DC Bureau Chief Explains How Trump’s Latest Scandal Could Earn Him “More Than 10 Years In Prison”

As soon as he's out, it's over for him.


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It’s already been made strikingly clear by Madam Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow House Democrats that Trump’s latest scandal involving a shady attempt at extortion with Ukraine was enough to make him eligible for a formal impeachment inquiry, which Pelosi announced just a couple of weeks ago.

However, according to The Intercept’s D.C. Bureau Chief Ryan Grim, Trump’s attempt to withhold military aid and funding from Ukraine in exchange for political dirt on his opponent Joe Biden could carry a far larger punishment than simply being booted from the presidency.

It’s important to note here that, according to the laws of the United States, a president can be subjected to impeachment and removal from office should they commit what’s considered “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The “misdemeanors” part of this law means that a president can be ousted for things that don’t necessarily qualify as a federal offense or carry a long prison term.

But in his article for The Intercept, Grim points out that some aspects of the Ukraine scandal alone could constitute felony offenses for Trump.

“Altogether, if the impeachment inquiry is limited simply to Trump’s pressure on Ukraine, the charges could amount to more than ten years in prison,” Grim explains.

Of course, we all know that the DoJ has a standing policy against indicting a sitting US president — as we were made well aware of when former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation was concluded. So, all of the points that Grim makes in his article are charges that Donald won’t be subjected to while he’s still the sitting president of this country.

While his explanation surrounding Trump’s possible prison sentence is all hypothetical at this point, he does note that should Donald no longer be president, prosecutors would likely be looking into a violation of the 18 U.S. Code § 872 law — which, according to Grim, pertains to “extortion by officers or employees of the United States.”

“The only question, here, is the definition of extortion,” Grim writes. “The law describes it as ‘the extraction of anything of value from another person by threatening or placing that person in fear of injury to any person or kidnapping of any person.’ Was the Ukrainian president, or any other person, put in ‘fear of injury’ by Trump’s move?”

In addition to breaking US extortion laws, Grim goes on to explain the numerous other federal laws that Trump has broken over the course of this one scandal in particular.

He explains that Donald’s actions of refusing to comply with Congressional subpoenas constitute “a prima facie violation of 2 U.S. Code § 192: ‘refusal of witness to testify or produce papers,’ punishable by a year in prison.”

If the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, “felt coerced into helping with ‘a political campaign,’ that implicates 18 U.S. Code § 610 — which covers that crime rather clearly under the title: ‘coercion of political activity.’”

Quoting 18 U.S. Code § 595, Grim explained that it is a crime when a government official “uses his official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting, the nomination or the election of any candidate for the office of president.”

Citing 18 U.S. Code § 607 and 52 U.S. Code § 30121, he goes on to explain that it is “illegal to solicit contributions to your presidential campaign from the Oval Office and illegal to solicit from foreign nationals no matter where you do it from.”

Grim wraps things up by noting that prosecutors often practice something called “stacking” — stacking multiple felony charges right on top of each other in an attempt to make the defendant more likely to take a plea deal — and he expects a lot of “stacking” to take place should Trump ultimately be implicated in criminal charges surrounding the Ukraine scandal.

You can read the full article here.

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