Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Lindsey Graham: "Nice country you have here. Shame if something happened to it if you administer justice where justice is due."


Senator Graham threatening America if Trump is brought to justice should he be indicted and convicted of crimes (implying that Trump is above the law):

Graham: “If there’s a prosecution of Donald Trump for mishandling classified information,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham on Fox News, there will be “riots in the streets.” 

Graham compared what happened to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton with what could happen to Trump. But there is no "bothsiderism" in this case:

"Clinton was not charged because the facts did not merit it. We don’t yet know whether Trump will be criminally charged. But if the Justice Department decides in this case that the facts do merit charges — which of course should be the foundation of any determination to charge — the disparity in charging decisions cannot by itself constitute unequal treatment."


"...there’s a more pernicious danger here that shouldn’t escape notice. Underlying Graham’s threat is another attack on the rule of law, one that more Trump propagandists will resort to when their man’s legal perils deepen. It’s an effort to discredit the idea that the law can be applied to the former president at all."


" both cases, the facts would be dictating the outcome. That might seem obvious on its face. But it’s precisely the point that Trump and propagandists such as Graham want to obfuscate. 

 Let’s be clear: Their argument, effectively, is that equal treatment constitutes refraining from prosecuting Trump regardless of whether investigators conclude that the facts add up to evidence of crimes that prosecutors believe would sustain a conviction!"

My understanding of this false bothsiderism claim: 

I believe the Clinton and Trump cases are entirely different. 

For one thing, Clinton turned over all her devices voluntarily; there was no need for a search warrant. 

For another, the laws governing the records Clinton and Trump were dealing with were different. 

Clinton was dealing with Federal records, covered by the Federal Records Act. Very few are permanent; most must be retained only as long as necessary to serve their legal purpose, as prescribed by official records schedules. 

Trump is dealing with Presidential Records, covered by the Presidential Records Act. All of these are permanent, and belong to the American people, under the auspices of the National Archives. 

"... there are at least four unique aspects to Trump and his administration’s apparent PRA violations.

First, the purported violations are more brazen. Previous administrations sought to wage the PRA battle through implementation guidelines with suspect classifications of what counted as a “Presidential record,” as well as through decision-making about whether to create a record in the first instance. The Trump administration, in contrast, issued facially valid (albeit skeletal) PRA implementing guidelines but appears to have proceeded to violate those guidelines flagrantly and routinely. In addition to Trump’s shredding habits, ample evidence suggests that Trump officials used messaging services with automatic message-deleting apps to communicate, as well as personal email accounts. There have been other instances of individual officials violating the federal records laws in one-off heists, but nothing quite like the reportedly routine and open violations of the PRA by the president himself.

Second, and relatedly, Trump and his aides were warned about their violations of the PRA early on in his administration. The Washington Post reports that “[a] former senior administration official said Trump was warned about the records act by McGahn, as well as his first two chiefs of staff, Reince Priebus and John F. Kelly, who lamented to allies that Trump would ‘rip up everything,’ according to a person who heard his comments. Passantino also warned other aides about preserving documents.” But Trump and his aides continued to destroy records in spite of those warnings.

Third, Trump’s destruction of presidential records is part and parcel of a modus operandi that he has apparently adhered to for decades to avoid transparency and accountability. Trump has long eschewed email use, reportedly for fear of being hacked and, more importantly, “to shield himself from lawsuits.” He has also championed the use of non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements to prevent individuals with knowledge of his affairs from coming forward, and continued to do so while in office. (In the interests of transparency, the authors note that their organization, Protect Democracy, is representing former Trump campaign staffer Jessica Denson in an ongoing class-action challenge to the campaign’s non-disclosure agreement.) Most recently, former President Trump has (unsuccessfully) attempted to invoke executive privilege to try to shield his administration’s records from the Jan. 6 select committee. As much as Trump purports to value free speech (and especially his own), he has long taken draconian measures to silence perceived enemies and to prevent the public from ever learning facts that do not comport with his narrative.

Fourth, Trump is the only president of the United States to have condoned an insurrection that unfolded while he was in office. As a federal district court observed in denying President Trump’s attempt to prevent the Jan. 6 committee from obtaining his records, “discovering and coming to terms with the causes underlying the January 6 attack is a matter of unsurpassed public importance.” His apparent willful destruction of presidential records critical to that inquiry may exacerbate his damage to the rule of law in this country. 


Les Carpenter said...

It comes as absolutely no surprise. Trumpers want BLOOD on the streets of America. Liberal BLOOD of course.

If society on this planet ceases before were hit by and asteroid or the sun burns itself out it will be by our own hands we are destroyed.

BluebullAmerica said...

I am so very proud of our President Biden this morning. I saw his rally where FINALLY someone in authority calls out the MAGAT kooks for being what they are - fascist, anti law-enforcement nutbags. Keep telling the truth, Mr. President! Sadly, it's not often that a Democrat has an actual working spine, but when they do -- MAN, it's a beautiful thing.