On the front of the Supreme Court building in Washington is the phrase “Equal Justice Under Law”. It has been there since 1932, and paraphrases an 1891 Supreme Court ruling. In it, the justices reaffirmed the constitutional principle that every citizen or group of citizens is entitled to equal justice under the law.
Just above the inscription is a carving of a group of famous people through history, who have contributed to the evolution of our legal system. Interestingly, only one of those men is facing forward, and he is located in the center. It is Moses, who wrote the first five books of the Bible.
Despite our high ideals, the system has sometimes failed to deliver. And it seems that those failings are more frequent in modern America. Many Americans feel they do not get a fair shake from their government, that it seems to be their adversary rather than their ally. All the while, the government steadily grows larger, fueled by borrowed money and promises from liberal politicians.
President Trump shocked the world two years ago, when he was elected president. He pledged to “drain the swamp”, which was one of the greatest campaign slogans of all time. He connected with many Americans, who understood exactly what he was saying about the swamp. And they blame the swamp for some unfair treatment of citizens.
We have recent examples of unequal treatment under the law.
The first is the case of Michael Flynn, former National Security Advisor to President Trump. Flynn is a retired three star general in the Army. He ran afoul of the Obama administration by challenging its claims that the threat of Islamic terrorism was “receding”. In fact, just two days after the election, Obama told Trump that he had “profound concerns” over the appointment of Flynn. Trump proceeded to nominate Flynn as National Security Advisor, and Flynn began work with the new administration.
Just one week after the presidential inauguration, Flynn got a phone call from the FBI. There was some routine business to discuss, followed by a remark that the FBI would like to discuss a sensitive matter in person. Flynn agreed to meet at his White House office.
James Comey, FBI Director, personally approved the interview approach. Two FBI agents met Flynn; one was named Peter Strzok. Yes, that same Peter Strzok who was texting his girlfriend (Lisa Page) about his dislike of President Trump. There were more than 200 negative mentions of Trump in his text messages, and none of Hillary Clinton.
Flynn asked if he should summon a lawyer from the White House counsel’s office; Strzok replied that if he did, Strzok “would need to involve the Department of Justice”. So Flynn proceeded without counsel. The FBI report said that Flynn was “unguarded”, and “clearly viewed the FBI agents as his allies.” He even gave them a tour of the west wing of the White House.
Later, he was charged federal crimes, lying to a federal agent. He has spent most of his personal net worth defending himself against these charges.
The second case is that of Hillary Clinton, Democrat nominee for president. She was investigated for using her personal email to send classified government documents, while serving as Secretary of State under Obama. After many months of FBI investigative work, Clinton finally agreed to an interview, with carefully negotiated conditions.
When informed that Clinton would bring 9 lawyers to the interview, the FBI’s Lisa Page decided that the FBI would only send 4, so that “the future president” (her words) would not be offended. Yes, the same Lisa Page who was Strzok’s girlfriend. Meanwhile, Comey drafted a statement exonerating her from wrongdoing. Yes, he did that before the interview.
With Lisa Page present for the interview, Clinton uttered the words “I do not recall” dozens of times. She also claimed that she didn’t know what (C) signified in emails; yet, this is common knowledge for anyone who has handled classified information. C is for Confidential. It is one classification lower than Secret, which is one classification lower than Top Secret.
Within days, Comey made a public statement that Clinton had been “extremely careless” in her handling of classified information on her personal email server.
She has never been charged with a crime.
Equal justice under the law? We can do better, and the American people know it. They yearn for the draining of the swamp. Get on with it.
Scott S. Kramer is Chairman of the Republican Party of Kendall County.