The Law and Order President

Via the NYT:  Trump’s Unparalleled War on a Pillar of Society: Law Enforcement.

The war between the president and the nation’s law enforcement apparatus is unlike anything America has seen in modern times. With a special counsel investigating whether his campaign collaborated with Russia in 2016 and whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice in 2017, the president has engaged in a scorched-earth assault on the pillars of the criminal justice system in a way that no other occupant of the White House has done.

[…]

At the start of his administration, Mr. Trump targeted the intelligence community for his criticism. But in recent months, he has broadened the attacks to include the sprawling federal law enforcement bureaucracy that he oversees, to the point that in December he pronounced the F.B.I.’s reputation “in tatters and the “worst in history.”

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Quick Picks, Steven Taylor, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Kylopod says:

    Ever since the 1960s, “Law and Order” has been a dogwhistle meaning “I’ll protect you from scary brown people.” It’s no accident that the phrase was popularized by Nixon, the most lawless president by far up to that point. The phrase is as meaningless on a literal level as “states’ rights.”

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  2. dazedandconfused says:

    @Kylopod:

    Orange political careers matter!

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  3. Holly says:

    The promoted link “How to Shut An Atheist Up in 15 Seconds Flat” (which links here: https://pro.healthrevelations.net/p/HRV171024A/PHRVTC02/?aid=22&sid1=1_10566058105025820&sid2=&sid3=&sid4=&sid5=&oid=568&tid=1024505378006df3a9b0e0b1fdc239&h=true) seems…not quite in line with the rational perspective I generally find here.

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  4. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:

    Trump thinks–as I’ve said–that he can run the presidency the way he ran his own shoddy, bankrupt business, which has long since become dependent on Russian mob money to sustain it. He truly, deeply believes that the raison d’etre of the FBI and the DOJ is to protect him.

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  5. Bob The Arqubusier says:

    Yes, in the interest of protecting the reputation of the FBI, we should definitely not discuss that the Russia collusion farce has resulted in SIX top FBI officials being fired, demoted, reassigned, or forced to resign for misconduct.

    James Comey

    Andrew McCabe

    Bruce Ohr

    Peter Strzok

    James Baker

    James Rybicki

    And instead, let’s focus on the two convictions they’ve won so far — neither of which actually had to do with any actual collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

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  6. Mikey says:

    @Bob The Arqubusier: All good men, with long records of devoted service to our country, and the shoes of whom you are not worthy to lick.

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  7. Bob The Arqubusier says:

    @Mikey: Just as well, I don’t lick boots. I don’t bend over well.

    But let’s just look at one of them Bruce Ohr. Ohr served as the official DOJ contact with Christopher Steele, who had been hired by Fusion GPS (with Hillary and DNC money) to dig up dirt on Trump in Russia — and didn’t think it was worth reporting that his wife was employed by Fusion GPS as a Russia expert.

    Or Mr. Strzok. Carried on an illicit affair with a fellow DOJ employee and conspired to talk about work-related matters in such a way that would evade federal record-keeping laws regarding such discussions.

    Or Mr. Comey. Prepared highly classified materials, then leaked them to to someone without proper security clearances with the intention that they would then get made public.

    Or Mr. McCabe, who is accused of pressuring agents to alter their Form 302s (the only official records of FBI interviews) after they had been submitted.

    Just how the hell do you consider such actions “devoted service to our country?”

    Well, I guess if you consider “do whatever it takes to check Trump” as a form of patriotism that transcends things like laws and standards of conduct, that could work…

    Benedict Arnold also gave many years of “devoted service to our country,” now that I think about it…

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  8. Mikey says:

    @Bob The Arqubusier:

    Mr. Strzok. Carried on an illicit affair with a fellow DOJ employee

    I said “good men,” not “perfect men,” and I certainly can’t condone what DAD Strzok did with Lisa Page. That doesn’t change the impact of his service with the FBI.

    (A Trump supporter attacking a man for “carrying on an illicit affair…” bahahahahaha…)

    Anyway.

    conspired to talk about work-related matters in such a way that would evade federal record-keeping laws regarding such discussions.

    A Trumpist lie.

    Prepared highly classified materials, then leaked them to to someone without proper security clearances

    Another Trumpist lie.

    who is accused of pressuring agents to alter their Form 302s (the only official records of FBI interviews) after they had been submitted

    Accused by whom? By Trumpist liars. Surprise, surprise.

    I guess if you consider “do whatever it takes to check Trump” as a form of patriotism

    Yes, I do consider defending America against all enemies, foreign and domestic, as patriotism.

    Unlike you and the rest of the Trumpists who are doing all you can to support and defend a man who colluded with a hostile foreign power to swing an election in his favor.

    Benedict Arnold also gave many years of “devoted service to our country,”

    Benedict Arnold? A pretty good analogue for Trump, yes, except for the “years of devoted service to our country.” Trump has never served anyone but himself.

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  9. Bob The Arqubusier says:

    @Mikey: News flash, Mikey: calling something “Trumpist lies” and “Trumpist liars” doesn’t necessarily make it so.

    Let’s just take one example: Comey prepared notes about his meetings with Trump on his government computer. When he was fired, he was legally obligated to turn over all government documents, not keep any for his own use. Instead, he kept them and (as a private citizen who had no right to declassify them or even possess them) turned them over to a law professor who also had no legal right to possess them, who turned them over to a friendly reporter.

    For Strzok, the affair in and of itself is no big deal (except as it made him susceptible to blackmail), except 1) it was with a fellow employee and the talked a great deal about work-related matters and how much they wanted to make sure Trump didn’t become president.

    Strzok also did a great “patriotic” service by brooming the hell out of the Hillary email investigations.

    And isn’t it amazing how, totally innocently, how many documents the government is legally required to retain get accidentally deleted? All those Strzok texts, Lois Lerner’s IRS documents, Hillary’s 30,000 emails… good thing these people are all such “good men” (and “good women”) that we can just trust them that they didn’t have anything untoward in those documents.

    One last point: if there’s one thing that we’ve had a buttload of the last year or so, it’s anti-Trump leaks from government officials. In all that time, not one actual shred of evidence proving “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia has leaked out. Further, the two convictions won so far have had nothing to do with the campaign.

    But we have learned about how Hillary and the DNC colluded with foreign agents to try to sway the election against Trump. I’m almost curious why that isn’t a bigger story here… and then I remember that here, it’s Narrative Uber…. nah.

    Instead, I’ll quote Jim Treacher and Iowahawk.

    Iowahawk: “Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.”

    Treacher: “Modern journalism is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect badly on Democrats.”

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  10. dazedandconfused says:

    I can’t understand why the Trumps protest so much. It’s likely what happened isn’t even a crime that one can be convicted of in court..yet they, despite expert legal advice available to them, chose to lie their asses off on any connections with Russia.

    I will speculate the real issue may be the Trump’s engaging in money laundering with Russian oligarch/mobsters prior to running for office. That would explain their abject fear of investigations. The history of organized crime seeking to launder money through real estate is long and deep and has resulted in laws which require developers to vet their sources of funding. Money laundering at that level can even be served up with RICO special sauce. Unlike the nebulous nature of campaigns and propaganda (we engage in trying to influence elections ourselves, world over (see Ukraine) anyway) money laundering is provable, big time crime, and the sort of forensic accountants that Mueller has at his beck and call can prove it. It’s what they do for a living. This would be a matter which Justice couldn’t easily brush under a rug.

    I believe Trump once said he drew a red line at any investigation of his personal finances, and if my speculation is correct he has no viable options other than keeping the public focus on campaign shenanigans while tearing down the FBI itself. He is quite daring.

    This would explain their odd reaction, anyway. It is silly to feel a need to discredit LE over this campaign stuff.

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  11. TM 01 says:

    Sure.
    Let’s all just completely ignore that the FBI has been illegally withholding and slow walking information they are required by law to provide to Congress.

    Hell, the AP is now reporting that the FBI may start breaking the law even more by withholding even more information from Congress.
    https://apnews.com/c9b8a5b1f58f49baa14e815059ec18ec?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=&stream=top-stories

    Let’s ignore that the FBI send to think they are above the law and immune to the will of the people, existing as a More Equal branch of govt. Let’s all just blame Trump for everything.

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  12. TM 01 says:

    The police are racists and are literally committing genocide against black people.

    But don’t criticize law enforcement.

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  13. @TM 01: @TM 01: As I have noted elsewhere on this blog, if there are problems at the FBI, let’s engage in a legitimate investigation.

    The problem is that the President is not engaged in a serious or honest approach to these issues. He is simply denigrating the institutions in public to obfuscate and derail investigations that he is threatened by.

    That matters.

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