“L’etat, c’est moi!” (“I am the state!”) is an expression widely attributed to Louis XIV and his long monarchical rule in France, but to some extent, it can be applied to Trump as he moves autocratically in his absolute political authority.
More evidence of this approach was disclosed recently through a confidential letter from Trump’s lawyers to special counsel Robert Mueller III, indicating that the president has broad powers to pardon himself if charged with obstruction of justice.
Rudy Giuliani, a member of Trump’s legal team, gave further credence to such an action, saying his client “probably does” have the power to pardon himself, although “he has no intention” of doing so.
“As has been stated by numerous legal scholars,” Trump tweeted, “I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong? In the meantime, the never-ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the midterms.”
And Giuliani inflamed the issue even more with his comment that “In no case can [Trump] be subpoenaed or indicted,” according to the HuffPost. “I don’t know how you can indict while he’s in office. No matter what it is.
“If [Trump] shot James Comey,” Giuliani continued, citing the former FBI head fired by Trump, “he’d be impeached the next day. Impeach him, and then you can do whatever you want to do to him.”
That impeachment process, like the shooting of Comey, is a hypothetical that seems unrealistic, given that Congress is controlled by Republicans. And after 500 days in office, Trump seems to have the GOP eating out of his little hands. They are, to repeat a growing term, Trumpublicans to the bone.
Trump’s disinviting the NFL champion Philadelphia Eagles to the traditional White House appearance is just another example of his exercising his authority, his way of punishing the players who refuse to kowtow to his demand that they honor the national anthem. No Philadelphia Eagles player has knelt during the national anthem.
In the 20-page letter to Mueller, Trump’s lawyers state that to indict the president is to demean his office, but even more egregiously, it might be concluded that the president himself, with his brutal disregard for the rule of law, has demeaned that office.
France tolerated 72 years of Louis XIV, but we have barely endured 500 days of Trump, “Le Roi.”