As the 2024 Election Season approached former President Donald J. Trump was hit with 91 charges for various criminal allegations. While the big ones, according to the talking heads of the media, were insurrection and attempting to overturn an election, technically none of the indictments were specifically regarding those alleged crimes. His political enemies are practicing a game of “death by a thousand cuts.” As Trump has worked to navigate the weaponized legal minefield thrown at him, he made a statement that the press has gone nuts over. He has claimed he has presidential immunity. None of the charges against him, as a result, are legal.
The questions at hand, then, are simple. Is Trump correct? Does he have presidential immunity? Does the United States Constitution address such an issue?
The answers are “yes,” “yes,” and “yes.”
As an instructor regarding the Constitution I had never really looked at this issue, before. I am very familiar with the clause that relates to Trump’s immunity question, but had never recognized it as a clause regarding immunity, before. I never had to. This is unprecedented. Never before in the history of this country have we had a former president attacked with multiple lawsuits while out of office, and while celebrated as the leading candidate in the next Presidential Election. Typically, in history, if a President of the United States serves two terms, they are back-to-back. Only once, prior to Trump, did the occasion of divided terms emerge. Grover Cleveland was the only President to leave office after serving four years only to return for a second term four years later. He was the 22nd President from 1885-1889, and the 24th President from 1893-1897. A bachelor going in, Cleveland married 21-year-old Frances Folsom in 1886, making him also the only President to get married while serving as President.
Cleveland was the first Democrat elected to office after the end of The War Between the States. Today, Cleveland would probably feel more comfortable in the Republican Party. He pursued policies barring special favors between government and economic groups, writing, “Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character.”
Barring Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 635 vetoes, Cleveland vetoed more legislative bills than any other President with 584. While liked by both parties, Cleveland’s attitude was that government’s job was to interfere as little as possible with the private sector, and the daily lives of the citizens of the United States, often placing him at odds with proposed legislation. He challenged big money, angered the railroads by investigating their government grants of real estate, forcing them to return 81,000,000 acres, and in 1887 he called for Congress to reduce tariffs. Never once during his presidency did he hesitate to do what he thought needed to be done, because at no point was he worried that his political opponents might go after him legally after he departed from office.
Could you imagine how carefully a President of the United States would need to step if upon the end of his term as President knew the vultures populating his opposition would be ready to strike with lawsuit after lawsuit to destroy him?
From a judicial standpoint immunity has been ruled upon a number of times. In Nixon v. Fitzgerald (1982) the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the President has absolute immunity from civil damages regarding conduct within the “outer perimeter” of his duties. Clinton v. Jones (1997), however, disallows immunity for suits arising regarding conduct by the individual prior to taking office as President of the United States.
Three Presidents have been criminally investigated while in office, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump. Only Trump, however, has been pursued prosecutorially after leaving office. Nixon would have been, one might suggest, but about a month after taking office President Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon, granting, “a full, free, and absolute pardon…for all offenses against the United States…committed or may have committed or taken part in.” The pardon likely saved Nixon from protracted and expensive legal battles that would have likely never found impartial juries.
The United States Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land, is where the real hammer against going after a President lies. At the end of Article I, Section 3 the Constitution discusses punishment for conviction of impeachment, and the language provided is clear:
Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States; but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.
Impeachment is a political trial. If an individual is convicted of an impeachment, they are not walked out of office in handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit. According to the clause in Article I, Section 3 of the United States Constitution the worse punishment if convicted by impeachment is removal from office and the inability to hold office ever again. Criminal punishment may only be handed out after a criminal conviction in a criminal court (civil would be the same). And, the clause clearly states that in order to be pursued criminally they must first be convicted by the Senate in an impeachment case for the same offense. The clause is in Article II, so it is specifically regarding the President of the United States.
The good news for Trump is that because he was charged (impeached), but not convicted, immunity covers his entire presidency. The good news for Biden is that based on the constitutional argument regarding immunity, if he is able to escape impeachment during his time in office he will also be immune from subsequent criminal prosecution.
The reality is, if we are to follow the text of the United States Constitution, every single criminal charge levied against Donald Trump regarding actions he took while President of the United States is unconstitutional, and all of the weaponization of the judicial system against the man needs to legally stop this instant. Unfortunately, we are dealing with authoritarian tyrants who could care less about the law, nor the Constitution, so the prosecutorial witch-hunt against Trump will continue…illegally.
Northwest Territory – Territory owned by the United States west of Pennsylvania which included today’s States of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and a part of Minnesota. The Northwest Territory was a part of vast territories west of the Appalachian Mountains originally claimed by Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia which were all tied to royal charters, except for New York’s claim. “Landless states,” led by Maryland, demanded that some States should not have the opportunity to be so vast in size, especially since land had been offered to some enlistees during the Revolutionary War as payment for their service, and the generosity of some States may not be dependable when it came to the fulfillment of these promises. An amendment to the Articles of Confederation, offered by Maryland, had not been accepted by the other States and Maryland, New Jersey and Delaware held out ratifying the document until the “western lands” issue had been resolved. The “landless states” called for the “landed states” to offer their western territories to the United States by cession. Ratification of the Articles of Confederation was also being urged by the French who were willing to offer military supplies, ships and soldiers once the Patriots completed their union through the ratification of the Articles. Thomas Jefferson, in particular, urged Virginia to create colonies out of its western lands, free and independent of its control. Virginia was also encouraged to cede the property to the United States since a reduction in size would also reduce its financial quota apportioned to it by Congress, which later in the Constitution became a form of income tax paid by the States to the federal government based on percentage of population as determined by a census. The “landed states” agreed to cede the land to the United States so that they may be divided into States during a future time as determined by Congress, with the northern portion of those western lands becoming known as the Northwest Territory. As a part of the agreement, New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire also relinquished their claims on the land known as Vermont. The information regarding these agreements partially come from, and are primarily available in, the motion found in the Journals of the Continental Congress, XVII, 808.
“Motion Regarding the Western Lands, [6 September] 1780,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/01-02-02-0051. [Original source: The Papers of James Madison, vol. 2, 20 March 1780 – 23 February 1781, ed. William T. Hutchinson and William M. E. Rachal. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1962, pp. 72–78.]
I agree with Ronald Reagan; “Peace through Strength.”
I agree with George Washington; “We are persuaded that one of the most effectual means of preserving Peace, is to be prepared for War; and our attention shall be directed to the objects of common defence, and to the adoption of such plans as shall appear the most likely to prevent our dependence on other Countries for essential supplies.”
Be strong militarily, don’t be dependent upon any other country for your supplies.
Donald J. Trump, then, agrees with Reagan and Washington. He says if elected again he will “drill, drill, drill,” to produce domestic oil so that we are not dependent upon the rest of the world for that oil, and Trump has a strong national security strategy (yet, while he was President, with a strong national security strategy, started no new wars).
Everyone else, it seems, wants us at war. The Democrats want us at war in Ukraine, and Islam wants us at war in the Middle East. Iran is taunting the United States, striking at our units in Iraq, like a bully poking a kid in the chest in the schoolyard. “I dare ya,” yells the bully. “Go ahead, hit me. I’ll give you the first swing.”
The Biden administration’s Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin, gave a statement a couple days ago explaining why the United States carried out retaliatory strikes on Christmas Day on three facilities “used by Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated groups,” in Iran. The U.S. strikes in Iran followed a series of attacks that left three U.S. service members injured — one critically, in Iraq.
Austin described American military retaliation as “necessary and proportionate strikes” that were intended to “disrupt and degrade capabilities of the Iran-aligned militia groups directly responsible.”
“And let me be clear – the President and I will not hesitate to take necessary action to defend the United States, our troops, and our interests,” Austin wrote. “There is no higher priority. While we do not seek to escalate the conflict in the region, we are committed and fully prepared to take further necessary measures to protect our people and our facilities.”
The drawing in of the United States has begun. Hamas attacked Israel, our ally, so we have been on alert, and in full support of Israel, as we should. But, it was just a test to see how far we’d step our foot into the region. Now, we are being taunted; picked at. Islam, China, and international globalist progressives want nothing more than for the United States to be dragged into a conflict in the Middle East, and for the world to turn against us as they have Israel. And, if we strike Iran any harder, they will activate the terrorist cells in the United States that are largely here because of Biden and the Democrat’s open border policy. If we hit Iran like I think we will, soon, for Americans here in the United States the attacks by Hamas in southern Israel will look like child’s play. Hardcore Muslims and radical Democrats want nothing more than an excuse to go door to door and drag Christians and conservatives out of their homes and to slaughter them on their front lawn.
I am sure a few of you right now are telling yourselves, “Doug, you’re being a little dramatic.”
In this video on Rumble a wokester calls for those who disagree with the transgender ideology to be stabbed.
Localism is defined as local government handling the local responsibilities and revenue through locally elected public officeholders. Localism is a principle foundational feature of what became The American System. Localism is a key component in the decentralization of authority, guarding against despotic control from more centralized governmental entities, and against restrictions or mandates that may attempt to be issued by higher levels of government. In the United States Constitution the Federal Government has been granted no powers over local issues, leaving the discretion over local issues to local governments. When localism is properly followed, communities historically tend to operate more smoothly, successfully, and with a membership that is more active in civic duties. Local government thrives when it operates individually with no threat of overreach by another governmental body perceived.
In today’s society controversy over issues like local law enforcement policies, local land development, internal improvement policies and activities, election manners and procedures, and school curricula agitate communities across the country. Some communities have voted to disallow Critical Race Theory in their schools, while others have elected to rename schools named for historic figures, or pull down statues and other historical markers that do not fit the narrative of the loudest protest group pounding their fists on governmental desks and daises demanding that they “get their way.”
Localism often includes democratic formats including ballot initiatives, petition drives, and townhall meetings. Issues that affect the electorate on all sides of the political aisle have spurned intense interest in local government, largely because in the modern political climate, voters realize that local politics can profoundly affect one’s immediate quality of life.
More important than individual local votes and cultural trends is a concept often forgotten, or ignored as an archaic and obscure aspect of American political culture. Localism has a crucial effect on the culture, and the other components of the American System, because politics resides downstream from the culture. Localism serves as a critical indicator regarding where the culture might reside on the scale as compared to The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God (Rule of Law, as presented by the Declaration of Independence). In short, while we scream for our representatives to operate in favor of our political demands, the primary duty of officeholders, whether they be local, or members of other governmental bodies, is to serve the rule of law.
The rule of law is often interpreted in a manner that is tied to the culture, which is driven by local policies and tendencies. The whims of culture can have an incredibly powerful effect on the grand scheme of things. Officeholders begin their careers at the local level, trained by the local culture, and guided by local influences. If the culture has abandoned the rule of law as prescribed by virtuous ideals then the lack of ethical and upright standards will simply multiply as that official moves up through the levels of government.
A virtuous cultural foundation at the local level ensures a better opportunity for a virtuous government at higher levels. Corruption, deceit, and viciousness in our culture and local governmental offices leads to a corrupt, deceitful, and despotic government at the upper levels.
Localism is the foundation from which our entire culture and political system begins. A firm foundation provides a firm culture and government. A shaky foundation leaves all other parts of the American System at risk to collapse should the culture falter, and the government abandon the rule of law.