A sitting president just authorized an attorney general to settle political differences with a Special Prosecutor? The idea undermines law and constitutional democracy, no matter the politics, yet here we are – another escalation, misuse of power, twist in the wretched road. Wrong move.
The appointment of a Special Prosecutor, or Special Counsel, to further investigate Donald Trump for much discussed issues looks a lot like delegitimizing a political opponent, more unethical DC gotcha. The move misuses legal authority. Look at the sequence, then think.
An activist, reflexively entitled part of the fractured Democrat Party – back in 2016 – responded to a tight election victory for Mr. Trump by instantly seeking to delegitimize him, using innuendo, false charges, unjust surveillance, illegal FISA applications, and coercive power to undermine his agenda – ironically, one that benefitted most Americans.
The group leaked false information, much of it conjured up by paid creators, to sully the 2016 winner’s claim to leadership. They gave misleading interviews, accused, surmised, mocked, and saturated media outlets with falsehoods, some to sell books. The media played along.
As the economy strengthened, China backed off, Iran retreated, NATO paid bills, North Korea stopped launching missiles, Mexico signed a new trade accord, illegal immigration declined, and Middle Eastern countries began bilateral accords – opponents’ anger led to fresh attacks.
A preloaded Democrat-led Congress engineered two rapid-fire, unprecedented “impeachments.” These reflected arch-political positions – one based on a phone call, ironically with a foreign leader pressured by the now-sitting president to drop an investigation into his son. The other attributed rogue protestors to presidential engineering.
Even this was not enough. The irrepressible former president offended the activist wing of the other party with his grating combination of irreverence, ego, and outcomes. In other words, they could not allow his tenure to end peaceably, and now needed to prevent his return.
What did they do? First, they sullied him administratively, legally, congressionally, and in the media, colluding with social media to shut down his attempt at defense, tried to silence him.
They persisted in trying to block his free speech rights under the First Amendment – labeling his words and defenders extremist, hateful, untruthful, unworthy of protection, anti-democratic.
When conservatives – judicial, constitutional, and political – spoke up, opposing this kind of political persecution, seeking a return to constitutional process, they were ostracized, cancelled, chilled, physically attacked – the goal, silence. Even Supreme Court justices faced this result.
When these tactics failed, as populism is hard to suppress, the current administration tried another angle. They executed a “general warrant,” a violation of the 4th Amendment – or
exceeded reasonable terms of a specific warrant, which must state what is sought, where, and for what criminal purpose. We still do not know the facts, odd for a constitutional republic.
So, a former president – political opponent of the sitting president – had his home invaded, excess force used – dozens of armed agents, nine hours, wife’s closets searched, papers of all kinds, unclassified, classified, magazine articles, passport, and medical records – confiscated.
The scope of the thing was breathtaking – followed by relative silence. This is odd since the offenses alleged are more administrative than criminal, more fear or ego than criminal intent.
Next, as this did not satisfy congressional venality, they decided to go after his family, friends, and former administration members – what we call, in lawless countries, “the opposition.”
They did all this with audacity, hitting former loyalists, friends (some tried and acquitted), and sending chills through Republicans. Congress then applied contempt power in unprecedented ways, criminalizing the assertion of basic legal rights against a subpoena.
The whole thing is legally stunning, a fact largely ignored by left-leaning media. Instead, aggressive speeches by the sitting president got coverage, calling opponents “enemies of the state.”
To watch all this – as a former litigator, US Court of Appeals clerk, chief counsel to a major House oversight subcommittee, teacher of law and oversight, veteran of two White Houses, and State Department – causes shudders. This is not how constitutional process should work.
Now, the coup de grace, the final stroke, an obvious attempt to settle political scores with a heart punch. The White House has released on Trump their legal “hound,” a “Special Prosecutor” to “look at everything” and see – no doubt – if that can perhaps end his influence.
If all this were occurring in a country historically corrupt, or one overrun with rumors tying the current leader to nefarious political activities, or in a country where the leader was part of one-party rule with legislative corruption, or in a country with an aging, easily manipulated leader – and there are many – one might not be surprised. But this is America.
Then again, this is the thing – and you know it: We are starting to look like one of those countries. These acts offend all we stand for, Constitution and history, cut to the bone of the republic, rule of law, faith in administration, non-corrupt politics.
If we lose faith in who we are, what this country is about, due process, procedure, Bill of Rights, fairness, honest investigation, impartial application of laws – we will lose the republic. If a White House can justify misusing the awesome power of government, legal tools meant for non-political purposes, in a political way – and the nation shrugs – we are in trouble.
Bottom line: Appointing a Special Prosecutor goes beyond false charges and wasteful congressional investigations, demonization, condemnation, and home invasion. It erodes faith in rule of law and the separation of law and politics. Simply put, this was the wrong move.
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