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INDICT THEM BOTH AND BE DONE WITH IT

hilari-trumpDeyan Ranko Brashich

One of the benefits of not voting and refusing to participate in the flawed American presidential election process is that I favor no one. You take no sides. You take no prisoners. You have no dogs in the fight. You are an equal opportunity detractor, a free agent without constraint to visit a pox on both the Republicans and Democrats’ Houses.

This election cycle has been full of charges, allegations, innuendos and suggestions of wrongdoing by both candidates. I, like Colin Powell in his recently hacked emails, find them badly wanting.

I will refrain from repeating Powell’s ad hominem remarks but note that the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated Hillary Clinton’s misuse of emails and a private server while Secretary of State and that the Internal Revenue Service fined Donald Trump and his Foundation for illegal political contributions. These are just tips of icebergs when it comes to the candidates.

Both Hillary and The Donald have decades long checkered pasts. Hillary has Whitewater with lost documents miraculously found to contend with, not to mention her uncanny good luck with Refco cattle futures bets earning $100,000 on a $1,000 stake. The Donald has the Polish unpaid illegal alien demolition workers, the Trump not-really-a-University fraud and a bunch of sketchy investments that just skated by local and federal indictments, all earning him millions.

The Politifact Organization, whatever the fuck that is, as quoted in today’s New York Times reported that thirteen [13%] percent of Hillary Clinton’s statements as a candidate for President were “false”, not true, simply lies. Likewise, it reported that fifty-three [53%] percent of Donald Trump’s statements were “false”, likewise not true, likewise lies.

As a non-partisan observer, I suggest that we invoke the provisions of Title 18 United States Code § 1001 and indict both candidates and be done with them, throwing the election to an independent candidate, whoever that may be. He can’t be any worse than these two. At least we will have broken the unsavory and undemocratic monopoly of America’s two party political system.

Section 1001 [a] [2] provides that “whoever”, and that includes Hillary and The Donald, “in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States”, and that certainly includes the election for the president of the United States, “makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation … shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years … or both”.

As for probable cause apparently no one disputes that both Hillary and The Donald have made at least one “materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent” statement during the campaign. If so, indict them and let a jury decide as to innocence or guilt. At least we will have made them justify the statements in a court of law, and not in the court of reality television.

If this is not enough, then invoke the provisions of § 1001 [a] [1] which make it illegal to “knowingly and willfully” falsify or conceal a material fact. Donald Trump’s failure to disclose his income tax returns conceals a material fact – his fitness to be President. If that does not do it, then bring charges of misrepresentation and perjury, the false statements on Trump’s federal disclosure form claiming profit on his Scottish golf resort while simultaneously claiming loss to the British Government.

As for Hillary, invoke the provisions of Title 18 United States Code § 798 [The Espionage Act of 1917] which provides that “[w]hoever knowingly and willfully communicates … transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person … in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States any classified information … [s]hall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”

The “[t]erm ‘classified information’ means information which, at the time of a violation of this section, is, for reasons of national security, specifically designated by a United States Government Agency for limited or restricted dissemination or distribution”.

For probable cause, I cite a 2012 Hillary Clinton email made public by the Department of State with a “C” “portion marking” dealing with a situation then pending in Malawi. The email was heavily redacted signifying “that the information was classified at the time and dealt with sensitive government deliberations”. This seems to clearly fit within the parameters of the definition of the crime, so indict away. Again let a jury decide guilt or innocence and do away with “prosecutorial discretion”, often bought with either cash or political favor.

After much thought, this is best solution to America’s election dilemma that I can come up with.

 

DEYAN BRASHICH 02Deyan Ranko Brashich is a contributor writing from New York. He is the author of Letters from America, Contrary Views and Dispatches. His contact and blog “Contrary Views” is at www.deyanbrashich.com
 

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