According to the Washington Post, President Donald Trump has no business looking into the origins of what became the Mueller investigation, and the notion of sending his attorney general to foreign countries to get to the bottom of how the false charges against him came to be the subject of a 2-year, $40 million special counsel probe is definitely improper and perhaps illegal.
The president is forcing key federal agencies to “pursue his personal and political goals, investigate his enemies and lend legitimacy to his theories about the 2016 election,” Philip Rucker and Robert Costa of the Washington Post wrote Tuesday in “’A presidency of one’: Key federal agencies increasingly compelled to benefit Trump.”
He has ordered the Justice Department to “prioritize a probe that the president hopes will discredit a finding by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help him win,” Costa and Rucker wrote.
“Taken together” with the State Department investigating 130 current and former officials who sent emails to Hillary Clinton’s private account and with Barr traveling overseas to “’investigate the investigators’ as the right’s rallying cry goes,” these actions “illustrate the sweeping reach of Trump’s power and the culture he has spawned inside the government,” they wrote.
“The president’s personal concerns have become priorities of departments that traditionally have operated with some degree of political independence from the White House – and their leaders are engaging their boss’s obsessions.”
Another Post piece, “Government-by-conspiracy-theory rides again,” by Philip Bump, argued Trump’s presidency is essentially a mutual admiration society with Fox News and other Fox networks and that conspiracy theories spawned on the networks with no tether to reality are driving the president’s actions.
“To put a fine point on it: Trump lives in and relies upon a conservative-media and Fox News presidency. Which brings us to Attorney General William Barr,” Bump wrote.
On Monday, the Post had reported Barr was talking to foreign leaders about the involvement of their intelligence communities in the origins of what became the Mueller probe.
“In the abstract, that’s understandable; the federal government relies on international assistance with investigations regularly,” Bump wrote. “In this case, though, Barr’s efforts are in service to a sprawling conspiracy theory targeting Barr’s own organization along with other components of the U.S. intelligence community. In other words, Barr is asking foreign countries to dig around for evidence of malfeasance by U.S. agencies.”
He does not mention that the director and deputy director of the FBI during the previous administration have been fired from their jobs and referred for federal prosecution or that nearly 30 other Department of Justice, FBI and intelligence authorities have been forced out for alleged wrongdoing.
“The whole theory” that Democrats used the intelligence community of the U.S. and other countries and some of the nation’s top law enforcement officials to undermine Trump’s candidacy and presidency “was rendered moot by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation and indictment of a dozen Russian intelligence agents,” Bump wrote.
He does not explain why or how they were “rendered moot,” or why those indictments – from which Mueller dodged discovery – settle the matter.