- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 31, 2019

The nation’s largest police organization is criticizing House Democrats’ vote on moving ahead with an impeachment probe of President Trump as violating his due process rights “to score political points.”

“The Fraternal Order of Police exists, in part, to defend these rights, not just for police officers, but for all citizens at every level, from the indigent living on the street to the president living in the White House,” National FOP President Patrick Yoes said in a statement.

The association has about 346,000 members nationwide, and it endorsed Mr. Trump in 2016.

Mr. Yoes said police officers understand what it means to be unfairly accused, as the House votes on Thursday to lay out formal rules for the impeachment inquiry. The group’s statement didn’t specifically refer to impeachment.

“Just as local law enforcement are often convicted in the media after being denounced by local elected officials without collecting the facts, these members are violating due process to score political points,” he said.

At a police chiefs’ conference in Chicago on Monday, the president criticized congressional Democrats for protecting illegal immigrants more than U.S. citizens. The FOP echoed that sentiment.

“Members of Congress tirelessly and stridently defend the due process rights of criminals, while seeking to curtail the rights of those charged with protecting American citizens,” the FOP said. “They seek to shield people who come to our country unlawfully from being subjected to our laws, and yet ignore the violence to citizens and to our economy committed by those who violate our immigration laws.”

Mr. Yoes also said that lawmakers often demand “transparency” from law enforcement, but don’t play by the same rules.

“You cannot have justice without due process,” the statement said. “Denying due process is a betrayal of our shared American ideals and a grave disservice to our republic.”

Mr. Trump has nominated former FOP National President Kenneth “Chuck” Canterbury to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The nomination is facing opposition from some conservatives, including gun-rights groups.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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