Nancy Chesley, in her Feb. 13 letter (“Bellows weaponized law; Biden’s orders curse U.S.“) quoted G.B. Shaw: “Experience fails to teach where there is no desire to learn.” On that, we agree. But, ironically, this describes Chesley herself, to a T.

I wonder what Chesley believes Shenna Bellows did that was outside her purview. Chesley didn’t name anything. Weaponizing the law usually means that something was done in bad faith. But Bellows worked entirely in good faith, following the law, as her job required her to do.

Logic is only valid if the premises underlying it are correct. In Chesley’s case, they are not. She erroneously surmises that because those conspiring to overturn his 2020 election loss have not been convicted of insurrection, Trump is immune. He is not. No one has even been charged with “insurrection” per se, which is why no one has been convicted of it. But conviction for that crime – whether of Trump or his followers – is not required for the implementation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. It does not even contain the word “conviction.”

However, before, during and after Jan. 6, 2021, Trump, before our very eyes, did “engage in a violent uprising against an authority or government,” which is the definition of insurrection. He organized, encouraged, and declined to stop this event. The consequence of violating his oath to the Constitution is ineligibility for public office. Shenna Bellows is not only better able than Chesley to adduce what constitutes insurrection, but Bellows is legally and ethically entrusted to make such decisions.

The only consideration which might have constrained Bellows is that it might induce further inflammation of the brain fever and muddle-headed “reasoning” of those who still maintain that Trump won the 2020 contest, despite the fact that not one shred of evidence has been verified to support it.

Richard Bennett

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