Remember when candidate Donald Trump mocked the Black Lives Matter movement? During and after his presidential campaign, he said he would direct his Justice Department to support and empower the police and other law enforcement personnel to do their jobs. He said he would always be on the side of law enforcement and untie their hands. In one speech to law enforcement officers in New York, he encouraged them to stop protecting suspects’ heads as they were placed into police cars. “I’m the big, big believer and admirer of the people in law enforcement,” Trump said.
However, Trump seems to have one opinion of law enforcement officers when they are shooting unarmed African-American men, and another opinion of them when they are investigating him and his associates.
The FBI, along with other federal and state agencies assisting the FBI, are investigating Trump’s contacts with the Russian government during and after his presidential campaign. We now know that Russia did its best to spread fake news about Trump’s opponent in order to help Trump win. What did Trump and his campaign associates know about this effort? The independent investigation to answer this and other questions is being led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.
When FBI Director James Comey announced that he was looking at presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s private email server, Trump praised the FBI and condemned Clinton when she questioned the FBI’s timing immediately prior to the election. After Comey cleared Clinton, however, Trump tweeted earlier this month that, “After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters — worst in History!”
It seems that Trump’s opinion of law enforcement depends on the target, especially if he is the target.
Mueller is a Republican, appointed by a Republican president (George W. Bush) to run the FBI, and overwhelmingly confirmed by the Senate. He is a veteran and a decorated war hero. Mueller was a good guy until he started indicting people involved in Trump’s campaign. Now there appears to be a coordinated effort by some Republicans and Fox News to discredit Mueller.
Mueller and congressional investigations have documented 51 communications, including 19 face-to-face meetings, between Trump associates and Russian officials or Kremlin-linked individuals during the presidential campaign and transition. We know from email evidence that at least one face-to-face meeting with the Russians, attended by Trump’s son and son-in-law, was to get “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. That sounds like collusion to me.
More importantly, on at least nine occasions Trump officials denied contact with Russian officials before they were uncovered by investigators. “Russia is a ruse,” Trump said in February. “I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge no person that I deal with does.” This statement is false.
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks said the campaign was “not aware of any campaign representatives that were in touch with any foreign entities” during the election and that “there was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign.” This statement is also false.
Some Republicans refuse to believe that white law enforcement officers could be biased against minorities, even when there is video evidence of them shooting unarmed black men who have their hands in the air. Yet, they are more than willing to believe that FBI agents are on a “witch hunt” to get President Trump, regardless of the indictments and guilty pleas already secured by Mueller and his team.
Apparently, for Trump, black lives don’t matter, but White House lives do. Blue lives matter when their victims are black men, but not so much when Trump is their target.
Trump once complained that “Anti-police sentiment is wrong and it’s dangerous.” He decried that police “have been subject to malicious attacks on their character and integrity" and that “we are living through an era in which our police have been subject to unfair defamation and vilification.”
In fact, it is Trump who has repeatedly attacked the character and integrity of law enforcement officers. There is a long and well-documented list of his statements vilifying the FBI, judges, Justice Department officials and intelligence officials. It appears that Trump is allowed to protest perceived maltreatment from law enforcement officers, but a black man in a football uniform is not allowed to do the same.
Trump has already fired one FBI director because, he said, of the Russian investigation. This action alone appears to be an obstruction of justice. Trump will not fire Mueller. Instead, he will use the presidential pardon to protect himself, his family and his friends from the rule of law and justice.
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The swamp runs deep with this one.