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Double Standard – Killing Public Trust

Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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56 Comments
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The public perception is growing – that a “double standard” exists in applying laws, including the Fourth Amendment. One standard exists for Democrats, another for Republicans, including former President Trump. The impact is of that perception on public trust is devastating.

In cases like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s proven mishandling of classified documents, use of a secret server, intermingling of open and classified documents where susceptible to foreign espionage, foreign fundraising for her foundation while Secretary of State, destruction of tens of thousands of emails, “bleaching” of her hard drive, creating a false story to trigger an FBI investigation into her 2016 opponent – no legal consequences.

In the case of former President Donald Trump allegedly mishandling of documents – while making them available to Justice, keeping them under lock and key, and negotiating – the result has been unprecedented legal consequences, a massive FBI raid on his home.

What is publicly known suggests Trump held documents of importance to him at his home, some relating to decisions made, some tied to conversations with foreign leaders, some memorializing privileged attorney-client conversations, some subject to executive privilege, possibly all declassified.

What is also known – or should be – is that presidents ritually have conversations with National Archives on leaving office, are allowed to retain some documents. From George Washington through Jimmy Carter, presidential documents were the exclusive property of the president. 

After 1978, following the Presidential Records Act of 1978, documents deemed official “presidential records” were considered “public,” with exceptions for personal retention. Conveniently, Carter signed that act in 1978 but it became effective January 20, 1981 – the day Carter left office and Reagan assumed office.

Notable, the act leaves questions unresolved. For example, under Section 2208, the Archivist can make documents public without a former president’s approval, if his successor permits it, which raises the question – what if the Archivist feels political pressure to disgorge private or untimely data? What if an outgoing president has concerns about potential unfairness or selective release?

Under Section 2201, which sets “official record” definitions, gaps are worked out between a former president and Archivist, such as what is the “segregable portion” of a document for retention purposes, and “direct effect upon” presidential duties.

A former president is allowed to retain “personal records,” including “documentary materials,” “diaries, journals, or other personal notes,…,” “materials relating to private political associations…,” “materials relating exclusively to the President’s own election…,” and “materials directly relating to the election of … “ lower officials.

Deciding what is difficult. Room for accommodation exists, built into the statute. Also note that a president can declassify documents. No Supreme Court precedent exists indicating a president cannot declassify absent typical procedures.

By contrast, a secretary of state is not a president. A secretary cannot declassify documents the State did not classify. A President can declassify anything.

Compounding public cynicism, some in the media want to compare Clinton’s obfuscation and alleged crimes with Trump’s actions. These arguments are laughable, the media reaction tragic.

The Washington Post says, for example, Trump’s possible mishandling under 18 USC 793, 2071, and 1519 is different because penalties are higher than for crimes Clinton might have faced under 18 USC 1924 for “unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents.” 

They make much of ten-year versus five-year potential prison terms, a complete red herring. That has nothing to do with the Fourth Amendment. Liberal outlets try to distinguish the cases saying Trump is “under investigation” for not stopping rioters on January 6, another red herring.

They say Clinton’s egregious mishandling of classified material was cleared by the FBI’s James Comey – who had no legal authority to do so and was rushing his own anti-Trump agenda. Being cleared by Comey is more vilification than vindication, but liberals forget that.

Despite constant line-blurring, apparent deception, and intentional misinterpretation, like pretending she might have “wiped” her server with a “cloth,” Clinton is deemed “cooperative.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s lawyers allowed full access last May – more than a year after he left office, but he is accused of being uncooperative, as questions remain over a second subpoena. That was enough to bring the wrath of Biden, Justice, and the FBI down around him.

The disparate, unequal treatment of these two national leaders is breathtaking, Clinton and cronies getting a free pass, even after creating a false probe of Trump tied to “Russia collusion” that proved distracting, fictional, and remains under criminal investigation.

Bottom line? The public is losing confidence in Democrat leaders at Justice, the FBI, and White House. Polls show plummeting public trust, a sense that institutions are not acting fairly, are politically corrupt, and work under a politically motivated “double standard.”   

The impact of this turn is serious. The recent raid on former President Trump’s home – an unprecedented, arguably unconstitutional turn – highlights and compounds the problem. Americans see it all and it gives them pause.

By way of a comparison, imagine fair turnabout. Imagine dozens of armed agents upending Speaker Pelosi’s home, Senator Feinstein’s home, or the 65 others suspected, for evidence of “insider trading,” as all 67 are suspected of abusing the public trust.

Imagine the White House itself or homes of President and Hunter Biden raided, turned upside down, boxes taken out – or the homes of both Clintons and their daughter, all ransacked.

Who knows what else might happen, homes of former Presidents, Attorneys General, FBI directors, IRS leaders, governors and mayors could be stormed, sacked, boxes taken.

Main point? We do not do that in America. We have a Fourth Amendment. Politics should not interfere with equal administration of the laws. A “double standard” for Democrats and Republicans is not just dishonest. It is illegal, unconstitutional, and killing public trust.

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Paula S
Paula S
1 year ago

Another good article reflecting misgivings many of my family, friends and associates have concerning our nation’s government employees. And make no mistake, whether elected, hired and/or appointed “all are” employees of the American citizenry. Most of the people I’m acquainted with have “NO TRUST” of any of these employees & don’t even mention media! It is a very sad state of affairs. It surely does make a body wonder where it will all end. In God I trust.

Beverly Buckner
Beverly Buckner
1 year ago

Why can’t charges still be brought against Hilary & all the law-breakers? It is time to stand up to them & do unto them as they are doing. Republicans are too nice & it is time to rebel!!!!!!

Pat
Pat
1 year ago

“a Double Standard”….
That’s simply “been” the Democrat way! Rules & laws do not apply to them. They only apply to “everyone else”.
Most Democrats today, particularly those in Socialist states, are “AlNOs”, American in Name Only.

Rik
Rik
1 year ago

I believe in Equal Justice, now the “gloves can come off” . . . Revenge will be sweet! And you’d better believe the Commies FEAR Revenge! . . . That’s why this is REALLY about trying to “ban” Trump from even being able to run again! We the People MUST Not Allow them to succeed in doing this! . . . Anybody with half a brain should question how these so-called “Democrats” could have possibly beat a “very successful” incumbent from being Re-elected! . . . Biden STILL CAN’T fill a room, what does that REALLY show you? . . . If you know you CAN’T BEAT him, find an excuse to DISQUALIFY him! . . . And they’re CERTAINLY TRYING!

Patriot Will
Patriot Will
1 year ago

Hillary Clinton is treated as if she is privileged royalty, while President Trump is mistreated and bullied as if he is an enemy of the state. In our Constitutional Republic, Lady Justice supposedly is politically blind and treats all Americans with the presumption of innocence.
However, the tyrannical Democrats have hounded and abused President Trump for years. The ugliness of the double standard is so disgusting that every American should be outraged. What’s more, President Trump is an America first patriot, while the likes of Clinton is a corrupt globalist. How horrible that an efficient and capable man such as President Trump is treated worse than a criminal, while Hillary is treated like a rock star.

MarkR
MarkR
1 year ago

Definition of fascism
1
often capitalized a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition….

Do you thinks the shoe fits! And nothing is being done to address this fall of our Republic…

John Riley
John Riley
1 year ago

Trump’s home was and is under protection and surveillance of the Secret Servive, ergo so were the documents.

DonS
DonS
1 year ago

RBC,

I recall Donald Trump was registered as a Democrat and changed his political affiliation to Republican a few years ago. Am I correct or wrong?

If correct, that is an extra reason why the Dems are out of Trump’s blood because he knows too well how they operate!

Jeanette
Jeanette
1 year ago

Wonder what the next item is on the ‘lefts’ list?Maybe they need to stay in town and address the issues they were elected to tackle. They forget who pays their over the top saleries.

Morbious
Morbious
1 year ago

And the most we ever get is ‘molasses in January’, meaning durham slow walking the so called probe into dem treason. Every so often he pops up with peanuts but hints at filet mignon. Meanwhile the clock ticks and the calendar moves us steadily away from any accounting.

Bill Roberts
Bill Roberts
1 year ago

Crazy assumption to say they were “declassified.” The double standard is the GOP’s lack of respect for the law

johnh
johnh
1 year ago

This article is jumping the gun & should wait until more information on Maralago raid is available. And if Hilliary Clinton did something illegal, then that does not give Trump or any other POTUS to ignore our laws. Two wrongs do not make a right.

Doug
Doug
1 year ago

Democrats are democracy hating fascist pigs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
VOTE OUT ALL DEMOC RATS AND RINOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LMV
LMV
1 year ago

Well, Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about a completely personal affair that had no bearing on the running of the nation. Most Republicans didn’t dare to impeach Trump even for fomenting and then failing to do anything for more than three hours while the mob attacked the Capitol. Sorry, did I hear “double standard”?

DigustedwithElitism
DigustedwithElitism
1 year ago

Malignantly labeled “whataboutism” is, in fact, the principle of equal justice under the law, a principle the political class, the Left, and the media are willing to drop like a hot rock in order to get to a political rival. Those three are “the greatest threat to our Democracy,” not DJT, not his supporters, and certainly not the menace of the mythical white supremacist domestic terrorist.

David Lilly
David Lilly
1 year ago

This is NOT about republicans, it is about people who tend to be conservative standing up to the unequal application of laws and the coddling by our government of the anti-American leftists.
For instance, if you are against an open border run over by illegal immigrants you are the enemy of the government and all its tentacles.
If you voice a reality based opinion that is contrary to the lies the vermin in the media repeatedly regurgitate, you are the enemy of all anti-American leftists.
If you are an enemy to the abhorrent and near total corruption of our federal government YOU are a special danger to the corrupted in BOTH PARTIES.
This has nothing to do with party affiliation.

Larkenson
Larkenson
1 year ago

Excuse me, but could any sane person not realize that flooding EVERY & ONLY White countries with MILLIONS of non-Whites and telling everyone to “assimilate” to create a blended humanity is White GENOCIDE?

Africa will still be full of Africans.

Asia will still be full of Asians.

Only White children will suffer from this insanity.

It’s White Genocide.

Except they don’t call it GENOCIDE when it’s done to White children.

They call it “diversity”

Diversity means the final solution to the White problem.

TheMule61
TheMule61
1 year ago

“Killing” is the wrong tense here. Public trust is already dead. The actions of the farcical FBI would be funny if they weren’t so dangerous to all of us… including the deluded buffoons who support current actions because… TWUUUMP!!!

KEVIN MILROY
KEVIN MILROY
1 year ago

MOST CERTAINLY A DOUBLE STD AND IF YOU DON’T SEE IT (double std) I FEEL BAD FOR YOU

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