If Donald Trump never ran for and became president of the United States, chances are the crimes for which he is being investigated today would have never come to light.
Now, the very thing that has spurred this scrutiny – the presidency – could be keeping him safe from any legal consequences for those crimes.
As Duke University law professor Walter Dellinger pointed out on Saturday, Trump’s reelection campaign is essentially about one thing: staying out of jail.
“The statute of limitations for most federal crimes is five years,” Dellinger said in a discussion on MSNBC’s AM Joy. “So any crimes that occurred during the campaign, the statute of limitations would have run and the president would be immune from prosecution if he stayed a second term.”
In other words, Trump knows that – given existing Department of Justice guidelines – he is largely safe from facing indictment or criminal charges so long as he is in the White House.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) March 9, 2019
Under existing Department of Justice policy, a president cannot be indicted while he is in office. I think that’s wrong. I think you cannot put a president on trial but you need to be able to indict a president to stop the statute of limitations from running. And I noted more than a year ago that one of the problems with the Department of Justice policy about indicting a president is that it would give a president who might want to retire and go back to south Florida and play golf an incentive to run for a second term just to use the White House as a sanctuary from justice so that he could not be indicted. The statute of limitations for most federal crimes is five years, so any crimes that occurred during the campaign, the statute of limitations would have run and the president would be immune from prosecution if he stayed a second term. That’s just got to be wrong.
Trump is using the presidency as a shield
The most important thing to Donald Trump is protecting and enriching himself, whether it’s in his personal, business or political life.
Through his decades in the public spotlight, there has never been a line this man wasn’t willing to cross for more fame or money or power, no matter how many women or workers or innocent bystanders it affected.
Now, as the investigations pile up and his legal jeopardy continues to mount, Trump likely sees the presidency not only as a means to enrichment himself but also as a form of protection.
Trump doesn’t want to build a wall between the United States and Mexico; he wants to put up a barrier between himself and the rule of law.
As if the American people needed another reason to oppose a second Donald Trump term in the White House.
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.