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Trump May Be Right About Putin – We Certainly Meddled in Russian Internal Affairs in the Past!

I am fascinated by the Trump/Putin issue.  Not by the idea that Russian leader Vladimir Putin likes and respects Donald Trump.  Not even by the idea that Trump is pleased to have his “support”, which would be a gross interference in another country’s elections (which we do all the time), and I am not sure it is truly support – more likely flattery.

But when people asked Trump about Putin allegedly ordering the murders of journalists – here is what the GOP Presidential hopeful said according to the Guardian (UK):

Trump on Putin’s crackdown on journalists: ‘it’s never been proven’


Trump was called out on the platitudes during an interview with MSNBC on Friday. Asked to condemn the Kremlin’s alleged involvement in the assassination of reporters, he responded: “Our country does plenty of killing also.”

In a heated interview on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Trump said: “In all fairness to Putin, you’re saying he killed people. I haven’t seen that. I don’t know that he has.”

Trump challenged reporters to name a journalist who had been killed in Russia at the hands of the government. Host George Stephanopoulos cited the 2006 murder of investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya, which some activists have long linked to the Russian government.

“If he has killed reporters I think that’s terrible,” Trump replied. “But this isn’t like somebody that’s stood with a gun and he’s taken the blame or he’s admitted that he’s killed. He’s always denied it.

“It’s never been proven that he’s killed anybody, so you know you’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty at least in our country he has not been proven that he’s killed reporters.”

Donald Trump is absolutely right.  There is indeed no direct proof that Putin ordered the death of any journalist.  It is speculation.

But we have been guilty of gross meddling if not speculation in the passage several years ago of the Magnitsky Act – an act of Congress that names names and accuses specific persons in Russia of human rights violations.  No trial.  No hearing.  No way to prove you are innocent.  I have condemned the Magnitsky Act in the past.  It caused pain to American parents barred from adoption (of course instead of blaming Congress, the press and pundits largely blamed Putin instead!) of Russian children.   I contend the Magnitsky Act is an unconstitutional bill of attainder.

I wonder if those accused and convicted by the Magnitsky Act are really guilty or is it more speculation?  It and the alleged murder of reporters might be true.  I don’t in any way condone all Putin does nor will I defend what he does.  But we need to stop meddling in other nations’ internal matters unless it is necessary for our national interests.  I think perhaps a President Trump might be an improvement upon previous administrations, including the present one, who signed the Magnitsky Act into law.

And this is not any sort of endorsement of Trump for President.  I am, and always will be until he drops out or is elected President, for our former governor Jim Gilmore.



About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

3 Responses to “Trump May Be Right About Putin – We Certainly Meddled in Russian Internal Affairs in the Past!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think there is any due process burden on statements of condemnation. Saying the Magnitsky Act is an unconstitutional bill of attainder I think is wrong. Firstly, the implicated are foreign nationals, it does not pass guilt nor does it create any sort of mechanism for actually trying or sentencing these individuals. It is the United States Congress formally condemning individuals of suspected crimes. The only punishment it does provide is excluding these individuals from entering the U.S. or using U.S. banks. Sandy, do you think foreign nationals have any kind of meaningful right to enter the country or use banks under the Constitution (why I also think the statements that the visa-waiver restrictions we’re implementing or limitations of immigration from certain nations being unconstitutional are inaccurate).

    Do you think we need to charge Kim Jong Un for being a brutal despot in a U.S. federal court in order to continue sanctions against the North Koreans?

    I think it’s pretty evident that Putin has a history of illiberal rigging of democracy within his own country. The argument that “we’ve manipulated in other countries” doesn’t seem particularly persuasive to me. I don’t think its unreasonable to say what you do to your own citizens and your own people is a reflection of the type of principles you hold. We don’t – as much as our Left-wing “comrades” might believe – an overriding obligation to people who are not citizens or do not live in this country. But we do have one to Americans. If the government were assassinating Americans or rigging American elections, that would be a problem. And further if people in charge of that rigging called a foreign election candidate “strong” or “trustworthy”, I would rightly be suspicious if I was a citizen of that country of this candidate.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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