Can A Former President Be Sent To Prison

Can A Former President Be Sent To Prison – Donald Trump (accompanied by Secret Service agents) arrives at Trump Tower in 2023. April 13 in Manhattan after testifying in the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James. Trump was ousted amid allegations that the Trump Organization falsified financial statements to obtain loans. Photo by Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC

Under current US federal law, all former presidents are entitled to Secret Service protection for life. Barring an act of Congress or a presidential executive order, the Secret Service is required by law to protect former presidents for life. The statute governing the protection of former presidents does not list any exceptions.

Can A Former President Be Sent To Prison

The only current legal reason to waive protection is for a former president to waive his right to access Secret Service details, something only a former president has ever done. Richard Nixon gave up Secret Service protection 11 years after leaving office in disgrace following the Watergate scandal. (Nixon decided to pay for his own defense to save the US government money.)

Could Donald Trump Run For President If Convicted? Could He Serve From Jail?

But now-former President Donald Trump has been indicted by the US Department of Justice on 37 counts of mishandling classified documents he kept after leaving office and obstructing the government from retrieving them. He faces up to 20 years in prison, the maximum penalty, for obstruction of justice. Trump has previously been indicted on multiple criminal charges related to misrepresenting the purpose of payments to movie star Stormy Daniels. (This can be considered a crime if it is done to cover up another crime.)

Trump’s various charges have many questioning whether the Secret Service will escort Trump (or any other convicted former president) to prison.

“Yes, without a doubt,” said Ronald Kesler, author of two books on the Secret Service: “On the President’s Secret Service” and “Details of the First Family.” “There won’t be any Secret Service agents in his cell, but I expect there will be two agents behind his cell, two agents in the hallway leading to the cell block, and two more agents at the prison entrance.” “

Other commentators, including a former Secret Service agent, said only two Secret Service agents could be sent to prison, but Kessler called that “crazy.”

Bannon Sentenced To Four Months In Prison For No Show At January 6 Probe

Kessler estimated that Trump’s current secret security team totals up to 30 Secret Service agents, with only 10 or 12 agents on call at any one time.

“[The jail] will have to provide him with food in the cell,” Kessler said. He cannot be with the general public. “It’s the only accommodation. He won’t get special treatment. He won’t be given a phone, for example. It’s just pure protection.”

The Secret Service was founded in 1865. as a federal law enforcement agency tasked with detecting counterfeiters. Secret Service agents began protecting sitting presidents in 1901. after the assassination of William McKinley. McKinley was the third US president to be assassinated in less than 50 years, the others being Abraham Lincoln (1865) and James Garfield (1881).

Former presidents began receiving Secret Service protection after 1958. the Former Presidents Act, and Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first former president to receive the honor. in 1965 Congress granted lifetime immunity to former presidents.

Why It’s A Bad Idea To Prosecute Trump As Much As I’d Love Seeing Him In Prison

A sitting president or vice president cannot waive Secret Service protection, but others on that list can, including former presidents.

From 1994 to 2012, former presidents were only entitled to 10 years of free Secret Service protection. Congress passed this law because it costs millions of taxpayer dollars to provide round-the-clock security for former presidents and their spouses. in 2013 Congress reinstated the lifetime warranty based on growing safety concerns.

Dave Roos “If the President of America Goes to Jail, Does the Secret Service Go to Jail?” in 2023 April 14 Former US president and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump faces federal charges in Miami and state charges in New York [Jonathan Drake/Reuters]

FBI investigators who raided Harold Martin’s property in Maryland in 2016. in the fall, found classified documents, including top secret documents, scattered throughout his home, car and warehouse.

Former Secret Service Agent On If Trump Goes To Prison

Unlike former US President Donald Trump, the former contractor of the National Security Agency did not dispute the charges: finally, in 2019 he admitted his guilt and admitted that his actions were “wrong, illegal legal and controversial”.

However, his remorse and guilty plea to the charge of willfully withholding national security information did not help him avoid a stiff nine-year prison sentence.

The ruling appears to be a troubling guide to the legal threat Trump faces as he faces 37 felony charges, including 31 under the Torts Act. The century-old message was used in the prosecution of Martin and other defendants accused of illegally withholding classified documents. . Even people like Martini who pleaded guilty and accepted responsibility still faced years in prison.

“When they decided to bring the willful misconduct case, that was a message: We take people very seriously,” said Michael Zweiback, a defense attorney and former Justice Department prosecutor. “They almost always ask for jail time.”

Good Question: Would Secret Service Go Behind Bars With Trump If He’s Sentenced To Jail?

It is unclear how much prison time the former president could face if convicted. That decision will ultimately depend heavily on the judge hearing the case — in this case, a Trump appointee who has shown a willingness to rule in his favor.

It’s also hard to know how much other factors, including the logistical and political complications of imprisoning a former president, might play a role.

Crimes under the Espionage Act are punishable by up to 10 years in prison, although federal offenders rarely receive the maximum sentence. But in addition to Trump’s possession of classified documents, prosecutors also found a number of aggravating circumstances for the former president’s alleged conduct, accusing him of seeking to use other individuals, including lawyers and aides, to withhold data from investigators, as well as provide some documents. researchers. a guest

Other charges, including conspiracy to obstruct justice, carry up to 20 years in prison.

Donald Trump Is Now Facing—wait For It—136 Years In Prison

Justice Department prosecutors have used provisions of the Espionage Act against a number of defendants in recent years, including a West Virginia woman who obtained an NSA document about foreign government military and political affairs. Elizabeth Jo Shirley pleaded guilty in 2020 to one count of attempted abortion and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Robert Birchum, a retired Air Force intelligence officer, was sentenced this month to three years in prison after pleading guilty to keeping classified documents at his home, an officer’s residence overseas and an archive stored on the road.

Many of the defendants pleaded guilty instead of going to trial, although not all went to prison. Trump, who also faces hush money charges in New York state court, showed no sign of pursuing a plea deal, insisting he is innocent and attacking Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith hours after appearing in Miami. . federal court on Tuesday.

His case will first be heard by Judge Aileen Cannon, who last year sided with Trump in the former president’s bid to appoint a special expert to conduct an independent review of the documents. Confidential data was confiscated. Citing the “stigma” associated with the FBI’s search of Trump’s home, she said a “future indictment” based on items that were supposed to be returned to Trump would “declare reputational damage, it’s on a whole different level.”

Former President Donald Trump’s Second Indictment, Annotated

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously overturned her ruling, which legal experts widely criticized as unusual and overbroad.

Cannon will make decisions over the next few months that will shape the trial, including how quickly it will proceed and whether any evidence will be sealed.

Prosecutors also face the challenge in Florida, where Republicans have made steady inroads in recent years, of building a jury that is likely to favor Trump if the case goes to trial there. Washington, D.C. with a Democratic majority.

Still, “I think it’s very likely that Jack Smith would have accepted the jury in Florida, because if there was a verdict, it would be a lot harder to say, ‘Well, that jury was a little bit anti-Trump,'” Stephen said. Salzburg. Professor at George Washington University Law School and former Department of Justice official.

Former South African President Zuma Taken Back To Prison And Released Again Within 2 Hours

Experts expect Trump’s lawyers to repeat the former president’s public comments in an attempt to dismiss the case by arguing that he has a right to access the documents. Trump could also try to prevent prosecutors from using key evidence, such as his lawyers’ notes detailing the conversations.

If the case goes to trial, experts say Trump’s lawyers could try what’s known as “jury nullification.” This will require convincing jurors that Trump should be acquitted, even if they believe Trump broke the law because the violation was not serious enough to warrant a conviction.

“Defensive theme

Leave a Comment