It’s no secret that President Donald Trump thinks very highly of himself. He has taken that egotism to the extreme of declaring in front of the United Nations that he had supposedly done more for America than almost any other president ever — and now, he’s jumped to declaring that he has presidential power at a “level no one has ever seen before.” Curiously enough, the egomaniac cited the Constitution in his remarks, pointing to Article II’s outline of presidential power — which means that not only is Trump really swinging in the dark here to try and declare himself some kind of autocrat, but he’s most certainly wrong in suggesting that few people pay attention to the Constitution.
He told reporters:
‘Rod Rosenstein and Bill Barr said there’s no obstruction. And also interesting: Number one, there’s no crime. And how do you obstruct when there’s no crime? Also, take a look at one other thing. It’s a thing called ‘Article II.’ Nobody ever mentions Article II. It gives me all of these rights at a level that nobody has ever seen before. We don’t even talk about Article II. So: They ruled no collusion, no obstruction. Very simple.’
TRUMP: “It’s a thing called Article 2. Nobody ever mentions Article 2. It gives me all of these rights at a level that nobody has ever seen before.” 😳 pic.twitter.com/63gooeYLQ1
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 12, 2019
He was discussing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation in the context of the upcoming public testimony from Mueller before Congress, which will unfold later this month. Mueller concluded that Trump had likely obstructed justice but felt constrained against bringing any kind of criminal case over that because of standing Justice Department policy against indicting a sitting president. Trump, meanwhile, seems convinced that he can basically do whatever he wants, firing and hiring anyone at will.
First of all, Attorney General Barr was not appointed an authority in Mueller’s probe. He has oversight because of the chain of command at the Justice Department, and nothing “special” beyond that like a final say on the law. Additionally, Trump is factually incorrect in asserting that obstruction can only exist if there’s underlying crimes — which there are in this case, just to be clear. Six of Trump’s associates have been charged. There are broader issues though — Trump seems to think that he is almost if not entirely free to do what he wants in the context of criminal investigations, which bodes extremely poorly for the next just under two years of his time in office.
He has explicitly indicated as much before, although these comments tie his behavior to some kind of dictatorial standard Trump is holding to. He has pronounced that he will resist “every subpoena” from House Democrats carrying out their Constitutionally mandated oversight and investigation responsibilities, and he has repeatedly claimed that he could have completely shut down Mueller’s now concluded probe to begin with if he wanted. In reality, it should mostly go without saying, the president does not have the final say over the justice system of the United States.
The United States is not a dictatorship — but that’s not for a lack of trying on Trump’s part. His incessant palling around with dictators like Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and more has dangerous potential ramifications for the United States.
Featured Image via screenshot