The Open Bribery Of A President

“[Roger Stone] was not prosecuted for standing up for the president; he was prosecuted for covering up for the president.” — Judge Jackson, when sentencing Roger Stone to 40 months in prison.

Hours before the President exercised his pardon power to commute the complete jail sentence of a man convicted by a jury, that man made clear the President owed it to him.

“He knows I was under enormous pressure to turn on him. It would have eased my situation considerably. But I didn’t.” — Roger Stone

A more clear statement of a request for a quid pro quo (this for that) is not possible. Roger Stone effectively said, “I did this for you, and now you need to do this for me.” And Trump did.

Stone’s statement was laced with another message. It reminded Trump that Stone had not yet turned on him, but that he always could and that it still might get him a better deal with the court and prosecutors if he did turn on Trump. Whether, you view Stone’s statement as bribery of the President, or blackmail, or both (it can be both) it doesn’t matter. Trump is guilty either way.

The Federal bribery statute at 18 U.S.C. § 201 really could not possibly be more on point to this.

Put simply, offering or accepting a thing of value, to specifically include “any official act” by a public official is bribery. Roger Stone bought the official act of the President exercising his pardon power in exchange for not turning on him, for refusing to testify against the President. The President accepted the absence of Stone’s testimony and granted Stone his commutation within hours of Stone presenting that demand for a quid pro quo to Trump. The bribery statute includes specific provisions for official acts to buy or reward a witness’ silence.

Yes, it’s really that simple. It’s open bribery, as defined by the statute, of the President of the United States. Bribery is specifically articulated by Article II, Section 4 the United States Constitution as a basis for impeachment. We need not quibble over vague terms about what constitutes “other high crimes or misdemeanors.” Bribery is treated, right up there with treason, as a specific basis for impeachment and removal from office.

The bottom line is that Stone himself told Trump, “you owe me,” and hours later the President paid up.

It worked, and nothing will come from it, because the American people have become so numbed to Trump’s open corruption that they don’t care anymore. Sadly, because Trump understands this completely, more corruption is inevitable.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Keith

Retired lawyer & Army vet in The Villages of Florida. Lifelong: Republican (pre-Trump), Constitution buff, science nerd & dog lover. Twitter: @KeithDB80