Trump’s Contempt for the Rule of Law, Russian Connections, and Misogyny Toward Women Ought to Frighten You as Nothing Else can This Halloween by Thomas Martin Saturday for Struggles for Justice


When Donald Trump pointed his finger at Hillary Clinton at the St. Louis town hall last Sunday, and said he would use the Justice Department (Attorney General) to get a special prosecutor to find her guilty in the recently concluded investigation to her E-Mail server and use a new extrajudicial proceeding to put Clinton in prison he is advocating breaking the law.

To Trump supporters this was met with joy all over the United States. Hold your applause and cheers. What Trump is going to do if elected, is repugnant to the Constitution of the United States. Our system does not permit officeholders to employ their power to jail political enemies. Should you ever be identified as a political opponent of another political party and its officials your Constitutional rights and the rule of law would be precious to you.

Authoritarian dictators use these tactics. This happens in nations where the rule of law or the nation’s constitution is being ignored, or where such protections do not exist. The United States of America does have these protections, and it is incumbent that even the President not use his Constitutional powers to punish enemies.

Richard Nixon tried that when he told Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire the special prosecutor that had been lawfully empaneled by the Congress to continue to investigate what was becoming clear obstruction of justice in the Watergate Break-In and other acts of the Administration. Ultimately, seven officials said they would not fire the prosecutor, being fully aware of the Constitutional violation in that order. It went down infamously in history as the Saturday Night Massacre.

What Trump proposes to do is the very same abuse of executive authority. And he has not withdrawn what is not only a threat, but a fact he told the nation will come to pass if he is elected this November. For Nixon it was a bi-partisan article of impeachment.

Trump has also said he would make it easy to sue the Media for what they say criticizing him. We all have complaints about the news media. Nevertheless, the most professional media organizations, mostly newspapers with a national readership, do tell us what is happening, and it is often well researched and accurate. The First Amendment to the Constitution protects the right of free speech and expression under which the media operate. When they do something beyond defined legal boundaries via case law developed over two centuries, they may be and are sued for libel and slander. It would be only a dictator that would need the ability to silence free speech and First Amendment information and criticism of their regime. Trump wants and demands this.

Your own right to say what you like (within reason–that protection is wide and deep) about our leaders and policies of our government would be at serious risk. Democracy cannot exist without free speech protections, and the journalism that goes with it.

Donald J. Trump has placed around him several persons with deep connections to the Putin Regime in Russia. Paul Manafort ran his campaign for more than a year. Manafort worked to place in power in the Ukraine the leader Putin wanted there, and was paid documents show, over twelve million dollars for it. Manafort’s contacts over there go right to Putin. Manafort was forced to resign to take our attention away from this worrisome connection.

Both other surrogates and operatives have Russian connections. As if to illustrate there is a connection Trump’s daughter Ivanka went on vacation in Eastern Europe with Putin’s current girlfriend this last spring. There is nothing illegal in that. The woman was previously Rupert Murdoch’s girlfriend. Ivanka was most probably interested in exploring that part of the world her mother Melania is from. Yet, why did she use Putin’s current girlfriend as tour guide? That is troubling.

Members of Trump’s inner circle have even dined with Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Included along with Manafort and others with Russian connections, was Lt. General Flynn of the United States Army. Flynn is Trump’s military advisor.

Trump will not release his tax returns. Those returns would show what sorts of business transactions he’s made there. They would indicate any investments he has there, and income tied to those Russian investments. We know he has them. In 2008 Eric Trump Jr. said that much of the family’s income comes via Russian and that it was more significant than they would care to admit. In 2016, Eric said that if his father released those tax returns, he could not be elected. The huge conflicts of interest here are glaringly obvious.

It is the actual policy positions Trump has already adopted, that show a bias toward The Russian Federation, a foreign nation with which the United States both cooperates but is also in conflict in Syria and Eastern Europe and its NATO members.

Trump initially wanted to scrap NATO entirely. Now he suggests that if NATO members don’t pay up to the U.S. we would not honor the Treaty we negotiated and approved in 1949. Putin and every Russian leader back to Stalin have wanted to weaken or drive a wedge into it. Trump’s casual attitude to not honoring our commitments under Article 5 where an attack on one is an attack on all (that includes an attack on the United States) would cut the throats of our closest allies. It would place us in deep danger if NATO went away. It also would suggest the Trump Administration would not honor any of the other treaties we are bound under international law to abide by. That kind of chaos would invite war and economic collapse.

In Syria, Trump told us he supports the Assad Regime, and the Russian efforts to prop it up, even as the United Nations Security Council has condemned both powers, and is seeking to initiate charges of war crimes. The Obama Administration has led the charge against Russian and Syrian criminal behavior against civilians in Aleppo, via our UN Ambassador Samantha Powers. Russian and or Syrian planes bombed a UN supported Red Crescent aid convoy bringing food and medical supplies to women and children caught there. That had been agreed to between Russia and the U.S.. Russia and Putin violated that agreement. Secretary of State John Kerry suspended further talks with Putin and his foreign minister after having been lied to twice now. The way for further talks is open. Hillary Clinton wants to avoid war with Assad and Russia, but wants to find more UN sanctioned leverage in order to gain a real agreement from Putin.

By contrast, Pence and Trump both admire Putin and see him as a better leader than President Obama, John Kerry or Hillary Clinton. Trump very badly wants Putin to love him, to like him, and to really get cozy with Russia for peace, and whatever Russia wishes to do. This is at odds with all previous and current American policy toward Russia and Assad. Trump’s friendly Russia policies, are something singular in our affairs with Russia since the inception of our Republic. His policies plainly place Russian interests over our own.

In the UN Security Council the Russian Federation Ambassador publicly defended Trump. They obviously want him elected and do not want Hillary to become President. Again why? And the oddity of a nation defending a candidate of another nation is indicative of something that as the British say, is just not on.

Just this very day, at a rally, Trump attacked Hillary Clinton by reading one of the hacked (by Russians) e-mails from John Podesta’s e-mail account. Take note of this: He read an account of the e-mail directly from a Sputnik news story published in Russia the previous day, a publication under Putin’s control. The e-mail reveals that Podesta was worried that the e-mail hacks, and other matters might hurt his candidate’s chances. Podesta is Clinton’s campaign manager. Here’s what police call the tell: Podesta was not saying these things. He was quoting a story by Newsweek’s Kevin Eichenwald, and it was just informed speculation. When this was revealed today the story in Sputnik on-line disappeared within the hour.

We can be forgiven if we wonder why the Trump Campaign is directly accessing a story in a Russian publication directed by Putin?

And then there is the tape of his telling Billy Bush that he gropes women and can do it whenever he wants. He told us he groped a woman and moved on her against her will, and that she was married and did not consent. He boasts of his sexual assaults. 20 lawsuits involving gender have been lodged against Trump over the years. Many of them are women who have said they too were groped and insulted sexually by the man. He simply does not respect women. He has several times publicly indicated he would date his daughter if she was not his daughter. The further suggestion is a desire for a sexual relationship.

Trump began his campaign deeply insulting Latinos on the very first day when he had just come down on that Trump Tower elevator. He has made references to black Americans that are frankly racist. His core following are deplorable in the sense that their obvious racism and hatreds are deplorable for a 21st Century America. Trump lacks any sort of compassion for people who are not like him. That lack of compassion is like kryptonite to any leader saddled with having none of it. He is narcissistic to the extreme, and so obsessed with himself where do the America people really fit in?

Struggles for Justice declares that Donald J. Trump is unfit to be President of the United States and cannot be elected. We heartily endorse the well qualified, reality based, compassionate, and talented Hillary Rodham Clinton for the 45th President of these United States. Happy Halloween! It arrived early this year.

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