Former President Donald Trump appears in court for his arraignment, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in New York. (Photo: AP/Seth Wenig)

A former President is being criminally charged in court.  Let me repeat that:  A former President is being criminally charged in court.  The era of presidential impunity has ended abruptly.  According to Former Federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner in an article submitted to MSNBC, Kirschner believes that the pardoning of President Richard Nixon for Watergate by President Gerald Ford has allowed anyone who has assumed the office after to operate with no regard for consequence.  Ronald Reagan did not break a sweat after leaving office as to whether he would be prosecuted for the Iran-Contra scandal.  Bill Clinton would not be preoccupied for lying under oath about his affair with Monica Lewinsky at the White House.  George W. Bush ordered clandestine CIA sites setup around the world to torture and imprison alleged terrorists without due process.  To nobody’s surprise, Barack Obama unilaterally ordered drone strikes around the world, resulting in the deaths of innocents, including an American citizen in Yemen who was denied their day in court.  The legal matters before Donald Trump are on a far more sever scale.  This is why on Thursday, March 31st, 2023, the District Attorney of Manhattan in New York submitted criminal charges to the State against Donald John Trump.       

Donald Trump, the 45th President and now a defendant in the State of New York, certainly seemed to act like he was immune to any and all crimes.  According to the charges set forth by New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Donald Trump is accused on 34 separate felony indictments of “falsifying business records in the first degree.”  Not only are the witnesses listed in this case mostly credible people who enjoyed very close and personal access to the former president (ex-lawyer Michael Cohen, Trump Organization CFO Allen Weissenberg, American Media, Inc. CEO David Pecker, etc.), but the evidence presented along with the charges are concrete and inexcusable. The case of the State of New York vs. Donald John Trump does not even come close to carrying the most weight among the former president’s other ongoing investigations. 

Turning to Fulton County Georgia there is a strong case being investigated by District Attorney Fani Willis.  The case out of Georgia centers around a post-election 2020 phone call by then-President Trump to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.  During this call, the former president abused the privileges of his office to essentially order an elected state official to commit a crime and flip the election in Georgia to a Trump win from a Biden win by “finding 11,000 more votes…”  Choice words for a democratically elected official who never won a majority of the popular vote.  The very large elephants in the room remaining for the cases against Donald Trump are the two matters being investigated by renowned international prosecutor and recently appointed Special Counsel Jack Smith.   One of these matters involves the former president’s quixotic decision to stow away classified government documents at an unsecure location in his Florida country club; then lie to federal investigators about not having turned over all requested documents believed to be in his possession.  A search warrant was issued for Mar-A-Lago and signed off by magistrate judge Bruce Reinhart, resulting in the seizure of troves of classified government documents improperly held by the former president.  The search warrant was partially redacted and accompanied by an affidavit stating that «probable cause exists to believe that evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed» remained at the former president’s Florida country club.  Jack Smith is also investigating “efforts to interfere with the lawful transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election or the certification of the Electoral College vote held on or about January 6, 2021.”  January 6th was one of the darkest days in this country’s history, and it would not be far-fetched to place the entirety of the blame for the events of that day squarely on the then-sitting president, Donald Trump. 

The behavior, conduct, rhetoric, and gross display of carelessness by the former president in every single one of these matters is a telling sign that Donald Trump truly acted with little remorse for the rule of law.  Donald Trump holds no regard for being held accountable for his actions before, during, and after his one-term presidency.  It is because of the strong belief held by the former president that he was untouchable by the law that he now finds himself in the plethora of legal troubles he is facing; therefore, he will continue to be swarmed by legal matters as he pretends to offer the country a viable alternative to the current administration.  The era of excusing presidential criminality with the words of Gerald Ford that “our long, national nightmare is over,” has ended.  Because of this the District Attorney of Manhattan had no other choice but to submit 34 felony-counts of criminal charges to the State of New York against now-defendant Donald John Trump.  Donald Trump’s nightmares have only just begun. 


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