Trump's huge law and order blind spot

Donald Trump loved to ...

Posted: Apr 24, 2018 9:22 AM
Updated: Apr 24, 2018 9:22 AM

Donald Trump loved to tell us during his presidential campaign that he was the "law and order candidate." Maybe Trump meant he was a fan of the long-running TV show "Law & Order." No one who truly cares about law and order would, as Trump has done, side with Michael Flynn and Michael Cohen, while slamming James Comey.

Yet that is what we have been seeing from Trump over the last few days. First, there's Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who last December pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador shortly after Trump was sworn in as president.

If Trump were truly a big fan of "law and order," you would think Flynn admitting that he lied to law enforcement would be worthy of some sort of Trump rebuke. And yet, on Friday, Trump lamented on Twitter the unfair standard that Flynn is held to, while attacking Comey: "So General Michael Flynn's life can be totally destroyed while Shadey James Comey can Leak and Lie and make lots of money from a third rate book (that should never have been written). Is that really the way life in America is supposed to work? I don't think so!"

Not even a mention by Trump that Flynn had admitted to wrongdoing in federal court.

And then there's Trump's longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who is the subject of a federal criminal investigation that led to the recent FBI raid of Cohen's offices, house and hotel room. On Friday, Cohen's lawyer quoted Stormy Daniels' lawyer in court, who has been saying Cohen might be indicted within the next 90 days -- arising from the criminal investigation.

So how did Trump respond on Twitter about Cohen? Well, on Saturday, Trump tweeted praise for Cohen, writing: "Michael, a fine person with a wonderful family. Michael is a businessman for his own account/lawyer who I have always liked & respected."

What a contrast to how Trump has spoken of Comey, a longtime federal prosecutor who served in the US Attorney's office in New York under Trump's adviser Rudy Giuliani, a man recently added to Trump's legal team. In fact, Giuliani thought so much of Comey at the time that he put him in charge of the high-profile prosecution of mafia kingpin John Gambino.

Later Comey led that office and, in 2003, he was tapped by President George W. Bush to serve as the second in command in the Department of Justice under Attorney General John Ashcroft. Finally, Comey was nominated by President Barack Obama to head the FBI, where he was confirmed by the Senate in a vote of 93 to 1.

Despite Comey's long record of dedicating himself to "law and order," Trump has relentlessly attacked him since firing him last May. And Trump's barbs have been very personal with tweets calling Comey: "one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington," "Very 'cowardly!'", an "untruthful slime ball" and more.

Over the weekend, Trump even suggested Comey had committed a criminal act, tweeting: "James Comey's Memos are Classified, I did not Declassify them. They belong to our Government! Therefore, he broke the law!" Notably, he failed to mention Flynn's admitted criminal act.

To be clear, Trump's allegations that Comey leaked memos that were classified at the time he released them is questionable. Media reports indicate that the memos were curiously deemed classified by the Justice Department after Comey released them, not before. However, the Inspector General's office is currently investigating this very issue.

Trump's base seems to be fine with his actions, with recent polls finding that 86% of Republicans approve of Trump's work as president. But the rest of the country isn't buying Trump's claim he's the "law and order" president, with a March poll finding that nearly six in 10 Americans don't believe Trump respects the "rule of law."

The more Trump defends individuals like Flynn and Cohen and slams former federal prosecutors like Comey, the less people will believe Trump cares about anything except protecting his own interests.

Correction: An earlier version of this commentary mischaracterized a statement of Michael Cohen's attorney in court on Friday. In his remarks that Cohen could be indicted within the next 90 days -- arising from the criminal investigation--he says he was citing Stormy Daniels' attorney, not making the assertion on his own.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 261167

Reported Deaths: 5713
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17561191
Hinds16687329
Harrison14050202
Rankin11102217
Jackson10729188
Lee9014143
Madison8495168
Jones6607114
Forrest6135122
Lauderdale6067192
Lowndes5490120
Lafayette511794
Lamar499865
Washington4904125
Bolivar4087109
Oktibbeha403581
Panola380981
Pontotoc374757
Monroe3651106
Warren3649103
Union353263
Marshall352069
Neshoba3464154
Pearl River3422105
Leflore3090109
Lincoln304287
Sunflower290373
Hancock288461
Tate279062
Alcorn270754
Pike268180
Itawamba266662
Scott256048
Yazoo253756
Prentiss251153
Copiah247649
Tippah247550
Coahoma245954
Simpson241471
Leake236167
Grenada222471
Marion220273
Covington219072
Adams212370
Wayne208432
Winston205870
George203539
Newton197346
Attala196461
Tishomingo193861
Chickasaw188444
Jasper177838
Holmes171368
Clay164237
Tallahatchie155635
Stone149525
Clarke144762
Calhoun139922
Smith127725
Yalobusha121134
Walthall114037
Greene112929
Noxubee112225
Montgomery111236
Carroll106422
Lawrence105617
Perry104031
Amite100826
Webster95424
Tunica88221
Claiborne87825
Jefferson Davis87727
Benton84823
Humphreys84224
Kemper80020
Quitman7049
Franklin69617
Choctaw62513
Wilkinson59625
Jefferson56520
Sharkey44817
Issaquena1606
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 436087

Reported Deaths: 6486
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63969994
Mobile31211565
Madison27851208
Tuscaloosa21233271
Montgomery19698326
Shelby19093130
Baldwin16981188
Lee13036105
Morgan12526134
Etowah11987179
Calhoun11441206
Marshall10357123
Houston8886158
Limestone827876
Cullman8203108
Elmore8120104
DeKalb7828103
Lauderdale7798103
St. Clair7763125
Talladega6394111
Walker6002177
Jackson594644
Colbert545276
Blount543986
Autauga532761
Coffee456762
Dale406883
Franklin372448
Russell349212
Chilton342873
Covington336068
Escambia330144
Dallas312096
Tallapoosa3120107
Chambers301170
Clarke293336
Pike261131
Marion251558
Lawrence250752
Winston232742
Bibb221248
Geneva208746
Marengo206529
Pickens199031
Hale182742
Barbour179337
Fayette177029
Butler172459
Cherokee164330
Henry158224
Monroe151320
Randolph144336
Washington140127
Clay129146
Crenshaw122944
Macon120937
Cleburne120724
Lamar119721
Lowndes113736
Wilcox106622
Bullock102228
Perry99118
Conecuh96821
Sumter90026
Greene76823
Coosa63215
Choctaw51724
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