Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, October 30, 2017

The Republican Party has sent mixed signals for months about how it plans to respond to Robert Mueller's investigation of the Russia scandal -- President Trump's ragetweets have been alternating with silence, and his Congressional allies have mostly urged patience. But in the days leading up to the first arrests, beginning today with former campaign manager Paul Manafort, the signals have changed, and the dashboard is now flashing red. The party apparatus is gearing up for a frontal attack on Mueller in particular, and the idea that a president can be held legally accountable in general.

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The Republican Congress is using its investigative apparatus not to discover the extent of Russian interference in the election, but instead to lash out at Trump's political opponents. The Republicans have developed a bizarre theory of alt-collusion, which holds that the real interference was Russia feeding false allegations against Donald Trump to private investigator Christopher Steele. Since the FBI investigated Steele's charges, the FBI is the agency that colluded. And since Robert Mueller is close with the FBI, Mueller, too, is tainted.

The Wall Street Journal editorial page has been serving as a barely filtered outlet for this line of attack from Republicans in Congress. The page has called for Mueller to resign, and other Republican media outlets spent the weekend amplifying this message.

In today's Journal op-ed page, two Republican former Department of Justice staffers, David Rivkin and Lee Casey, who frequently pop up in the media to defend party-line arguments, take the argument to its next step. They urge Trump to issue sweeping pardons to everybody involved in the scandal, himself included, so as to hopefully neuter Mueller's investigation.

Consider the breathtaking scope of this claim. They argue that the president can order any prosecutor or law-enforcement official to halt any investigation or criminal proceeding. What if the president hired some goons to break into and bug the opposing party's headquarters? He could order the Department of Justice and FBI not to investigate and fire them if they did. What if he hired some goons to beat up or kill reporters or the opposing party? Same answer. The president, they argue, has unlimited right to protect himself and his allies from law enforcement as he sees fit.

Comments

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Since the days of GWB, they have argued that the POTUS is above the law.

#1 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2017-10-30 06:46 PM | Reply

#1 It was Nixon that said "If the President does it, it's not illegal".

#2 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2017-10-30 07:11 PM | Reply

#1 It was Nixon that said "If the President does it, it's not illegal".

#2 | POSTED BY HELIUMRAT

Obama made a comment to that effect. However, it was quite obvious he was joking.

#3 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-10-30 07:12 PM | Reply

#3 so why even bring up up?

#4 | Posted by jpw at 2017-10-30 07:46 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

#4 Why not? It's not like it was a criticism.

#5 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-10-31 06:54 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

The rule of law applies only to little people.

#6 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-10-31 08:01 AM | Reply

"so why even bring up up"

Wash! Obama did it first so its ok the party of values does it too

#7 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2017-10-31 11:10 AM | Reply

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Drudge Retort