In addition to the crimes Donald Trump created by coordinating with the Russian government to rig the election in his favor, and the crimes he’s since committed in trying to cover it all up and obstruct the investigation, he’s also facing serious criminal problems back home in New York. Now Trump has unwittingly tipped off just how afraid he is of facing criminal charges there, either while he’s in office or after he’s ousted.
Earlier this year, Trump fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara without explanation. Bharara had jurisdiction over federal crimes committed in New York City, which is where Trump operates most of his businesses. It’s widely believed that the firing was an attempt at preventing Bharara from exposing Trump’s lifetime of financial crimes. The position has been vacant for months, but now Trump is preparing to try to fill it – and he’s personally attempting to shoehorn one of his own allies into the position.
Trump is making the unprecedented move of personally interviewing the candidates for U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, according to a CNN report (link). Trump’s candidates all have close connections to Trump and his allies. Trump is clearly trying to install someone in the position who will refuse to investigate or prosecute him. He’ll have a difficult time getting such a nomination past the Senate confirmation process. Even if he does succeed, it’s unlikely to stop him from being prosecuted.
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York only has jurisdiction over the federal crimes Donald Trump has committed in New York City. Trump’s real vulnerability is that the New York State Attorney General can prosecute him for state level crimes; the president cannot pardon state level crimes. So Trump may be pursuing all these nomination hijinks for no gain.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report