Sen. Orrin Hatch Says President Trump “Has a Right” to Threaten Department of Justice Officials
(WASHINGTON, D.C., April 20, 2018)—The Undercurrent and Need to Impeach have joined forces in a new reporting collaboration to expose the corruption of the Trump administration and the complicity of members of Congress from both sides of the aisle. The project will delve into the myriad ways in which President Trump and his family, cabinet, and party are enriching themselves at taxpayer expense while attempting to upend the rule of law and established norms of ethics and governance.
Today, we are releasing our first video, featuring Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT). On Wednesday, April 18, 2018, Undercurrent reporter Lauren Windsor asked Sen. Hatch if he supports legislation to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He replied that he does not. In follow up, Windsor asked Hatch twice if it was appropriate for the president to threaten or intimidate officials at the Department of Justice. Both times, he replied that Trump “has a right” to say what he wants.
At a tenure of 41 years, Orrin Hatch is the longest-serving Republican in the U.S. Senate, and is currently the chamber’s President pro tempore. He formerly chaired the Judiciary Committee, which is charged with oversight of the Justice Department. Hatch called for greater firewalls between the Clinton administration and the Department of Justice, and was a vocal critic of the Obama administration’s “abuses of executive authority.”
“It is alarming that Senator Hatch just openly advocated that the Trump administration harm the independence and credibility of the Justice Department,” stated Undercurrent reporter Lauren Windsor. “His comments seem contrary to his own past positions and to basic American values to say the least.”
“This is yet another example that the Washington D.C. establishment is looking the other way as Donald Trump undermines law enforcement and threatens the principles of our democracy,” said Need to Impeach Lead Strategist Kevin Mack. “When will members of Congress fulfill their oath to protect our country and finally stand up to this lawless president?”
Watch the video here to view the exchange: