The rule of law is one of the cornerstones in the foundation of our constitutional republic. For more than two centuries we've agreed as a nation to be bound by a common set of laws. Even when we profoundly disagree with the nation's laws we've understood that it is our civic duty to abide by them while working to change them using the peaceful process established in the U.S. Constitution. With the notable exception of the bloody Civil War, we've upheld our mutual agreement to find solutions to our political differences within the bounds of the law.
Deep differences between extremes have always existed within American politics. There have historically been large-scale protests of wars and segregation. The Nixon-Watergate scandal directly challenged the separation and balance of powers between the three major branches of our government. In that instance the legislative and judicial branches did their duty, ensured that the allegations of wrongdoing were fully investigated, and ultimately upheld the fundamental American principle that no one, including the president, is above the law.
The rule of law is once again under assault. Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to investigate Russian attempts to influence our elections and the allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Putin's operatives, and to prosecute any criminal activity encountered. Mueller has methodically done the job he was appointed to do. More than 75 criminal charges have already been filed and numerous guilty pleas have been entered. There are scores of cooperating witnesses and every indication is that additional charges and plea deals are in process.
Despite the deeply disturbing criminal activity already uncovered as well as the serious national security breaches that are still unresolved, President Trump and his partisan defenders in Congress are doing everything possible to undermine and discredit the dedicated investigators who are seeking the truth.
This is not a partisan issue; it's about protecting the national security of the United States and the integrity of our elections. All Republicans, Democrats and independents must stand together to preserve our republic. We cannot allow partisan tribalism to prevent full investigation of interference in our political process by a hostile foreign nation.
We the people must take a strong stand for the rule of law. We must demand that Congress refuses to allow the truth to remain hidden. We must ensure the law is enforced without regard for position, title or partisan affiliation.
Our great American republic and our individual freedoms depend on allegiance to the rule of law.
Mueller must be allowed to follow the evidence wherever it leads, to fully prosecute those responsible for compromising our elections.
No one is above the law, not even the president.
Nate Bell is state director of Stand Up Republic (standuprepublic.com) and former independent member of the Arkansas House of Representatives.
Editorial on 06/18/2018
Print Headline: Not above the law