Not Virtuous

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R, FL)

This is a deceptive headline, because I’m talking about myself.

Almost five months have passed since the general election. More than two of those months, we have had a new President. We had the new Attorney General, Merrick Garland, confirmed by the Senate three weeks ago.

I want charges.

I recognize that patience is a virtue, and I try to be patient. The wheels of justice turn slowly when prosecutors are working properly. But I’ve been around long enough to recognize that political operatives of both parties have experience in accusing their opposition of heinous crimes and even demonstrating certain culpability, only to ignore the offenses once the officeholder has been removed.

It’s not a good idea to establish a history of prosecuting wrongdoers in office, not if you expect your associates to commit crimes as well and especially not if you are considering violating the law.

Some states and countries have long histories of prosecuting former authorities. It’s a mixed bag; some use charges as a political attack tool, while others reserve them to address actual injustices. The first result must be avoided, but not at the expense of the rule of law.

People in high office should not be held to a lesser standard, and that is exactly that we’re seeing if charges are not forthcoming on Trump and his associates. Even granting something I feel is very unlikely – that the former President is innocent of all of the allegations arrayed against him despite his demonstrated guilt in previously investigated criminal activity – there are more than enough indications of potential guilt to warrant criminal charges.

Instead, we’re treated to yesterday’s news that a civil suit has been allowed to proceed against Trump, and that one of his closest associates may have been involved in underage prostitution – no, not Jeffrey Epstein, he’s dead. No, not Roger Stone or Paul Manafort, either. Matt Gaetz. Yes, I know it’s hard to keep up. I digress. We’re given these bits of news, and I’m certainly interested in hearing how the story progresses on Gaetz.

I don’t want him to step down and go over to Newsmax. I don’t want him to retire to a quiet lobbying position or a minor voting seat on a corporate board or a managerial slot at a college. I want him charged for his crime. I want other Republicans and Democrats and Independents alike charged for crimes they committed while in office. I certainly want Trump charged for his crimes.

And I’m getting tired of waiting. Stalling until people have, if not forgotten the offenses of prior officeholders, at least shifted their focus to current events is an old and successful tactic for politicians both elected and appointed. Perhaps the prosecutors involved here, in New York and in the Attorney General’s office, are working diligently on tightening their cases, but they need to be aware that the actions of their predecessors have made some of us dubious about their intent.

The easiest way to quell those concerns is to take that important step forward in criminal proceedings against Gaetz and against Trump. If they need to be announced in waves, with new charges arising as more facts are uncovered, so be it. I’m waiting.

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.