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Opinion Barr Wants to Hide Trump’s Authoritarian Plans, But Trump Keeps Confessing

19:00  14 february  2020
19:00  14 february  2020 Source:   nymag.com

Short defends Trump's tweets as a 'very effective way' to communicate with Americans

  Short defends Trump's tweets as a 'very effective way' to communicate with Americans Marc Short said on Sunday President Trump's tweets are an "effective" way for the president to communicate with American people, pushing back on comments from Attorney General William Barr, who said Trump's tweets about the Justice Department make it "impossible" for him to do his job. "The president has been able to communicate directly with American people through social media," Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence and former White House legislative affairs director, said on CNN's "State on the Union," adding that the American people "love" him for it.

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.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Donald Trump Mark Wilson/Getty Images© Mark Wilson/Getty Images Donald Trump Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The smooth and congenial relationship between President Trump and William Barr went through a brief patch of turbulence last night, when Barr complained openly that Trump’s highly public tweets about criminal cases make it “impossible to do my job.” Barr is deeply committed to a Trumpian program of using his powers to protect Trump’s allies and harass Trump’s adversaries, but he also understands that the process requires a sheen of public legitimacy. He needs to maintain the façade that every discrete decision made on Trump’s behalf was made on its merits. Even despots like Vladimir Putin pretend the justice system is working independently, and not just leaving his friends alone and prosecuting people he wants to punish.

'Complicated things': Trump impeachment lawyer scolds him for tweeting about Roger Stone case

  'Complicated things': Trump impeachment lawyer scolds him for tweeting about Roger Stone case A Trump impeachment defense lawyer chided the president for tweeting his congratulations to Attorney General William Barr for "taking charge" of the case against his longtime associate Roger Stone. © Provided by Washington ExaminerAttorney Robert Ray, who served on the White House defense team during President Trump's Senate impeachment trial, joined radio show The Cats Roundtable on Sunday and weighed in on Trump's tweet, saying it "complicated things.

Last night, the White House gave official word that Trump had no issues with Barr’s comment. All seemed well again in despotville.

But then this morning, Trump felt the itch to clear something up. Trump maintains the right to ask Barr to prosecute, or not prosecute, anybody for any reason. He hasn’t done it, he says, but he could:

Obviously, if the president can direct anybody to be prosecuted or not, there is no rule of law. If there is no rule of law, there is no meaningful democracy

Trump is notoriously uninterested in theory, and approaches every question from the most short-term possible perspective. Yet he is fanatical about asserting his completely untrammeled rights to turn the legal system into a personal weapon.

Trump says his 'life would've been a lot easier' if he picked Barr over Sessions

  Trump says his 'life would've been a lot easier' if he picked Barr over Sessions President Trump said Thursday that his "life would've been a lot easier" if he chose William Barr as his attorney general originally, instead of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. © Getty Images Trump says his 'life would've been a lot easier' if he picked Barr over Sessions Geraldo Rivera asked Trump on his podcast "Roadkill" what his life would have been like if he chose Barr first."My life would've been a lot easier, but I might have been less popular," Trump told Rivera."Because they say they like that that I fought it," he added, referencing his supporters. "They like that I won.

When Trump took office, he was initially told the Department of Justice would not allow him to use it as he saw fit. According to the Mueller report, when his lawyer told him he could not interfere in the Department’s handling of his own case, he exploded. “The President then brought up former Attorneys General Robert Kennedy and Eric Holder and said that they had protected their presidents,” it records. “The President also pushed back on the DOJ contacts policy, and said words to the effect of, ‘You’re telling me that Bobby and Jack didn’t talk about investigations? Or Obama didn’t tell Eric Holder who to investigate?’”

His frustration with what he considered an absurd limitation lasted throughout most of his first year. “You know, the saddest thing is that because I’m the president of the United States, I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department,” Trump told a radio interview that fall. “I am not supposed to be involved with the F.B.I. I’m not supposed to be doing the kind of things that I would love to be doing. And I’m very frustrated by it.”

Trump maintains he can intervene in cases after Barr urges him to stop tweeting about DOJ

  Trump maintains he can intervene in cases after Barr urges him to stop tweeting about DOJ President Trump asserted he has "the legal right" to insert himself into the DOJ's handling of criminal cases one day after Attorney General William Barr's interview.President Trump on Friday asserted he has "the legal right" to insert himself into the Justice Department's handling of criminal cases one day after Attorney General William Barr said the president's tweets were making his job more difficult.

But a month later, Trump had become convinced that he did possess this right. Asked by the New York Times if he wanted the Justice Department to reopen its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server, he explained, “What I’ve done is, I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department. But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter.” He wasn’t investigating Clinton just then, but he could — it all depended on whether Trump himself was “treated fairly.”

Since this epiphany, Trump has proclaimed the “absolute right” to pardon himself for any crimes (not that there were any!). He has also insisted that he has the “absolute right” to ask any country to investigate any American for any reason he sees fit. On many occasions, Trump has gestured to Article II of the Constitution as the source of this authority. He has barely hid the enthusiasm for this clause, and the powers he believes it confers upon him. “It gives me all of these rights, at a level nobody has ever seen before,” he gushed at one point.

GOP senator on Trump's Roger Stone tweets: 'Tweeting less would not cause brain damage'

  GOP senator on Trump's Roger Stone tweets: 'Tweeting less would not cause brain damage' Sen. John Kennedy suggested President Trump should stop tweeting about the Department of Justice and, therefore, placing Attorney General William Barr in difficult situations. © Provided by Washington ExaminerThe Louisiana Republican appeared on CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday to defend the president against allegations that he is attempting to subvert justice in the case of GOP operative Roger Stone. Kennedy said that the president’s tweets earlier this week on the DOJ’s case against Stone placed Barr in an "awkward spot" but were not illegal.

Trump’s allies like to pretend that he is not using the Department as his own private detective agency. Conservative media is filled with busy justifications for each individual instance. Of course the DOJ is right to scale back Roger Stone’s sentence, and create a process for sifting Rudy’s Russian-funded dirt, and investigate James Comey and Peter Strzok and Lisa Page and Andrew McCabe and James Brennan, and look into the Clinton email case and the Foundation again.

Not even conservative ideologues are prepared to openly defend the principle Trump insists he believes, because the nakedness of it is self-defeating. Trumped-up charges against your adversaries are worthless if they’re labeled as such.

A more dangerous and effective authoritarian party would find a leader who understands how to maintain appearances. That fact helps explain the habit Trump’s allies have of complaining about his tweets — and only his tweets, the one tiny flaw in his otherwise masterful handling of the job. Trump keeps blowing their cover.

Trump says he has 'total confidence' in Barr .
President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he has "total confidence" in Attorney General William Barr despite a swirl of controversies in the past week that have led to questions about the department's impartiality and widespread calls for Barr to step down. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

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