President Trump Told The White House Counsel In The Spring That He Wanted To Order The Justice Department To Prosecute Two Of His Political Adversaries…

“… his 2016 challenger, Hillary Clinton, and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to two people familiar with the conversation. The lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, rebuffed the president, saying that he had no authority to order a prosecution. Mr. McGahn said that while he could request an investigation, that too could prompt […]

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President Trump Told The White House Counsel In The Spring That He Wanted To Order The Justice Department To Prosecute Two Of His Political Adversaries…

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“… his 2016 challenger, Hillary Clinton, and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to two people familiar with the conversation. The lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, rebuffed the president, saying that he had no authority to order a prosecution. Mr. McGahn said that while he could request an investigation, that too could prompt accusations of abuse of power. To underscore...

“… his 2016 challenger, Hillary Clinton, and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to two people familiar with the conversation. The lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, rebuffed the president, saying that he had no authority to order a prosecution. Mr. McGahn said that while he could request an investigation, that too could prompt accusations of abuse of power. To underscore his point, Mr. McGahn had White House lawyers write a memo for Mr. Trump warning that if he asked law enforcement to investigate his rivals, he could face a range of consequences, including possible impeachment…. It is unclear whether Mr. Trump read Mr. McGahn’s memo or whether he pursued the prosecutions further. But the president has continued to privately discuss the matter, including the possible appointment of a second special counsel to investigate both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Comey, according to two people who have spoken to Mr. Trump about the issue…. For decades, White House aides have routinely sought to shield presidents from decisions related to criminal cases or even from talking about them publicly. Presidential meddling could undermine the legitimacy of prosecutions by attaching political overtones to investigations in which career law enforcement officials followed the evidence and the law…. ‘I look at what’s happening with the Justice Department,” [Trump] said in a radio interview a year ago. ‘Well, why aren’t they going after Hillary Clinton and her emails and with her, the dossier?… I am not supposed to be doing the kind of things that I would love to be doing. And I am very frustrated.'”

The NYT reports.

“I am not supposed to be doing the kind of things that I would love to be doing” — Oh, he is doing the thing he loves to be doing. He’s talking — talking about what he’d love to do but they won’t let him do. And that’s doing something. The NYT would have to show me a lot more to get me to think Trump isn’t doing just what he wants — saying loudly that Clinton and Comey should be prosecuted but doing nothing to get them prosecuted. It’s like the way he rails against Mueller but does nothing to get rid of Mueller. My assumption is he does what he wants and what he wants is to talk about it, not actually to do the things he talks about wanting to do. The doing is complete in the talking.

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