Letter to the editor: Due process means Mueller’s probe must continue
When I was 18 years old I enlisted in the Navy. As part of the induction process we swore to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Although that was nearly 50 years ago, I still take that oath seriously and that is why I feel I have a personal obligation to ensure that the Special Counsel investigation continues to its conclusion.
One of the fundamental concepts of Constitutional law is “due process.” There is a procedure by which we resolve conflicts. Whether this is in our work place, financial transactions, criminal trials, lawsuits, or family conflicts, there are procedures that we follow to establish the facts and to make informed decisions about the best course of action. This is part of the “social contract” we all make as citizens.
We generally think of “due process” as an important right of the accused. Many policy and legal safeguards are in place to ensure that accusations are investigated, all interested parties are heard, conflicting information is exposed, and judgments are made thoughtfully and deliberately. As Americans we expect this kind of “due process” to ensure justice. Any innocent person should expect and demand this as a right of citizenship.
However, the other side of “due process” is the right of all citizens to feel confident that justice will be done. Just as “due process” protects the rights of the accused against false accusations, it also protects the public who have a right to know that conflicts are being resolved fairly, equitably and in accordance with established policies and laws. Any effort to by-pass, suppress, or subvert the process is an attack on the social contract that binds us together, that defines our nation.
Many people believe that President Trump and his associates may be guilty of a variety of crimes, large and small. To determine the truth of these accusations, both he and we are entitled to “due process” to determine the truth so that the appropriate actions, if any, can be taken. That is the purpose of the Special Counsel. His investigation is the first step in this process, to determine the facts of the case. It is wrong to draw conclusions before his investigation is complete and it is wrong to impede that investigation in any way.
The Special Counsel’s work must be completed to ensure that justice is done. To do otherwise is simply un-American.
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