[COMMENTARY] Holding Donald Trump Accountable: Why He Should Face Imprisonment

Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, stands at the center of a deeply divisive and tumultuous era in American politics. While opinions on his presidency vary, there are compelling reasons to argue that Trump should be held accountable for his actions through the legal system. This piece aims to outline specific examples of Trump's behavior that warrant a serious examination of his potential criminal liability and the necessity of his facing imprisonment.

On January 6, 2021, the world watched in horror as a violent mob stormed the United States Capitol. Trump's months-long campaign to undermine the 2020 election's legitimacy culminated in a rally preceding the insurrection, where he repeatedly made baseless claims of election fraud. In a speech that day, he called on his supporters to "fight like hell" and march to the Capitol. This direct incitement to violence resulted in the endangerment of lawmakers, and law enforcement, and the desecration of a symbol of American democracy. Trump's role in inciting the insurrection demands a thorough investigation and, if warranted, criminal charges.

During his presidency, Trump's actions raised serious concerns regarding obstruction of justice. The firing of FBI Director James Comey, who was leading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, is a prime example. Trump's subsequent attempts to undermine the Special Counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller further underscored his disregard for the rule of law. While the Mueller report did not establish sufficient evidence to charge Trump with a crime, it did not exonerate him either, leaving the door open for further legal scrutiny.

The Emoluments Clause of the United States Constitution prohibits federal officials, including the President, from receiving gifts or benefits from foreign governments without Congressional consent. Throughout his tenure, Trump's business interests and global holdings raised significant concerns about conflicts of interest and potential violations of this constitutional provision. Numerous foreign officials, lobbyists, and dignitaries stayed at Trump's hotels potentially influencing his policy decisions. These actions not only undermined the integrity of the presidency but also raised serious legal questions regarding corruption.

Trump's taxes have long been a subject of scrutiny and controversy. The New York Times' investigation into his tax records revealed a pattern of potentially fraudulent behavior, including dubious deductions, undervaluing assets, and inconsistent reporting. While this investigation is ongoing, the allegations of tax fraud and financial misconduct suggest a possible disregard for the law and a need for further examination.

Donald Trump's presidency was marked by a series of actions that warrant a thorough investigation into potential criminal liability. From incitement to insurrection to obstruction of justice, violations of the Emoluments Clause, and allegations of tax fraud, the evidence against him is significant. The United States must prioritize the principle that no individual, regardless of their position or power, is above the law. To preserve the integrity of the nation's democratic institutions and reaffirm the importance of accountability, a fair and impartial legal process should be pursued, and if warranted, Donald Trump should face the consequences of his actions, including the possibility of imprisonment. Only through upholding the rule of law can the United States ensure that justice is served and that such actions are not repeated in the future.