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THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SHOULD INDICT FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP

US RENEW NEWS OP-ED | By: Ron Israel | June 28, 2022

Header photo taken from: Business Insider

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Donald Trump Became What He Deeply Feared: A One-Term President.

Photo taken from: The Daily Beast

Policy Summary

The January 6th Committee, through its publicly televised hearings has revealed that it has enough evidence to indict former President Donald Trump. The indictment would be focused on Trump’s illegal efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential elections. 

The evidence would be based on Trump’s efforts to coordinate a slate of fake electors from states that President Biden legitimately won; his efforts to encourage the mob that stormed the US Capitol on January 6th hoping to prevent Vice-President Pence from certifying the election’s legitimate outcome; his publicly visible attempt to get the Secretary of State in Georgia to find him enough votes to overturn Biden’s election in that state; and his effort to get the Justice Department to declare that the 2020 election results were fraudulent.

There would be a great deal of risk involved if the Justice Department prosecuted Trump. They would need to have an iron -lad case to prove Trump’s intent to overturn the election, and they would need to convince a grand jury to unanimously agree that the evidence merited conviction. It would be a case that would drag on for some time; might further inflame existing political divisions, and  might take place against the backdrop of a Republican-controlled Congress.

Policy Analysis

Some argue that rather than prosecute Trump it would be sufficient to find a way to bar him from taking public office again. There is a clause in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution that could apply. That clause, developed after the civil war, says that officeholders who “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the government  are disqualified from future office.” However no one is sure how such a clause would be invoked today. At a minimum it probably would require the approval of both houses of Congress, a far-fetched  possibility in this day and age.

So it appears that criminally prosecuting Trump for his leadership in seeking to overturn a legitimate election outcome is the best  approach to dealing with the former President’s illegal actions. It is a risky approach but it is a risk worth taking. To do otherwise, to ignore and not prosecute Trump, would be setting a standard that a President is above the law Such a standard would be a slap in the face of American democracy.


Disqualification is now the major goal of the last-minute impeachment effort; if two-thirds convict the president in the Senate, a simple majority of the Senate may then render Trump also “disqualif[ied] to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States.”

Photo taken from: Washington Monthly

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We know that other countries with democratic constitutions have prosecuted presidents who committed crimes and violated laws, such as France, South Africa, Colombia, Peru, and Honduras; so there is precedent from countries around the world for the United States to take such action. Failing to do so will put a stain on the character of our nation.

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