Despite a series of self-inflicted wounds by President Donald Trump over the Russian investigation in pressuring former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and directly discussing the investigation with former FBI Director James Comey, Trump has reportedly returned to the same pattern in lashing out with Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker. If true, it is entirely baffling. Republicans and Democrats have uniformly objected to these communications as improper and raising the appearance of influencing the investigation. It also undermines Whitaker’s position.
Media is reporting that the first call took place when Trump after Cohen pleaded guilty on November 29th to lying to Congress about a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow. That was only two weeks after Whitaker became Acting Attorney General and during the intense media criticism that Whitaker was being appointed as a virtual stooge. At that very time, Trump called Whitaker to complain about an investigation implicating him in a federal crime?
Trump again had angry words for Whitaker after prosecutors in Manhattan officially implicated the President in a hush-money scheme to buy the silence of women around the 2016 campaign. This account is more serious because it says that Trump wanted to know why more was not being done to control prosecutors in New York who brought the charges. That is manifestly inappropriate and self-defeating.