Trump faces growing legal pressure, even after Senate failed to convict him

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Gordon L. Weil formerly wrote for the Washington Post and other newspapers, served on the US Senate and EU staff, headed Maine state agencies, and was a Harpswell breeder.

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If Donald Trump’s critics can’t win Congress, they want the courts to bring him to justice. the legal complaints keep coming.

Trump’s serious troubles began when Special Advisor Robert Mueller, a Republican, found 10 “episodes” of his possible obstruction of justice. Although Mueller found no direct connection between the Trump campaign and Russian meddling on his behalf, he did report that Trump attempted to interfere with his investigation.

But Mueller couldn’t go any further, blocked by a Opinion of the Ministry of Justice that a sitting president could not be compelled to face criminal charges.

Freed from any sanction of the Mueller inquiry, Trump attempted to get the Ukrainian president to investigate the alleged involvement of Biden’s son in a potentially corrupt business there. He added pressure for such aid by delaying the financial aid pledged for Ukraine’s resistance to the Russian invasion.

House Democrats impeached Trump for his move to Ukraine, although they ignored any charges that may have stemmed from Mueller’s obstruction of court findings. Only one Republican senator, Mitt Romney, voted to convict, and the effort to impeach Trump failed to secure the two-thirds of the votes required by the Senate.

Next, House Democrats joined by 10 Republicans impeached Trump for inciting the Jan.6 insurgency on Capitol Hill aimed at getting Congress to reverse its electoral defeat.

While GOP senators denounced Trump’s actions, they refused to condemn him because he was no longer in office. The same Justice Department notice that blocked Mueller made it clear that an indicted federal official could be sentenced after leaving office. A Senate majority voted to support this point of view.

Most Republican senators refused to honor this decision. Seven Republicans, including Susan Collins, accepted it and voted to condemn Trump, but the effort again failed.

The impeachment process is political. Sentencing depends on whether the offense is so outrageous that members of the president’s own party will vote against him. The second Senate trial vote revealed that convicting a president is likely impossible.

When the Senate’s reluctance to act is matched by protection from criminal charges while in office, a president is likely to enjoy full immunity.

An ex-president could face a criminal trial, but the only punitive action will likely be the verdict of history. Trump’s two record indictments may be his main legacy.

But this result is not enough for his adversaries and his victims. Having failed to convict him when Trump was president, they continue to hope that he will be convicted of a major offense. Such a decision could be seen as a justification, as it would be judicial and not political.

Democrats intended the conviction in the second impeachment trial would lead to Trump being banned from re-occupying federal office. That is why the Senate trial began even after his term ended.

Being convicted in court could now serve the same purpose. He could be discredited enough that his chances of an election or maybe even the GOP nomination are in jeopardy. Much would depend on the reaction of mainstream Republicans and independents.

His supporters may believe losing in court may not stop him. The party continues to work to suppress the Democratic vote in the swing states so that it can win again with a lower GOP turnout.

Many federal cases have been brought against Trump, primarily by professional prosecutors, not politicians. There is little chance that he will stand trial for his actions on January 6. Recently two Crowd-injured Capitol policemen sued Trump.

While Biden should keep his hands free, he might prefer that the Justice Department not prosecute Trump for fear they might appear too political, especially in light of Trump. investigation of Biden’s son, whom the president did not arrest.

Beyond federal affairs, Trump remains vulnerable. The ex-president is the subject of state investigations totally independent of the Federal Ministry of Justice. Other cases in which he is not directly involved could also produce negative results for him.

Both New York State Attorney General and Manhattan District Attorney Investigate Trump’s possible tax evasion and whether he lied to get business loans. Georgia investigates its attempts to influence the presidential vote count through direct contact with its electoral officials. A conviction in these cases, if brought to court, could be politically prejudicial.

Among the most serious cases are complaints filed by two companies against certain attorneys for Trump and his Fox News allies. Trump endorsed their claims that companies were using voting machines replacing Trump votes with Biden votes. There is no such evidence and companies claim their businesses have suffered because of the claims.

If companies win, the results will further discredit Trump’s false claim that he won the election, his supporters’ rationale for the Capitol insurgency. It could hurt his political outlook.

The electoral battles between Trump and his opponents continue. It is no longer just a question of politics. Ultimately, the courts may have as much to say about Trump’s presidency and its future as voters did last November.

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