Donald Trump has been credibly accused of committing at least 48 criminal offenses while he was serving as President of the United States or campaigning for that office. Those offenses are listed in the table below, which includes possible offenses that were investigated by the Department of Justice while President Trump was in office as well as possible offenses that have not been the subject of any confirmed reported investigation. While he was in office, President Trump was protected by the DOJ’s policy of not indicting a sitting president, but that policy of course does not apply to a former president. The table does not include potential crimes being investigated by authorities in New York relating to the Trump Organization.  

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Despite Donald Trump’s staggering record of likely criminal misconduct as president and candidate for that office, he has not been charged with a single criminal offense. While adherence to the rule of law requires that prosecutors pursue criminal indictments only where the facts, law, and principles of prosecution support such action, it is also critical that no individual be insulated from accountability simply because they are a national political figure, a former president or a candidate for public office. Choosing not to pursue accountability for fear of the political criticism or consequences is itself a deeply political act. 

“If President Trump avoids criminal prosecution for these potential offenses because prosecutors are unwilling to pursue legally justified cases against him, the message to him and future presidents will be clear: you can commit crimes with impunity.”

The window for seeking accountability is beginning to close if the facts, law and principles of prosecution do support indictment of the former president. Federal and state statutes of limitations require that most criminal offenses be charged within a specified number of years after the relevant conduct occurred. The potentially applicable federal criminal statutes carry a statute of limitations of 5 years. In Georgia, the relevant statute of limitations is 5 years for offenses charged under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute, 4 years for other relevant felony offenses, and 2 years for relevant misdemeanor offenses. Although prosecutors can sometimes find ways to extend the statute of limitations or argue that the clock started ticking later, the opportunity to pursue accountability is closing. It is also possible that courts would consider pausing or delaying the running of the statute of limitations during Trump’s time in office in light of the DOJ’s policy view that the Constitution precludes indictment of a sitting president

Deterrence is one of the core objectives of criminal law. Federal criminal law is designed to punish individuals for criminal offenses to discourage these individuals and others like them from engaging in the same conduct in the future. If President Trump avoids criminal prosecution for these potential offenses because prosecutors are unwilling to pursue meritorious and legally justified cases against him, the message to him and future presidents will be clear: you can commit crimes with impunity. 

The rule of law is not self-enforcing. The individuals who serve in the Department of Justice and in prosecutors’ offices across the country are charged with upholding it. They must do so here if the facts, law, and principles of prosecution support doing so.

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