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Is the President of the United States 'above the law'?

NO: The office of the President is NOT above the law
YES: All Presidents of either party must be above the law to govern
I've never read the constitution
I have an explanation



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1. Patricia Pomerleau CEOExpressSelect Member
     Forum Moderator
     (11/3/2019 6:05:10 AM)
     Message ID #349215

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In this momentt of Impeachment proceedings and refusing to turn over tax returns, one of the president's lawyers stated. before a judge and on the record. that the president of the US is above the law.

Earlier this mornth, New York federal Judge Victor Marrero handed down an opinion that rebuked the idea that sitting presidents should be absolutely immune from criminal prosecution while in the White House. The President's lawyers are appealing this ruling. It may get to the Supreme court.

The question being litigated was whether Trump could prevent his accounting firm, Mazars USA, from turning over to the Manhattan District Attorney his personal and corporate tax returns since 2011.

The Manhattan DA had subpoenaed these records as part of its investigation into whether Trump broke any New York state laws when he and his company reimbursed his long time fixer, Michael Cohen, for the funds Cohen paid as “hush money” to Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 election in order to keep her from going public about her affair with Trump.

Trump tried to stop his accountants from complying with the subpoena by seeking an injunction, claiming that as long as he is in office, he’s above the law. I’m not exaggerating. Trump’s lawyers argued that while in office, Trump “enjoys absolute immunity from criminal process of any kind.”

This goes way beyond not being able to indict a sitting president. As the court noted, Trump was seeking a “virtually limitless” sphere of protection that would prevent everything from prosecution to even investigating him for possible crimes while in office. And astoundingly, Trump even claimed this king-like immunity would also apply to third parties that are in possession of Trump’s information, like his accountants at Mazars, or to his “associates, or relatives who may have collaborated with the president in committing purportedly unlawful acts.”

The Trump White House appears to be reinterpreting the constitution as not having co-equal branches of government, but that the president has unlimited power and the other branches have no recourse in the execution of such unlimited power.

What's your view?

  • Is the President of the United States above the law?
  • Could the President of the United States use an AK 47 at a rally to mass murder a group of White Supremicists? Children at the WH Easter roll? Greenpeace protestors outside the UN? Do you believe he should be found immune to prosection?
  • "Above the law" is a strong position to take with staggering possibilities--for each party depending what party is in power. What do you believe was the the intent of the founders of the country?


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2. D Robb
     (11/3/2019 8:13:18 AM)
     Message ID #349216

This message is in response to Patricia Pomerleau ( message id #349215 )  View All Related Messages

Clearly, the President is not above the law, and, despite DOJ policy, there is nothing in the Constitution that would prevent him from being indicted for his crimes while in office.
In a NYT editorial opinion the Times urges Democrats to avoid focusing on trump's awful behavior, awful as that is.
Casting trump as a reprobate is tempting because, well, he is. He is a “pathological liar,” as Ted Cruz said during the 2016 Republican primaries, as well as a “con artist” (Marco Rubio’s description) and a “race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot” (Lindsey Graham’s). Mick Mulvaney, then a Republican congressman, had the simplest summary: “He’s a terrible human being.”

Corruption is one of the public’s top worries, surveys show so focus on it: The Ukraine quid pro quo matters because it shows how trump has reneged on his promise to fight for ordinary Americans and is using the power of the presidency to benefit himself. As Leah Greenberg, a co-founder of the progressive group Indivisible, says: “This man is not working for you. He is working to put his own interests first. And he is endangering the country to do it.”

In 2016 Democrats focused on pocketbook issues like health care and criticized Republicans for not using their power to help ordinary Americans. It worked, thanks to both strong Democratic turnout and persuasion of swing voters.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/01/opinion/trump-2020-election.html

3. D Robb
     (11/3/2019 8:19:37 AM)
     Message ID #349217

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Judge Blocks trump’s Plan to Bar Immigrants Who Can’t Pay for Health Care
The court ruling is the latest to derail administration initiatives to limit the admission of certain legal immigrants into the United States.
The ruling on Saturday came on the heels of another immigration loss for trump.

Federal judges last month blocked the “public charge” rule, which would have denied green cards to people who use public benefits, such as food stamps and subsidized housing.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/02/us/trump-immigration-health-care-visas.html

4. Stewart Riley
     (11/3/2019 9:46:20 AM)
     Message ID #349220

This message is in response to D Robb ( message id #349216 )  View All Related Messages

Exactly right. No person in the United States is above the law, regardless of position or power. It may seem like that's not true much of the time, when the wealthy and powerful use their connections to avoid the consequences of their actions, but at it's base, the Constitution made this a land under the rule of law, not the rule of persons.

Some have tried to argue that the inclusion of the impeachment power in the Constitution means that this is the only remedy for a lawless executive, but that is a misinterpretation. As the debates in the constitutional convention made clear, the disposition of offices was seen as a political matter, and thus rightly had the ultimate political power of the federal government as it's determiner, the Congress. That in no way prevents the courts from acting on criminal (or, as the Supreme Court ruled in Clinton's case, civil) matters against a sitting executive. These are different things. The impeachment power is more expansive, but cannot carry the power of criminal law (i.e., it extends only to the political realm of removal from office and barring from future federal office.) Criminal conviction cannot remove a person from political office. These are separate powers, as the Founders intended.

By the way, the above points also put paid to the Trump administration's insistence that they can ignore Congressional subpoenas. This is nonsense. Both the Constitution itself and the debates in the convention make clear that Congress has the power to demand accountability from the executive and that it is (as the representatives of the people and the states) the "first among equals" of the federal government. For any executive officer to deny a congressional subpoena is to subvert the very essence of our Constitution.

At this point, Trump must be impeached and removed, if for no other reason than to end the assault on our constitutional system that the claims made for his presidency represent. We simply cannot allow these claims to become established within our system, or we will have left democracy and the rule of law behind forever. We will have submitted ourselves to the rule of dictators and tyrants.

5. D Robb
     (11/3/2019 10:51:11 AM)
     Message ID #349221

This message is in response to Stewart Riley ( message id #349220 )  View All Related Messages

I agree, Stewart. The interesting thing is that the Democrats on the poll agree that ANYONE WHO COMMITS A CRIME should be prosecuted. The Republicans do not.
It was all right for the Republicans to conduct a Benghazi investigation with no evidence of wrong doing and which THEY ADMITTED WAS TO HURT SECRETARY CLINTON, and which found nothing.
Yet Republicans do not support conducting an investigation of a president who attempted to extort a foreign leader to manufacture dirt on a political opponent? Really???

6. j boire
     (11/3/2019 11:06:41 AM)
     Message ID #349222

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You wouldn't believe how many people think Bill Clinton was impeached. [He endured some proceedings, never culminated in his removal from office.]

Nixon was impeached, and by impeached, means 'removed from office'.

The issue in the Nixon Administration still has mysterious qualities Democrats 'would rather not discuss', huh.

N.S.

Trump is guilty of far worse than some Russian Adventure Plot. [It's all an act; the real problems are 'too hard to discuss.'

7. D Robb
     (11/3/2019 11:29:33 AM)
     Message ID #349223

This message is in response to j boire ( message id #349222 )  View All Related Messages

Clinton was impeached by the House. He was not removed from office by the Senate.
Nixon was not impeached. Nixon resigned.

8. D Robb
     (11/3/2019 12:11:35 PM)
     Message ID #349224

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trump's biggest problem is trump. he is totally undisciplined and when he isn't lying he is saying what he shouldn't - like when he publicly asked China and Ukraine to investigate Biden.
The pressure is getting to him and he is becoming completely unhinged. It may play well with those in rallies, but it doesn't play well with suburban Moms.

9. Tams Bixby CEOExpressSelect Member
     (11/3/2019 12:21:44 PM)
     Message ID #349225

This message is in response to j boire ( message id #349222 )  View All Related Messages

Your post shows just how little you understand of the "Impeachment Process". There are two phases to the "Process" of Impeachment, as follows:

Phase 1: Impeachment itself - which is the sole responsibility of The House of Representatives; and
Phase 2: Trial carried out IN the Senate (culminating in either Acquittal or Conviction); Overseen by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; Prosecuting Attorney(s) are Representatives from the House; and Jurors are the Senators in Attendance (i.e. who "choose" to attend).

If the House votes to "Impeach" the President (or any other official), then they are indeed "Impeached" but it doesn't mean they are adjudicated "Guilty" until they are "Convicted" by the Senate when they can be "Removed from Office" and also "Prevented from holding any other office".

There is indeed a difference.

10. j boire
     (11/3/2019 12:22:40 PM)
     Message ID #349226

This message is in response to D Robb ( message id #349223 )  View All Related Messages

In the chicken-sh!t stile we are accustomed to, facing Certain impeachment he bailed. I stand corrected, but that is as close as any american executive came to literally being forced out. I did mention the Democrats have a lot of mystery underlying the ordeal.

Clinton was not impeached. Nor was their certainty that he would be impeached. IT was a horse and pony show, and a disgusting Tex-arkana display.

The Senate is the senior, supposedly more experienced body of congress, also the most ideally equal per states. The Senate is supposed to be the 'grown ups' of america.

The Senate has the final say on almost all matters, pending a signature, a revisit, or a failure.

The house helps more people by representation feel 'more represented'; but they are really just the top of the funnel, the scale of the gripes, a filter by which sense should be made by the 'grown-ups' in the Senate.

The house gets nothing done with the Senate.

Nothing.

P.S. When has the 1o year population updates been reflected in the House accurately by representation of upticks or downticks in the areas of population representation [excluding gerrymandering adjustments which are bull.s.]?

Seemingly little to no adjustments.

[There are people missing in wisconsin.] [People forgotten about.]
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