It’s Trump’s way or the highway | AspenTimes.com

It’s Trump’s way or the highway

The U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1787, is the oldest national charter on Earth. It established the procedural protections of our personhood, our property and our civic relationships that make the USA a beacon of liberty throughout the world.

When he was inaugurated, Donald J. Trump swore to defend the Constitution. Much has been said about his lack of military or political experience. His career has exhibited little respect for law as an instrument for the common good. His mentor, Roy Cohn, infamously said: "I don't want to know what the law is; I want to know who the judge is." According to many researchers and journalists, Trump has used law and lawyers to obstruct the traditional steps toward judicial resolution of issues.

Last week, former FBI Director James Comey stated that the president "hoped" that Comey would stop the investigation of Gen. Michael Flynn. Trump asked Comey if he would be loyal, and Comey countered that he would be honest. It was understood that the president equated the loyalty of the chief investigative officer of the nation with submission to his hope that the investigation would be dropped. Comey's substitution of honesty for loyalty got him fired. Trump's choice of the word "hoped," as opposed to a direct order, saved him from an open and shut case of obstruction of justice. President Richard Nixon had to resign and his attorney general, John Mitchell, actually served time in prison, for less careful choices of words.

As of this writing, Trump has not fired special prosecutor Robert Muller, which would repeat what became known as Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre, when he fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox.

What is clear is that for Trump, loyalty to him is honorable and adherence to the procedures guaranteed by our Constitution is not. Certain Germans had an aphorism for this. Query Wikipedia for the definition of Meine Ehre heiße Treue.

David Bentley

Recommended Stories For You

Aspen

Go back to article