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The Struggle Continues… Presidents Are Not Kings By Sherry Cannon

If you have been following the Impeachment Inquiries into whether President Donald Trump should be brought up on Impeachment charges these last few weeks, you know that there has been enormous evidence that he is guilty of abuse of power, bribery, and intimidation, which falls under high crimes and misdemeanors and impeachable offense.

The Trump administration has done everything possible to stymie the investigation into his withholding $391 million dollars that Congress had allocated for military support to the Ukrainian government. Trump had refused to release the funding unless the Ukrainian President agreed to make a public declaration that he would begin an investigation into corruption by Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Right before Thanksgiving, the administration was given some bad news when US District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ruled that former White House counsel Donald McGahn had to comply with a Congressional subpoena to testify. Judge Jackson stated in her ruling that “the administrations assertion of “absolute testimonial immunity” has no foundation in law and conflicts with key tenets of our constitution’s order.”

She continued to say, “The primary takeaway from the past 250-years of recorded American history is that Presidents are not kings. This means that they do not have subjects bound by loyalty or blood, whose destiny they are entitled to control. Rather in this land of liberty it is indisputable that current and former employees of the White House, work for the people of the United States, and that they take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Around the same time the Impeachment Inquiry started in DC, in the Peoria Federal courtroom of Judge Jim Shadid, thirteen men are being tried under the federal RICO Law. They are alleged to have terrorized through fear and intimidation citizens of Peoria, as part of a street gang called Bomb Squad.

The “RICO Law”, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act is a federal law passed in 1970. Before RICO, prosecutors could only try mob-related crimes individually.

RICO allows for prosecution of all individuals involved in a corrupt organization. While RICO was originally aimed at the Mafia, over the past 35-years prosecutors have used it to attack many forms of organized crimes, street gangs, cartels, corrupt police departments and even politicians. To charge under RICO, at least two predicated crimes within 10-years must have been committed through the enterprise.

An enterprise can be a crime family, street gang, or cartel. However, it also can be a corporation or a political party. Thirty-five offenses are identified as constituting racketeering, including gambling, murder, kidnapping, arson, drug dealing and bribery.

Donald Trump and his cronies orchestrated a bribery and extortion scheme to pressure the President of Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 US elections. Although, they alleged no harm no foul, because the money was released and no investigation into the Biden’s by the Ukraine’s occurred, the only thing that stopped the investigation was that they got busted!

Key Trump administration members testify before the House Intelligence Committee. Former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch described how she was ousted by the president because she refused to be a part of the corruption and extortion scheme.

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani conducted a back channel of misinformation against the ambassador. Her superior Secretary of State Pompeo refused to give a statement of support in her defense. Yovanovitch testified that Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan told her that she had done nothing wrong, but that there was a deliberate campaign against her, because the President wanted her gone.

FOIA’d records by an ethics watchdog group, American Oversight, showed Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo and Rudy Giuliani had at least two phone conversations in the weeks before US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was removed from her post.

David Holmes, a state department official with the US Embassy in Ukraine recounted an incident where he over-heard a telephone conversation between Donald Trump and EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland. Holmes testified he heard a loud Donald Trump asking Ambassador Sondland if Ukraine’s President Volodymr Zelensky was going to call for the investigation of the Biden’s. Sondland replied that the president would do whatever Trump wanted him to do. Holmes further testified that Sondland stated that Donald Trump did not give a “expletive” about Ukraine.

Fiona Hill, former top National Security Council official for Europe and Russia during her testimony warned Republicans against spreading false conspiracy theories about Ukraine. They were maintaining that Ukraine rather than Russia was the country who interfered in our 2016 elections.

Hill said that this theory being pushed by Intelligence Committee Republican members is a fictional narrative and by implicating Ukraine rather than Russia is tearing our nation apart. She went on to say that “truth is being questioned and our highly professional, expert foreign service is being undermined.”

Recently, additional information has been released from private testimony given to the House Intelligence Committee. We now know that two officials with the Office of Management and Budget resigned after expressing their concern over President Trump’s decision to freeze the military aid to Ukraine.

We now also know that President Trump was told about the whistleblower, an anonymous intelligence officer who filed the complaint with the intelligence inspector general, prior to his decision to unfreeze the $391 million in military aid.

As we await the outcomes of the thirteen Black men in Peoria Federal court who are being tried under the RICO Law; I can’t help but wonder if the long arm of the law will work the same way for the rich and the powerful.