Home Opinion Clumsy But Correct: President Trump and the Challenge of Restitution

Clumsy But Correct: President Trump and the Challenge of Restitution

Signing of the Constitution by Howard Chandler Christie

By John F. Di Leo, Contributor

Friday, December 2, AD 2022 was one of those Big News Days – that is, a day on which some really big news dropped, a story big enough to dominate headlines for weeks.

Elon Musk, as Twitter’s new boss, decided the time had come to reveal the hard evidence about what Republicans have been shouting for two solid years, and he worked out a gradual reveal through journalist Matt Taibbi to publish “The Twitter Files.”

In the fall of 2020, just weeks before the presidential election, the story of Hunter Biden’s “laptop from Hell” was finally fully confirmed, fully authenticated, and fully revealed, and highlights including both the proof of its authentication and a snapshot of the crimes it proved were printed in the New York Post.

All the claims that conservatives had been making for years about the Biden family being on the take – essentially, using Joe Biden’s political position to collect bribes using family members as the vehicles – were all confirmed in one fell swoop. Just twenty days before the election, this was more than a game changer; it would be the final play, sure to determine the outcome.

But then, seemingly within seconds, Big Tech squashed the story, banning it from re-publication on social media, hiding it from web searches, using every technological technique available to hide the story from the public.

We share news articles with our friends on Twitter and Facebook, and we learn about them through searches. Banning it like this meant that the NY Post story could effectively go no further than the Post’s original subscribers and newsstand buyers.

For another news source, this is journalistic malpractice – malevolent and anti-American – but it’s not illegal.

But if it was done at the behest of a political campaign and its supporters in the federal government, then it’s a crime – a violation of everything from the Hatch Act to the First Amendment.

And what Elon Musk provided to Matt Taibbi on Friday was indeed incredible proof – in writing, with time stamps and electronic signatures – of just such criminal collusion.

The Twitter Files include evidence of collaboration in which political actors – both in government and outside it but trying to get in – successfully pressured Twitter to serve as an end run around free speech: The government could not stop the Post from publishing the article, but the government could and did convince Twitter (and, presumably, the others) to squash it as well.

Elon Musk is no fool. He understands American law as well as anybody, and reminded his Twitter followers that if it’s unconstitutional for the government to suppress people’s political speech, then by extension, it’s just as unconstitutional for the government to use its power to coerce private publishers into suppressing people’s political speech.

Just because there’s a middleman doesn’t make it any less of a crime. In fact, some might say it makes it even more of one.

So this weekend, once again, just like in October, 2020, there was a massive story, revealing anti-American criminality by the Biden family and the Democratic Party. And once again, just like in October, 2020, it sank like a dead weight.

This story is hundreds of times bigger, by any objective measure, than the miniscule crimes at the heart of the Watergate scandal, but this was buried by the press. The major networks didn’t even mention it; America’s mainstream print media didn’t report on it. If you didn’t watch Fox News or one of the other stations with overwhelmingly Republican viewers last weekend, you’d never know this huge reveal happened at all.

The biggest news story of the year was buried by the mass media, because it showed the criminality of the Democrats, and it proved that Republicans have been right in all our allegations, all along.

President Trump recognized this, and furiously tweeted about it, rightly demanding that America recognize the elephant in the room, and deal with it:

An election was stolen, in numerous, almost countless ways, in the fall of 2020. Because of the secret ballot, it’s impossible to truly audit the election; nobody can prove definitively one way or the other exactly how many legitimate votes either candidate received. But there has long been proof – from the evidence of ballot harvesting to intentional interruption of the chain of custody of ballots in battleground states, from nonresidents being outright encouraged to register from friends’ houses in Georgia to stacks of claimed addresses being proven to be nonexistent after the election in Pennsylvania – that there was ample opportunity for enough massive fraud to more than flip the elections, not only of the presidency but of a host of races downballot as well.

And now the President sees further criminality – the illegal suppression of pro-Republican news stories at the behest of federal employees, two weeks before an election – and he understandably turns to social media himself to call it out.

President Trump’s basic point is so clear it shouldn’t even require repeating: how much undeniable proof does it take for America to right a wrong?

The sad truth is, America has never properly addressed the question of how to deal with vote fraud. We know it exists; we prosecute it all the time – not vigorously enough, of course, but we do prosecute it, and we do get convictions:

We see nursing home administrators in Michigan and Wisconsin go to jail for casting ballots in the name of their unknowing patients. We see political activists in Georgia and Arizona go to jail for filing absentee ballots in the name of innocent third parties. We see politicians in Louisiana go to jail for buying votes outright, and we’ve even seen a Maryland Congressional candidate be tossed off the ballot following proof of voting multiple times, from multiple residences, in the very same election.

And now we have proof that an October Surprise – one that clearly would have settled the election once and for all – was buried through criminal violations of federal law at the highest level.

Unfortunately, the American people have long been told by the political class that “vote fraud and other election shenanigans probably aren’t ever substantial enough to make a difference in the end,” so we haven’t ever made proper provision for what to do about it when it does. There’s no proof of that minimalist claim, and with elections commonly decided by less than a percentage point, the position itself is ludicrous on its face, but it has remained the unstated public policy, and the excuse for leaving the matter of how to deal with the problem unaddressed.

This is the core of President Trump’s “truth” of December 3 (for the uninitiated, that’s what users of TruthSocial call what would be called a “post” on Facebook or a “tweet” on Twitter): that it’s high time we start aiming for restitution when elections are stolen.

What is restitution? Only the rational correction of the status quo after a crime has been proven. Restitution has existed in law for thousands of years; not all crimes carry it, and it’s usually not guaranteed in the law books, but it’s often used. Rob a bank, and you may get a lower sentence if you can return the money. Steal a car, and the judge will give you a break if you took care of it so it could be returned intact to its owner. Infringe on a patent, and the courts will be kinder to you if you can pay the rightful patent holder all the money he would have made on it if your crime had never occurred.

President Trump is clumsy in saying so, but his central point is that it isn’t just President Trump who was robbed by the stolen election of 2020; it’s the entire country. The result of that crime was the Biden-Harris regime, and likely the Democrat majority in the House and Senate as well.

The real result of this crime was therefore a global energy crisis caused directly by the Biden-Harris regime’s destructive policy of crushing the oil, gas, and coal industries. The real result was a global inflation crisis, diminishing the value of both salaries and savings for every American, caused directly by their destructive “stimulus checks” and other spending sprees. The real result was a slowdown of the American manufacturing renaissance that had begun during the Trump administration, a slowdown that is costing us all our future career options and our very standard of living, as we sink back into dependence on foreign manufacturing again. The real result is terrible danger in foreign affairs, as enemies from Xi Jinping to Vladimir Putin, and from Maduro to Khamenei, chuckle with glee at the impotence of the Biden-Harris regime, knowing they can get away with anything, with this bunch on guard duty.

President Trump recognizes that the right solution to a crime, everywhere from the English common law to the philosophy classroom, is to convict and punish the criminals, and arrange whatever restitution and restoration is still possible.

We can’t just write checks to restore the thousands of dollars that every American has overspent on gasoline and diesel fuel because of the corrupt placement of Joe Biden in the Oval Office. We can’t just magically restore the respect for American force that kept Putin and Xi from saber-rattling for four years. We can’t just make up for jobs of the teamsters and pipe fitters who Biden fired from the Keystone Pipeline, or reopen the thousands of small businesses and private farms that have gone under, bought up by conglomerates or Chinese investment houses, as a result of Biden’s anti-business regulations.

But we can do the right thing. If a squatter moves into someone’s house illegally, you have him evicted and the rightful owner moves back in. If an imposter takes over an office and starts doing someone else’s job, you kick him out and put the right person back in.

President Trump is correct that – now that the crimes of 2020 are clear to anyone with open eyes and an honest mind – the right thing to do is restoration of the Trump administration. He was legitimately reelected, and while we can’t start the clock over and give his team their full four years at this point, we certainly ought to find a way to put the criminal usurpers in jail and to move the Trump team back in as soon as possible so they can complete what’s left of the term, and start managing a limited government as the Constitution requires again. The sooner they start, the sooner we can start correcting all these malicious errors, and put America back on a steady footing again.

The problem, however, is that there is no clear written mechanism to do so. All this solution has going for it is that it makes perfect sense.

The Framers didn’t expect elections to be stolen this way. The Framers thought our risk was that big states might collude against small states, or that cities might collude against rural areas (they weren’t wrong there, by the way). So the Framers came up with a system they called “checks and balances,” in which each party, acting in his own interest, would actually help keep the balance of power in place, each one as a brake upon the others.

We now see that it would have been handy to put something in the Constitution that says “if it is found that any member of congress, president or vice president was elected through illegal methods, a new election shall be held within three months to determine the remainder of the term,” or “… the runner-up in that stolen election shall be installed for the remainder of the term.” But they didn’t think of that. They never dreamed it would be necessary.

We know what Colonel Hamilton would have said. Hamilton said we could deal with unanticipated challenges because there would be “energy in the executive.” Hamilton understood that the government had “implied, as well as express powers,” because if the Constitution provides a duty, it must by corollary also provide the tools to accomplish that duty. It cannot be too great a jump to channel the principal author of the Federalist Papers and recognize that if we provide for elections as the foundation of our government, then we must have the power to jettison criminal usurpers immediately and restore the rightful winners of those elections to office.

Unfortunately, while we may be sure the Framers would agree, we don’t have them here to ask them. And it doesn’t say anything about it in the Constitution, one way or the other.

And there we have the events of the weekend of December 2, in a nutshell. Proof of criminality displayed for all the world to see, but with nothing in written law to access as a clear solution, all we are supposed to do is sit back and wait, and hope for 2024, as we watch our nation go careening off a cliff, without any way to stop it.

So President Trump did what we must all be doing – all of us, anyway, who are awake. He is screaming to the rafters that this is insane, that we know the perpetrators, we know what went wrong and how they did it, we have the evidence before us, and we could still right this ship before it’s too late, so let’s Just Do It! His inner executive, the decision-maker, sees the logical solution and states it out loud.

It’s not in the statutes, it’s not in the Constitution, it’s not anywhere in writing. This hasn’t happened before, but if we want the nation to survive another 200 years, we need to act NOW.

And so President Trump said so. Inarticulately, clumsily. He could have said it’s the spirit of the Constitution that matters here, not whether it’s provided for in the letter of the Constitution. He could have said that the principles of the Throckmorton decision – “Fraud vitiates everything” – apply here. But he didn’t think of that. He posted the statement that the Founders would want us to set aside the Constitution for a moment in the interest of righting this ship.

And the media went mad.

They may have wanted to bury the Musk/Taibbi story, but they didn’t have anything to bury it with before. Now they did. The story of the weekend because President Trump’s unfortunate wording, which they could easily twist so it would sound like a call for a military insurrection or coup d’etat, exactly what they’d been trying to pin on him for two years. You could see the glee in the eyes of the mainstream media and the never-Trumpers all weekend.

Once again, President Trump was his own worst enemy.

But at the heart of it all, while President Trump is awfully clumsy where legal issues are concerned, you can’t deny that, in fact, where the corrupt actions of the Democrats in 2020 are concerned, he is absolutely right.

Copyright 2022 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance trainer and transportation manager, writer, and actor. A one-time county chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party, and former president of the Ethnic American Council, he has been writing regularly for Illinois Review since 2009.

A collection of John’s Illinois Review articles about vote fraud, The Tales of Little Pavel, and his 2021 political satires about current events, Evening Soup with Basement Joe, Volumes One and Two, are available, in either paperback or eBook, only on Amazon.

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