In between Adderall sniffles, Trump says directly to his political opponent, Hillary Clinton, “If I win I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation.”
Trump consistently threatened to have Clinton investigated in the run up to the 2016 election. He dropped the idea once he won the election, because, in his benevolence, “she went through a lot.”
Trump just needed the threat voiced. That’s all he wanted: to accuse Clinton of wrong-doing so that her reputation might be damaged by the accusation and she might feel fear in facing him.
Familiar circumstances, wouldn’t you say?
Donald Trump isn’t a different person than the one before the 2016 election. He didn’t change, the GOP did. Trump has always viewed the employment of law as a weapon with which he would hammer his opponents and perceived enemies into submission, or as a way to delay or deflect any responsibility for his own wrong-doing. This obvious truth, that Donald Trump is the exact same person he was before the election, is the most perplexing and confounding truth in the GOP’s inexplicable subservience to him.
One of his most ardent defenders- The Federalist, in February 2016, makes this point clear in how they once correctly perceived him:
“There is little question Trump would abuse power. In some way, it’s the point of his candidacy.”
“Some Republicans, already complicit in looking the other way on executive overreach, will likely be enablers.”
“There’s a difference between caring about the plight of working stiffs and embracing isolationism, high tariffs, and other policies that would destroy their long-term prospects. Is everyone supposed to surrender to mercantilism because it makes 30 percent of angry voters feel better? You can’t let a mob run your party. And it’s not a mob because it’s hyper-populist or constructed around a cult of celebrity or even because it’s angry — though all those things are true. The problem is that it’s incoherent and nihilistic.”
Trump’s use of the law in his private, business life, and similar use of the powers granted to him as the president, have never been anything other than a tool to do harm to enemies, avoid answering for his own actions, or other self-benefits in dollars or improved/untarnished reputation. These actions are only limited by the integrity and deliberate application of law by those gatekeepers that may stand in his way. And of course he’s been all about trying to limit or dispose of those gatekeepers.
Trump has a decades long history of using his golden spoon inheritance in the courts to his advantage, whether he ever intended to follow through on legal action or not. Often it was merely the threat that did the trick. Whether through suits to protect his image or suits to avoid his own contractual duties. It never mattered to him whom he might harm. The livelihoods of others never mattered. All that has ever mattered to Trump is Trump.
Donald Trump has never cared about corruption except as a useful label to smear his perceived opponents and damage their livelihood and public standing so that he may vanquish any opposition to his Trump-first-and-only agenda. His threats to sue all the women that accused him of sexual abuse is a prime example. He never sued them, it was merely a threat. When Summer Zervos took him up on the threat, his lawyers responded by attempting to avoid the suit with every motion possible. Trump does not want to go to court to face what appears to be entirely true. If that information gets out, it will damage his standing. The threat did not work.
From the beginning of his presidency until this day, Trump has used the power of the presidency to threaten and smear his opponents or benefit himself.
Two weeks before he even got in office, Trump directed Congress to investigate the media and intelligence agencies for apparent leaks that expose Russian interference in the 2016 election. He didn’t care if Russia interfered, he only cared that his legitimacy would be questioned.
A week after he got in office, Trump pledged to investigate the make-believe millions of illegal votes cast by illegal aliens and dead people that swung the popular vote away from him. Again, his concern is his tarnished reputation by not winning the popular vote, so to that end, he pledges to create a commission (which he did) to find the millions of extra votes for his adversary (which they didn’t).
After it was reported his campaign staff had many contacts with Russians on February 14, 2017, he “directed” the justice department to look into leaks about that information on February 16, 2017. Didn’t care about the contacts, only cared about people finding out about them.
March 5th, 2017, in response into the now apparent FBI investigation of the Trump campaign, Trump wants an investigation into completely unsupported claim that Obama ordered an illegal wiretapping of Trump.
March 27, 2016, in response to the House Intelligence Committee looking into the connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, Trump wants the House Intel committee to investigate Hillary Clinton, because they are looking into the wrong person.
There are endless examples of Trump seeking to protect Russia, because at least on its surface, they have done nothing to harm him, and below the surface, have done what they can to help him. But to allow easy, verifiable truth to be the accepted narrative, is to allow people to think less of Donald Trump’s legitimacy. There may be much more to the story of their mutual interests, but we needn’t construct a conspiracy to know the simple truth:
Donald Trump positioned Ukraine to look into the “Crowdstrike server” situation because legitimizing that ridiculous conspiracy would help Russia by distracting the public from what they had provably done. I highly doubt Ukraine would have gone through with this demand. However, they appeared to be willing to announce the investigation into Bidens/Burisma as Trump wanted. This is exactly, exactly what he successfully did to Hillary Clinton to damage her standing and improve his likelihood of success.
There are Trump’s longstanding and perpetual threats to sue, investigate, or limit through government actions, the freedom of the press, because he doesn’t like their coverage of him. He has undertaken none of these actions (except perhaps the extremely serious concern and resulting lawsuit over government contracts with Amazon and questions about Trump’s involvement with media conglomerate consolidation), what he has succeeded in doing is degrading the public’s trust in the media, and that’s really the most important thing.
This type of self-serving manipulation has been a constant in Trump’s life, a big difference, is now he has the power to investigate the investigators, to rig the very nature of the domestic legal system to his advantage. Now he has the awesome power to force an entire foreign nation to do his bidding. He has the power to use the bully pulpit to threaten, and literally harm his adversaries. It’s the worst case scenario and the best case scenario for a monster like him.