Senator Cory Booker Says We Need More Checks And Balances To Keep Trump’s “Authoritarian Tendencies” Under Control

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker spoke to CNN on Friday about the urgent need for Congress to implement more checks and balances to keep President Trump under control and keep him from abusing his power.

Speaking to Anderson Cooper, Booker said, “We see this president who has, in my opinion, very authoritarian tendencies that upset — really actually, more than upset, that destroy — the norms of our democracy and do border on things that I think could arise to the attention — or actually, I know are arising to the attention — of the special prosecutor.”

Booker then went on to give examples of people Trump has gone out of his way to punish or intimidate, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions after he recused himself from the Russia investigation and Special Counsel Robert Mueller who is leading the Russia probe.

“We have a very serious situation with this president that ultimately, I think, is unchecked right now and doesn’t see himself as being subject to the rule of law,” said Booker.

Booker’s interview comes days after The New York Times reported that Trump tried to have Mueller fired last June. Basically, Trump tried to obstruct justice by attempting to get rid of the man who was investigating him for obstruction of justice. As the report read:

Amid the first wave of news media reports that Mr. Mueller was examining a possible obstruction case, the president began to argue that Mr. Mueller had three conflicts of interest that disqualified him from overseeing the investigation, two of the people said.

According to The Times, Trump backed down after intense pushback from White House lawyer Donald McGan, who threatened to quit rather than obey the president’s command.

Booker emphasized in his CNN appearance that “the occasional courage” of the people around the president “who have to literally threaten him with resigning” is not sufficient protection from a “potential crisis in the future.”

“Congress, I believe, needs to be taking very pragmatic steps as a point of not just pragmatism, but moral urgency, to ensure we have the right constitutional protections in place, should this president ever cross the line,” he said.

Last August, Booker and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham proposed a bipartisan bill to protect Mueller from being fired; it was granted a hearing by Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Though Republicans have shown little interest in protecting the special counsel, Booker says he hopes the bill will gain momentum and said that the fact that it had been granted a hearing, which many bills aren’t given, is a good sign.

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