Attempts to Prosecute Trump ‘Not Prudential’ and Will Backfire, Legal Experts Say


The manifold legal moves undertaken against former President Donald Trump, including the FBI’s Aug. 8 raid on his home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, the Jan. 6 hearings, and the investigation of his business dealings led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, break from long-established protocol about not prosecuting presidents after they leave office and are likely to benefit Trump’s standing among supporters in the long term, legal experts say.

“As a legal matter, none of these various investigations will keep Trump off the ballot. I don’t see it as possible that Trump will be disqualified. The only thing that can keep Trump out of the White House will be the voters,” Josh Blackman, a professor at South Texas College of Law Houston, told The Epoch Times.

As anticipation grows over a possible 2024 run for reelection, a flurry of legal developments have occurred in recent weeks, including the raid at the start of last week; Trump’s arrival in New York two days later to take part in a deposition concerning his business dealings; an order by the district attorney of Fulton County, Georgia, ordering former New York City mayor and Trump lawyer Rudolph Giuliani to appear before a grand jury looking into claims that Trump sought to overturn the results of the 2020 election; and a judge’s order on Aug. 18 that part of the affidavit providing a basis for the search warrant used in the Mar-a-Lago raid could be unsealed.

During the New York deposition, one of the latest steps in a years-long civil suit led by James that has also included subpoenas directed at Donald Trump, Jr., and Ivanka Trump, the former president pled his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Given that James’s campaign against the former president is a civil rather than a criminal investigation, the consequences of the Mar-a-Lago raid and the Jan. 6 hearings are potentially of far more significance for Trump and his expected reelection bid, experts say. A great deal more evidence concerning the Mar-a-Lago raid and Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents is also still expected to come to light, making assessments of the legal basis for the raid premature at this juncture.

But the Constitution clearly sets forth the requirements for a U.S. president—a minimum age of 35, and having been born in America and lived in the country for at least 14 years—and Trump obviously meets these requirements, which no one has the legal authority to change arbitrarily, experts note.

Based on the facts now known, the recent moves against the former president are unlikely to damage his reelection bid and may ironically have the effect of motivating undecided voters who find the efforts to prosecute unseemly and not in keeping with traditional approaches to dealing with ex-presidents, they say.

Local law enforcement officers in front of the home of former U.S. President Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on Aug. 9, 2022. (Giorgio Viera/AFP via Getty Images)

The Government’s Case

The Mar-a-Lago raid purportedly sought to retrieve documents that federal authorities had requested for months without success. According to a receipt listunsealed on Aug. 12, federal agents seized 11 sets of documents with classified markings or that were confidential or secret.

The raid proceeded on the basis of a longstanding attitude on the part of federal law enforcement that sees the presidency in terms of two separate frameworks, Akram Faizer, a professor of law at the Duncan School of Law at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, told The Epoch Times.

“There’s the president, who is a person serving for four to eight years, and then there’s the office of the president that continues in perpetuity after the president leaves office. And it’s not fully resolved, but I believe that the government’s understanding is that even after a president leaves office, the documents he has are those of the presidency of the United States, not his own. There are good reasons for that,” Faizer commented.

The reasons have to do with the safeguarding of sensitive and classified information whose public accessibility would not serve American interests. Here, the reasons for the government’s stance rest on a substantial body of past protocol, Faizer argued. Faizer cited the historical example of the Cuban Missile Crisis, in which then-President John F. Kennedy, Jr., persuaded Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to withdraw Russian missiles from Cuba partly through quid-pro-quo negotiations that included an offer to pull U.S. Jupiter missiles from Turkey and Italy, Faizer said. But the content of these negotiations did not immediately come to light and is still not widely known. They were made available to scholars more than three decades later.

“The Kennedy administration never disclosed it publicly, and I don’t think any subsequent administrations publicly disclosed it as a matter of U.S. policy. Their explanation was that the missiles were getting old and had to be replaced. But the reality is that we withdraw them, and that’s important for the office of the presidency. We didn’t want to be seen as undermining an ally, or to convey publicly to the world that we were willing to take a haircut on Turkey’s security or our own security,” Faizer said.

Having said that, the law with regard to the status of classified information is still not fully settled, Faizer acknowledged. From this point of view, Trump’s claims to have unilaterally declassified certain of the documents cannot be dismissed, he said.

“The law is kind of open-ended as to whether a president can declassify information. The administrative agencies under the president’s control have procedures to declassify, but I think that is not governed by statute but by executive order,” Faizer said.

Epoch Times Photo
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally Casper, Wyoming, on May 28, 2022. (Chet Strange/Getty Images)

A Former DOJ Lawyer’s View

In agreement with Faizer about the latitude given to presidents and the authority of executive orders is H. Jefferson Powell, a professor of law at Duke University and a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice.

“The actual classification system itself stems from presidential powers. And while administrative law does limit the president’s discretion, it does so mostly through process. The president has the power to do it, the president has the power to undo it,” Powell told The Epoch Times.

“On the other hand, presidents can be bound by administrative rules that govern the exercise of their executive power, and presidents are regularly bound by statutes that tell them they may do or not do something. There are procedures that must be followed, and the president can’t simply wave a magic wand to make it go away,” Powell added.

“But in the absence of procedural limits, the president can simply say, ‘I’m the source of the classification and I’m removing it in this case,’” he continued.

Statutes of Limitations

If Trump took action to declassify the documents while still in office, there may not be much that the Justice Department can do, Powell suggested. It is hard from a legal standpoint to go after a former president for anything he did while in office, as some have sought to do for Trump’s alleged disclosure of confidential information concerning the Islamic State to a Russian foreign minister and ambassador during a White House meeting in 2017, said Powell.

“Russia is a hostile power, and I don’t have any problem with the notion that it is an impeachable offense to compromise American national security. But that ship has sailed. There’s no current practical question about whether Trump might have committed an impeachable offense while in office,” Powell continued.

Given these realities, Faizer thinks it highly unlikely, based on the facts now known, that the Mar-a-Lago raid will result in a prosecution and interfere with or prevent a 2024 run.

“I don’t think there’s enough to prosecute Trump. For a prosecution, there has to be some intent to criminality, and I don’t see that there. If Merrick Garland wants to prosecute somebody, he has to get a unanimous jury, crystal clear. That’s hard to do even when someone does something wrong,” Faizer said.

“If you and I had those documents squirreled away in our apartments, then we could be prosecuted, but we’re not the president or former president of the United States,” he added.

Prudential Considerations 

In addition to the difficulties in achieving unanimity among jurors, the question stands as to whether pursuing a former president on such grounds is good form. In Faizer’s view, the political consequences are likelier to play into Trump’s hand than those of his enemies.

“It’s a good thing that, in our country’s history, typically former presidents are left alone. Former presidents are often opposed to the political agendas of their successors. For example, Barack Obama was very anti-Trump, and Trump has been very vocally hostile to President Biden, too,” Faizer said.

“You don’t want the United States to be like Brazil or Pakistan, where once you’re out of office, they put you in jail. It argues against a peaceful transition of power. How do you unanimously convict a man who got 75 million votes? That’s a pretty tall order,” he added.

Powell concurred with Faizer that going after a former president will give the appearance of impropriety and will not sit well with many of the voters who will ultimately decide what happens in 2024 and beyond.

“Did the former president say certain things and disclose information that he shouldn’t have? That’s a constitutional and legal question, but it’s a different kind of question. Those are both separate from the prudential decision about how to run the Department of Justice or the administration. There are things that might otherwise be appropriate that you might not do because it creates a sense in many people that power is being abused,” Powell said.

“You can’t do your job properly if you are constantly not assuming good faith on the part of policymakers. I read a lot of journals where people make statements [about the issue here]. All I know is that I hope Merrick Garland gave full weight to the prudential reasons not to execute a search warrant,” he added.

Epoch Times Photo
New York State Attorney General Letitia James gives a speech as she participates in a protest in Foley Square, after the leak of a draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito preparing for a majority of the court to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision later this year, in New York City on May 3, 2022. (Reuters/Jeenah Moon)

Political Motives? 

The civil litigation underway against Trump in New York, which is driven by allegations that Trump and his business associates practiced accounting fraud and misstated the value of assets for financial gain, in reality, has self-serving motives of its own, Michael Alcazar, a professor in the Department of Law, Political Science, and Criminal Justice at CUNY, told The Epoch Times.

“Letitia James’s civil suit appears to be politically motivated. A successful case against former President Trump would be a big boon for her career and her current bid for reelection,” Alcazar said.

“It seems evident to everyone but James that pursuing this case would be futile since Trump exercised his Fifth Amendment rights. Experts believe that without Trump’s testimony, there is no meat to her civil case,” he continued.

In Alcazar’s view, James sees Trump as a political enemy and the civil suit is a means of keeping a hostile media spotlight on the former president during the run-up to November 2024.

James may well push ahead with the litigation, but Trump’s lawyers are likely to disavow that their client had knowledge of how financial institutions undertook valuations for Trump’s real estate, Alcazar predicted.

“This will protect their client from a lawsuit from the attorney general,” he said.

The Epoch Times has reached out to the Justice Department and James’s office for comment. SOURCE




Parent Sues School Over Transgender BRAINWASHING


California parent Jessica Konen is suing her local school district for secretly indoctrinating her 6th grade daughter into the cult of transgenderism, convincing her to change her gender identity, all while urging her not to discuss the situation with her mother because she could not be “trusted.”

The behavior of these woke teachers matters not only because parents – as opposed to the government – are supposed to be in charge of raising their own children, but also because transgenderism is a treacherous ideology that threatens the very underpinnings of both our society and Western civilization as a whole.

Plenty of gays recognize it is wrong to push transgender ideology onto children

It is not about homosexuality or bisexuality, which Americans have become increasingly tolerant of in recent years. Many Americans are even supportive of transgender people when they are consenting adults, but they do not support groomers’ efforts to force impressionable children to renounce their birth sex and pretend to be something they are not. The rise of groups such as Gays Against Groomers, whose members are aghast at reports of little kids being forced to attend drag queen performances, shows that plenty of gays recognize it is wrong to push transgender ideology onto children.

It is about totalitarian thought control. The advocates of transgenderism, backed by the Biden-Harris regime, would force Americans to recognize an individual’s professed gender identity even if it doesn’t match the person’s birth sex. Forcing people to say things they know aren’t true is the essence of totalitarianism.

As I have written before, just about no one cared about the previously miniscule number of consenting adults having sex-reassignment surgery or hormone therapy until the Left started to demand that people think of these things as normal and forced these beliefs on children.

The Left doesn’t care about how many victims it creates, even as it breaks the fragile bodies of young people who lack the maturity to make informed decisions – decisions that will come back to haunt them in their later years.

Advocated by these radicals, puberty blockers, which can harm young people, are being prescribed for children who are now, because of incessant propaganda, reporting discomfort with their sex in record numbers. Long-term use of these drugs adversely affects brain development, bone density, and fertility but more and more medical doctors are violating the Hippocratic Oath by supporting their use on gender-confused young people.

Konen is suing with the assistance of the Center For American Liberty

Which brings us to the case of Jessica Konen, whose young daughter was pressured to join the destructive cult.

Konen is suing with the assistance of the Center For American Liberty, a nonprofit that, according to its website, is “fighting against growing anti-free speech and anti-civil liberties trends.” The legal complaint (pdf) in the case was filed June 14 in the Monterey County office of the Superior Court of California.

San Francisco-based attorney Harmeet K. Dhillon is spearheading the legal effort. Dhillon is CEO of the Center For American Liberty.

Parents have “the right to know what is going on in their child’s school,” Dhillon told Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” as she explained how teachers pushed the young girl to join an “Equality Club” aimed at convincing students to embrace new gender identities.

“They invited kids, including Jessica’s daughter, to be in this club, and they told these kids, do not tell your parents, and specifically Jessica’s mom, do not tell them, they cannot be trusted,” she said.

“They gave them reading materials about transgenderism. They secretly changed the pronouns, but when in front of the parents, referred to their children by their birth pronouns. Behind the parents’ back, in the school, [they] used their new identity. All this was done secretly.”

Teachers were persistent as they encouraged the child to change her name to a masculine name and present as male in order to express the new identity

According to the legal complaint, the Spreckels Union School District near San Jose adopted a “parental secrecy policy” that “authorizes minor children to make mature, consequential, and potentially life-altering decisions—such as what gender to identify as; how to express their gender identity, including, but not limited to, females binding their breasts so they look more like males; what name to be called; what pronouns to use; and what privacy facilities to use—with no notification to or input from parents.”

Teachers at Buena Vista Middle School in the school district took Konen’s daughter, A.G., 11 at the time, and recruited her into an “Equality Club” in which she was advised that she may be transgender and bisexual, two concepts that were not familiar to her. At one point teachers changed the name of the club to UBU, or “You Be You,” to avoid detection by parents. A.G. attended Buena Vista from fall 2018 to spring 2021 for the 6th through 8th grades.

A.G. attended a club meeting at the suggestion of a friend after 6th grade instruction began. The girl was not interested in the discussion and decided not to attend future club meetings. But two weeks later a teacher asked her to return to the club, telling her she “fit in perfectly.” A.G. began attending the meetings again. Teachers told her at first that she was bisexual even though she did not understand the concept of bisexuality. Not long after, teachers told the girl she was transgender even though she did not grasp the concept, the legal complaint stated.

Teachers were persistent as they encouraged the child to change her name to a masculine name and present as male in order to express the new identity. Despite the emotional trauma they inflicted on the young girl, the teachers told her not to let her mother know about this because her mother supposedly could not be “trusted.”

They also forced A.G. to read articles about how to conceal her newly discovered transgender status from her mother. The teachers created a “Gender Support Plan” that directed faculty to call the daughter by a new name, male pronouns, and to allow her to use the unisex teachers’ restroom.

The school deliberately deceived Konen about her child’s assumed gender identity by using the girl’s birth name and feminine pronouns when the mother was present

The California Department of Education officially encourages young children to embrace transgender identities. Even though the U.S. Supreme Court had held that parents have the right to direct the upbringing and education of their children, it is the department’s position that schools ought to keep secrets from parents; its recommended reading list promotes books for kindergartners about students undergoing gender identity transition.

During the brainwashing process, A.G. took on a new gender identity different from her female sex at birth, as well as a boy’s name and masculine pronouns, according to the legal complaint.

A.G.’s original identity went down the memory hole as teachers began referring to her by her new name and pronouns. Her name was changed in educational records and she was allowed to use the teachers’ unisex bathroom, all without informing her mother.

The school deliberately deceived Konen about her child’s assumed gender identity by using the girl’s birth name and feminine pronouns when the mother was present. When Konen was not present, the teachers resumed calling the girl by a boy’s name and using masculine pronouns.

Teachers told A.G. not to tell “her mother about her new gender identity, and by otherwise concealing facts regarding A.G.’s new gender identity from Ms. Konen.”

The teachers’ actions “also violated Ms. Konen’s and A.G.’s rights under federal and state law 

Konen had said she “supports her daughter, regardless of the decisions she makes. Ms. Konen simply wants to be a part of her daughter’s life and exercise her rights as a parent to direct the upbringing of her child.”

But the teachers deprived Konen of her parental rights during a crucial phase of her daughter’s development by “choosing for themselves how to direct A.G.’s upbringing regarding the major life decision of A.G.’s gender identity, and concealing critical facts from Ms. Konen, her parent.”

The teachers’ actions “also violated Ms. Konen’s and A.G.’s rights under federal and state law and inflicted serious emotional and mental harm upon them.”

This case is not an outlier.

As California and federal officials continue to advocate for transgenderism, more such lawsuits are coming.

Count on it. SOURCE

Brothers and sisters in Christ, my hat is off to this lady. She is right and she is expressing her opinions while she still can!

I do believe there will come a day when we will be tossed in jail and charged with being domestic terrorists for speaking against the transgender lies.