If Trump is charged, it should be for the worst of his crimes

News January 24, 2023 News
If Trump is charged, it should be for the worst of his crimes

From The Washington Post | Outlook Perspective by Claire O. Finkelstein and Richard W. Painter

Prosecuting a former president of the United States is a tricky business. It’s not like prosecuting Al Capone, the notorious gangster who was charged with tax evasion rather than the more fitting charges of murder and racketeering. A technical charge such as tax evasion may be suitable for obtaining the conviction of a mobster, but hardly sufficient for an occupant of the Oval Office who tried to overthrow the U.S. government. Donald Trump has millions of supporters and the weight of precedent behind him. Of course Trump should face consequences for tax evasion if he merits it, but it is critical for public perception, for history — for the preservation of democracy — that if he is charged, it is first and foremost with the crimes that best reflect the gravity of the danger he posed to the country.

Illustration by Shane Cluskey for The Washington Post

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