Presidents are Paid Public Servants, Not Aristocrats above the Law: Lessons from Rousseau, Jefferson and Tang China

Repeatedly, professionals in the intelligence agencies, the Office of Management and Budget, and more recently election officials, have fought to hold the line. Just this week, 16 assistant US attorneys wrote a letter reported in The Washington Post, challenging Attorney General William Barr’s attempt to thrust “career prosecutors into partisan politics” so as to buttress the president’s fantasies. Trump seems to grasp that it’s the career administrators he needs to worry about. Maybe that is why his administration is frantically replacing professionals with loyal yes-men and Trump donors. Recent purges include a senior climate scientist, two top Homeland Security officials and a senior cybersecurity official whose agency refuted Trump’s claims of election fraud. If he continues in this vein, he will have compromised the last, and most effective check we have, bringing us that much closer to the 17th century.

Presidents are Paid Public Servants, Not Aristocrats above the Law: Lessons from Rousseau, Jefferson and Tang China

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