Source: New York Times
By Jonathan Chait, @jonathanchait
Republicans have tended to dismiss Donald Trump’s attacks on the rule of law as the naïve utterances of a political novice. When confronted with evidence that Trump has repeatedly pressured Senate Republicans to end their investigation of the Russia scandal, Republicans told the New York Times that the president merely “still has the mind-set of a businessman rather than a politician.”
But Trump continues to make it chillingly clear that his unceasing attacks upon the system are neither accidental nor a mistake borne of naïvete. Trump believes he commands the government with the same totality he commands his business. His lawyer, John Dowd, has elevated this assumption to official presidential doctrine in an explosive interview with Mike Allen. A “president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution’s Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case,” he says.
It is easy to hyperventilate about various Trumpian offenses, but Dowd is claiming on Trump’s behalf virtual immunity from the law. The powers he is asserting, and the dangers it would bring, have almost no limit.