Trump just beat his 2nd impeachment conviction, but a massive tsunami of legal peril still awaits

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Former President Donald Trump just beat a Senate conviction on charges of inciting an insurrection against the US government. But his legal jeopardy is just getting started.

His presidential immunity has been gone since January 20th, and there’s a brewing storm of federal, state, and local investigations and lawsuits guaranteed to follow him for years. 

There are both civil and criminal matters, targeting his administration, campaign committee, business interests, as well as Trump himself.

Two matters are most pressing. 

First: Trump’s words and actions during a “Save America” rally on January 6 in Washington, DC, that preceded the violent attack on the US Capitol. The House impeached Trump for his role in the insurrection. That’s very different from what federal prosecutors could do. They haven’t ruled out investigating the ex-president for inciting the attack, during which five people — including a US Capitol Police officer — died. 

Second: Trump in January pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” additional votes in that state’s presidential contest — a desperate gambit to overturn the results of a presidential election he lost. 

Federal, state, and local prosecution is possible for Trump on possible election-law violations, several legal experts told Insider. 

Already, prosecutors in Fulton County, Georgia, the state’s most populous urban center, said on February 10 they were officially launching a criminal investigation into Trump’s election-related actions. 

Read more: Trump could go full MAGA with a presidential library that glorifies his presidency and attacks his enemies

Trump did have the option before leaving office to save himself from federal prosecution. He could have attempted to preemptively pardon himself, a legally dubious move if he’d tried it that still wouldn’t have protected him from state and local legal charges. 

No doubt Trump will put up a fight. He did so during his Senate impeachment trial, where defense lawyer Michael van der Veen argued that “it is time to allow our nation to move forward. It is time to address the real business pressing this nation,” citing the COVID-19 pandemic, economy, and racial inequality, among others. 

But that’s likely wishful thinking. Even Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky acknowledged as much.

“President Trump is still liable for everything he did in office,” McConnell told his Senate colleagues after senators voted 57-43 to convict Trump — short of a two-thirds majority needed. “Former presidents are not immune from being accountable.”

Here’s a look at the specific — and numerous — legal dramas that could haunt Trump for years to come:

Inciting an attack on the US Capitol

As Congress gathered on January 6 for a contentious day certifying the 2020 presidential electoral votes, Trump and some of his closest allies spoke to supporters at an outdoor “Save America” rally just south of the White House.

Trump, ever-bombastic in such settings, spoke less like a president and more as a general leading troops into battle. 

“And we fight. We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” Trump said.

“Fight for Trump! …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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