Donald Trump’s disregard for the rule of law continued on Thursday as a new report indicates that the president has personally interviewed several candidates for U.S. Attorney positions in New York.
According to Politico, one of the candidates Trump personally interviewed “would have jurisdiction over Trump Tower and be in a position to investigate the Trump administration.”
More from the report:
President Donald Trump has personally interviewed at least two potential candidates for U.S. attorney positions in New York, according to two sources familiar with the matter — a move that critics say raises questions about whether they can be sufficiently independent from the president.(Continued Below)
The Southern District of New York is an especially notable position since it has jurisdiction over Trump Tower. Preet Bharara, the former U.S. attorney there, has asserted he was conducting an investigation into the Trump administration when Trump fired him along with all other U.S. attorneys — as is standard when an administration switches — earlier this year.
“It is neither normal nor advisable for Trump to personally interview candidates for US Attorney positions, especially the one in Manhattan,” Bharara tweeted Wednesday.
It is rare for a president to interview candidates for the 93 U.S. attorney jobs. Former President Barack Obama never interviewed a U.S. attorney candidate during his two terms, according to Matthew Miller, who served as Justice Department spokesman under the Obama administration.
Once again, Trump is proving that there is no abuse of power he won’t commit so long as it gives him the opportunity to protect his administration as investigations into his corruption continue to pile up.
Democrats were quick to express how troubled they are by the latest revelation.
In a statement on Thursday, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein slammed Trump for putting his hands all over the attorney hiring process, particularly in jurisdictions that could directly involve investigations of him.
“The U.S. attorney for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York — like the U.S. attorney for Washington D.C. — would have jurisdiction over many important cases, including those involving President Trump’s personal and family business interests,” Feinstein said, according to Politico.
The Democratic senator added: “There’s no reason for President Trump to be meeting with candidates for these positions, which create the appearance that he may be trying to influence or elicit inappropriate commitments from potential U.S. attorneys. U.S. attorneys must be loyal to the Constitution — not the president.”
Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal also spoke out against Trump meeting with attorney candidates, saying it could directly impact the ongoing investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia with respect to the 2016 election.
“To be very blunt, these three jurisdictions will have authority to bring indictments over the ongoing special counsel investigation into Trump campaign collusion with the Russians and potential obstruction of justice by the president of the United States,” he said, according to the same Politico report.
Blumenthal added: “For him to be interviewing candidates for that prosecutor who may in turn consider whether to bring indictments involving him and his administration seems to smack of political interference.”
Trump’s attempt to handpick attorneys who could ultimately be in charge of investigating him or indicting his associates is stunning – even for a president who has spent his short time in the White House trying to thwart ongoing criminal investigations at every turn.