California voters are open to prosecuting former President Trump if there’s enough evidence of wrongdoing. (Sarah Rice / For The Washington Post)

Opinion

Opinion: Trump’s bad management and obstruction of justice

Former President Donald Trump has demonstrated his corrupt actions on multiple occasions, which goes against the values of the US Constitution and must be investigated before the 2024 Presidential Election.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/alexli051705/" target="_self">Alex Li</a>

Alex Li

October 31, 2022
The Russian presence in the 2016 presidential election makes us wonder whether or not Former President Donald Trump has made connections with Russian intelligence to influence his election and presidency as a whole. In the “Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election,” the authors explore the nuts and bolts of some of the actions made by Trump and his campaign. At the end of the report, the authors could not make a conclusion that Trump has committed any crimes due to legal standards put in place, but they also clearly state that their investigation does not prove his innocence either.

After reading the report, I believe that Trump has made poor decisions as a president as well as engaged in inappropriate actions, and these activities should be monitored and further investigated before he runs again in future elections. Trump has made some unseemly decisions with his cabinet and the people he trusts. Additionally, he has been recorded for obstructing justice multiple times, which is a crime.

Trump engaged in very inappropriate management practices while he was president. From his firing of former FBI Director James Comey to his firing of former US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Trump upended the tradition of these positions being of service to the people of the United States by punishing them for not being loyal to him. Trump saw Comey and Sessions as unloyal because they did not help him prove himself innocent in the investigation, and he fired them as a result of this.

When Trump invited Comey to the infamous dinner before Comey’s firing, Trump essentially threatened Comey with the pressure of losing his job. Comey recalled that the President repeatedly brought up his future and asked whether he wanted his job in the FBI or not. This in itself is not wrong, as presidents do have the power to remove the FBI director, but the fact that Trump asked Comey to be specifically loyal to him proved to be inappropriate and out of order. Civil servants like Comey, pledge loyalty to the US Constitution and serve the American people, therefore, since Trump asked Comey for loyalty to him as an individual, this can be seen as an unseemly action.

This was also paired with Session’s firing as Attorney General under Trump. Trump’s former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus believed that Trump fired Sessions because he was irritated about Sessions’ recusal from the investigation into Russian influence in the Trump campaign. Sessions had all the right to recuse himself, because as a member of that campaign, he may have been one of the people being investigated. It was proper for him to recuse himself so that the investigation can be independent and fair without any conflicts of interest. Trump’s firing of Sessions was inappropriate because he was punishing Sessions for taking the appropriate and reasonable action.

Since these two men were not loyal and did not support Trump in proving him innocent in the investigation, they were fired and replaced with people he could trust. The motive behind the firings of his Attorney General and even an investigator makes his actions seem inappropriate, as all he cares about is himself, when, as President of the United States, he should be caring about the American people and defending the US Constitution.

More seriously, there is plenty of evidence that Trump has engaged in obstructing justice, which is not just inappropriate but actually a crime. The authors of “The Investigation” define obstructing justice as, “an act that ‘corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice.” Based on this definition, Trump has obstructed justice in multiple ways.

There is plenty of evidence in “The Investigation” that Trump had threatened Comey and Sessions with their official positions because of his personal grudges. He has also been trying to conceal records about his connection with Russia, and he has influenced investigators to hold back on their work.

Congress can permissibly criminalize certain obstructive conduct by the President, such as suborning perjury, intimidating witnesses or fabricating evidence. Trump has done all three of these offenses, warranting an investigation from Congress. Additionally, Trump has already been impeached twice but was never removed from office or disqualified from holding future office positions. It is Congress’s job to hold Former President Trump accountable for what he has done and the People have a right to prosecute him for any crimes committed.

Based on these ideas, I believe that Trump has made very faulty and suspicious decisions during his presidency and should be reassessed. He made inappropriate changes in his Cabinet and circle in ways that demonstrate he is looking out for himself more than he is protecting the Office of the Presidency and the American people. Worse, there was plenty of evidence that proved he had obstructed justice throughout the investigation in multiple ways. This is not just inappropriate, it’s criminal.

Since he has indicated that he will run for president again, voters deserve to know the whole truth before the 2024 Presidential Election.