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Compelled to declare independence from a despot

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Trump has demonstrated a rashness and volatility that make him unfit to hold the highest office in the land.

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress in Philadelphia declared independence from a king. Their opening:

Randall W. Bachman
Randall W. Bachman

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

In the second paragraph, these famous words:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government …. when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government ….

So now, 241 years later, do the same principles apply if a country is led, not by a foreign power, but by a leader who behaves as a despot? The answer is clear: The People not only have a right to declare independence from tyranny, but a duty to do so.

The Declaration goes on to outline a list of charges against King George that build a case for independence and separation. Examples of similar infractions can be applied to President Donald Trump:

  • Suspected collusion with a foreign power — Russia — to attempt to influence our elections.
  • Financial entanglements with foreign powers in violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution.
  • Sympathy for hate groups that intend to violate human rights by discriminating against ethnic and religious minorities and by calling for racial separation.
  • Bearing false witness by accusing former President Barack Obama of wiretapping his home, and by claiming Obama was not born in America.
  • Attempting to unravel safety-net programs long established by law that provide security for Americans.
  • Demonstrated incompetence by keeping the executive branch of government in turmoil and not filling critical vacancies.
  • Impeding justice by attempting to get then-FBI Director James Comey to drop an investigation.
  • Imperiling the security of the United States by making inflammatory remarks about North Korea, which could lead to nuclear war.
  • Deception by asserting that he would build a wall and make Mexico pay for it.
  • Dividing America by disparaging immigrants, and mocking those with disabilities.
  • Violating principles of religious freedom by trying to ban visas for people from six mostly Muslim countries.

In addition to the above infractions, Trump has demonstrated a rashness and volatility that make him unfit to hold the highest office in the land, nor to be the leader of the free world. Allies have moved away from him. Members of his own staff and Cabinet have moved to contain him. He has disparaged House members, senators, and other legitimate officeholders. He has demonstrated an instability that imperils the country, and shows him unfit for office. He is a despot whose actions promote tyranny.

The Constitution provides two remedies to remove a president unfit for office: 1) impeachment, which requires evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors; and, 2) evidence of impairment such that the president can no longer effectively carry out his duties. While investigations by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and other evidence might eventually be compiled to meet either of these remedies, a third way can be proposed in keeping with the principles of our Founding Fathers:

Declare Independence from the Despot.

While there is currently no constitutional remedy that would allow for such an action, and while such an action could be construed to be sedition, there are some practical actions that the People could take to mitigate the damage this despot has created:

  • Refuse to implement his directives. This has essentially already happened with his statement to ban transgendered persons from the military.
  • Congress should censure based on current evidence.
  • Cooler heads in his administration — staffers, generals, and others, could agree to build a wall around any rash action he might precipitate. They need to agree that he cannot unilaterally launch a nuclear attack.
  • Courts can declare his actions unconstitutional — example: Muslim travel ban.
  • The People must rise up and demand that their representatives stand up to Trump.

These are but a few examples of resistance that can be employed short of impeachment or a declaration of impairment. For the sake of our country, and the principles on which it was founded, we must Declare our Independence from the Despot. Just say no.

Randall Bachman is a retired health and human services administrator, a veteran, and a concerned citizen who lives in Afton. 


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Comments (23)

  1. Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 08/29/2017 - 08:22 am.

    like. love. ha-ha. wow. sad. angry.

    reads like a fb post, so i’ll say

    … because I haven’t read the same list made of every single president that has been in office?

  2. Submitted by joe smith on 08/29/2017 - 09:06 am.

    Shouldn’t a person (even Trump) be guilty of

    something before you declare independence from a “despot”. I haven’t seen any evidence of collusion with Russia yet. As a matter of fact there is evidence coming out that shows the Trump inner circle avoided Russian attempts to meet. If you are a world wide businessman you are going to have financial arrangements with foreign countries. Sympathy for hate groups?? Are you talking about Trump saying that Antifa is violent? Give that alt-left fascist group a month and see if they are violent or not? What “safety net” has been removed that impedes on folks security are you talking about? We tried the buy off N. Korea with Clinton in the 90’s (used that money we gave them to expand nuclear weapons while promising not to, sound like Iran deal???), tried avoiding and ignoring them with Bush & Obama. Not much left but to tell them there will be consequences if they attack America. All of your bullet points are allegations or how you feel, thankfully we have a legal system to determine a persons guilt or innocence, not your feelings.

    Trump is thin skinned and is totally detracted by the slightest insult but has yet to be guilty of anything close to being impeached. He needs to work on policy and leave politics to the media. Getting tax reform done will help way more Americans than removing a statue. Getting rid of Obamacare will help millions (who actually pay) afford health insurance. Controlling the border will help everyone, open borders don’t work. Get infrastructure projects going with an emphasis on States doing what they need, not D.C. deciding what needs to be done. Fix a failing educational system. That is why he was elected. Folks have seen enough of career politicians and community organizers to know you get more of the same by electing them. I have never been a fan of Trump but am sick of career politicians too.

    If Trump is guilty of something, then by all means, go after him. Until then this fishing trip or how you “feel” doesn’t mean much.

    • Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 08/29/2017 - 01:42 pm.


      A few months ago, MPR had two guys give a speech and answer questions on their noon program. The moderator said there are four elite Russian experts in the world and these guys are two of them.

      Both of the speakers said that Obama and Hillary were meddling in Russian affairs during his presidential term and the Russians fully expected Hillary to get elected. To whatever extent there was meddling in our election, the experts believed it was a shot across the bow to Hillary and had nothing to do with Trump.

  3. Submitted by Curtis Senker on 08/29/2017 - 09:12 am.

    Let us calmly examine these charges.

    “Suspected collusion with a foreign power — Russia — to attempt to influence our elections.”

    It’s been 8 months, and there is not a shred of evidence of collusion. This issue has become bread and circus for leftists.

    “Financial entanglements with foreign powers in violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution.”

    Several left wing groups have filed suit. Most legal observers say they are spinning their wheels, but we will see.

    “Sympathy for hate groups that intend to violate human rights by discriminating against ethnic and religious minorities and by calling for racial separation.”

    I have seen no statements of support for such groups…certianly none have been invited to the White House

    “Bearing false witness by accusing former President Barack Obama of wiretapping his home, and by claiming Obama was not born in America.”

    He’s harsh on his opponents. Stipulated.

    “Attempting to unravel safety-net programs long established by law that provide security for Americans.”

    Or, reeling in programs meant to be safety nets that have become lifestyles. This is a long established political dividing line.

    “Demonstrated incompetence by keeping the executive branch of government in turmoil and not filling critical vacancies.”

    I thought Democrats saw this as a feature, not a flaw..

    “Impeding justice by attempting to get then-FBI Director James Comey to drop an investigation.”

    This was wrong. Stipulated.

    “Imperiling the security of the United States by making inflammatory remarks about North Korea, which could lead to nuclear war.”

    Because appeasement and knee-pad diplomacy was working so well!

    “Deception by asserting that he would build a wall and make Mexico pay for it.”

    I think Trump made a semantic blunder with the claim “Mexico” will pay. It is highly possible the Mexican citizens in the US illegally could pay through a healthy tax on remittances, but it’s unlikely the country will foot the bill.

    “Dividing America by disparaging illegal immigrants.”

    “Violating principles of religious freedom by trying to ban visas for people from six mostly Muslim countries.”

    There is some small validity in that accusation, however the reason for banning Muslims has to do with the religious war many are waging against the Western world, as opposed to the religion itself. In any case, SCOTUS will sort it out in the end, as they should.

    As to Military commanders refusing to impliment lawful orders they dont agree with, well, the military has a remedy for that.

  4. Submitted by Robert Lilly on 08/29/2017 - 10:33 am.

    It’s Amazing….

    How Trump and his supporters twist certain facts and completely ignore others. Joe and Curtis fit right in that group, to say ‘there is not one shred of evidence’ is wishful thinking.
    Jr gets an email saying the Russian government wants to help his fathers campaign, 15 minutes later Jr replies with ‘I Love it’. The day before the meeting with Russians and Trump Jr takes place, Trump Sr. announces publicly that they will be talking about H.C. and all her bad deeds very soon.
    That’s way more than a shred.

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 08/29/2017 - 11:56 am.


      If, at the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians, one of the Russians slid a piece of paper across the table to Manafort and it indicated when the WikiLeaks Podesta data dump will occur are we done with the Donald? Is it an impeachable offense?

      1. Russians request meeting with top Trump campaign members.
      2. Russian officials provide insightful data
      3. Insightful data shared within the Trump campaign

      I would think that constitutes collusion. When this scenario is proven true (with a 99% likelihood it will) what excuse will the Right use to defend it?

      What is the standard for collusion? Aren’t we already at a point of having a proven desire to collude?

  5. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 08/29/2017 - 11:34 am.

    Trump supporters are forced to deny the consensus of ALL our intelligence agencies that Russia intervened in our 2016 election, in order to claim–even against pubic evidence uncovered by news media like the NY Times and the Washington Post, drip by drip–that there was no such intervention.

    Are these Trump supporters asking themselves: Why is Donald Trump so nervous, so anxious, about what Mueller might find in his investigation of Trump campaign collusion with the Russians? He’s like a cat on a hot tin roof about the Russia investigation. Would he be so nervous if there were nothing to hide or be ashamed of?

    • Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 08/29/2017 - 02:30 pm.

      See my comment above.

    • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 08/29/2017 - 03:20 pm.

      Hold on Constance.This is,

      Hold on Constance.

      This is, once again, twisting words, ala “Republicans are anti-immigrant” when the truth is, people of all political persuasions are against *illegal* immigration.

      I have read too, that many of our intelligence agencies have evidence Russia may have been up to shenanigans. I didn’t see any denials of that, everyone knows the Russians are *always* up to something.

      The question is, and has been, did Trump or his campaign collude with them in violation of the law. Of that, after 8 months of intense scruitiny and investigation mind you, we have seen no evidence.

      I don’t see Trump being nervous at all; he’s clearly irritated at the Chihuahua’s nipping at his ankles but that comes with the job these days.

      • Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 08/29/2017 - 03:54 pm.

        Curtis, sometimes our differences are all in the definitions:

        I define “illegal immigrant” differently than you do, and I do not disapprove of all immigration of people without documentation that permits “entry.”

        I define “proof” differently than you, and have concluded that Donald Trump, Jr.’s June 2016 meeting with those Russians about information that would hurt Hillary Clinton to be a proof of at least willingness to collude with the Russians. I don’t give a hoot, in this regard, what Clinton or Obama did; we’re talking about Trump.

        And for Trump to consider firing Mueller and attack Mueller’s investigation before the fact of a report, and Trump’s attempts to get Comey and the Deputy AG, separately, to call off the Russia-connection-to-Trump’s campaign investigation–this all means “nervous” to me.

        Maybe not to you.

        Trump “doth protest too much,” as Shakespeare had Hamlet comment.

        • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 08/29/2017 - 09:36 pm.

          “I define “illegal immigrant” differently than you do, and I do not disapprove of all immigration of people without documentation that permits “entry.”

          Well. Thankfully for both you and I, American immigration law steps in to mediate. It is a violation of federal law to evade or violate US immigration. Curious..are there other laws you feel it is OK to break?

          “I define “proof” differently than you do..”

          And once again, the laws of the United States step in to settle the disagreement.

          “And for Trump to consider firing Mueller and attack Mueller’s investigation before the fact of a report, and Trump’s attempts to get Comey and the Deputy AG, separately, to call off the Russia-connection-to-Trump’s campaign investigation–this all means “nervous” to me.

          Maybe not to you.”

          No. As a staunch proponent of law, I think Mssr. Mueller should be allowed to spin his wheels until the rubber falls off.

          • Submitted by Kurt Nelson on 08/30/2017 - 10:41 am.


            to burst your bubble, but being in this country without documentation is a civil offense, not criminal (you can look it up).

            • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 08/30/2017 - 12:57 pm.

              Since I’ve had this discussion before, Kurt, I had looked it up previously. Entering the country illegally is a federal crime, Constances disapproval notwithstanding.

              I am happy for this opportunity to share my enlightenment:

              Improper Entry Is a Crime

              “The most common crime associated with illegal immigration is likely improper entry. Under federal criminal law, it is misdemeanor for an alien (i.e., a non-citizen) to:

              Enter or attempt to enter the United States at any time or place other than designated by immigration officers;
              Elude examination or inspection by immigration officers; or

              Attempt to enter or obtain entry to the United States by willfully concealing, falsifying, or misrepresenting material facts.

              The punishment under this federal law is no more than six months of incarceration and up to $250 in civil penalties for each illegal entry.”


              That means people that overstay a legal visa are guilty of a civil offense, but those that sneak across the border are criminals in the legal sense.

      • Submitted by Linda Larkin on 08/29/2017 - 05:25 pm.

        In response

        I suspect the reason we are not seeing all the evidence of collusion, is due to the Special Counsel no ready to, “put it all out on the table.” There is much going on in the background, to get as much information as possible and ensnare as many people as possible. As for the 45th, his family and administration, Whatever happens, I hope it will satisfy both parties!
        I wish people on both sides realize how important our town, city, state, and national governments are and when they vote each person makes the best choice for a candidate that is both even knell and intelligent of Government processes.

  6. Submitted by LK WOODRUFF on 08/29/2017 - 12:40 pm.

    what an excellent response

    I do admire people with ethics, integrity and character, with the ability not only to grasp and comprehend all of the many Trump regime dysfunctions and illegal behaviors but to write about them well, also.

    I do so question what has produced the too large numbers of folks who either can’t, or won’t, accept reality with it’s many obvious facts and truths! Why do so many casually accept fraudulent behaviors? Lies spewed 24/7? Cover ups? Money laundering? Corruption around the globe?

    Interference with our democracy???

    One possible reason that stands out clearly is media viewership choice. From the responses here so far, it is crystal clear who watches Fox, Breitbart, InfoWars, Drudge and the like. And who prefers reliable mainstream journalistic sources.

  7. Submitted by Bob Petersen on 08/29/2017 - 01:46 pm.

    Not limited to one side

    More spilled milk. No one cares if you don’t like Trump. But this type of rhetoric actually makes the divide even worse. I’m really surprised that MP would actually have this on their site.

    -Suspected collusions with Russia. Nothing has ever been proven other than a couple of short meetings. And since when is our way of life to determine someone is guilty by mob rule on something that is ‘suspected?’ Let’s also not overlook that Russia was meddling long before Trump even won the party nomination and Obama knew it and did nothing.
    -Emoluments cause. Seriously? Nothing proven…again.
    -Racial segregation. Again, nothing proven here. In fact, Trump has many minorities working in his businesses. Also, let’s not forget Obama coming to the professor’s defense based only on race early on in his presidency only to find out that the professor’s actions were horrible to the local police officer and led to the ‘Beer Summit.’
    -Wiretapping and claiming Obama not a citizen. We have found out that many people under Obama have been surveilled without warrants and hundreds of requests for unmasking of Americans. Also, the citizenship issue was brought forth by competing Democrats when Obama was a senator running for the Presidency. Trump just echoed the statements.
    -Unravel safety net programs. Living off the taxpayer should never be a guarantee, especially when it is helping bankrupt this country with record numbers of people. And when things are done by previous executive orders, it is not un-American to cancel out those executive orders. All presidents have done that with many issues.
    -Not filling vacancies. This is the best since we have a local judge being actively blocked from being placed on a higher court by Klobuchar and Franken. Not to mention the myriad of many other positions that are also being blocked by Schumer and Senate Democrats. They even attempted to block Gorsuch from being placed on the SCOTUS even though they universally praised him in from the court he just came from.
    -Impeding justice. This is the closest maybe because the facts still have yet to be determined. Then again, Trump is not the first in our government and happens on all sides of the aisle.
    -Inflammatory remarks about North Korea. Another laugh. No one wants war. But to make ‘inflammatory remarks’ is something all Presidents have done.
    -The Wall. Campaign issue. The Wall is nothing compared to the Obamacare promises of keeping your plan and your doctor and saving at least $2,500 per year for every family.
    -Disparaging immigrants and the disabled. Yeah, not cool. But in regards to immigrants, he has often mentioned about attracting people that want to add to our society and not cause problems. The murder of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco by an undocumented and 5-time deportee should be a big reminder that immigration needs to be thought through. The President should always try protect Americans. The policies of previous administrations have not done that.
    -Violating religious freedom by immigration bans. This is one of the best since Obama did the same exact thing.

  8. Submitted by LK WOODRUFF on 08/29/2017 - 02:54 pm.

    Any wall would be an environmental disaster!!!

    Trump’s thinking is always so simplistic:

    People will either tunnel under, or fly over, a wall. Or smuggle drugs in, in other ways. Walls don’t work. Ask Germany or China.

    But a wall would affect wildlife migrations, air & water flow, soil erosion and so much more.
    The hundreds of million$ used to build it would have to come from the already over-burdened ‘little people’ because the wealthy already pay less in taxes than us, plus hide $ in offshore accts. (Trump alone has over 150 shell corps!) And Mexico has always emphatically stated that they will not pay for it. They don’t want it and they can’t afford it either.

    The only way to end the drug cartels and Big Pharmas hold on so many is to make cannabidiol (the non-addictive oil of marijuana) available to those with pain and other maladies. There goes their influence and business. There goes rampant addiction. All of the time, money and resources poured into addiction could be applied to other needs, like repairing infrastructure, or providing healthcare for all or free tuition to anyone who wants it.

    Practical, pragmatic individuals understand all of this.

  9. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 08/29/2017 - 03:29 pm.

    Keep up, guys !Trump signed

    Keep up, guys !

    Trump signed letter of intent to proceed with a Moscow tower during the campaign with Russian banks that were under sanction by the US government. And these banks were pressing Trump to relieve the Ukraine-related sanctions

    President Donald Trump’s erstwhile lawyer, Michael Cohen, said this week in a statement provided to congressional investigators that Trump signed a letter of intent during the campaign to develop a tower in Moscow with a firm that appears to have partnered with two Russian banks under U.S. sanctions.

    Real estate news outlet The Real Deal was first to surface news of the apparent associations between the Moscow-based firm, I.C. Expert Investment, and VTB and Sberbank. The firm’s website lists both VTB and Sberbank as partner banks.

    Cohen was negotiating the project for the Trump Organization with the help of Felix Sater, both an old pal of Cohen’s and a longtime business associate of Trump’s who served as a conduit for money from the former Soviet Union. Sater told Cohen that he’d arranged financing for the project with VTB, according to emails that were provided to the House Intelligence Committee and reviewed by the New York Times.

    Sberbank and VTB were both sanctioned in the wake of Russia’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula, and the U.S. Treasury specifically disallows them from issuing the kinds of financing used in real estate transactions to “U.S. persons or within the United States.” Trump signed the letter of intent to do business with IC Expert on Oct. 28, 2015, according to the Washington Post; but by January, Cohen said he killed the proposal.

    The day before Trump’s inauguration, the president of VTB called on Trump to lift those same sanctions. And the connections don’t end there: Marc Kasowitz, who briefly helmed Trump’s team of outside lawyers fielding the various federal and congressional investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, defended Sberbank in federal court in Manhattan against a lawsuit brought by a Russian businessman.

    (end quote)

  10. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/29/2017 - 06:55 pm.

    Provocative piece

    While Mr. Bachman’s legal basis might be a little shaky for the time being, his criticisms are all valid. These attempts to claim dismiss public and documented behavior simply reflect the same moral vacancy that’s been displayed many times before.

    There are two things that Trump supporters here don’t seem to understand: A) Actual impeachment by congress does not require proof of criminal activity or intent, it’s merely requires a vote to impeach. Trump’s relationship with Congress isn’t good, and it looks like it will only get worse. B) Whether or not Trump actually colluded with the Russians may be a moot point. The biggest legal threat Trump appears to face at the moment, is obstruction of justice charges. There is ample prima facia evidence in the public record alone at this point, that Trump HAS sought to shut down and and otherwise impede or interfere with both congressional AND Justice Dept. investigations and intimidate investigators and congress people. THAT is a felony, (which qualifies as a “high” crime) no matter what happened or didn’t happen with the Russians.

  11. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/30/2017 - 09:23 am.


    Setting aside the direct emoluments problems Trump presents by NOT completely divesting his financial entanglements and ownership’s, there are other problems that could arise and probably will.

    The guy IS a scam artist, for instance the AP has reported that Trump could be investigated for insurance fraud related to $17 million worth of hurricane damages he claimed for his Mara Lago resort in FL. Apparently the damage claim was hugely inflated, and Mueller is empowered to investigate in that direction if chooses to do so. THAT could be one reason Trump is soooooo anxious about his personal finances and tax returns. In any given year prior to Trumps presidency he was likely involved in several scams, and any of those that still fall within statutes of limitations could come back to haunt him. The insurance fraud itself if prosecuted would be a felony, and sufficient grounds for impeachment. Any attempt to impede or interfere with an investigation into alleged insurance fraud is likewise a crime, whether there actually was fraud or not.

    The impeachment scenario is actually becoming more and more likely. Trump is a complete incompetent who is failing to meet even the most minimal of minimum job requirements, he can’t even give a speech to the Boy Scouts without screwing it up somehow, and his policy agendas, to the extent that they even exist, are stalled before they are announced. Trump is already increasingly isolated and extremely unpopular. People keep going on about HIS “base”, but he has no base beyond that which is typical Republican voters who we know vote Republican no matter what. Trump hasn’t really brought any NEW voters to the Republicans, so in effect, they actually have nothing to lose if they lose Trump. It could very be the case that Congressional Republicans will conclude that replacing Trump with Pence (the impeachment scenario) would actually be a win rather than a lose, and they could pull it off with votes from Democrats. From a McConnel and Ryan perspective moving an agenda forward without Trump is better than stalling with him. And this could happen sooner rather than later.

  12. Submitted by Randall Bachman on 08/30/2017 - 04:06 pm.

    Thank You for Your Opinions

    Neighbors, Friends, Detractors: Thank you for expressing your opinions, whether you agreed with my piece or not. It is obvious that MinnPost readers are well-informed and articulate. Where people get their information to be well informed says a lot about the tribes and echo chambers we live in. To those who have taken the time to attempt to refute all my points, thank you for your erudition. While I concede that some do not meet a legal standard–yet–I also assert that some are irrefutable. Whether more will be disclosed, time will tell.

    Lest we get lost in the weeds here is my basic point: The Founding Fathers took it upon themselves to assert inalienable rights, and asserted it was their duty to overthrow a foreign despot. My question is: If the leader of our country proves to be a despot, is there a duty to overthrow? Whether or not Donald Trump is a despot, and what evidence would have to be presented to award that title, remains to be seen. I think the information I provided starts making the case. If Trump supporters disagree, then I ask: what would it take for you to pin the label on him?

    I am glad that so many weighed in. My goal was to get a rise, and I’ve succeeded. Keep it coming. I love America!

  13. Submitted by Bill Willy on 08/30/2017 - 06:25 pm.

    And then there’s that thing called “the Constitution”

    When I first heard about the Joe Arpaio pardon (Friday, an hour or so before the hurricane hit Texas) and looked into it a little, it didn’t take long to see more than a few intelligent people speculating that, beyond pandering to “his base” by letting Sheriff Joe off the hook, the president was sending a message to anyone who might come under pressure to provide evidence or testify in Congress’s and Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation:

    “Don’t do it and don’t worry about it. The worst they can do is slap your wrist with a contempt of court charge which my pardon power will make go away, so hang tough.”

    That theory made sense to me, “But,” I wondered, “wouldn’t that be an unmistakable, hog wild case of obstruction of justice?”

    So I did a search on that (“Arpaio pardon Russia investigation obstruction of justice”) and up popped a whole LOT of interesting pieces.

    For those trying to keep track of the president’s “displays of dubious behavior and real world actions” who may have missed this aspect of things because of wall-to-wall hurricane coverage, the Arpaio pardon really ought to be near the top of the list.

    In a nutshell, it looks like the president (and the U.S. Attorney General) is knowingly and proactively engaged in the promotion of the violation of people’s Constitutional rights . . . In case you’ve missed it, here are a few links that provide some background:

    “A Pardon for Arpaio Would Put Trump in Uncharted Territory”

    “Trump’s reckless Arpaio pardon fuels a Category 5 constitutional crisis

    “The message is clear to law officers abusing their power to violate civil rights and to commit state violence: The Trump administration is here to protect you — not human rights.”

    “Fascism, American Style” (Paul Krugman)

    “Trump exemplifies abuse of power” (conservative writer, Jennifer Rubin)

    Beyond that “background stuff,” there are a lot of interesting perspectives on what could happen if the president presses what he (apparently) perceives as his Kingly “absolute power to pardon” anyone for anything (see: shooting someone on 5th Avenue and, of course, pardoning himself) . . . Perspectives on what the consequences for him COULD be if he actually pursues it in relation to the Russia investigation in particular.

    But that’s a whole ‘nother part of the “sub plot” that will, no doubt, be unfolding soon enough. Here, for example, are few excerpts from another Jennifer Rubin piece from this morning, “Legal challenge to Arpaio pardon begins”

    The story starts in Arizona and an interesting “move” by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton intended to put the Arpaio legal ball in the Justice Department’s court to see where the attorneys there stand on the possible Constitutional violations involved.

    And then she includes these two enlightening paragraphs from a letter that “Protect Democracy” sent to the Public Integrity Section, Criminal Division of the Justice Department, “arguing that the pardon goes beyond constitutional limits”:

    “While the Constitution’s pardon power is broad, it is not unlimited. Like all provisions of the original Constitution of 1787, it is limited by later-enacted amendments, starting with the Bill of Rights. For example, were a president to announce that he planned to pardon all white defendants convicted of a certain crime but not all black defendants, that would conflict with the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

    “Similarly, issuance of a pardon that violates the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause is also suspect. Under the Due Process Clause, no one in the United States (citizen or otherwise) may ‘be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.’ But for due process and judicial review to function, courts must be able to restrain government officials. Due process requires that, when a government official is found by a court to be violating individuals’ constitutional rights, the court can issue effective relief (such as an injunction) ordering the official to cease this unconstitutional conduct. And for an injunction to be effective, there must be a penalty for violation of the injunction—principally, contempt of court.”

    (Conservative) Jennifer Rubin continues:

    “Put simply, the argument is that the president cannot obviate the court’s powers to enforce its orders when the constitutional rights of others are at stake. ‘The president can’t use the pardon power to immunize lawless officials from consequences for violating people’s constitutional rights,’ says one of the lawyers who authored the letter, Ron Fein, legal director of Free Speech for People. Clearly, there is a larger concern here that goes beyond Arpaio. ‘After repeatedly belittling and undermining judges verbally and on Twitter, now President Trump is escalating his attack on the courts into concrete actions,’ says Ian Bassin, executive director of Protect Democracy. ‘His pardon and celebration of Joe Arpaio for ignoring a judicial order is a threat to our democracy and every citizen’s rights, and should not be allowed to stand.’ ”

    It will be interesting to see how “Constitutional Conservative” Republicans in general, and Trump supporters in particular, rationalize THIS one.

  14. Submitted by Joe Musich on 08/30/2017 - 08:57 pm.

    Arguments in the …

    writing are nicely laid out. Even with the bare bones of information we have we can see where this is going. We are already starting to see the possibility of some administration officials “building that wall around Trump.” Some members of Congress are also subtly shifting their behaviors. Not so much their stances on issues tho. This is still a part of the problem as the lave bubbles to the service. Some posting here might want to reflect.

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