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The Trump indictment and America’s political order

By Eric Posner

14 Jun 2023 · 4 min read

informed Summary

  1. The idea of a president being prosecuted is relatively new, with the normalization of the concept only a few decades old.

CHICAGO – The indictment of a former president is unprecedented in the United States. But Americans – and the world – should get used to it. It was only a matter of time before a US president or former president found himself in legal jeopardy.

After all, in 1999, President Bill Clinton was held in contempt of court for what was essentially obstruction of justice, including lying under oath (he barely avoided being indicted for perjury). Similarly, Clinton’s two predecessors, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, were implicated in an illegal scheme to trade arms for hostages with Iran, though neither was prosecuted.

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