Those of Donald Trump’s followers, some in government and some not have carried out his unlawful orders, have engaged in criminal conduct and must spend time in federal penitentiaries.
In addition, Trump himself also has allegedly committed federal crimes and he must also go to federal prison. The media has informed us of many reasons for criminal prosecutions, and there is no need to list them here.
Prison terms are necessary to warn future followers and future presidents not to do the same unlawful things that the current followers and Trump have done.
As for Trump…the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has a policy: it will not prosecute a sitting president (and who else would they prosecute?) But the DOJ rule will no longer apply the day Trump leaves office. There will be no statute of limitations problem; the general federal statute is for five years.
The big problem is the possibility of a pardon.
Consider the following scenarios: Trump leaves office before the end of his term after he has been impeached, or he resigns before the end of his term after he loses the general election or the Republican primary, or he stays in office, but another Republican is elected president. Vice-President Pence or the new Republican president pardons Trump. This must be prevented.
The power to pardon is broad but not absolute; if a president accepted a bribe from a criminal and then pardoned him, the pardon would be ineffective and that president would himself have committed a crime.
If a president pardoned his co-conspirators, or an unindicted co-conspirator became president and then pardoned the old president, the pardon would also be ineffective.
To avoid pardons here…there must a rise among the citizens, a general consensus that the conduct of Trump and his followers has been so egregious that his power to pardon his followers and the power of another to pardon him do not exist and both would instead constitute separate crimes. At this time, that general consensus is beginning to crystallize.