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Dr. Rashad Richey

National TV Political Analyst, Talk Radio Host, Univ. Prof.

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Donald Trump is not above the law

Feb 9

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On Tuesday, Feb. 6, the D.C. Court of Appeals rejected Donald Trump’s argument for total presidential immunity. The former president and his lawyers argued that presidents are immune from all criminal charges in all cases, including murder and assassination, except for when that president is first impeached in the House and then convicted in the Senate. (No president in U.S. history has ever been successfully convicted in the Senate.) Trump’s lawyers are expected to take the case to the Supreme Court, where Trump’s team will argue that an executive head of state cannot be held accountable to any law or for any crime.

Straight Arrow News contributor Dr. Rashad Richey says there’s another word for that form of government: dictatorship. After breaking down Trump’s legal defense, Dr. Richey briefly outlines some of what it means to live under a dictatorship and then pleads with Americans not to give their democracy away this November, even when they feel like their government is broken.

All right, the news is in ladies and gentlemen. Breaking news: Donald Trump is not above the law.

A three-judge panel, three judges on a federal appeals court case, looked at the evidence and concluded what we learned in the second grade: that a president of the United States is not, in fact, above the law.

The argument from one of Trump’s attorneys was so insane. Literally, one of the attorneys said, basically, a president can do whatever they want to do and the only exception is when they are successfully impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate. And outside of that, there is no framework to hold a president of the United States accountable for anything.

Well, call me, I don’t know, simple. But if a president could only be held accountable by the House and the Senate, well, he could just, you know, incarcerate members of the House and members of the Senate to avoid ever being held accountable for breaking the law, right, or something worse.

The insanity of the proclamation already lets you know what kind of regime Donald Trump is looking to lead, if you ever give him power again.

All right, the news is in ladies and gentlemen, breaking news: Donald Trump is not above the law.

 

A three-judge panel, three judges on a federal appeals court case, looked at the evidence and concluded what we learned in the second grade: that a president of the United States is not, in fact, above the law.

 

The argument from one of Trump’s attorneys was so insane. Literally, one of the attorneys said, basically, a president can do whatever they want to do. And the only exception is when they are successfully impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate. And outside of that, there is no framework to hold a president of the United States accountable for anything.

 

Well, call me, I don’t know, simple. But if a president could only be held accountable by the House and the Senate, well, he could just, you know, incarcerate members of the House and members of the Senate to avoid ever being held accountable for breaking the law, right, or something worse.

 

The insanity of the proclamation already lets you know what kind of regime Donald Trump is looking to lead, if you ever give him power again. Let’s go beyond that. Because the appeal is coming. They’re going to take this to the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has indicated in previous rulings and a little bit of rhetoric that no president is, in fact, above the law, that presidents do not have immunity. As a matter of fact, we live in a nation where we say things like, people with more power should have more accountability. People with more trust should be held to a higher standard. We utilize this in relation to law, we utilize this in relation to medical care, who much is given much is required, we would say in my church. But I digress.

 

Once again, we’re faced with this dilemma that’s not really a dilemma, except in the case of Donald Trump. A formation of government that suggests, somehow, a person can actually break the law, but at the same time be enforcer of it, well that creates an insane reality that only dictatorships are able to appreciate.

 

If this man gets power again, rest assured, he will violate the tenets of the Constitution. He will violate the statutory dynamics that govern the presidency. And he would do it in a way that’s blazing and front-leaning. Now, ask yourself this question. If you have a dictatorship in America, which by the way, some people are good with, some people want that, I don’t. If you have it, understand what happens. If one person gets to make all the decisions, do you think corporations are going to make commercials to help you understand their point of view their side of the story, their products, etc? Of course not. They only have to buy one person. And that’s the dictator.

 

Think about all of the special interest groups, and how at least now in this imperfect political system, they have to fight. They have to advocate, they have to lobby their special interest. They have to lobby multiple people, they have to advocate with multiple groups. No more under a dictatorship. They simply have to convince one man, they only have to buy one man. They [sic] only have to purchase one man. You become an afterthought in that ridiculous scheme.

 

Now, just because democracy doesn’t always work the way you choose it to work, as a Black male, I’ve experienced that myself, it doesn’t mean you throw away the entire formation of government. That means you work to make it better. There is no finality in democracy, I tell my college students this all the time. If your person, which really should be about your policies, if they don’t win this election, you have another election, always. That vanishes under a dictatorship. We shall see what the Supreme Court does, how they rule. Is a president above the law or not? And if they say that a president of the United States is in fact above the law, we owe some folks an apology. You must apologize to Nixon, you have to apologize to Clinton, and a few others.

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