Donald Trump

All posts tagged Donald Trump

The Tweeter in Chief says 3-5 million fraudulent votes were cast in the 2016 election, and all of them went to Hillary Clinton. Remember? Trump offered no evidence because he didn’t have any. We know this because his very own Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity didn’t report any fraud.

The Commission apparently wanted to go on a fishing expedition, asking all the states for personal information and voting records on everyone who voted in the 2016 election that they would, one presumes, try to match with something else to find out if they were citizens, or perhaps that they voted twice. That data gathering exercise quickly got bogged down in lawsuits because the states in general don’t want the federal government spying on their citizens. The Commission nevertheless did get some data but they never did anything with it.

Trump in an attempt to cast the blame elsewhere blamed Democratic state officials for the demise of his commission, ones like Republican Governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina and Mississippi Republican Secretary of States Hosemann. So rather than wrestling the issue to the ground, whether or not massive voter fraud was happening in the country, Trump ran away, said he didn’t want to spend money defending lawsuits, and blamed the Democrats for not breaking state laws to give the commission data.

So Trump dissolved his own commission, it having made no findings whatever, and whatever data it collected is going to be destroyed.

What an awful president we have. Shameful.

See also: Do Lots of Undocumented Aliens Vote?

Donald Trump gained notoriety in right-wing circles back in 2011 by fanning the embers of the dying birther movement, a group of conspiracy theorists who made up stories that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the US. Trump set off a chain of events that eventually led to Sheriff Joe Arpaio of the Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff’s Office assigning an investigation of Obama’s birth certificate to a totally inept, unqualified and biased volunteer posse, who several times came out with reports saying that the certificate was a fake before their pseudo-expert opinions fell apart under scrutiny.

Arpaio, however, was known for much more than being a birther. His main claim to fame came from acting out the self-proclaimed role of  “America’s toughest sheriff,” something that played out in mistreatment of prisoners, trumped-up charges and arrests of political opponents, and the big one–racial profiling. All in all, Maricopa County paid out several tens of millions of dollars in settlements for wrongful deaths in its jails, false arrest, and racial profiling. The sheriff’s office was placed under a court-appointed monitor. Evidence came to light that Arpaio intentionally disobeyed court orders and that led to his recent conviction for criminal contempt of court.

Now President Trump has pardoned his unrepentant supporter and birther protege. Trump is signaling that any illegality carrying out his agenda by his supporters is now above the law. This is a serious abuse of the presidential pardon, but President Trump has shown almost daily that he has no respect for the office he holds.

The US Supreme Court decided in the last century that the president’s pardon power extends to criminal contempt of court. For a scholarly article article on the topic, see “Contempt and Executive Power to Pardon” by by Paul M. Butler in Notre Dame Law Review (548) 1929.