The New York Times editorial board, in characteristic fashion, attacked former President Trump, calling for him to be indicted if “Attorney General Merrick Garland and his staff conclude that there is sufficient evidence” to do so.
The New York Times boasts of its editorial board that is comprised of a “group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values,” adding that it “aims to provide a consistent, independent view of the world based on time-tested institutional values.”
Citing the House select committee’s hearings regarding January 6, 2021 — enthusing that the Jan. 6 committee had “meticulously assembled” “disturbing details” of Trump’s “postelection misfeasance,” while insisting the American public has been “transfixed” by them — The Times accuses Trump of having “roused an armed mob that stormed the Capitol and threatened lawmakers.”
“No American president has ever been criminally prosecuted after leaving office,” The Times noted, pointing out then when former President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, he warned that prosecuting Nixon risked catalyzing “ugly passions” and further polarization.
Admitting “that warning is just as salient today,” The Times then continues, “There is a substantial risk that, if the Justice Department does prosecute Mr. Trump, future presidents — whether Mr. Trump himself or someone of his ilk — could misuse the precedent to punish political rivals. … There is an even more immediate threat of further violence, and it is a possibility that Americans should, sadly, be prepared for.”
Praising Garland for being “deliberate, methodical and scrupulous,” The Times added, “No matter how careful Mr. Garland is or how measured the prosecution might be, there is a real and significant risk from those who believe that any criticism of Mr. Trump justifies an extreme response.”
But then The Times ignored precedent, arguing, “Yet it is a far greater risk to do nothing when action is called for. Aside from letting Mr. Trump escape punishment, doing nothing to hold him accountable for his actions in the months leading up to Jan. 6 could set an irresistible precedent for future presidents.”
The Times acknowledged its past support for Trump’s impeachment and removal from office, arguing that “the threat that Mr. Trump and his most ardent supporters pose to American democracy has metastasized.”
“He used the power of his office to subvert the rule of law. If we hesitate to call those actions and their perpetrator criminal, then we are saying he is above the law and giving license to future presidents to do whatever they want,” The Times claimed.
Prospective cases the government could bring against Trump, The Times wrote, would include “Trump’s fraudulent efforts to get election officials in Georgia, Arizona, and elsewhere to declare him the winner even though he lost their states; to get Mr. Pence, at the Jan. 6 congressional certification of the election, to throw out slates of electors from states he lost and replace them with electors loyal to Mr. Trump; and to enlist from the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Defense to persuade officials in certain states to swing the election to him and ultimately stir up a mob that attacked the Capitol.”
The Times added another charge: “seditious conspiracy.”
“More than 850 other Americans have already been charged with crimes for their roles in the Capitol attack,” The Times wrote. “It would be unjust if Mr. Trump, the man who inspired them, faced no consequences.”
Claiming Trump’s actions have “brought shame on one of the world’s oldest democracies and destabilized its future,” The Times concluded, “Even justice before the law will not erase that stain. Nor will prosecuting Mr. Trump fix the structural problems that led to the greatest crisis in American democracy since the Civil War. But it is a necessary first step toward doing so.”