Chuck Tripp: Trump should be prosecuted immediately

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, May 11, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump’s actions in dealing with the COVID-19 virus disaster clearly demonstrate the degree to which he will tell lies and mislead people and the unlawful lengths to which he’ll go to control this country’s political discourse and the actions of his “Trumpista” followers.

To review some of his lies and illegal medical advice about COVID-19, check statements in Trump’s speeches and press conferences. A quick look shows that he started talking about the virus last January by first calling it a hoax that was cooked up by his opponents.

By February, Trump downplayed the virus as something that would go away and wouldn’t affect us much. His March comments portrayed his efforts to control the virus as successful, saving millions of lives, and he also shifted blame for the fact the virus exists and started spreading on China, the United Nations, the Obama administration and the like.

Speaking in April, Trump claimed that the U.S. had done a great job of stabilizing the virus’ contagion, better than any other nation in the world. And, of course, all the way along through these months, the virus multiplied and killed more people while Trump recommended more treatment options in violation of the law.

Trump’s efforts to practice medicine without a license through his comments is nothing short of jaw-dropping. And, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why no one has sued him over this issue.

Hey, don’t tell me presidents can’t be sued. That’s a fiction made up by Trump’s Justice Department, which is full of Republican hacks whose legal acumen is worse than that of, well, Democrat hacks in government.

Republicans, yeah, I understand why they won’t sue Trump. They don’t want to for their own selfish political reasons, no matter how immoral such a choice might be. But of non-Republicans, I ask, what is the problem here?

Trump clearly has been practicing medicine without a license for many months, giving people medical advice about how to deal with the COVID-19 virus. Various news stories suggest that, not only has the advice been without merit and possibly dangerous, even life-threatening, but people who do what he has suggested have suffered as a result.

Anyone who followed Trump’s directions and got sick, doing whatever he told them to because, as president, he’s the biggest authority on all things to his followers, would have a good legal reason to sue him if they got sick or whatever. We might question their intelligence, but follow the leader, especially when it comes to presidents, is a time-honored American trait.

Wake up America. It’s time to take the “criminal in chief” who occupies our White House at great shame to the nation to court. He’s not above the law. It’s time to drag his “orangeness” before some judges, preferably not all Republicans, and “Let the proceedings begin!”

Given a fair trial, I think there’s no doubt Trump’s own statements are sufficient to convict him.

Chuck Tripp

Chuck Tripp, West Valley City, is emeritus professor of political and social science at Westminster College, Salt Lake City. The views expressed here are his own.

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