News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to

Monday, June 4, 2018

Trump's lawyers can't seem to understand the Declaration of Independence

In a 20-page letter, Donald Trump's have tried to lay out why Trump can be a dictatorial monarch.   In it, they have baldly asserted that he is above the law.  

They find no specific articles in the Constitution that define the limits of presidential power, but they ignore the founding document that preceded the writing of the Constitution:  The Declaration of Independence.

The United States was founded in opposition to many things that George III did that Trump also does,  George's offenses are listed in the Declaration.  Those offenses offer the precedents that define the purpose of the Constitution:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Among the transgressions listed against George III are some that apply to Trump:

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

Trump and his lawyers claim that Trump cannot be subpoenaed, indicted, or subjected to the judicial processes.  The Article that applies states:
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. 
The Article states that the president and other executive officers shall be removed from office "on impeachment for" and "conviction of ...other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." "Conviction of" suggests that the president is subject to the same judicial process as any other person under the laws of the United States.

According to that article, the president can be charged and tried.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States