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MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner accused President Trump of essentially committing second-degree murder in his alleged downplaying of the coronavirus threat.
The former federal prosecutor bashed the president in a discussion about comments he made to journalist Bob Woodward when being interviewed for a new book. Kirschner addressed Trump’s “incriminating admissions” on Thursday’s edition of SiriusXM’s “The Dean Obeidallah Show.’
(Source: Dean Obeidallah Show/YouTube)
Trump came under fire this week over remarks he made in interviews he gave for Woodward’s upcoming book “Rage,” as he was heard in recordings released by the Watergate journalist appearing to play down concerns about the virus.
“I wanted to, I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic,” the president said in the recorded interview.
In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity after a firestorm of attacks by Democrats, Trump defended his actions, explaining he was promoting calm and not lying to the American people.
“What I wanna show is a calmness. I’m the leader of the country. I can’t be jumping up and down and scaring people. I don’t wanna scare people. I want people not to panic, and that’s exactly what I did,” the president said.
President Trump defends projecting calm amid strong Covid-19 response: ‘I don’t want to see panic’ https://t.co/RLBL0cAtKq
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 10, 2020
“What Donald Trump has just done by virtue of the tapes that Bob Woodward released, is he has upped his own criminal ante to second-degree murder,” Kirschner told Obeidallah on Thursday.
“And here’s why: He was lying to the American people about the danger this virus posed…he was saying to Bob Woodward in very dramatic tones that ‘this thing is airborne only you need to do is breathe near somebody who is infected and you are going to get it,'” he added.
He continued his rant, accusing Trump of not getting masks and other Personal Protective Equipment into the hands of hospital workers and others who need the protection.
“This man has upped the criminal ante to second-degree murder, and there are only two elements for second-degree murder. The first is you caused the death of another,” he reiterated.
“The second element is the intent element. And here’s where it would otherwise get tricky if we didn’t have Trump’s incriminating admissions,” Kirschner claimed, elaborating on the idea of intent.
“You intended to kill somebody. We are not going to say Donald Trump intended to kill people. Or if he didn’t intend to kill, he intended to inflict serious bodily injury. Let’s give him that one,” he said.
“The third is what’s called ‘conscious disregard.’ That’s defined as your conduct was in conscious disregard of the extreme risk you were creating to other human beings that they would suffer death or serious bodily injury,” he continued.
“Trump has admitted, in my opinion as a career prosecutor and frankly, I was the most experienced homicide prosecutor in the Department of Justice because of our unique jurisdictional mandate in D.C., that is second-degree murder and Donald Trump must be held accountable,” Kirschner concluded.
He unloaded his argument in several tweets as well, declaring that Trump needs to “be indicted, tried, convicted, imprisoned” over the COVID-19 issue.
In January, Trump knew how dangerous the virus was. Trump knew how contagious the virus was. Thump knew how deadly the virus was. Yet he lied to We The People leading to massive, PREVENTABLE, loss of life. He needs to be indicted, tried, convicted, imprisoned. Justice demands it.
— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) September 10, 2020
Trump knew how “deadly” the virus was yet, in his own recorded words, he “downplayed” = LIED ABOUT the risk to the American people. Trump told the American people the Koolaid was safe to drink. Trump’s conduct may have moved from manslaughter to 2nd degree murder. #JusticeMatters
— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) September 10, 2020
Of course, the facts tell a different story as Trump put a travel ban into effect less than two weeks after the first identified case in the U.S. The move was slammed by Democrats, including Joe Biden, for fear-mongering and being xenophobic.
The president assembled a task force and proceeded to implement and direct needed orders as the country was faced with an unprecedented pandemic. Trump has reiterated that, though he did make the comments to Woodward, his intention was not to cause a panic. Even the country’s lead immunologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has come out to defend Trump’s actions and said he “didn’t get any sense that he was distorting anything.”
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