Fintan O’Toole: The US Republican Party is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Trump Inc
The acquittal of Donald Trump without a real trial puts the US on the road to autocracy
Stephen Parlato of Colorado protests outside the US Capitol in Washington. Photograph: Erin Scott/Reuters
“If there be no accountability, another president will feel free to do as he chooses but the next time there may be no watchman in the night.” These are the words, in 1974, of James Mann, a member of the committee of the US House of Representatives that was considering the impeachment of Richard Nixon for his role in the Watergate scandal.
There was some accountability in 1974: Nixon resigned when it became clear that he would indeed be impeached and that support for him in the Senate was evaporating. But there is now another president who feels free to do as he chooses: Donald Trump has openly declared that “I have the right to do whatever I want as president.”