An extremely unflattering evidentiary record

Jennifer Rubin points out that what Trump is doing is an attack on the First Amendment (you know, the first amendment to that thing he swore an oath to protect and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic).

the attempt to squelch criticism of the administration based on the content of these ex-officials’ speech is a blatant violation of the First Amendment. “Despite the great latitude given the president in national security matters, and particularly on clearances, this is a new low,” says former White House counsel Norman Eisen. “It is so transparently based upon personal and political retaliation.” He continues, “It brings to mind other Trump classifications found unconstitutional by courts, including on First Amendment grounds, like the first Muslim ban or the Twitter ban. Because of the extreme deference to the executive here, court redress might be tough to obtain — but Trump and team are certainly creating an extremely unflattering evidentiary record.”

That’s a nice way of summing him up. I like it.

Constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe tells me, “This is probably the clearest and most indefensible of Trump’s First Amendment violations.” He observes, “The idea that it could be covered up vis-à-vis the courts by blanket claims that national security is at issue strikes me as highly implausible.” He continues, “If the president [were] to make individualized findings that one of the officials he seeks to deprive . . . of security clearance has in fact [abused] the privilege of using that security clearance by releasing classified information, that would be another thing. But to take an enemies list of this kind and threaten every member of it the way the president has done makes Nixon’s enemies list look trivial by comparison.”

If you watch the video of Sanders announcing his plan you can see that she’s eager to do it, she’s all excited about the chance for revenge. It’s an ugly spectacle.

Protect Democracy’s Roadmap for Renewal, released on July 4, warned against “threats against critics of the presidency, or government actions that bully private individuals.” The report recommends that legal redress for government retaliation against dissenters be strengthened, a proposal that certainly seems prescient. In the short run, robust criticism from the public and Congress should rebuke the president. Ultimately, however, the country — by ballot or impeachment or demands for resignation — must remove a president whose contempt for the Constitution and disdain for his oath of office know no bounds.

It’s basically just mobster/dictator behavior. “Don’t dispute me or you’ll be punished.” Why does Trump hate America?

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