Trump and Co. Denounced in NYT Editorial: ‘The President Is Not Above the Law’

The New York Times editorial board has issued a strongly worded warning to Donald Trump and his GOP enablers: the president is not above the law:

News reports point to a growing possibility that President Trump may act to cripple or shut down an investigation by the nation’s top law-enforcement agencies into his campaign and administration. Lawmakers need to be preparing now for that possibility because if and when it comes to pass, they will suddenly find themselves on the edge of an abyss, with the Constitution in their hands.

The board quoted Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) who said, referring to Bill Clinton in 1999,

This great nation can tolerate a president who makes mistakes. But it cannot tolerate one who makes a mistake and then breaks the law to cover it up.

The editorial goes on to discuss the consequences should Trump decide to fire Rod Rosenstein or Robert Mueller, because it would be incontrovertible evidence that Trump is violating the Constitution:

Make no mistake: If Mr. Trump takes such drastic action, he will be striking at the foundation of the American government, attempting to set a precedent that a president, alone among American citizens, is above the law. What can seem now like a political sideshow will instantly become a constitutional crisis, and history will come calling.

The paper explains that for months, investigators have been examining whether Trump’s campaign conspired with the Russian government to undermine the 2016 presidential election, and whether the president misused his power by obstructing justice in an effort to end that investigation.

The Times notes that Mueller’s investigation has already yielded great benefit to the country, including the indictments of thirteen Russians and three companies for trying to undermine the presidential election. But what happens next could have a profound effect on American politics for quite some time to come:

The president is not a king but a citizen, deserving of the presumption of innocence and other protections, yet also vulnerable to lawful scrutiny. We hope Mr. Trump recognizes this. If he doesn’t, how Republican lawmakers respond will shape the future not only of this presidency and of one of the country’s great political parties, but of the American experiment itself.

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