Trump’s authoritarian instincts
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.