LOS ANGELES – Please attribute the following statement on today’s extraordinary events surrounding the certification of the 2020 presidential election and the subsequent attack on our nation’s Capitol to Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund):

“Like many of you, I was raised with a bedrock faith in the presence and promise of United States democracy.  My immigrant ancestors – like virtually every immigrant, regardless of status, who has come to our country more recently — came to the United States with a similar faith in the democracy of the nation they sought to join. Faith and commitment to democracy ought to be a universal value held by every person in the United States. Unfortunately, today’s unlawful activities at the Capitol, together with numerous public statements and activities of the last several weeks, have demonstrated that belief in and commitment to democracy is not a universally held American value. That is a disturbing and lamentable realization.  Indeed, even people who owe their current high-level positions to democracy itself have consciously and recklessly sought to undermine it.

“Despite the disturbing new consciousness that there is a significant set of people who do not believe in democracy and that too many leaders have lied in swearing an oath to democracy, we can be assured that our democracy is strong, and that our protective institutions do work to preserve democracy. Today’s disturbing activity at the Capitol will not result in overturning the election; we will have a new president, elected through our democratic processes, on January 20.  Our faith in and commitment to American democracy will be vindicated.

“Those irresponsible leaders who have encouraged and promoted today’s unlawful activity have revealed themselves – and their manifest unfitness to serve in the leadership of this country. If he is unable to publically and unequivocally acknowledge that he lost a legitimate presidential election in November, Donald Trump should resign the presidency immediately. His refusal to concede the election to date, his open encouragement of extremist thuggery, and his incitement of sedition render him mentally unfit to continue as president. He has certainly secured his permanent and undisputed ranking as the worst president in United States history.

“Every member of the House or Senate who continues to undermine our democracy by asserting, without a single iota of evidence, that the presidential election was stolen – and in so doing, has encouraged the addlebrained perpetrators of today’s unlawful actions at Capitol Hill – should resign immediately.

“Today is not about Democrat versus Republican.  It is about democracy versus despotism; it is about rule of legitimate law versus delusion of mind.”