Unprecedented Crime, Unprecedented Indictment

Unprecedented Crime, Unprecedented Indictment
Ruth Gadebusch

And more to come! Yes, I know a basic principle in our nation is innocent until proven guilty; however, this ex-President has given us the evidence many times over.

He with the “big mouth” is his own worst enemy. He has no stop switch, no restraint, as he just keeps bragging without regard to self-restraint, morals or law while his lawyers clinch their teeth.

As this is written, the ex-President, set to report to a Miami court soon, appears to be without adequate defense lawyers. I am just cynical enough to wonder if delaying the trial while new lawyers get updated isn’t part of his tactic.

This entire situation continues to be devoid of any ethics on his part. For that matter, he has previously counted as allies some rather questionable lawyers, such as an ex-mayor of New York City, perhaps with neither competence or ethics.

It isn’t all bad news for him. With the “luck of the Irish,” a bizarre judicial assignment has designated a Trump appointee known for tilted opinions as the presiding judge for this particular trial. We all know many do not have “recuse” for conflict of interest in their vocabulary. Wow!

This ex-President needs to also be told that it is no defense to accuse another as being worse in similar law breaking. In this case, a President known for his ethics also failed to properly protect top secret security papers. The vast difference is that the current President immediately turned over the nation’s property to officials for proper storage, whereas the ex-President used all manner of deceit to hide and retain the materials.

That is not to excuse the current President or anyone else for such lighthearted treatment of information valuable to an enemy. It matters not if intentional or just careless—the damage is done.

Being in the general age category of these men and a former naval officer serving in code/cryptography security, it is incomprehensible to me how relaxed they were in handling these papers. After all, we came to maturity in the age of “loose lips sink ships.”

Today, when we have much more horrible weapons, a sad but necessary turn of events, even more is at stake. Relatively recently, I have recognized the fruition of deeply buried operations that were mere hints in my day even to those of us with top secret clearance.

It might have been seven decades ago, but I am still completely engrossed in the sanctity of military secrets. We can talk about enlightenment, an open society, all we want, but there are still some things that must be protected. There is nothing pleasant about war, and preparation remains the best defense on a planet populated with people many of whom are not endowed with good intentions of sharing the planet’s resources.

Alas, power would seem to be the guiding star for many and unfortunately this ex-President is well-endowed with the idea. I can only include his many Republican supporters. No one has ever seized power alone. It requires assistance.

It is a mystery to me how so many who should know better—like an appreciation of our society of democracy and laws and even compromise—continue to jump on his bandwagon. They are dancing on the head of a pin at the expense of the nation as they continue to support him either by voice or silence.

Unlimited power means “my way or the highway,” and there is little trust between such cohorts involved. They dare not trust each other for each feels they alone should be in control ready to pounce on any opportunity to take over as the lead dog. If nothing else, we should learn from this current situation with this ex-President having used the marvels of technological communication to influence so many who fail to appreciate what a great institution our forefathers developed in our Constitution.

We often note that our government is meant to protect justice for all. We are usually thinking in terms of the behavior of those lower in the scheme of things being punished while the powerful get a pass. This time, it must apply to the powerful.

We must not let this ex-President escape justice. I recognize the fear that his MAGA minions with no concept of the truth will continue to be troublemakers, but we cannot allow them to prevail.

Going after this ex-President is necessary. The evidence is incontrovertible, so much so that an impartial jury will be difficult or impossible. Judgment regarding the evidence will have to suffice. The future of the nation is hitting us in the face.

We either seize the opportunity to live up to our morals, our responsibilities, our laws or the promise of the greatest nation on Earth disappears just as we are learning more and more about our origins and possibilities as we drill into the core, explore space, consider the interactions for climate change and such for this little ball.

That is our choice. Just because the actions of this ex-President are unprecedented does not mean it is wrong to indict. Considering what we know it would be far more wrong not to prosecute.

Nor is it political. Special prosecutors are not unique. Just ask one recent President, whose offense was more a personal moral offense than constitutional, about that. This latest ex-President has managed to involve himself in both aspects.

Prosecution is exactly what should be done. The only question is why has it taken so long. What more evidence do we need? Where are the responsible members of the Grand Old Party? Where have we failed to teach civic knowledge? If not now, when? If not us, who?

Misbehavior demands prosecution. The evidence demands conviction. High office is no excuse. We can do better. At a minimum, we must enforce our Constitution with its prohibition of anyone who has participated in insurrection not serving in public office.

We can do better. We must do better.


  • Ruth Gadebusch

    Ruth Gadebusch, a former naval officer, was recently recognized by the League of Women Voters with its Lipton Award for volunteer work in various community endeavors. She was elected four times to the Fresno Unified School District Board, appointed by Governor George Deukmejian to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and is an emeritus member of the Board of the Center for Civic Education.

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