Glen Kirschner, former federal prosecutor, released a video on his YouTube channel titled, “Here's Why the Rule of Law Requires Trump Be Prosecuted Upon Leaving Office”. I recently had a discussion with a friend about the reports that the incoming Biden Administration says it does not plan to pursue the Trump administration for laws broken during its four years. My friend did not vote for Trump, but he did agree with the stated Biden decision to not pursue the Trump administration. The new administration feels that it is more important for the country to begin healing and that Trump would still have to face the indictments from the Southern District of NY.
I agree with Glen Kirschner that this is not the time to do what is politically palatable. I understand that the country needs to heal, but I do not believe that it is possible to fully heal without a complete understanding of what it is that you are healing from. It is part of the healing process. It is painful and messy, but it is necessary.
For four years many people have been raising their fists to the abuses of the out-going president and his administration for its violations against the country’s constitution. The out-going president was frequently accused of flouting the “rule of law.” Politicians, media, and public servants from previous administrations said this repeatedly. They say that the country is facing a constitutional crisis. If we turn a blind eye to that which we know is wrong, we are just kicking the can down the road. The country excused the wrongdoings from the offices of previous presidents with the pardon of Richard Nixon and then later Ronald Regan who was excused by the George Bush Senior Administration for Iran Contra. When former President Obama took office, he did not investigate the previous administration of George Bush Jr. for its criminal acts during the Iraq War. The wounds from these previous administrations are not healing. They just get covered up again with another band aid. The wound is infected and requires light to heal. We cannot call ourselves a country ruled by law if we are selective about how we apply the law. That is not justice. That is clearly injustice as we ourselves define it.
I understand the Biden Administration’s desire to move on. It is possible that Biden is deliberately not telegraphing his true intentions to do so. The out-going president continues to claim, but not prove, that the presidential election was compromised against him through voter fraud. He has filed multiple court cases that have been rejected. He refuses to honor a peaceful transfer of power between his out-going administration and the incoming one. This is wreaking havoc on our democratic process and the faith in US elections. The new administration has many important problems to address, but I think they can walk and chew gum at the same time. The out-going president’s actions can be investigated while addressing the pandemic, the economy and immigration. There is concern that investigating the activities of the previous administration will look politically unfavorable. It may appear that the new administration is being vindictive and divisive. How did it look when the Senate and out-going president pushed through a hearing and nomination process for a new Supreme Court judge? They replaced the deceased Ruth Bader Ginsburg weeks after her death, and mere weeks before the official election date. During the hearing and nomination process Americans had already begun voting for the next president. In the meantime no action was taken by the Senate towards a COVID relief package for Americans reeling from the effects of the pandemic. It was put on hold. I would not concern myself too much with the optics in this case if I were the incoming administration. The Biden Administration can confront the prior administration and they should not waste the opportunity. If the decision is made to look the other way, then that considerably weakens America’s stance as a nation known for the “rule of law” and further weakens democracy.
America does not like to look back and that is why it continues to drag all the garbage from the past into the future. This is one of the reasons why racism is still a major issue in America. The effects of the system of slavery have yet to be fully acknowledged and confronted. I believe if we do not pursue the rule of law in the case of the out-going president, we should probably stop talking about it as though it is something that matters.