All posts tagged: former President Donald Trump

How Democrats Could Disqualify Trump If the Supreme Court Doesn’t

How Democrats Could Disqualify Trump If the Supreme Court Doesn’t

Near the end of the Supreme Court’s oral arguments about whether Colorado could exclude former President Donald Trump from its ballot as an insurrectionist, the attorney representing voters from the state offered a warning to the justices—one evoking the January 6 riot that had set the case in motion. By this point in the hearing, the justices had made clear that they didn’t like the idea of allowing a single state to kick Trump out of the presidential race, and they didn’t appear comfortable with the Court doing so either. Sensing that Trump would likely stay on the ballot, the attorney, Jason Murray, said that if the Supreme Court didn’t resolve the question of Trump’s eligibility, “it could come back with a vengeance”—after the election, when Congress meets once again to count and certify the votes of the Electoral College. Murray and other legal scholars say that, absent clear guidance from the Supreme Court, a Trump win could lead to a constitutional crisis in Congress. Democrats would have to choose between confirming a winner many …

What the Heck Is Wrong With the Democrats?

What the Heck Is Wrong With the Democrats?

The Democratic Party is heading into the 2024 election with a presumptive nominee who may well be incapable of defeating former President Donald Trump. The incumbent on whom the party is relying to run against Trump’s dangerous threat to the country and the world currently rates at an anemic and steady 39 percent approval. Worse, no less than three-quarters of Americans and half of Democrats worry that President Joe Biden lacks “the necessary mental and physical health to be president for a second term.” And those figures come from a survey released before Special Counsel Robert Hur’s damning comments last week about Biden being an “elderly man with a poor memory.” Yet partisan Democrats, from the president on down, responded with anger and defensiveness to Hur’s report. This is so unfair! How dare he use his office for a partisan hit job! To which I’m inclined to respond: Stop whining! The reason Hur’s comments seemed damaging is that they confirmed what most of the country already believes: Biden is too old and frail for the …

The Special Counsel’s Devastating Charge Against Biden

The Special Counsel’s Devastating Charge Against Biden

Special Counsel Robert Hur leveled a devastating charge against Biden—just not a criminal one. Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty February 8, 2024, 4:04 PM ET A special counsel’s report into Joe Biden’s handling of classified material released today has good news for the president, and very bad news. The good news is that Robert Hur did not recommend charges against Biden, likely spelling the end of any legal jeopardy for sloppy storage of documents, though the report says that “the practice of retaining classified material in unsecured locations poses serious risks to national security.” The very bad news is that Hur delivered a devastating portrayal of Biden’s mental acuity, saying any jury would view him as “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” Speculation about the extent to which Biden, the oldest president in American history, has lost a step has already been rampant. The president’s critics, including former President Donald Trump and many Republicans, have depicted Biden as senile. The president’s allies insist that he remains sharp, pointing to his record …

Trump’s Immigration Plan Is Even More Aggressive Now

Trump’s Immigration Plan Is Even More Aggressive Now

Confrontations over immigration and border security are moving to the center of the struggle between the two parties, both in Washington, D.C., and beyond. And yet the most explosive immigration clash of all may still lie ahead. In just the past few days, Washington has seen the collapse of a bipartisan Senate deal to toughen border security amid opposition from former President Donald Trump and the House Republican leadership, as well as a failed vote by House Republicans to impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for allegedly refusing to enforce the nation’s immigration laws. Simultaneously, Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott, supported by more than a dozen other GOP governors, has renewed his attempts to seize greater control over immigration enforcement from the federal government. Cumulatively these clashes demonstrate how much the terms of debate over immigration have moved to the right during President Joe Biden’s time in office. But even amid that overall shift, Trump is publicly discussing immigration plans for a second presidential term that could quickly become much more politically divisive …

An Airtight Ruling Against Trump

An Airtight Ruling Against Trump

Sign up for The Trump Trials by George T. Conway III, a newsletter that chronicles the former president’s legal troubles. On July 24, 1974, when the Supreme Court issued its decision in United States v. Nixon, ordering President Richard Nixon to produce the Watergate tapes, the president turned to his chief of staff, Alexander Haig, to understand what had just happened. He later recounted the exchange in his memoirs: “Unanimous?” I guessed. “Unanimous. There’s no air in it at all,” he said. “None at all?” I asked. “It’s tight as a drum.” These words echoed through my mind today, nearly 50 years later, as I read the historic opinion of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in United States v. Trump, holding that former President Donald Trump does not enjoy immunity from prosecution for any crimes he committed in attempting to end constitutional democracy in the United States. The result was no surprise. As I said last month, no one who attended the oral argument could have believed Trump …

An Appeals Court Denies Trump Criminal Immunity

An Appeals Court Denies Trump Criminal Immunity

A federal appeals court has rejected Trump’s claim of absolute immunity from criminal prosecution—and rightly so. Chip Somodevilla / Getty February 6, 2024, 12:09 PM ET A federal appeals court ruled today that former President Donald Trump is not immune from criminal prosecution for his actions following the 2020 presidential election, upholding the basic principle that no American is above the law. “We cannot accept former President Trump’s claim that a President has unbounded authority to commit crimes that would neutralize the most fundamental check on executive power—the recognition and implementation of election results,” the D.C. Circuit Court’s unsigned, unanimous opinion states. David A. Graham: A thought experiment about SEAL Team 6 goes terribly, terribly wrong It’s the sort of ruling that might have seemed superfluous not very long ago: Essential ideas about American government have long presupposed that the president, like every other citizen, can be punished if he commits crimes. Although the court makes that explicit, and clears the way (for now) for Trump’s prosecution for attempted election subversion to proceed, it is …

An  Million Victory for E. Jean Carroll—And America

An $83 Million Victory for E. Jean Carroll—And America

Sign up for The Trump Trials by George T. Conway III, a newsletter that chronicles the former president’s legal troubles. Eighty-three million, three hundred thousand dollars. When a New York jury awarded that amount to E. Jean Carroll on Friday in her defamation action against former President Donald Trump, I was awestruck. Now, as a lawyer, I had thought a fair verdict could range anywhere from $75 to $100 million—or even more. Carroll had already obtained a $5 million verdict in a trial just last year, an amount comprising roughly $2 million for his having sexually abused Carroll in 1996, and roughly $3 million for his having defamed her in 2022, after he (unwillingly) left office. This trial, the second trial, was held to determine what damages she had suffered when he defamed her in 2019, when Carroll first told the world how Trump had assaulted her. It stood to reason that the damages for that slander would be much greater—after all, that had been the first time he’d lied about her, and, importantly, his …

The Candidates Running for Vice President

The Candidates Running for Vice President

Watch the full episode of Washington Week With The Atlantic, January 19, 2024 Courtesy of Washington Week With The Atlantic January 20, 2024, 11:53 AM ET Editor’s Note: Washington Week With The Atlantic is a partnership between NewsHour Productions, WETA, and The Atlantic airing every Friday on PBS stations nationwide. Check your local listings or watch full episodes here. With just days until New Hampshire’s presidential primary election, tension is growing between Republican rivals former President Donald Trump and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Trump, fresh off his win in Iowa and leading in the polls, is weighing possible vice-presidential running mates, including Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, and former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy. Meanwhile, concerns about the war in Gaza expanding into a wider regional conflict are mounting after Iran’s recent strikes in Iraq and Pakistan. And in the Red Sea, Iranian-backed Houthi-rebel attacks on international shipping show no signs of stopping, despite the U.S. and its allies continuing to strike sites in Yemen. Joining the …

The GOP’s Big Chill in Iowa

The GOP’s Big Chill in Iowa

The arctic chill that upended the final weekend of the Iowa Republican caucus provided a fitting end to a contest that has seemed frozen in place for months. This caucus has felt unusually lifeless, not only because former President Donald Trump has maintained an imposing and seemingly unshakable lead in the polls. That advantage was confirmed late Saturday night when the Des Moines Register, NBC, and Mediacom Iowa released their highly anticipated final pre-caucus poll showing Trump at 48 percent and, in a distant battle for second place, Nikki Haley at 20 percent and Ron DeSantis at 16 percent. The caucus has also lacked energy because Trump’s shrinking field of rivals has never appeared to have the heart for making an all-out case against him. “I think there was actually a decent electorate that had supported Trump in the past but were interested in looking for somebody else,” Douglas Gross, a longtime GOP activist who chaired Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign in Iowa, told me. But neither DeSantis nor Haley, he adds, has found a message …

What Comes After January 6

What Comes After January 6

January 6, 2024, 10:10 AM ET Editor’s Note: Washington Week With The Atlantic is a partnership between NewsHour Productions, WETA, and The Atlantic airing every Friday on PBS stations nationwide. Check your local listings or watch full episodes here. On Friday, the day before the third anniversary of the January 6 insurrection, President Joe Biden delivered his first speech of the new year at Valley Forge in battleground Pennsylvania, and warned voters about what’s at stake this November. His likely Republican opponent, former President Donald Trump, is meanwhile hitting the campaign trail in Iowa to cement his lead before the caucuses, while juggling several legal cases against him. And, while Democrats are attempting to motivate voters over access to abortion, Republicans are seizing on-campus speech and DEI initiatives as the next front of the culture war—Claudine Gay’s resignation as president of Harvard on Tuesday was only one recent flare-up. Joining the moderator and editor in chief of The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg, this week to discuss this and more are Peter Baker, the chief White House …