Saturday, 22 July 2017

What Might A Charge Against Donald J Trump Look Like?

The New York Times reports, "President Trump on Saturday asserted the “complete power to pardon” relatives, aides and possibly even himself in response to investigations into Russia’s meddling in last year’s election, as he came to the defense of Attorney General Jeff Sessions just days after expressing regret about appointing him."  This is a clear expression of how Mr Trump sees himself within the Constitution. He is above it and not beholden to it. 

Why is this a concern? Does Mr Trump have absolute power, and is he a source of unchecked power?  In many ways the current president behaves more like a monarch and not a constitutional one at that. This probably explains his affinity with tyrants who wield power unchecked by Law.

Trump claims his legitimacy from the Constitution and his winning the Electoral College vote authorised by it, to be President. However, as the Trump train progressively careens off the tracks of the Constitution, it departs from it. I believe as he does so, he loses his claim to any legitimacy.

In many ways his actions remind me of King Charles I, who held himself apart from his people and their Parliament. Perhaps the process adopted to charge Charles I, could be amended to charge Mr Trump, after all he wishes to assert a form of sovereignty, whereby he is answerable to no one except himself.

I have adapted the charge against that Monarch to fit Mr Trump:
The original text is taken from: The Charge against the King.
 [January 20, 1648/9. Rushworth, vii. 1396. See Great Civil War, iv. 299.]
“That the said Donald J Trump, being admitted President of the United States of America, and therein trusted with a limited power to govern by and according to the laws of the land, and not otherwise; and by his trust, oath, and office, being obliged to use the power committed to him for the good and benefit of the people, and for the preservation of their rights and liberties; yet, nevertheless, out of a wicked design to erect and uphold in himself an unlimited and tyrannical power to rule according to his will, and to overthrow the rights and liberties of the people, yea, to take away and make void the foundations thereof, and of all redress and remedy of misgovernment, which by the fundamental constitutions of this Commonwealth were reserved on the people's behalf in the right and power of Congress; he, the said Donald J Trump, for accomplishment of such his designs, and for the protecting of himself and his adherents in his and their wicked practices, to the same ends hath traitorously and maliciously levied war against the present Congress, and the people therein represented ….. , particularly from 21 January 2017. At and after which, at countless other times within the year(s) aforementioned he, the said Donald J Trump, hath caused by divisions, parties, and insurrections within this land, by hacking invasions from foreign parts, and countless lies and misrepresentations endeavoured and procured by him, and by many other evil ways and means, he, the said Donald J Trump, hath not only maintained and carried on the said war both by land and sea, during the years beforementioned, but also hath renewed, or caused to be renewed, the said war against the Congress. And particularly he, the said Donald J Trump, hath for that purpose given commissions to his sons Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump and others, whereby, besides multitudes of other persons, many such as were by the Congress entrusted and employed for the safety of the nation (being by him or his agents corrupted to the betraying of their trust, and revolting from the Congress), have had entertainment and commission for the continuing and renewing of war and hostility against the said Congress and people as aforesaid. By which cruel and unnatural wars, by him, the said Donald J Trump, levied, continued, and renewed as aforesaid, much innocent blood of the free people of this nation hath been spilt, many families have been undone, the public treasure wasted and exhausted, trade obstructed and miserably decayed, vast expense and damage to the nation incurred, and many parts of this land spoiled, some of them even to desolation. And for further prosecution of his said evil designs, he, the said Donald J Trump, doth still continue his commissions to the said sons, and other rebels and revolters, both American and foreigners, upon the procurement, and on the behalf of the said Donald J Trump.
All which wicked designs, wars, and evil practices of him, the said Donald J Trump, have been, and are carried on for the advancement and upholding of a personal interest of will, power, and pretended prerogative to himself and his family, against the public interest, common right, liberty, justice, and peace of the people of this nation and Planet, by and from whom he was entrusted as aforesaid.

By all which it appeareth that the said Donald J Trump hath been, and is the occasioner, author, and continuer of the said unnatural, cruel and bloody practices; and therein guilty of all the treasons, murders, rapines, burnings, spoils, desolations, damages and mischiefs to this nation and the Planet, acted and committed in the said wars, or occasioned thereby.”