Mr. Reid Beveridge’s Guest Commentary offered an example about how even smart people who should know better seem to have had their brains completely washed of any skepticism or criticism of Donald Trump (“Mar-a-Lago shows ‘it is a bad idea to criminalize politics,’” Sept. 6).
Mr. Beveridge ignores facts or evidence that might make Trump look bad and tends to rely on “alternative facts” that exist only in an alternate reality, the Fox News bubble or a QAnon online site.
He states that the search warrant for Mar-a-Lago might have “to do with 15 boxes of documents, perhaps some of them classified, that the National Archives believes should be stored with them rather than in Trump’s home.” Has he heard about the Presidential Records Act of 1978? That law makes it clear that none of the papers, documents, memos or memorabilia relating to Trump’s administration belong to him! They belong to the people of the United States of America and are stored, by law, in the National Archives or, when it is completed, a presidential library run by the Archives. Whether the documents are classified or not makes no difference.
Both Bushes, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama followed this law carefully when accessing their papers when writing their memoirs, and each established a presidential library, where their unclassified papers are stored and available to historians and other researchers. Any classified papers are unavailable to the general public in order to protect our security.
To put it plainly, Trump stole these documents from the United States government (which he is no longer a part of) and must be held accountable. He lied to and misled the Archives and the Justice Department when he was asked to return them and has not offered justification or reason why he would commit such a theft of public property.
Mr. Beveridge seems disturbed about this “unprecedented” search of a former president’s home, observing that “they didn’t do it for Richard Nixon.” For all his faults and crimes, Nixon did not hide evidence that investigators were aware of, and, when ordered by the Supreme Court to turn over tape recordings of White House conversations that he claimed possession of, he promptly obeyed. The revealing of his criminal conversation about obstructing justice in the Watergate investigation led to his resignation from office shortly thereafter. If Nixon had refused to turn over the tapes, he might well have been the subject of a search warrant.
Mr. Beveridge also laments, “Why does Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., hate him (Trump) so?” Liz Cheney is a true conservative (just check her voting record in Congress!), who holds the United States Constitution as a sacred document; she also knows some history, and she recognizes Donald Trump as a threat to the country that she loves. When Donald Trump refused to accept his defeat for reelection (even though he lost to Joe Biden by 7 million popular votes, and by the same margin in the Electoral College by which Trump defeated Hillary Clinton four years earlier), he instead organized a conspiracy to steal the election by creating fake electors in the key states, calling people like the secretary of state in Georgia, and asking them to “find” votes that did not exist; telling lies about voting fraud that were rejected in over 60 courts. When none of those things worked, he organized and provoked a violent mob to storm the United States Capitol building in order — for the first time in our history — to prevent the official counting of the electoral votes. (The event resulted in several deaths and could have been much worse, including the real possibility of the assassination of Trump’s own vice president), Liz Cheney realized that the president that she had faithfully supported for four years had betrayed his oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” and she could support him no longer.
If Mr. Beveridge cannot understand that, it is truly unfortunate.