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Thread: It's not Illegal if the President does it.

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    It's not Illegal if the President does it.

    "Well, when the president does it Ö that means that it is not illegal." --- Former President Richard Nixon, in his 1977 interview with David Frost.



    That sentiment is Watergate in a nutshell. President Nixon felt that the Presidency imbued him with such power that he literally could do no wrong, and this attitude was transmitted to the people around him. The President wants something done, and that's all there is to it. So if the President wants his political rivals and critics discredited, then no holds are barred. If it takes breaking into a psychiatrist's office to find dirt on Daniel Ellsberg or planting surveillance equipment in the DNC headquarters, so be it. If the President wants to use the CIA to get the FBI to stop it's investigation of the Watergate burglary, so be it.

    As Santayana warned us, "Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it", and so in the spirit of that statement, I think it's time to resurrect some of the discussions that were prevalent during the Watergate investigation. Do we invest the Presidency of the United States with the divine right of Kings? Kings can do no wrong.... they were invested with their office by the will of God. As Louis XIV once stated, "L'etat, C'est Moi" - I am the nation.

    It seems to me that we once engaged in a revolution and founded this Republic to throw off the rule of Kings, and as such, the attitude that a President cannot commit a crime is anathema to the Constitution that forms the bedrock of our nation. A President does not rule alone - he only governs as a co-equal partner with the Legislative and Judicial branches. It's seldom - if ever - an easy co-existence between the three. It was never intended to be so. We have a Congress, in large measure, to keep our President from claiming the divine right of Kings... and to fulfill this solemn duty, we have imbued them with the power to conduct oversight of the actions the of Executive branch and to hold it accountable. It's not for a President to decide he will not cooperate with the Congress or provide it with the information it needs to perform it's duties - his duty is to cooperate fully and completely with such requests. To deny the legitimacy of Congressional requests is akin to denying the legitimacy of Congressional oversight itself - in effect, the President is claiming the right of Kings.

    This can not, must not, and will not be allowed to stand. Nothing less than the continuance of our republican form of government depends on it.

    Now, before someone starts engaging in "whataboutism" and brings up the ATF gunwalking scandal and Eric Holder's contempt of Congress citation and President Obama... let me stop you right there. President Obama was flat-out wrong. If I were President and my Attorney General didn't provide documents requested by Congress, then I would have expected his resignation on my desk immediately. Was the Republican Congress going to make a partisan song-and-dance about the documents? You bet they would have... and the fallout probably would have been very embarrassing for the Administration. That's no excuse. That's the way democracy works... sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug. Political embarrassment is not a valid excuse to invoke Executive Privilege - if a President doesn't want to be embarrassed, then perhaps he shouldn't do embarrassing things?

    I'd welcome anyone's thoughts on this... I think we all sorely need to have a reasoned and adult discussion of this - but any partisan bomb-throwers of any stripe will be ignored and sent to the kids' table.
    "He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know." --- Lao Tzu

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    Re: It's not Illegal if the President does it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cordelier View Post
    "Well, when the president does it Ö that means that it is not illegal." --- Former President Richard Nixon, in his 1977 interview with David Frost.



    That sentiment is Watergate in a nutshell. President Nixon felt that the Presidency imbued him with such power that he literally could do no wrong, and this attitude was transmitted to the people around him. The President wants something done, and that's all there is to it. So if the President wants his political rivals and critics discredited, then no holds are barred. If it takes breaking into a psychiatrist's office to find dirt on Daniel Ellsberg or planting surveillance equipment in the DNC headquarters, so be it. If the President wants to use the CIA to get the FBI to stop it's investigation of the Watergate burglary, so be it.

    As Santayana warned us, "Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it", and so in the spirit of that statement, I think it's time to resurrect some of the discussions that were prevalent during the Watergate investigation. Do we invest the Presidency of the United States with the divine right of Kings? Kings can do no wrong.... they were invested with their office by the will of God. As Louis XIV once stated, "L'etat, C'est Moi" - I am the nation.

    It seems to me that we once engaged in a revolution and founded this Republic to throw off the rule of Kings, and as such, the attitude that a President cannot commit a crime is anathema to the Constitution that forms the bedrock of our nation. A President does not rule alone - he only governs as a co-equal partner with the Legislative and Judicial branches. It's seldom - if ever - an easy co-existence between the three. It was never intended to be so. We have a Congress, in large measure, to keep our President from claiming the divine right of Kings... and to fulfill this solemn duty, we have imbued them with the power to conduct oversight of the actions the of Executive branch and to hold it accountable. It's not for a President to decide he will not cooperate with the Congress or provide it with the information it needs to perform it's duties - his duty is to cooperate fully and completely with such requests. To deny the legitimacy of Congressional requests is akin to denying the legitimacy of Congressional oversight itself - in effect, the President is claiming the right of Kings.

    This can not, must not, and will not be allowed to stand. Nothing less than the continuance of our republican form of government depends on it.

    Now, before someone starts engaging in "whataboutism" and brings up the ATF gunwalking scandal and Eric Holder's contempt of Congress citation and President Obama... let me stop you right there. President Obama was flat-out wrong. If I were President and my Attorney General didn't provide documents requested by Congress, then I would have expected his resignation on my desk immediately. Was the Republican Congress going to make a partisan song-and-dance about the documents? You bet they would have... and the fallout probably would have been very embarrassing for the Administration. That's no excuse. That's the way democracy works... sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug. Political embarrassment is not a valid excuse to invoke Executive Privilege - if a President doesn't want to be embarrassed, then perhaps he shouldn't do embarrassing things?

    I'd welcome anyone's thoughts on this... I think we all sorely need to have a reasoned and adult discussion of this - but any partisan bomb-throwers of any stripe will be ignored and sent to the kids' table.
    It would be a lot easier if you clearly and concisely stated what specific, objectionable behavior by Trump you are referencing. For instance:

    It's not for a President to decide he will not cooperate with the Congress or provide it with the information it needs to perform it's duties - his duty is to cooperate fully and completely with such requests.
    This statement can be true or false depending on the specific facts of what is being requested.

    Essentially, your post is a generalized, broad statement most reasonable people can agree upon but such a generalized premise tells me nothing as to how and why Trump is running afoul the premise.


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    Re: It's not Illegal if the President does it.

    Quote Originally Posted by NotreDame View Post
    It would be a lot easier if you clearly and concisely stated what specific, objectionable behavior by Trump you are referencing. For instance:



    This statement can be true or false depending on the specific facts of what is being requested.

    Essentially, your post is a generalized, broad statement most reasonable people can agree upon but such a generalized premise tells me nothing as to how and why Trump is running afoul the premise.


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    Fair enough... I'm referring specifically to the White House refusal to cooperate with the House Committee subpoenas as outlined in the White House Counsel's Letter of October 8.
    "He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know." --- Lao Tzu

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    Re: It's not Illegal if the President does it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cordelier View Post
    Fair enough... I'm referring specifically to the White House refusal to cooperate with the House Committee subpoenas as outlined in the White House Counsel's Letter of October 8.
    Until the question is answered whether a legal impeachment committee needs a majority house vote, thus creating a committee that gives Trump due process, he can ignore the House demands.

    Right now they are running a secret court, using partisan leaks as their weapon.
    Does the virtue signaling NBA have the balls to take a knee in China?.
    Build an impeachment and maybe a crime will come.
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    Re: It's not Illegal if the President does it.

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckiechan View Post
    Until the question is answered whether a legal impeachment committee needs a majority house vote, thus creating a committee that gives Trump due process, he can ignore the House demands.

    Right now they are running a secret court, using partisan leaks as their weapon.
    I disagree... right now we're in the process of gathering evidence. The Congress doesn't have a law enforcement capability at its disposal to do this task - what it has instead are Oversight Committees and subpoena power. How much due process is a criminal suspect due in a police investigation? Can they tell the police they're not allowed to investigate a particular allegation?
    "He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know." --- Lao Tzu

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    Re: It's not Illegal if the President does it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cordelier View Post
    I disagree... right now we're in the process of gathering evidence. The Congress doesn't have a law enforcement capability at its disposal to do this task - what it has instead are Oversight Committees and subpoena power. How much due process is a criminal suspect due in a police investigation? Can they tell the police they're not allowed to investigate a particular allegation?
    No, but they can tell police they have a right to remain silent and refuse to answer their questions.
    If I stop responding it doesn't mean I've conceded the point or agree with you. It only means I've made my point and I don't mind you having the last word. Please wait a few minutes before "quoting" me. I often correct errors for a minute or two after I post before the final product is ready.

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    Re: It's not Illegal if the President does it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Adverse View Post
    No, but they can tell police they have a right to remain silent and refuse to answer their questions.
    Absolutely. But that right doesn't extend to subordinates absent a valid claim of Executive Privilege.
    "He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know." --- Lao Tzu

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    Re: It's not Illegal if the President does it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cordelier View Post
    I disagree... right now we're in the process of gathering evidence. The Congress doesn't have a law enforcement capability at its disposal to do this task - what it has instead are Oversight Committees and subpoena power. How much due process is a criminal suspect due in a police investigation? Can they tell the police they're not allowed to investigate a particular allegation?
    Impeachment, in return for due process, allows the House greater subpoena powers, thus the noise that the Republicans won’t cooperate. They won’t cooperate because nothing has changed in the separation of powers exemption only granted by legal impeachment.

    BTW, the Executive branch decides what is privileged. The House can only go to court demanding it isnt.
    Does the virtue signaling NBA have the balls to take a knee in China?.
    Build an impeachment and maybe a crime will come.
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    Re: It's not Illegal if the President does it.

    I think it's accepted now that a person committing a crime cannot be indicted while serving as President of the USA.

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    Re: It's not Illegal if the President does it.

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckiechan View Post
    Impeachment, in return for due process, allows the House greater subpoena powers, thus the noise that the Republicans won’t cooperate. They won’t cooperate because nothing has changed in the separation of powers exemption only granted by legal impeachment.

    BTW, the Executive branch decides what is privileged. The House can only go to court demanding it isnt.
    I agree with that... and when the House feels it has evidence sufficient to launch a formal impeachment inquiry, then it will submit a Resolution to that effect and if that Resolution passes, they will impanel an impeachment committee. But we're not at that stage yet.... the matter is still being investigated via oversight committees. I'd suggest it'd be premature to go down that road unless and until the preliminary investigation is completed, wouldn't you?

    Executive privilege can only be invoked by executive employees conducting official business and can only come into effect when it impairs governmental functions. How would that cover any matters related to the actions and activities of Rudy Guiliani with regard to the Ukraine?
    "He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know." --- Lao Tzu

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