It is possible there are some Americans who can’t comprehend the idiomatic phrase “above the law” is a real thing because it is an abomination to even think in those terms. That phrase means a person holding that mindset is a criminal. The idiom means that a person believes that because they are all-powerful, or a career criminal, they are exempt from laws everyone else is bound by and it explains exactly why most criminals are incensed when law enforcement officials hold them accountable for violating the law.
Of course the wealthy and powerful are likely to consider themselves above the law simply because they are rich, or have access to high-powered legal advocates who go to great lengths to contort the meaning of the law to convince ignorant jurors that their client is innocent. However, it is certain that no sane defense attorney, or career criminal, would ever be so stupid as to admit during a court proceeding, or in a public forum, that they are exempt from following the law; but that is not the case with the criminal currently occupying the Oval Office.
On Friday in the continuing case against Trump for inciting his angry supporters to violence against rally attendees not enamored with a fascist candidate for president, Trump’s lawyers claimed that their client is “above the law” simply because he is the president. The Trump legal team actually stated that since Trump won the election, he also won immunity from any legal proceedings against him and is exempt from the laws everyone else is bound to abide by. The Trump lawyers wrote to the court that,
“Mr. Trump is immune from the [law] suit because he is president of the United States.”
The lawyers are busy trying to convince a federal judge that the complaint against Trump for inciting “a riot against protesters at a Louisville event last March” is dead in the water because he won the November election and now lives in the White House when he is not charging taxpayers for golf excursions.
Just last week, the same lawyers attempted to convince the Judge that the lawsuit against Trump just had to be dismissed because Trump’s incitement to commit violence against non-supporters was all good; he was just exercising his 1st Amendment right of free speech. It was an argument the Judge ruled is bogus. Since then, there have been more allegations against Trump including one of the culprits who admitted that the plaintiffs’ claims are true and that “Trump wanted a riot,” but that accusations he “hurt anyone” are not really accurate.
Even though the man, Alvin Bamberger, is clearly visible “assaulting” a female protestor with an anti-Trump sign in Louisville’s convention center, he said there is no way “he would have acted as he did without Trump’s specific urging and inspiration.” Bamberger also said the victim was being completely truthful in claiming that candidate “Trump’s speech was calculated to incite violence against the protestors;” incitement he acted upon.
Now, this incident is not important in and of itself; there are a multitude of documented cases describing Trump inciting his acolytes to violence against protestors, including one where Trump told his supporters that “I’d like to punch him [protestor] in the face” at a rally in Las Vegas. However, what is important according to a lawyer for the assaulted victims is that “It is fairly unusual to have a person who is engaged in violent misconduct … [to] actually point the finger at the person and identify the person who caused him to do what he did.”
Of course there is little defense for Trump’s incitement and one thought after the Judge in the case ruled that free speech rights do not exempt a person from inciting violence against his opposition, there was nothing left for the Trump to do but settle the case with a hefty check. Instead, Trump revealed exactly why he is a common criminal and claimed that because he won an election, he is immune from prosecution and above the law. That claim caused the plaintiff’s lawyer, Greg Belsley, to laugh out loud and cite a 1997 Supreme Court ruling that then-President Bill Clinton could be sued over events that occurred long before he took office.
What this latest Trump abomination reveals is why he and his entire administration adheres to a criminal mindset; they all think they are above the law and can violate it with impunity because Trump won the election. It is why at least five of Trump’s cabinet nominees had no issue committing perjury under oath during their Senate confirmation hearings, and why Republicans running the Senate have not called on the Justice Department to bring charges against any of them; because Trump won the election.
It is also why Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, had no hesitation deliberately concealing several meetings with Russian operatives and banking moguls by omitting them from national security clearance documents. Kushner, like Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, EPA head Scott Pruitt, Treasury Secretary Steve Munchin and Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price all willingly committed perjury under oath because Republicans running the government agree with Trump that winning the election exempted the entire administration from laws applying to every other American. If that was not the case, or if a Democrat had won the election, Republicans would have initiated impeachment proceedings on day one and had the cabinet nominees summarily arrested and hauled off to the slammer for lying under oath, or committing treason by colluding with a hostile foreign power.
Many Americans believe they are witnessing the most corrupt and criminal administration in the nation’s 239 year history and they are undoubtedly correct. The Trump administration, like Trump himself, is corrupt and criminal, and it is highly likely that they will continue behaving like the authoritarian criminals they really are because they cannot accept the fact that they are beholden to follow the laws of the land like every other American.
The true travesty is that with Republicans running the government, it is likely that no-one in the criminal organization known as the Trump administration will ever be held to account for violating long-established laws; and why should they? The lawless authoritarian in the White House claims he is “immune from prosecution” because he won an election. It is something no other president has ever proffered as a defense, but then again, no other president was remotely as corrupt and criminal as Donald Trump, his children, and his administration.