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Why does the OLC policy stop us from indicting a president in office?
The short answer is that the opinion, though very much disputed by constitutional scholars, and never confirmed by the decision of any court, is what the DOJ goes by. Someone, the DOJ or a state prosecuting agency, would have to actually bring charges in order to test this theory.

In my opinion, there is no constitutional basis for the belief that a sitting president cannot be prosecuted. There is nothing in the text of the constitution, no matter how read, that states or implies this. There is nothing in the proceedings of the constitutional convention, the Federalist papers, the letters of the founders, etc., that provides any real support. The general principles upon which this country was founded, breaking away from a tyrannical king and the attendant suspicion of great power gathered in the hands of one person, argues in the other direction. Some have suggested that, perhaps, the founders wouldn’t have wanted this because they were concerned about a sitting president being hamstrung by his political opponents. Considering that parties did not exist at the time of the Constitution, this seems unlikely, though some may have thought of it later.

There is little case law that might be relevant, and United States v Nixon and Clinton v. Jones, push in the other direction. The first case was about executive privilege, and suggests in a general way that president’s privileges and prerogatives are limited. The second case, however, was about the Paula Jones lawsuit, a civil case brought against Clinton for acts committed prior to his presidency. The Supreme Court said the suit could go forward during his presidency and rejected the “undo interference with the duties of the president” argument.

Maybe criminal cases are more intrusive, so the Court would distinguish this case; but maybe criminal cases are more important, so the rule of Jones would be even stronger.

Courts look to practical results, which is one reason why people argue that criminal prosecution would interfere with the president. But consider this fictional, but certainly possible, scenario:

The president strangles the first lady in the residence of the White House during his first month in office. There are six witnesses, video, and a signed confession. It’s a slam-dunk first-degree murder case, but it occurred in the White House, federal land, so the DOJ has sole prosecutorial authority, which they refuse to exercise under their policy.

The House quickly votes articles of impeachment, and the Senate, after a trial, votes on conviction. A strong majority of senators vote to convict, including many members of the president’s own party, but the Senate is controlled by that party, which is filled with amoral monsters concerned only with their narrow political advantage. (I know, I had to come up with some things that were very unlikely). Thus, the vote falls one short. So the murderer president remains in power for the remainder of his term, maybe even runs for reelection, maybe is pardoned by his successor, etc. Now are you telling me that the founders thought this would be OK, that they were just fine with this? Are you telling me that wouldn’t be disruptive?

In any event, we will never know for sure until someone tries. At this point no one seems inclined to do so.

Link to the NY Times article:

The photograph in the Facebook post is pretty: piles of red rocks balanced at the edge of a cliff, suggesting a miniature mirror of the jagged rock face opposite. The stacks look like small shrines to mountain solitude, carefully balanced at the edge of a precipice. But when Zion National Park posted the photo, in September, the social-media coordinators for the park included a plea: “Please, enjoy the park but leave rocks and all natural objects in place.” The post noted the “curious but destructive practice” of building small stone towers, and said, “stacking up stones is simply vandalism.”

The balancing of stones is an elementary kind of creation, not unlike the building of sand castles. Stone stacks, or cairns, have prehistoric origins. They marked Neolithic burial grounds in what is now Scotland, guided nautical travels in Scandinavia, and served as shrines to the Inca goddess Pachamama in Peru. Contemporary stone-stackers, then, are taking up the mantle of an ancient and artistic tradition. In the past decade or so, though, there has been an explosion of cairns around the world—in national parks, in the Scottish Highlands, on the beaches of Aruba. Park rangers, environmentalists, and hikers have all become alarmed, to varying degrees. The movement of so many stones can cause erosion, damage animal ecosystems, disrupt river flow, and confuse hikers, who depend on sanctioned cairns for navigation in places without clear trails.

The posts found within the #RockStacks and #StoneStacking hashtags on Instagram range from amateurish (a couple of stones against the backdrop of the ocean) to seriously impressive (round stones balanced improbably, or a sharp rock standing on end atop a pebble). It is common for multiple stacks to appear in a single picture; they look like chimneys or gravestones or maybe the ruins of a lost civilization. Inspired by social-media posts, new rock-stackers are taking up the hobby, and the piles of stones are proliferating along with the pictures of them. After all, replication is not only a side effect of social media; it’s part of the point. “Rock stacking is a way of quickly making your mark and having an image of it. People are posting pictures of them on Instagram, saying, ‘I’ve been here and I made this,’ ” John Hourston, the head of a small volunteer-run environmental organization called the Blue Planet Society, said. He first noticed the boom when he visited remote beaches in Orkney, Scotland, and found them littered with rock piles. He said, “It struck me as a real shame, because there are very few places where you can still find solitude and seclusion, and here they were absolutely covered by the footprint of man.”

Hourston and the Blue Planet Society decided to call attention to the ecological impact of stone stacking, wading into a contentious debate. “This is one of the most divisive issues we’ve ever covered,” he said. The stackers are accusing him of making mountains out of pebbles. National parks are caught in the crosshairs of the debate, too. In 2016, a previous post on Zion National Park’s Facebook page about stone stacking got more than twenty-six hundred comments, as people bitterly debated whether small towers of rocks could really be a problem.

It’s easy to see a frustrated stone stacker’s point of view: it’s a meditative and creative activity; the impacts of a single stone stack are probably negligible compared with, say, driving; and it’s a means of spending time outdoors that seems to run counter to the spirit of social media in its emphasis on concentration, slow movements, and communing with the natural world. The calamity of the stone stack, in our anxious times, seems admittedly minor. But it’s a prominent example of how social media can generate scale, transforming an activity that would be mostly harmless in isolation into something with planetary impact. Aesthetic fads can go global now, with strange consequences. “Social media has kind of popularized rock stacking as a meditative activity, and you used to have a handful of people doing it, but it has really escalated over the past few years on public lands,” Wesley Trimble, the program-outreach and communications manager for the American Hiking Society, said.

Stone-stacksStacking is showing no signs of slowing down. In Acadia National Park, volunteers destroyed nearly thirty-five hundred rock stacks, on two mountains alone, in 2016 and 2017. “I would probably equate the rock-stacking phenomenon with the painted-rock phenomenon, in how it’s driven by social media,” Christie Anastasia, the public-affairs specialist at Acadia, said. Painted rocks are a kind of social-media treasure hunt; people leave brightly decorated rocks in parks, with their social-media handles noted on the undersides. The person who finds the rock can then send a message to the person who left it. Acadia park employees have collected hundreds of them during the past year. The painted rocks now sit in a purgatory of bins, while the park staff figures out what to do with them. “We’re still cogitating on it,” Anastasia said. “We thought about throwing them into the ocean, but there might be chemicals in the paint. We’ve thought about throwing them in the fire. We’re still deciding. But they really have no place in a national park.”

What’s to be done about all this rock foolery? Anastasia said that she sends gentle Facebook messages to anyone who leaves an account name painted on a rock. On the Isle of Skye, a group of about twenty local volunteers brought wheelbarrows to a popular rock-stacking spot and spent a Saturday dismantling the stacks and transporting the stones back to where they belong. It’s human vs. human at this point. Meanwhile, there are rocks somewhere else that are being slowly stacked, one by one by one.


#1) Sociopaths are charming. Sociopaths have high charisma and tend to attract a following just because people want to be around them. They have a “glow” about them that attracts people who typically seek guidance or direction. They often appear to be sexy or have a strong sexual attraction. Not all sexy people are sociopaths, obviously, but watch out for over-the-top sexual appetites and weird fetishes.

#2) Sociopaths are more spontaneous and intense than other people. They tend to do bizarre, sometimes erratic things that most regular people wouldn’t do. They are unbound by normal social contracts. Their behavior often seems irrational or extremely risky.

#3) Sociopaths are incapable of feeling shame, guilt or remorse. Their brains simply lack the circuitry to process such emotions. This allows them to betray people, threaten people or harm people without giving it a second thought. They pursue any action that serves their own self interest even if it seriously harms others. This is why you will find many very “successful” sociopaths in high levels of government, in any nation.

#4) Sociopaths invent outrageous lies about their experiences. They wildly exaggerate things to the point of absurdity, but when they describe it to you in a storytelling format, for some reason it sounds believable at the time.

#5) Sociopaths seek to dominate others and “win” at all costs. They hate to lose any argument or fight and will viciously defend their web of lies, even to the point of logical absurdity.

#6) Sociopaths tend to be highly intelligent, but they use their brainpower to deceive others rather than empower them. Their high IQs often makes them dangerous. This is why many of the best-known serial killers who successfully evaded law enforcement were sociopaths.

#7) Sociopaths are incapable of love and are entirely self-serving. They may feign love or compassion in order to get what they want, but they don’t actually FEEL love in the way that you or I do.

#8) Sociopaths speak poetically. They are master wordsmiths, able to deliver a running “stream of consciousness” monologue that is both intriguing and hypnotic. They are expert storytellers.

#9) Sociopaths never apologize. They are never wrong. They never feel guilt. They can never apologize. Even if shown proof that they were wrong, they will refuse to apologize and instead go on the attack.

#10) Sociopaths are delusional and literally believe that what they say becomes truth merely because they say it! Charles Manson, the sociopathic murderer, is famous for saying, “I’ve never killed anyone! I don’t need to kill anyone! I THINK it! I have it HERE! (Pointing to his temple.) I don’t need to live in this physical realm..

I sincerely believe that the Southern District of New York knows the entire scope of Trump’s illegal activities through Mr. Cohen’s exhaustive interviews that I’m sure left no stone unturned. I think they know they are our last possible defense to stabilize and return our country to a properly run and respectful democracy. To stop the fascist movement that the Republican Party is trying to force down our throats in the courts, laws, and in the Senate. I’m sure Mueller knows it as well and has documented as much as he could but I’m surprised at his reticence in wanting making that perfectly clear to the American People. They are not lawyers or constitutional experts and need such explanations. He may be a war hero but in my opinion (and you may all not agree with me at all on this) he does not have a strong character and his patriotism ends at his paperwork and not his actions. He is standing behind “past procedure” to the point of harm to our country. He wants others to do what he was entrusted to do…not a good sign of a leader. So the real heroes are at the SNDY now and I hope they can weather through the onslaught of pure propaganda Trump and Barr will throw at them and nail all of these treasonous bastards and child rapists!