Donald Trump seems to have no trouble bending ethical corners. Just when you think you have him contained, he has found another path of least resistance. Now, a Democratic senator wants a hearing into the president’s latest questionable activity.
The president fired former FBI director, James Comey, to put a roadblock in the Russiagate investigation. The next day he had invited Russian dignitaries into the White House. He told them that Comey was “crazy” and “a real nut job.” Then, 45 told them, according to AOL, Comey’s investigation had caused him to ‘[face] great pressure.’
After Attorney General Jeff Sessions appropriately recused himself from the investigation, his office appointed special counsel Robert Mueller. Trump was furious and continues to be so.
Most recently, the president has been personally interviewing the U.S. attorneys for the New York and Washington, D.C. districts, where any case against him would be tried. That includes both investigations into possible Russian interaction with his campaign and Trump’s business transactions.
Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware has called for a hearing to look into any presidential interference with the U.S. attorneys’ office.
Coons wrote to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley last week requesting a hearing, according to CNN:
‘Based on a series of events that leave me concerned that President Trump does not respect the important boundaries between politics and the prosecutorial decisions of US Attorneys within the Department of Justice.’
The Delaware senator also wrote that he was concerned about the “sudden nature” of former U.S. Attorney and Acting Assistant Attorney General Dana Boente’s resignation. The assistant AG left in late October. Boente was assigned to the eastern district of Virginia, where a Trump case might be tried.
That means Boente was responsible for any FBI case against the Russians for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. Coons wrote that he wanted more information about his resignation letter that went to the Justice Department (DOJ). Thus far, the department has not responded.
At the beginning of Trump’s term in office, Boente served in several interim DOJ positions. He was a career prosecutor and sources told CNN that he had been planning retirement.
Coons letter said in part:
‘Mr. Boente’s resignation is merely the latest in a series of events that have left me concerned that the President does not comply with norms honoring the independence of the Department of Justice, which is vital to our democratic system of government. From the prior dismissal of 45 U.S. Attorneys without any successors in place, to President Trump’s interviews with U.S. Attorney candidates in jurisdictions with oversight of his and his family’s businesses, to the President’s attempts to cultivate a loyalty relationship with former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara before firing him, I cannot take on faith that this dismissal was normal or justified.’
Another Democrat on the committee, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, was also concerned about Trump interfering with the U.S. attorneys. Last month, Blumenthal suggested that senators may block any nominees whom Trump had interviewed.
— Michael Zocchi (@zocchi_michael) November 14, 2017
When Attorney General Jeff Session sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee in October, he confirmed that Trump was indeed interviewing candidate for the districts that could impact him personally. CNN reported that the AG said:
‘Yes, we’ve done quite a number. I’m not sure I remember whether he had interviewed for New York but if you say so I assume so, and he has the right to for sure because he has to make an appointment and I assume everybody would understand that.’
When CNN asked the Senate Judiciary Committee for a response, the committee spokesperson did not respond.
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