Rep. Galonski: I’m too busy to prosecute Trump at The Hague

By: - April 17, 2020 12:45 am

State Rep. Tavia Galonski, D-Akron. Photo from Ohio House website.

As it turns out, threatening international prosecution against the president is a lot easier said than done.

State Rep. Tavia Galonski, D-Akron, appears to be backing off her plan to refer President Trump to The Hague for alleged crimes against humanity. Nearly two weeks after her initial call for action, she has announced no further plans to pursue the charges.

Asked Wednesday for an update, Galonski told the Capital Journal she was focused instead on the legislature’s response to the ongoing pandemic. 

She set off a firestorm online on April 5 following a controversial press conference in which the president repeatedly advocated for use of an untested drug to treat COVID-19. Galonski tweeted:

She received a tidal wave of both support and criticism, with news outlets around the country and even internationally highlighting her proposal. 

The Capital Journal interviewed her that evening and she conceded that she wasn’t sure how the referral process at The Hague even works. 

“I honestly have no idea,” she said. “But how hard can it be?”

Galonski said her plan was to wake up the next morning and do some research. That very morning, though, Speaker of the House Larry Householder, R-Glenford, announced a new Economic Recovery Task Force. He named 24 members to the task force, including Galonski. 

“I have really just been too swamped with my work on the (task force),” Galonski told the Capital Journal on Wednesday. “They put in an aggressive timeline… to open up the state right away and we are meeting every day.”

She also described wanting to keep out of the limelight after having received threats when her tweet went viral and earned her coverage from outlets such as Fox News and ABC. 

The group has met via web conference a handful of times. Galonski has called into them but has been a quiet presence at the meetings. With a large number of guests in a tight schedule, questions and cross discussion has been limited. Most representatives have watched the proceedings with their microphones on mute, as Galonski has.

Despite the seriousness of the charges and the attention she received, Ohio’s political circles stayed rather mum about the ordeal. The night of April 5, the Ohio Capital Journal sent requests for comment to spokespersons for the Ohio House of Representatives’ Democratic and Republican caucuses, as well as the Ohio Democratic Party. None of them responded. 

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Tyler Buchanan
Tyler Buchanan

Tyler Buchanan is an award-winning journalist who has covered Ohio politics and government for the past decade. A Bellevue native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, he most recently spent 6 1/2 years as a reporter and editor of The Athens Messenger and Vinton-Jackson Courier newspapers. He is a member of the BG News Alumni Society Board and was a 2019 fellow in the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.