An unannounced visitor in Cleveland this September was Mr. Donald Trump, President of the United States.
Unexpectedly present at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel this morning, Mr. Trump addressed some apparently unscheduled comments to the congregation before the opening of the conference, originally slated to discuss bail reform, court fines and a few other topics. Understandably, his words resonated through the legal profession, and generally the nation. Here they are :
Gentlemen, I have a few words to say to you, and I would like you to pay attention now because I won't be saying them again.
I would like you to meet my pen. [Holds out a black inkwell pen.]
This pen has the interesting power of pardoning anyone in this country, for any reason or for no reason whatsoever. All that's needed is my hand pushing for it to work its magic.
Attached to that interesting power is then necessarily also the power to render a good chunk of this profession obsolete, and send the majority of you good folk into an early retirement. Should I decide tomorrow to pardon everyone involved in criminal legal proceedings in the United States, this place might as well be converted to a bingo hall.
Considering that I have done no such thing yet, the behaviour of some of your colleagues over the past year should suddenly appear in its proper light : not merely monstrously impudent, but rather of the substance of a death wish.
I do not expect to encounter anything of the sort in the future. In fact, I expect to encounter nothing but the most solicitous support from the bright legal minds of this country for the following seven years. But expectation aside, should the unthinkable occur and isolated members of the legal community decide to act in the manner of the common terrorist, setting up bombs and starting up fires which the rest of the community will be stuck putting out and cleaning up, I will not hesitate to use those powers the Constitution has vested in me specifically for the purpose of checking terrorists, and preventing bombs and fires.
I will not detain you any further. You certainly have work to do now, discussing these matters among themselves, and I won't keep you from it. I have no doubt you will emerge from this conference stronger, united, capable and ready of presenting a single front firmly oriented towards the protection of the country, and the elimination of those dangerous elements which, either due to mental disease or otherwise under the influence of our many enemies within and without, would threaten to poison national consensus.
I wish you the very best, and let's work together to make America strong again!
What now ?