Because the chief authorized officers of our states, attorneys normal possess an amazing energy to form public opinion and make official choices that may have an effect on the outcomes of instances.
No matter celebration affiliation, in terms of exercising the prosecutorial perform of our workplaces, there are particular guidelines that each legal professional normal agrees to — and sure traces that ought to by no means be crossed.
We must always by no means weaponize our workplace for political acquire, whatever the state of affairs, even when the sitting president of the USA is a citizen of the state we serve. Sadly, a few of my colleagues throughout the aisle have achieved simply that.
Throughout her marketing campaign, New York Lawyer Normal Letitia James threw out quite a few imprecise and baseless allegations, promising to harass and examine President Trump’s household and companies that “could also be engaged in unlawful conduct.” Though Trump was duly elected, she claims he’s an illegitimate president. That is nothing lower than a gross abuse of her workplace.
On a number of events earlier than and after her election, James accused the president of money-laundering, providing zero proof. She promised to “positively sue him,” and since her election, she has made good on that promise. Whereas she has admitted in courtroom that she doesn’t have any proof of wrongdoing, she has by no means retracted her public assertions of prison exercise. She has spent a lot of her time in workplace on anti-Trump fishing expeditions.
No prosecutor ought to run on a platform of threatening an harmless American citizen, his household and his personal companies with investigations and lawsuits — all for political acquire.
We must always additionally not search to alter state legal guidelines for the particular function of political harassment. But that’s what the New York legal professional normal supplied by promising a invoice to alter the Empire State’s double-jeopardy legal guidelines simply in case she needs to sue nonspecific individuals whom the president might at some point pardon.
Only a few months after her election, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed such a invoice into legislation, thanking James for her zealous advocacy.
That is what an abuse of prosecutorial discretion seems to be like. Equity and due course of are bedrock ideas of the American justice system. The president doesn’t have fewer rights than some other American citizen, and but the left has repeatedly violated these ideas as they antagonize him.
Daniel Goldman, who served because the Democratic majority counsel within the impeachment inquiry in opposition to the president and as workers counsel to the Home managers within the subsequent impeachment, rightfully famous within the context of James’ statements, “They offer the looks of an individualized political vendetta . . . It’s important that prosecutors keep their neutrality and an goal view of the information and the proof, regardless of the politics concerned.”
We public servants shouldn’t permit any of our colleagues on both aspect of the political spectrum to abuse the levers of presidency merely to punish our political opponents.
Whereas these actions could also be common with a liberal base that doesn’t respect the rule of legislation, they politicize the workplace of legal professional normal and create an unrealistic and shameful public notion of how a state legal professional normal operates. James’ conduct disgraces all of us who’re privileged to bear the title of legal professional normal.
Jeff Landry is the legal professional normal of Louisiana and chairman of the Republican Attorneys Normal Affiliation.