President not above the law
President Trump (Liar in Chief) is not above the law. When I make this statement to my Republican friends they immediately stated that “yes no one is above the law.” If Republicans and Democrats hold this fundamental democratic belief then President Trump should be indicted.
The US Attorney in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) has named President Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator. This means that there is enough evidence to try him in federal court once he leaves office. Justice Department guidelines state that a president cannot be indicted while president. These guidelines have never been tested legally, and if upheld by the Court, it would mean that during his presidency the president is above the law. This runs counter to American Justice and should not be allowed to stand. The newly elected Democratic Congress should seek an opinion from the Supreme Court to see if the president can be indicted.
Republican Senators, Fox News outlets (State TV), and the White House have dismissed the findings of SDNY prosecutors by stating that election law violations are not a serious matter or that the words of Michael Cohen do not have any standing since he is a liar.
How does this stand up to scrutiny? Whenever a prosecutor goes forward with charges using the statements of someone who has credibility issues, they back up the accusations with credible sources. The SDNY has backed up the statements of Michael Cohen with documents, tapes, and the statements of others.
The other issue that needs to be addressed is the veracity of the felony charges that have been filed. This is a serious violation of the campaign finance laws. Several weeks before the presidential election, hush money was paid to keep a Playmate and a porn star from having their affairs with Donald Trump go public. The law states that all campaign contributions by corporations and individuals must be reported, but this did not happen. It further states that individuals can contribute no more then $2700 to a campaign but Trump authorized $230,000 for these two affairs alone.
The most troubling aspect of this case is that prosecutors laid out an elaborate scheme put into place by Trump, Cohen, and David Pecker to keep this from getting out into the public. Federal Law is clear that spending must be reported to the Federal Election Commission. These payments were concealed from the voters just before the presidential election. If these stories were made public, it would have impacted the election. This is why this finance campaign law violation is so serious.
Republicans and Democrats passed bipartisan campaign finance laws because we do not want large sums of money paid out as hush money to keep information from voters during an election. One can only imagine the rampant corruption that would occur if both political parties were allowed to pay out bribes to keep damaging information about their candidates from the voters. The result would undermine our democracy and would lead to rampant corruption.
It is clear, unless you are living in an alternate reality, that Donald Trump has committed two felonies.
The President of the United States should not be above the law.
Kenneth Pottel, Fairhaven
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