While pandering to his base, 45 displays some real differences between how he views white terrorists vs. brown ones.
When Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock slaughtered 58 people at a country music festival in October, Trump tweeted just two things in the 48 hours that followed:
At a Cabinet meeting, here's what he told reporters: "The wires were crossed pretty badly in (Paddock's) brain. Extremely badly in his brain. And it's a very sad event."
But after hearing about Sayfullo Saipov, allegedly the driver in a New York terror attack that killed eight people, Trump had a lot more to say.
He called the suspect an "animal." He went on a Twitter rant demanding the death penalty in caps multiple times. He said he'd like to see the guy sent to Guantanamo. He literally called our justice system a "joke."
"We need punishment that's far quicker and far greater than the punishment these animals are getting right now," he said.
Don: 150 years of jurisprudence is not a "joke"
Aside from the marked difference in outrage Trump displayed for a white murderer and a brown one, there's a bigger issue of the idiot-in-chief once again failing to grasp very basic things about the Constitution he swore an oath to defend.
It took fellow Republican Mike McCaul, the chairman of the House Homeland Security committee, to remind Trump what the presidents before him understood intuitively: "Under due process, this individual, like it or not, came into the U.S. legally, is a lawful permanent resident and has rights under the Constitution."
Due process comes up in both the Fifth Amendment and the Fourteenth. Here's the former:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
The Supreme Court has found in cases going back to 1896 that "even aliens" (meaning illegal immigrants) have the same Constitutional rights.
Not sure why Trump thinks 150 years of jurisprudence is a "joke," but he won't be laughing when Saipov's lawyers argue he can't get a fair trial because the president already convicted and sentenced him to death via Twitter.
Shutterstock photo/Evan El-Amin
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