BREAKING THE LAW
I have been asked if I believe that in their unprecedented opposition to the Presidency of Donald Trump some Democrats and other so-called progressives are breaking the law. As a staunch supporter of the Constitution and the right of free speech, freedom of the press, and the right of the American people to peacefully assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances I would have to say no in most cases.
Unfortunately, a significant number of people are crossing the line and engaging in acts that are criminal in nature. For example, the right to exercise freedom of speech is not absolute and does not give anyone the right to keep others from exercising the same right. Yet, that is what is happening all over the country when progressives use the concept of political correctness to harass and shut down anyone who dares to disagree with them.
This is happening particularly on college campuses where students are being punished by left wing professors and administrators for saying something that they disagree with. Even supporting a political candidate they disagree with can lead to sanctions. It is also being carried to the extreme when students and faculty members attempt to keep someone they don’t like from making a speech on a college campus by violently demonstrating, and even physically attacking the speakers. There is no question that this is a violation of the rights of other individuals and therefore a criminal act.
The Constitution provides Americans with the right to peacefully assemble and the operative word is “peacefully”. Millions of Americans opposed the policies of President Obama and the Democrats in control of congress. They were appalled by the passage of Obamacare that was done in secret by the Democrat controlled Congress, and by numerous other actions by the President and his allies. This resulted in the formation of grassroots organizations like the Tea Parties and people took to the streets and held rallies to express their opposition.
They carried signs and American flags, and they made speeches. They did not physically attack those who disagreed with them; they did not set fires, break windows, or assault police officers. They simply exercised their Constitutional right to peaceful assembly. Let’s fast forward to the recent demonstrations by the progressives and their allies that are anything but peaceful. They often include violence against people and private property, and these activities are almost never condemned by anyone on the left, but tacitly encouraged, even by the liberal mainstream media.
The latest moves come from the ACLU, a bogus civil libertarian organization that actually seeks to destroy our Constitutional liberties instead of preserving them. They are pushing to organize efforts to create “freedom cities” where police and other local government officials will be coerced into violating federal immigration law by protecting illegal aliens, even those with criminal convictions or potential ties to terrorism from being arrested and/or deported.
I contend that all of this amounts to a criminal conspiracy particularly since there is overwhelming evidence that some of the protestors are paid and receive the encouragement of left wing politicians like former attorney general Loretta Lynch who has called on people to take to the streets, bleed and if necessary die to bring down the Trump administration. That certainly sounds like a call for violence and the comments were contained in a video gleefully released by Senate Democrats.
This fits the classic definition of sedition that was included in the 1918 Sedition Act passed by congress that prohibited “disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language” about the U.S. government, our flag, or military during time of war. This act was ultimately upheld by the United States Supreme Court, but has been modified over the years by the dissenting opinion of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. who called for the law only to be enforced when someone created a “clear and present danger” of immediate criminal action.
I have always agreed with the position taken by Justice Holmes and later court decisions. Yet, I also believe that comments along the lines of those made by Loretta Lynch and some other progressives fall within the clear and present danger test because they encourage criminal activity. In addition, I believe that some of what is occurring today also falls within the constitutional definition of treason that includes providing “aid and comfort” to the enemies of the United States.
When someone in our government releases information that threatens our national security and provides aid and comfort to our enemies it is treason. It doesn’t matter if the information is given to ISIS, a foreign nation like Russia, China, North Korea, Iran etc. or to WikiLeaks or the New York Times, it is still treason because it endangers Americans. Further, when the New York Times, or any other news agencies publishes this leaked information, it is treason.
There is also something else to be considered. Everyone who works for our government takes the same oath of office that I took as a member of the U.S. Army, “to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” and there are federal criminal penalties for violating that oath. These penalties include a $10,000 fine, and up to one year in prison for doing anything that denigrates our constitution or attempts to destroy our Constitutional Republic.
To sum this up, I believe we are looking at a wide spread criminal conspiracy on the part of left wing organizations, elected officials, government employees, and members of the main stream media to bring down not only the Trump administration, but also the United States as we know it.
Michael Connelly blog
Constitutional Law Alliance