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In a clear proof of abuse of power, President Donald Trump attempts to intimidate the free press by trying to punish The New York Times for publishing the column "I Am Part of the Resistance inside the Trump Administration," an anonymous Op-Ed essay by a senior official in this administration.

El abuso de poder de Trump amenaza las libertades

We are facing an episode of violence against the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, vulgarly played by the public figure who is charged with the highest duty of protecting the democracy on which the American nation is based.

This time, the President attacks the most basic component of freedom of expression, the right to freedom of speech, which enables individuals to express themselves without government intervention or restriction.

Trump intends to intervene with the right of the media to decide the content it publishes. This attitude of the President constitutes an unhealthy and shameful setback in the history and victories of freedom of expression and press in the United States.

Trump's behavior reminds that of President Richard Nixon attempt to prevent, in 1971, The New York Times and The Washington Post from publishing the confidential report known as the Pentagon Papers. This voluminous secret documents from the Department of Defense showed the ways in which successive US administrations were lying to the American people on their involvement in the Vietnam War.

In an obvious abuse of power and under the pretext of protecting national security, the Nixon government tried to intimidate both newspapers to avoid publishing that information. He sued them in Court, but in a historic decision to defend press freedom, the US Supreme Court agreed with the newspapers.

That solid legal protection preserves the media from government censorship on journalistic content. It has become a powerful protections for the freedom of the media to oversee public management. It was precisely the free press that allowed the American people to learn about the Watergate scandal that cost Nixon himself the presidency.

Our democracy is strengthened by a free and brave press that confronts the "alternative facts" with which President Trump tries to divert attention from the truth. Trump's unrestrained reaction to the anonymous Op-Ed essay published by The New York Times is another unfortunate episode in the line of presidential attempts to keep the people uninformed on what is really happening in his government. It is a Nixonian tactic that makes no good to the American democracy and that it is everyone's duty to stop.

Trump abuses his power by suggesting the Department of Justice to investigate the identity of the person in his administration who has questioned his presidential capacity, in the anonymous Op-Ed published in The New York Times.

With this new attack to the press that oversees  public management, Trump also reveals his contempt for the investigative authority that the US Department of Justice should have as the nation´s advocate for civil liberties.

Trying to classify that opinion piece as a violation of national security, is really an excuse to continue the attacks against the press and, thus, limit the access of people to be properly informed.

Trump's behavior, like that of Nixon back in the 70´s, shows a dangerous totalitarian feature, really far from the values of democracy that government and social entities in the United States defend.

We stand on the side of the free press to face it.


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