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OpinionRepublicans Must Choose Between Trump and the Rule of Law

18:51  08 november  2018
18:51  08 november  2018 Source:   theatlantic.com

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The Special Counsel must be allowed to finish his work. Republicans should stand with America, not Putin. Stand Up for Rod Rosenstein & Stand Up for the Rule of Law . Rod Rosenstein is a man of outstanding character and essentially the gold standard Republicans to Trump : Don’t Fire Mueller.

Mr. Trump is making a mockery of law in the appalling policy of forcibly separating families at the border. Lawyers , including at the Department of Justice, sometimes make aggressive arguments. But there is a difference between aggressive and preposterous, and between truths and untruths.

Republicans Must Choose Between Trump and the Rule of Law© Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

After Wednesday, elected officials in the Republican Party should have no doubt that Donald Trump will force them to choose in coming days, weeks, and months between loyalty to him and loyalty to the rule of law, between the public’s right to the truth and Trump’s efforts to hide it.

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If we are to protect the rule of law , true conservatives must rise up now and say so. A Republican group that wants special counsel Robert Mueller to finish his investigation into connections between Donald Trump ’s presidential campaign and the Russian government unimpeded his hitting the

The rule of law is crumbling further each day under Donald Trump ’s presidency, from the It was a sad little display of ersatz patriotism. Before an audience of Republican staffers hastily summoned Trump attempting to absorb ethics-based reasoning must be like a child in a Peanuts movie listening

The president began the day with an extraordinary threat on Twitter: “If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level,” he wrote,then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level. Two can play that game!”

It would be nakedly corrupt to hinge a Senate investigation on partisan game theory or retaliation rather than on the substance of the law and the public interest.Yet the tweet was quickly overshadowed by even bigger news—Trump’s ouster of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

There’s little question that the resignation was forced for the most illegitimate reason: Trump’s repeatedly, explicitly expressed desire to undermine Robert Mueller’s incomplete investigation, and his open frustration at Sessions’s refusal to help. “We all know this, but it’s worth restating,” the law professor Orin Kerr commented. “The President fired the Attorney General for following ethics rules that required the Attorney General to recuse himself from overseeing an investigation into the President’s campaign and ultimately the President himself.”

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Donald J. Trump shows contempt for the First Amendment, separation of powers and the rule of law , scholars across the political spectrum say. Republican leaders say they are confident that Mr. Trump would respect the rule of law if elected. “He’ll have a White House counsel,” Senator Mitch

contempt for the rule of law that he did as a candidate. And he does it all with the seeming approval of his supporters and the vast majority of his fellow Republicans . Setting that aside, you are clearly failing to distinguish between breaking the law , and denying the legitimacy of law as a concept.

Why is there so little doubt about the motive? Sessions was one of Trump’s earliest supporters, continues to share his views on everything from immigration to refugee policy to voting rights to police shootings, and differed significantly only on whether he should’ve recused himself from the probe into foreign election interference.

Trump has obsessed about that recusal for months, behind the scenes and in public, stating in August, “Even my enemies say that Jeff Sessions should have told you that he was going to recuse himself and then you wouldn’t have put him in.” More generally, Trump has suggested that an attorney general ought to loyally protect even a lawbreaking president from the legal consequences of his unlawful actions—and Politicoreports that his own son now expects to be indicted.

Wednesday’s ouster will put the Mueller probe under the control of new Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, the author of a 2017 CNN article arguing that Mueller “has come to a red line in the Russia 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing.”

Trump admits Republicans can lose the House

Trump admits Republicans can lose the House President Donald Trump during his campaign rally in West Virginia admitted that Democrats could take the House. "If Chuck Schumer, cryin' Chuck, and Nancy Pelosi, and the legendary Maxine Waters take power they will try to erase our gains and eradicate our progress," Trump said. "We will be fighting. It will be ridiculous, frankly. It will be bad for the country," he continued. "The Democrats -- and it could happen. Could happen. We're doing very well, and we're doing really well in the Senate. But it could happen, and you know what you do? "My whole life, you know what I say? Don't worry about it.

The Republican Party has celebrated itself for nearly 50 years as the “ law and order” party. But in the past month, a disconnect has grown between the rule of law and the party. Vice President Mike Pence recently praised the former sheriff Joe Arpaio — who was found guilty of criminal contempt of

Since 2014, Trump has employed the phrase rule of lawnine times in tweets. Seven of them refer to On what grounds will Republicans resist that Democrat when he or she behaves like Trump does? Perhaps you’ll say Trump can choose Supreme Court Justices. Okay. Suppose Trump gets three

Whitaker reasoned in the article that investigating Trump’s finances “falls completely outside of the realm of his 2016 campaign and allegations that the campaign coordinated with the Russian government or anyone else,” even though Trump Organization finances and business relationships could be relevant if they gave the Russian government leverage over the president, his children, or his associates—or if Trump sought to coordinate with Russia in the realm of politics with the expectation that doing so would benefit his businesses.

In another article, Whitaker argued that Trump was correct to fire James Comey, that “calls for an independent counsel or commission to investigate allegations that Russia tried to interfere with our elections ring hollow when similar calls for special counsels during the scandals of the Obama administration were dismissed,” and that “hollow calls for independent prosecutors are just craven attempts to score cheap political points and serve the public in no measurable way.”

And he has tweeted about the probe, criticizing the raid of Paul Manafort’s house and sharing an article that referred to “the Mueller lynch mob.”

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Republicans in Congress now face a binary choice: their agenda or the integrity of the political system. Up to this point, the congressional GOP has served mainly to enable Trump 's excesses and flagrant misbehaviors because they need him to sign the ObamaCare repeal and regressive tax cuts into law .

Since 2014, Trump has employed the phrase rule of lawnine times in tweets. Seven of them refer to illegal immigration. On what grounds will Republicans resist that Democrat when he or she behaves like Trump does? Marriage can be between whomever. Supply and demand doesn’t matter.

Trump “told advisers that Whitaker is loyal and would not have recused himself from the investigation,” according to The Washington Post. But analysts at Lawfaresay Whitaker is obligated to seek the advice of Justice Department bureaucrats about the necessity of recusal:

The relevant Justice Department guideline is Section 45.2 of Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which states that “no employee shall participate in a criminal investigation or prosecution if he has a personal or political relationship with” either “any person or organization substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution” or “any person or organization which he knows has a specific and substantial interest that would be directly affected by the outcome of the investigation or prosecution.”

Although the regulations do not indicate that Whitaker’s public statements alone necessarily require recusal, Whitaker has other connections to people whose conduct is at issue in the matter. For instance, the regulations define a political relationship as “a close identification with an elected official, a candidate (whether or not successful) for elective, public office, a political party, or a campaign organization, arising from service as a principal adviser thereto or a principal official thereof.”

Exit polls: This election is about Donald Trump

Exit polls: This election is about Donald Trump Two-thirds of voters say their vote in today's congressional election is about Donald Trump, according to early exit polls, and more say they're showing up at the polls to express opposition than support for the President. The President's approval rating is net negative among the nation's voters, and more say things in the country are on the wrong track than that they are going in the right direction. Still, nearly 7 in 10 say the economy is in good shape, and those who say their personal finances are in better shape now than two years ago outnumber those who feel their finances have worsened.

Where are they as the rule of law is subverted, as ongoing criminal cases are publicly prejudged by But Republicans have evidently mastered the art of the Faustian deal. If the president gives them I must have missed something: Was there some kind of all-hands white-people meeting at which we

Trump ’s contempt for the rule of law infects his entire Administration, as illustrated by Sessions’s newly announced guidance on marijuana policy. Under President Barack Obama, the Department of Justice allowed states to come up with their own policies on pot, which Washington and Colorado

Rebecca Ballhaus of the Wall Street Journal reports that Whitaker chaired the 2014 Iowa state treasurer campaign of Sam Clovis, who went on to serve in the Trump campaign and administration and who, Ballhaus notes, is now a grand jury witness in the Mueller investigation. The Des Moines Register reported Whitaker’s chairmanship of Clovis’s campaign during the campaign itself. What’s more, in a text message to Ballhaus after Whitaker’s appointment, Clovis wrote that he was “proud of my friend,” referring to Whitaker, raising the question of whether there is a personal relationship as well.

There is an important process point here: Under the same Justice Department regulation mentioned above, Whitaker is obligated to seek guidance from career ethics attorneys regarding whether he should recuse. This is the process Jeff Sessions used in determining that the rules required that he recuse, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein also sought guidance regarding his obligations, though Justice officials determined that his recusal was not required. If Whitaker either does not obtain an ethics opinion from career officials or if he departs from that guidance, that would be a serious red flag.

Will Republicans protect the Mueller investigation as Trump gains new visibility into what the special counsel has been up to all this time?

Mitt Romney, now the senator-elect from Utah, stopped short of calling for Whitaker to recuse himself, but said it is “imperative that the important work of the Justice Department continues” and that the Mueller probe “proceeds to its conclusion unimpeded.”

Comey declares anti-Trump ‘awakening’ underway, as he campaigns for Dems in midterms

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Donald Trump ’s recent public excoriation of the judge ( and the magistrate judge) handling the “ Trump University” Here is your presumptive Republican nominee He has given us ruling after ruling , negative, negative, negative. I have a top lawyer who said he has never seen anything like this before.

(CNN) President Donald Trump 's latest tirade against Attorney General Jeff Sessions goes beyond his usual demeaning of perceived foes and reflects a pattern of scorn for the rule of law and those who would enforce it. The underlying message of his tweets and other remarks over the past six months

The Maine Republican Susan Collins also stated that “it is imperative that the administration not impede the Mueller investigation,” adding that she is concerned that “Rod Rosenstein will no longer be overseeing the probe,” and that “Special Counsel Mueller must be allowed to complete his work without interference—regardless of who is AG.”

And GOP Senator Lamar Alexander says the Mueller investigation will continue.

Most other Republicans have kept quiet. Who wants to make an enemy of the White House, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and those in the GOP base who believe that Trump can do no wrong?

But if Trump or Whitaker take steps to impede the Mueller investigation or fight to prevent House Democrats, with their new subpoena power, from delving into matters Trump would like to keep secret, elected Republicans won’t be able to avoid taking a position forever.

They will have to choose between angering the president and his populist backers or becoming complicit in whatever Trump is hiding, knowing that the president seldom stays loyal to anyone for very long, and that if and when the truth comes out, the public will rightfully hold them accountable if they helped conceal illegal or flagrantly immoral behavior.

Would you want to publicly help Trump fight to keep his closet doors shuttered, not knowing what skeletons lurk inside to one day be revealed?

'Large parts' of GOP establishment want to distance themselves from Trump, says pollster.
Pollster Rob Griffin said on Monday that there are large swaths of the GOP establishment that privately want nothing to do with the Trump administration. "Throughout Trump's presidency, one of the issues they've faced is that, contrary to what they've promised, they're not able to bring in the best people," Griffin, research director at the Public Religion Research Institute, told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking." "There are large parts of the Republican establishment that even to this day, even though they won't say publicly, really don't want that much to do with the presidency, and hope to have sort of a time period after his presidency where they

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