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View Diary: Obama and the GOP "Criminalizing Politics" Defense of Torture (77 comments)

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  •  Nixon said (1+ / 0-)
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    pascal

    "when the President does it, it's not a crime" and the corollary of that is "when the President orders it, it's not a crime."

    Neither of those claims were refuted when Nixon resigned without having been charged and convicted of a crime.  He was, if I recall correctly, merely an unindicted co-conspirator--i.e. a candidate for a RICO prosecution, which was not on the books at the time.

    So, we've got no precedent for prosecuting those who criminally violate the prohibitions in our laws and treaties while holding high office.  Even impeachment and removal from office are political actions.  That they have to be accomplished BEFORE a high official can be prosecuted for a crime is evidence of that.

    Which is not to say that we shouldn't make an effort now that the suspects have been removed from office by a combination of the legislative and electoral process (the term limit is the legislative part).  It is to say that this is un-charted territory and, perhaps ironically, definitely a matter of looking forward, since we have no precedent to rely on.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 03:10:09 AM PDT

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