by Emil Guillermo
Hawaii knew what to do when our democracy seemed in crisis.
People voted in free and fair elections. Candidates won and lost. They accepted their fate. There were no reported election deniers. It was both affirmation and confirmation that our system still works. It just doesn’t work for crybaby would-be tyrants.
We are now entering an era when the greatest threat to our democracy is one FPOTUS.
That was the description on the affidavit attached to that historic search warrant on the property of The Former President of the United States, a.k.a. FPOTUS.
But why stop at one F when there’s a foultitude of F-words. (That’s French for “lots” or “oodles.”)
But there’s also: “Falsifying.” “Failed.” “Funky” even works metaphorically in a most foul way. All of them come to mind. Add your favorite adjectival “F” word. Just not “Filipino.”We’ve never seen this in U.S. history. A figurehead of the world’s greatest democracy becoming the target of a search warrant. And it’s all official and legit. One that’s signed off by a judge who believes there is probable cause that a crime has been committed by a former president of the United States.
Jimmy Carter is an FPOTUS, but you know we’re not talking about him. Carter builds houses, not federal criminal cases that make him a threat to our country.
And now that a redacted affidavit has been unsealed—something that FPOTUS said he wanted—things do not look good for FPOTUS.
Even with a redacted affidavit released recently, there’s nothing positive for FPOTUS in the new document.
Yes, there’s a lot of black ink covering the facts, but there’s enough that still adds up to probable cause that a federal crime was committed by FPOTUS.
And he wants a second inaugural? More likely he’ll get a federal indictment.
We aren’t talking about the kind of “high crimes and misdemeanors” political crime that Congress has used twice already in the impeachment process against him.
We’re talking about real crimes in the U.S. code that normal people get thrown in jail for. Like the oddly named Reality Winner, a former NSA contractor who got prison time for leaking a single classified document to the media.
That’s the seriousness of the possible charges here, the biggest one perhaps involving potential violations of the Espionage Act.
If you are found with the most top secret of government documents, the kind that you need to open in a safe room, and they’re sitting in a basement at your Florida resort, that could be considered “mishandling” and get someone up to 10 years in prison.
Then there’s the possibility of obstruction of justice charges that could fetch up to 20 years.
And as the topper, there’s the possible charge of destruction or mutilation of federal records, which could potentially disqualify a person from ever holding public office.
Essentially, FPOTUS would have to understand that a realistic run again for president in 2024 has practically been made moot. Unless Republicans really want to vote for an indicted candidate.
Hard to understand why FPOTUS would personally house top-secret materials in unsecure circumstances at Mar-a-Lago. For souvenirs?
His first response was the extreme tack of claiming political persecution. It’s political victimhood!
Hey, wait, isn’t that what people say Asian Americans and other BIPOC folks do? No, FPOTUS is not like us. He understands victimizing others. But being the victim? Not FPOTUS.
He’s also taken to blaming another F-word, the FBI! Of course, the FBI agents were just doing their job, and in a lowkey way after discussions to obtain the documents began in 2021, then were brought up again in 2022, reports say. And a search warrant was required only after certain documents appear to have been omitted the first-time documents were handed over.
Don’t blame the FBI. But that seems to be the preferred tack of the Republican Party, which can’t seem to quit its loving embrace of FPOTUS.
“The FBI raid of President Trump is a complete abuse and overreach of its authority,” said House member Elise Stefanik (R-NY). Overreach? The paperwork was signed by a judge.
Others like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) just tried to raise doubt even to suggest that documents may have been planted. Plant-based documents by meat-eater FPOTUS? Doubt it.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) called the FBI tyrants. Sen Rick Scott (R-Fla.) went even further. “The way the federal government has gone, it’s like what we thought about the Gestapo, people like that, that just go after people.”
No, Sen. Scott, our FBI isn’t like the official secret police of Nazi Germany.
This is the desperate Republican Party trying to defend their FPOTUS, who earlier this month, in a deposition with the New York Attorney General, pleaded the Fifth more than 400 times.
Instead of choosing America, the GOP has chosen FPOTUS, and that is not good for America.
Already one FBI office drew the attention of a Jan. 6 insurrectionist, who was recently gunned down in a standoff in Ohio. It may not be the last if insurrectionists see anything FPOTUS says as a call to arms.
We may be coming up to Jan. 6 the Sequel. And all because the FPOTUS in question can’t show anything but a disgraceful love of self. Certainly, there’s no love of country.
And now that the redacted document released recently shows nothing to exonerate or give FPOTUS any kind of innocence narrative. Just politics? No, there are real documents he had no right to possess. They only add to the weight around his neck that a crime was committed.
One can easily downplay it all as insignificant. But FPOTUS possessed documents that among other things, contained the names of people who had cooperated with the U.S. These people gave information to the U.S. and would be jailed or killed if their identities were known.
It’s serious business. And it no longer concerns Trump, who isn’t president for life but is now a mere private citizen. This is not normal in the presidential history of our country ever. We shouldn’t begin now.
If you are a Filipino who has stayed loyal to FPOTUS and were just waiting for an optimal time to jump off the Trump train, now would be that time.
EMIL GUILLERMO is a journalist and commentator. He was an editorial board member for the Advertiser and a columnist for the Star-Bulletin. The former host of “All Things Considered” in Washington, DC, writes from California.