Republicans Step into the ‘Do Something’ Trap

New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg has certainly gotten everyone excited with his application of the Beria gambit. His “show me the man and I’ll show you the crime” approach to election interference -- while calling it law enforcement -- has raised eyebrows across the political spectrum. He has even triggered the Republicans to propose legislation protecting current and former presidents from politically motivated prosecution.

Unfortunately, the proposed legislation fails the same logic test that almost all gun-control proposals fail. Advocates of gun control can never explain how their proposals would have prevented the last headline shooting. Similarly, the Republican proposal would not have prevented the Alvin Bragg circus either. It won’t fix the issue and it wouldn’t have protected Trump, because it ignores the root problem.

The No More Political Prosecutions Act (NMPPA), proposed by Rep. Russell Fry (R-S.C.), would grant indicted presidents a right to an automatic change of venue if desired. It would give former presidents the ability to neuter a crusading rogue local official, and move their case to a federal court. Unfortunately, even if the act were to pass and survive a presidential veto, it wouldn’t fix anything. We should ask the same questions about this act that conservatives use when debating gun control. Would the proposed act have prevented Alvin Bragg from using the power of his office to interfere with an election? There are at least five reasons why this act fails to address the problem of government weaponization for political purposes.

Processes to assemble grand juries, indict offenders, and try defendants before local juries are merely tools granted local District Attorneys (DAs). As with gun control arguments, the problem isn’t the tools, but the person wielding those tools.

Our root problem is that we have rogue law enforcement officials who are willing to use their tools for illegal purposes -- such as violating a person’s civil rights for political purposes. They do so with impunity because they face no consequences for their offenses. The solution isn’t to take their tools away. It’s to hold them accountable for the oath they swore to us.

If we have an Alvin Bragg problem, disarming all DAs, including the ethical ones, is not the solution. If Bragg violated Donald Trump’s (or our) civil liberties, he should go to jail for it. Fortunately, there’s already a criminal statute against such an offense – Misconduct by Law Enforcement and other Government Actors -- Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law (18 USC §242).

Unfortunately, the statute can only be enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice, which is also violating our civil rights -- under the color of law, for political purposes. The act doesn’t fix that.

Assuming the act were in place, and Trump exercised his right to a change of venue after his indictment, his case would be moved to a federal court, where the prosecution would be conducted by a U.S. Attorney -- working for Merrick Garland. Would Donald Trump’s civil rights be better protected with this change of venue?

What would happen if another local DA indicted another former president on a different criminal offense? What if some fictitious former Oval Office occupant were indicted for raping an underage girl on a private plane called the Lolita Express and then opted for a change of venue? Would that defendant receive equal treatment to that of Donald Trump in a federal court -- by a Garland DoJ? Given that our corrupt two-tiered justice system remains unaddressed, will the proposed act prevent future unequal applications of the law?

The act will provide an extra layer of protection for presidents who may actually be criminals. Is that what we really want -- some citizens having “special” protection?

Let’s say hypothetically, that some ex-president named Brandon committed a crime while attending a summit meeting at a location with an ethical DA. He becomes indicted in that locale for a crime committed there, and exercises his right to a change of venue.

Would President Brandon’s political affiliation come into play under a Garland DoJ? Or would Democrats continue to benefit, and Republicans suffer, under a two-tiered criminal justice system? Do we really wish to tie the hands of local DAs in a situation such as this -- where a real crime was committed?

The bigger problem isn’t that Republican presidents face political persecution. It’s that all of us not aligned with leftist politics, face political persecution. Observe the treatment of the January 6 defendants. The Trump indictment and the January 6 prosecutions are symptoms of the same political illness.

Giving former presidents an extra layer of protection fails to address the actual problem. Our Constitution is becoming irrelevant because our government has been weaponized against political opponents at all levels. The proposed act leaves that problem unaddressed. It treats the symptom without excising the tumor.

When it comes to attacking our constitutionally protected rights, local DAs are strictly “bush league.” The real pros are our “public servants” at the DoJ and FBI -- the very people charged with protecting our rights. The list of protected rights which they have not protected is legion, and growing by the day. Our “protectors” have in fact attacked our:

  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of religion
  • Freedom of assembly
  • Freedom of the press
  • Freedom from unreasonable search

Rep. Fry’s bill would merely turn presidential prosecutions over to the worst offenders. Can a political prosecution of some future ex-president be prevented by placing it in the hands of the people who gave us the Russian collusion hoax and the Mueller investigation?

Clearly, Fry’s legislation will not prevent political prosecution of former presidents. It can’t solve the perceived problem, because the perceived problem isn’t the actual problem -- government corruption. His bill satisfies the emotional craving to “do something.” But the “something” it does will not prevent a recurrence of the issue.

I have a counterproposal. Don’t attack the tools. Attack the criminals who use those tools for illegal purposes. Rather than weakening a state’s power to hold presidents accountable, strengthen every state’s power to hold all government officials accountable -- at the federal, state, and local levels.

In our system of governance, distribution of power is always more consistent with maintaining our freedom than further consolidation of power at the federal level. Fix the root problem with either a legislative or constitutional change, authorizing the states to enforce the “Color of Law” statute.

Let’s apply our gun-control logic and see if this proposal would have affected the Bragg indictment of Donald Trump. If states were empowered to prosecute violations of our constitutionally protected rights, would Alvin Bragg have still indicted Trump for a crime which he is unable to articulate? Let me ask that another way. Would Bragg have violated Donald Trump’s civil rights if Florida officials could prosecute Bragg and incarcerate him in a Florida penitentiary for violating the rights of a Floridian?

Empowering the states is the solution to our loss of constitutionally protected rights. Taking away the playthings of local district attorneys is not.

John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Idaho. He has written for American Thinker, and American Free News Network.  He can be reached at

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