Saturday, January 20, 2024

Friend, Not Enemy

"It is a moment tailor made for Nikki Haley to distinguish herself from the former President ," Alex Wagner (video below) with the fitting backdrop of "With Enemies Like This, Who Needs Friends?"

The answer would be "no one." Though Haley claims that as President she would not pre-emptively pardon Donald Trump as did President Ford for Richard Nixon., HuffPost reports

Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley said it would be bad for America to see Donald Trump “sitting in a jail cell” should he be convicted in any of the multitude of legal cases against him, but added she would not preemptively pardon him. 

 “For me, the last thing we need is an 80-year-old president sitting in jail because that’s just going to further divide our country,” Haley said during a town hall event with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday. “This is no longer about whether he’s innocent or guilty. This is about the fact: How do we bring the country back together?”

 Trump currently faces 91 criminal charges in four separate indictments and has been forced to see-saw from the campaign trail to the courtroom as the Republican presidential primary heats up. He handily won the Iowa caucuses this week and currently leads in the New Hampshire primary, according to recent polls. But he has amped up his attacks against Haley as she sits firmly in second place in the state before next Tuesday’s presidential selection process.

Haley, who possesses a degree in finance and accounting, has no law or criminal justice degree. Nevertheless, having served as a governor, she should realize that Trump would not be sentenced to jail were he found guilty of any or all of these indictable charges, but to prison

 More substantively, the issue is not whether a convicted Trump should be forced to sit in a "jail cell." The ex-President would not be placed in leg irons or handcuffs and hauled off to a prison cell. Far more likely, he'd be ordered to undergo some sort of supervised, presumably electronic, monitoring. He would be approximately 80 years old and an ex-President. Probably more significantly, the Secret Service would never put up with this ex-President being placed in a cell. It simply wouldn't happen, both because of the burden it would place on the agency and because, well, it's their guy, Donald Trump.

Worst, obviously, is that Nikki Haley disagrees with Theodore Roosevelt, who in his Third Annual Message to Congress in 1903 maintained

Every man must be guaranteed his liberty and his right to do as he likes with his property or his labor, so long as he does not infringe the rights of others. No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor.

We went down the Haley road in 1974 when President Gerald Ford pre-emptively pardoned former President Richard M. Nixon. It should have been evident to thoughtful Americans at that time that this was not only a mistake in principle but that it would come back to haunt us because a future President would expect a pardon for criminality. Presidents in the ensuing decades have assumed increasing amounts of power, and now we have an ex- and possibly future President who has asserted that the "Massive Fraud" of the 2020 election "allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution."

 If former governor and ambassador Haley is nominated for, then elected to, the presidency, she probably would pardon Donald Trump, were he convicted. Proudly and with no sense of decency, she would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Convict in Chief. With enemies like Nikki Haley, Trump needs no friends.


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