His administration embraces the brute reality of power — while obliterating one of its most important constraints.

Donald Trump won the presidency by promising to restore respect for the law in America. But he’s shown more disrespect for the rule of law than any president in recent memory.

He’s attacked his own FBI (“its reputation is in Tatters — worst in History”) and “‘Justice’ Department” for failing to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

He’s called the verdict in the trial of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate (who fired the gun that killed Kate Steinle in San Francisco in 2015) a “miscarriage of Justice” because the jury found that firing a bullet that ricocheted off the ground to kill a person didn’t meet the legal definition of murder. (Garcia Zarate was still convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and can be deported during or after his sentence.)

His lawyer John Dowd has argued openly that it’s legally impossible for the president to commit obstruction of justice, because he is the chief law enforcement officer in the United States.

And that was just over a single weekend.

Trump’s disrespect for the FBI and the Department of Justice has been on open display since he fired FBI director James Comey in May. Yet it continues to be not just alarming, but shocking. No matter how many times Trump shows his true colors, it’s difficult to process that he ignores — and refuses to adopt — a principle of the presidency that even Richard Nixon understood: Even men who believe they’re above the law are supposed to act, in public, as if the law is above them.

They’re supposed to wed their agenda for the country, and their sense of what is right, to the institutions and procedures that are in place Read More Here