It is no secret that Donald Trump is strongman Vladimir Putin’s greatest admirer, praising the Russian dictator even when he invades neighboring countries as an indicted war criminal. The tool at the disposal of despots Trump envies most, for keeping countries like North Korea and Russia in line, is their total impunity of action.

Trump is now asking for the best America can offer, for now: immunity from criminal prosecution – for sending mobs to attack the US Capitol, emptying the public coffers into his own pocket, stealing national defense secrets, and using intimidation tactics against the media and even the Georgia Secretary of State if they do not do the dear leader’s bidding.

Anything to serve himself and stay in power.

Although Trump is more comical and buffoonish in his threats against the Saturday Night Live comedy troupe, the immunity Trump says he has to have is not far removed from the example Putin set. How is Trump’s argument in a US court of law, that he must have immunity even if he orders US Special forces to murder his political opponents, any different from Putin ordering the shootings of political opponent Boris Nemtsov and investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, the Polonium assassination of Alexander Litvenenko, or the Skripal poisoning with Novichok nerve agent?

Advertisement

How is Trump’s argument that he must be immune, for ordering his head of security at Mar-a-Lago to destroy video evidence of Trump hiding classified documents from the FBI, any different from Putin shutting down the investigation of his FSB at Ryazan in the 1999 apartment bombings?

Ukraine Will Receive US Aid, Well-Known Republicans in Kyiv Assure
Other Topics of Interest

Ukraine Will Receive US Aid, Well-Known Republicans in Kyiv Assure

US Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick and former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Ukraine must be victorious over Russia. Pompeo sought to assuage fears that a Trump presidency would hurt Ukraine.

The only difference is that, in Russia’s totalitarian regime, Putin does not even need immunity for his criminal acts. There is no rule of law that could otherwise hold him accountable.

In the US, though, some veneer of legality is still required, at least until Trump can return to office to finish the job of modeling his presidency after Putin’s; so Trump relies on two of the US Supreme Court’s most sordid precedents.

Advertisement

In Stump v Sparkman, decided in 1978, Indiana state court Judge Harold Stump entered a secret order, with no notice and no hearing, to have an unrepresented 15-year-old girl sterilized, just to make sure her allegedly low intelligence did not lead to trouble with boys.

As part of this “judicial action,” for which the Supreme Court granted the Indiana judge “absolute immunity” from civil damages, the girl was deceived into thinking she was having an appendectomy while a tubal ligation was performed, instead. She only learned the truth after she was married and unable to bear children.

The Supreme Court relied on a 1907 statute still on the books in Indiana, a hotbed of the eugenics movement, that allowed compulsory sterilization orders for people of inferior breeding – an idea since discredited by association with the Nazis, but perhaps making a comeback if Trump’s latest Hitler allusions are any bellwether.

In the second case Trump relies on to support total immunity for official acts at the “outer perimeter” of presidential authority, Fitzgerald v Nixon, Richard Nixon ordered Bob Haldeman to fire a government official for testifying truthfully under oath before a congressional committee about Department of Defense cost overruns.

Advertisement

As later occurred with the Oval Office taping system, Alexander Butterfield’s testimony revealed the real cause for the firing was not the false pretext stated by Nixon, but a lack of “loyalty” to the President – consistent with Trump’s own demonstrated modus operandi, demanding personal fealty from both the Attorney General and the FBI Director, and picking personal cronies for National Security Advisor and Director of National Intelligence.

Rather than resulting in the steady, unfettered decision-making Trump now advocates, we know the leeway only led to worse abuses – such as Nixon ordering Haldeman to terminate the FBI investigation of the Watergate break-in by fabricating a story it would interfere with an ongoing CIA operation. Nixon’s taped confession about paying hush money also foreshadowed Trump’s Stormy Daniels playbook, for which Trump is now being prosecuted in New York.

Fitzgerald v Nixon shows why the question raised in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals oral argument, though not as notorious as the hypothetical Seal Team 6 assassination, was equally important – whether the authority the president wields is not balanced by his constitutional responsibility to faithfully execute the laws?

Advertisement

One way Trump has already surpassed Putin in demonstrating contempt for legal accountability is pardoning his cronies who commit crimes for him. Trump has already pardoned Mike Flynn, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Steve Bannon, and others who could otherwise testify against Trump in a criminal prosecution. Putin was just catching up when he pardoned Politkovskaya’s murderer, but Putin did Trump one better when he exiled the convicted killer to the front in Ukraine.

This is the kind of competition in depravity we could expect between Trump and Putin, until the bounds of decency that maintain the social order disintegrate in America as they have in Russia. If Trump is granted immunity for any crime he deigns to commit, it won’t be long before – like Putin – he won’t even need it.

The views expressed in this opinion article are the author’s and not necessarily those of Kyiv Post.

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Comments (16)

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
GregC
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

The USA is on the verge of a complete collapse... its governance model broken, if it was ever working? the principle "No One Is ABove The Law" is not valued in the USA... over 200 years of history and still they struggle with this concept...

Unable to run elections without Voter Suppression Laws, Gerrymandering, and the rise of the Oligarch clan who have full rights to spend as much as they want to turn elections to their favour.

Politicians for sale to the highest bidder...

it is a crazy situation today, and some AMericans try to tell Ukriane that the nation is corrupt.. God look inside first before pointing fingers elsewhere.

the USA is ranked 27 least corrupt nation... better than Ukriane but far down the list of Western nations... why is it not in the top 10 best?

Putin is happy his efforts are paying huge dividends today...

sad to see!! but there is a saying "people get the government they deserve" at all levels.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
John
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@Carl Sandberg, Thanks for your concern troll "jack griffin" (or one of his multiple manifestations on this site).

Reactions to most vaccines cause inflammatory responses. You have a problem with all vaccines or just the Covid ones some of which did have a higher risk. I got Phizer and Moderna ones...no issues. I subsequently got covid sitting on a plane for 9 hours where most other discourteous passengers did not wear masks. My immune system being pre-primed for covid it was like a mild 2 day flu. However as with all vaccines and for that matter many medicines and some foods even; some people react very badly. Some can be permanently injured. Some can die. Life in itself sometimes seems a game of Russian roulette. But not even a small percent of those that alternatively would have died or been permanently damaged by catching covid without a vaccine.

Lots of credible data to back the above up on USA, EU, and UK health research sites.

Now here's the important thing. Covid itself thickens your blood. Whether you had the vaccine or not. It is not know for how long exactly. The thickness is apparently due to protein byproducts of broken down virus. Thick blood causes heart duress and stroke risk. Good to keep well hydrated and maybe some 81mg aspirins handy during this period. Maybe also consider supplements with K2 or nattokinase.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Carl Sandberg
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

John, get yourself to the doctor and get your head examined. Those “vaccines” are giving people heart attacks, blood clots, strokes, etc. they are shit, and it was Trump that created Warp Clusterfuck to bring that garbage to market.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
John
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

JOHN Guest • 1 second ago
@Banh, According to "The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy" , the rate of covid deaths per capita of folks identifying as US Republicans was 15% higher than that of Democrats. This despite some generally democratic inclined groups genetics' being predisposed to worse outcomes to covid.

Rump's botched handling and misinformation spewing Covid response needlessly cost thousands of lives (8x more US deaths per capita than in Canada). Thank goodness Fauci was eventually untethered to lead a logical response to that pandemic.
 The pandemic response handover though did not occur until Rump himself got covid and had to be hospitalized. At that point I guess he either realized its' important to let science guide such decisions, or he got afraid he was disproportionately losing his MAGA cult voters. Biden's administration correctly kept Fauci on until the pandemic was in decline.

I think you should cut the current president some slack. Albeit we can question what and when he provided weapons to Ukraine, it's accurate to say that he supported them more than any of the MAGA leadership is on record saying they wanted to give Ukraine (zero!). Biden's administration basically spent all that was available to them on Ukraine, and they are now at MAGA manipulated Congress's mercy to get more. Unless rump is doing a 180 degree turn from those MAGA leaders he is not supportive of Ukraine.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
John
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@Mark, Let me see if I can recall the proper playground response to such childish bullying comments paid troll 'mark'. I believe it is simply "I know you are but what am I". 



At any rate, thanks for now alerting the other readers that in the posts which follow below, there are factual information packed comments that debunk common MRGA's lies.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Mark
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

John is a big sack of 💩💩💩💩

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
John
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@Maddy, Two separate scenarios troll Maddy. One (rump) removed and miscategorized a a room full of national security sensitive data, tried to deny it and then tried to coerce witness's not to cooperate with investigators after getting caught. That same one has lavished praise on the USA's arch enemy's leader putin who in turn never relents in his hybrid war attacks against the USA. The same one again that was impeached twice for serious intentional actions knowingly contrary to USA interests, but in effect supportive of putin's needs. The same one again that tried to overthrow the current duly elected president of the United States, I'm talking about the one that in only 4 years of holding a political post, accrued 81 felony charges and pardoned numerous closely affiliated criminals.

The other one (Biden), after faithfully serving the interests of the USA since 1970 without criminal charges or impeachment, and in those 50 years of service forgot a few much less sensitive government documents at his home, which he did not try to hide or coerce anyone to lie about.

One should go to jail; the other should retire or if not take a token 30 minute online refresher course on the importance of secure data governance.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Banh
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Good God, the last thing Ukraine needs right now are American attorneys with Trumphobia coaching the good people of Ukraine on ANYTHING that might effect their future.
Are you sitting on your ass in a chair financed by George Soros, the Clinton's, the 21st century Communists in the Davos mafia, or have you actually spent your own money while "volunteering" in Ukraine.

Covid wasn't actually as serious as the brain-eating amoeba which has infected the anti-Trump tribe in America.
I can tell you are suffering Stevarino. Take two shots of reality daily and try to resist the bak shish that pays your expenses in Ukraine.

Wait until Ukrainian veterans come home and realize that Joe Biden is not Ukraine's hero but a Putin clone and a clever pathway to serfdom designed by Klaus Schwab. Once they connect the dots, they will be routing out ALL the collaborators who are being paid to prepare Ukraine for indentured life under the globalist pathogens in Geneva. Biden and Putin are BOTH destroying borders and cultures, and Biden's masters are just as toxic to Ukraine as Putin's "czar" wet dream.

You may end up back in the US chasing ambulances Steve. You must be intelligent, but really dumb on this subject.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Donald
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Haley will make America greater.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
John
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@ThoughtLife.God, You are crediting both Biden and Trump with the fallout of macro economic events post a global pandemic and most recently a major putin initiated war in Europe & hybrid war attack against the USA. No allied democratic leader has full control of the issues you cite.



For example high national inflation makes all prices rise to new heights. The EU, Canada and the USA all tied with a 3.4% inflation rate last year. Here are is the short list from Trading Economics of the countries whose inflation was highest in 2023:



Argentina. 211%

Lebanon 192%

Venezuela 191%

Syria 85%

Turkey 65%



Russian reported 7.4% inflation (flagged as suspect). The Biden administration did an amazing job buffering the USA's inflation in these globally tumultuous times. In part he did this by ramping up USA oil production to record setting levels, blowing past output during the rump administrations record by 500 million barrels a day. 



Similarly every other issue you quote could be erroneously paired with another past or present president under who's terms they were even more favourable. To those who will listen to reason, it's worth the effort for someone more informed to respond with factual information. But that is not why you are here.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
ThoughtLife.God
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

When Trump was president the U.S. had strong borders, energy independence, no inflation, and a great economy. Today, under Biden sadly, we are a nation in decline.

Barruntaranchos
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@ThoughtLife.God, Obviously you only hear what scunbag Trump says. I see the US from abroad, and I don´t see anything like you write. With Trump in the White House the US will be totally isolated, with no friend, except maybe Israel as long as US provides money and weapons. Traditional friends, from EU to Japan, S. Korea, Australia, UK, Canada, Mexico.... will join to produce the weapons now buy from US, and stop buying anything from US, from oil and gas to food. The US will be much weaker, with China becoming the superpower and much stronger than the US. That is what scunbag Trump supporters are going to get. Make China Great Again, thank to scunbag Trump!

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
ThoughtLife.God
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

– Under Biden, we had the highest inflation in over 40 years, reaching an insane 9.1%
– Under Biden, Americans have been hammered by higher costs for everything; groceries, gas, cars, and health care.
– Under Biden, the U.S. economy is a complete disaster.
– Under Biden gas prices reached a staggering $5.12 a gallon.
– Under Biden, we have an an unending war in Ukraine that's costing Americans billions of dollars.
– Under Biden, we have a war in Israel that's also costing taxpayers billions.
– Under Biden, China has threatened to attack Taiwan.
– Under Biden, North and South Korea are firing missiles at each other.
– Under Biden, there's a crisis on the Suez Canal. All this insanity under Biden.


– Under Trump, the economy boomed.
– Under Trump, gas prices were low; $1.79 a gallon low.
– Under Trump, U.S. inflation was 2%, and bottomed at 0.1%.
– Under Trump, the unemployment rate across every demographic broke all-time lowest rate records; lowest unemployment among African-Americans, Hispanics, women etc. Everyone who wanted a job, had a job. We were flourishing! Everyone prospered!
– Under Trump, the stock market rose rapidly. Your retirement investments were booming.
– Under Trump, there were no wars. No war in Israel. No war in Ukraine. No rumors of wars.
– Under Trump, a safe and secure southern border.
– Under Trump, worldwide peace and prosperity.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
ThoughtLife.God
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

I've never seen the Democratic Party fear any other Republican political leader in it's history, not Abraham Lincoln, not Ronald Reagan, no one, the way they fear Donald J Trump. They've thrown everything at him except the kitchen sink.

– Yet, he still stands. –

It's gonna be super fun to see all those “legal troubles” fall apart right before the Democrats eyes. Everyone knows those “legal troubles” are politically driven by the democrats in their attempt to use the courts to interfere in an election simply because they can't win honestly. The American people will choose their next president, not democratic judges. That's unfair, dishonest and unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court will see right through all these fake “legal troubles” and rule in Trump's favor. I can already smell the sweet smell of victory.

Help is on the way! Thank you Jesus! Trump – 2024

SHALOM
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@ThoughtLife.God, orc troll 🐕💩

ThoughtLife.God
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@SHALOM, Good rebuttal!

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Putlerbot Destroyer
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@ThoughtLife.God, Seriously. Give your idiotic psychosis a rest. The second I see your name I do not waste my time reading your post. I don’t care what you have to say. You are only making yourself look foolish. I am moving on. Stay stuck in stupidity. You are having a conversation with yourself and no one else cares. Seriously. Get. A. Life.

ThoughtLife.God
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@Putlerbot Destroyer,

LOL, another Good rebuttal!

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Steve G.
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Trump is in a heap of legal trouble and, critically, is hiding from his political opponents. The moment he faces any of them, even Joe Biden, he’s going to look terrible. Trump has nothing to campaign on, and much to answer for. Yes, Trump’s base is very active and makes a lot noise, but the “silent majority” has not been on Trump’s side since 2016. I am having a hard time seeing how they would be now.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
John not from Canada
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Like flies zzzzoooming around a turd. Hopefully Haley will pull the white fluffy bunny from her hat. These other Republicans thats anti Ukraine can buzzoff . They should have fixed there border in 1898. Lame excuse. But iam sure John is goooogling away with a half truthfull answer. Just like Trump a lot of talk. People thats loud and like their own voices , dunno.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Barruntaranchos
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Donal Trump is not only the greatest scunbag the West has ever known, but also the most stupid one. He is so stupid that thinks US main enemy is China, and tries to do anything possible to destroy that country, but on the other hand he admires Putin and Russia, and see no problem in helping Russia to become a much powerful country. So, the main supplier of energy and food for China, and its best client for all kind of stuff, from cars to machinery and home appliances, means nothing for scunbag Trump. The more powerful Russia is, the more powerful China becomes, and the worst possible result for the US. He is so stupid that can´t understand something so basic. God save the US if Trump wins the White House.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png