November 4, 2017

ALWAYS BET ON THE DEEP STATE:

Trump finally discovered he can't force the feds to prosecute Clinton -- and he's not happy (Dara Lind, Nov 3, 2017, Vox)

Trump opened up to talk-radio host and Mediaite contributor Larry O'Connor on Thursday, in an interview broadcast on Washington radio station WBAL. "The saddest thing," Trump told O'Connor, "is because I'm the president of the United States, I'm not supposed to be involved in the Justice Department."

The idea that the head of the government can't use his power to prosecute his enemies is literally at the core of the idea of the "rule of law" as it's understood in America. Outside legal experts and lawmakers from both parties have been making that argument for months.

But it seems that it came as a nasty surprise to President Donald Trump, and it's not clear when he found out that he couldn't manipulate the activity of the Justice Department -- of if he has, in fact, made a decision he won't try to soon reverse.

Remember that he certainly didn't seem to know that he wasn't "supposed to be involved" when he (allegedly) demanded the loyalty of FBI Director James Comey; fired Comey (ostensibly for being too harsh on Hillary Clinton), and later admitted that he'd fired Comey because he thought the FBI's investigation of ties between his campaign and the Russian government was "fake news."

And he certainly didn't know he wasn't "supposed to be involved" when for months he held a grudge against his own attorney general and close adviser Jeff Sessions, because Sessions felt that his entanglement in the Russia scandal was a reason to recuse himself from the federal investigation rather than trying to quash it. (That move led to the eventual appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, who indicted former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort earlier this week.)

It is not ideal, to say the least, for a president to learn on the job about fundamental principles of American governance. But it appears that at some point, someone got through to him, and explained that Comey and Sessions weren't acting deliberately to spite the president but were trying to uphold the integrity of their offices. 

Posted by at November 4, 2017 5:26 PM

  

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