Yes, a New York Cop Could Arrest President Trump
This kind of thing has happened before
by DAVID AXE
President-elect Donald Trump could be in big legal trouble over his allegedly self-dealing charity. It’s entirely possible that he could eventually face arrest. And it wouldn’t be unprecedented if, say, a New York cop actually slapped cuffs on Trump and read him his rights.
After all, a ballsy policeman arrested Pres. Ulysses Grant way back in the late 1860s — albeit for a comparatively minor crime.
In an apparent effort to dodge a civil fraud charge, Trump settled a California case related to his so-called “Trump University” — a scammy real-estate seminar — a few days following Trump’s electoral-college victory in the 2016 presidential election.
The settlement cost Trump $25 million — half the amount that Trump U.’s students had shelled out in fees to the deceptive seminar over the years.
But Trump faces other, equally-serious potential charges. State attorney general Eric Schneiderman is investigating the Trump Foundation, the president-elect’s “charitable” organization, after allegations that Trump personally — and illegally — benefited from donations to the foundation.
In a 2015 tax filing, the Trump Foundation admitted to violating IRS self-dealing regulations, which prohibit a charitable organization from paying out to its own officers. Trump has used the foundation to make a political contribution, settle lawsuits and even commission a painting of himself that the president-elect hung in one of his own buildings.
In other words, Trump stole money that donors gave the Trump Foundation for charitable causes. The Trump Foundation’s board members, including Trump and his family, may also have broken the law by failing to register with state governments in many states where the foundation solicited funds.
Self-dealing by officers of a charity is also illegal under New York state law.
In a move similar to his Trump U. settlement, the president-elect has apparently tried to dodge state or federal criminal or civil charges related to his foundation. On Dec. 24, 2016, Trump announced he would shut down the Trump Foundation “to avoid even the appearance of any conflict with my role as president.”
Not so fast, Schneiderman shot back. “The Trump Foundation is still under investigation by this office and cannot legally dissolve until that investigation is complete,” said Amy Spitalnick, the attorney general’s spokeswoman.
If Schneiderman files charges against Trump, the real-estate mogul could face arrest. The charges could be state or federal, but a New York cop — state or local — might, on Schneiderman’s orders, be the one to slap cuffs on the president-elect if the president-elect declines to submit himself to authorities.
It’s not unprecedented for a small-time cop to arrest America’s commander-in-chief. In 1866, Pres. Ulysses Grant got busted for riding his horse at unsafe speed at 13th and M Streets in Washington, D.C. The arresting officer, William West, had previously issued Grant a warning for the same offense.
“Do you think, officer, that I was violating the speed laws?” Grant reportedly asked West.
“I certainly do, Mr. President,” West replied. “I am very sorry, Mr. President, to have to do it, for you are the nation’s chief executive, but my duty is plain, sir. I shall have to place you under arrest!”
“Do your duty, my good man,” Grant said. West escorted the president to the police station for booking. Grant paid a fine and walked free. Officer and president reportedly became friends after the incident.
If a New York cop arrests Trump, it seems unlikely that the notoriously temperamental Trump — and his equally angry private security detail — will react as gentlemanly as Grant did to his own arrest.
Tip of the hat to T.S. for the idea.