During Watergate in the 1970s Richard Nixon famously said, “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” But in his day his Republican congressmen had some courage and did not put up with that, so he gave up trying that approach. In fact both parties essentially agreed on this until Donald Trump was in power. But in 2020 when Trump’s lawyer Alan Dershowitz said basically the same thing at the Senate impeachment trial, only one Republican Senator dissented. The rest all fell into line. In 2019 Trump’s lawyers argued that anything the president did, so long as he thought it was helpful to getting elected was lawful. The checks and balances were completely emasculated. His lawyers also argued in a federal case that a sitting president cannot even be investigated. Even an impeachment inquiry is “constitutionally invalid.”
Then in the recent Presidential election, his Republicans in Congress acquiesced and more than 73 million Americans in the 2020 election did not object either. The president could be as corrupt as he pleased and it would make no difference. Effectively the president was a dictator. Democracy was dead. The swamp is alive with nasty creatures, many of which have found a friend in the White House. Corruption is alive and well.
Trump has tried to use the federal law enforcement people for his own advantage. That meets the strict legal definition of corruption. As Peter Baker of the New York Times said,
“He is trying to turn the people charged with federal law enforcement into presidential fixers, starting with Mr. Barr, who finds himself in a tight spot.”
In the case of Nixon the proud checks and balances worked and the country and the constitution were protected. Now with the current crop of Republican sycophants that is clearly not the case.
This is the corruption that millions of Americans voted for. Many Americans seem to like it.
This is what happens when a country elects a crime boss as its leader!