President Donald Trump is waging a war against the U.S. justice system, and eroding the public’s trust in law, according to legal experts who talked to the New York Times.
“You are dealing with a potentially indelible smearing of our law enforcement institutions. If Trump’s views were actually accepted, there would be thousands of criminals who are out on the streets right now,” Neal K. Katyal, who was acting solicitor general under President Barack Obama, told the NYT.
Trump is, effectively, at war with the law, according to Katyal.
This opens up countless possibilities for defense lawyers all over the country. What used to be unimaginable scenarios may soon become everyday occurrences in American courtrooms. Nothing would stop a gang member’s lawyer to argue that his client’s prosecution is a “rigged witch hunt,” based on testimonies from “flipped” witnesses. Herein lies the biggest danger of Donald Trump’s presidency, according to the New York Times.
Recently, in an interview with Fox & Friends‘ Ashley Earhardt, as the Inquisitr reported, President Trump criticized the Department of Justice, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Robert Mueller, while defending Paul Manafort, and accusing the FBI of treating his former campaign chair like Al Capone.
Trump’s attacks on U.S. institutions and government officials are nothing new. But, the president may be playing a dangerous game, setting numerous dangerous precedents, and creating a complex web the American justice system will have difficult time untangling itself from. This could, according to Leah Litman, a constitutional law professor at the University of California, Irvine result in “a general lack of concern for any compliance with the law, or adherence to basic norms of democratic legitimacy.”
“If people start to believe that all government prosecutions are politically tainted, or that you can just straight up lie or deny the facts, I don’t think that is a very stable arrangement for the system of laws to exist in.”
The Atlantic once described Donald Trump’s directives to the FBI as a “threat to democracy.” The president is responsible for “the erosion of democratic norms” in the United States, according to the Guardian. As The Hill reported, former CIA Director Michael Hayden said he would be proud to have his security clearance revoked by the Trump administration, due to fact that the president’s relationship with the intelligence community is, in Hayden’s words, “dangerously close to being broken.”
The Trump administration is “degrading the very idea of public service,” according to Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman.
All of the above is pale in comparison to the damage Donald Trump is inflicting upon the U.S. justice system, according to legal experts.
“He is sacrificing our public safety and national security on the altar of his own ego,” Christopher Hunter, a former FBI agent and prosecutor, concluded for the New York Times.
In spite of all the controversy, Donald Trump remains incredibly popular. In fact, Trump is, according to a recent Gallup poll, the most popular Republican president among members of his own party since World War II, save for George W. Bush, whose support surged after September 11, and subsequently cratered.
On his 500th day in the White House, Donald Trump’s approval rating among Republicans was 87 percent. In comparison, John F. Kennedy had the approval rate of 85 percent among Democrats, on the 500th day of his presidency.
While Republicans remain mostly infatuated with Trump, Trump’s approval rating among Democrats is only 5 percent, and 38 percent among independent voters, according to the same poll.