Trump: It’s time for Jeff Sessions and the DOJ to go after the author of the NYT op-ed

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The NYT op-ed author, three days ago: Trump doesn’t understand America’s basic liberal values.

Trump, today: The author should be prosecuted.

American politics would benefit from having 95 percent fewer lawyers in office, but it’d be good if everyone brushed up on what the Justice Department does before being sworn in. A weeklong course, maybe. Three-day seminar?

How about a two-hour class titled, “It’s not the DOJ’s job to arrest my critics and go easy on my friends“?

“Yeah, I would say Jeff should be investigating who the author of this piece was because I really believe it’s national security,” Trump told reporters Friday aboard Air Force One…

The Justice Department typically only investigates leaks that involve classified information, which does not appear to be the case with The New York Times op-ed.

Asked whether any legal action would be taken against The New York Times, Trump demurred: “Well, we’re going to see.”…

“We’re going to take a look at what he had, what he gave, what he’s talking about, also where he is right now,” Trump said. “Suppose I have a high level national security and he has got a clearance — we talk about clearances a lot recently — and he goes into a high-level meeting concerning China or Russia or North Korea or something and this guy goes in. I don’t want him in those meetings.”

I totally understand him wanting to expel a backstabber. The op-ed author can’t be trusted. I don’t understand what he wants Sessions to do about it absent evidence of a crime. If they find the author, what do they prosecute him for?

“Is the prosecution ready?”
“Yes, your honor. We charge the defendant with a violation of national security.”
“Which statute?”
“Failing to MAGA in the third degree.”

When Sarah Sanders was asked if Trump was ordering Sessions to act or just … being Trump-y, she said he was “opining,” i.e. being Trump-y. And so a week marked by alarming accusations that the president’s deputies aren’t taking his orders seriously ends with his press secretary reassuring people that they don’t need to take him seriously.

Back to my idea for a weeklong seminar on civics, though. Should lawyers who hold political office be exempted from that one? With Obama back in the news and lecturing conservatives anew, righties on social media today couldn’t help noticing that while Trump says illiberal things about his critics and the media, he’s actually been quite restrained in taking action against them. (Whether that’s because aides are stealing orders or his desk or because he really is inclined to restraint, only he knows.) Shall we compare the records of 44 and 45?

Maybe, to the press, Trump’s real crime with his anti-media rhetoric is that it isn’t more elegantly phrased. And that it isn’t targeted exclusively at media that they themselves don’t like.

By the way, the NYT says the White House has a list of 12 or so suspects who may have written the op-ed. Over/under on when we find out whodunnit is Monday.

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