To the Editor:

Niccolo Machiavelli was a 16th-century Italian diplomat and political theorist best known for his theory that “the end justifies the means,” that is that a prince may do anything to stay in power. Morals and ethics no longer mattered.

On June 12, 2019, ABC News reporter George Stephanopoulos interviewed President Trump on the issue of foreign interference in our electoral process. In that interview Trump said that he would welcome foreign interference in our elections.

He would also accept opposition research on his political opponents from foreign governments and he would not necessarily inform the FBI of such foreign information.

Unfortunately for Trump, it is illegal under existing U.S. campaign finance law for a politician to accept any consideration or anything of value, which includes information, from a foreign government. It is also illegal for a person to solicit or accept such information.

Any attempt to intrude in our elections by a foreign nation or their agents must be reported to the FBI.

Please note that it is not illegal to hire someone from another nation to conduct opposition research as Jeb Bush did when his campaign hired Christopher Steele, author of the famous dossier.

In his interview with Stephanopoulos, Trump solicited foreign countries to interfere in our elections as he did in 2016 with his request to Russia for Hillary Clinton’s missing emails.

Trump’s proposed actions regarding foreign information are illegal. They undermine our democracy and the integrity of our electoral process based on free and fair elections.

He acts as if he were, in fact, Machiavelli’s Prince: above the law and entitled to do whatever he needs to do to stay in power.

Trump does not live in Florence where Machiavelli freed princes from moral and ethical restraints.

In fact Trump lives in 21st-century America where the rule of law applies to everyone equally.

 

Penny O’Connell

Woodbury

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