Flushing the Legal Commode

Haberman book: Flushed papers found clogging Trump WH toilet
Mike Allen / Axios

—  While President Trump was in office, staff in the White House residence periodically discovered wads of printed paper clogging a toilet — and believed the president had flushed pieces of paper, Maggie Haberman scoops in her forthcoming book, “Confidence Man.”
The existence of documents officially labeled as classified in the trove — which has not previously been reported — raises new questions about why the materials were taken out of the White House….

The whole records thing is getting the attention that it is due. Politically and policy-wise, there is a bit of US Code that could stabilize the politics of America without a great investment in long prosecutions. I will quote the relevant portions, and then I will quote the entire citation:

18 U.S. Code § 2071 – Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally

(b)Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States…. [Emphasis added]

Pretty straightforward, even for a lawyer.

Were Mr. Trump to be prosecuted in a swift, fairly simple process, he would be disqualified from running in 2024 and much of the death-grip he holds over the GOP would be loosened. But this is, perhaps, too simple for our Kafkaesque process. Nonetheless…

Here is the ENTIRE legal section with citations and a link to the Cornell law site:

18 U.S. Code § 2071 – Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally

(a)Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

(b)Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 795; Pub. L. 101–510, div. A, title V, § 552(a), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1566; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(I), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)  https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2071

Now we just need to see if this is a nation of laws, or merely a nation of (corrupt and venal) men. Law in this case is either our savior or our mockery.

“I go the the ponds, but the memory of my country spoils my walk.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, on the 1854 Fugitive Slave Act.

Courage.

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One response to “Flushing the Legal Commode

  1. By the time any such prosecution got to the jury, half of the country, the R half, would believe as an article of faith that the prosecution was a D witch hunt, and any evidence produced at trial would be evidence of the guilt of the prosecutors, not Trump. Then there are the R machine judges in place who would believe the same thing however clear the evidence and simple the facts of the crime, and find plenty of ways to dismiss, before or after it got to a jury.

    I don’t think that this particular crime is unusually clear-cut, or has an unusual amount of evidence already known. We don’t lack for plenty of crimes that Trump and numerous office-holders on his side have obviously committed, for which evidence already public proves their guilt sufficient for conviction by an impartial jury and judges. What we lack is impartial judges and juries.

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