I don’t often venture into American politics.
Trump has repeatedly called for Clinton to be thrown in jail. This has provoked a howl of rage from the liberal media elite. In a civilised democracy the victor simply doesn’t imprison their opponents.
— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) October 10, 2016
At their second debate, Donald Trump vowed to imprison Hillary Clinton if he becomes President. https://t.co/GgWIvPQrwU
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) October 11, 2016
Trump's threat to imprison his political opponent is a threat to imprison ALL his opponents -and lethal to democracy https://t.co/n9YmK8OCz9
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) October 10, 2016
3. The apparatus of the executive branch—particularly DoJ—is not a tool for a president to relitigate cases whose outcomes he regrets.
— Yoni Appelbaum (@YAppelbaum) October 10, 2016
This presents us with a quandary. It is no secret that Trump faces a trial in December, it is also possible that his admission of sexual assault may cause further legal problems. As his past is dug up and more malcontents come forward, he could become the first modern presidential candidate to face conviction and imprisonment.
And there’s the problem. While US Presidents don’t have immunity from prosecution, what happens if Trump loses?
After a such a fraught campaign, where he has squared up to special interests, the media, the government, and the President herself – any prosecution of Trump looks politically motivated!
With the great and the good screaming about the damage it would do to democracy to have President Trump prosecute Clinton, to have President Clinton prosecute Trump looks like rank hypocrisy.
I don’t know what powers President Clinton would have to delay or dismiss any prosecution of Trump. But I do know that Presidents have the power to enact pardons.
As President, my primary concern must always be the greatest good of all the people of the United States whose servant I am. As a man, my first consideration is to be true to my own convictions and my own conscience.
My conscience tells me clearly and certainly that I cannot prolong the bad dreams that continue to reopen a chapter that is closed. My conscience tells me that only I, as President, have the constitutional power to firmly shut and seal this book. My conscience tells me it is my duty, not merely to proclaim domestic tranquillity but to use every means that I have to insure it.
Given the deep polarisation in American society, what better way to show grace than to pardon Trump? Clinton gets to show magnanimity and help heal her country – and Trump gets to waltz away.
Is that why he is running? Has he found a sure-fire way to ensure that his past can’t catch up with him?
Perhaps Clinton does deserve to be in jail. Perhaps they both do. But the spectacle of either being thrown in jail cheapens the appearance of democracy.