On Labor Day, the president of the United States criticized his attorney general for not considering the political implications of criminally charging two congressmen. As President Donald Trump waxes poetic about impermissible political bias at the U.S. Department of Justice, he expects Attorney General Jeff Sessions to consider the impact of prosecutions on Republican electoral prospects. Regardless of political alignment, we should take the president’s musing on the matter seriously.

While Trump didn’t name the congressmen, he was almost certainly talking about California Congressman Duncan Hunter, indicted for misuse of campaign funds, and Chris Collins of New York who is charged for insider trading.

Prosecutors accuse Hunter and his wife of funneling more than $250,000 in campaign funds for their personal use. Hunter allegedly ignored warnings by staff, falsely reported campaign funds, and spent campaign money on such luxuries as a $14,000 family vacation to Italy in 2015.

Collins supposedly used insider information about a failed drug trial at Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotechnology company, to help his son and others avoid more than $700,000 in financial losses.

Hunter and Collins will have their days in court, but these cases are much more than mere witch-hunts aimed at two of Trump’s earliest and most ardent supporters.

Weeks after charges were announced, Trump responded by tweeting: “Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff……”

There’s so much wrong here, that it’s hard to figure out where to begin.

Whether Collins and Hunter are “very popular” or not has absolutely nothing to do with the criminality of their actions. In America, we don’t and shouldn’t have a separate standard of justice that applies to the admired and well connected.

Trump’s tweet acknowledges that the DOJ has thoroughly investigated the cases for quite some time. That alone is an indicator that the law enforcement process is working correctly. In each of these cases, prosecutors weren’t making indictments on a lark or because of the party in power.

Whenever a congressman is charged with a crime, it will inevitably draw publicity. It should. In the cases of Collins and Hunter, the complaints against them outline conduct that, if proven in court, clearly violates federal law. Their constituents should know about the charges, be able to follow the proceedings and vote accordingly. A federal criminal charge isn’t evidence of guilt, but it’s not insignificant either.

Finally, no attorney general should time indictments to impact election outcomes…ever. To do so would be the height of political bias at the DOJ. It’s truly mind-blowing that Trump excoriates Sessions for failing to root out political bias only to expect him to engage in the same activity for the benefit of Republicans.

Imagine for a moment that we’re talking about Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton publicly expecting the attorney general to protect Democratic seats in the House of Representatives by timing indictments.

Republicans would be coming out of the woodwork calling for either of them to be removed from office. Conservative-leaning media outlets would be running “breaking” news on a loop drawing attention to the horrific politicization of the DOJ.

In short, those of us on the political right wouldn’t stand for it.

So what’s the difference in this situation other than Trump and the indicted congressmen being Republicans? I’ll save you the consideration. There isn’t any.

Some issues must transcend party. This is one of them. Justice must be as blind, non-partisan and independent from political considerations as possible. We must ardently reject any type of law enforcement that punishes political enemies and rewards allies. That’s the brand of “justice” Americans have literally sacrificed their lives to defeat around the world.

In politics, not much shocks our consciences these days. Trump’s expectation of politicized justice should.

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