Ever since Donald Trump was elected to be the President of the United States in 2017, many eagerly awaited the end of his presidential term. The rally between Joe Biden and Trump was definitely a close one. While many breathed sighs of relief when Biden won, Trump did not take the loss easy and he has been fighting like hell to remain in office. In fact, he has been doing everything he can to reverse the results of the election.
What is now known as the US Capitol Hill Siege or one of the worst security breaches in US history, the world saw hundred’s of angry and armed trump supports storm into Capitol Hill just as the congress was validating Biden’s win as the president. They were seen removing electoral ballots from the senate floor, smashing windows and roaming the halls freely while looting the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers. The protestors were seen waving the ‘Trump 2020’ flag as well as wearing shirts and caps that bore trump’s infamous tagline ‘Make America great again’.
The violent protesters were also seen videotaping and photographing themselves as they broke windows and pushed past barricades to forcefully enter the Capitol. As a message was broadcasted inside the Capitol for the one’s trapped inside - “Lock all doors if able. If unable, seek shelter or concealment. Remain calm and await further directions. I repeat… security threats, security threats, security threats inside the US Capitol ”, 4 people lost their lives due to this violence.
Why is Trump being blamed for the violence?
The events at the Capitol only seemed to have ‘deepened the divide’ within the Republican Party as several leaders as blaming Trump for inciting this violence by instructing his followers to reject the results of the presidential campaign. In fact, many critics have blamed Trump’s speech at Ellipse park where he directed his followers to head up to the building.
“And after this, we’re going to walk down there, and I’ll be there with you, we’re going to walk down…to the Capitol and we are going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women. And we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them. Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong”
He also further instigate his supporters that the election had been rigged by ‘radical democrats’ and ‘fake news media’ and they shouldn't accept the result of this election.
Trump was also seen supporting the actions of his followers when he said, in a now-deleted tweet that, “it’s time to go home now”. “I know your pain. I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us,” “It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side.”
These events caused several law enforcement officials as well as dozen house democrats to demand Trump’s impeachment before inauguration day.
Even an Iraqi Judge has issued a warrant for his arrest
Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was an Iraqi deputy head of the Iran-backed Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces and was killed alongside Soleimani in a US airstrike on January 3, 2020. In fact, a judge in Baghdad has issued a warrant against the president under charges of killing of an Iraqi paramilitary leader during the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani last year.
A statement released by the Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq read “After the completion of the preliminary investigation procedures, the judge decided to issue an arrest warrant for the outgoing President of the United States of America, Donald Trump. The investigation procedures will continue to find out the other participants in the implementation of this crime, whether they are Iraqis or foreigners.”
While the Trump administration had stated that the killing of Soleimani was due to the fact that he was an ‘imminent threat’, Trump was seen talking about the attack while describing it as "two for the price of one." and calling Soleimani a "noted terrorist" who "was supposed to be in his country".
Even during their memorial service, statements like "God is great, America is the great Satan." were being chanted and broadcasted over the speakers.
So, can Trump be arrested?
As long as Trump is still the acting president of the United States it is not clear as to whether he can be arrested or now. While he can be removed from office by the Congress on grounds of “high crimes and misdemeanours” via the impeachment process, it is unclear whether he could face criminal prosecution or not.
While no other President in the US’s history has been arrested, Trump has a rather long list of prior misdemeanours lined up against him. Tax fraud, bank and insurance fraud, campaign finance violations, bribery, negligent homicide, obstruction of justice and re-impeachment are just some of the possible offences he could be charged with.
Although he may be ‘untouchable’ as the president, he does not enjoy the same immunity once he is removed from office. Even the former Special Counsel for the Department of Justice, Robert Mueller stated that a former president does not have immunity when he leaves office.