Right after Deputy Attorney General of the Justice Department, Rod Rosenstein named special prosecutor Robert Mueller, the Trump White House was reportedly examining ways that they could undermine the former FBI Director. Such a blatant gesture is fitting to the way Donald Trump retaliates as he has no qualms, scruples or shame for doing anything he feels he has to do in order to "win." That he hasn't suffered the consequences yet appears to be a testament to that fact.

Trump's shameless research to self-pardon

Over the months that there have been more reports about the development of Mueller's investigation against the president, Trump has armed himself with a legal defense team as he intends to block the special prosecutor and make his ability to investigate difficult.

Trump has also tested out the limits of his powers by publicly threatening to fire Mueller, despite the backlash it would cause. Thus far, only criticism, debate and outrage over the scandal would come out of it and there's no indication that it would have very real consequences for the president.

The view that the Trump administration would continue to try and undermine Mueller, however, was further confirmed by sources at the White House who said last week that both Trump and his legal counsel were looking into the president's pardoning powers. The assumption from this was that this would somehow allow the president to prevent himself from being targeted by Mueller's investigation. Even more bizarre is that according to those sources, Trump and his lawyers were looking into pardoning powers for his aides, his family and himself, should he be implicated of committing a crime as a result of the investigation.

Self-serving ethics waiver

Even before Donald Trump entered the Oval Office, the questions about Trump being in violation of ethics laws have been consistent. One only needs to look at the reports of when the Republicans in Congress were looking to weaken the Congressional Ethics Office as a sign of reining in an ethics regulator.

Despite the fact that Trump gave the appearance of protecting the watchdog by asking Congress to focus on something else, the President has decided to fight and even ignore the Office of Governmental Ethics (OGE) since being president. This was the case when Walter Shaub of the OGE demanded that Trump turn over waivers the President had secured for his staff.

Feeling that he was ineffective against a president who publicly defied the ethics watchdog, Shaub resigned from his position several months early but not before getting those waivers. Shaub was on the PBS Newshour Wednesday where he said that the president had even given himself waivers. This only makes it clear that President Trump has abused his power of the office to protect himself from being targeted for questionable conduct. So, it's not impossible to believe that Trump wants to be able to pardon himself. Here is that interview with Shaub about those ethics violations.

Justice officials hold Trump at bay

The Washington Post originally reported on Thursday in an article titled: "Trump team seeks to control, block Mueller's Russia investigation," that the White House lawyers were putting together a list of the Special Prosecutor's conflicts of interest in order to corral the probe.

This is ironic given that President Trump has been defending himself and his aides against his own blatant conflicts of interest while in the Oval Office. The reason for this is apparently because under the regulations of the Justice Department, the prosecutor can be removed from their investigation for his own conflicts of interest.

That direction is also ironic because while Trump relies on rules and regulations to undermine Mueller, he has targeted other regulations that are against his own legislative interests. When Rosenstein was under pressure to answer for whether he would allow President Trump to fire Mueller a few months ago, the Deputy Attorney General seemed to establish that this would not happen and that the special prosecutor had his full support.

For the time being, justice officials who operate independently from President Trump might be the only ones who are able to hold him accountable.

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