Equal Justice Under The Law?

According to reports, the president’s attorneys have come up with a new theory as to why POTUS has done no wrong. According to this new theory, the president, as the head of the Executive Branch, and therefore over the department charged with policing wrongdoers, cannot be found to be obstructing justice.

This position makes no sense from a semantic or a legal sense. By its very definition, Obstruction of Justice is the act of interfering with the legal process. This can be done in any number of ways; not the least of which is by threatening one of your underlings, who is charged with carrying out the prosecution of lawbreakers, in an attempt to prevent them from doing that job. The theory, that the president cannot be guilty of obstructing justice, is therefore either wildly misguided or extremely wishful thinking!

Forget for the moment the tortured logic required to support this laughable premise, and let’s consider what it would mean if it were actually true. It is akin to saying that the president cannot be charged with any crime because if he doesn’t allow his underlings to prosecute the crime – then the crime didn’t occur. This is not only a laughably illogical, it is also so unamerican a concept that it bears looking at more closely.

The president is sworn to uphold the constitution and that includes (as much as he seems to think he can pick-and-choose) all of it. Including the Fourteenth Amendment. As this amendment guarantees equal protection for all citizens under the law, the president cannot, therefore, be immune to prosecution.

The president’s attorneys claim that “the chief law enforcement officer” he has the right “express his view of any case” and so he does. What he does NOT have the right to do is to influence the outcome of cases in which he holds a direct and personal stake. That is what ‘recusal’ is there for. Judges and law officers who have a personal stake in – or in more extreme cases, a personal history with – a case are expected to recuse themselves.

Failure to do so is not only granting the officials who fail to do so undue influence, it degrades faith in the system b the rest of the population. If I cannot get the police to stop looking into some crime that I am alleged to have committed, why should anyone? That is part of the meaning of equal protection.

The president and his attorneys have every right to “express his view of any case” as does any other citizen – however, as “the chief law enforcement officer” of the United States, POTUS must recuse himself from influencing any case in which he is suspected of wrongdoing. Failure to do so smacks of corruption and he does a disservice to his constituency, the office, the constitution, and the country.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you recognize that just because you have the right to do something does not mean that doing so is actually a good idea!

Don Bergquist – December 05, 2017 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA