In 2016, candidate Trump famously said, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay?” Two recent news stories suggest he wouldn’t be prosecuted either.
A few weeks ago, the media reported that Republicans in seven states (AZ, GA, MI, NM, NV, PA, WI) – coordinated by Rudy Giuliani – impersonated Electoral College slates where state officials signed phony certificates purporting to certify Trump as the winner and sent them to the National Archives as if they were authentic. In at least five of these states, the certificates contain no caveat attempting to squirm out of fraud charges.
A few days ago, the media told us that not only had the Trump White House routinely destroyed documents in direct violation of the Presidential Records Act, Trump had taken 15 boxes of documents and gifts from the White House to Mar-a-Lago and the National Archives retrieved them (or at least some of them) in January 2022.
How is the first instance not falsifying voting documents, mail fraud and a conspiracy to defraud the federal government? How is the second instance not “concealment, removal or mutilation” punishable under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2071 by three years imprisonment?
For that matter, how can Trump’s payoff to Stormy Daniels, which resulted in a felony conviction for his lawyer Michael Cohen, not be a crime for Trump? How can Trump, now that he’s no longer President, be innocent of obstruction of justice when Robert Mueller’s investigation found ten episodes which fit the legal criteria? How can the attempted bribe to the Ukrainian government, which resulted in Trump’s first impeachment, not be a felony now?
And the responsibility for the insurrection of January 6? The Justice Department has charged more than 700 people for participating, but no one for planning and directing the attack. After over a year of investigation, they really have no evidence of that?
All of these cases have been known for a year or more, including the false Electoral College certificates and the destruction of documents by the Trump White House and Trump himself. It is self-evident that justice delayed is justice denied.
If the law is not enforced, it becomes meaningless, as if that law doesn’t exist. If criminals believe they can get away with it, we all know they will commit more crimes. And if some individuals receive preferential treatment in the criminal justice system, especially if it’s because they are rich or politically powerful, then the United States is no longer governed by the rule of law.
Is it preferential treatment? A woman in Texas has been sentenced to 5 years in prison for casting a provisional ballot in the 2016 election while on supervised release from a tax fraud conviction. She did not know it was illegal. Her vote was never counted. Absolutely no one was hurt. For shame!
The fundamental purpose of a government of, by and for the people – in all its executive, legislative and judicial functions – is to deliver justice. Where is it?