Op-Ed by Dorothy Moon
In our society, the trust and confidence of the people in government institutions is vital. The misuse of law enforcement to target political rivals has deeply eroded Americans’ faith in our institutions.
Conservative Republicans have always emphasized the need to preserve the delicate balance of power outlined in our Constitution. Misusing law enforcement to target political rivals undermines this balance and is antithetical to the American way. We need only look at the experiences of citizens in troubled countries such as Cuba, Russia, and Nicaragua, where dictators routinely persecute their political opponents, to see how dangerous of a precedent this sets.
The American public has been inundated for 6+ years with endless allegations of criminal activity by President Donald Trump. The media and our government agencies worked hand-in-hand to spin a web of alleged Russian collusion by our President. These allegations were subject to extensive investigation, which concluded that there was insufficient evidence to establish any criminal conspiracy, but not before the media and partisan politicos used it as a bludgeon to attack their key political rival. Not surprising, when Russian collusion fell apart, new allegations of criminal activity quickly followed.
The recent indictment of President Donald Trump by Biden’s Department of Justice has a chilling effect on political discourse. It not only undermines the principles of fairness and justice, but also stifles the political process when a candidate for President is indicted by the justice department of the incumbent. When citizens fear retribution for their political alignment, the foundation of democratic debate crumbles. Americans must be able to freely engage in political discussion, without the risk of retribution. The dangers associated with a sitting US President misusing the Department of Justice to indict and arrest a top political rival cannot be ignored.
It is essential to consider this context when evaluating the misuse of the DOJ and intelligence agencies and its impact on public trust. Transparency, accountability, and adherence to the rule of law should be the cornerstones of our efforts. Implementing rigorous oversight mechanisms, promoting ethical conduct, and reinforcing the impartiality of our justice system are critical steps toward restoring public confidence.
This week, the House of Representatives had an opportunity to exhibit such rigorous oversight and promote ethical conduct, when a resolution to censure Rep. Adam Schiff (D) was presented. The resolution alleged unethical behavior when he was Chair of the House Intelligence Committee; that he “purposely deceived his Committee, Congress, and the American people” and “used his position and access to sensitive information to instigate a fraudulently based investigation, which he then used to amass political gain and fundraising dollars.” The vote to censure Rep. Schiff failed, with 20 Republicans voting with Democrats to block the censure. This is yet another disappointing failure by our government to hold accountable the actions of our elected officials.
Many Americans are left wondering if there is any hope for restoring faith in our government institutions. It would require a commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring that our law enforcement agencies and our elected officials operate independently and impartially, devoid of political influence. It is imperative that we champion the restoration of trust in our justice system. Only when we begin to uphold these principles of transparency, accountability, and impartiality, can we begin to rebuild the faith of the American people in our institutions and ensure a stronger, more resilient democracy for our children and grandchildren.
Dorothy Moon is Chair of the Idaho Republican Party.
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