The power to confer impunity on the guilty

Be brazen and you can get away with it.

Greg Sargent at the Post:

For Trump, the very public nature of his efforts to corrupt law enforcement is a key feature of those efforts, not a byproduct of them that he pathologically can’t control.

If he does it publicly, it’s no longer corruption, it’s policy.

Barr is getting restive because Trump keeps tweeting about DoJ matters even though Barr gave him a very strong hint that he should quit it.

But Trump “has told those around him he is not going to stop tweeting about the Justice Department,” the Post report continues. According to officials, “Trump considers highlighting what he sees as misconduct at the FBI and Justice Department as a good political message.”

Of course “what he sees as misconduct”=conduct inconvenient to him. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a good political message from his point of view. (Define “good”…)

There you have it: Trump can simply claim law enforcement is guilty of misconduct when it isn’t — corrupting our discourse with disinformation — which in turn justifies whatever corrupt efforts to manipulate law enforcement he sees fit to attempt.

And the only downside is the complete destruction of the DoJ and everyone’s trust in it. It’s a no-brainer.

Trump’s insight has been that unabashedly attacking and obstructing law enforcement in plain view makes it seem less shady, reverse-reinforcing his original claim that efforts to ferret out the wrongdoing he does want concealed are illegitimate.

Trump just pardoned a string of white-collar criminals and political allies, claiming they were unfairly prosecuted by the “same people” who investigated him. This reportedly came not after a serious procedural vetting of their prosecutions, but after recommendations from friends, celebrities and campaign donors.

The elite, in short. Trump professes to hate the elite but he loves his own elite.

Trump didn’t hide this. Here again the public and unabashed declaration of the power to confer impunity on the guilty — to declare the guilty innocent simply because they were investigated for wrongdoing just as he was, meaning he is one of them — is the whole point of it.

And we’re stuck with it.

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