"A Warning" book: Chapter 4 - Attack on Democracy excerpts
"Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak, and that it is doing God's service when its violating all His laws."
- John Quincy Adams
Trump repeatedly attacks the three branches of government (executive, judicial & congressional), the very foundation of our democracy. The Founding Fathers created check and balances to prevent abuse of power.
Trump doesn't separate the nation from himself. He talks about "his" generals, "his" WH, "his" lawyers.
He is upset the Justice Dept didn't do more to harass the Clintons and was serious about arresting Hillary and anyone else who challenges him. Trump complained about Jeff Sessions when he refused to investigate them. He said he could order him but wasn't going to do that. Everyone knows his hints means he wants it done but suggest in a way to not be tied to the outcome. Those improper demands masquerading as innocent suggestions are very common. Trump fired Sessions then hired Barr and used the same "hints".
Trump attacks millions of hard-working civil servants who help run the government and keep us safe so we get out SS check on time and our food and drugs are safe.
Trump calls them and anyone who disagrees with him the “Deep State" - any agency, report, findings, anonymous quote, news story.
He holds meetings for "Politicals" (loyal appointees) only sometimes in the situation room to prevent knowledgeable career professionals from doing their jobs because he doesn't trust them. Even scientists and health experts are sidelined and resigned in frustration. Our sprawling government is being run by a skeleton crew of partisans.
He has repeatedly attacked the Intelligence community who keep us safe. He pays little attention in meetings to our national security which puts us at risk. He wants their information to agree with him.
He handles highly classified information recklessly which places Americans and agents in danger. One important asset had to be extracted from a hostile country because of Trump's carelessness. He once read highly classified docs about N Korea on an open terrace using his cellphone for light (camera) next to the Japanese leader.
Trump doesn’t want accurate intelligence. He only wants what he agrees with or fires them like Dan Coats and Sue Gordon. He ordered the Justice Dept. to investigate the Intelligence community because he wants them in prison.
We can tell when Trump is preparing to ask his lawyers to do something unethical or foolish because that's when he starts scanning the room for notetakers. He berates them into stopping.
Trump wanted to tap phones of the WH staff. To avoid illegal territory they called it "insider-threat detection."
He uses the bully pulpit to demean and question the legitimacy of judges and the courts. He suggested breaking up the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to get more favorable rulings for the Trump Admin. He has repeatedly proposed getting rid of judges and drafted a bill to reduce the number of Federal judges which the staff ignored.
He sees himself above the law.
He has told officials if they take illegal action on his behalf, he will pardon them. He made a similar comment to anyone who would illegally build the wall. Spokespeople said he was joking. You know he's not when he sends someone to say he is. He also said he can pardon himself. Ask if those are the words of a man who plans to follow the law?
Investigations must be impartial and apolitical. The Mueller Report wrote extensively about Trump's attempts at interference. The Mueller report wouldn’t exist if Trump hadn’t tried to interfered in the Russian probe by firing Comey.
Trump repeatedly tried to fire Mueller which WH counsel Don McGahn refused twice and threatened to resign. When that became public, Trump told McGahn to lie by denying his request which McGahn refused to do.
Hundreds of former federal prosecutors signed a letter saying Trump’s actions were obstruction of justice.
He repeatedly disparages the FBI whose members supported him. Now millions of Americans have an excuse to doubt the conclusions of the nation's premier law enforcement agency.
Trump attacks Congress - both Republican and Democrat. He shifts blame for his own failure to them repeatedly. Trump doesn’t know how Congress works and bipartisanship is needed. He has told aids to ignore Congress and do whatever they want without them. He sold arms to the Saudis against bipartisan congressional approval . He uses "acting" leaders who are like babysitters rather than empowered execs.
He repeatedly obstructs legislative inquiries. Both Republican and Democrats have complained about not being able to get things done because of Trump.
The WH counsel created a plan to shield Trump in case the Democrats became a majority. They looked to fend off congressional oversight with delays.
- continued in next panel