Justice Department, President Trump, Bill Bar discussed on Amicus with Dahlia Lithwick


I think to listeners is what Bill Bar could do if bill bore beyond making I've now cited at several times patently false claims about fraud and mail in voting and foreign interference and mail in. Okay stipulated he says things that our allies that I think undermines voter confidence in mail in balloting beyond that Donald Air what do I have to worry about going into the November election if bill bar is as you say, absolutely committed to Donald Trump's reelection. Well I. I. I hesitate to. Throw out. Extreme speculations you know there's ever every manner of possibility and I. I don't want to kind of go down the list of all the things that he might do I. Guess what I would just say is that. We know for a fact that he is not at all committed. To the ideal of Justice Department that works only for the people that bends over backwards to be even handed and fair and would never consider you know acting for political reasons you know I mean this Federal Tort Claims Act Intervention. The other day is a great example of him using the litigation resources of the government in order to intervene in order to protect trump politically you know against a a piece of litigation so. I think he is fully prepared. To use those resources for grossly political improper reasons and the question is what opportunities may avail themselves as in connection with the election and I haven't an honesty thought about the details of all of that. But the idea that he would send you know Department of Justice Lawyers into court in settings related to an election who's ultimately resolution is of the issue who will be the president of the United States. It is not beyond the realm of possibility and I want to think hard about the given situation but I don't think you can put anything past this guy is the bottom line and he's proving it every day by the things he does. You know this is one of those very rare times when I'm hosting this show where I, desperately I had a little pocket defibrillator under my desk. I don't that I cannot let myself think about but I do want to ask you because you said earlier. Two attorneys general went to jail for Watergate and one of the questions I have been asked all week about The Eugene Carroll intervention is can there be consequences can there be. Any consequences either for bar or for attorneys who signed pleadings is there I mean I think there is a normative question about whether we want there to be consequences. If perhaps if Joe Biden is elected, we just turn the page and move on or if they once one thing I there there are you know Bar Association ethics, rules, and things like that. On your you know your listeners probably know that there have been. Serious. Complaints of ethical violations filed against bar for a bunch of things that he has done you know in general Lawyer certainly prosecutors acting within the scope of their employment have absolute immunity. To have immunity I'm not sure if it's absolute. Judges have absolute immunity lawyers have immunity. The idea that you go after the lawyers for the way they litigated a case is an extreme thing to think about I would not. Want to go into that as as something. Gosh. We really should be thinking about i. think the other the other question that's Important what what happened to president trump after he's defeated he's defeated and I think that's another set of issues that are challenging. They're they're all kinds of reasons people want to say, you know, forgive and forget turn the page and move on and I have a lot of feelings along those lines. But I gotTA. Tell you in my adult life for my whole life. I'm not aware of anything. Remotely comparable to the abuse of the justice system that these people have engaged in i. don't think anything remotely similar systematically across the board repeatedly in act after act after act and then lying about it lying about it constantly. You. Now I have I I wanNA forgive and forget but I have a little trouble forgiving some things and I, you know, no one's asking me to make this decision. I guess I'm glad. Because I think someone ought to think long and hard before they figure out how these people should be treated. Yeah, and it brings us full circle to to wear I know you started which is thinking about post Watergate reforms and how damage done to the Justice Department into public confidence in the Attorney General and an independent Justice Department? It doesn't just magically snap back regardless of who is elected in twenty twenty. It is hard fought and it is as you say, it is a culture it is baked in attorneys have to be trained up to think. By triangulating against those values and so I think it's a very, very fraught question how you restore that and maybe we should just promise that will have you back on the show to talk about it. After the election but before I let you do have a question of nomenclature for you You keep talking about talk crecy and I think you're very mindful of with your words and so when you I know you told politico a little while ago. That your I think your word was alarm frankly at the threat of autocracy and talked about what that would mean in a second term. Autocracy tyranny. Those kinds of words didn't use to be words that lawyers through around I is certainly never use those words to describe the United States. Those were Masha Gessen words those are Tim Snyder words when you talk about a talker see. What. Exactly do you mean I I guess I want you to unpack it and tell me when you started using that word well, I I don't know quite when I started using that word but it was it was around the time that I saw. That, there was this systematic. By which I mean, you know in many different areas effort to free the president from the limitations upon his use of power that have always been sort of you know in in.

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