On Wednesday, Harry Litman, a former United States attorney and deputy assistant attorney general wrote in The New York Times that President Donald Trump’s attempt to prosecute his political enemies was “positively Putinesque.”
Trump sought to have the Department of Justice prosecute former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former F.B.I. Director James Comey.
“Tuesday’s revelation that the president had ordered his White House counsel to prosecute Hillary Clinton and James Comey illustrates the fragility of even apparently bedrock political norms in the Age of Trump,” Litman wrote.
He added, “In fact, Mr. Trump was deadly serious — and this latest story illustrates just how fragile the system has become in less than two years since he took office.”
“Mr. McGahn is hardly a Lincolnesque figure, but he is sufficiently steeped in American legal and political culture, and sufficiently experienced, to be able to rebuff the president,” Litman said. “The screaming question here is what could have happened — or might happen in the near future — if the order had been issued to Trump crony Matt Whitaker.”
“The principle that the president may not simply prosecute political enemies is part of the DNA of American political culture, but Mr. Trump is the heedless radioactive force indifferent to the nature of the bonds he is breaking,” he concluded.
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