Trump’s indictment calls for accountability

Former United States President Donald Trump indicted for a second time on 37 counts


Kate Davis

We, the Dispatch editorial board, believe that this indictment is legally valid and sets the much needed precedent that nobody is above the law. Nobody is above accountability.

Editorial Team

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, accountability can be defined as “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.”
On March 30, 2023, Trump was indicted by the Manhattan grand jury on 34 counts of his alleged involvement in falsifying business records. More recently, on June 9, 2023, Trump is facing his first federal indictment, on 37 counts surrounding the retention of classified government documents, all of which include the breaking of seven federal laws.
It is the first time in United States history that a former president has been accused of federal charges, and the trials that are to come will certainly set the tone for how the US deals with presidential scandals such as Trumps. As the legislative branch proceeds through these cases, it is essential that the notion of accountability is emphasized, and thoroughly reiterated.
We, the Dispatch editorial board, believe that this indictment is legally valid and sets the much needed precedent that nobody is above the law. Nobody is above accountability.
When searched by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in August of 2022, 197 classified documents were found being stored in boxes at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida. Many of these documents detailed highly secretive information such as the nation’s nuclear programs, defense plans, and possible vulnerabilities of the United State’s military, according to reports.
These documents were found spread throughout the Mar-a-Lago estate, in ballrooms, storage rooms, and even bathrooms. Due to the bustling social nature of the property, it can be assumed that these documents were not at all secure, and therefore the sensitive information they hold is potentially compromised.
Evidence has also been found that proves Trump showed some of these documents, which described classified information about the military, to unauthorized viewers. This disclosure produces a potentially dangerous threat to U.S. security and military, and that of the nation’s allies. Trump, as a former government official, had no authority, or legal right, to disclose any of this information, and is proving to be hazardous to the safety of our nation.
Trump must be held accountable for the considerable risk he has put the United States at, and his indictment does just that. By holding the former president to the same legal standards as the rest of the US, the nation’s legislative branch is setting the standard that nobody is above the law, which is a concept that must be prioritized.
Following the investigation at the Mar-a-Lago estate, the grand jury asked Trump to hand over the classified documents that he had unlawfully retained. He did not comply and there is evidence he hindered the investigation through allegedly asking that his attorney lie to the FBI and grand jury, claiming that Trump did not possess the documents he was being asked to return.
This blatant obstruction of justice is notably harmful to the security of the United States Intelligence Systems, and sets a dangerous precedent that people of power in this nation can easily avoid any sort of retribution for their unlawful actions. The indictment helps to counteract this standard, by providing accountability for Trump, and his accomplices in the retainment of these government documents.
As stated before, this is not Trump’s first encounter with the law, nor his first indictment. Earlier in 2023, Trump was indicted on the state level, by the Manhattan grand jury for the falsification of business records. Prior to that, Trump faced four charges regarding the 2020 presidential election, and the insurrection on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, 2021.
The knowledge of Trump’s prior engagements with criminal investigations only strengthens the validity of the most recent indictment, by proving the lack of accountability that he, and other people of power in the US, have priorly been held to. Time and time again Trump has proven to be a risk to this country and completely reckless when it comes to the law.
Furthermore, Aileen Cannon is the federal judge appointed to Trump’s most recent case regarding the classified documents. Cannon was initially appointed to the bench by Trump in 2020, and handled one of his former cases, regarding the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago residence.
It is extremely concerning that the judge handling this case has shown prior legal support for Trump, and provides a basis for potential biases towards him in court. If she has ruled in favor of him before, why should we expect different?
In 2016, during her time as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was scrutinized for using a private email server for public communications, rather than that of the state department. It was ultimately found that nothing of a classified status was sent or received through this email server, meaning Clinton was not indicted.
Following Trump’s indictment, many people, specifically members of the Republican Party, began to claim that Trump’s case was handled in an inequitable manner as compared to Clintons. This is completely untrue, as the majority of Trump’s charges came from his obstruction of justice and refusal to turn over the documents when asked.
Additionally, the documents found in the Mar-a-Lago estate were classified, unlike with Clinton, pre reports. Therefore, Clinton and Trump’s cases were entirely different, and were rightfully handled differently. The argument that Trump was unfairly treated is invalid and blatantly inaccurate.
We at the Dispatch completely support the indictment of Trump, and encourage the jury and Judge Cannon to exercise a sense of accountability.
We as a nation can no longer contribute to the dangerous precedent that is continually set, where people of power can get away with any unlawful action.
Let’s make accountability the norm. Let’s make accountability apply to all citizens of the U.S.
Let’s make accountability great again