During Trump’s coronavirus stimulus bill signing statement Friday past, the aspiring dictator demonstrated precisely why he thinks the United States Constitution is “bad for the country,” and signaled a potential Constitutional Crisis to prove his point.
What bothers Trump more than anything regarding the Constitution is that, as the Founding Fathers and Constitution’s framers intended, the law of the land is bad for an aspiring dictator. It is precisely why the U.S. Constitution clearly lays out “the Separation of Powers supported by a System of Checks and Balances.”
As Founding Father James Madison noted, checks and balances were necessary because “The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.” It is a “truth” Trump mendaciously stated he does not understand because he is that man that James Madison warned about. Trump has demonstrated privately and publicly, time and time again, that he cannot be trusted – few criminals or dictators can.
Trump put in writing his intent to violate his “so help me god” oath of office to “faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States.” And, his actions over the past three-and-a-half years inform that he could not care less about preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution. It was little surprise then that Trump proffered a dictator’s interpretation of Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution as justification to violate Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution that he swore to “preserve, protect and defend.”
The stimulus bill Trump signed last Friday afternoon creates a “special inspector general” who is mandated to notify Congress “without delay” if government agencies refuse to provide information needed to conduct oversight of the loans the administration will be doling out. In a statement released Friday evening, Trump announced he will not allow the inspector general to report to Congress without “presidential supervision.”
In his signing statement Trump said that he will not comply with Congress’ legally-passed legislation, and “will not provide documentation for audits into $500 billion in corporate bailout funds.” Trump claimed he can do so according to Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution. It is no surprise to any conscious human being that his objection is based on a lust for absolute power and greed – not any constitutional foundation. He said:
“I do not understand, and my Administration will not treat, this provision as permitting the SIGPR [Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery] to issue reports to the Congress without the presidential supervision required by the Take Care Clause, Article II, section 3.”
It is apparent, even to an imbecile, that Trump is granting himself authority to prohibit the inspector general from reporting inter-agency obstruction to Congress; despite the legislation plainly does not allow him to do so.
Trump is appalled that Congress, whose constitutional duty is to protect taxpayer dollars it appropriates, demands immediate reporting by the SIGPR when any agencies in Trump’s corrupt administration refuse to provide information about how taxpayer money is being spent. That highlights the first issue in Trump’s signing statement that must be addressed.
If Trump doesn’t understand why Congress provided instructions to be notified when, not if, but when some Trump-directed agency fails to abide by the provisions in the stimulus bill, it is simply because Trump cannot be trusted – particularly with taxpayer dollars. That bears repeating: both parties of the United States Congress do not trust Trump or his corrupt administration with taxpayer dollars or they would not demand the SIGPR to immediately report malfeasance by Trump’s administration directly to Congress..
Now, Trump citing the “Take Care, or Faithfully Execute” clause in Article II, Section 3 as justification to “ignore” a provision in a major bipartisan congressional bill beggars belief. It reveals that he either has no idea what the clause says, or that he is attempting to convince his acolytes that Congress is superseding its Constitutional authority by demanding accountability from Trump’s administration.. Trump is probably aware that his zealot followers are ignorant of what the Take Care Clause entails, but that is not the case with Trump’s Republican sycophants in Congress: their silence at Trump’s signing statement speaks volumes about their approval of Trump’s flagrant disregard for Congress and the U.S. Constitution.
Simply put, the “Take Care Clause” mandates that the president must “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” This clause that Trump claims allows him to supersede the will of Congress basically “imposes a duty on the president to enforce the laws of the United States;” as intended by the Founding Fathers and Constitution’s Framers,
The Framers included that clause to ensure that a law is faithfully executed by the sitting president; even if he disagrees with the purpose or any provision of that law.
The United States Supreme Court and the Attorneys General have long interpreted the Take Care Clause to mean that “the president has no inherent constitutional authority to suspend the enforcement of the laws, particularly of statutes.” It is no exaggeration to categorically state: “The Take Care Clause demands that the president obey the law, and repudiates any notion that he may dispense with the law’s execution;” this is according to the Supreme Court ruling in Humphrey’s Executor v. United States.
It is beyond doubt that with Trump nominating, and the Republican Senate confirming, a dedicated Trump loyalist as SIGPR, there is certainly going to be a world of suspicion surrounding exactly how much taxpayer money will be either funneled directly to Trump and his family, or misappropriated to support Trump’s reelection efforts.
It is amusing that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that regardless of Trump’s signing statement, Congress would exercise oversight regarding hundreds-of-billions of taxpayer dollars for corporations to “save the economy” and aid Trump’s reelection in November. Although it is abominable, the House has been unable to exercise any oversight regarding anything Trump has done thus far. With a Trump loyalist serving as Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery, and an Attorney General solely serving the interests of the dictator in the White House, there will be no “immediate reporting” to Congress when Trump’s corrupt administration misuses taxpayer money.
No corrupt authoritarian is going to allow Congress to provide oversight concerning how taxpayer dollars are spent, particularly when Trump declared in writing that he will not “take care” to faithfully execute legally-passed, and signed-into-law, legislation. Trump’s public statement saying as much is a Constitutional crisis – exactly like Trump’s unwarranted tenure in a place he has no right visiting, much less occupying.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.