Wednesday, November 21, 2018

'Lock her up' - Trump's obsessions with his enemies are responsible for his abuse of power

In its Tuesday email briefing, the NY Times reports on one instance of Trump’s abuse of power. He is obsessed with Hillary Clinton and James Comey, so much so that he tried, and may be still trying, to get DOJ to persecute prosecute them.

President Trump wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute Hillary Clinton and James Comey in April, our journalists learned, but the White House counsel warned him the move could lead to impeachment.

The encounter was one of the most blatant examples yet of how Mr. Trump views the typically independent Justice Department as a tool to be wielded against his political enemies.

The episode has taken on significance as Donald McGahn, the White House counsel, left his post and Mr. Trump appointed a relatively inexperienced political loyalist, Matthew Whitaker, as his acting attorney general.

The president has continued to privately discuss the matter, we learned, including the possible appointment of a second special counsel to investigate Mrs. Clinton, above, and Mr. Comey, the former F.B.I. director.

Read more in Trump Wanted to Order Justice Dept. to Prosecute Comey and Clinton. For example:

Perhaps more than any president since Richard M. Nixon, Mr. Trump has been accused of trying to exploit his authority over law enforcement. Witnesses have told the special counsel’s investigators about how Mr. Trump tried to end an investigation into an aide, install loyalists to oversee the inquiry into his campaign and fire Mr. Mueller.

In addition, Mr. Trump has attacked the integrity of Justice Department officials, claiming they are on a “witch hunt” to bring him down.

Mr. Trump’s frustrations about Mr. Comey and Mrs. Clinton were a recurring refrain, a former White House official said. “Why aren’t they going after” them?, the president would ask of Justice Department officials.

Another instance of Trump’s abuse of power, IMO, is his appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting AG. The constitutionality of that appointment is winding its way through the courts with law suits brought by the state of Maryland and, separately, on behalf of three U. S. Senators. One charge is that the appointment bypasses the constitutional requirement for senatorial advise and consent. Read lots more from AZBlueMeanie at Blog for Arizona: Legal challenges to Matthew Whitaker appointment now before the Supreme Court.

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