by Rabbi Dov Fischer
Peril awaits the America I love if the 45th president of the United States is arrested or even “just” arraigned. When a former American president is targeted by the politically despicable woke, we all face disaster.
We have rules in the American game. Most of those rules are set forth explicitly in our Constitution, its amendments, and two centuries of binding judicial opinions interpreting, adding to, or deleting rules. One might call those rules “America’s Written Law.” And then there are unwritten rules one might call “America’s Oral Law,” the traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation. How can we know what these Oral Laws of America are if they are not written anywhere? We just do.
We live in the most perilous era in American history. Even the Civil War was less threatening to the American Idea than the time in which we now live. Slavery had to be eradicated, but both sides accepted deeper truths about freedom and rights. Slavery was an evil blindness, and Dixie lost sight of what they had wrought. Even Plessy v. Ferguson’s “separate but equal” doctrine was despicable and needed to be upended, as it finally was by Brown v. Topeka Board of Education. America remained an Idea that had not yet been fully actualized. The refusal to grant citizenship to Americans of Chinese descent until the 1940s was another blight, and Asian immigrant exclusion was not repealed until 1952. Yet our society continued marching forward. Numerus clausus quotas that barred Jews from colleges, from renting homes, from working in major law firms, from being admitted to practice in major hospitals, and from working as executives at major banks and corporations remained a stain. But America still was great. It just remained for our country to become even greater — and we did. The Idea never waned.
But something tragic has unfolded since Obama rose to transform America’s culture and reverse our march forward, resetting our course back to racializing people and categorizing them by identity pigeonholes instead of as Americans. Progressives celebrate the deconstruction of America, imagining that their woke agenda rules the day and that they are closer than ever to imposing it on us all. But theirs will be a pyrrhic victory. Their blind ambition and certainty that theirs is the only path is destroying us all, them included. And if former President Donald Trump is arrested or “just” arraigned, that will lead to a catastrophe even more terrible for America.
Let it be clear: No amount of progressive and woke social tyranny ever will succeed in reversing reality. They can cancel professors, drown out speakers, and falsify news. But Americans always have included a core that would not be bowed by tyranny. Thus, for example, there are only two genders. Let’s say that a man says he is a woman. Fine. If he wants a doctor to cut off his privates and insert two silicone balloons in his chest, enjoy. If a woman wants to have that guy’s privates sewn onto her, recycling to preserve the climate, take testosterone to grow a beard, and act so masculine that Gillette buys a Super Bowl commercial to condemn transgender female toxicity, let her actualize her gender dysphoria.
But when the woke seek to coerce others to adopt their paradigm, they forget that the American Idea contemplates that everyone else also is entitled to free thought. Americans may be forced to alter their language if they lack the determination to stand their ground and fear being canceled from a job for stating reality and asserting the truth. But facts transcend politics and even America. The American Oral Law always recognized that there are only two genders. Male and Female He created them.
The American Oral Law also always accepted, with a brief interregnum in the 1950s amid a Red Scare, that people may believe as they like and may speak as they like. Those who believe in flying saucers, ghosts, Rothschild lasers, or other conspiracies may do and even say so without endangering their jobs as long as they do not disrupt the workplace with their beliefs. It always has been the American Oral Law that we allow people to remain employed as long as they do their jobs and keep their feelings and beliefs to themselves or articulate them in nonimposing, nondisruptive ways. We may boycott the products of people we choose not to patronize, but we do not fire or cancel people simply because they personally hold odious or insane views.
And it always has been part of the American Oral Law that we do not take into custody or arraign our presidents or former presidents or presidential contenders or former contenders. In 2016, so many Americans chanted or secretly whispered “Lock Her Up.” Donald Trump and his Justice Department could have locked her up. She perpetrated at least one federal felony, spoliating evidence sought in a federal criminal investigation. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. § 1519:
Whoever knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States or any case filed under title 11 [Bankruptcy law], or in relation to or contemplation of any such matter or case, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
Sheriffs have been arrested for tampering with evidence. FBI agents have been. Marines have been. Judges have been. Even Martha Stewart. But a woman who destroyed 33,000 emails about yoga classes and wedding dresses was not, despite tens of thousands chanting “Lock Her Up.” Why did she escape prosecution? (What difference does it make?) Partly because the FBI was in cahoots with her election campaign, even maintaining an FBI “workspace” in her attorneys’ law offices. But in greater measure because of America’s Oral Law: we do not arrest presidents or presidential contenders unless they have perpetrated a felonious crime so egregious that no choice is left but to cuff them.
Bill Clinton sexually harassed and abused women as Harvey Weinstein did. Weinstein will be watching Miramax movies in prison for life. Clinton will watch them in freedom. He was not arrested, not even for what he did to Kathleen Willey in the White House during his presidency. According to Willey, during an early afternoon meeting on Nov. 29, 1993, in the private study of the Oval Office, Clinton embraced her tightly, kissed her on the lips, grabbed her breast, and forced her hand on his genitals. Nor was he even arraigned for raping Juanita Broaddrick as she insists he did. Not even for perjury during the Paula Corbin Jones matter while he was in office. He faced — and beat — impeachment and never was arrested.
Donald Trump had every right and probably the influence to have his Justice Department lock her up. But for all his bluster on that front, he never actualized that slogan. If he had, he would have broken the social compact and Oral Law by which we Americans live. He would have opened a door to a political abyss. And yet now the woke, led by a George Soros district attorney in a county where Trump could never get a fair jury, would arrest former President Trump.
If that ever happens, the American Idea itself will descend into new peril. When the woke decided to bar Marjorie Taylor Greene from her rightful place on congressional committees and Paul Gosar from his two committee assignments, they brazenly enjoyed flexing their despicably despotic muscle. And what had they wrought? The moment the gavel changed hands, the despicable Jew-hating Ilhan Omar, the pathological lying Adam Schiff, and the national security threat Eric Swalwell all were ejected instantly from their House committees. That is how it works. It has to work that way. Republicans cannot allow the woke to deny conservatives’ rights with impunity when payback time comes.
And so it will be if or when Trump is arrested or “just” arraigned. The American Oral Law will be broken, and the woke will behold and experience a whirlwind such as they never could have imagined when Schumer threatened Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Politics is cyclical, and Republicans again will have the White House and both Houses of Congress, maybe very soon. If Trump is arrested, the compact is breached. The corrupt venture of Biden & Son will be arrested soon enough — the whole gang of those crooks, from the one with lap dancers on his laptop to the Big Guy making his laps in China. The “Her” in “Lock Her Up” may yet get her day to pose in orange. Statutes of limitation are tolled when fraud impedes discovery of the underlying crime. Obama forever is untouchable despite his Rizzo real estate trick. But the others are fair game.
Once we start arresting our presidents based on secondary issues that gave rise to allegations that were published but never were prosecuted for years, not even pursued by fiercely anti-Trump prosecutors like former Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., not even originally by Soros’s woke Alvin Bragg himself, America’s problems will take on a far more pernicious turn, threatening the equanimity of the Republic as we know it. Trump has survived two impeachments and one Jan. 6 kangaroo court. From marsupials to equines, he will survive the Horseface saga, too. America may not be so lucky.
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Rabbi Dov Fischer, Esq., is Vice President of the Coalition for Jewish Values (comprising over 2,000 Orthodox rabbis), was adjunct professor of law at two prominent Southern California law schools for nearly 20 years, and is Rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California. He was Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review and clerked for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit before practicing complex civil litigation for a decade at three of America’s most prominent law firms: Jones Day, Akin Gump, and Baker & Hostetler. He likewise has held leadership roles in several national Jewish organizations, including Zionist Organization of America, Rabbinical Council of America, and regional boards of the American Jewish Committee and B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation. His writings have appeared in Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Federalist, National Review, the Jerusalem Post, and Israel Hayom. A winner of an American Jurisprudence Award in Professional Legal Ethics, Rabbi Fischer also is the author of two books, including General Sharon’s War Against Time Magazine, which covered the Israeli General’s 1980s landmark libel suit. Other writings are collected at www.rabbidov.com.
Photo “Donald Trump” by Trump White House Archived.