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A Blueprint for Tyranny: Trump v. United States

The Existential Threat to American Liberty

The 2024 United States presidential election is a pivotal moment in American history. It has significant implications for the future of American liberty and the integrity of its democratic institutions. The Supreme Court decision in the Trump v. US ruling examines the extent of presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for actions taken during a president’s tenure. This decision highlights the potential dangers of unchecked executive power.

Presidential Immunity and Legal Loopholes

Former President Trump has a history of exploiting legal loopholes. He might argue that any criminal actions he commits are official, using the presumption of immunity to his advantage. This could allow him to act first while legal decisions take years. Given his age and the current political landscape, this poses immediate dangers.

Official vs. Unofficial Acts: A Smokescreen

The Supreme Court’s focus on distinguishing official from unofficial acts hides broader issues:

  • Laundering Unofficial Acts: Unofficial acts can be funneled through official processes, making them immune from prosecution. This process can turn clearly criminal behavior into acts protected by presidential authority.
  • Presumption of Official Acts: All presidential acts are presumed official at first. The government must prove otherwise, which can take years.
  • Unreviewable Pardon Power: Chief Justice Roberts stated that presidential pardons are unreviewable by Congress and the courts. This means a president could potentially pardon themselves for any crimes, including those deemed unofficial.

Implications of Unreviewable Pardon Power

If courts and Congress cannot review presidential pardons, a president could pardon themselves after committing criminal acts. This includes:

  • Unofficial Acts: Even if acts are unofficial and criminal, a president could still pardon themselves, avoiding legal consequences.
  • Presumptively Official Acts: Acts considered official but later indicted could also be pardoned. The lengthy litigation process ensures delayed prosecution.

Activist Supreme Court Majority

The current Supreme Court majority has shown tendencies that align with Trump’s interests:

  • Sympathy for January 6 Actions: At least two justices, or their spouses, have shown sympathy for the January 6 coup attempt.
  • Kavanaugh’s Threats: Justice Brett Kavanaugh openly threatened Democrats during his confirmation hearings, suggesting a personal vendetta.

Lack of Accountability Due to Age

Trump, at 78, is unlikely to face accountability for any questionable acts due to his age. The slow pace of litigation and his advancing age mean he may never be held responsible.

A President Above the Law

The Supreme Court’s decision in Trump v. US creates a situation where the president operates above the law.

Hypothetical Scenario: Trump Orders the Murder of Members of Congress Using SEAL Team 6

During arguments at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Florence Pan asked Trump’s lawyer, John Sauer, if a president could order SEAL Team 6 to assassinate a political rival and still be immune from prosecution. This hypothetical was used to challenge the extent of presidential immunity being claimed by Trump’s legal team.

Imagine Trump ordering the assassination of prosecutors pursuing charges against him. He could frame this as an official presidential duty. By claiming the assassination was necessary for national security, Trump could argue it falls within his official acts. This would exploit the presumption that presidential actions are official, complicating the government’s efforts to prove otherwise.

Trump could use his pardon power to absolve those who carried out the assassination, laundering this act through official channels. Historically, Trump has issued controversial pardons, showing his willingness to use this power extensively. The complexity of challenging the official nature of these acts in court would further hinder legal proceedings.

As litigation over the assassination’s official status drags on, Trump could pardon himself and those involved. Given the Supreme Court’s stance that presidential pardons are unreviewable, this self-pardon would place him and his associates above the law, preventing any criminal prosecution. Additionally, Trump could order the assassination of investigators, claiming these acts as necessary to protect his presidency.

Escalating Retaliation

In an alarming escalation, Trump could order the assassination of prosecutors, claiming retaliation as an official act. This could be laundered through official channels. Trump could use his pardon power to absolve those involved, complicating legal challenges and avoiding accountability.

Unchecked Presidential Power: A Threat to Democracy

Without oversight, widespread human rights abuses could occur, especially among vulnerable populations like those experiencing homelessness. Many individuals without homes suffer from mental illness, cognitive decline, and poor health, and lack support networks. The absence of accountability and oversight would exacerbate these abuses, causing catastrophic harm.

This scenario underscores the severe risks of unchecked presidential power. Illegal acts can be laundered through official processes and unreviewable pardons, allowing a president to operate with impunity. This undermines the rule of law and threatens democratic governance. Without oversight, a lawless president could cause catastrophic harm, with no one to hold them accountable.