Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Constitutional Crisis Looming: Maybe Worse (or not) than Bush v. Gore (2000)

We don't know nothing — we haven’t done anything illegal
(Not yet - wink/wink)

Pertinent and related to all that follows on this timely subject is this question and this article from NPR:

Who Can Settle Questions About Donald Trump's Conflicts Of Interest?
So, if we can’t trust or believe Constitutional legal experts, then who do we trust?

Case in point are the “conflicts of interest” hanging over the head of Donald J. Trump, incoming 45th President of the United States and despite what Mr. Trump has said on this subject, which is the following:

Thus far, he has not shown a willingness to do anything. He told the New York Times that he is under no obligation to set up a trust and that he “could run my business perfectly, and run the country perfectly.”

He says he plans to have his adult children run the company while he retains ownership - but we have not seen any plan about that. He told a room full of reporters that “the law is totally on my side, meaning, the president can’t have a conflict of interest.”

Most legal experts and ethics lawyers would totally disagree with that his personal view and conclusion vis-à-vis what the Constitution says.

Most legal experts conclude that Mr. Trump must give up his monetary holding totally before he takes office

Those legal opinions are shared by Harvard Law Professor Larry Tribe, one of the nation’s preeminent constitutional scholars.

Tribe told Think Progress that, after extensive research, he concluded that “Trump’s ongoing business dealings around the world would make him the recipient of constitutionally prohibited “Emoluments” from “any King, Prince, or foreign State” – the original sense of payments and not necessarily presents or gifts – from the very moment he takes the oath.”

Tribe went on to say that the only solution would be to divest completely from his businesses and failing that, Tribe elaborated possible consequences:

1.  Mr. Trump would be knowingly breaking his oath of exclusive fealty (under Art. II, Sec.1) to a Constitution whose very first Article (Art. I, Sec. 9) – an Article deliberately designed to prevent any U.S. official, especially the Chief Executive, from being indebted to, or otherwise the recipient of financial remuneration from, any foreign power or entity answerable to such a power – he would be violating as he repeated the words recited by the Chief Justice.

2.  That violation would qualify as one of the “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” that would require Trump to be “removed from Office.”

It’s as simple as that – so, Mr. Trump the ball as they say is in your court – your serve. What will you show the public?

1. That you will totally divest your business holding and that does not mean some fancy gimmick or trick, either, like “my kids will run things while I serve as president, but I’ll still be the owner.”

2.  That you totally do or do not trust or have full confidence in your kids to divest entirely to them and thus need another legal way.

3. That you cannot enter office with this legal cloud handing over you even as you take the oath office for to do so, would make you illegal from that moment you raise your and take the oath of office.

So, what is all this going to end up being? A legal showdown and a mess for months or longer, or total and complete compliance with the laws of the land which Mr. Trump says he will obey (or maybe just on his terms). Words he would pledge to the public via these 35 words before the American people at Noon on January 20, 2017:

“I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

{Optional to conclude with (as most do) but not required part of the oath by the Constitution: So help me God}.

Tick tock Mr. Trump, tick tock.

This is a critical issue facing us all. Time is running out.

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