A Trap and a Snare

More than two decades ago I served as a full-time recruiter for the Army National Guard. I had done damage to my government vehicle. The brass above me wanted me to resign. Definitely not. When that did not work they wanted me to pay for the value of the car, which they would retain. Definitely not. I could get the damage repaired for about $90. I would make no concessions beyond that. There commenced a period of threats and harassment which continued for months. My office was in the ROTC building at Texas State, an office otherwise staffed by Regular Army personnel with a Lieutenant Colonel in charge. A National Guard Staff Officer came by one day and in a laughable display at investigative skills harangued me for nearly an hour behind the closed doors of my office. I listened, saying nothing. After he left, the Regular Army commander came to me offering to get involved on my behalf, for I was well liked there. I politely declined his kind offer.

I had finally had enough. In an unorthodox move, I wrote a “for your eyes only” letter in parable form to my National Guard commander. The gist of the parable involved a Feral Hog who was quietly going about his business when a pack of high bred hounds happened upon him and began to threaten him. The Feral Hog patiently advised them that he only wanted to mind his business and suggested that they mind theirs. Nonetheless, if they would not cease and desist, and if it was a confrontation they really wanted, he allowed as to how his patience was finally exhausted. They should have their desired confrontation, whereby he commenced to cut them to shreds. No names were mentioned, but the message of the parable was clear.

The fact that the crime of three high ranking officers who had absconded with $350,000 was surreptitiously swept under the rug and that I was aware of such would have occurred to him. For my part, taking on the crime would have been extremely difficult and I would have had no support. Even my friends in the Guard would have shied away from me for fear of reprisal. But such was not impossible. It would be a repeat of an incident a couple of years past when it seemed that the whole world had turned against me. I was alone, but by prevailing brought to light such evidence that a long time officer, my superior, was asked to resign or face criminal charges. Now here was this parable, whereby this commander believed I had the investigative skills to bring it and the three principals to justice. The harassment stopped. We came to terms.

Now we have the situation with this White House. I have difficulty with his daily tweets and name calling, and supported another candidate for the office. But when it became clear that my candidate would not be in the running, I penned an article on FB stating my reason for supporting Mr. Trump and not casting away my vote for another candidate. By splitting the vote I reasoned, the result would be Ms. Clinton as President, which in turn would have a disastrous effect on the Judiciary, these being the Supreme Court and some 75 Federal Judgeships. I believe that my article resulted in quieting the concerns of many in the Latter Day Saint community, for my article was shared some 30 times, prompting much discussion, particularly in the Utah area.

Now, Mr. Trump is considering sitting down for an interview with the special counsel. There is a time to remain silent. He has been counseled against doing the interview. Perhaps he believes he is smart enough to beat the odds, and the trap being set for him. Having experienced the deviousness of those who set such traps makes me doubt that he knows what he is getting into. It is a situation of, “we have no case, but as soon as he opens his mouth, we will have him.”

Even former Vice President Joe Biden has suggested that “one of the things I would worry about if I were his lawyer is his saying something that’s simply not true without him even planning to be disingenuous.” Newt Gingrich said it better. “The idea of putting him in a room with five or six hardened, very clever lawyers, all of whom are trying to trick him and trap him, would be a very, very bad idea.”

Indeed it would be a very bad idea, and if Mr. Trump takes the bait, he will quickly rue the foolishness of such a decision. Mr. Trump has proven time and again that he is no angel, but he is President as the result of the will of the people. If Mr. Mueller has a credible case against Mr. Trump, he needs to present it. In such a case, a subpoena (which can only be issued on credible evidence) will do, and if the President is found guilty of criminal misdeeds, he must pay the consequences of his actions. However, if on the other hand, a case is built, not on any transgression on his part but instead on his spoken contradictions, how sinister are the designs of those who lay the trap!

I am an admirer of the law, and of honorable and just attorneys. However, I am dismayed by those who misuse their skills. I am dismayed by the round the clock assailing of the President by a press which picks up on his every flaw, rather than focusing on any positive contribution. History repeats itself, for we read of that which was taking place some eighty years before the birth of Christ. How applicable to the current setting the following!

“…there were some who thought to question (him) that by their cunning devices they might catch (him) in (his) words…now these lawyers were learned in all the arts and cunning of the people; and this was to enable them that they might be skillful in their profession. And it came to pass that they began to question (him), that thereby they might make him cross his words, or contradict the words which he should speak…”

Of these did a man of God named Amulek declare: “O ye wicked and perverse generation, ye lawyers and hypocrites, for ye are laying the foundation of the devil; for ye are laying traps and snares…” (1)

Yes, a trap and a snare, and as tragically appear to be looming, (save patriots in the Congress of both parties move in favor of country and not of party) the paralysis caused by a constitutional crisis and thereby the possible administrative collapse of the government. Sadly, one can envision that a worst-case scenario would be a civil war.

(1) Alma 10: 13, 16, 17, The Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ)