In a letter signed by the ten former US defense secretaries who are still alive this Sunday, the high-ranking officials have assured in an unprecedented action that “the time has passed to question the results” of the last presidential elections and have asked the Department of Defense and the Armed Forces “refrain from any political action.”
The letter is signed by Dick Cheney, James Mattis, Mark Esper, Leon Panetta, Donald Rumsfeld, William Cohen, Chuck Hagel, Robert Gates, William Perry and Ashton Carter and has been published in the American newspaper ‘The Washington Post’.
In it, the officials who for decades have directed the Defense portfolio have explained that “our elections have been carried out. Counts and audits have been carried out. The courts have addressed the pertinent challenges. The governors have certified the results. And the electoral college. has voted “.
Given this, they assure that “the time to question the results has passed; the time for the formal scrutiny of the electoral college votes, as prescribed in the Constitution and the Statute, has arrived.”
In this sense, the former secretaries have affirmed that the presidential transitions – the president-elect, Joe Biden, is expected to be sworn in on January 20 – “are a crucial part of the successful transfer of power”, especially because it is a moment in which “the nation is vulnerable to the actions of adversaries who seek to take advantage of the situation.”
Next, and in reference to the recent dismissal by the president, Donald Trump, of Secretary of Defense Esper, the group of officials has warned that any intervention by the Armed Forces or the Army “would lead us to dangerous, illegal territory. and unconstitutional “.
After the publication of the letter, Cohen, a Republican who served as Secretary of Defense with Bill Clinton, explained in an interview on CNN that this “highly unusual” action is due to the “unconstitutional path” adopted by Trump.
He also added that “all of you in the Department of Defense have taken an oath to serve this country, this Constitution, not a particular individual,” addressing the members of the current portfolio.
In the letter, the ten high-ranking officials have urged the Defense Department “to refrain from any political action” that could undermine the election results or influence the transfer of power to Biden.
For his part, and influencing this idea, Perry – Democrat Secretary of Defense with Clinton – has assured that “each one of us took an oath to support and defend the Constitution; that oath does not change according to the designation of the party.”
Since the elections were held last November, the New York tycoon has spread unfounded theories of electoral fraud and has reviled that he will not collaborate in the transition to power to his successor, the winner of the elections, Joe Biden. Despite the defeats in the courts and the foreseeable ratification of the results by Congress, the president and a section of the Republican party continue to insist on conspiracy theories.