|Roger Stone and Donald Trump|
Roger Stone, in so many words, said he has no regard for the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and for the ideals of the American justice system. If one is to assume that Donald Trump shares those views, our country could be in for a period of unimaginable darkness for the next four years -- or longer.
What exactly did Stone say? He said the Hillary Clinton campaign's decision to join the Green Party's recount effort in three swing states increases the likelihood of Clinton being prosecuted. Here are details on the comments, as reported at The Hill:
A longtime ally of President-elect Donald Trump says the Hillary Clinton campaign joining recount efforts increases the chances that Clinton will face criminal prosecution.
“I think Hillary increases her chances of prosecution by acting this way,” Roger Stone said Monday on Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show.”
We should note that Stone long has been seen in political circles as somewhat of a loon. He got his start in politics as a dirty trickster for Richard Nixon, and The Daily Beast has described him as a "self-admitted hit man for the GOP." But Stone hardly is an outsider or a lightweight. He largely is credited with creating the "Brooks Brothers riot," which stopped the Miami-Dade recount during the 2000 presidential election and helped give us eight years of George W. Bush.
To hear a guy with that kind of clout -- and with the ear of the incoming president -- say that participating in a recount makes it more likely Hillary Clinton will be prosecuted . . . well, it makes one wonder if Stone (or Trump, for that matter) ever took a seventh-grade civics class.
Those of us who did take such a class know a little bit about the quaint notions of due process and equal protection that are found in the 14th Amendment. We know that, at least in theory, all of us are to be treated equally under the law -- and any prosecution is to be based on probable cause that an individual committed a crime, not on her support for a recount that might determine whether our election system was compromised.
Trump recently has backed off his campaign statements that he would prosecute Clinton if he was elected -- supposedly over an alleged e-mail scandal in which the FBI twice has released statements that it could find no criminal wrongdoing. A Politico article about the Stone comments, indicates Trump was on thin legal ice all along:
It would be a major breach of the Justice Department’s traditional independence from the White House for the president to order the prosecution of any individual as a means of political retaliation. (The FBI recommended against bringing charges against Clinton for her use of a secret email secretary of state in July and reaffirmed that decision a few days before the election.)
Still, Trump’s senior adviser, Kellyanne Conway, also seemed to draw a connection between the recount effort and the prosecution question during a TV interview on Sunday.
“He’s been incredibly gracious and magnanimous to Secretary Clinton at a time when, for whatever reason, her folks are saying they will join in a recount to try to somehow undo the 70-plus electoral votes that he beat her by,” Conway said to CNN’s Dana Bash.
To make this even more mind blowing, one of Trump's candidates to be secretary of state reportedly is Gen. David Petraeus, who pleaded guilty to giving classified information to his mistress and still is on probation for that crime. This is an administration-in-waiting that suggests it would prosecute Hillary Clinton, against whom the FBI found no criminal conduct regarding classified information, while offering a cabinet post to David Petraeus, who has admitted to committing a crime involving classified information.
This is scary stuff, folks, especially for those of us who are wide awake in what seems to be a somnolent United States. Before even taking office, you have Trump and his acolytes essentially saying they support political prosecutions -- or, even worse, prosecutions based on whims or perceived affronts.
This suggests these people are not only dangerous, they are frightfully stupid. To go on television, time and again, to say they do not respect basic constitutional protections indicates they have no business serving in a position of governmental authority.
How dense are these people? Stone told The Daily Beast in 2008 that he had come to regret launching the Brooks Brothers riot. From the article:
“When I look at those double-page New York Times spreads of all the individual pictures of people who have been killed [in Iraq], I got to think, 'Maybe there wouldn't have been a war if I hadn't gone to Miami-Dade. Maybe there wouldn't have been, in my view, an unjustified war if Bush hadn't become president.' It's very disturbing to me."
It was so "disturbing" that Stone now supports Donald Trump? Sweet Jeebus, have mercy on what's left of our country!
We learn that Roger Stone has a sliver of a conscience, and at least mild concern about the U.S. engaging in unjustified wars. but he supports Donald Trump in 2016? The same Donald Trump who appears quite capable of launching unjust wars on a monthly basis, once he hits the Oval Office?
So Roger Stone perhaps has a conscience when it comes to war, but his conscience exits stage left when it comes to political prosecutions and respect for the constitution? A shaky conscience, with no brain, is . . . well, a bad combination.
Man, we are in for a heap of trouble. Our country probably has never seen dysfunction like Donald Trump, and acolytes such as Roger Stone, are about to unleash.