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Politics, Prosecutors, and Procedural Fairness

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President Trump contravenes fundamental fairness by exerting political pressure over prosecutors.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives heard testimony last week from two current U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors with a disturbing story to tell. They alleged that high-level political pressure has led federal prosecutors to engage in selective antitrust investigations and to move for leniency for Roger Stone , a longtime friend and aide of President Donald J. Trump.

These latest allegations fit an unsettling pattern. Throughout his time in the White House, President Trump has tried to put pressure on both prosecutors and judges in criminal cases involving individuals close to him.

In fact, in February, President Trump even proclaimed that he possesses a legal right to interfere in prosecutions. Not only does he lack such a right under federal law, he actually has a legal duty to refrain from getting involved in individual prosecutorial matters.This duty stems from his oath of office and his responsibility, under Article II of the U.S. Constitution, to “ take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Among the laws he must ensure are faithfully executed are those aimed at protecting the legal system’s fundamental fairness.The Fifth Amendment provides that […]

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