One Bulwark writer is ready to lock up former President Donald Trump and has a list of steps to do it.
Writing Thursday, appellate lawyer Chris Truax explained that Trump's behavior can be charged if only there was someone willing to do it.
The first option for prosecution involves Trump's coverup with Ukraine. The first impeachment of Trump involved a bribery attempt, saying that the president of Ukraine would have to announce an investigation into Joe Biden if they wanted the funding already allocated by Congress.
"But when the OIG filed what should have been a pro-forma notification of the complaint with the Director of National Intelligence, something happened," Truax wrote. "Instead of facilitating the passing of the complaint to the congressional intelligence committees as the law requires, the administration began a frantic effort to bottle it up, permanently."
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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) suggested that Trump knew about the probe by the Office of the Inspector General of the Director of National Intelligence. Johnson appeared to allege that by Aug. 31, 2019, Trump was already trying to cover up his actions.
"But whether it was President Trump or someone close to him, it’s beyond dispute that someone made a serious effort to suppress the complaint that eventually led to Trump’s first impeachment trial," said Truax. "We ought to know what exactly happened and if any laws were broken. If they were, those people should be prosecuted. And if laws were not broken in this case, then we probably need some new laws."
The second charge could be over Trump regularly destroying documents.
It was revealed in a 2018 Politico report that a team of people in the White House was forced to take Trump's shredded documents and paste them back together to comply with the Presidential Records Act (PRA). The staffers who came forward about the story were ultimately fired.
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While charges aren't as substantial as the Jan. 6 insurrection, it's still a felony to violate 18 U.S.C. § 2071, and destroy an official record. It doesn't matter that someone came in after the fact to put the documents back together.
Hosting the Republican National Convention on federal property is another violation that could be prosecuted, according to Truax. As Trump accepted the GOP nomination and staged the event on the lawn at the White House, using a letter from the Office of Special Counsel claiming it was legal because Trump doesn't have to abide by the Hatch Act preventing government employees from campaigning.
"But there is another statute, 18 U.S.C. § 610, which does," the report explained. "This statute makes it a felony—punishable by up to three years in prison—to 'intimidate, threaten, command, or coerce' any federal employee for the purpose of getting them to engage in political activity. And while it’s true that President Trump himself wasn’t bound by the Hatch Act, all other federal employees, including White House staffers, were."
The event featured Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway, National security adviser to the Vice President, Keith Kellogg, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Ivanka Trump, and Deputy Director of the Office of American Innovation Ja'Ron Smith. They were all federal employees at the time that they spoke to the convention.
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Truax argued that the investigations into these possible crimes don't even need the Department of Justice to get involved. They're mostly executive branch-related, so they could be investigated by inspectors general.
"And investigated they should be. In America, laws aren’t just for little people. They’re for everyone, including the president. In fact, they apply particularly to the president," Truax closed. "After all, the laws don’t faithfully execute themselves."