Donald Trump is not the first former president to face legal problems

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Donald Trump has made history many times.

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The first president with no government or military experience. The first to be impeached twice. The first to aggressively question the triumph of his successor.

Now he adds another originality: although he hopes to return to the White House in 2025, he is the first former president to be impeached.

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The last line that Trump has crossed once again calls into question the aura of the US presidency, founded on the infallibility of George Washington but humanized over and over again through the scandals born of the greed and abuse of power, corruption AND naivety, sex AND lies about sex

Trump is not the first president, in or out of office, to do so Deal with legal problems.

In 1974, Richard Nixon may have avoided criminal charges of obstruction of justice or corruption related to the Watergate scandal only because President Gerald Ford he forgave him just weeks after Nixon resigned from the presidency.

President Richard Nixon in 1971. Photo: AP

President Richard Nixon in 1971. Photo: AP

Bill Clinton’s law license in his native Arkansas was suspended for five years after he settled with prosecutors in 2001, at the end of his second term, over allegations that lied under oath about his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Some historians wonder about the president’s fate Warren Harding had he not died in office in 1923.

Numerous officials close to him were implicated in various crimes, including Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall, whose corrupt land deals became known as the “Teapot Dome scandal”.

“Walls were closing in on him,” presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said of Harding.

Trump’s impeachment in New York is reportedly related to how he is business records have been misrepresented in connection with paying porn actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 in 2016.

Payment took place shortly before Trump will defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, to prevent Daniels from making public a sexual encounter she claimed to have had with him years earlier. Trump denies having sex with the actress.

Trump is also under investigation for allegedly trying to change the results of the 2020 vote in Georgia, a state that narrowly lost to Democrat Joe Biden, and for his role in the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6, 2021 , when Trump supporters went on trial to prevent Congress from confirming Biden as president. Trump denied doing anything wrong and called the New York investigation a “witch hunt”.

While in office, Trump took the position of the Justice Department’s legal opinion that a president cannot be prosecuted. However, once a president leaves office, that protection disappears.

The lives of former presidents

Most of the former presidents of the last half century have worn it a relatively quiet public life: setting up foundations, giving lucrative speeches or, in the case of Jimmy Carter, doing abundant charitable work.

Nixon’s bad luck marked him for years, though he eventually reemerged to speak on world affairs and advise aspiring politicians and potential presidents, including Trump.

The immediate cause of Nixon’s resignation was the discovery of the “smoking gun”: Oval Office tapes initiated by Nixon revealing that he had ordered a cover-up of the 1972 raid on Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington’s Watergate complex.

By 1974 the scandal had spread far beyond the initial crime. Many of Nixon’s top aides had quit and were eventually jailed. Nixon himself he was a possible target of the prosecutor Watergate special.

“There were supporters in Congress and on the Special Counsel staff who would have liked to see Nixon indicted after his resignation, or at least believed that clemency was premature,” said John A. Farrell, author of “Richard Nixon: The Life “. an award-winning biography published in 2017.

“But the special counsel, Leon Jaworski, had always chosen to deal with Nixon through the constitutional impeachment process.”

Farrell points out that Ford’s pardon came so soon after Nixon’s resignation that Jaworski’s office he did not have time to fully analyze the allegations.

Ford himself would say that “an indictment, a trial, a conviction and whatever happened” would distract the country from more immediate problems.

“You can say this: Nixon himself was very concerned about the possibility (of being prosecuted), to the point where his health suffered,” Farrell said, referring to Nixon’s battles with the phlebitisan inflammation of the veins in the leg.

“He reflected aloud on how some of the best political writing in history was done in prison cells. His family, very worried, approached the White House and alerted Ford’s collaborators about the deteriorating state of health of the former president.

The administrations of Nixon and Harding They were two of many defined by scandal, without the president being charged.

Ulysses Grant, the Union general and Civil War hero, was naive to those around him. Several members of his presidential administration have been involved in financial crimes, from extortion to market manipulation.

Grant himself was indicted for a more mundane offence. In 1872, during his first term, he was stopped twice for going too fast in his carriage.

“The second time Grant had to pay a $20 fine, but he never spent a night in jail,” says historian Ron Chernow, whose biography of Grant was published in 2017.

The tragedy may have saved a future president.

In the fall of 1963, Vice President Lyndon Johnson was out of favor in the Kennedy administration and in potential legal danger because his top adviser, Bobby Baker, was being investigated for financial maneuvering and influence peddling. Johnson, with his questionable financial record, has denied any close ties to a man he once claimed to love like a son.

On the morning of November 22, 1963, Life magazine was planning an investigation and congressional hearings had just begun. But within hours Kennedy was assassinated, Johnson sworn in as his successor, and Baker’s business interest. it was practically over.

Source: Clarin

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