December 1, 2022

Trump just committed an unprecedented abuse of power to distract the public from Mueller’s Russia probe

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Violating the tradition of the White House not interfering with the Justice Department’s investigations, President Trump has successfully lobbied his ethically-challenged Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, to reopen the investigation into Secretary Hillary Clinton’s use of private email as a way to ramp up his attack on the FBI and deflect attention from his own crimes and mounting legal problems.


Even more recently, Trump has taken time away from threatening to start a nuclear war, playing golf and making endless false statements about his success as president, to attack one of Clinton’s close aides and best friends.

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Although multiple investigations have studied Clinton’s use of a private email account, which Turmp turned into a major issue in the 2016 presidential campaign, and found there are no grounds for criminal prosecution or further investigations, Session’s  Department has caved in to pressure from the White House to raise the red herring again. 

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Recently Trump and his Republican allies have used the Clinton email investigation to attack the FBI and what the president claims are “deep state” enemies of his in the Justice Department to counter the heat from the growing investigation into how Trump and his campaign colluded with the Russians to help him win the 2016 election.

Despite Conservative enthusiasm for going after Clinton yet again, to most fair-minded observers, it is clear that Trump is desperate to find something else to talk about besides his own problems as the Russia probe intensifies and his administration is in disarray.

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A former Justice Department spokesman, Brian Fallon, who was also a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, told The Daily Beast Justice Department officials are looking “to give Trump and his allies something to talk about and point to and something to give Fox News to devote segments too.”

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“I think that even that is extremely dangerous,” said Fallon, “and that the Justice Department should not be opening itself up to the perception that it is bending to political pressures from the White House.”

“The Justice Department is supposed to operate independently of the White House,” adds Fallon, “and even if this is just a perfunctory step that they’re taking to try to appease the president, that in and of itself is an abuse of the DOJ authority.”

Clinton’s former communication’s director, Nick Merrill, told The Daily Beast, that Michael Wolff’s explosive new book about Trump and his dysfunctional administration has added to the pressure on Sessions to beat this old horse again.

“As Trump begins the new year with Steve Bannon calling his campaign treasonous and indictments and guilty pleas piling up,” said Merrill, “he resorts to diversion and distraction like clockwork, with the help of his attorney general.”

“Few matters have been more scrutinized than (Clinton’s) emails,” continues Merrill, “and it was determined that there was no wrongdoing.”

“Trump’s behavior,” he adds, “shows a profound disrespect for the rule of law and an unprecedented abuse of power – with is attorney general following suit at every turn. It tarnishes our justice system, and should be deeply troubling to all Americans.”

Matt Miller, who was a spokesman for the Justice Department during the Obama years, said itis clear that Trump, with lots of help from Sessions, is undermining the independence of the Justice Department.

“The president’s ongoing campaign to tear down the wall between the Justice Department and the White House,” says Miller, “seems to be working.”

Trump is using this as a way to attack the credibility of the FBI, and by proxy, of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, to try and discredit their investigation of his crimes, and those of his campaign and associates, who worked with Russia to pervert the U.S. election. 

Trump has no ethics and often shows he is more corrupt than those he accuses of being corrupt, and this is just another nail in the coffin of a fair and impartial Justice Department. Just as Trump’s efforts to pack the federal courts with unqualified right-wing judges, this is part of a plan to subvert the democratic process and American justice for political reasons.

Benjamin Locke

Benjamin Locke is a retired college professor with an undergraduate degree in Industrial Labor and Relations from Cornell University and an MBA from the European School of Management.

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