Why Trump Must Be Prosecuted

Not Doing So is a Mockery of the Law

Two articles in The New York Times make it abundantly clear why Donald Trump must not escape prosecution for his multiple transgressions.[i] Indeed, he must be prosecuted.

The first article details Trump’s lifelong sense of entitlement, in short, that he can do anything he wants without fear of punishment. In his misguided way of thinking, he was perfectly within his rights to take highly classified and top-secret documents to Mar-a-Lago. (As a side note, he keeps making serious errors with regard to his handling of the situation that it’s something for which he might finally be prosecuted.) It was bolstered by the fact that he’s essentially gotten away with everything his entire life.

In the second article, the Time columnist Jamelle Bouie makes the case that Donald Trump must be prosecuted for his crimes. Trump and the Republicans have made enough of a mockery of American Democracy such that they must not be allowed to get away unscathed.

Bouie not only states the major arguments in favor of not prosecuting Trump, but demolishes them one by one. The primary argument is of course the claim that prosecuting Trump will tear the country apart and will absolutely lead to violence. The retort is that we couldn’t be more divided than we already are and that this no excuse for letting anyone, especially those in the highest offices, be above the Law. Not only does it set a horrible precedent, but it encourages further Lawlessness.

Another argument against prosecution is that it will lead to a “stable equilibrium between the two parties.” Not only is this wishful thinking of the highest order, but it’s dispelled entirely by a Republican Party that is insistent in its belief that contrary to all the Evidence that Trump lost the last election that it was stolen from him. It’s a Party that’s obsessed with gaining and holding onto power in any which way. The point is that appeasement only makes a horrible situation even worse.

It can’t be said enough. No one, especially a former President, is above the Law. Our Democracy is already in such an awful state such that it cannot be allowed to deteriorate further.

[i] Meggie Haberman, Glenn Thrush, and Alan Fewer, “Errors Show New Perils For Trump,” The New York Times, Wednesday, August 24, 2022, PP. A1 and A13; James Bouie, “The Idea That Letting Trump Walk Will Heal America Is Ridiculous,” The New York Times, Thursday, August 25, 2002, P. A18.

Ian I. Mitroff is credited as being one of the principal founders of the modern field of Crisis Management. He has a BS, MS, and a PhD in Engineering and the Philosophy of Social Systems Science from UC Berkeley. He Is Professor Emeritus from the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School of Communication at USC. Currently, he is a Senior Research Affiliate in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, UC Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Management. He has published 41 books. His latest is: The Socially Responsible Organization: Lessons from Covid, Springer, New York, 2022.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash



Professor Emeritus USC

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