Former Us President Donald Trump was arraigned on Tuesday, 13th June on 37 criminal counts regarding his alleged mishandling of classified documents. He entered a plea of not guilty through his attorney signalling the beginning of a long battle in the months ahead. This is his second indictment since leaving office and is the first time in history a former United States President faces criminal charges.
During his presidency, Donald J. Trump was impeached twice, but managed to remain in office each time. His first impeachment took place in December 2019 when two articles were levied against him, one for abuse of power and another for obstruction of congress in it’s investigation regarding the president’s conduct. The second impeachment took place in January 2021, one week before the end of his term, and was related to his actions during January 6th attack on the Capitol. The Senate cleared the president of all charges during both trials. Mr. Trump si also still being investigated for his efforts to remain in power after the 2020 elections and possibly for trying to interfere with the electoral process.
Simply put, Donald Trump stands accused by the United States Justice Department of mishandling classified documents that he kept at the end of his presidency and then attempting to prevent their reclaim by the government. There is also the question of the legality of his taking the documents upon leaving office and storing them at his well-known private resort, Mar-a-Lago. The charges that were brought against him mention violating the Espionage Act, making false statements to authorities and obstructing justice. Except for a few, the exact nature of the documents that make the object of the case is not public.
Donald Trump is currently the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and even though other proeminent republicans are putting themselves forward as potential candidates it seems that, at least for the moment, a large mass of republican voters are rallying behind the former president. No republican who has announced his candidacy in the primaries has yet to denounce former president Trump’s actions as worthy of criminal investigation, let alone place himself firmly on the side of the accusers. It is quite likely that we will begin to see such stances as the campaign heats.
Like every high stakes confrontation there are at least two sides two this story however. Donald Trump’s response to his latest indictment was that if he is elected president he will appoint a special prosecutor to “go after” President Joe Biden calling him the most corrupt president in history.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly argued that the accusations against him are politically motivated and has accrued the entire process to a witch hunt. “The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been indicted” is one of the posts the former president has made on his preferred social media platform, Truth Social.
Many conservatives in the United States of America seem to have bought into the idea that the current administration has weaponised the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. As concerning as this may be, it doesn’t seem like Mr. Trump’s rhetoric is helping improve the situation. If anything, as things appear at least from this side of the ocean, the U.S. political system is potentially endemically corrupt and the split between the two sides of the political spectrum grows larger by the day. I do not see how this can be in anyway something positive for the american people or those of allied countries.
It will be some time before we will have a clear picture of the entire situation. What is becoming obvious however is that the United Stated of America, arguably the most powerful nation in the world, is having serious trouble with regards to maintaining a healthy political environment and seems at times to slip into borderline autocratic modes of operation, or at the least accusation of such behaviour.
Whatever conclusion may be reached, regarding Mr. Trump’s legal trouble, one thing seems to be obvious from the beginning: the U.S. political environment is in disarray and will probably continue to be like this for some time to come. .