It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

So many executive orders, so much twitter. What to do? Well, discuss it here for one...

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It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#1 Post by YankeeTarheel » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:51 pm

In fact, 2 Presidents were arrested while in office.

It wasn't for corruption or bribery, but for vehicular violations.

One was Franklin Pierce, who ran over a woman with his horse.

The other was Ulysses S. Grant for speeding in his carriage. He was stopped 2 evenings in a row, by the same DC policeman. The 2nd time, at 13th & M Streets, the cop hauled him in!

From the Washington Post:
By Michael S. Rosenwald December 16, 2018
Amid President Trump’s mounting legal problems, TV talking heads and bar-stool philosophers from Boise to Britain have been pondering one of the great mysteries of the U.S. Constitution.

Can the president of the United States actually be indicted? Arrested, handcuffed, the whole deal. Possible?

The prevailing answer is this: Nobody is sure.

But that’s not entirely true.

President Ulysses S. Grant knows — err, knew.
In 1872, while president, Grant was arrested at the corner of 13th and M streets in Washington. This was not a high crime, but it was — at least theoretically speaking — a misdemeanor.

The man who led the North to victory in the Civil War was busted for speeding in his horse-drawn carriage.

The story of his arrest — confirmed a few years ago by Cathy L. Lanier, who was then the District’s police chief — was told in a remarkable but obviously forgotten story in the Sept. 27, 1908, edition of the Washington Evening Star under the headline: “Only Policeman Who Ever Arrested a President.”

That policeman was William H. West, a black man who had fought in the Civil War.

“Since his retirement,” the story said, “he has decided to let the public know the true story of the arrest.”

It begins with Grant’s love of fast horses.

“Gen. Grant was an ardent admirer of a good horse and loved nothing better than to sit behind a pair of spirited animals,” the Star story said. “He was a good driver, and sometimes ‘let them out’ to try their mettle.”

And that’s where Grant, as president, rode into the law.

The police had been receiving complaints of speeding carriages. After a mother and child were run over and badly injured, Officer West was dispatched to investigate. As West spoke to witnesses, another group of speeding carriages headed toward him — including one driven by the president of the United States.

“Policeman West held up his hand for them to stop,” the story said. “Grant was driving a pair of fast steppers and he had some difficulty in halting them, but this he managed to do.”

Grant was a bit testy.

"Well, officer,” he said, “what do you want with me?"

West replied: “I want to inform you, Mr. President, that you are violating the law by speeding along this street. Your fast driving, sir, has set the example for a lot of other gentlemen."

The president apologized, promised it wouldn’t happen again, and galloped away.

But Grant could not curb his need for speed.

The next evening, West was patrolling at the corner of 13th and M streets when the president came barreling through again, this time speeding so fast that it took him an entire block to stop.

Now Grant was cocky and had a “smile on his face,” the Star article said, that made him look like “a schoolboy who had been caught in a guilty act by a teacher.”

He said, “Do you think, officer, that I was violating the speed laws?”

“I do, Mr. President,” West said.

Grant had an excuse for his speeding, not unlike one no doubt being given somewhere right now: He had no idea he had been going so fast.

West was sympathetic but firm.

“I am very sorry, Mr. President, to have to do it,” he said, “for you are the chief of the nation, and I am nothing but a policeman, but duty is duty, sir, and I will have to place you under arrest.”

It’s worth pointing out here that standards of journalism, particularly with quotations, were not as rigorous back then as today, so it’s nearly impossible to know if this is the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help us hot type.

However, Lanier did confirm the arrest, and there are other historical references to it.

Anyway, Grant and several of his speeding buddies also arrested went with West to the police station. The president of the United States was ordered to put up 20 bucks as collateral. A trial was held the next day.

"Thirty-two ladies of the most refined character and surroundings voluntarily came into the court and testified against the drivers,” the Star story said. “The cases were contested bitterly."

The judge imposed “heavy fines” and a “scathing rebuke” to the speeding drivers, who didn’t include the president.

He didn’t show up for court.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/ ... bc33985bd3

The old Evening Star building (of the paper that reported this story in 1908), just across the street from the Old Post Office (now the shit-stain's horribly over-priced tasteless hotel) was re-purposed many years ago as an office building and was used by much of the AntiTrust division of DOJ. It was on the top floor there, working as a contractor, that I met my future wife in 1985. That job's long gone, they tore down the building, saving just the facade, building a new one behind it, but that woman and I are still together! :love:

But what this means is that the Justice Dept guidance (which is not law) may clearly be totally wrong--If you can arrest a sitting President, you can certainly indict one!

BTW, $20 in 1872 was when a gold, Double-Eagle was worth its face value of $20. Today, the gold content alone (without the numismatic value added in) of a Double Eagle is $1245.-- at the current spot gold price of $1287.-- So President Grant forfeited the equivalent of $1245...a damn hefty fine for a speeding ticket! Is it any wonder the judge didn't worry about him not appearing in court?
If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything." -- Mark Twain
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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#2 Post by highdesert » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:34 pm

I read about Grant, didn't know about Pierce. A reporter stated to Nancy Pelosi that you can't indict a sitting president, her reply was that she didn't agree with it. She said it's one legal opinion but there are other legal opinions that conflict with it.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#3 Post by K9s » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:20 pm

It looks bad. It would cause the Faux News crowd and the right-wing GOP to cry "coup" no matter how legally justified. Pence would then pardon all those people.

The better solution is to turn as many localities and states Blue before the 2020 redistricting while pulling power back from the Presidency and increasing checks on Presidential power. Congress has allowed the Presidency too much power in the past.

After the 2020 (or 2024) election, sealed indictments can be unsealed. I believe that a sealed indictment ensures that the statute of limitations would not expire for crimes Trumps/Kushners/etc.
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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#4 Post by joemac » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:59 am

I can't imagine the change of power will go well after the 2020 election. I would like to see Trump hauled out of the White House in leg chains on inauguration day.

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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#5 Post by CDFingers » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:03 am

"I feel the need for speed." Somehow not the same thinking of Grant. But I totally cracked up at the two examples.

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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#6 Post by K9s » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:33 pm

joemac wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:59 am
I can't imagine the change of power will go well after the 2020 election. I would like to see Trump hauled out of the White House in leg chains on inauguration day.
You assume Trump will lose? Don't be so sure. The GOP still has full control of several big southern states and a lot of other small states. This is gonna be a bloody fight. The Dems need someone GOOD to run.

IF Trump is voted out of office, it will be very interesting. The midterms showed us that Red State governors and senators will go to extraordinary lengths to retain GOP power (remember FL Gov Scott demanded that State Police gather and impound voting machines when he faced a recount, etc.). Expect a flurry of "future-looking" pardons and a self-pardon under cover of right-wing protests of a rigged election and coup. Expect court challenges across the country in battleground states. Expect last minute laws passed and Executive Orders to shackle the Dems (remember Michigan, Wisconsin, and North Carolina). Nothing will surprise me, but I expect to be outraged.
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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#7 Post by Eris » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:43 pm

K9s wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:33 pm
Expect last minute laws passed
You're probably mostly right, but with the Dems in control of Congress I think we can rule out any laws being passed to hurt them. But I'll add new rule making by Federal agencies to your list in it's place.
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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#8 Post by featureless » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:15 pm

K9s wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:33 pm
You assume Trump will lose? Don't be so sure. The GOP still has full control of several big southern states and a lot of other small states. This is gonna be a bloody fight. The Dems need someone GOOD to run.
I agree. And so far, the Dems aren't putting up shit, just nuevo corporatist "liberals." For choices so far, we've got (either declared or very likely):
Harris: She's Californian and too radical to appeal to those states that went Trump last time. I expect Trump would carry the electrical college.
Booker: See Harris, only black man bad: see right's hatred of Obama.
Biden: probably our best hope but... He's old.
Sanders?: No idea if he'll run but he's old and "socialist"
Clinton? Yeah, she might. And we'll lose again.

What other gems am I missing?

I think our best hope is that another Republican challenges Trump. And that's not much of a hope but at least it might restore some sanity to the platforms I don't like. :no:

Edited to add:
Steyer: a total unknown but his environmental views kick ass. Thus, no chance.
Warren: no chance.

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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#9 Post by featureless » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:05 pm

Another addition to the Dem fray: Tulsi Gabbard.

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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#10 Post by VodoundaVinci » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:07 pm

Biden is a hot choice as is Warren. Biden is a Gun Grabber Anti 2A guy forever. Warren is an unknown but she's Establishment so if the party line is to grab guns she'll likely roll with that. Back in the Day when I was a Republican we used to laugh at Democrats because they spent so much time *Destroying* each others credibility in the Primaries that they couldn't brush enough dirt off to win the election.

The water is already full of sharks and we are a whole year out yet. Hoping Bernie runs again but told him no money/no vote if he runs Democrat. The Democrats seem hell bent on going full dumbass on the gun grabbing so I suspect they'll assure Trump 4 more years.

So far I'm not seeing anything I can even hold my nose and vote for. I might sit this one out for the first time ever in my Life. My Wife convinced me to swallow my pride and vote Democrat last Fall so I held my nose and did. And it has been pretty much a disaster so I'm not doing that again...I can't do it again.

More on Topic: You *could* arrest a President back in the day. That would never happen now as no modern President goes anywhere without an entourage of Secret Service and no one would get close enough to arrest him. I fantasize about a Coup where an American General sends a special team to snatch Trump and hold him for charges even if they have to shoot their way in/out of the White House to do it but it's just fantasy.

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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#11 Post by featureless » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:19 pm

VodoundaVinci wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:07 pm
The Democrats seem hell bent on going full dumbass on the gun grabbing so I suspect they'll assure Trump 4 more years.
I fear this may be the case.

Sorry for the derailment, YT.

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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#12 Post by K9s » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:28 pm

It doesn't matter who they nominate. I'll vote for any of them. Inaction is worse.

None of them are "gunna take away yer guns". States and locals might, but no Prez would be able to do that in my lifetime. The sky is not falling. It is a lousy choice if your state is anti-2A, but the human cost of GOP state control is heartbreaking.
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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#13 Post by featureless » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:37 pm

K9s wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:28 pm
It doesn't matter who they nominate. I'll vote for any of them. Inaction is worse.

None of them are "gunna take away yer guns". States and locals might, but no Prez would be able to do that in my lifetime. The sky is not falling. It is a lousy choice if your state is anti-2A, but the human cost of GOP state control is heartbreaking.
If someone passes an assault weapon ban (a definition that keeps growing to be more all encompassing) that prohibits passing them on to your children (and the drafts always do), you are correct, no one has taken our guns. They've taken our children's guns. :hmm:

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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#14 Post by K9s » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:01 pm

featureless wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:37 pm
K9s wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:28 pm
It doesn't matter who they nominate. I'll vote for any of them. Inaction is worse.

None of them are "gunna take away yer guns". States and locals might, but no Prez would be able to do that in my lifetime. The sky is not falling. It is a lousy choice if your state is anti-2A, but the human cost of GOP state control is heartbreaking.
If someone passes an assault weapon ban (a definition that keeps growing to be more all encompassing) that prohibits passing them on to your children (and the drafts always do), you are correct, no one has taken our guns. They've taken our children's guns. :hmm:
I think that has been the plan all along.

On the other hand, I have seen firsthand the human cost of the rise of the far right and the "American Carnage" caused by GOP control of states. It is a lousy choice for those of us who do not fit into neat categories. Conservative Protestant farmers, African-American gun owners, most non-wealthy liberals and conservatives... no one is happy about the choices except a small portion of zealous supporters.
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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#15 Post by TrueTexan » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:33 pm

If that precedent of Grant being arrest for speeding in a carriage was the only thing we had, then could we arrest Orange Slime for speeding in a golf cart?
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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#16 Post by YankeeTarheel » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:05 pm

featureless wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:19 pm
VodoundaVinci wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:07 pm
The Democrats seem hell bent on going full dumbass on the gun grabbing so I suspect they'll assure Trump 4 more years.
I fear this may be the case.

Sorry for the derailment, YT.
Hey, tangents always seem the sign of successful thread start! :beer2:

Grant was arrested for speeding. Trump will be arrested and indicted for treason, corruption, obstruction of justice, perjury, acting as an unregistered foreign agent, and just being an amoral crooked fuck-wit.
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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#17 Post by Bang » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:26 pm

All this "you can't arrest/charge/indict the President" stuff since Trump has been in office struck me as off. The whole idea of our form of government is that no one is above the law, no election can exempt an individual from the law.

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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#18 Post by K9s » Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:27 am

Bang wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:26 pm
All this "you can't arrest/charge/indict the President" stuff since Trump has been in office struck me as off. The whole idea of our form of government is that no one is above the law, no election can exempt an individual from the law.
I agree. It seems that the legal eagles are continuing the ongoing debate about presidential powers. Congress seems to have allowed the Office of the President more and more power so that they are not held accountable for actions themselves. They let the courts limit power. It is probably time for a return to a serious discussion about presidential powers.

Like any government official, more unilateral power can be useful if the official can be trusted. For example, DACA was created by Executive Order. However, that power comes with responsibility and accountability.

My greatest fear is that a GOP Congress will do what they have always done.... For example, a President is supposed to nominate judges. McConnell and the GOP blocked ALL Obama judges when Dems held the Senate. McConnell and the GOP (the minority party in the Senate) vowed to NEVER allow an Obama judge to be confirmed. There was nothing wrong with those judges except that the GOP wanted their own conservative judges. The Dems got rid of the filibuster rules for all but SCOTUS judges to get some judges confirmed. A few years later, the GOP took the Senate. They successfully blocked ALL Obama judges and refused to hold hearings on any of them. After 2016, the GOP then claimed that, because the Dems had confirmed SOME judges with 51 votes, they would make ALL judges confirmed with 51 votes. They blame the Dems. If Dems try to hold Trump accountable for anything, the GOP will do all they can to find as many indictments for whatever they can (fake or real) for the next Dem President and appoint as many special prosecutors as they can.

To sum it up, the Trump Republican party is corrupt. They cannot be trusted to govern. The want power at all costs. Indicting and arresting a president is not going to solve the systemic problem.
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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#19 Post by YankeeTarheel » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:53 am

To sum it up, the Trump Republican party is corrupt. They cannot be trusted to govern. The want power at all costs. Indicting and arresting a president is not going to solve the systemic problem.
No, but it's a first step. The next is to take back power by getting enough people, yet again, to get off their lazy asses and go vote! And vote Republicans OUT, not vote "principles" or "protests"--let the right-wing-nuts with their accusations against their own of "RINO" do that!

The Senate CAN be taken back in 2020. Collins, Gardner, Tillis, even Joni Ernst in Iowa should be worried--more voters voted Democratic in Iowa in 2018 state-wide than Rethug, by a large margin, and 2 of the 4 seats were flipped--the 4th? That's SS Obergrupenfuhrer Steven King, just stripped of all committee memberships! Even Mitch McConnell, who has not won really big re-elections in Kentucky may be vulnerable as the tariffs he support are hurting the bourbon industry (sacrilege!).

Following the Civil War, the Congress, fighting Lincoln's biggest blunder, Andrew Johnson, stripped as much Presidential power away as they could, and it wasn't until McKinley and, of course, Teddy Roosevelt, that Presidents became more effective and powerful. So it is possible, but not until Democrats have solid control of Congress again, as they once did.
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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#20 Post by K9s » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:42 pm

GOTV leaders are sometimes harassed and jailed (just enough to frighten other GOTV leaders). It isn't just voter laziness. There is real fear (and real consequences). It isn't just some ethereal or philosophical "voting rights" battle down here.

The Blue States are truly going to have to help save a lot of the people trapped in Red States.
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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#21 Post by CDFingers » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:53 am

Image

CDFingers

We see you, orange stain. We see.

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Re: It seems you CAN Arrest a Sitting President, After All!

#22 Post by K9s » Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:34 am

THAT is hilarious!
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