A former federal prosecutor called for former president Donald Trump to be criminally prosecuted because he was responsible for “an unabated crime wave as president”.
Speaking to MSNBC on Friday night, Glenn Kirschner urged the Department of Justice to act and warned that a future “runaway criminal president” may come to occupy the White House if Mr Trump is not held responsible.
Mr Kirschner tweeted on Saturday: “It’s time for our nation to hold a criminal former president accountable for his crimes against the United States.”
Mr Kirschner listed a number of Mr Trump’s offences, such as withholding military assistance to Ukraine in an effort to get them to investigate Joe Biden, leading to Mr Trump’s first impeachment, and his administration’s obstruction of congressional proceedings.
“There are so many other offences,” Mr Kirschner said. “There are countless, avoidable Covid deaths that I think could be pursued by the states. Then, of course, there is inciting the insurrection. We saw it with our own eyes.”
“If he is not held accountable, if we don’t prosecute him, then what we are doing is we are encouraging tomorrow’s version of Donald Trump,” he added. “We have to prosecute today’s version of Donald Trump to send the message that we will not tolerate a runaway criminal president.”
Mr Trump “can face criminal charges for activities that took place before he was president, after he was president, and while he was president, as long as they were not part of his duties while he was president of the United States,” attorney David Weinstein told The Guardian earlier this week.
The former president hasn’t been charged with any crimes and has denied any wrongdoing many times. He’s called the investigations into him and the Trump Organization a “witch hunt”.
A spokesperson for the office of the Manhattan District Attorney told the paper: “We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the organization is no longer purely civil in nature. We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity, along with the Manhattan DA.”
Manhattan prosecutors has convened a grand jury that is “expected to decide whether to indict Donald Trump, other executives at his company or the business itself, should prosecutors present the panel with criminal charges,” The Washington Post reported in late May.
The district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia, Fani Willis, said in February that there were plans to investigate Mr Trump’s call to the state’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
The then-president pushed Mr Raffensperger to “find” just enough votes to allow him to win the state in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election. Mr Raffensperger resisted.
But regardless of what the end result is of Mr Trump’s legal troubles, he’s unlikely to lose the support of his ardent followers.
Francisco Pedraza, a political scientist at the University of California, told The Guardian: “The majority of the evidence that we have on hand says that people who like Trump don’t care what he does, it just doesn’t matter if he breaks the law.”
“We know from a lot of social science research that people who back Trump also register very high on validated and reliable indexes of racial resentment, for example, he serves that and offers a kind of politics that responds to that flavour of politics,” Dr Pedraza added. “Anything else doesn’t matter as long as he continues to be a champion for racist [sentiments].”