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Trump’s Second Term Would Be Even More Corrupt and Vindictive Than His First

  

Category:  Op/Ed

Via:  hallux  •  one week ago  •  10 comments

By:   MICHELLE GOLDBERG - NYT

Trump’s Second Term Would Be Even More Corrupt and Vindictive Than His First

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


A truism of the Trump era is that every accusation is a confession. When Donald Trump hurls wild charges at his opponents, he is telegraphing what he plans to do to them, preemptively justifying the breaking of laws and norms by casting himself as the victim of the very misdeeds he’s going to commit.

That is how we should understand Trump’s ranting in the wake of his 34 felony convictions last week. After he was found guilty, he   told   reporters gathered outside the courthouse, “This was done by the Biden administration in order to wound or hurt an opponent.” It’s tedious to fact-check such claims — the MAGA movement doesn’t care what’s true and what’s not — but President Biden had nothing to do with the state case brought by Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney. And as if to underline Biden’s refusal to interfere in Justice Department decisions, the federal prosecution of the president’s son Hunter Biden begins this week. In spinning this fantasy about Biden, Trump is telegraphing that, should he return to the White House, he will try to use the Justice Department in exactly the way he’s pretending it was used against him. When the former president   compares   himself to the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died earlier this year in an Arctic prison colony, he’s giving himself permission to act like Vladimir Putin.

In an   interview   with three Fox News hosts on Sunday, his first since his conviction, Trump all but promised that his second term would be even more corrupt and vindictive than his first. In his telling, he never called for Hillary Clinton to be imprisoned, and magnanimously resisted the entreaties of others to punish her. Next time, he suggested, he won’t be so nice. “They always said lock her up, and I felt — and I could have done it, but I felt it would have been a terrible thing,” he said. “And then this happened to me, and so I may feel differently about it.”






Speaking to the Fox hosts, Trump denied saying the words that were the refrain to his first presidential campaign: “I didn’t say, ‘Lock her up.’” That is, of course, a preposterous lie , the kind that demonstrates Trump’s strongman ability to get his followers to accept absurdities. And “lock her up,” it’s important to remember, was never just rhetoric. As the Mueller report revealed, Trump demanded that his first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, who’d recused himself from investigations involving the 2016 campaign, go after Clinton. “According to Sessions, the President asked him to reverse his recusal so that Sessions could direct the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute Hillary Clinton,” the Mueller report  said . Eventually, attempting to placate his boss, Sessions tapped U.S. Attorney John Huber of Utah to probe the right’s allegations about the Clinton Foundation, but Huber  came up  empty.


Sessions’s replacement, William Barr, proved more willing to bend ethical rules to do Trump’s bidding. Geoffrey Berman, a Republican who served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York until Trump fired him, described Barr’s Justice Department in his book, “Holding the Line.” “Demands came down from Main Justice that were overtly political — among the most outrageous of them, pressure to pursue baseless criminal charges against John Kerry, who had served in the Obama administration as Secretary of State,” he wrote.

Eventually, during Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, Barr discovered lines that even he wouldn’t cross. Given another chance, Trump will surely seek a Justice Department head who is a fully committed MAGA apparatchik; he’s said he’s   considering   the ultraright Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is currently under federal investigation because of allegations that he accepted bribes and abused the power of his office.

The point here is not that Trump and his lackeys are lying about his record; it would be more newsworthy if they weren’t. What’s important is that Trump has already tried to use the power of the presidency to harass his enemies, and his allies have since identified the choke points in the system that previously thwarted him. As Reuters   reported , people close to Trump have a two-part plan to “turn the nation’s top law enforcement body into an attack dog for conservative causes.” First, they want to flood the Department of Justice “with stalwart conservatives unlikely to say ‘no’ to controversial orders from the White House.” Then they want to restructure it “so key decisions are concentrated in the hands of administration loyalists rather than career bureaucrats.”

Republican caterwauling about Trump’s felony conviction provides rhetorical cover for this planned transformation of America’s justice system by making it seem like that transformation has already been accomplished by Democrats. On Thursday, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a potential Trump vice president, said that Democrats “have crossed the line in which now the court system is a political weapon, and it’s going to be very hard for it not to come back the other way.” In other words, whatever abuses Trump’s foes are subject to in a Trump restoration will be nothing but well-earned comeuppance. By projecting the authoritarian aggression of their movement onto others, Republicans absolve themselves. It’s the mantra of abusers everywhere: “Look what you made me do.”







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Hallux
PhD Principal
1  seeder  Hallux    one week ago

Full disclosure: I have a softish spot for Ms. Goldberg ... something to do with her writing talents.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Hallux @1    one week ago

Yes, she is a very good writer

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2  JBB    one week ago

Yes, of course it would. He already said so. Let's not go there...

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
2.1  cjcold  replied to  JBB @2    one week ago

Since Trump is obviously getting sicker and more deranged on a daily basis, I doubt he'll last until November. Either physically or mentally.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3  Vic Eldred    one week ago

Oh, I see, this a history of what Trump said, not what Trump did.

Trump never had his DOJ go after Hillary Clinton or any other political opponent. Biden did that.

It seems that the only people who can't seem to remember the Trump Presidency or even the Biden one we are still living under are progressives who sit in front of a computer screen and only care about woke causes.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Expert
3.1  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Vic Eldred @3    one week ago
Oh, I see, this a history of what Trump said, not what Trump did

That's all it's ever been.  He hurt their feelings and they don't know how to deal with it.

Trump never had his DOJ go after Hillary Clinton or any other political opponent. Biden did that.

IT's not just that.

  • Trump never censored free speech.  That was Traitor Joe and his supporters.
  • Trump never used the media to silence political opponents.  That was Traitor Joe and his supporters.
  • Trump never threatened to take people firearms.  That was Traitor Joe and his supporters.

In a nutshell, EVERYTHING they've told us Trump would do, Traitor Joe has done.  

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
3.2  Tessylo  replied to  Vic Eldred @3    one week ago

[deleted][]

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
4  Trout Giggles    one week ago
the MAGA movement doesn’t care what’s true and what’s not — but President Biden had nothing to do with the state case brought by Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney.

Above me is a comment that basically reiterates this. This was a state case...not a FEDERAL CASE!!!!!

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
4.1  JBB  replied to  Trout Giggles @4    one week ago

The MAGA do not care that their entire argument is total baloney...

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
4.1.1  Tessylo  replied to  JBB @4.1    one week ago

What argument?

 
 

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