Tuesday, August 16, 2022

No One Is Above The Law, Except When He Is

In an interview on Monday night , CNN's Don Lemon and former  try to assure you that the former President cannot be incarcerated. And that "no man is above the law" (and as for women?) 

Lemon tells Cohen

So in saying that, people really get upset with me when I say "of course Donald Trump, everyone should pay the consequences if they break the law," right, that no one is above the law. Merrick Garland, the Attorney General said that as well.  But are Presidents above the law? You can't- you cannot put a former President in jail. You cannot put him in the general population. You can't do it.

You cannot put a former President in jail (probably meaning "prison"). However, no one is above the law. Right; got it.  An individual may conceal or destroy government documents, obstruct a federal investigation, or commit espionage and deserve to be imprisoned but if the most high-profile person in the USA does it, he cannot be sent to prison. Got it.

After noting he agreed with Lemon, Cohen remarked" I believe that what they will do is they will put him in a home confinement situation that is so severe that will be- especially for him, it will be like solitary confinement.."  

Especially for Donald Trump? If one must be confined to a home, a resort hotel such as Mar-a-Lago might be a nice option.   

Lemon then emphasized that with the information a former President he has, including those in the files seized at "his home," he cannot be incarcerated. Then followed an impressive climax, Lemon speaking first, Cohen responding:

Considering what you went through with the former President, do you believe that Presidents are above the law?

Absolutely not. 

Maybe Cohen meant that Presidents should not be above the law.  But in the words of the almost legendary Randy Newman, "I could be wrong now- but I don't think so." Cohen was trained, and practiced as, a lawyer, presumably is careful with words, and was asked whether Presidents are above the law, not whether they should be.

And it's clear that Cohen and Lemon are wrong. They made a legitimate case that, if convicted of heinous penalties, a former President wouldn't- and shouldn't- be locked up as any other American would be. But, alas, Presidents are "not above the law." 

Nonetheless, they are wrong. By their own argument(s), a President is "above the law." They're not the only ones making this argument- or, rather, blithely asserting it without explanation or evidence. Former federal prosecutors on CNN and MSNBC repeat the same bromide. However, Lemon and Cohen argued that Donald J. Trump will never see the inside of a jail cell. But, somehow, "nobody is above the law."

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