Trump should be charged for crimes against the United States (2022)

Charging a former president with crimes would be an extraordinary development in American history and carries the risk of forever reshaping our politics as well as the very future of the nation. It should not be undertaken lightly.

But former President Trump’s multifaceted attempt to overthrow the results of the 2020 election that culminated with him inciting violent mobs to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as Congress was certifying Joe Biden’s victory, was also an extraordinary development in American history — one that nearly destroyed our democracy. The country is already in uncomfortable, uncharted waters navigating the wreckage Trump left in his wake.

What’s needed now is not genteel deference to political norms but an unflinching pursuit of justice. Over the last two months the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack has meticulously presented with video clips and firsthand testimony ample evidence that the former president led a dangerous, mendacious plot to block the peaceful transfer of power and hang on to the presidency despite being voted out of office. At a minimum, the Department of Justice should prosecute him for conspiring to defraud the United States and conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding, the electoral vote count. These crimes carry maximum sentences of five and 20 years in prison, respectively.

(Video) Trump Criminal Charges? Majority Of Americans Say He Should Be Indicted And Not Just Democrats

Opinion

Litman: The Jan. 6 hearings identify the bad guy in the drama of democracy’s narrow escape: Trump

Testimony on Tuesday showed that the criterion at issue for Donald Trump was power. The law, evidence and truth were beside the point.

(Video) Former U.S. federal prosecutor outlines what crimes Trump could be charged with | Jan. 6 riots

Of course, prosecutors may have evidence the public hasn’t seen that merits additional charges, and the House panel appears likely to reveal more over the coming months. But already the first eight hearings have shown that Trump was told many times, by several close and well-informed advisors, that there was no evidence of voter fraud or ballot irregularities that would have altered the outcome of the election. “Bullshit” is what Atty. Gen. William Barr called Trump’s claim that the election was stolen.

And yet Trump continued to perpetuate the lie, using the misplaced trust of many Americans to continue the con. He fleeced his followers for $250 million supposedly to fight his bogus lawsuits (but actually funneled to a political action committee). He invited them to come to Washington for a “wild” demonstration at which he gave an inflammatory speech to a crowd he knew was armed — and then directed them to march to the Capitol.

And then, for three hours after he left the rally, Trump refused to take steps to quell the violence as rioters battled with police, stormed into the Capitol and disrupted the electoral vote count. As the House panel demonstrated in painstaking detail during Thursday’s hearing, Trump watched the rampage unfold on TV from the comfort of a White House dining room, rebuffing pleas from aides who wanted him to publicly condemn the violence and call off the mob. He never called for any law enforcement or military support even as members of Congress feared for their lives. In the end, more than 100 police officers were injured, four people in the crowd died and five police officers who served at the Capitol Jan. 6 died in the days and weeks that followed.

“We cannot abandon the truth and remain a free nation,” committee Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said in her closing remarks Thursday.

Trump knew there was no legitimate reason to challenge the election results but pressured officials at many levels of government to take illegal actions to preserve his power. Thankfully, they didn’t acquiesce to his demands, but the testimony detailing how Trump bullied officials in the U.S. Department of Justice, state legislatures and local election offices was truly chilling.

An election worker described facing racist death threats after Trump baselessly accused her of processing fraudulent ballots. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger testified that Trump called him and said, “I need 11,000 votes, give me a break.”

(Video) Will Trump, Advisors Face Criminal Charges For Activity On Jan. 6th?

And then there is the jaw-dropping evidence of Trump menacing his own vice president. As the violence mounted on Jan. 6, Trump lobbed a tweet saying Vice President Mike Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done” by rejecting electoral votes for Biden. The tweet further inflamed the frothing crowd that chanted, “Hang Mike Pence.” Secret Service agents protecting Pence at the Capitol described being so afraid they called loved ones to say goodbye. Trump, though, thought Pence deserved it and didn’t think the rioters “were doing anything wrong,” White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that she heard Trump’s chief of staff say.

Altogether it demonstrates a tyrannical pattern in which Trump wielded the power of the presidency to work numerous channels to overthrow the will of the voters. That’s evidence of criminal behavior that must be evaluated in court.

One of the arguments against prosecuting Trump is that it violates American norms because impeachment by Congress is the proper venue for holding a president accountable, not a criminal courtroom, and the Senate failed to muster the two-thirds majority required to find him guilty of inciting an insurrection. This is a flimsy argument. Trump’s misconduct took place in the period between losing the November election and inciting the riot on Jan. 6. By that point, only two weeks remained of his presidency, so Congress didn’t have time to mount a thorough impeachment proceeding with the benefit of the evidence the House panel has gathered over the last year and a half. Besides, Trump’s entire political persona — from his campaign through his presidency — was about breaking norms. Why would it be taboo now to take an unprecedented step in response to unprecedented conduct? It’s not.

(Video) Trump Looks Towards A 2024 Presidential Bid As Risk Of Criminal Charges Mounts

Politics

‘Just following what he said’: Takeaways from the Jan. 6 hearing on Trump’s actions and the riot

The hearing covered the period from Dec. 18, 2020 — when a contentious meeting took place in the Oval Office between White House aides and conspiracy-minded outside advisors — to the morning of Jan. 6.

Another argument against prosecution is that it could backfire and wind up empowering Trump instead of imprisoning him. Trump will be in the spotlight as the case drags on. He would likely cast it as political retribution by Biden’s Justice Department, and use the process to develop a new arsenal of conspiracies with which to stoke his fans’ grievances. Proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is difficult. If the prosecution is unsuccessful and Trump is acquitted, he could gain more currency than he has now as a political loser.

This seems like a legitimate risk, but not a sufficient reason to back away from the pile of evidence that points toward Trump’s culpability. Justice is much larger than political considerations, and extending this argument more broadly would be akin to saying it’s too risky to try someone who tells a lot of lies and has a solid fan base. That shouldn’t be how we determine which Americans are held to answer for potential crimes. Being famous or incendiary should not shield anyone from justice.

The lesser-known players in this horrid plot are already being held to account. Federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against more than 850 people who participated in the Jan. 6 mob, including charges for assaulting police officers with deadly weapons, entering a restricted building with deadly weapons, destroying and stealing government property, and obstructing an official preceding. Three participants have pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy. Some 99 Jan. 6 rioters have been incarcerated.

(Video) Lawrence: Only Way It Gets Worse For Trump Is To Be Charged

Prosecuting the foot soldiers is only partial justice for this grave attack on American democracy. To restore the nation’s standing in the world, and among its citizens, it’s critical that the ringleader of this shameful chapter in history be held accountable as well. Prosecuting Trump will demonstrate that the bedrock principles of the United States remain firm: The voters decide who holds power, and no one is above the law.

FAQs

Why was Trump accused of impeachment? ›

Trump's impeachment came after a formal House inquiry found that he had solicited foreign interference in the 2020 U.S. presidential election to help his re-election bid, and then obstructed the inquiry itself by telling his administration officials to ignore subpoenas for documents and testimony.

What is Donald Trump's net worth? ›

How old is Donald? ›

How many times can a president be impeached? ›

By a 55–45 vote, the Senate rejected a motion asserting that the trial was unconstitutional. The Constitution does not limit the number of times an individual may be impeached.

What happens when a president is impeached? ›

The Constitution requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate to convict, and the penalty for an impeached official upon conviction is removal from office. In some cases, the Senate has also disqualified such officials from holding public offices in the future. There is no appeal.

Who is the richest US president? ›

The richest president in history is believed to be Donald Trump, who is often considered the first billionaire president. His net worth, however, is not precisely known because the Trump Organization is privately held. Truman was among the poorest U.S. presidents, with a net worth considerably less than $1 million.

Who is the richest person in the United States? ›

The estimated net worth of the 25 richest people in the United States
  • Elon Musk: $230.4 billion.
  • Jeff Bezos: $139.2 billion.
  • Bill Gates: $103.0 billion.
  • Larry Ellison: $97.3 billion.
  • Warren Buffett: $96.9 billion.
  • Steve Ballmer: $85.2 billion.
  • Michael Bloomberg: $82.0 billion.
  • Jim Walton: $61.4 billion.
18 Jul 2022

Why do people want to be rich? ›

Why We Want You to Be Rich: Two Men, One Message is a non-fiction book about personal finance, co-authored by Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki. The book was first published in hardcover format in 2006.
...
Why We Want You to Be Rich.
Book cover
AuthorsDonald Trump Robert Kiyosaki
Media typePrint (Hardcover)
Pages345
ISBN978-1933914022
10 more rows

How tall are all the trumps? ›

What is Donald Trump's education? ›

Donald Trump

What are three ways the president can be removed from office? ›

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Can the President remove the vice president from office? ›

The Constitution of the United States gives Congress the authority to remove the vice president of the United States from office in two separate proceedings. The first one takes place in the House of Representatives, which impeaches the vice president by approving articles of impeachment through a simple majority vote.

How can the people remove the president from office? ›

Sections. “The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

How many votes does it take to impeach a Supreme Court justice? ›

If a majority of the members of the United States House of Representatives vote to impeach, the impeachment is referred to the United States Senate for trial. A conviction requires a two-thirds vote in the Senate.

Can a Supreme Court justice be removed by the President? ›

The Constitution states that Justices "shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour." This means that the Justices hold office as long as they choose and can only be removed from office by impeachment.

Who can declare war? ›

The Constitution grants Congress the sole power to declare war. Congress has declared war on 11 occasions, including its first declaration of war with Great Britain in 1812. Congress approved its last formal declaration of war during World War II.

Who is the richest woman in the world? ›

Most affluent women worldwide 2022, by net worth

The granddaughter of the L'Oréal founder, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers was the wealthiest woman in the world as of April 2022. Her and her family's net worth was estimated at 74.8 billion U.S. dollars.

Who was the first billionaire? ›

The American business magazine Forbes produces a global list of known U.S. dollar billionaires every year and updates an Internet version of this list in real time. The American oil magnate John D. Rockefeller became the world's first confirmed U.S. dollar billionaire in 1916.

Who was the only unmarried president? ›

In his personal life, Buchanan never married, the only U.S. president to remain a lifelong bachelor, leading some historians and authors to question his sexual orientation. Buchanan died of respiratory failure in 1868 and was buried in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he had lived for nearly 60 years.

Who is the richest family of all time? ›

Which 10 Families Are the Wealthiest?
  • The Waltons with $212 billion24.
  • The Mars family with $142 billion.
  • The Kochs with $124 billion.
  • The Hermès family with $112 billion.
  • The Sauds with $100 billion.
  • The Ambanis with $94 billion.
  • The Wertheimers with $62 billion.
  • The Johnsons with $61 billion.

Who is the richest family in America? ›

The Walton, Mars and Koch families have topped the list of wealthiest clans in the world, according to a September report from Bloomberg. The families have remained in their positions as the richest in the U.S. and in the world for several years.

What family has the oldest money in America? ›

The Vanderbilt Family

The Vanderbilts are one of America's oldest old money families. The family is of Dutch descent, and rose to prominence during the Gilded Age in the final decades of the 19th century.

Who has the most cash in the world? ›

Elon Musk, with a fortune of $203 billion, is the richest person on the planet. Despite supply chain bottlenecks, Tesla delivered a record number of vehicles globally in the first quarter of 2022.

Are there Trillionaires? ›

A trillionaire is an individual with a net worth equal to at least one trillion in U.S. dollars or a similarly valued currency, such as the euro or the British pound. Currently, no one has yet claimed trillionaire status, although some of the world's richest individuals may only be a few years away from this milestone.

Who is the richest man of the world 2022? ›

Latest List of Top 10 Richest People in the World 2022
  • Elon Musk ($273.5 billion).
  • Bernard Arnault ($154.7 billion).
  • Gautam Adani ($152.2 billion).
  • Jeff Bezos ($146.9 billion).
  • Bill Gates ($104.6 billion).
  • Larry Ellison ($96.8 billion).
  • Warren Buffett ($95.9 billion).
  • Mukesh Ambani ($91.4 billion).
17 Sept 2022

What Jobs will make me rich? ›

There are certain career paths that tend to create wealth more so than most.
...
Top 10 Jobs That Make You Rich
  • Doctor. ...
  • Surgeon. ...
  • Investment Banker. ...
  • Corporate Executive. ...
  • Petroleum Engineer. ...
  • Psychiatrist. ...
  • Data Scientist. ...
  • Research & Development Manager.

How can I get rich with a regular job? ›

Best Ways to Get Rich with a Normal Job
  1. Invest in the Index Funds.
  2. Get Rich with Crowdfunded Real Estate.
  3. Invest in Rental Properties.
  4. Start a Blog to Become a Millionaire.
  5. Invest in Dividend Stocks to Get Rich.
  6. Invest in Retirement Accounts.
  7. Invest in Cryptocurrency.
  8. Invest in ETFs.
7 Feb 2022

How do you know you will be rich in future? ›

Here are 20 signs, based on observations from several millionaire friends of mine, that you're destined to become successful.
  • You started making money at a young age. ...
  • You're an overachiever. ...
  • You're really, really good looking. ...
  • You have an action-oriented mindset. ...
  • You possess a sense of urgency.
10 Aug 2016

What was Donald Trump's father's net worth? ›

Upon his death, Trump's estate was estimated by his family at $250 million to $300 million, though he had only $1.9 million in cash. His will divided over $20 million after taxes among his surviving children and grandchildren.

Who was shortest president? ›

U.S. presidents by height order

James Madison, the shortest president, was 5 ft 4 in (163 cm).

What is Jared Kushner's net worth? ›

As of 2019, Kushner's net worth is estimated at about $800 million.

Who was the youngest president? ›

The youngest to become president by election was John F. Kennedy, who was inaugurated at age 43. The oldest person to assume the presidency was Joe Biden, who took the presidential oath of office 61 days after turning 78.

What presidents were impeached? ›

Three United States presidents have been impeached, although none were convicted: Andrew Johnson was in 1868, Bill Clinton was in 1998, and Donald Trump twice, in 2019 and 2021.

What does it mean when someone is impeached? ›

If a federal official commits a crime or otherwise acts improperly, the House of Representatives may impeach—formally charge—that official. If the official subsequently is convicted in a Senate impeachment trial, he is removed from office.

What are three ways the president can be removed from office? ›

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

What happens if both the president and vice president are impeached? ›

The order of succession specifies that the office passes to the vice president; if the vice presidency is simultaneously vacant, or if the vice president is also incapacitated, the powers and duties of the presidency pass to the speaker of the House of Representatives, president pro tempore of the Senate, and then ...

Can a Supreme Court justice be removed by the President? ›

The Constitution states that Justices "shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour." This means that the Justices hold office as long as they choose and can only be removed from office by impeachment.

How many votes does it take to impeach a Supreme court justice? ›

If a majority of the members of the United States House of Representatives vote to impeach, the impeachment is referred to the United States Senate for trial. A conviction requires a two-thirds vote in the Senate.

What is the word for accusing a president of wrongdoing? ›

Impeach means to formally accuse a public official of misconduct committed while in office. The act or process of impeaching or the state of being impeached is called impeachment.

Is the 25th Amendment? ›

Twenty-Fifth Amendment, Section 1: In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Videos

1. Rep. Adam Schiff on potential criminal conspiracy charges against former President Trump
(PBS NewsHour)
2. Chuck Todd On The Possibility Of Trump Facing Criminal Charges
(TODAY)
3. Will Trump face a criminal referral? See Liz Cheney’s response
(CNN)
4. Jan. 6 hearings continue; Poll shows most Americans think Donald Trump should face criminal charges
(13News Now)
5. Watch President #biden Mock President #trump On Classified Documents
(MSNBC)
6. Trump's Plan to Avoid Criminal Charges by Running for President Again: A Closer Look
(Late Night with Seth Meyers)

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