Former President Donald Trump claimed in a speech that he was indicted three times more than the infamous gangster Al Capone.
Is not true.
Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, made use of the Al Capone claim as he attempts to portray himself as a victim of baseless and politically motivated prosecutions. In a speech in Iowa this Saturday, he said: “And, by the way, I was impeached more times than Alphonse Capone. He is the cruelest of all gangsters. If he takes you to dinner and you don’t look good, if you laugh a little he might think you’re laughing at him, it’s dangerous to laugh: it would kill you immediately. He was accused once. “They accused me four times.”
He said the same thing in a speech in October in Florida: “If you looked at him the wrong way, he would kill you, and he would kill you with his hands. He was a tough guy. They accused him once. “They accused me four times.”
Facts First: Trump’s claim that Al Capone was impeached only once is false. Al Capone was accused at least six times, as A. Brad Schwartz, co-author of a book about Al Capone, told CNN.
And that doesn’t include several criminal charges against Capone that didn’t involve an indictment, such as some misdemeanors or obscure Capone cases for which CNN couldn’t immediately determine whether there was an indictment.
Capone’s list of accusations
Obviously it is impossible to directly compare the charges faced by an early 20th century gangster and a 21st century US president; They were investigated by different people for different things under different laws. But since Trump made his claim about Capone a centerpiece of his attacks on his own criminal cases, here are the facts.
Capone was indicted three times in 1931 alone, the year he was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to 11 years in federal prison. Schwartz, co-author of “Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness, and the Battle for Chicago,” explained that it was: “A secret indictment for tax evasion handed down in March 1931 (before the statute of limitations expired) ). for charges from the year 1924)”; a broader indictment in June 1931, with more than 20 counts, for tax evasion in the period 1925 to 1929; “And an accusation of bootlegging conspiracy, based on the work of Eliot Ness and his Untouchables, that same month.”
There was more. Before the historic 1931 conviction, Capone was charged and convicted in 1929 of carrying concealed weapons in Philadelphia. Schwartz also pointed out two lesser-known allegations against Capone that did not result in a conviction: a 1926 federal indictment for conspiracy to violate Prohibition laws and a 1933 local indictment for racketeering.
And in the 1920s, Capone had other criminal court cases that did not involve an indictment or that CNN could not immediately determine if an indictment was involved. (Capone used aliases and some of these century-old records are spotty.)
These included a 1921 case involving Capone’s operation of brothels and gambling establishments, a 1922 case involving assault with a vehicle and other charges (which was brought to CNN by journalist Jonathan Eig, author of another book on Capone), and a 1929 federal contempt of court case for which he was convicted in 1931.
Referring to Trump’s false claims about supposedly having been indicted more than Capone, Schwartz added: “This isn’t a race, of course, but it’s worth noting that Capone is also far ahead on the individual charges (the indictment of the Prohibition of 1931 alone amounted to five thousand conspiracy charges).” Trump faces 91 charges in total from two federal indictments against him and two local indictments.
One of Trump’s federal cases concerns his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The other is about his withholding of classified documents after the presidency. Trump’s case in Fulton County, Georgia, is also linked to his electoral subversion efforts. His New York case involves his alleged falsification of business records related to a hush money scheme.
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