Whoever holds the office of the presidency has protections not enjoyed by ordinary citizens of this nation.
Besides the ubiquitous Secret Service detail warding off any potential threats to his well-being. Donald Trump has greatly benefited from a constitutionally-untested Justice Department interpretation claiming that he is immune from prosecution while still in office.
Salvaging and continuing that immunity is likely the primary motivation for Trump’s eagerness to be re-elected to an office that he reportedly never expected to win if you believe his former fixer Michael Cohen’s claims that the entire 2016 presidential campaign was merely a branding exercise for the publicity hound president.
Unfortunately, Trump’s heavily demonstrated lack of character — combined with his desperation over his negative polling numbers in the race — has led him to some underhanded tactics when it comes to eroding public trust in the integrity of America’s electoral system, with ballot systems run by each state individually.
Trump’s mixed-message attack on mail-in voting — essentially that it’s not to be trusted unless you live in a GOP-governed state or a member of the Trump family or administration — has created a storm of misinformation surrounding the absentee voting process, including claims of a non-existent distinction between a mail-in ballot and an absentee ballot.
In a call for an illegal tactic that the president has repeatedly been condemned for propagating, Trump again urged his supporters to commit voter fraud by voting twice, once by mail-in ballot, and then going to the polls in person again on election day to check whether their ballot has been registered.
NORTH CAROLINA: To make sure your Ballot COUNTS, sign & send it in EARLY. When Polls open, go to your Polling Place to see if it was COUNTED. IF NOT, VOTE! Your signed Ballot will not count because your vote has been posted. Don’t let them illegally take your vote away from you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 12, 2020
While voting regulations vary by state, voting twice is verboten in all of them, so the illegality here is lays entirely at the president’s feet.
After Trump posted his tweet, Twitter determined that the post had “violated the Twitter Rules about civic and election integrity.”
The social media giant, however, extended the president the courtesy not granted to mere peons in the Twitterverse.
Rather than deleting the offending post — a post that incited his supporters to commit felonies by violating voter fraud laws — Twitter hid the post behind a disclaimer that read “Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
In one way, the policy makes sense as a way of preserving evidence of electoral malfeasance that could be prosecuted when Trump is voted out of his presidential immunity, but it’s likely that Twitter could have preserved forensic evidence of the offending post without allowing its illegal call for mass voter fraud to remain publicly available.
At what point do a president’s actions go so far beyond the rule of law that he faces the consequences of those actions?
If not from the Justice Department, already so neutered by his compliant accomplice in subverting accountability for his administration, Attorney General William Barr, then at least from the proprietors of the social media platforms that Trump uses so effectively to spread his noxious messages.
The ultimate accountability will be at the ballot box in November, and in the early mail-in voting in October.
We suspect, and in our hearts know, that Trump is laying the groundwork to contest the election that he is likely to come up far short of Biden in the popular vote.
We can’t allow him to pervert the will of a free and fair democratic election. Trump must be voted out in a landslide.
Please do your part to make this our new reality!
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.