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Hilbert Morales

CAN A SITTING PRESIDENT BE INDICTED? This is an issue which needs examination these days because of the questionable policy of the Department of Justice with respect to indicting any sitting President. The main consideration is that the Office of the President of the United States is essential to having a stable reliable operations and governance of this nation. The DOJ’s current practice is not to indict any sitting president.

This 46-year-old policy is based upon a legal opinion memo dated 1973. The Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s current investigation is to factually determine and establish the involvement level of foreign agents directed by Russia to influence the 2016 presidential campaign. That effort has already resulted in the indictment of over 30 high level officials who were involved in Mr. D.J. Trump’s campaign for the presidency. All had access to Mr. Trump.

There is an established wisdom that states: “Birds of a feather flock together” which leads me to wonder if Mr. Trump, CEO and CIC, is really the “conspirator in chief” upon whom the current investigation has already established as being influential and involved. And, was the Koch Billionaire Alliance membership involved with their DARK MONEY and ability to fund lobbyists?

However, because of the policy established during 1973 and documented by memo, the notion that a sitting President is so involved and essential to the governance of America, that it is prudent not to indict him or her because of the disruption of national governance which may result in chaos and confusion.

However, this particular President who is an established con-man who chooses to dismiss the factual reports of this nation’s intelligence agencies; chooses to ignore advice of established experts; and on his own has shut down Federal Government agencies, all of which leads to an unstable governance of this nation. Fortunately, many agencies have leadership which remains focused upon provision of service to its constituents. So, the economy and employment levels are operating very well, Thank you!

The Rachel Maddow Show aired a special report on just this current situation (MSNBC, 02.21.2019). The focus was on how the current DOJ policy of “not indicting a sitting president” was developed back during 1973. It seems that Vice President Spiros Agnew was conducting an illegal operation right in his White House office (allegedly receiving kick-backs and accepting money for favors being delivered). The DOJ had collected enough evidence to indict VP Agnew, however Agnew used the resignation of the Vice-Presidency as a bargaining chip to successfully negotiate leaving his V.P. position quietly. That legal opinion memo dated 1973 resulted and is the current basis of the DOJ policy of not indicting a sitting president.

The legal opinion stated in that memo was used during “Tricky Dick” Nixon’s Watergate burglary of the Democratic National Committee’s office records. President Nixon knew he was guilty and resigned.

Later, during the 1994 impeachment effort against President William J. Clinton (the Monica Lewinsky affair), this 1973 memo was revisited, but not revised nor re-assessed nor updated.

That 45-year-old memo written during 1973 needs to be revisited, reassessed and updated. Everyone agrees that no one should be above the law of the land – including the President of the United States along with the Vice President. It might be prudent not to indict him/her while attending to the many demanding governance affairs of this nation.

However, I contend that if and when a sitting president commits any crime, he/she must be indicted and given due process after the normal and usual succession process has elected the next president (i.e., after an election has established who is the next President).

The current president, Donald J. Trump, must not be above the law of this land, and he must know that once a successor has been elected, he will be indicted, prosecuted for his allegedly illegal actions and provided due process. This may be the only time when “justice delayed is not justice denied”.

The U.S. Congress, especially the House of Representatives, which now has a Democratic Party majority, would be well advised to assemble a Special Subcommittee of its Judicial Committee for the purpose of undertaking due diligence (investigation) which leads to crafting the necessary legislation which ensures that Trump experiences not being above the Law of the Land simply because he is the current sitting president.

This action may receive support from those Republican Congress members who are very concerned about the extent to which Mr. Trump ignores this nation’s Constitution. It is time to neuter this wild stubborn bull who insists upon creating imaginary national crisis; declares Federal Government agency shutdowns when not getting what he wants; and who has committed atrocities when dealing with families and their children. His administration has bungled many efforts in the name of improving national security where available factual information tells a different story: Undocumented immigration has decreased; those seeking asylum have increased; large volumes of drugs, human trafficking and criminal activity is happening at the established portals of entry because of being understaffed and underfunded.

This effort would give the Latino voters an objective and purpose. I project that this issue will enable the Democratic Party to win back the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives during 2020.

The “angry women” have already exerted their power and have crystallized their influence by election of all those female Congressional members (about 25%) but have not achieved equity (50%) yet.

This is an issue of TRUE JUSTICE which is reasonable and appropriate if we are to remain a Democracy which is already the greatest and most powerful one on this planet. And the efforts to update that 1973 memo with congressional legislation will demonstrate the resiliency of this Democratic nation. When Trump vetoes such legislation, he will damage all Republican congressional candidates.

This Democratic nation is a work in progress first started back during the 1770’s. Its updating and improvements can be and should be bipartisan.

I, as an American citizen with birthrights; and having Mexican heritage, will smile with much satisfaction when that 1973 memo is replaced by an updated policy which clearly defines that while a sitting president will not be indicted, he/she will be indicted the moment his/her successor is elected by “We, The People”. That realization will be sweet to many who have been verbally abused and demonized by the current president. He may be glib; but he will experience the consequences earned by prior actions. The “rewards” will be appropriate and merited. Simply stated: THIS PRESIDENT MUST NOT BE ABOVE THE LAWS OF THIS LAND!