Staff Editorial: Legal lesson for Donald

Mason Schweizer, Opinion Editor

Well, folks, we made it a whole two weeks (three, if you count spring break) without having to mention our president. But after FBI Director James Comey announced on Monday that the bureau was investigating ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, our commander-in-toupee has been thrown right back into a fire of controversy.

Even after the fears of a Trump-Putin relationship were apparently substantiated with Comey’s announcement, Trump and his minions on Capitol Hill continue to try to shift the attention to the fact that someone leaked documents with sensitive information concerning government officials (the Flynn files), and that whoever leaked such sensitive information should face punishment from the United States government.

This hysteria, of course, is coming at an unprecedented time in history, when the leader of the country cries out, “Fake News!” whenever an unfavorable report comes from outlets other than Fox or Breitbart.

So, Mr. President, allow the staff of “The Wayne Stater” to educate you on the process of leaking dangerous government documents, and why the really bad dude (or dudette) who leaked this information is protected by the First Amendment and shield law.

Here in America, we have freedom of the press. That essentially means journalists are lawfully protected from government backlash when releasing documents and information, such as the leaked information the Trump administration is up in arms about. In addition, shield law gives journalists immunity in court from disclosing their confidential source who leaked them the information.

Of course, if the information is not seen as necessary to the American public, or the information is obtained illegally, there is no protection for that. But that is not what we are dealing with in this instance. Obviously, news of government corruption and supplemental sources are protected under American law.

And, Mr. Trump, the leaks of Russian ties most definitely qualify as news of government corruption. Just because you and your people suck at being privately corrupt doesn’t mean journalists should be wrongly punished for uncovering your shoddy attempt at wrongly taking over our country.

We knew coming into the Trump era that the media was going to have to fight their hardest to stand up for themselves. We knew Trump despises any and all coverage and news that isn’t eating the doodoo he tries to spoon feed the masses. And we knew that there was something fishy going on in relation to Russia after the election hacking fiasco.

What we didn’t know—or did know, but optimistically hoped we were wrong about, was that this mess would all be crumbling so soon.

Mason Schweizer for The Wayne Stater