What on Earth Is This Statement From the Fraternal Order of Police?

President Donald Trump signs an executive order during the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference and Exposition, at the McCormick Place Convention Center Chicago, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)Evan Vucci / Associated Press

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Here’s something to keep in mind the next time you see someone get tackled by a dozen cops for fare evasion:

Did you catch that? “…not just for police officers, but for all citizens at every level, from the indigent living on the street to the President living in the White House“? That’s the National Fraternal Order of Police very unsubtly rebuking congressional Democrats for their investigation into President Donald Trump’s Ukraine scandal. Trump, who has cracked jokes about police brutality and falsely accused his opponents of various capital crimes (“TREASON?”), has been warmly received by law enforcement agencies throughout his presidency, and the FOP, an organization of more than 300,000 law enforcement officers, released its statement one day after the president spoke to the International Conference of Chiefs of Police in Chicago.

Impeachment is not a legal process; it is a constitutional process. But it is unfolding in a way that’s similar to a criminal case: The House is currently in the preliminary stages of investigating reports of a high crime and/or misdemeanor, and if it decides to move forward on impeachment—the equivalent of an indictment—there will be a public trial in the Senate, where evidence will be heard and debated and the defendant will have a chance to defend himself. Due process! FOP’s concerns about transparency are all the more phony coming, as they do, from a group of people who have spent their entire careers preparing cases for grand juries—which as a rule, take place behind closed doors, with no input from defense attorneys.

But since they brought it up, this is what due process looks like to “the indigent living on the street.”

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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