The following is one of many speeches given during the November 8th “Nobody is Above the Law” protest in response to Jeff Sessions leaving the white house. Click here for more information.
-Guest post by Gene Bergman
Good evening, I’m Gene Bergman, a former prosecutor for the city of Burlington. A prosecutor has a sworn duty, to follow the law and to exercise independent judgment as to whether or not the evidence and the law require charges be filed. To exercise that discretion, a prosecutor must conduct a full and thorough investigation free from pressure by political bosses.
The integrity of our system, the rule of law itself, depends on this freedom from political pressure. When a political boss exerts or tries to exert control over a prosecutor, it is an act of corruption. When a President tries to influence an investigation into the President’s own misdeeds, the President’s corruption is a high Crime, for which our Constitution allows Impeachment because it threatens our democratic system itself.
We see failed states all around the world, their people victims of corrupt rulers and cronies who lie and steal and cheat their people of their rights and the commonwealth of their nations. Let it never be said that it can’t happen here.
In our and our parents and grandparent’s own lifetimes, our country has been wracked by a corruption that went to the highest reaches of government. Our elected representatives passed laws to eliminate this corruption and the law enforcement and judicial systems enforced those laws.
But those laws and that enforcement did not happen out of the generosity of those in power. People made it happen, in the streets and at the ballot box. Every major gain for justice, fairness and decency that this Nation has had, since its founding, has been because good people were not silent or passive. It is because we have Risen Up, Resisted, and Demanded Change and have acted by the millions in non-violent movements to make it happen.
Donald Trump is being investigated by a Special Prosecutor and there are all indications that his new Attorney General will interfere with or kill that investigation. But we and our representatives can say NO, we will not let that happen. Together we can show the world that No One is Above the Law. Thank you for standing up for that tonight and in the days to come.