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Transition to Trump: Should Donald Trump keep his promise to throw Hillary in jail?

Although it was often promised by Donald Trump on the campaign trail, one bit of “change” that doesn’t appear like it will come to pass in the new administration is open prosecution of the Clintons for their wrongdoing in recent years.

Pete Kasperowicz of the Washington Examiner reports, “President-elect Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway indicated Tuesday that Trump will not try to prosecute Hillary Clinton once he takes office in January, Hillary Clintonin an effort to help Clinton ‘heal.’

“’I think Hillary Clinton still has to face the fact that a majority of Americans don't find her to be honest or trustworthy,’ Conway said on MSNBC. ‘If Donald Trump can help her heal then perhaps that's a good thing.’”

Conway added that the message of no prosecution is likely to resonate with Republicans in Congress. That could be true since it absolves them of the duty to hold lengthy and likely divisive hearings over a matter that’s already done with and could end up very damaging politically if the country responds to them the wrong way. Let’s not forget how a majority of Americans was against impeaching Bill Clinton in 1998 – and remember how guilty he was.

But at the same time, the decision to let Hillary go scot-free won’t be well received by elements of the grassroots that are hungry for justice and accountability in government. Some of the reasons why these people voted for Trump was because he promised to prosecute Clinton to the fullest extent, at one point even saying during a debate that he would appoint special counsel to do the work.

Trump also famously uttered the line “you would be in jail” to Hillary if he was elected.

While admittedly this is a delicate subject, a couple observations. First, I think the issue will be moot when Obama pardons Hillary on the way out of office. The president simply risks too much by not granting official clemency under the Constitution to his former Secretary of State because Obama himself could very easily be implicated in any investigation into Clinton’s obvious crimes.

The fact that Trump himself indicated he probably wouldn’t go after Hillary (in his 60 Minutes interview) – and Conway’s statement – isn’t enough reassurance to Obama that no action would be taken. And although I can’t say for sure, Congress could choose to pursue some investigations of its own under its authority to oversee the Executive Branch.

There also could be civil repercussions from groups like Judicial Watch that will continue legal snooping on their own, so it’s not like Hillary’s reputation will be salvaged in the process.

Second, I think ultimately it would be a smart move for Trump to let Hillary go. Her crimes are serious and likely were very harmful to U.S. foreign policy and prestige around the world, but in the end, not much would be accomplished by dragging a defeated opponent through the system and throwing her and Bill and their crowd in prison.

History tells us that there almost certainly would be a backlash for doing such a thing, a political hit that would damage the Trump administration potentially for years. Trump needs the cooperation of some Democrats in Congress to get his biggest agenda items passed and if he’s preoccupied with going after the Clintons for crimes committed years ago, the most important work is going to be pushed to the side.

I’m personally disappointed that Hillary may never be brought to account for what she did – but I’m more concerned with preserving Trump’s ability to institute new policies that will benefit everyone in America.

In this case, perhaps vengeance is best left to a higher authority.

Poll shows Americans believe Trump will bring change, but many still need convincing

All throughout his presidential run and especially during the latter few months, Donald Trump campaigned on a theme of change. To African-Americans and Hispanics, he was famous for saying, “What the h—l do you have to lose?” To those frustrated with the way things are in Washington, Trump promised to drain the swamp.

There have only been a couple weeks since Trump won the election, but Americans are already starting to see some benefits to having an outsider move into the White House on January 20.

Jennifer Agiesta of CNN reports, “Two weeks after Election Day, most Americans say President-elect Donald Trump will ultimately do a good job as president, though fewer approve of the way he's handled the transition so far, according to a new CNN/ORC Poll.

“A narrow majority (53%), say they think Trump will do a very or fairly good job as president, and 40% say they have a lot of confidence in Trump to deal with the economy, a share that outpaces the percentage who had that much confidence in Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan ahead of their first inaugurations.”

The rest of the poll numbers weren’t as favorable to Trump. Again, Agiesta writes, “All told, 66% say a Trump presidency will bring change to the country, but just 43% say it will be change for the better, twenty points below the 63% who thought Obama would bring change for the better in November 2008.”

I’m not quite sure who made up the 63% of people who believed Obama would bring change for the better back then, but Trump’s numbers were significantly lower largely because Democrats and some Independents aren’t onboard with Trump’s version of change.

Continuing on with the “sore loser” theme, the CNN poll shows Democrats have very little confidence Trump will handle either the economy or foreign affairs effectively. They also don’t appear to favor his moves made thus far in the transition, as if that were any great surprise.

In other words, Americans are still deeply divided over Trump and the issues that matter most in today’s world. It’s going to take time in order to win over some of his skeptics, but let’s face it, there is always going to be a large collection of Democrat doubters no matter what Trump does. They see him as having stolen the election and they’ll remain eternally displeased until the next time a liberal socialist takes over.

Being unhappy. It’s what Democrats do.

But in another sense, public polling can really only offer so much value at this stage. There have been precious few concrete moves in the Trump transition team thus far, so it’s very difficult if not impossible to tell how well the new president will be thought of halfway through next year when we’ll know a lot more about whether he’s able to stop Obamacare, pass tax reform, put a foreign policy team in place to clean up Obama’s world mess and move forward with fixing the country’s hopelessly broken immigration system.

It’s a full plate, for sure. Trump has the appetite for change, but will the perpetually disgruntled ever be satisfied?

President-elect Trump loves polls but I’m afraid there isn’t much he can gather from these early ones on how he’s doing and what Americans expect from him.

There’s also another component at work here, at least in terms of Trump’s transition progress. Simply put, Americans can’t see a lot of what’s going on behind the scenes to make that “change” happen.

Katie Glueck of Politico reports, “[T]he Heritage Foundation has emerged as one of the most influential forces shaping President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, embedding the veteran Washington group into the operation of a candidate who ran loudly against the Beltway.

“Part gate-keeper, part brain trust and part boots on the ground, Heritage is both a major presence on the transition team itself, and a crucial conduit between Trump’s orbit and the once-skeptical conservative leaders who ultimately helped get him elected.”

I find it hilarious and somewhat ironic that the media is depicting the Heritage Foundation as part of the “inside the Beltway” establishment. As if an organization headed by Jim DeMint could be part of the “swamp” that the former South Carolina senator fought so valiantly against during his days on Capitol Hill.

That’s far from the truth. Knowing that the Heritage Foundation is helping to guide Trump’s transition and personnel moves is a comfort to all conservatives and anyone who’s knowledgeable about what the organization actually does. Heritage helped Trump put together his list of potential Supreme Court nominees, a move that arguably won the election for him.

They also produce policy papers on just about every topic and have personnel at the ready to drum up grassroots support for a wealth of conservative causes.

Glueck’s story indicates former Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese is also working on Trump’s team. That fact alone should put any fears to rest that a Trump administration will be filled with quality people who honor the Constitution and America’s revered traditions. Donald Trump may not be Ronald Reagan, but that doesn’t mean his years in office won’t bring back the good feelings of the 80’. Talk about making America great again.

I can’t help but think the Trump administration will not only bring change to the country, it will lead to the type of improvements that will be widely popular with those who maintain an open mind. If that’s the case, expect those Trump poll numbers to increase dramatically in 2017.

Rumors persist of “faithless electors” derailing a Trump presidency, but they won’t get far

You would think heading into the Thanksgiving holiday that the country would have settled into accepting the winner of the presidential election by now, but that doesn’t appear to be happening – at least where some Democrats are concerned.

Not only do anti-Trump “not my president” protests and cry-ins continue on college campuses across the country, but there are also organized efforts to gain through the Electoral College what couldn’t be accomplished through the ballot box.

Kyle Cheney of Politico reports, “At least a half-dozen Democratic electors have signed onto an attempt to block Donald Trump from winning an Electoral College majority, an effort designed not only to deny Trump the presidency but also to undermine the legitimacy of the institution.

“The presidential electors, mostly former Bernie Sanders supporters who hail from Washington state and Colorado, are now lobbying their Republican counterparts in other states to reject their oaths — and in some cases, state law — to vote against Trump when the Electoral College meets on Dec. 19.”

Bernie Sanders supporters -- pfft. You might as well just round up a collection of brainless protester kids and put them in the Electoral College. At least that’s one institution where those jokers would actually attend class.

Cheney’s article indicates the group isn’t overly optimistic that they can actually stop Trump from prevailing in the vote. They’re basically trying to get enough Republican electors to undermine Trump in order to delegitimize the Electoral College to the point where future efforts to eliminate it would be more successful. (Outgoing ultra-liberal Sen. Barbara Boxer introduced a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College.)

They’ve also indicated a willingness should they get enough Republicans to go along (they would need 37 Republican turncoats), to have the House of Representatives elect Mitt Romney or John Kasich instead.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever speculated that Bernie Sanders backers would prefer Mitt Romney in the White House over someone else. Strange times, indeed.

This effort to try and persuade Electoral College members to vote against Trump reminds me of the movement some Republicans made last summer at the Republican Convention to stop him from even getting the party nomination. At the end of the day, there’re just not enough unhappy people to ever push these things very far.

America’s Constitution lays out a process for electing a president and tradition has it that members of the Electoral College must do as they’re supposed to do in supporting the winner of their state. As the above poll indicates, there are more than enough people in this country willing to accept Donald Trump as the new president.

A few whiney naysayers making a lot of noise don’t change that fact. And if there ever was an election that demonstrated the overall value of the Electoral College, it’s this year’s. The Constitution prevents a few large populous states from dictating who serves as Chief Executive. The system works as designed.

I for one don’t want the people of California, Illinois and New York making the decision for me.

As soon as they realize no one else cares what they think, the Bernie Sanders people will stop their squawking.

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Should Donald Trump keep his promise to throw Hillary in jail?

First of all, Trump can't throw anybody in jail. But even if Kellyanne Conway's views are correct, it would be the height of irresponsibility on Trump's part to talk about pardoning the Clintons before the extent of the crimes, if any, are publically known.

Hillary's prosecution

While I agree that prosecuting Hillary is risky, not prosecuting her is even more risky for the Republicans and President elect Trump. Trump should clearly state before inauguration that he will treat her in the same way as any criminal suspect.
I agree with you that President Obama will almost certainly pardon her if he thinks that she will be indicted. I firmly believe that the criminal activity goes all the way to the top and Obama cannot afford that to come to the light. However, pardoning Hillary puts all of the criminal activity and the lack of prosecution into the lap of the Democrats and Trump is clean without having to prosecute her. This should satisfy reasonable Conservatives, since there is nothing Trump can do anymore and it should satisfy Rinos and Democrats, since Hillary is not prosecuted.
I do not believe that Benghazi constitutes a criminal act, nor does the lying about that silly video. The criminal acts are perjury, destruction of subpoenaed evidence, mishandling of top secret information and such. In addition, there is the pay to play Clinton Foundation and a pardon for anything there can only be granted if the foundation is shut down right away. Otherwise it needs to be investigated as well.
It is sad to say that Hillary is getting rewarded to stonewalling long enough that she will not be prosecuted, but we need to show everyone, that it takes "an act of Congress", so to speak, to avoid being criminally prosecuted. This should be enough of a deterrent that politicians might think twice if they want to break the law. What I am proposing would send the "deterrent" signal as best as we can under the circumstances.

Stick to the Rule of Law

Circumventing or abandoning the rule of law is a serious threat to civil order.

Clinton’s alleged crimes must be adjudicated in a court of law, rather than the court of public opinion, so that people can have confidence in the government’s impartiality. She should not be treated differently from any other government worker that handles state secrets, and who is in a position to take bribes for government favors. If Clinton is found not guilty by a jury of her fellow citizens, then she gets a clean slate. Without that, a cloud of controversy hangs over her, her associates, and the federal government, based on disclosed evidence that she brazenly defied the laws of the United States of America, in which the rule of law, and its equal application to everyone, is one of its highest foundational principles.
Public order breaks down, when the rule of law is inequitably applied.

Furthermore, if derelictions of duty occurred in the Obama administration’s Department of Justice, in handling the Clinton matters, the people involved must be held accountable as deterrence to bad behavior by any government official.

It is not the President’s job (or the President elect’s job) to carry out investigations and prosecutions. But, it is his job to make certain that they happen without interference. Once a person is convicted of a crime, the President is allowed to pardon him or commute his sentence. The President may opt for those actions for any reason, including political expedience. So, until Clinton is convicted or exonerated of the crimes she is alleged to have committed, the President must insist that the Justice Department continue to pursue justice without partiality to a person’s stature in regard to government service. And, he must protect the process from political interference, including his own.

It is a bad way to start a President’s term in office, destroying the country’s confidence in the President’s impartiality regarding judicial proceedings.

Hillary Clinton legal issues

President Trump should let his new AG Jeff Sessions review with the FBI and new CIA Director and let them decide to prosecute Hillary and the Clinton Foundation. Decision should be made on facts in the case not political as Obama and Lynch have been doing.