NYT reveals Trump's epic, sustained, and secretive assault on the rule of law to save his own hide
The New York Times just dropped a boatload of juicy tidbits about Donald Trump's frenzied, brazen, and yet consistently ham-handed efforts to both bury and kill the many investigations into him, his campaign, his administration, and his businesses.
The transgressions range from Trump strategizing with GOP lawmakers to kneecap the Russia probe to his trying to thwart the investigation into his hush-money payments to his advising his staff to peddle lies about the exit of national security adviser Michael Flynn from his administration. Taken together, they amount to a stunning effort of historic proportions to undercut U.S. law enforcement almost from the moment he first set foot in the Oval Office.
The story of Mr. Trump’s attempts to defang the investigations has been voluminously covered in the news media, to such a degree that many Americans have lost track of how unusual his behavior is. But fusing the strands reveals an extraordinary story of a president who has attacked the law enforcement apparatus of his own government like no other president in history, and who has turned the effort into an obsession.
The Times assembled its inside look at Trump's efforts from dozens of interviews as well as a "review of confidential White House documents."
For starters, Trump reportedly soured on then-acting Attorney General Whitaker almost immediately after he asked Whitaker to run interference on the investigation by the Southern District of New York (SDNY) into Michael Cohen and the hush-money payments he made to two women at the direction of Trump. A Trump ally and SDNY prosecutor, Geoffrey Berman, had recused himself from that investigation, but Trump wanted Whitaker to put Berman in charge of it. When Whitaker couldn't make that happen, the bromance was over—just like it was with Jeff Sessions after he failed to stymie the Mueller probe.