Obama blabbed about Justice Dept. cases before Trump

President Donald Trump needs to disabuse himself of the idea that he can literally run the justice department's prosecutions, but when it comes to blabbing about possible JOD criminal cases, he was only following in President Barack Obama's footsteps.

When asked about Hillary Clinton's possible illegal use of her own email server for official business, Obama waved it away, saying her use of email was  mistake, but the issue was

ginned up in part because of politics [and was] not a situation in which America's national security was endangered. We don't get an impression that here there was purposely efforts … to hide something or to squirrel away information.

When pressed further, he said:

I do not talk to the attorney general about pending investigations. I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations. We have a strict line, and always have maintained it.

Sound familiar?

The point here isn't whether the president should immerse himself in criminal cases being handled by the Justice Department. He shouldn't, and that's been the policy ever sine Richard Nixon tried to manipulate the Justice Department into dropping the Watergate Investigation.

Rather, the point here is: Should the president declare his beliefs about a prospective, pending, in progress or even concluded criminal case before the DOJ? Attorney General William Barr's correct answer is a definite "No."  Trump needs to shut up. His tweet storm has at least created the appearance that he's trying to direct the DOJ to not prosecute any of his pals. That's extremely damaging and dangerous.

But that also was Obama's sin. Of course, no Democrats had any criticism of the practice then.

Trump's yapping mouth has motivated Democrats to demand another impeachment, this time of Barr. Lordy, Lordy, when will it end?

The full explanation of the hypocrisy is here, in Jack Goldsmith's article, "William Barr Has a Decision to Make: He can tell Trump to stop interfering in DoJ business, he can stop acting on that interference, or he can quit," in The Dispatch.

 

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  • This is another of your columns asserting false equivalencies. But, you express one question with which I agree: "Lordy, Lordy, when will it end?" The answer, I would suggest, is when Trump is removed from the White House and his corrupt cabinet is dissolved.

  • Dennis, your post clearly presents a false equivalency. Consider what Goldsmith wrote toward the end of his article, which you use to end your post.

    "This brings us to the Trump-Stone matter. Obama understood and supported the norm against White House non-comment on ongoing investigations but broke it a few times. That was bad. Donald Trump's behavior here is much, much worse. It took him a long time to discover the norm, and when he did, he famously said that it was "the saddest thing." He also attacked the norm and broke it very often in his tweet-attacks of, to take only the most prominent example, the Mueller investigation and its various trials and sentences, including its investigation into the president himself. Trump's latest comments and criticisms about the Stone sentencing recommendations are but the latest of hundreds of violations by Trump of the norm."

    Obama broke the norm a few times. Trump broke the norm hundreds of times.

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