Major Newspaper Demands Donald Trump Face Criminal Prosecution
The Boston Globe Editorial Board has called for the immediate criminal prosecution of former President Donald Trump for what it describes as a pattern of illegal behavior during his single four-year term.
In a scathing op-ed that was published on Wednesday, the Board argued that holding Trump accountable is the only way to preserve American democracy and the rule of law.
“So now there is only one way left to restore deterrence and convey to future presidents that the rule of law applies to them. The Justice Department must abandon two centuries of tradition by indicting and prosecuting Donald Trump for his conduct in office,” wrote the Board. “In the case of Trump, prosecutors would have plenty of potential crimes from which to choose. While Trump may be prosecuted for financial crimes he potentially committed before he became president, what is most important to go after are his actions during his time in office, especially those after the 2020 election, which culminated in fomenting a full-on, violent assault on American democracy.”
The editors cited three primary items as the basis for indicting Trump:
First, there are Trump’s repeated attempts to obstruct justice, as documented in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the former president’s campaign ties to Russia. As Mueller himself put it, while the investigators operated under the guidelines that a sitting president cannot be indicted — a view this editorial board disagrees with — the point of their investigation was to ‘preserve evidence‘ for prosecutors to evaluate after Trump left office.
Second, there are Trump’s efforts to overturn the Georgia election results. Trump’s call to Georgia’s secretary of state, in which he pressured the secretary to ‘find’ enough votes to undo his defeat, was clear election interference, which is a violation of state and federal law. That means both Georgia and federal prosecutors can — and should — investigate the matter further.
Third, there’s Trump’s infamous incitement of insurrection, which he committed on national television. It is a federal crime to incite a riot or insurrection, and though Trump was impeached over this, he was wrongfully acquitted by the Senate, leaving the courts with the responsibility to hold him accountable. Even Senators who acquitted him of the incitement charge alluded to the fact that his crime should be dealt with in the criminal justice system. ‘If you believe he committed a crime, he can be prosecuted like any other citizen,’ said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, a longtime Trump ally. (And depending on how the investigations go — if prosecutors have enough evidence to show that Trump gave aid and comfort to insurrectionists — there’s a chance sedition charges could be brought against him, just like the charges his supporters who stormed the Capitol are likely to face).
The Board added that Congress’s refusal to convict Trump for inciting the January 6th insurrection at the United States Capitol during his second impeachment trial leaves the Department of Justice with no choice .
Trump committed “an extreme abuse of power that few ever imagined a president would commit. A commander in chief tried his very best to subvert democracy. He attacked his own country. Five people died. Allowing him to go unpunished would set a far more dangerous precedent than having Trump stand trial. To reform the presidency so that the last four years are never repeated, the country must go beyond passing laws: It must make clear through its actions that no person, not even the president, is above them,” the Board concluded.