Is Trump Ignorant about Civil Asset Forfeitures?

Mark Skousen

Named one of the "Top 20 Living Economists," Dr. Skousen is a professional economist, investment expert, university professor, and author of more than 25 books.

Anyone who is unaware of civil asset forfeiture laws that let the U.S. government seize your savings, investments and other possessions without any proof it was obtained illegally is not alone.

The following link goes to an article that provides information about a Feb. 9 conversation President Donald Trump had about asset forfeiture, and it shows even the leader of the United States seems ignorant of a law that can require far more people than drug dealers to forfeit their cash, investments, precious metals and other assets. Click here if you want to read that article; I provide my summary and opinion below.

I was amazed when President Donald Trump met with county sheriffs from around the country on Feb. 9 and spoke as if he was unknowledgeable about the travesty known as civil asset forfeitures.

For years now, police departments have seized and kept property that is suspected of involvement in criminal activity. Under these civil forfeiture policies, property owners need not be found guilty of a crime — or even charged — to permanently lose their cash, car, home, or other property. According to a new report published by the Institute for Justice, “Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture,” most state laws are written in such a way as to encourage police agencies to pursue profit instead of seeking the neutral administration of justice. The report grades each state and the federal government on its forfeiture laws and other measures of abuse. The results are appalling: Six states earned an F and 29 states and the federal government received a grade of D.

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President Trump was told by one sheriff that civil asset forfeitures only involve drug dealers. That claim is nonsense. Many people have lost thousands of dollars who were students, business people and others totally unrelated to drug dealing.

I hope President Trump will get a more objective review of the unconstitutional crime known as civil asset forfeiture. The end of government abuse of its powers should be included among the president’s objectives if he truly wants to do what he promised during his political campaign to “make America great.”

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