During Donald Trump’s term, the U.S. Justice Department made clear that indicting a sitting president is still outside its typical scope. Now that he’s out of office, people are wondering if he’s still protected, or exactly how the United States can move against a former president if criminal charges should be deemed appropriate.
However, Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) believes Trump may be criminally culpable for his role in the January 6th attack on Congress, and if so, he says that the system cannot allow the former president to escape justice, much less set a precedent placing all future presidents outside the law.
In an interview with the Harvard Gazette, Schiff referenced Trump’s phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. In that call, Trump urged Raffensperger to “find” the votes he needed to flip the state.
Schiff said he’s concerned that he isn’t seeing the Justice Department move on that call in particular, and opines that if anyone besides Trump had made the same demand, they might have already been indicted.
We cannot have a system where a current president can’t be prosecuted, and then, because we don’t want to look backward, the former president can’t be prosecuted; that they’re somehow too big to jail. Because, if we get to that point, then the president really does become above the law.
He says this is especially a concern with Trump running again. Although Trump has not officially declared a run, he’s done a lot of hinting at it, and his campaign has been fundraising.
The January 6th Committee is taking the Trump connection to the attack seriously, subpoenaing several of the people in his inner circle and sending a referral to the DOJ to take legal action against Trump’s advisor, Steve Bannon, for ignoring the subpoena. However, at this time, they do not seem to have attempted to subpoena Trump himself.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com