Trump’s au­thor­i­tar­ian in­stincts

The Week (US) - - 12 News - Ruth Mar­cus

The Wash­ing­ton Post

Pres­i­dent Trump’s view of the U.S. crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem is a dis­turb­ing mix of “ig­no­rance with con­tempt for con­sti­tu­tional val­ues,” said Ruth Mar­cus. After New York City suf­fered a ter­ror­ist at­tack on Hal­loween, the pres­i­dent ob­jected to try­ing the sus­pect in court, say­ing we need “pun­ish­ment that’s far quicker and far greater than th­ese an­i­mals are get­ting now,” and de­nounced our jus­tice sys­tem as “a joke” and “a laugh­ing­stock.” This is the head of our gov­ern­ment speak­ing? Trump’s slan­der is fac­tu­ally wrong: Since 9/11, more than 620 peo­ple have been con­victed of ter­ror­ism-re­lated charges, in­clud­ing Bos­ton Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsar­naev, who was sen­tenced to death. Even more alarm­ing was Trump’s “un­hinged fury” after spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller in­dicted three of the pres­i­dent’s cam­paign aides. Trump said in in­ter­views he’s “very frus­trated” that he can’t just or­der the FBI and the Jus­tice De­part­ment to go after Hil­lary Clin­ton. “The Amer­i­can pub­lic de­serves it!” he tweeted. So far, the Jus­tice De­part­ment has re­sisted Trump’s pres­sure to pros­e­cute his 2016 po­lit­i­cal op­po­nent, but “pres­i­den­tial wishes are hard to ig­nore, day after day.” If Trump had his way, our crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem would be­come a laugh­ing­stock.

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