August 27, 2018

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Re: ‘Unintended Consequences of Impeachment’

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To the Editor:


Mr. Chang’s column is misplaced and dangerous. It uses the same types of weasel word strategies employed by Fox News to normalize the outlandish, treasonous and unprecedented administration that is currently governing the Republic. He links to a memo written by the Justice Department and claims the DOJ has “ruled” that the President is immune from criminal prosecution — in what amounts to such a simplification that it is effectively a prevarication. A memo written by the DOJ has no legal weight. Actual legal reasoning implies that the President is not immune from suit. Both Clinton v. Jones (president not immune to civil suit based on conduct that occurred before he was president), and US v. Nixon (President can be subpoenaed for documents and tapes) demonstrate that — as Chief Justice Berger wrote in the latter, the President is not above the law.

The memos do not suggest that the President is constitutionally immune to prosecution — in fact, they go through great lengths to point out that the President is likely not Constitutionally immune from suit. Suppose the President punched a protestor in the face on a rope line, would he be immune from prosecution for battery? What if there was a video of him being bribed? The memo’s arguments use vague reasoning that the President’s duties are “unique” — the legal equivalent of “because we said so.” Any court called to rule on the point will afford this reasoning the same consideration they would Mr. Chang’s article.

What was the purpose of this article? Mr. Chang seems to suggest that impeachment is an illegitimate process — what the hell are they teaching in the Government department these days? Mr. Trump is unfit for office and has likely committed crimes — for which, like every other American, he can, should and will pay the price.


Daniel D. Dauplaise ’07