A Felon in the White House?

By Lafe Tolliver, Esq
Guest Column

SCENARIO ONE:  The New York jury trial of Donald Trump regarding the 34 felony charges of attempting to obstruct an election by withholding vital voter evidence of his salacious affair with Stormy Daniels.

If Trump is found not guilty or is acquitted and if he wins the White House (Note: may my tongue forever cling to the ceiling of my mouth for simply uttering such an obscenity!), you will have a president who will be able to quelch the federal charges against him and possibly “ride out” the Georgia case as it becomes a nullity.

SCENARIO TWO:  If Donald Trump is convicted of any of the felony charges and is sentenced to a specified jail term, the lengthy appeals process will eat up the clock and if he wins the White House (Note: may I suffer leprosy for simply uttering such an obscenity!), he could be a convicted felon serving as president!

SCENARIO THREE: If Donald Trump is not convicted and continues to run on the GOP ticket as the presidential nominee and he loses (Note: may both of the above curses be removed from me!), he will gin up his base, both the deplorables and the ones who know better, and tell them that another election has been hijacked by the Deep State and the Biden Administration.

In any of the above three scenarios, Trump “wins” and the country loses because America continues to lose their collective common sense mindset when they repeatedly downgrade and excuse his appalling behavior, because that part of America has apparently sworn off any remembrance of the conduct of Trump while he was in office and are willing to excuse his aberrant behavior as being, “OK.”

Imagine, if you will, a presidency in which an amoral man who has openly professed that on day one of any presidency, he will be a dictator and based upon his prior love of dictators, to wit: the acts of Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin, Trump will follow in their footsteps as much as possible.

When you start imagining the optics of a felon in the White House, consider the damage it will do to the legal and voting systems when convicted felons would petition the courts for clearance to engage in politics and occupy seats in public government.

After all, their argument would be that if a person can be convicted of a felon and yet still hold public office, why am I being denied the same right or privilege?

I posit that creative criminal defense attorneys and civil rights attorneys will argue that their convicted felony clients should be afforded equal protection and equal treatment so that if Trump is permitted to occupy a public office, they should be allowed also. I will call this novel approach, the Trump Defense.

If Trump is allowed to prevail as a felon running for public office, the whole system of justice will take a severe hit because then, states, counties and the Congress will have to revise the judicial/sentencing structure to specifically elaborate on which law violations either allow or preclude a felon from occupying public office.

It is a wonder that there has not been more public discourse on the effects of a Trump felony conviction would have on the penal system since now it can be viewed that only ‘certain’ felonies should be categorized as being those crimes that automatically disqualify one from holding a public office.

The legal system did not seemingly work hand in hand with the public sector as to what crimes bar a convicted felon or a misdemeanor conviction from holding a public office; and you cannot get more public than winning the White House.

I contend that if it comes to the point that a large portion of the GOP voting populace is comfortable with a felon being in a public office, then any moral arguments about integrity, honesty and transparency will fall to the wayside as a Joke.

The only counterbalance would be to have both state and federal laws in place that specifically spell out who can qualify for public office based upon their conduct.

Any list of prohibited conduct that would preclude a person from occupying a public position of trust or power would be quite extensive due to the Herculean task of itemizing prohibited conduct that indicates a person is not “worthy” of being in a public space, paid or otherwise.

The underlying theme for such a list would be that has the American public become so inured to injurious conduct emanating from public officials that we are willing to “dumb down” the moral pre-requisites for public office?

What conduct is so offensive, foul, demeaning and corrupt that as a society we would say to those who engage in such behavior that you are not ethically equipped or of sound judgment that you should be on anyone’s public payroll?

The details of the sordid life of Donald Trump as it is again revisited in his current trial should cause everyone to cringe as the facts reveal a personality who is not mentally and morally equipped to serve since service denotes a willingness to promote the good of the public.

This Trump has demonstrably shown that he is woefully unable and unwilling to accomplish.


Contact Lafe Tolliver at tolliver@juno.com