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Bragg’s Conviction Against Trump Means It’s Open Season on Former Presidents

Posted on Monday, June 17, 2024
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by Outside Contributor
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President Trump’s enemies have been so busy celebrating his conviction in New York last week that they don’t seem to realize what a double-edged sword they’ve unsheathed. Regardless of Trump’s fate on appeal, one or more of the 2,300 elected district attorneys across the country may now feel liberated. They can now pursue former presidents, including President Biden, regardless of the merits of the case, purely for political gain or retribution.

We are not suggesting that any county prosecutor must retaliate against Biden simply because Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg and Fulton County DA Fani Willis prosecuted Donald Trump—though it is hard to see what else would stop rogue progressive prosecutors from continuing to charge Republicans presidents. Rather, we are suggesting that the likelihood of other county prosecutors charging former presidents has gone from zero to some undetermined percentage.

You can thank Bragg and Willis for that. The obvious place for red county DAs to start would be the web of Biden family influence-peddling.

A prosecutor could open an investigation into whether Hunter, James, and ultimately Joe Biden were taking money from foreign governments and companies to influence U.S. government decisions. A DA would already have the paper trail set out by congressional investigators and IRS whistleblowers.

Did the Bidens either defraud the foreign payers, or did they take the money in exchange for protecting them? Did any of the Bidens steer contributions to entities that later paid them salaries and expenses, a la the Clinton Foundation? The legal charges would be far more plausible than the gossamer-thin concoction dreamt up by Bragg.

Perhaps a creative county prosecutor in Texas could conceivably charge Joe Biden with any number of crimes for his immigration policies on the border, which have devastated Texas, its residents, and businesses.

That prosecutor could start with manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide. There is no statute of limitations for manslaughter in Texas, whereas there is a three-year limitation on criminally negligent homicide.

The district attorney could argue that Biden’s open-border policies, including flying in known or suspected convicted criminals, resulted in foreseeable deaths.

To be convicted of manslaughter under Texas law, the person must “recklessly cause the death of an individual.” A person acts recklessly with respect to circumstances surrounding his conduct when he is “aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur.”

As proof, the prosecutor could call, in addition to the decedent’s family members, former Border Patrol chiefs who would testify as expert witnesses that they warned President Biden or Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas against their open-border policies.

Alternatively, the prosecutor could proceed on a theory of criminal negligence, which, under Texas law, only requires the prosecutor prove that Biden was aware of “a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur.”

The prosecutor’s theme could be, “Biden lied, and people died.”

A creative and ambitious prosecutor could charge Biden with unlawful or unwanted touching, assault, or some version of sexual assault for any number of claims by women or children who Biden groped over the years. In 2020, former Biden Senate staffer Tara Reade accused Biden of sexual assault in a Capitol Hill office in 1993.

Given the fact that Biden was forced to apologize for unwanted touching over the years in this video, and said that “the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset, and I get it,” the only things that might prevent a prosecutor from charging Biden with such crimes is the unwillingness of victims to testify and/or the tolling of the statute of limitations. At least seven states have no statute of limitations for felony sex crimes.

These are just a few examples of how the criminal law of a state could be twisted by an unscrupulous district attorney to go after a former president now that Bragg has sailed into uncharted and dangerous waters.

Trump’s foes can cheer all they want, but the short-term political gain Bragg and those who support him may reap from this flawed and unorthodox prosecution will potentially be dwarfed by the long-term damage to stability of the Office of the President.

Professor John Yoo is a Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law, University of California at Berkeley.

Charles “Cully” Stimson is a Senior Legal Fellow and Deputy Director at The Meese Center.

Reprinted with Permission from The Heritage Foundation – By Professor John Woo & Charles “Cully” Stimson

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AMAC or AMAC Action.

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Nancy Schneider
Nancy Schneider
27 days ago

President Trump was falsely charged and convicted. It is amazing how many people are ignorant of the facts. That is the reason this country had to endure 8 years of obama and now 4 years of biden.I hope we can recover from all this Trump 2024

Dan W.
Dan W.
27 days ago

Can you sheath your double-edged sword for five minutes Professor ?

The Supreme Court is set to release its ruling on presidential immunity in the next few days. Then you can write your concurring or dissenting opinion to the Court’s ruling.

George Westcott
George Westcott
27 days ago

The pendulum does swing both ways. It will be interesting to see what comes about in the future.

Will
Will
27 days ago

Seems to me the only one who is standing up to this mess is Trump and his lawyers, no one eles seems to have the guts to move forward with prosecuting Biden and the administration for the many crimes they have committed, look at the genocide just from fentinal killing over a hundred thousand a year , and the sex trafficking , the child trafficking from the open boarders, it seems we have a whole smorgasbord of crimes that Obiden and his administration has managed to get away with and continue to get away with it Biden is a traitor, along with Obama and Hillary who continue to run this country to the ground.

Rick
Rick
27 days ago

This should have never been an issue! It was America’s fear that brought us here. The cowards in Congress/Washington DC, took America’s fear and created Home Land Security to plan the elimination of our Constitution. America bought into it, hook line and sinker!So, we have no one to blame but ourselves.Until America takes back the Constitution and eliminates Home Land Security! We will be lost as a country! FJB!

Rob citizenship
Rob citizenship
27 days ago

It would help to have a Nation with many more people who are interested in developing a high level of intelligence, having the quality of Courage understood better – so as to be able to deal with adversity better, and who practice resourcefulness . Respect for Ethical Standards would be another important improvement . What is very useful in good management of anything , – a business , a government agency, someone’ s personal life are what good decision making is based on – Planning, Organizing , Coordination in order to Schedule the delivery of goods or services – they are connected by clear, intelligent Communication. And the matter of understanding the value of good character, respect for the will of God, and remembering what this United States of America was founded on – the ideas that made a huge improvement in Liberty . That led to having a Bill of Rights in a Constitution and a Constitutional Republic . With respect for Truth and Integrity. God bless America, land of the free, home of the brave.

nyyluvr4ever
nyyluvr4ever
27 days ago

Unfortunately, the conservative side of our government talks to talk, but doesn’t walk the walk. I have yet to see anything but fear mongering amongst Republicans. Asking for money and doing a little else but banging the drum. Until they do folks like President Trump will be targeted while others like Joe Biden walk around free.

Jeff
Jeff
27 days ago

Excellent piece, hopefully, the families that have experienced crimes from the open border can sue Biden before he passes on

Dennis
Dennis
27 days ago

Time to go after Obama. He’s a communist and not even a citizen of thIs country

Ken Westenkirchner
Ken Westenkirchner
27 days ago

When

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