The news has not been good, leading various journalists to summarize the past few days the way Jamelle Bouie did for Slate:
After months of sustained public criticism from Trump, Andrew McCabe stepped down as deputy director of the FBI. The rationale behind McCabe’s decision is still not entirely known, but there’s little doubt it involves the Russia investigation. In addition to being a verbal target of Trump’s, McCabe had become a bête noire of conservative media, the subject of baroque conspiracies about a “deep state” that is allegedly conspiring against the president….
Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee voted to release a … memo [that] accuses the FBI of abusing its surveillance powers, using partisan opposition research in order to attack Donald Trump’s campaign and undermine his presidency, and singling out officials like McCabe, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and former FBI Director James Comey, all targets of Trump and his allies in the GOP and conservative media… Democrats on the committee have called the document a “misleading set of talking points”, and federal law enforcement officials had warned that releasing the memo would be “extraordinarily reckless”….
In the wake of this vote, Republicans on the Intelligence Committee also opened an inquiry into the FBI and the Justice Department… On Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced his support for both moves, calling for a “cleanse” of the FBI….
What began as Trump venting on Twitter has now become official administration policy, carried out with the blessing of White House aides who were at one time seen as bulwarks against such behavior. Bloomberg reported on a phone call between White House chief of staff John Kelly and senior officials in the Justice Department, where the former conveyed the president’s “displeasure” and reminded them of his expectations, albeit adding that the White House doesn’t expect them “to do anything illegal or unethical”.
To all of this, add the fact that—during this same period of time—President Trump declined to sanction Russia for its interference in the 2016 presidential election [after Congress voted almost unanimously for new sanctions to be imposed].
Senator Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, said this about the president’s decision:
Congress voted 517-5 to impose sanctions on Russia. The President decides to ignore that law. Folks, that is a constitutional crisis. There should be outrage in every corner of this country.
There should be, but there hasn’t been. Most of us are suffering from outrage overload.
Earlier in the week, Mr. Bouie wrote about “ICE Unbound”:
[The president has unleashed] the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, giving it broad authority to act at its own discretion. The result? An empowered and authoritarian agency that operates with impunity, whose chief attribute is unapologetic cruelty.
…. The most striking aspect of ICE under this administration has been its refusal to distinguish between law-abiding immigrants, whose undocumented status obscures their integration into American life, and those with active criminal records—the “bad hombres” of the president’s rhetoric.
Erasing that distinction is how we get the arrest and detention of Lukasz Niec, a Polish immigrant and green card holder who was brought to the United States as a young child. Last week, ICE agents arrested Niec …, citing two misdemeanor convictions for offenses committed when he was a teenager… A practicing physician, Niec now sits in a county jail, awaiting possible deportation….
Bouie didn’t mention Amer Othman Adi, a 57-year-old Palestinian who had been in the U.S. since he was 19. A married man with four daughters, he helped revitalize the city of Youngstown by opening several businesses. He was deported to Jordan on Monday night.
It all makes these Twitter thoughts from author G. Willow Wilson worth thinking about: