AFTER 2ND IMPEACHMENT, TRUMP TO FACE DOZENS OF CRIMINAL CASES
Donald Trump’s acquittal at his second impeachment trial may not be the final word on whether he’s to blame for the deadly Capitol riot. The next step for the former president could be the courts, Colleen Long reported for the Associated Press (AP).
“President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office, as an ordinary citizen, unless the statute of limitations has run,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said after that vote. He insisted that the court were a more appropriate venue to hold Trump accountable than a Senate trial. “He didn’t get away with anything yet,” McConnell said.
"Yet.” In short, the acquittal was a pyrrhic victory for Trump, who lost to Joe Biden in the Nov. 3, 2020 election by nearly 8 million votes.
The insurrection at the Capitol, in which five people died, is just one of the legal cases shadowing Trump in the months after he was voted out of office. He also faces legal exposure in Georgia over an alleged pressure campaign on state election officials, and in Manhattan over hush-money payments and business deals. His tenants have also sued him and his corporations for fraud.
Trump’s culpability under the law for inciting the riot is by no means clear-cut. The standard is high under court decisions reaching back 50 years. Trump could also be sued by victims, though he has some constitutional protections, including if he acted while carrying out the duties of president. Those cases would come down to his intent.
The legal issue is whether Trump or any of the speakers at the rally near the White House that preceded the assault on the Capitol incited violence and whether they knew their words would have that effect. That’s the standard the Supreme Court laid out in its 1969 decision in Brandenburg v. Ohio, which overturned the conviction of a Ku Klux Klan leader.
Trump urged the crowd on Jan. 6 to march on the Capitol, where Congress was meeting to affirm Joe Biden’s presidential election, Trump even promised to go with his supporters, though he didn’t in the end. “You’ll never take our country back with weakness,” Trump said.