Tags: Donald Trump | Russia Probe | civil war | constitutional | resistance

Trump's Enemies Threaten Our Republic

us president donald trump

In this Nov. 29, 2018 photo, President Donald Trump talks with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C. Trump was expected to be busy by launching a Twitter broadside against U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller. (Evan Vucci/AP)

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Monday, 10 December 2018 03:06 PM Current | Bio | Archive

President Donald Trump's CNN enemies believe he's finally doomed.

They're convinced it's only a matter of time before the new Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives brings impeachment proceedings against him — or he is indicted for a criminal violation.

The source of the non-stop glee among the Trump despisers are the latest revelations from U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and from the New York federal district attorney, which include the allegation that President Trump participated in a campaign finance violation involving the porn star Stormy Daniels and one other woman with whom candidate Trump purportedly was sexually involved.

Like so many other frenzied games of "gotcha" with this president, this is not likely to be the event that brings him down. Setting aside the facts that a Republican-controlled Senate is not likely to vote by a two-thirds majority to remove a successful sitting Republican chief executive, or that it is unclear that the law permits a criminal indictment against the occupant of the Oval Office (while he remains in office), it's not at all certain that candidate Trump has any criminal liability based on what we know now.

His former attorney, Michael Cohen, has pled guilty to violating federal campaign laws by making payments to silence purported paramours. There's nothing illegal in such non-disclosure agreements (NDA’s) as they are called.

The only possibility of transgressing our insanely complicated campaign finance regulations is if the money was intended as a contribution to a federal campaign and was not reported as such.

Since the money was not actually paid into any campaign coffers, and since other motives (for example sparing embarrassment to Mr. Trump or his family) may have been involved, it remains far from clear that any criminal intent could be found to be present.

This isn't the slam-dunk Mr. Trump’s critics believe it to be.

The campaign against Mr. Trump continues on many fronts, however, as his political enemies seek to use both state and federal courts in, as The Washington Times has recently reported, an unprecedented effort at presidential harassment.

Given that our legal system now allows proceedings against almost anyone for some kind of criminal or civil violation, none of this is surprising.

It's certainly dismaying.

What we are witnessing, to a stunning degree, is utter and complete childishness; an inability on the part of the Resistance to the president to understand what happened in the last presidential election.

Mr. Trump made that election a referendum on progressive policies and political correctness. He was elected as those matters were soundly repudiated by an Electoral College majority. True, Mrs. Clinton may have won the popular vote, but our country has never selected presidents on that basis. Our belief is that the Electoral College, with its wide basis in geography rather than numbers, in the longer term, is a better reflection of the will of the American people.

For more than two centuries our constitutional scheme has worked.

A scheme which has brought us the greatest prosperity in the history of the planet.

For most of that time we have understood that our politics properly operated because those defeated in our elections had the opportunity to try again in the next election cycle, and mutual trust in our institutions and in the good faith of Americans of all political persuasions sustained us.

Only once in our history, when one section of the country, the North, elected a president, and the other, the South, sought to pull out of the Union, did our system completely fail.

The Civil War was the result. In that instance the same kind of hate and distrust we now see manifested against our current president was extant.

We are not yet at a stage where actual armed conflict is threatened.

Still, there are those, such as the effervescent Kurt Schlichter, who maintain that if the Democrats persist in frustrating the will of those who put Mr. Trump in office, the group he now calls "militant normals" will seek either to split apart the country or to resort to arms.

The president’s critics somehow can't see how they're wrongly misusing our legal system for improper and dishonest political persecution.

Perhaps this should not be surprising. 

We have unwisely created institutions, such as the special counsel, untethered to responsible restraints, with incentives ceaselessly to harass and hound. It's long past time that we put a stop to this, and for responsible Americans to realize that our politics is broken, and our constitutional system itself is now at risk.

Stephen B. Presser is the Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History Emeritus at Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law, the Legal Affairs Editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, and a contributor to The University Bookman. He graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and has taught at Rutgers University, the University of Virginia, and University College, London. He has often testified on constitutional issues before committees of the United States Congress, and is the author of "Recapturing the Constitution: Race, Religion, and Abortion Reconsidered" (Regnery, 1994) and "Law Professsors: Three Centuries of Shaping American Law" (West Academic, 2017). Presser was recently appointed as a Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy at the University of Colorado's Boulder Campus for 2018-2019. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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StephenBPresser
We have unwisely created institutions, such as the special counsel, untethered to responsible restraints, with incentives ceaselessly to harass and hound. It's long past time that we put a stop to this. Our politics is broken. Our constitutional system is at risk.
civil war, constitutional, resistance
883
2018-06-10
Monday, 10 December 2018 03:06 PM
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