NewsWorldOPINION | Could Donald Trump go to jail?

OPINION | Could Donald Trump go to jail?

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Editor’s note: Carlos Alberto Montaner is a writer, journalist, and CNN contributor. His columns are published in dozens of newspapers in Spain, the United States and Latin America. Montaner is also vice president of the Liberal International. The opinions expressed here are solely his.

(CNN Spanish) – The New York Prosecutor’s Office is working at full speed in its investigations into Donald Trump, although the former president of the United States has not yet been formally charged with any crime. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and New York Attorney General Letitia James, a brilliant young woman, carefully analyze the tax returns of the ex-president’s multiple businesses, most of them issued in that city. For now, they are evaluating whether or not they accuse several executives of the Trump Organization or even the company itself.

Trump has rejected these investigations, arguing that the New York attorney general is politically motivated and suggesting that all she cares about is “taking him down.”

Another accusation that could possibly land him in prison has to do with the insurrection of January 6, when hundreds of supporters of the then president stormed the US Capitol building after a fiery speech by Trump. At the moment, a special committee of the House of Representatives is investigating the facts, including the possible role of the former president. The Washington Prosecutor’s Office could charge him with commit a misdemeanor (that contemplates penalties of up to six months in prison if found guilty) by inciting his followers.

Trump has also rejected these accusations and claims to be the victim of political revenge.

Meanwhile, Trump repeats something that is a blatant lie: that there was massive electoral fraud in the November 2020 elections that brought Joe Biden to the White House. Are you saying it because you really believe it or because it is in your best interest to believe it? So far, the more than 60 lawsuits filed He has lost all of them against the elections, with Republican or Democratic judges, because he has failed to demonstrate more than typical events of any election. However, a high percentage of Republicans firmly believe what the former president repeats. And hundreds of his followers believed this explanation so much that they decided to storm the Capitol in an attempt to stop the Electoral College vote to certify Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.

Assault on the Capitol

An image of the assault on the Capitol, on January 6, 2021.

Despite everything, and according to a survey of YouGov In the second quarter of 2021, Trump’s popularity remains at 39%, the same level as at the beginning of this year and below 42% at the end of 2020.

But the fence is closing. Jacob Chansley (or Jake Angeli), who calls himself “the shaman of QAnon,” has pleaded guilty to federal charges against him. they will keep behind bars 3 or 4 years roughly, by obstructing the work of the Electoral College. Almost everyone remembers it. On January 6, the day of the insurrection, he stormed the US Senate with a painted face and a horned cap, like a buffalo. If it had been a costume competition, the top prize would have been won.

Shamans are the intermediaries with the afterlife. QAnon is a strange cult on the internet linked to absurd beliefs. The rarest has to do with pedophilia. According to these propagators of the most heinous nonsense, believed by thousands of people in America, John Podesta, the head of Hillary Clinton’s election campaign, runs a pedophilia and child abuse network to which Democratic leaders and Hollywood actors and actresses are affiliated. That explains why a man showed up with his assault rifle at a Washington pizzeria to “break free” some children who were being held hostage in the basement. Not only were there no kidnapped children in that pizzeria. There wasn’t even a basement.

Conspiracies attract a large number of people. Hence the coincidences between anti-Semitism and the constant appearance of George Soros and the Rothschild family in the documents or virtual pages of QAnon, as axes of these false conspiracies: in one of them Soros is accused of being behind the network of pedophilia in pizzerias and of promoting a coup against Trump. It is even common for his followers to question the authorship of the tsarist political police of the anti-Semitic libel “The protocols of the wise men of Zion” (1903) and take for real this text, which is in turn a plagiarism of the French writer Maurice Joly against Napoleon III, as the English newspaper The Times discovered a century ago. The original was a satire called “Dialogue in Hell between Machiavelli and Montesquieu”, according to the encyclopedia Britannica.

Trump has not spoken publicly about QAnon, and did not respond to a question about it from CNN. However, in 2020 the president described the followers of this group as people “who believe in good government”, a source told CNN.

In any case, it is very difficult for Trump to go to jail. Since 1789, when George Washington was elected to his first term, 46 people have passed for the presidency and there have been none who have been overthrown or ended up behind bars. There have been gruesome ones like Richard Nixon, innocuous ones like Franklin Pierce, big ones like William Taft, unpopular ones like Andrew Johnson, womanizers like Bill Clinton, but there has never been a president who mixes the negative elements of all of them in one person. Will Trump be the first to be sentenced to jail? It is difficult to know.

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