Monday, July 4, 2016

The Law should apply to EVERYONE!

Weekly Opinion Editorial

by Steve Fair

     The phrase ‘rule of law’ is the legal principle that law should govern a nation, as opposed to being governed by arbitrary decisions of individual government officials. Samuel Rutherford, a Scottish Presbyterian minister, wrote a book titled, The Law and the Prince in 1644 which   argued against the divine right of kings.  But the concept of ‘rule of law’ was addressed in 1215 in the Magna Carta, a document signed by King John recognizing the rights of his subjects to own property.  The Magna Carta planted the seeds that no one was above the law, not even the king.  Founding father, John Adams said the very definition of good government and a republic is ‘an empire of laws.” But it appears that Hillary Clinton doesn’t believe the law applies to her. 
     On Saturday, the FBI interviewed Hillary Clinton for 3 ½ hours regarding her use of a personal email server during her tenure as Secretary of State.  Accordingly to the FBI, over two thousand emails were found on the server, 65 which were deemed ‘Secret’ and 22 deemed ‘Top Secret.’  In order to get top security clearance, Clinton signed an agreement to handle classified information according to accepted protocol- and that didn’t include having a private email server.   
     Clinton appears to have clearly violated the Federal Records Act, which makes it unlawful to mishandle classified information.   By using the private server, she also violated the Freedom of Information Act, which requires government make records available to the public.   If any other American had done this, they would be paying fines and facing criminal prosecution.  The investigation into this security breach has been going on since March 2015 and the FBI is expected to finally issue their report within the next couple of weeks.  But will anything happen to Hillary?  Back in April, President Obama said that while Clinton was careless by using the private server, national security was not endangered.  This presidential pronouncement was made in the middle of an FBI investigation, which was unprecedented and sent the message that Obama had her back.  And who really believes that President Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch were talking ‘grandkids’ on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport?  The person who will make the decision on whether there is enough evidence to prosecute Clinton is having a chance meeting with her husband?  This was unacceptable behavior by the nation’s chief cop to accept the meeting.  No doubt, they never thought word would get out about the meeting. 
     Richard Nixon didn’t believe the rule of law applied to him.  He placed himself above the law and his crime was one of covering up a two bit break-in to get political campaign information.  The cover-up cost him the presidency- and it should have.  People went to jail, including the Attorney General of the U.S., the special counsel to the President, and several staffers.  Nixon lived out of the rest of his life in disgrace.  But Clinton knowingly violates an agreement to handle national security correspondence in a responsible way and it appears nothing will happen?  If she is elected president, do we have any confidence at all, she will follow the rule of law?  This is not about politics.  This is about our way of life, our system of government- the rule of law.  This should be deeply disturbing to every American, no matter their political leanings.  No elected official should be above the law.  If that is the case, then no one should be subject to the law.  Roman statesman Cicero said, “We are all servants of the laws in order that we may be free.”  There is more at stake here than Clinton’s political future.  Without the rule of law, we have no country. 

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