Monday, January 04, 2021

There Is A Reason For The Legal System. Use It.

This is what I'd expect from a Senior Adviser to the Lincoln Project:

There are sixteen (16) days left in the Trump presidency. He will not be impeached again, and Nichols knows it. Nichols has another  idea, which is to

shroud these seditionists in silence and opprobrium in perpetuity: no television interviews, no sinecures at universities or think tanks, no rehabilitating book tours, no jokey late-night appearances, no self-serving op-eds.... and must not be trusted ever again with political power.

Amen to the first but as long as there is a First Amendment, government can neither prevent those self-serving, generally paid opportunities, nor the right to run for political office. 

Lawyer and former FBI agent Asha Rangappa, whom no one would mistake for a Republican, is more disappointing:

Donald Trump will never be appointed to "a position of public trust" or to anything, nor does he want to be.  He will not be elected to anything (again) either, but it's not within the purview of anyone to deny him the opportunity to try.

Nonetheless, there are two things the federal government can do. One is to establish a sort of truth commission, which would investigate the Trump Administration. Inevitably a bi-partisan group, it would conclude that, in the words of then-President Reagan, "mistakes were made" and in the mode of the Iran-Contra commission, no specific individual was specifically responsible or could be held accountable.

One suspects that Rangappa, Nichols, and others outraged by extortion and other efforts of President Trump to overturn a free election represent those whom David Frum recognizes as 

The sensible American majority (which) surely wants an end to Trump controversies after Inauguration Day, a return to normal governance and the crucial work ahead: overcoming the pandemic, restoring the economy, and renewing U.S. leadership of the world.

Holder of a law degree while a veteran, practicing journalist, Frum continues

But Trump gets a say too, as he got a say in the impeachment crisis. Trump is abusing the power of the presidency until his last hour in office. And his nonstop abuse seems likely to force a reckoning even by those most eager to move on. Trump will not be ignored; he will not let the chapter quietly close. Show him a red line, and he will cross it. And if the country’s red lines are to be reestablished, Trump will have to face the law he violated and violated and violated again.

Perhaps because, though a veteran, practicing journalist, Frum holds a law degree, he understands what the lawyers serving as contributors and pundits on cable news don't. Courts love to declare an issue "moot."

Once Donald Trump leaves office, there is no reason he cannot be prosecuted. The incoming Biden Administration must not make a mockery of justice at the highest levels of government by condoning flagrant lawbreaking. Its duty is clear.


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