Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2018
....The Democrats, none of whom voted for Jeff Sessions, must love him now. Same thing with Lyin’ James Comey. The Dems all hated him, wanted him out, thought he was disgusting - UNTIL I FIRED HIM! Immediately he became a wonderful man, a saint like figure in fact. Really sick!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2018
Trump apparently thinks that nothing is on the level, that of course the AG is really supposed to be a political hit man for the president. Where could he have gotten such ideas? New York, where very little is on the level.
In fact, the legal pressure exerted on him over the past year-plus by the special counsel constitutes a bookend of sorts to Trump’s career, which began much the same way—with a protracted, bitter battle with the DOJ and the FBI.
In 1973, the federal government sued Trump and his father, alleging systematic racial discrimination in the rentals at their dozens of New York City apartment buildings. Often interpreted mostly as confirmation of Trump’s deep-seated racial animus, it is at this point perhaps better understood as the origin of his distrust of federal law enforcement. It is where he first learned to view the government not as a potential righter of wrongs but as an impediment to his business interests, not as a protector of less powerful citizens but as a meddlesome obstacle in his pursuit of profit. And it is where he first demonstrated how he would combat it—with the same unapologetic, counterpunching, deny-and-delay, distractions-laced playbook on display today. When Rudy Giuliani earlier this year tagged FBI officials as “storm troopers,” it was not the first time an attorney advocating for Trump had used that term in that way. That was Roy Cohn. In 1974. Long before Michael Cohen worked for Trump, the chief counsel of disgraced Joseph McCarthy’s red-baiting Senate subcommittee of 1950s infamy would become Trump’s most important adviser and most indispensable fixer—and the indelible Cohn-Trump mind meld of a partnership kick-started with this case.
“For Trump, it’s always about winning and always attacking your enemy, and I think those are both things that were associated with Roy Cohn as well,” said Alan Dershowitz, the retired Harvard law professor and periodic Trump defender who is one of a dwindling number of people who knows Trump and knew Cohn, too.
Louise Sunshine is another. When Sunshine, Trump’s first employee and one of his longest-running associates, went this past spring to a Broadway showing of Angels in America, she watched the Cohn character and couldn’t help but think of the actual man—and his protégé currently residing in the White House. “It took me back to the years when Donald, Roy Cohn and I used to sit at lunches at the 21 Club, time after time after time,” she told me. “And it totally brought back all the memories, and it brought back exactly who tutored Donald in ignoring the law, and not caring about the law—it was Roy Cohn. He had total disregard for the law—a disregard for the law which Donald has.”