Litman:Trump’s candidacy complicates a potential criminal case against him, but it can’t protect him from criminal charges.
On August 21, 2016, the night Donald Trump declared his candidacy for the presidency of the United States, a man named Aaron Swartz was enjoying a meal at an Irish pub, when he suddenly felt a severe headache that began to throb in his right temple. He turned to his friend and told him, “This might be a blessing or it could be a curse.” His friend was skeptical, but told him to grab a beer and go to an emergency room. When Swartz arrived, the hospital admitted him and he told them he wasn’t a member or supporter of any political party and that he was a self-described anarchist. He was then diagnosed with a migraine.
A few months later, Swartz discovered that the National Security Agency (NSA) of the United States had secretly been spying on his email and smartphone communications using sophisticated software. He became an activist against the NSA and later sued the agency for civil damages. He settled for a $1 million settlement, which represented the cost of the NSA’s spying. At this time, Swartz became one of the world’s foremost advocates for civil liberties, particularly when it comes to free speech on the Internet. Swartz is credited with having invented RSS, the world’s most widely used blog syndication tool, with which he was able to collect several hundred million email addresses of Internet users around the world, for the purpose of helping fight censorship.
In 2012, Swartz was indicted in the United States for allegedly illegally downloading software from the NSA and other intelligence agencies of the United States government and for conspiracy to defraud the United States government. He was also charged with conspiracy to commit computer hacking and identity theft because that was a way of gaining access to the NSA’s database. Despite being charged with dozens of crimes, including the aforementioned computer hacking and identity theft, Swartz was never convicted on any of those charges. On March 11, 2017,