Our Opinion: Lawless White House faces no repercussions


To the editor:

Whether a person likes or hates President Trump, it should be clear to all but the most blinkered that there is a set of rules for the ordinary citizen and another set for those with money, power and privilege.

Over 500 former federal prosecutors signed a letter stating that Donald Trump would have been criminally charged with three counts of obstruction of justice if he was not the president. Impeachment is the remedy set forth by the nation's forefathers for lawbreaking by those holding the highest office. Yet, we don't see an impeachment hearing.

The IRS received a request for the past six years of Trump's tax returns from Congressman Richard Neal, chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means. Federal law says that the IRS must provide those taxes. Yet, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has refused to surrender them. If a member of the public had brazenly violated the law, they would have been arraigned on charges.

Attorney General William Barr violated two subpoenas, one to testify in front of Congress and the other to provide an unredacted version of the special counsel's report on Russian interference in the U.S. elections. If any member of the public didn't show up to testify in court or provide relevant documents after being subpoenaed, there would be an immediate warrant issued for their arrest.

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Yet, Trump, Mnuchin and Barr, thus far, have had to suffer no consequences. That may change, but even if any of them were to be impeached by the Democrat-controlled House, the Republican-controlled Senate would be inclined to vote against conviction, not unlike a rigged jury. No one is above the law, yet two sets of rules.

That's not even mentioning President Trump abusing his office for personal gain. A case in point involves the nation of Qatar. Last year, Charles Kushner, the father of Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared, asked the government of Qatar for a $600 million loan. Without a massive influx of money Kushner's business empire may have collapsed. Qatar turned him down. Immediately thereafter, Trump began talking about instituting sanctions against the government, which was a reversal of U.S. policy. Qatar got the message and Charles Kushner got the $600 million loan. We never heard about sanctions from Trump again.

Abusing one's power for personal gain should immediately disqualify one from holding any position of authority and power, whether that position is dogcatcher, local council member or even a U.S. president. Yet Trump retains his office.

One reason why people voted for Trump was because he was going to clean up corruption in Washington, put an end to "pay to play" and "drain the swamp." He certainly did not clean it up. Rather, it looks more like he ramped it up.

R. Melvin Hyatt Jr.,

North Adams


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