When Trump gets mad he gets messy, and this time he can’t seem to keep his meddling hands out of affairs over at the Justice Department. He’s dispatching Chief of Staff John Kelly out to do his bidding.
On a flight to Davos last week, Trump lost it when he found out a top Justice Department official warned against releasing an internal memo that could undercut the Russia investigation.
Trump is pissed about Associate Attorney General Stephen Boyd putting the kibosh on releasing a memo written by House Republican staffers alleging misdeeds by Justice and the FBI in the Russia investigation. Trump seems to think this is an example of the DOJ preventing Republicans from defending the President and providing evidence this whole thing is politically motivated.
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Despite there being a general assumption of separation of powers between the executive and judicial branches of government, Trump has been having White House Chief of Staff John Kelly run interference with the DOJ.
That Kelly signs off his phone calls with Justice Department Officials by reminding them “we’re not telling you to do anything illegal or unethical,” and then presumably doing a stage wink and then telling them “you can’t see me but I just stage winked” doesn’t inspire confidence.
Trump’s frustrations with the Mueller probe are really starting to bubble over, especially after last week’s New York Times revelation that Trump wanted to fire Mueller last June. Trumps lawyers have been urging Mueller to wrap things up, according to Bloomberg.
His fire is likely fueled by the ongoing efforts of Fox News and conservative media to discredit the Russia Investigation and expose what they see as politically motivated biases at the DOJ and FBI.
All of this doesn’t bode well for the health of our three branches of government and the presumed separation of powers.