Trump’s lawlessness is intensifying

Jennifer Rubin says Trump has taken an impeachment-level lunge into abuse of power territory.

The abusing asylum-seekers as retaliation against sanctuary cities and Democrats in general was bad enough, but he didn’t stop there.

Making matters worse, we learned he allegedly told Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan to close the border despite concerns about the legality of doing so. He allegedly told McAleenan, who is now also acting secretary of homeland security, that he — Trump — would pardon him later if need be.

What?!? That’s the only sensible reaction for someone minimally conversant in the Constitution and the rule of law. This is the conduct of a movie mob boss, not a president. Trump is so brazen he’d rather lie to make himself appear more politically vengeful than tell the truth that his suggestion apparently was rebuffed. Tough guy. Gotta make da Dems quake in their boots, right?

Republicans, as they always do when Trump is shredding democracy, remained silent on Friday. Speaking more generally of Trump’s Twitter habits in an interview, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declared the president to be a “freak.” Actually, if the allegations are true, he’s much worse than that.

You know why? Because you can’t offer pardons in advance as inducement to commit crimes. That’s a no-no even for presidents.

Former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah acknowledged that, if the allegation about a pardon was true and Trump was serious, Trump then “offered a pardon as a bribe to get a public official to commit an unlawful act.” Referring to Attorney General William P. Barr’s exaggerated conception of executive authority, she queried, “Would Barr dare say that’s within his executive power?”

Constitutional scholar Laurence H. Tribe tells me, “If carried out, this offer to pardon high immigration officials if they will break the law on his behalf is the most obviously impeachable action President Trump has taken to date: It would mean this president has seized the power to put not just himself but all who do his bidding beyond the reach of law.” He continues, “That doing so is a high crime and misdemeanor is beyond dispute. Any president guilty of such conduct cannot be permitted to remain in office.”

We’ve now come to the point where Trump is bragging about a plot to abuse power, using federal resources to enact political revenge. We have reason to believe he tried to induce wrongdoing with a pardon offer. “One thing everyone who knows the relevant law has agreed about the otherwise sweeping pardon power is that it cannot be used in advance, to license crimes before they have been committed,” Tribe says.

Trump’s lawlessness is intensifying. Even those such as Tribe who have opposed impeachment, given “the Senate’s fidelity to Trump rather than to the Constitution,” wonder if Trump can be left in office for another year-and-a-half. “I hesitate to say the red line has finally been crossed, but I see no way around that conclusion at this point,” he says.

Image result for trump prison

I can dream.

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