Walter Shaub, the former head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, on Tuesday night issued an urgent rallying cry for people to “take just one action to defend democracy by Saturday.”
Shaub launched the appeal after senior Department of Justice officials walked back prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation in the case of longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone. That followed following intense criticism of the proposed seven to nine years’ imprisonment from the president himself. The reversal sparked the resignation of the four federal prosecutors who ran the trial.
“Today was a catastrophe for democracy,” tweeted Shaub, who served in the government role under former President Barack Obama and then resigned six months into Donald Trump’s presidency. He has since become a vocal critic of the Trump administration.
“Doesn’t matter if it’s time, cash, creativity, or whatever,” Shaub added, inviting his 439,000 followers to suggest ideas to “defend democracy” in reply.
Shaub further explained the reason for his call after someone expressed doubt about how small acts could actually make a difference:
Tweeters responded with dozens of suggestions ― from registering people to vote to writing letters to newspaper editors.
In other tweets about the chaotic developments at the Justice Department, Shaub suggested “it’s no overstatement to say this is a profound moment of crisis for the republic” and said “air raid warnings should’ve accompanied this carpet bombing of democracy.”
Former U.S. Attorney Harry Litman, in a column for The Washington Post, suggested the Justice Department’s “reputation for doing the right thing” was “now on life support.” CNN’s chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, meanwhile, said he had “never seen an event like this in decades.”