If former President Donald Trump is convicted of a criminal offense – which could very well happen since New York prosecutors have now obtained his financial records – he should be denied his presidential pension, according to two Democrats in the House of Representatives.
On Thursday, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (NY) and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA) will put forth a bill that strips ex-presidents – no matter who they are – of their taxpayer-funded benefits if they are found guilty of a crime.
“Under the Former President Act of 1958, United States Presidents are granted a lifetime pension at the rate of a current Cabinet Secretary, a budget for staff personnel, and office space leased and furnished by taxpayer dollars,” Maloney explains on his congressional website.
The Restoring and Enforcing Accountability of Presidents (REAP) Act “would hold Presidents accountable by revoking benefits (excluding lifetime Secret Service protection) for Presidents convicted of felonies during or after office. This bill would also close loopholes in the Former Presidents Act that could allow an impeached and convicted President to still receive benefits, even if the conviction took place after they left office,” it says.
“Breaking the law has consequences – no matter how powerful you are, or were. Presidents who are convicted of a felony should not receive taxpayer-funded benefits. It’s that simple,” Maloney said in a statement. “The fact that this bill is now necessary in America brings me no joy, but we must demand accountability from those who have held our nation’s highest office.”
Jayapal expanded on this and noted the importance of holding commanders in chief accountable, particularly Trump, who was impeached and acquitted by Senate Republicans for inciting an insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6th.
“No person is above the law — not even a former president. While Congress must refuse to let Donald Trump off the hook for inciting a deadly insurrection and for committing countless other crimes during his lawless presidency, we must also ensure that no president who is convicted of a felony receives taxpayer-funded benefits,” Jayapal said. “The REAP Act is an important step towards finally securing full accountability and justice in this country.”
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.