Fraternal Order of Police Accuses Congress of Violating Due Process as Impeachment Inquiry Moves Forward

October 30, 2019 Updated: October 30, 2019

The Fraternal Order of Police said that Congress is violating “one of the most basic rights afford to American citizens” amid the attempt to impeach President Donald Trump.

Patrick Yoes, the president of the police union, the largest in the country, said in a statement: “Due process does not protect the guilty; it is the means by which we guarantee the most fundamental aspect of our nation’s justice system: innocent until proven guilty.”

“Even in cases where parties do not trust one another, they can and should be able to trust the process,” Yoes said. “Sadly, many Members of Congress are undermining that trust in due process by ignoring its fair and universal application. Just as local law enforcement officers are often convicted in the media after being denounced by local elected officials without collecting the facts, these Members are violating due process to score political points.”

“Members of Congress tirelessly and stridently defend the due process rights of criminals while seeking to curtail the rights of those charged with protecting American citizens,” Yoes added. “They seek to shield people who come to our country unlawfully from being subjected to our laws and yet ignore the violence to citizens and to our economy committed by those who violate our immigration laws.”

“You cannot have justice without due process,” Yoes said. The union exists, in part, “to defend these rights … for all citizens at every level, from the indigent living on the street to the President living in the White House,” he said.

The letter was released on Tuesday, a day before Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Democrats aren’t giving President Trump “due process.”

The resolution they released this week, with a plan for a vote on it on Thursday, “does not confer on President Trump the most basic rights of due process or seemingly alter Chairman Schiff’s unfair process in the House Intelligence Committee in any way whatsoever,” McConnell said. “No due process rights now, maybe some later, but only if we feel like it. Well, that’s not even close to fair.”

The resolution, Democratic leaders say, would guide the next phase of the inquiry, enabling House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) to hold public hearings if he so chooses. It would also enable him to block Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) from calling witnesses or questioning witnesses.

The White House earlier this month rejected the impeachment inquiry, saying it wouldn’t be cooperating unless Democrats held a vote authorizing the probe.

“You have designed and implemented your inquiry in a manner that violates fundamental fairness and constitutionally mandated due process,” Pat Cipollone, White House counsel, said in a letter sent to Schiff, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and other Democratic leaders.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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