The Iniquity of False Charges

March 17, 2020

By John McClaughry

Here’s a story that troubles me, by Harold Hutchison at Patriot Post. It’s about the use of false charges to ruin careers. 

“A year and a half ago,”, Hutchison says,” most Americans were surprised when then-Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was indicted on felony charges for invasion of privacy. The charges stemmed from an extramarital affair and eventually drove Greitens out of office. But that case fell apart. It wasn’t even a week after his resignation that the charges were dropped. But the damage was already done — even without proof of wrongdoing outside adultery. Greitens, once a rising star, was now out of office in disgrace.

There was the dubious indictment of Tom DeLay in 2006. DeLay eventually was cleared after a years-long legal battle, but again note that, once indicted, he was forced out as House majority leader. End quote.

We can go back further, and recall how President Reagan’s Labor Secretary Ray Donovan was indicted for things his construction company allegedly did before he joined the Cabinet. Later on, after he was forced to resign, and after the charges were dropped, Donovan  plaintively asked, “Where do I go to get my reputation back?” 

Ruining people’s careers by making false charges and entangling the alleged wrongdoer in  hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal defenses is very bad business, and people that do it, including prosecutors,  need to be held liable for their behavior.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth Gilligan March 20, 2020 at 9:38 pm

John,
I have enjoyed a long life. It saddens me though over the years the erosion of humanity how we should live our lives. How open it is now how our conscience in dealing right from wrong has fallen. Shame…Shame

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Robert March 21, 2020 at 1:02 pm

Let’s not forget the most recent example of Michael Flynn. And how the left wing tyrants have tried to do the same thing to President Trump since he was elected. These authoritarian, corrupt, would-be dictators transparently and unapologetically operate in accordance with Saul Alinsky’s dictum, that the ends justify the means. They are to be opposed tooth and nail, relentlessly, if we want to keep our country.

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