January 19, 2019

Finally, a Check on Trump

“There is a real possibility that President Trump will shut down all or part of Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation in 2019.

Trump appears to have picked the acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, largely for his hostility to the investigation. And although Trump’s nominee to be the next attorney general, William Barr, is a more serious figure than Whitaker, Barr too has also criticized the investigation on dubious grounds. Holding those views was probably a prerequisite for getting the job: Trump forced out the last attorney general, Jeff Sessions, because he refused to interfere in the investigation.

If you find this situation alarming — and you should — take a minute to imagine how much worse things would be if the Democrats had not retaken control of the House of Representatives.

While congressional Republicans have had control, they showed almost no willingness to hold Trump accountable for his actions. Were they still in charge next year, Trump would have had close to complete authority to make the investigations go away. He would have been able to serve as his own judge and jury, and we all know how he would have ruled.”

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