Comey: Trump ‘Is Actively Undermining the Rule of Law’

Monday at an event broadcast by CSPAN’s “Book TV,” former FBI director James Comey said President Donald Trump was “actively undermining the rule of law.”

When asked about Trump pardoning Scooter Libby, Comey said, “I think it’s an attack on the rule of law. There’s a reason why George W. Bush, for whom Scooter Libby worked, declined to pardon him after deep review of all the facts. President Bush concluded that justice was done. The rule of law system worked here. As an act of mercy, he commuted his sentence. To now have a president, 12, 14 years later, say he deserves to be pardoned with no review and no consultation, as best as I can tell, with the prosecutors and investigators, I can’t think of a sensible reason consistent with the rule of law to do that. So I think it is an attack on the rule of law.”

He continued, “I don’t know whether it’s a message. Even if it’s not a message to anybody, it’s an attack on the rule of law. It’s really important that people be prosecuted for lying blatantly, which is what that was, in the criminal justice system. Without that, the rule of law just melts away.”

When asked about preemptive pardons, Comey added, “In this environment where you have a president who is actively undermining the rule of law and the institutions that we count on—no matter what your political affiliations—we count on as a country to uphold this democracy. The routine attacks on the Justice Department, the FBI, in the courts, at least to me, and the quick condemnation of the FBI for acting like thugs, allegedly, when executing a court-ordered search warrant—all of that together along with the president’s habit of not telling the truth repeatedly tells me it’s a president that might do something like that.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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