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Fri Nov 27, 2020, 01:54 PM

Here Are the Various Ways Donald Trump Could Be Prosecuted


January/February 2021 Issue
Here Are the Various Ways Donald Trump Could Be Prosecuted
Tax fraud and obstruction of justice are just the start.
Russ Choma


Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, James Comey, Christopher Steele, John Bolton, a Time journalist, flag burners—this is just a partial list of the people Donald Trump has wanted to see imprisoned during his ignominious presidency. Yet the moment he steps out of the White House, shedding the sheath of immunity that enshrines all presidents, it is Trump who should be most concerned about a legal reckoning. His list of alleged offenses, committed both during and before his presidency, includes tax and bank fraud, obstruction of justice, bribery, defamation, and more. Legal experts have even debated whether Trump could face criminal charges connected to his woeful response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In its 244-year history, the United States has never prosecuted a president (that is, outside the specialized judicial theater of impeachment). Not that some didn’t deserve it. The reticence is understandable. Locking up a former commander in chief would be politically divisive and potentially set a dangerous precedent. Would holding him accountable restore faith in the justice system or further erode it? But for Trump, whose antics and incompetence contributed to the deaths of tens of thousands, who attacked the very foundation of the democratic institutions that made the United States a beacon, and who pushed the nation to the threshold of autocracy, the American people might be willing, even eager, to take the risk.

Trump has offered state and federal prosecutors a buffet of options for criminal and civil charges. On the federal level, one of the most plausible crimes Trump could be charged with is obstruction of justice. In his two-part report on his Russia investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller all but laid out the case, chronicling Trump’s assorted efforts to stymie the probe. The report also includes evidence suggesting that Trump may have perjured himself in written responses to questions from Mueller’s team, though this claim is more difficult to prove. Mueller stopped short of concluding that Trump had committed a crime, but mostly because, as a sitting president, he was arguably immune from prosecution. But that protection no longer applies once he leaves office.

Barbara McQuade, a former US attorney in Michigan who led the corruption case against Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, argues an obstruction conviction would be easy to obtain and is the most likely route for federal prosecutors. (McQuade spoke to Mother Jones before joining Biden’s transition team; she stressed that she was not speaking on the new administration’s behalf.) But the body of evidence is only one consideration when it comes to placing Trump, or any former president, on trial. “The second question a federal prosecutor must ask is, ‘Would a prosecution advance a substantial federal interest?’” she says. “When a president is involved, that’s a much harder question. I’m sure there is some sentiment that the country should move on, but perhaps some sentiment that we should not let a president get away with crimes with impunity just because they’re the president.”

Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor in Chicago who specialized in busting white-collar criminals, is less sure about convicting Trump of obstruction or other crimes—and not because there isn’t a bounty of evidence. “How would the fact that it’s Donald Trump impact a jury?” he wonders. Nevertheless, he thinks an obstruction prosecution is warranted if only for the message it sends. “To me the best argument for taking action is a future deterrence argument,” he says. “Trump is somebody who was focused on defeating the lawful functions of the Justice Department, so taking action sends a signal that presidents should not do that again.”

Both prosecutors warn that any case against Trump must be as free of politics as possible, not just to convince a judge or jury to convict but also to restore confidence in the Justice Department and avoid weakening democracy in the process. One way to buffer the case from political calculations would be for the new attorney general to appoint a special counsel who could pursue the investigation independently. “I think we’ve learned a lesson, hopefully, from, let’s say, the mistakes of James Comey and his handling of the Clinton matter,” Mariotti says, recalling the FBI’s infamous investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server before the 2016 election. “The best way to do it is to have an insulation from political appointees, and to essentially not have press conferences or anything like that—just make decisions about whether or not there’s anything worthy of prosecution and do it with as little fanfare as possible.”

more...

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/11/here-are-the-various-ways-donald-trump-could-be-prosecuted/

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Reply Here Are the Various Ways Donald Trump Could Be Prosecuted (Original post)
babylonsister Nov 27 OP
Fiendish Thingy Nov 27 #1
BComplex Nov 27 #4
N_E_1 for Tennis Nov 27 #2
Pantagruel Nov 27 #3
superpatriotman Nov 27 #5

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 02:17 PM

1. Either Trump is prosecuted or America gets a competent Trump next time. Nt

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Response to Fiendish Thingy (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 03:57 PM

4. That's the point. Not only do we need to nip this behavior in the bud, but if we don't,

we're setting ourselves up for another, even more insidious penetration of fascism into our next trumpster. We won't be able to recover from the next one.

Republican operatives with lots of $$ have been trying to turn the US to fascism for 70 years. We need it to stop, once and for all.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 02:25 PM

2. So...

Up, Down, Sideways, Inside Out, Right Side In and all ways in between.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 03:08 PM

3. Isn't Flynn still vulnerable

Can the feds still go after Flynn's son on conspiracy charges?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobfrenkel/2017/11/27/will-michael-flynn-plead-guilty-and-cooperate-to-protect-his-son/?sh=70b5fb1b14fe

While not excluding Flynn prosecution for kidnap conspiracy in Pa.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Nov 27, 2020, 04:00 PM

5. Fan fiction

He will never be prosecuted for any crime, IMO

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