'Indict him. Try him. Convict him. Lock him up': Experts demand that Donald Trump be prosecuted
Should Donald Trump be indicted for his retention and refusal to return highly classified documents and documents that “detail top-secret U.S. operations so closely guarded that many senior national security officials are kept in the dark about them”?
That’s how The Washington Post described its bombshell revelation Tuesday night, reporting that FBI agents found a “document describing a foreign government’s military defenses, including its nuclear capabilities,” at Mar-a-Lago when it seized over 100 classified documents last month.
“Only the president, some members of his Cabinet or a near-Cabinet-level official could authorize other government officials to know details of these special-access programs,” the Post explained.
Nuclear, government, and legal experts agree: Donald Trump should be indicted., especially given the top secret nature of the documents and what’s at stake with nuclear weapons.
“The man stole nuclear secrets and should be in prison,” wrote attorney Walter Shaub, the former Director of the U. S. Office of Government Ethics on Wednesday.
Jon Wolfsthal served as Special Assistant to President Barack Obama for National Security Affairs including serving as his nuclear advisor and as senior director for arms control and nonproliferation at the National Security Council, where he set nuclear policy. Wolfsthal even worked for the United States Department of Energy as an on-site monitor in North Korea.
“I worked in the US Government on nuclear weapon issues for 11 years,” says Wolfsthal, now a senior policy advisor at Global Zero, which works for a nuclear-free world. “If anyone I worked with or I took any one of these documents home, we would be in prison. Trump must be indicted or the entire classification system will be at risk.”
Global Zero’s Managing Partner Derek Johnson in a statement sent to NCRM, painted a picture of what’s at stake.
“That an ousted president could run off with highly sensitive documents, in clear violation of federal law, is stunning — but the fact that these secrets are about weapons that can kill hundreds of millions of people is orders of magnitude more consequential. Americans should be demanding an investigation: How could this happen, and why were there no safeguards in place to prevent it?”
Johnson warns, “the man who carted off state secrets on a foreign nation’s nuclear capabilities is the same one who had absolute authority to launch a nuclear attack at any time — and is doing everything he can to regain that power.”
“This isn’t solely about Donald Trump: it’s an indictment of the inherent flaws and fragility of the nuclear system. Nuclear risks require an unattainable level of perfection and control. If the system to manage those risks is inadequate in the United States — and it’s impossible to conclude otherwise — the same is true in every nuclear-armed nation. The world we live in is simply too dangerous and unpredictable for nuclear weapons; the case for abolishing them makes itself.”
On Twitter Tuesday night Johnson served up a less serious response, writing: “I have a security clearance as high as Donald Trump’s, which is to say, none at all. I’d already be in prison if the government discovered I had top secret documents about nuclear weapons.”
Attorney Tristan Snell, who successfully prosecuted the Trump University case for the Manhattan DA’s Office, says, “Yes, Trump stole nuclear secrets. And US defense intel so sensitive that the president was one of the only people to know about it. Indict him. Try him. Convict him. Lock him up.”
An expert in government and media, David Rothkopf has an opinion piece in The Daily Beast Wednesday that says, “contrary to the measured pace of the [DOJ’s] investigation to date, when documents like these are stolen the issue must shift from caution and deference to a former president to swift containment of what could be a grievous national security breach. It is time for action and the severest penalties the law allows.”
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