Even now that Donald Trump is being criminally indicted in New York as soon as next week, and being indicted in Georgia not much longer after that, one of the maddening things is how the media is largely treating Trump as a “former President” instead of a “career criminal.”
Yes, the guy was President of the United States for four years. That’s a fact. But so what? It doesn’t mean that everything that happens involving him has to be framed within the context of the fact that he was once President. He was also a reality show star for far longer than he was President. Before that he was a real estate scam artist for far longer than he was President. He’s been a sexual assaulter for far longer than he was President. The list goes on.
Given just how many different kinds of criminal indictments Trump is facing in just how many jurisdictions, at this point he’s far more defined as a career criminal than as a President. For that matter the indictment he’s facing in New York is for his role in a criminal plot that took place while he was running for President. It’s well established that even as prosecutors were charging Trump’s underling in that plot, they were unable to criminally charge Trump himself because he was President at the time.
At what point can we acknowledge that Donald Trump’s status as a former President makes it all the more crucial that he be indicted? This isn’t some nuanced thing where we have to worry about the fabric of the nation, or the sanctity of the Presidency. Unless Trump is prosecuted by the criminal justice system, there is no sanctity of the Presidency.
Jon “Bowzer” Bauman, legendary singer from Sha Na Na and tireless political activist, said it best on Twitter: “I’m already monumentally tired of the ‘an American president will be indicted for the first time in history’ narrative. No American is above the law. The motherfucker did it. All of it. Everywhere. NY, GA, DC. He’s a crook, federally & in multiple states. Indict him.”
Bauman is correct. With Donald Trump being indicted in New York next week, the media needs to shy away from headlines like “Former President Donald Trump criminally indicted” and start going with more relevant headlines like “Career criminal Donald Trump finally indicted.” Trump’s criminal behavior is the only reason he got into office to begin with. The fact that he was in office shouldn’t in any way be used soften the cold hard reality of his status as a career criminal.
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