Glenn Kirschner, a legal analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, said Tuesday that President Donald Trump could be charged with homicide for response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Kirschner, a retired federal prosecutor and bombastic Trump critic, brought up the idea in a Twitter thread, which has received more than 6,000 retweets and nearly 24,000 likes.
“Hey All. Can we talk about 1 of the few topics I may actually know too much about: homicide?” he said. “Specifically, whether Donald Trump may have criminal exposure for some level of negligent homicide or voluntary/involuntary manslaughter for the way he’s mishandled the Coronavirus crisis.”
When he prosecuted murder cases as a U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Kirschner said, ” I was always on the lookout for novel ways to apply homicide liability in an attempt to appropriately and ethically hold accountable those who were responsible for taking the life of a fellow human being.”
He added, ” I think it’s fair to observe that there’s nothing more dev[a]stating to a family th[a]n losing a loved one to ether violent crime or to an illness that could have been prevented or mitigated.”
Kirschner went on to share that he was trying to put together a homicide case against the president for his “negligent/grossly negligent (and/or possibly intentional) mishandling of the Coronavirus crisis in the US.”
“I’m trying to assimilate all available evidence (rapidly developing and being reported every day) to fairly assess whether Trump and his administration may have acted/failed to act in a way that could give rise to homicide liability,” he said.
Glenn Kirschner calls his Trump homicide case “nuanced and thorny”
In contrast to what he called Trump’s clear crimes before and since assuming the presidency, Kirschner called Trump’s culpability for homicide “not an easy question” and a “nuanced and thorny issue.”
However, he declared, justice must be served.
“ALL criminal charges will have to be investigated and, if the evidence dictates it, prosecuted come Jan. 2021,” he said, referring to the end of Trump’s first term. “Stay tuned …”
Hey All. Can we talk about 1 of the few topics I may actually know too much about: homicide? Specifically, whether Donald Trump may have criminal exposure for some level of negligent homicide or voluntary/involuntary manslaughter for the way he’s mishandled the Coronavirus crisis
— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) March 17, 2020
Kirschner’s commentary is in keeping with the over-the-top, and sometimes outright false, criticism of Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic by many prominent Democrats and liberal activists and commentators.
However, also Tuesday, CNN anchor Dana Bash applauded Trump on-air for how he has lately addressed the spread of the respiratory disease “from an American standpoint, from a human standpoint.”
“This was remarkable from the president of the United States,” she said. “He is being the kind of leader that people need, at least in tone, today and yesterday, in tone, that people need and want and yearn for in times of crisis and uncertainty.”
Conservatives commentators reacted to Bash’s remarks with a mixture of approval and shock.
Dana Bash needs to be quarantined immediately. https://t.co/KvD3yxK5B8
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) March 17, 2020
Many liberals, though, were outraged.
People like Dana Bash want to give trump credit for *finally* having a moment of clarity and not throwing his own poop at the wall.
He was STILL downplaying COVID19 last week before the Dow tanked. He's STILL the same jackass.
He's afraid of losing in November.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) March 18, 2020
Globally over 2,000 people have been infected and more than 8,000 have died, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracking website. The U.S. death toll has reached 114, with nearly 6,500 people having tested positive for the disease.