Friday on HBO’s “Real Time,” NBC News analyst and host of Showtime’s “The Circus” John Heilemann bemoaned President Donald Trump’s view of his constitutional pardon powers and argued he had little regard for the so-called independence of the FBI and Department of Justice.
Heilemann said, “I think you can talk about all these issues, and you can talk about them all night long, but in the end — we just went through a week where the president basically came out and said, ‘I am above the law. I can pardon myself. I don’t have to submit to a subpoena. I’ll do whatever I want.’ I mean, I’m old enough to remember when you went around the world to western democracies to less democratic, less free places — and people look to America and said, forget about Republicans, forget about Democrats — what they most admired about the United States is the rule of law.”
“These institutions were strong and stable, and no matter who you were, you had a basic level of respect for them,” he added. “The president of the United States currently does not give a flying fuck about an independent judiciary, about an independent FBI, about a Justice Department. All he cares about is self-preservation. And that to me is the biggest depredation of the entire administration.”
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