The preternatural attacks by President Trump on the Department of Justice via a series of increasingly deranged tweets have incensed veterans of that federal agency to the point that 245 of them have banded together to issue a statement demanding that Congress “swiftly and forcefully respond” if the president fires Special Counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, his DOJ supervisor, according to an article in The Washington Post today.
The officials who participated in signing the statement are all former federal employees who have worked in administrations dating back to the Nixon-era and are outraged by Trump’s assault on their alma mater.
“It is up to the rest of us, and especially our elected representatives, to come to their defense and oppose any attempt by the President or others to improperly interfere in the Department’s work,” the statement read in part.
“We served [the Justice Department] out of a commitment to the founding American principles that our democratic republic depends upon the rule of law, that the law must be applied equally, and no one is above the law. … Those of us who served with these men know them to be dedicated public servants committed to these principles,” it continued.
“We are therefore deeply disturbed by the attacks that have been levied against the good men and women of the Department. Not only is it an insult to their public service, but any attempt to corrupt or undermine the evenhanded application of the rule of law threatens the foundation of our Republic.”
Trump’s attacks on the Justice Department stem from his inability to conceive that even as President of the United States, he is still subject to the same behavioral and legal norms as everyone else. The moment that his hand-picked Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation into collusion with Russia after it was discovered that his recollection of meeting with the Russian Ambassador after Trump’s election was faulty when he testified at his confirmation hearing, Trump has focused a boatload of bile toward the agency.
He’s called the agency an “embarrassment to our country,” fired the then Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates when she pointed out that Trump’s executive order on immigration was likely illegal which federal courts subsequently confirmed, and attacked both her replacement Rod Rosenstein, whom he himself nominated, and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller and his team.
Since last week’s raid seizing documents from his personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen, Trump has been particularly enraged and is believed to be seriously considering firing Rosenstein, Mueller, or both.
The fact that 245 former Justice Department officials so vehemently oppose that idea probably won’t matter much to Trump’s “deep state” conspiracy brainwashed base, but it should certainly give those of us living in the world of reality serious pause for concern.
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