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The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

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A Candidate Facing Indictments Should Not be President

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Image from Novo

“For the first time in American history, a former president of the United States has been indicted on criminal charges. It is worth pausing to repeat that: An American president has been indicted for a crime for the first time in history.”

Set aside all subjective views and think about the statement above objectively. It should appear to you as a warning sign. It should make you question whether that person is a reliable and trustworthy figure. It should make you doubt the morality of the individual. It should make you concerned, make you disturbed, and make you uncomfortable.

Image from Tusk

The excerpt above from The New York Times is referencing former President Donald Trump. Idolized by a large portion of the US population since his inauguration in 2017, he is  a figurehead of the Republican party. However, Trump is accused of 91 felony charges in four separate indictments. These lawsuits include:

  • Federal January 6th Case: Trump’s attempt to remain in power after he lost the election, and his instigation in the insurrection of the US Capitol building (four counts, trial date confirmed).
  • Election Inquiry in Georgia: Trump’s efforts to reverse his loss in Georgia (13 counts).
  • Classified Documents Case: Trump illegal removal of documents (some highly classified) from the White House after he left office (40 counts, trial date confirmed).
  • Manhattan Criminal Case: Trump’s payments to cover up a 2016 sex scandal in violation of campaign finance laws (34 counts, trial date confirmed).

Although some people argue that attempting to put former President Trump in prison is an effort to remove one of the primary Republican candidates from the ballot, consider it from a non-partisan position. Forget about your political views, your party stance, your peers, parents, and teachers; focus solely on your morals. Focus on the facts. Focus on what our democracy was built on. The real question is: Should a candidate currently on trial, for what amounts to crimes against our democratic systems and our national security, be able to run for office?

In my opinion, that is a strong no.

To the astonishment of many, the Constitution does not prevent anyone with a record of indictments, convictions, or any other form of criminal record from running for office. In fact, there are no regulations as to whether a president can still serve while facing prison time, leaving the question as a hypothetical. The Constitution does, however, have an amendment that states that any officer of the US who took an oath to support the Constitution who then engages in insurrection becomes disqualified from being president. This directly concerns Trump’s Federal January 6th Case, and sufficient evidence has been collected to prove his involvement in the planning of the event.

Consider if this situation concerned a different candidate, like current President Joe Biden. If the situation were reversed and he had the same allegations – such as the January 6th Case – made against him as Trump, should he still be allowed to continue his presidency or run for reelection? Again, I would argue no.

To me, it is frightening to picture someone who is facing criminal charges – especially of this type – running our country, no matter whether their ideals align with mine. That is a depiction of untrustworthiness. Yet, the decision is still up to each individual person: will you vote for a presidential candidate who is facing numerous criminal allegations backed by sufficient evidence? 

Image from Flickr

I didn’t write this to convince my fellow students and staff to support a specific candidate. I didn’t write it to persuade people to change their political views. I wrote this to bring awareness to a genuine concern.

My hope is that with several LFHS junior and senior students being able to vote in the upcoming 2024 presidential election, we will carefully consider who the best candidates truly are, and vote with our futures in mind.

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About the Contributor
Stella Henretta, Staff Writer
 During the fall, junior Stella Henretta's committed to Varsity tennis, but switches gears to lacrosse during the spring. On weekends, Stella works as a coach at GLASA to help disabled athletes play tennis. She’s also a cashier at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s cafe, where she loves to take walks among the flowers after her shift. This school year, she hopes that through her cumulative experiences and knowledge, she will be successful in providing her readers with information about events happening both in and out of LFHS!
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Comments (5)

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  • M

    MeFeb 6, 2024 at 5:16 pm

    i get your point about that a president should not be a criminal but trump was not nor will be convicted of any of those.
    also Joe Biden has also been accused of stealing documents

    Reply
  • J

    JFeb 1, 2024 at 9:18 am

    What happened to the principle of “Innocent until proven guilty”? Trump hasn’t been convicted of a single charge, and banning him from running would serve the sole purpose of forcing the GOP to run a less popular – and more dangerous – candidate.

    I value rights, not democracy. A power-hungry businessman (Donald Trump) is far less of a threat to our rights than a dementia-ridden tyrant(Joe “You need F-15s and nukes” Biden) and a homophobic Floridan(Ron DeSantis).

    Reply
  • G

    Gary FinleyJan 31, 2024 at 8:02 pm

    The same people who have weaponized the justice system with endless frivolous lawsuits against Trump are the same people who claimed for 3 years that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election in 2016. They had no evidence for that claim then, and they have no evidence for their claims now. All of this is being staged before the election so that people like you will think the volume of erroneous allegations means there must be some guilt there. If Trump had broken any laws, he would have been jailed long ago. You should be terrified that you now live in a banana republic where Democrats use lawfare to destroy their political opponents. If they can do this to Trump, then they can, and will, do it to anyone. You should be hoping he wins and dismantles the corruption in the justice system. Innocent until proven guilty, remember that … and after 8 years they’ve proven NOTHING!

    Reply
    • J

      Jim AthanasFeb 2, 2024 at 9:34 am

      Very well said Gary, thank you. The future of our nation is at stake.

      Reply
    • E

      Evan HaussermannFeb 2, 2024 at 1:52 pm

      ratio

      Reply