DEYAN RANKO BRASHICH was born in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, and is an Op-Ed columnist for Connecticut's Litchfield County Times.  He writes the monthly Letter From America column for Romania’s Scrisul Romanesc, a literary magazine and is the Editor-at-Large for  The Country and Abroad, another literary/art magazine where he authors the Dispatch from Abroad column. He is a frequent contributor to Pecat, the Belgrade, Serbia weekly news magazine, Britić, a magazine published in the United Kingdom, Ekurd Daily, a multinational Kurdish news portal and Passport, a lifestyle quarterly. He resides in New York City and Washington, Connecticut.

 

 

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Tuesday
Nov132018

I TOLD YOU SO

I am as petty as Donald Trump or the next guy. I love it when I am proven right. I indulge in “I told you so’s” to my heart’s content. I revel in rubbing your nose in blind stupidity. I extol the correctness of my political punditry. When the New York Times starts publishing my rants as serious editorials - op-eds questioning the one man, one vote hoax, the folly of calling the United States Senate a “democratic” institution, the stupidity of ten rural bigots controlling the Senate and mandating the future of 200 million coastal residents, condemning the archaic legislative rules &tc - I feel not only vindicated, but celebrated.

Hey, nobody is perfect - not me, not the Pope, not even Donald J. Trump.

With that in mind, I republish an Op-Ed which was my last heads up before the disastrous 2016 election. However this was just the last of my calls for a course correction before that election – see I Call it Treason; To Vote or Not To Vote; Don’t Blame Me – You Voted for Them; Change by Ballot – Revolution by Bullet – Your Choice; In Defense of Donald Trump; The Presidential Debate – What Debate; The Trump Penthouse Foundation; Trump – A Picture – A thousand Words; Trump’s Pre-Packaged Political Suicide – all published before the election.

So, let me indulge in a little more “I told you so” and ask you to read my September 16, 2016 rant:

 

INDICT THEM AND BE DONE WITH THEM

It seems that the whole world is following America’s presidential election. As with the Brexit vote in Great Britain, the result will affect not only America’s future but that of a number of other countries as well, if not the whole world. 

One of the benefits of not voting and refusing to participate in the flawed American presidential election process is that I favor no one. You take no sides. You take no prisoners. You have no dogs in the fight. You are an equal opportunity detractor, a free agent without constraint to visit a pox on both the Republicans and Democrats’ Houses.

This election cycle has been full of charges, allegations, innuendos and suggestions of wrongdoing by both candidates. I, like Colin Powell in his recently hacked emails, find them badly wanting.

I will refrain from repeating Powell’s ad hominem remarks but note that the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated Hillary Clinton’s misuse of emails and a private server while Secretary of State and that the Internal Revenue Service fined Donald Trump and his Foundation for illegal political contributions. These are just tips of icebergs when it comes to the candidates.

Both Hillary and The Donald have decades long checkered pasts. Hillary has Whitewater with lost documents miraculously found to contend with, not to mention her uncanny good luck with Refco cattle futures bets earning $100,000 on a $1,000 stake. The Donald has the Polish unpaid illegal alien demolition workers, the Trump not-really-a-University fraud and a bunch of sketchy investments that just skated by local and federal indictments, all earning him millions.  

Politifact, an organization that verifies political facts, as quoted in today’s New York Times reported that thirteen [13%] percent of Hillary Clinton’s statements as a candidate for President were “false”, not true, simply lies. Likewise, it reported that fifty-three [53%] percent of Donald Trump’s statements were “false”, likewise not true, likewise lies.

As a non-partisan observer, I suggest that we invoke the provisions of Title 18 United States Code § 1001 and indict both candidates and be done with them, throwing the election to an independent candidate, whoever that may be. He can’t be any worse than these two. At least we will have broken the unsavory and undemocratic monopoly of America’s two-party political system.

Section 1001 [a] [2] provides that “whoever”, and that includes Hillary and The Donald, “in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States”, and that certainly includes the election for the president of the United States, “makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation … shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years … or both”.

As for probable cause apparently, no one disputes that both Hillary and The Donald have made at least one “materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent” statement during the campaign. If so, indict them and let a jury decide as to innocence or guilt. At least we will have made them justify the statements in a court of law, and not in the court of reality television. 

If this is not enough, then invoke the provisions of § 1001 [a] [1] which make it illegal to “knowingly and willfully” falsify or conceal a material fact. Donald Trump’s failure to disclose his income tax returns conceals a material fact – his fitness to be President. If that does not do it, then bring charges of misrepresentation and perjury, the false statements on Trump’s federal disclosure form claiming profit on his Scottish golf resort while simultaneously claiming loss to the British Government. 

As for Hillary, invoke the provisions of Title 18 United States Code § 798 [The Espionage Act of 1917] which provides that “[w]hoever knowingly and willfully communicates … transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person … in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States any classified information … [s]hall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”

The “[t]erm ‘classified information’ means information which, at the time of a violation of this section, is, for reasons of national security, specifically designated by a United States Government Agency for limited or restricted dissemination or distribution”.  

For probable cause, I cite a 2012 Hillary Clinton email made public by the Department of State with a “C” for classified “portion marking” dealing with a situation then pending in Malawi. The email was heavily redacted signifying “that the information was classified at the time and dealt with sensitive government deliberations”. This seems to clearly fit within the parameters of the definition of the crime, so indict away. Again, let a jury decide guilt or innocence and do away with “prosecutorial discretion”, often bought with either cash or political favor.

After much thought, this is best solution to America’s election dilemma that I can come up with.

 

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