Is Donald Trump an accessory to legally sanctioned murder?
That could be the implication of the comments the president made at his campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina today.
Trump: We sent in the US Marshals, took 15 minutes and it was over… They knew who he was, they didn’t want to arrest him and 15 minutes that ended pic.twitter.com/fJA5BsJVeF
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) October 15, 2020
Trump was discussing the apparently cold-blooded killing of Michael Forest Reinoehl — a Portland, Oregon man who was charged with second-degree murder in the Aug. 29 shooting death of Patriot Prayer supporter Aaron “Jay” Danielson — by federal marshals in early September.
The marshals were supposedly tasked with arresting Reinoehl and bringing him before a judge for arraignment and an eventual trial by his peers as the U.S. justice system mandates under the presumption of innocence. In Trump’s eyes, and apparently in the eyes of those sent to capture the progressive activist, the presumption of guilt was the rule of the day.
Eyewitness accounts as cited by Oregon Public Broadcasting show that no attempt was actually made to try to arrest Reinoehl peacefully.
Instead, it appears as if the federal marshals did not even identify themselves or their mission before opening fire and killing the fugitive suspect.
While the official line has been that “Reinoehl jumped out of his car, his hand on the .380-caliber pistol in his pocket, defying a shouted command: “Stop! Police!” as OPB reported, Trump’s account of the incident at his rally seems to confirm the accusations of bystanders that “they heard no warning from federal agents, and saw no flashing lights that indicated the arrival of law enforcement, just a fusillade that one neighbor likened to a scene out of the video game Call of Duty.”
That such a blatant violation of human rights and the principle of due process could occur in America is shameful enough given our supposed commitment to the rule of law, but to have the president bragging about the violation as a shining example of his “Law & Order” policies while on the campaign trail, is a five-alarm banshee wail that should have every American who values their freedoms screaming for Trump’s impeachment, arrest, and conviction as soon as possible.
With the election only 19 days away, we may have to settle for simply ensuring that Trump is defeated by Joe Biden in an overwhelming landslide.
After the election, he should be held accountable a second time in the courts, once his presidential immunity dissolves in front of all of our eyes.
Yes, even Donald Trump will have the due process that was denied to Michael Reinoehl. It may be the first step on our return to normalcy in this nation.
Original reporting by Conrad Wilson and Bryan Denson at OPB.
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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.