President Donald Trump should "absolutely" face criminal charges in connection with the violent attacks at the Capitol, as the rioting bears the hallmarks of an insurgency and the president has given that insurgency movement a cause to fight about, retired four-star general Gen. Wesley Clark, said Friday.
"He has given this raw-based insurgent movement a cause," Clark, the former Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO, said on CNN Newsroom. "Not an ideology but a cause, in this case, a stolen election built on a lot of other lies, and he's the charismatic leader."
All insurgencies are different, but even though Trump is president, "it doesn't make it any less of a crime," Clark said. "When he is out of office, he wants to remain as the leader of this group. He's raised $250 million and he is trying to hold onto his power and money."
It's not known if Trump knows "what he was doing" or if he intended to "go after an attack or maybe have (Vice-President) Mike Pence killed," said Clark. "We don't really understand what his intent was but he certainly was up there with his fist saying we're going to fight, they're going to fight ... this is not the constitutional way that the United States transitions power."
Clark pointed out that even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for an investigation, the violence came after many years of national "disaffection" with the government, and now, "it's a very cohesive force."
He added that when he talks to Republican lawmakers, some say they are afraid to speak out, as they are being "threatened by legislators, they're threatened by their own constituents who label them as traitors."
The unrest must be taken seriously, said Clark.
"There is a substantial number of people in this country who don't accept the legitimacy of our form of government," he said. "This is not just one incident that happened on the 6th of January," he said. "This really needs to be addressed very comprehensively, very calmly, very measured (in a) way by political authorities at all levels."
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