Tags: 9/11 Commemorations | Bernie Kerik | New York | 911 | Trump

Bernard Kerik: President Donald J. Trump's Fight for 9/11 Victims

Image: Bernard Kerik: President Donald J. Trump's Fight for 9/11 Victims

 (AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Feb 2017 12:07 PM

Throughout President Donald Trump's campaign and in his first two weeks in office, we have heard one consistent theme: America first, America's people come first and he's dead set on making America great again! President Trump has also stood up for many who felt ignored and powerless against the federal government.

One promise that was made by President Trump was to stand up for the little guy. This may become an important part of his legacy -- his promise to block efforts by foreign interests to stop victims of 9/11 from having a day in federal court.

Congress passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) to find out the truth of who funded and supported the evil individuals who committed an act of war against America. President Obama vetoed the bill and Congress immediately overrode his veto by a large margin.

During the debate over JASTA, at the time Republican nominee Trump issued a statement authored by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giulliani that stated "President Obama's veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act was an insult to the families of those we lost on 9/11 and I congratulate the Congress for righting that terrible wrong.

Trump's campaign made the case that "family members are wonderful people who have gone through the unimaginable. They deserve the opportunity to seek justice and gain closure on this painful chapter in their lives. Now they will finally have the chance to do it."

Some in Congress are attempting to gut the law.

I witnessed the most horrific terrorist attack on America. I had the incredibly difficult job to meet with families of members of 23 New York City police officers that were missing at the New York City's Police Headquarters to update them on rescue efforts.

These heroic police officers saved many and gave their lives to protect people under attack.

Other heroes who will never be forgotten are the 343 New York City firefighters and 37 NY/NJ Port Authority police officers who lost their lives attempting to save innocents.

We will never forget the almost 2,000 other innocent civilians, flight crews, and military personnel who died on that day.

Even with the pain fresh on American's minds, some in Congress are hiding behind the idea of "sovereign immunity" to stop families of 9/11 victims from a day in court.

Sovereign immunity is an ancient concept that embodies the idea that "the King can do no wrong." This legal theory prevents lawsuits against the federal government unless the federal government consents to lawsuits by creating exceptions through lawmaking.

It has also been extended to other nations preventing Americans form suing other nations.

Yet, there are many examples of this theory being waived to allow lawsuits in specific circumstances and the 9/11 fact pattern was written into law as an exception to sovereign immunity.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has hired an army of lobbyists in Washington, D.C. to push another argument that somehow a day in court will put Americans abroad at risk.  

What they forget is that America is a powerful nation and our people will not be bullied by foreign interests who will pay millions to prevent a hearing and trial to get to the bottom of 9/11. The argument that foreign nations will haul Americans into court to get revenge for JASTA does not hold up to scrutiny and it shows weakness in the face of justice.

I witnessed the attempts to rescue and the investigation during and in the aftermath of 9/11.

I know many families who still are dealing with loss and grief.

I don't believe that they think the legal concept of "sovereign immunity" should protect evil doers and protect a foreign power from the truth. Nor do they think that any other nation would punish American victims of terrorism for suing a foreign power to have an airing of the facts to see if that foreign power aided and abetted terrorists.

The sad fact is that there are well respected members of Congress who are pushing to block 9/11 victims from justice.

Sens. Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Orrin Hatch have pledged to "fix" JASTA.

President Trump should tell these members to stand down because he has already pledged to stand with the people of New York who fully support an investigation into the attacks.

Maybe some politicians have forgotten the horror of that day. Other politicians have spent too much time listening to lobbyists paid by foreign interests to stop Americans from finding out the truth.

Thankfully, President Trump has allies in Sens. John Cornyn and Charles Schumer to defend the law they wrote.

The liberal New York Times supported President Obama and parroted the arguments that somehow Americans abroad would be at risk.

The liberal New York Times, President Obama and the weak arguments of Sens. Graham, McCain and Hatch are truly outrageous and an affront to the victims of 9/11 and the idea of justice for all Americans.

America has a new President who is committed to protect America first and who will stand with American victims of terrorism over rogue members of Congress and foreign powers intent on hiding the truth.

Bernard Kerik is a former New York City police commissioner, and was in command of the NYPD during the attacks on America on 9/11.

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Throughout President Donald Trump's campaign and in his first two weeks in office, we have heard one consistent theme: America first, America's people come first and he's dead set on making America great again!
Bernie Kerik, New York, 911, Trump
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2017-07-07
Tuesday, 07 Feb 2017 12:07 PM
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