To the Editor:
RE: Sunday April 28 letter to the editor on the Opinion Page titled: “Reader points out that what is unethical isn’t always illegal.”
I found it interesting and well written. The writer clearly made his point. I would add, what is unethical isn’t always illegal and sometime is not fair.
Oppositional research is a euphuism given to us by the legal profession whose members are supposed to embody all things ethical. Jurists are supposedly held to a higher standard of behavior and ethics.
That seems to go out-the-window when they work for an elected government official who wants to gain or keep a powerful office. While not illegal, “oppositional research” does smell a bit unethical and unfair to me.
The writer is clearly not a President Trump fan, and I admit that sometimes President Trump tweets things that I feel are better left unsaid. The writer states that “to wish that a foreign country would interfere with an election seems un-American.” I do not remember President Trump ever saying or tweeting anything in agreement that any country should be allowed to interfere in our election process.
Regarding the notion that President Trump did not believe “our own security staff,” knowing what we know today, can you blame him? He was intentionally misled by the leaders of our security team and the leaders in our Department of Justice.
Also, the idea that President Trump “should thank his attorney generals for not firing Mueller at his direction ...” is still in dispute. President Trump claims he was trying to convey through one of his attorneys that Robert Mueller should not be appointed as a Special Investigator/Counsel because of a “conflict-of-interest” regarding his (Mueller’s) investments in some of President Trump’s properties.
Right now, it is a “he said / he said” situation between President Trump and his former attorney as to what was said. You may remember that President Trump stated publicly he would not fire Special Counsel Mueller.
I am certain that any attorney general, who works at the pleasure of the president of the United States and refused a presidential directive, would be immediately looking for a new job for him or herself. I was rather amazed President Trump did not terminate Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions recused himself prematurely from the entire Russia investigation. That always seemed a bit disloyal to me. I cannot determine whether Session’s decision was ethical or unethical. It did seem very unfair to President Trump, who was a political newcomer at the time.
Speaking of disloyal people, I believe that President Trump was a bit naïve in the early days and weeks of his administration. He appointed many people to important posts who turned out to be disloyal. Two of them were retired general officers who knew how vital loyalty is to the chain of command. Somehow, they forgot that President Trump is the Commander-in-Chief. Disgraceful in my book.
The writer seems to have forgotten the unethical, but not illegal, faux pas of previous presidents.
Remember, “I am not a crook”; “no new taxes”; “mission accomplished”; “I did not have sex with that woman”; “If you like your health care plan you can keep your health care plan”; “Benghazi happened because of an offensive video”; to name a few.
What is unethical isn’t always illegal, but sometimes it comes darn close.
Lastly, is there really an “Office of Government Ethics in Washington, D.C.”? That’s either a joke or a perfect oxymoron — right? I believe I even heard the Statue of Liberty snicker at that one!
George Van Riper