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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/22/20

Fascism Alert: DOJ Seeks to Use Coronavirus To Suspend Due Process

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A functioning administration would respond to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic with World War II-level initiative.

A functioning administration would promote a unified message of strength, clarity, and resolve.

A functioning administration would have enough dignity and patriotism to refrain from exploiting the moment for political gain.

But we're not dealing with a functioning administration.

We are living under a regime that would make 1984 author George Orwell shake his head and say, "I warned you."

One week after Donald Trump was acquitted in his Senate impeachment trial, after reports surfaced Trump would pursue those who testified against him, National Security Council Ukraine expert Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was escorted from the White House.

The same day, Trump fired US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.

After Trump's Republican operative Roger Stone was sentenced to seven to nine years in prison after being convicted in November of seven counts that include witness tampering and lying to Congress, Attorney General William Barr made the unprecedented move of taking Trump's "miscarriage of justice" criticism as a cue to overrule career prosecutors to secure Stone a lighter sentence.

This week, Trump conveniently used the coronavirus to shut our Northern border with Canada.

Some will argue that isn't a big deal, even necessary, to stem the rise tide of infection spread.

But consider Trump also cited the pandemic as a justification for increasing border restrictions, restricting asylum claims, and further cutting taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

Those were merely appetizers.

The same Justice Department (DOJ) that Trump has weaponized as his own political muscle is suggesting using the COVID-19 outbreak to suspend constitutional habeas corpus (due process) rights.

Clandestinely, the DOJ has approached Congress for the ability to request chief judges detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies.

Politico reviewed documents detailing the DOJ's requests about statutes of limitations, asylum, methods court hearings are conducted, documents seeking authority to extend merger reviews and prosecutions deadlines, the authority to conduct video conference hearings without defendants' permission, banning people sick with coronavirus from applying for asylum, and halting the statute of limitations during an emergency.

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)

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