“Nobody is above the law” is a common tagline Americans like to use about the justice system in this country, but it increasingly seems like Donald Trump is – at least until he’s out of office.
As Chris Matthews said on Wednesday, the fact that Trump is president seems to be the one thing keeping him out of court.
“The only thing protecting this president from a criminal indictment is the fact that he is president right now,” the MSNBC host said.
Seth Waxman, a former federal prosecutor, added that Trump would have likely been named in Tuesday’s charges if were an average citizen.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) August 23, 2018
It seems to me, Seth, that the only thing protecting this president from a criminal indictment is the fact that he is president right now and he will be for the rest of his four-year term. Who knows what comes later. … To most Americans, they say no one is above the law. That is part of our national belief system. In this case, it seems like the president is above the law until he is not president.
Impeachment must be the first step
Since the presidency is protecting Trump from facing an indictment, the first step in holding him accountable for his admitted crimes is to impeach and remove him from office.
At that point, charges and indictments against him could be handed down, and the regular judicial process would be allowed to move forward. But at this point, with Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress and refusing to act, impeachment isn’t likely – even after this week’s developments.
That’s why this year’s midterm elections are more important than ever. For the president of the United States to be held accountable, it’ll take a Congress willing to do its job.
That starts by sending Republicans home in November.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.