NBC’s Chuck Todd suggested that the country was too divided for Trump to be charged, but Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) set him straight.
This country’s, I’d characterize it as dangerously divided right now. And an indictment of a former president, that could throw gasoline on this fire. Choosing not to hold him accountable could also throw gasoline on this fire. What is – there are no good outcomes here. What’s the worst outcome on that front, and do you understand why the attorney general may be really struggling with this decision?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF:
Well, I think it’s a very difficult decision, but I don’t think it’s a difficult – that is, to prosecute. It’s not a difficult decision to investigate when there’s evidence before you. And I think the worst-case scenario is not that Donald Trump runs and wins, but that he runs and loses and they overturn the election. Because there’s no deterrent, because there’s no effort to push back and to hold people accountable.
What if you prosecute him and he gets off?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF:
Well, that’s always a risk. But the fact is, if you follow the evidence where it leads, if you believe that you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt, then you have a duty to prosecute. And the decision not to investigate or not to prosecute becomes a political decision that, well, this person is immune from the rule of law.
Chairman Schiff was right. It doesn’t matter if Trump gets off the hook when he is prosecuted. The idea is that a deterrent to an attempted coup against the United States of America must come with some consequences.
The notion that the country is too divided for a former president to be prosecuted was dangerous nonsense. It is even more dangerous for the country if Republicans try to steal a future election and it results in a civil war.
There are larger stakes than whether or not Trump goes to jail, but prosecuting the former president would send a strong message to any future potential coup plotters.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association