Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Violated Federal Law

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack  has suggested that Donald Trump may have violated federal law, when he expressed hope that Russia would hack into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Vilsack raised the possibility that Trump could have violated the Logan Act which prohibits Americans from “siding with the enemy.”  He was referring to Trump’s comment: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.  I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

The 200-year-old Logan Act bars Americans from engaging in “correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government … with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States.”

In a follow-up interview, Vilstack was asked if he believed Trump had actually violated the Logan Act, he answered: “I think certainly at the very least it was inappropriate for him to side with Russia, and I think it’s another indication of why he’s disqualified to be president.”

On Fox News, Trump argued: "Of course I'm being sarcastic.  But you have 33,000 emails deleted, and the real problem is what was said on those emails from the Democratic National Committee.  You take a look at what was said on those emails, it's disgraceful."

How does Trump know that the content of those e-mails are “disgraceful,” if no one was looked at them?

The Clinton campaign referred a request for comment to senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan.  Sullivan noted: "This has to be the first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against his political opponent.  That's not hyperbole, those are just the facts.  This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue."

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