It’s certainly not a rare thing to have analysts on the liberal MSNBC and CNN cable channels declare that their least favorite person -- President Donald Trump -- has finally crossed the line with actions that will lead him into being kicked out of the White House.
But on Tuesday, everyone from longtime liberal journalist Carl Bernstein to former Watergate prosecutor Jill Winn-Banks spent the day hyperventilating over an article from the New York Times that stated Trump had tried to have his political opponents investigated and prosecuted by officials in the Justice Department.
That item, which was written by reporters Michael Schmidt and Maggie Haberman, claimed that “Trump told the White House counsel in the spring that he wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute two of his political adversaries: his 2016 challenger, Hillary Clinton, and former FBI Director James Comey.”
For his part, Bernstein pulled no punches when he declared:
There are no excuses, and this is a defining moment in the history of the Trump presidency because this is a demonstration of his unfitness to be president of the United States.
We are now watching a president of the United States undermine the very principles of our democracy.
Of course, Winn-Banks served up her own portion of outrage when she told MSNBC's All in host -- Chris Hayes -- that even an attempt to go after political opponents could lead to impeachment.
Anyone in America can say something should be investigated, she noted, “but you can’t just say: ‘I don’t like that person. Go and prosecute them.’”
Winn-Banks also stated that Trump used the word “prosecute,” not “investigate," so "I think it’s a very serious breach of his authority and is a clear abuse of power.”
In an attempt to drive home her point, Winn-Banks asserted: “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck. This looks like obstruction to me.”
She also found the relationship between the GOP President and Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker “quite troubling.”
Not surprisingly, Winn-Banks referred back to the Watergate investigation, when “we had L. Patrick Gray, the head of the FBI, feeding information back to [former White House Counsel] John Dean so they could coordinate the cover-up.”
“You cannot have the department of justice sharing information with the target of an investigation or the subject or witnesses,” she stated. “That is what destroys an investigation and its credibility.”
She then claimed: “And this just sounds exactly like the kind of thing that led to articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon.
That scandal from the 1970s was also on Bernstein’s mind when he stated: “Today I read the articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon” and noted how similar the charges against the former president were compared to what’s happening now with Trump.
[T]he president takes an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States, to uphold it and to protect it.
This president daily abuses it, but never have we seen such a flouting of willingness to abuse the Constitution and the powers of the presidency as we are now.
“And this is going to be investigated,” Bernstein claimed next. “It’s going to figure in the Mueller investigation. It’s going to figure in investigations on the Hill” and will be “a moment we’re going to look back on … as the time the president crossed lines that must be noted.”
Also in their article, the Times reporters noted that Trump’s original attempt to take action against his enemies was rebuffed by his legal staff and “was one of the most blatant examples yet of how Mr. Trump views the typically independent Justice Department as a tool to be wielded against his political enemies.”
It's always interesting when people in the media address officials they don't agree with. When Barack Obama was in the White House, he was routinely called "President Obama," while George W. Bush and Donald Trump are always referred to as "Mister Bush" or "Mister Trump." That's just another day in the office for members of the "mainstream media."