• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Rich Barlow

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

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There are 19 comments on Prosecute Trump? What Motivated the Mob? What Will Voters Say in November?

  1. “No evidence”. January 6 committe. “No evidence” both impeachment. “No evidence” Mueller report. All opinions and hearsay. An enormous waste of time and money for show. The government has sunk to new lows. Wait until November when the people speak.

    1. It is clear that you must not have been following the recent January 6 hearings, nor have you read the Mueller report. There has been plenty of evidence presented, much of it sworn testimony from witnesses. Whether the evidence is sufficient to merit an indictment and conviction is what was discussed in this article, which you also seem not to have read. I do wonder why anyone would bother to comment on a piece they haven’t read.

      1. You seem to have decided that anyone who has a different opinion must not be as well versed as you on what has been happening over the last couple of years. The “evidence” as you define it is just hearsay” and opinions, sworn to or not. Please refrain from trying to win an argument by making accusations and demeaning the opposite view.

    2. You might not like the evidence being presented, but there is/was a lot of evidence in all the cases you reference. For the current Jan 6 hearings, most of the witnesses testifying are members of the Trump administration and Republican insiders. You may not like the evidence, but to claim that there is no evidence is factually incorrect and a blatant lie.

      1. Hey JD, I have my own opinions. They aren’t lies. The January 6 witnesses opinions were sworn to under oath. This DOES NOT MAKE THEM FACTS. They are HEARSAY. NONE OF THEM WOULD BE ALLOWED IN A COURT OFLAW.

  2. I prefer in-depth analysis of whether Trump has broken laws over pondering the possible repercussions of holding him accountable.
    Under oath, Robert Mueller told Congress that Trump was guilty of obstruction of justice and could be charged once he left office.
    Parallel to that, thousands of former federal prosecutors signed a public letter affirming that Trump could and should be charged with obstruction of justice. They gave extensive legal analysis in their letter, but they also noted that the question of whether Trump committed obstruction of justice is “not close,” that is to say, that he is guilty, and that his guilt could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt is “not a close call.”
    Similarly, Trump clearly is guilty of a slew of crimes leading up to, on, and following the attack on our Capitol. Dancing around this, agonizing over whether he should be prosecuted, only shows how Trump’s influence has corrupted out system and our thinkers.
    Look at the crimes Trump committed in association with his first impeachment: I) Violations of the Impoundment Control Act; 2) Solicitation of a Bribe; 3) Solicitation of Covert Propaganda (which is illegal for any U.S. office holder; 4) Witness Tampering; 5) Witness Indimidation.
    Read the statute that Senate Grassley helped pass on Whistle Blower Protection, and then compare it to Trump’s retaliation against Lt. Col. Vindman. Trump clearly broke the law against retaliating against whistleblowers.
    But, because we’re afraid of how the criminal’s supporters will react to the criminal facing justice, we aren’t going to prosecute? Seriously?

  3. These ‘hearings’ have been a complete WASTE OF TIME and The People AREN’T buying into the process at all .. fascinating bias to the way your questions are presented above, however the FACT that there’s NO MECHANISM to cross examine these ‘witnesses’ renders this as nothing more than a sorry show process that proves nothing more than the left REALLY, REALLY HATES Donald Trump and they’re terrified of his return to the presidency .. that Ds and Never-Trumpers have had to hire a television producer to make their case more interesting to The People is embarrassing (for them), and further NOT convincing The People (just look at the ratings – NOBODY cares) .. your ‘expert’ didn’t even point out the ‘double hearsay’ evidence is almost NEVER used as it’s borderline ridiculous – Cassidy Hutchinson wasn’t ‘convincing’ in the least, she was a disgruntled past employee who said she heard something from someone who repeated something (ALL OF WHICH has been disputed ON THE RECORD by those who allegedly spoke such things) .. and the FACT that the US is STILL HOLDING several hundred POLITICAL PRISONERS in a DC jail without them being given access to a speedy trial is perhaps one of The Most Heinous Acts of our government EVER – we’ve become third world!

    Ds should’ve listened to the wise words of Elon Musk when he suggested that they stop the continued senseless attempts to destroy Donald Trump as if the only way for Trump to survive is for him to regain the presidency – he WILL regain the presidency .. angry Ds will effectively re-elect Trump after the utter DISASTER that has been Joe Biden

  4. What is the point of playing by the ‘rules’ if one side breaks them with impunity and faces no consequences, and the other side is afraid of holding them accountable due to a paralyzing fear of ‘looking vindictive’ even if it means they watch our democracy burn down around their ears. I’m not sure what’s more appalling, that the absolutely nothing has been done by the Administration towards an existential threat towards this country due to a fear of ‘looking partisan’ or the fact that the Left is treating literal fascists and insurgents with kid gloves while those same people fit them for nooses. This situation honestly looks like someone’s idea of a sick joke.

  5. Many thanks to my three colleagues for sharing their insightful views on this contentious subject.

    I agree fully with Shawn Lynch: there must be serious legal consequences for Trump. While I appreciate Prof. Beerman’s nuanced assessment of the legal complexities of prosecuting Trump, it also shows why so many Americans have a low opinion of our legal system. If zero consequences are suffered for behavior and activities of the type put on full display by the Jan. 6 Committee, confidence in our legal system will plummet even further. If Trump suffers no legal consequences, his followers will be emboldened. He himself will appear to have been vindicated. (“See, he didn’t really do anything wrong!”)

    Let’s hope that historians won’t look back on this period of our country’s history the way they look back at the fate of the Weimar Republic. Failure of the German legal system to crack down on nascent fascism led directly to the mayhem that followed.

    If Trump’s cult reacts violently to an attempt by the DOJ to prosecute him, law enforcement will need to do its job, perhaps backed by the National Guard and other branches of our armed forces.

  6. I have no doubt, however, that his trial(s) will lead to violence on the part of his supporters and could lead us into a civil war. States could threaten secession because of a trial or [if] he loses the 2024 election. Nevertheless, he must be prosecuted for his crimes, along with his coconspirators, like [attorney Rudy] Giuliani, [former advisor Steve] Bannon, and the others.

    That this country is about to tear itself apart over someone as loathsome as Donald Trump is akin to divine punishment for the American people.

    or as they said about Vietnam we had to destroy the village to save it

  7. Considering that at the elbows of the Democratic Chairman were two Republican Senators… and… that the majority of the witnesses presented in the last hearing were Republican supporters demonstrates the bi-partisan participation in the hearings. This actually encourage me to feel that all is not lost within our government.
    I do feel that forgoing the pursuit of legal action against a government official because it “Might” cause civil unrest is dangerous in itself. If the precedence is set that a President will not be prosecuted just because he has held the office is counter to all that we as American hold dear.

  8. Did Trump actually win or lose the election though?

    JFK arguably won through ballot stuffing, John Quincy Adams won through a corrupted process, the Teapot Dome scandal etc; cheating in elections is nothing new to the USA or unprecedented.

    The voting machine companies are owned by anonymous people via secretive private equity funds, their software is a “trade secret”, & some Democrats & Never Trumpers definitely hated Trump enough to justify to themselves engaging in cheating. The ballot drop boxes justified by COVID seem suspicious to many. So do the counts being shut down around midnight in some states. The UN lists delayed vote counts as a red flag for electoral fraud & discourages mail-in ballots for the same reason

    Did fraud happen? No court so far has heard any evidence either way as all of Trump’s lawsuits were dismissed before trial on procedural grounds (meaning no underlying evidence was heard or considered by the courts)

    Our elections in this country are a joke. If you buy a ticket to a pie raffle you get a unique serial number on your ticket but not on your ballot. A $20 Bill seems to have more security features than our ballots do. The voting system is almost completely opaque & that’s why it was so easy for many to believe Trump’s claims of fraud. That’s an existential threat to this country.

  9. “someone as loathsome as Donald Trump” this line speaks volumes of the partisan nature of this article. You should really try to get a non partisan viewpoint. I am very much in the middle, or at least used to be before the left shifted so far to the left.

    To call this an “insurrection” is no better than the far right calling the problems at the Southern border an “invasion.” Both are wrong and both need to stop trying to play politics and solve problems. From watching this committee I’ve learned two things. 1. the Democrats are scared of Donald Trump and will go to any length to keep him from running for office in 2024. 2. I am paying too much in Federal Income tax supporting this “show.”

    1. I think Donald Trump encapsulates America perfectly and is uniquely suited to be the avatar of American culture and interests. He is ignorant yet self-assured, blissfully unaware or uncaring of his effects on people and the world, much like America has been for the last century. He believes he is great even while squatting the ruins of a once admirable nation and that he can rebuild our past glory by setting those ruins aflame. People react so viscerally to him being put on trial and attempts to hold him accountable because he is America and to do so would be to hold America accountable for all that we have done.

    2. Nah, it was an insurrection. Look up the legal technical definition. It was also an attempted coup.

      And technically the southern border is being ‘invaded’ somewhat when illegal immigrants escape border patrol and never register. Though those numbers are relatively few and leads to demonization of immigrants as a whole. But let’s call a spade a spade.

  10. I know this is an open forum, but it’s disheartening to see that, even within the BU community where folks presumably skew toward the more educated – or at least discerning – end of the spectrum, so many people seem unbothered after watching a mob attack on our capitol, tolerated (nay, supported) by a man with little regard for our democratic norms. I despair for our country’s future.

    1. It might just be apathy but considering everything that’s happened over the last few years, I think the vast majority of people have stopped caring, it seems pointless to worry who’s going to be ruling over the sun-seared ruins of the United States in 20 years with everything falling apart around us.

  11. There still going to be protesters and the fanatical Trump supporters are going to start violence any way because thats what Trump has taught them. But if Trump is not prosecuted then we the American people will be angry . Start our own riot.
    And if the do the right thing and prosecute Trump. Then his cult supporters will start a riot. So these riots are going to happened not matter what is decided.

    1. Prosecuting Trump means it’s only fair to prosecute the rest of the criminals, I’m mean politicians currently sitting in government within both sides of the political isle.

      Trump is nothing, but a byproduct of the thoroughly corrupt cancer that we call government. Trump isn’t the cause of such corruption, cronyism, and criminality, but a byproduct of it.

      Leftist don’t like Trump because he openly reflects their own authoritarian hypocrisies, egotism, denialism, and delusions back upon themselves for all to see.

      Letting politicians decide what’s just is the equivalent to letting criminals determine their own punishments for the crimes they have committed.

      There’s no difference between a wannabe totalitarian and a wannabe authoritarian.

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