President Donald Trump, a man notorious for throwing around patently false accusations, has suddenly appealed for “due process” as top White House aides have been cast out over domestic violence allegations.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted that people’s lives “are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation.”
“Some are true and some are false,” he tweeted. “Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused.”
The president was likely referring to the recent departure of White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who resigned earlier this week after allegations from his two ex-wives surfaced detailing that he was abusive to them. Colbie Holderness, Porter’s first wife, alleged that he punched her in 2005 and provided photos of bruises she says he inflicted on her.
And on Friday, White House speechwriter David Sorensen resigned after his ex-wife accused him of physically abusing her.
Trump himself, a man who once bragged about being able to grab women “by the pussy,” has been accused by more than 20 women of sexual misconduct and abuse. It might not come as a surprise, then, that Trump would be eager to protect those accused of misconduct and abuse rather than those who say they’ve been victimized by it.
“Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?” the president asked in a tweet. It’s a fair question, for sure. It’s also something Trump has previously not seemed to care about. Here are just a few times that “due process” didn’t matter to Trump.
The Central Park Five
In 1989, a group of black and Hispanic men were convicted but later exonerated in the rape of a female jogger in New York City’s Central Park.
As police coercion and false allegations ruined these men’s lives, Trump spent $85,000 to place ads in four daily New York City newspapers to demand the innocent men be killed.
“Muggers and murderers should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes,” Trump wrote in the ad at the time.
Despite their names eventually being cleared, Trump still wouldn’t stop saying they were guilty.
“The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty,” Trump told CNN in 2016. “The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous. And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same.”
President Barack Obama
For years, Trump has also promoted the conspiracy that former President Barack Obama is a Muslim who was actually born in Kenya and is lying about his identity. None of that is true.
Trump later retracted his false statement during his bid to become president. But the damage was done.
“I say nothing,” Trump said during a 2016 debate with candidate Hillary Clinton regarding Obama’s long-form birth certificate. “I say nothing because I was able to get him to produce it.”
Last year, Trump falsely accused Obama of having ”wires tapped” in Trump Tower. The Department of Justice flatly denied the claim.
Even after winning the election, Trump has been unable to stop focusing on Clinton. Trump has repeatedly said Clinton lied to the FBI regarding her private email server. Meanwhile, former Trump administration official Flynn pleaded guilty last December to misleading the FBI about talks he had with Russian officials.
“Hillary Clinton lied many times to the FBI, nothing happened to her,” Trump said last December. “Flynn lied and they’ve destroyed his life. I think it’s a shame.”
Former head of the FBI James Comey, who Trump eventually fired, told Congress in a July 2017 testimony there was “no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI.”
Just this month, Trump made the bold and outrageous accusation that Democrats who did not clap and praise the president during his recent State of the Union address are “treasonous.”
“Can we call that treason?” Trump said of Democrats last week during a campaign-style rally in Cincinnati. “Why not? I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.”
Committing treason is a deeply serious accusation for a president to make. U.S. law states that whoever “owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason.”
To be clear: Not clapping for the president does not qualify as treason.
In June of 2016, Trump accused U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel of not being able to make a fair ruling regarding lawsuits against Trump University. The president alleged that because he has made it clear he wants to build a wall to separate Mexico and the U.S., the judge’s heritage would be a “conflict.”
Curiel had “an absolute conflict” because of his “Mexican heritage,” Trump claimed.
He then doubled down on the claim in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper that same month.
For all his Saturday chest pounding about making false, unverified accusations, Trump has made clear that same logic has never applied to his perceived enemies.