Trump’s Latest Tweet Just Crossed Another Bright Line

The president demands an investigation into the investigation of his campaign.

Kevin Dietsch/Zuma

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Still stewing from a flurry of new reports about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into his 2016 presidential campaign, President Donald Trump demanded Sunday that the Department of Justice investigate itself:

Trump was evidently referencing a Friday report by the New York Times that the FBI had used an informant in 2016 to talk to Trump advisors it believed “had suspicious contacts linked to Russia.” 

Maybe he’s just bored on a Sunday afternoon, but what Trump says he’s going to do is pretty remarkable—he wants to order a Justice Department investigation into a secret FBI source in order to interrupt an investigation into his own campaign. It’s the definition of a politically motivated investigation, and a textbook example of what the president isn’t supposed to do:

Your move, Attorney General Jeff Sessions. So far, Sessions has resisted congressional Republicans’ earlier call for a second special counsel to investigate the investigation into the president’s campaign. Yet despite his supposed recusal from all things Russia investigation-related, Sessions has already asked the DOJ inspector general to look into the FBI’s surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. 

Update: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein responded to Trump’s demand by directing the inspector general to include attempts to “infiltrate” the campaign in its ongoing probe:

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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