Robert Kuttner has, as usual, an interesting piece over at The American Prospect which ponders what indicting Trump might mean for the republic:
The Select Committee has done a superb job of accumulating evidence that Donald Trump can and should be indicted. Although naysayers keep raising questions about whether a prosecution could prove criminal intent, that is a possible concern only in the case of one of the possible charges—seditious conspiracy. Trump’s lawyers have suggested that if he truly believed he won the election, then he was not guilty of criminal intent. This is why the committee has produced witness after witness who’d told Trump to his face that he’d lost.
However, in the case of the other likely charge, interfering with an official proceeding, there is no question about Trump’s intent. His repeated efforts to pressure Mike Pence to stop the electoral count and fish for a better arithmetic leaves not a shred of doubt of what Trump intended to happen. And that charge is hardly a case of “getting Willie Sutton on tax evasion.” It’s a felony that carries a 20-year prison term.
But demonstrating that Trump can be indicted is only the beginning of the story, and it raises a host of other questions. One is whether indicting a former president would be good for American democracy.
Some skeptics have made the argument that this would make America more like corrupt Third World countries where it’s routine to send the last incumbent to prison on one charge or another. If we set a precedent of prosecuting a former president, would this become the norm?
The answer, I think, is that Trump is unlike any other former president. To let criminal behavior by the nation’s chief constitutional officer go unpunished would be a betrayal of our democracy. As several members of the committee pointed out, every president beginning with George Washington cooperated with a peaceful transition of power—until Trump.
You can read the rest of it here.
The stupidest arguments I’ve read against indicting Trump involve threats from Republicans that if we do it to them, they will do it to us when they are back in power.
Which is silly because they, as they are currently comprised in the GOP, are going to do it to us anyway.