Sunday , May 16 2021

All Trump officials saved the President by himself



It has never happened, apparently hurt by white house councilor Don McGahn and other senior officials. But that does not mean that this is an escaped crisis for Trump and is now free of legal and political dangers. Quite the reverse.

At least, the latest developments highlight how Trump's senior subordinates could have protected an unskilled president in constitutional rules of disastrous steps that could have put the presidency in danger.

And let someone outside ask what other potential disasters they have prevented McGahn, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and current Deputy Prosecutor Rod Rosenstein.

They also raise questions about the capacity of a white house, now staffed, and of the legal adviser to protect the president from current or future violations.

It will be impossible to confirm, given the usual silence of the Special Bureau of Counselors, but revelations indicate that Robert Mueller may know more about what has happened on the West Wing Corridors than has been publicly disclosed.

This will play in the growing tensions in Washington, amid the expectation that the end of Mueller's probe is in sight and speculation about possible indictments to the Trump world and the content of his final report.

Bombshell reports of CNN and The New York Times about the president's intentions appeared on another surreal day in Washington, which saw the shocking revelation of Ivanka Trump's emails and a pivotal foreign policy pillar over Saudi Arabia.
Ivanka Trump used her personal e-mail account for government affairs

They will support the perception that Trump sees the Department of Justice as an instrument of his personal power, rather than an isolated government department responsible for the neutral administration of justice.

Trump has forecasted his intentions

CNN reported on Tuesday that the president repeatedly asked Rosenstein and Matt Whitaker, then the chief of staff of the prosecutor general, as they did to investigate Clinton.

Earlier, The New York Times reported that Trump had asked McGahn to send the Department of Justice to blame Clinton and dismiss FBI Comey director, but that was rejected.

The paper, raising the lid to extreme pressures faced by senior US law enforcement officials, also said that Trump has repeatedly criticized FBI Director Christopher Wray for not investigating Clinton more aggressively, calling him weak.

It is not surprising that Trump would call for such criminal prosecutions. He has said so many times on the campaign and on Twitter and brilliantly while his mobs tried to "block" him, referring to his 2016 electoral enemy.

But the fact that he would actually believe that he has the power to respect his demands and that such action would be politically acceptable is the most alarming situation in the reports.

A criminal prosecution of Clinton – possibly over his private e-mail server or Obama's uranium deal – hit with Russia as long as he was a state secretary – would have challenged the fundamentals of the political system itself. American democracy since George Washington, the first president, was secured by the peaceful transfer of power between rivals often bitter. In a saga that became involved in the 2016 elections, the FBI investigated Clinton's use of e-mail, but refused to recommend allegations.

The mobilization of the government's criminal prosecution powers against Comey would be a revenge blow against a political enemy, a worrying sign in itself.

But he could also have led Trump on a dangerous legal basis because he fired Comey and then told NBC News that he had done so because of the Russian investigation – which Comey was driving then – raising concern that the president impeded justice.

The dismissal made the former FBI director a key witness in polls taken over by Mueller shortly after Comey was forced. Using the federal government to target such a witness would risk intervening in the case of the obstruction of justice that Mueller investigates as it could provide evidence for the question whether the president acted with harmful intentions.

Josh Campbell, who served as a Comey at the FBI and is now a CNN analyst, said his former boss is shaken by statements the president wants the Justice Department to investigate.

"That was what worried him then. That was so vocal now and he spoke," Campbell said on "Anderson Cooper 360".

Comey wrote in his book, "A Higher Loyalty," which came out earlier this year, that Trump often brought him a mafia boss and sent him back in his days when he accused the crowd, especially the President's requests for personal loyalty .

The revised control of Matt Whitaker

The latest findings have cast a new look at Whitaker, who now acts as a lawyer, after Trump sessions.

Whitaker's position and past criticism of Mueller's probe raised concerns that it was implemented to counter Russia's investigation.

A source said Pamela Brown, CNN, that Whitaker, in his previous role, came to meet Trump, ready to respond to how the Department of Justice was pursuing investigations against the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One, a mining company whose sale to Russia's atomic energy agency was approved by the Obama administration, while Clinton was state secretary.

The source said that Whitaker tried to pacify the president and there was no sign that he had crossed a line.

Whitaker is now in a role in overseeing Mueller's probe and could thus bear strong pressure from a president who has not concealed his contempt for an investigation he called "witch hunt."

When Trump first demanded investigations in April, McGahn told the president that he could not force the Department of Justice to judge people, the Times said. The work also showed that McGahn went so far as to advise the White House lawyers on a memorandum indicating the consequences of such a request.

In many respects, the latest reports highlight how Trump, a neophyte in Washington, when inaugurated in January 2017, does not appreciate or do not respect the normal boundaries between the White House and the Department of Justice.

They also suggest that if it is not constrained, the President may accidentally stumble into a position that contravenes the Constitution and jeopardizes its presidency.

This possibility seems to be exacerbated by the growing Trump's self-confidence in a White House, which may be on the verge of being deprived of many restrictive influences left in a government reshuffle.

Tuesday's reports recalled an exchange in a presidential debate by Clinton / Trump in 2016 when the Democratic candidate noted that it is good that someone with the temperament of their rival should not rule the country.

"Because you were in prison," Trump said.


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