Jack Smith charges Donald Trump with one crime that carries the death penalty

Photo by Gage Skidmore on Flickr

Joe Biden’s Justice Department will not relent in its crusade to persecute Donald Trump.

It’s getting out of hand.

And now Donald Trump got charged with one shocking crime that carries the death penalty.

One of the crimes Jack Smith accused Trump of committing fell under the previously obscure 18 U.S.C. § 241, “Conspiracy Against Rights,” which was used to protect the rights of black Americans to cast their votes from intimidation by racist groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

Normally the law carries a 10-year prison sentence.

But if someone dies in the commission of the accused conspiring against the rights of others the government may seek the death penalty.

The statute reads:

If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or

If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured –

They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt died on January 6 after a Capitol Hill police officer shot the unarmed 34-year-old Air Force veteran dead.

Smith is also charging Trump with a series of crimes where he stretched the meaning of the law because there is no statute on the books that lays out in black-and-white terms that anything Trump did in contesting the election is criminal.

Instead, Smith is arguing Trump committed a conspiracy to defraud the United States because Smith claims Trump knew his arguments about voter fraud were not true.

Jack Smith had to invent a legal theory to charge Trump under because the heart of this case is a political dispute.

Democrats failed to convict Trump on their articles of impeachment following January 6.

The penalty, had Democrats done so, was barring Trump from running for office again.

Smith picked up the ball the Democrat impeachment managers and January 6 committee left on the field and quickly turned their inquiry into a criminal case against Trump.

And the fact that Smith reached deep into the Department of Justice’s bag of tricks for Civil War-era statutes that potentially carry the death penalty shows just how unmoored this indictment is from sound legal theory and constitutional guardrails.