The President should have been in church instead of tweeting on Sunday morning. He has set himself up for failure. Via Twitter, President Trump is demanding the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI and or Department of Justice infiltrated and spied on the Trump campaign for political purposes.
I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018
First, in his tweet he gives them an out. They can say it was not for political purposes, but for national security purposes. However, that is not the big deal.
The President, by pushing this so publicly, is going to have two institutions hell bent on defending themselves. If either organization spied on the Trump campaign for political purposes, the same bureaucracy is going to generate a report that says they did not. They will protect themselves.
If the President demands an outside investigation, it is going to be the DOJ that picks that outside investigator — the same DOJ that picked Robert Mueller. Good luck getting an outside investigation to say the President was spied on by the DOJ or FBI for political purposes.
And that’s the thing — if it happened, there is no way the President is going to get a report back admitting it. If it did not happen, well it is not like his supporters will believe it. They will, instead, be convinced it is all a lie to protect the bureaucracy.
The only thing that will happen here is a further erosion of public trust in institutions. A “yes” to his question of spying for politics will completely undermine the organizations. A “no” will too because few of the President’s supporters will believe it.
There are no winners here, except that the President will have a new grievance for his base to feed off of headed into the midterms and 2020. Oh…