Trump should be indicted for at least six crimes and banned from politics: legal expertsDonald Trump should be facing prosecution for a half dozen crimes, according to a pair of legal experts, but instead he's preparing for another presidential run that he just might win.
The twice-impeached president has raised $122 million, more than twice the amount of the Republican National Committee, ahead of the 2024 presidential campaign that he shouldn't even be eligible to take part in, argued former White House ethics attorney Richard Painter in a new column for MSNBC.
"The 14th Amendment, Section 3, disqualifies from public office anyone who took an oath of loyalty to the United States and shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof," Painter argued in a forthcoming law review article with Claire Finkelstein, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
Painter, who served under former president George W. Bush, suspects Trump is assembling a coalition that includes Russian president Vladimir Putin and other foreign backers, and he said the ex-president's corruption runs deep.
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“[C]rimes for which Trump could be indicted include but are not limited to," Painter and Finkelstein wrote, "(1) obstructing justice as identified in the Mueller investigation, (2) bribing and/or extorting Ukraine with military aid to investigate his political opponent Joe Biden and conduct another investigation undermining the Mueller investigation, (3) coercing cabinet members and other federal employees to engage in partisan political activity in violation of the criminal political coercion provisions of the Hatch Act, (4) soliciting election fraud in a phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State in November 2020, (5) criminal sedition in authorizing preparation of the unsigned draft Executive Order dated December 16, 2020 pursuant to which President Trump would have ordered the Secretary of Defense to seize voting machines in certain states to look for evidence of election fraud, and (6) inciting insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. These alleged politically-related crimes are over and above the financial crimes being investigated by the Manhattan DA, who has already indicted the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer."
Trump has always managed to stay one step ahead of the law, and Painter said the next two election cycles would give him a chance to sidestep the multitude of criminal investigations of his business and political activities -- with devastating consequences for American democracy.
"A republic doesn’t just become a dictatorship overnight," Painter said. "Voters choose for it to be that way. Voters get what they vote for."
"Americans will go to the polls this November and decide whether to return Trump loyalists in the GOP to Congress," he concluded. "Then we will go to the polls again in 2024. We know that Trump’s insurrectionists will have a lot of money to spend in both election cycles. If we do not make wise decisions in those elections in spite of this knowledge, 2025 could bring an entirely new chapter in American history, and not one that our founders, or most of us, would hope for."
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