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The formal announcement of the indictment of Donald Trump on serious federal charges surrounding his attempt to steal the 2020 election and alter results in key states comes as no surprise, but perhaps with some relief.

The former president has long been known by descriptions such as spineless liar, arrogant narcissist, and misogynist, as well as other adjectives. He has added traitor to our democracy to his list of descriptive labels.

Cartoon image courtesy of Boston Globe

No leader in U.S. history has ever been charged with such serious crimes as trying to overthrow the elected government, prevent the peaceful transfer of power, and incite an insurrection to remain in power against the will of the electorate.

The work of the January 6 committee in the House was an exemplary, if tedious, examination of the lawlessness incited by Trump that brought thousands of delusional supporters to the U.S. Capitol building, many armed, some looking to harm or kill lawmakers, including his Vice President, Mike Pence for refusing to align with the fallacy that he could help overturn the results of a fair and free election to bring an insidious plot against the constitution to fruition. The constitution said otherwise and was upheld.

Heady extremists in what used to be the Republican Party have embraced the ‘Big Lie’ and worked to motivate other extremists in the wake of the attempted insurrection to pass state laws that seek to suppress voting and voters. It’s an all-too-transparent attempt to sway future elections their way and undermine individual constitutional rights as well as our democracy.

The will of the people in the last several election cycles has shown that these extremists are out of touch with their constituents (and oftentimes reality). Their desire: to enact laws to deny historic individual rights and bring on minority rule and policies that can only be described as authoritarian or fascist.

The fact that this plot against our democracy involved many people in powerful positions, including multiple lawyers and political appointees who schemed to alter vote totals, send phony alternate state electors in place of the real ones, and spread malicious lies to the American public is among the most heinous crimes ever perpetrated on the Republic.

Other federal and state charges may soon be filed against Trump; either as part of this scheme or for other potentially illegal conduct.

We must remember that those involved in hatching the traitorous plot could have succeeded – were it not for brave true patriots. Those responsible need to be prosecuted to the law’s full extent, including prison time – as does the former president.