I am very concerned about the growing number of these public charges – which tarnish reputations permanently whether or not they are true. Public outcry for resignations because, of course, the accusers never lie …
What happened to due process, as guaranteed in Articles Five and Fourteen of our Constitution?
What is “due process of law”? According to Wikipedia:
Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all legal rights that are owed to a person. Due process balances the power of law of the land and protects the individual person from it. When a government harms a person without following the exact course of the law, this constitutes a due process violation, which offends the rule of law.
I with Betsy McCaughey’s article today in Real Clear Politics:
New York’s Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is spearheading a McCarthyite purge of sexual harassers from Congress, throwing the nation’s capital into turmoil. What counts as sexual harassment? Good question. Men accused of boorish gestures or vulgar remarks face the same disgrace as outright rapists. And never mind if the accusations lack proof and the accusers remain anonymous.
Consider the charges dredged up again this week against President Trump. You heard them last year when he was campaigning for president. One accuser, Jessica Leeds, said that more than 30 years ago Trump groped her on a plane. But reporters were not able to confirm the flight, date or even year the incident was supposed to have occurred and couldn’t track down one witness to support her story.
The same was true with the other accusers. No facts.
No wonder the public dismissed the claims and elected Trump.
Monday, Leeds and two other accusers reiterated their old, unsubstantiated charges at a press conference. In response, six Democratic senators, including Gillibrand, are calling for Trump to step down from the presidency. It’s as if the #MeToo movement lessens the standard of proof and makes due process unnecessary.
That’s what’s happening in Congress. Take the anonymous former campaign worker who’s accusing Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., of touching her thigh twice, making her feel uncomfortable. Kihuen denies it, but House minority leader Nancy Pelosi commends the woman for coming forward (anonymously?) and demands that he resign.
What about Kihuen’s right to a fair hearing and the presumption of innocence? Pelosi and the sex vigilantes are all too ready to toss due process in the wastebasket…
If a person believes that she/he has been sexually assaulted, or sexually harassed, then she/he should press charges against the alleged assaulter/harasser, and give that person the opportunity to defend against the allegations in a court of law.
There are times when I am sorry that we in the United States do not have stronger laws against slander and libel. Defamation should be treated as a serious crime.