President Trump’s attacks on the rule of law in his four years in office have ranged from blatant disregard to outright breach of everything from well-established ethical values to universally accepted international norms, from United States laws and regulations to international laws and treaties.
As the Trump presidency ends, there is hope that the Biden presidency will mark a return to the rule of law. So it is important to take stock of Trump’s actions from A-Z as clearly and concisely as possible. Since the English-language alphabet is only 26 letters long, however, it may not be possible to do so comprehensively.
Assault on peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square
Criminally negligent pandemic response, causing a globally disproportionate toll of American deaths
Disavowing US intelligence reports on Russian hacking of 2016 US presidential election
Emoluments clause in the US Constitution violated throughout his term in office
Firing US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, FBI Director James Comey and several inspectors-general
Granting recognition of Morocco’s claim to sovereignty over Western Sahara
Hush-money payment of $130,000 to Stormy Daniels
Inciting acts of violence against Democratic leaders and other political opponents
Jared Kushner’s security clearance issued, overruling objections of US national security officials
Kids separated from their families and caged at US-Mexico border
Labeling the free press as “Enemy of the People”
Mendacity with nearly 25,000 false or misleading claims during a single term in office
Obstruction of justice in 10 instances documented in the Mueller investigation report
Promoting illegal annexation of Palestinian land by Israel in the so-called “Deal of the Century”
Questioning the integrity of the 2020 democratic election despite having no evidence of fraud
Refusing to denounce white supremacist and far-right extremist militias
Sexual assault and rape allegations by dozens of women
Trampling rules-based institutions and traditional alliances in favor of transactional adversaries
Uighur forced labor camps green-lighted to President Xi Jinping
Vitriolic attacks on women and bragging about nonconsensual vagina-grabbing
Xenophobic travel ban and restrictions on entry of refugees and other asylum-seekers
Zelensky quid pro quo blocking Congressionally authorized funds to Ukraine
Now that we know the ABC’s, it is time to seek accountability.
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This is an opinion essay.
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Mona Ali Khalil is an internationally recognized public international lawyer with 25 years of UN and other experience, including as a former senior legal officer in the UN and in the IAEA, with expertise in peacekeeping, peace enforcement, disarmament and counterterrorism. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in international relations from Harvard University and a master’s in foreign service and a J.D. from Georgetown University. She is an affiliate of the Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict and a nonresident fellow at the UN Institute for Disarmament Research. She is the Founder and Director of MAK LAW INTERNATIONAL, a legal advisory and strategic consulting service, assisting governments and intergovernmental organizations in the service of “We the Peoples.”