How Many Times Has Trump Told His Staff to Break the Law?

One of the narratives coming out of the Mueller report is the number of times people who work for Trump either refused to do what he demanded of them or simply ignored his orders. That is a theme that has emerged throughout his presidency, as Arron Blake documented.

But what is even more disturbing is the overlap between those instances and all of the times Trump has instructed people who work for him to break the law. Here is a list of the examples that we know about:

  1. He told Don McGahn to have Rod Rosenstein fire Robert Mueller.
  2. He told Corey Lewandowski to put pressure on then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to limit the scope of the Russia investigation.
  3. He wanted K.T. McFarland to draft an internal email that would confirm that he did not direct Flynn to call the Russian Ambassador about sanctions.
  4. He told then-Defense Secretary Mattis to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
  5. Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Trump asked him to do things that would violate the law.
  6. He told former DHS Secretary Nielsen to block all migrants from seeking asylum.
  7. He told Customs and Border Patrol agents to refuse to allow any migrants through the border and promised them presidential pardons if they were charged.

I don’t believe this country has ever had a public official who so blatantly sought to violate laws. The question for legal scholars is whether that amounts to an impeachable offense if those who worked for him refused to comply.

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Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60.