Panetta Lecture Series: Trump's latest indictment, and what it means for U.S.
This story originally aired on Tuesday, June 13, 2023.
Donald Trump was arraigned on 37 federal charges at a courthouse in Miami on Tuesday, becoming the first American president to be indicted on federal charges. He pleaded not guilty on all counts.
Trump's legal troubles were a main topic of discussion at the final session of this year's Panetta Lecture Series on Monday night.
"There's no question in my mind that this is going to further divide our country and the American people," said former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, at an intimate press conference ahead of the event. "That's a real threat."
Panetta was joined by famed journalist Bob Woodward and historians Annette Gordon-Reed and Douglas Brinkley. The guests spoke at the press conference, and ensuing lecture, about the unique threats to democracy in this moment — misinformation, anger, distrust in the country’s institutions.
"He has no sense of what democracy is," said Woodward, who has written books about every U.S. President since Richard M. Nixon, and has spent hours interviewing Trump. "For Trump, democracy is enemy territory."
"This is not a partisan or political judgment, this is a human judgment," he added.