In a scoop that is as unsurprising as it is entertaining, President Donald Trump reportedly needed to be talked down this past spring from attempting to use the Justice Department to prosecute Hillary Clinton and James Comey.
The New York Times reported Tuesday afternoon that it required the advice of Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel at the time, to dissuade Trump from going after Clinton and Comey. Even then, McGahn had to turn to the White House staffers that crank out carefully worded memos that actually hold Trump’s attention for more than five seconds to convince him of just how terrible the idea was. Per the Times:
To underscore his point, Mr. McGahn had White House lawyers write a memo for Mr. Trump warning that if he asked law enforcement to investigate his rivals, he could face a range of consequences, including possible impeachment.
That said, the Times reports that it is “unclear” if Trump actually read the memo. It’s also unclear what specific accusations Trump hoped the Justice Department would level at Clinton or Comey.
What is clear is that Trump is methodically weeding out the few people in his immediate vicinity with the ability to discern between a plain ol’ bad idea and a catastrophically bad idea. McGahn is off to other grifting pastures and Trump’s current attorney general is anti-Mueller padded-butt jeans salesman Matt Whitaker, whom Trump appointed specifically because of his takes on the Mueller investigation.
Fun times ahead.