If Trump is acquitted, this truly could mean the end of the rule of law – and the end of the United States, B. Jay Cooper writes.

First published in January 2020.

The President’s defense team is going to argue that Donald J. Trump not only committed no crime but that abuse of power is not a constitutional violation.

So, no crime and abuse of power is okay.

This would mean the only way to remove a president from power is for him or her to commit a statutory crime.

With his caucus publicly firmly behind him, Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell is counting on keeping the 53 votes he has, which will mean an acquittal for Trump.

No matter your view of Trump, think what those arguments will mean if Trump is acquitted. This President will feel he has the freedom to basically do whatever he wants with his last year in office and his potential four more years in office.

With some guardrails in place, we thought there was some control on the President whoever it is. If those rails are taken away, it’s literally Katie bar the door! Think what that means for future presidents who want to make money rather than maintain the American people’s security. Or are in the pocket of a foreign government that can sway an election his or her way.

I was accepting of the fact that Trump wouldn’t be convicted but that was when I thought his legal arguments would be based on his claimed innocence.

Now, his acquittal would increase his power. There will be no check and balance on the President.

Think what a Democratic president, too, can do if he or she feels that he cannot abuse power.

This truly makes this trial more than a political trial and one that literally is about the future of this country.

If my non-legal background take is correct as outlined here, this truly can mean the end of the rule of law – and the end of this country – if Trump is acquitted. I do not believe that is overstatement.

We have to let our senators know how we feel as this trial goes on because if we don’t, those 53 senators – fearful of being the target of Trump’s wrath and his voters votes – can do as they please.

This is not about liking or disliking Donald Trump. This is about what we have believed our Constitution says about removing a President from office who has gone rogue on following the law or has sold his soul to an enemy of the country.🔷

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[This piece was originally published on the Screaming Moderate and re-published in PMP Magazine on 20 January 2020, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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(Cover: Flickr/The White House-Shealah Craighead. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)