Like you, I listened slack-jawed as James Comey argued that somehow there is an unbridgeable legal divide between Hillary’s extreme recklessness and indictable gross negligence. Bravo Sierra meters pegged nationwide. Once again, a Clinton dodged earned and deserved punishment. Not only will no federal prosecutor indict Hillary, no grand jury will get to see and judge the evidence either. While good for Hillary, what of the effect on the nation?
The first clause to the Fifth Amendment of our Constitution provides that “No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury . . . “ There are few more important protections in our republic, not only for individuals, but for the republic itself.
The essential nature of grand juries was known long before ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791. From study of Livy’s histories of Rome, Niccolo’ Machiavelli wrote, “Those who are set up in a city as the guardians of its liberty cannot receive a more useful and necessary authority than the power to indict citizens before the people or some magistrate or council when they commit any kind of offense against free government.” Other ancestral grand juries are known in Saxon England, Magna Charta in 1215, and further adjustments that evolved into its near-present form during the 14th century.
For the Individual. If a citizen is going to be charged with a capital or infamous crime, it will be done by fellow citizens and not by kings or presidents and their lawyers for the purpose of eliminating political opposition. Unlike the smaller petit jury of twelve or so citizens who listen to both sides and determine guilt, the usual grand jury is about twice the size of petit juries and typically determines if there is enough probable cause to indict the individual and send the matter to a petit jury.
Grand juries can also serve as societal pressure relief valves that prevent lynch mobs from imposing immediate street justice. Imagine a society in which individuals do not know from one moment to the next if they will be accused and summarily punished. No society can long suffer street justice, because it generates fear, and fear seeks protection, which demands partisan divisions and factions constantly at each other’s throats.
For the Republic. Grand juries are of enormous security in a republic, when high political appointees and elected officials know that a body of citizens outside of their influence stands ready to call out their malfeasance. Fear of being subject to sanction and imprisonment is an essential safeguard to free government. Since republics are empires of laws, when the law is observed and all are equally accountable to it, free government will continue. Otherwise it will always come to ruin, because if a citizen who has rendered some distinguished services goes unindicted for crimes, he will become so insolent that greater crimes are inevitable.
Non-referral of FBI evidence on Hillary to a grand jury will be seen by future generations as another blown opportunity to stop the rot of our republic. Not only Hillary, but her underlings, those who assisted her in acquisition of materials that, in the wrong hands, threaten the security of the United States, are also above the law. In America 2016, the president, his secretaries, heads of agencies, and their immediate assistants have an immunity that, left unchecked, is certain to work enormous additional damage to free government.
Renewal or dissolution awaits the American Union. Let’s make it the former.
We are the many; our oppressors are the few. Be proactive. Be a Re-Founder. Join Convention of States.