Donald Trump’s litany of scandals: A timeline
- Donald Trump’s presidency was extremely controversial
- The former president was impeached twice
- Trump’s home Mar-a-Lago was raided by the FBI
Donald Trump, the 45th United States President, has lived a chequered life. His presidency was perhaps one of the most controversial tenures among recent US presidents. While the Bush administration was immense in its foreign policy impact, the Obama administration in its liberal goody-two shoes do-nothing approach, the Trump administration was unarguably the most sensational. Now, out of office for two years and apparently on the brink of announcing another run for presidency, Trump is mired in a web of investigations and controversies.
But making the news is not new for Trump. For nearly half a decade, the man has been adroit in his use of television, and more recently, social media. Scandal after scandal has followed Donald Trump even as his popularity has soared. Here’s an in-depth look into the scandals in Trump’s cupboard.
January 20-21, 2017: ‘Scourge of crime’
Donald Trump’s presidency began with a with a dark, morbid speech. The then-President spoke of a “scourge of crime” in the United States where crime rates had consistently been on the decline. Trump’s mission to Make America Great Again (MAGA), began with an attack on immigration and free trade. Attacking the “Washington establishment,” Trump said power was being returned to the people.
Trump’s inauguration speech did not make the impact it would. While pictures taken by news outlets showed a smaller crowd than the one that was at Obama’s inauguration in 2009, his press secretary Sean Spicer famously said there were more people that ever – “both in person and around the globe”. This began a four-year-long tiff with the mainstream media which then continued to this day.
January 27, 2017: The Muslim ban
Donald Trump has often used Islamophobia as bait to keep his alt-right ecosystem happy. His anti-immigration stance culminated in a travel ban that barred foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The move sparked protests and was challenged in court, several times successfully. A new version of the ban was finalised in 2018. It was later undone by the Biden administration.
June 1, 2017: Out of Paris, not going green
It was on June 1, 2017, that the Trump Administration took the United States out of the 2016 Paris Agreement that his predecessor had done a great deal to broker. The Agreement, also called the Paris Climate Accords, is an international treaty on climate change, adaptation and finance.
2019: Trump impeachment
In July of 2019, news surfaced that Donald Trump had asked the leader of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, now US President and Vice-President in the Obama administration. The Democrat-run House voted to impeach Trump for this in December the same year. He became the third president to be impeached. However, Republican dominance in the Senate meant Trump would not be forced out of office.
November 3, 2020: The Capitol Hill riots
Donald Trump lost the election but refused to go. Claiming that there had been fraud, Trump provoked a crowd to enter the Capitol and create mayhem. The seat of governance of the United States of America (USA) was shaken. Speaking at the rally which would eventually go on to attack the Capitol, Trump said he would “never concede.”
January 13, 2021: The second impeachment
Donald Trump was impeached for the second time on January 13, 2021, a week before his term in office expired. This was the fourth time an US President was impeached and the second time after his first impeachment in 2019.
August, 2022: FBI raids Mar-a-Lago
The Federal Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida’s Palm Beach, as part of an investigation into the handling of presidential documents. These included classified documents. Now, Trump’s legal problems are on several fronts.