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TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► We really can’t be far away from Donald Trump declaring himself King of America. As The Washington Post reports:
On Tuesday, Trump granted clemency to a clutch of political allies, circumventing the usual Justice Department process. The pardons and commutations followed Trump’s moves to punish witnesses in his impeachment trial, publicly intervene in a pending legal case to urge leniency for a friend, attack a federal judge, accuse a juror of bias and threaten to sue his own government for investigating him.
Trump defended his actions, saying he has the right to shape the country’s legal systems as he sees fit. [Pols emphasis]
“I’m allowed to be totally involved,” he told reporters as he left Washington on Tuesday for a trip to California, Nevada and Arizona. “I’m actually, I guess, the chief law enforcement officer of the country. But I’ve chosen not to be involved.”
Of course, this is NOT true. The Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer in the United States, but when the AG just does whatever the President wants…
The president’s post-impeachment behavior has alarmed Attorney General William P. Barr, who has told people close to the president that he is willing to quit unless Trump stops publicly commenting on ongoing criminal matters, according to two administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. It also has appalled several legal experts and former officials, who have said his direct intervention in legal matters risks further politicizing law enforcement at a time of fraying confidence in the Justice Department.
As The Washington Post reports in a separate story, Trump is almost daring Attorney General William Barr to quit his job:
Against the wishes of Attorney General William P. Barr, President Trump continued to tweet Wednesday about the Justice Department, relaying the sentiments of conservative allies that Barr should “clean house” and target those involved in the Russia investigation.
Former Colorado U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer is among many current and former Justice Department officials who think Barr should resign
You can thank Senate Republicans for fully unlocking Trump’s dictator mode. Here in Colorado, voters are well aware that Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) voted for Trump’s impeachment acquittal purely as political protection.
► The Democratic candidates for President will debate tonight in Nevada, which will also mark the first on-stage appearance of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Here’s more on how candidates are courting Coloradans leading up to Super Tuesday on March 3:
♦ Jon Murray of The Denver Post breaks down how Bloomberg has been courting politicos in Colorado for decades.
♦ Elizabeth Warren has launched a new ad campaign in Colorado.
Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)