The rising tensions between President Donald Trump and the Department of Justice aren’t going to subside anytime soon, and this has caused more than a few alarming developments over the course of the last few days.
It all began when Trump tweeted his disdain for the proposed sentencing guidelines being used in the Roger Stone case. Stone, a longtime acquaintance of Trump, was convicted of lying to Congress during the RussiaGate probe and was facing several years in prison before Trump made his opinion known on social media. Soon, the Justice Department was scrambling to reduce Stone’s possible time behind bars.
This irked Attorney General Bill Barr, however, and the nation’s top cop told an ABC interviewer that he wished the President would leave the DOJ alone to do their work. Trump then rebuked Barr online, which, in turn, led Barr to intimate that he’s considered resigning over the matter.
The latest twist to the tale arrived on Tuesday, as the President insisted that he is, in fact, the nation’s top law enforcement officer.
On Tuesday, Trump granted clemency to a clutch of political allies, circumventing the usual Justice Department process. The pardons and commutations followed Trump’s moves to punish witnesses in his impeachment trial, publicly intervene in a pending legal case to urge leniency for a friend, criticize a federal judge, accuse a juror of bias and threaten to sue his own government for investigating him.
Trump defended his actions, saying he has the right to shape the country’s legal systems as he sees fit.
“I’m allowed to be totally involved,” he told reporters as he left Washington on Tuesday for a trip to California, Nevada and Arizona. “I’m actually, I guess, the chief law enforcement officer of the country. But I’ve chosen not to be involved.”
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