Donald Trump and his acolytes are behaving like they’re above the law.
And why shouldn’t they?
After 3½ years of pushing the envelope to see how much they can get away with, Trump and friends have their answer: Pretty much everything.
On Wednesday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Department of Justice may proceed in dropping its case against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Two Republican judges sided with the DOJ in the court’s 2-1 decision.
In other words, shameless Republicans have enabled malfeasance from a lawless administration yet again.
Since 2017, Trump and his minions have acted like children who habitually press boundaries. But unlike kids, who have parents to rein them in when they go too far, the Trump team has found there are no limits. Thanks to Republicans in the Senate, and now on the federal courts, they have figured out that rules do not apply to them.
It hasn’t always been this way. At the start of the Trump administration, there were a brave few willing to stand up for decency. Who could forget John McCain’s heroic vote on the Senate floor to save the Affordable Care Act and prevent millions from losing their health insurance?
Special counsel Robert Mueller legitimately frightened Trump. That is, until the president installed Attorney General William Barr to transform the Department of Justice into the Department of Trump Justice.
Ever since, we have witnessed one abuse after another, with Democrats powerless -- and Republicans unwilling -- to stop it. Barr burst onto the scene by obfuscating the Mueller report and misrepresenting it for Trump’s benefit, and he has since continued to do the president’s bidding at every turn.
From Flynn to interference in the Roger Stone criminal case to last week’s shady removal of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, Barr continues to give Trump legal cover for his many shenanigans.
Trump, meanwhile, is no longer afraid of impeachment. It already happened, and he survived. He knows there is no chance spineless Republicans would remove him. At the moment, it would take 20 to vote against him to achieve that feat. Only Mitt Romney had the stones to do what was right the first time around.
The moment the Senate acquitted him, Trump immediately took revenge on those who wronged him. Not only did he ax Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified against Trump, the president exacted retribution on the man’s twin brother as well. That’s peak pettiness.
Given the revelations in John Bolton’s book that Trump courted Chinese help to win the 2020 election, he should very well be impeached a second time. But, once again, it would be an exercise in futility as long as fearful Republicans put their jobs ahead of what they know is in the best interest of the country.
At the end of the day, there is only one recourse toward ending this lawless administration. It takes place four months from now, and it involves every American doing their part.