."

"We are in a similar period right now in which — and that's what we need to be covering as well in the media. What is going on in the country that is allowing this to happen? We need to find out what's on people's minds if they are willing to go along with this," he said.

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Tags: News, White House, Media, Carl Bernstein, Donald Trump, January 6, Riots, Chuck Grassley, Campaigns, Law

Original Author: Daniel Chaitin

Original Location: Carl Bernstein calls for investigation into supporters of 'psychopath' Trump

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