I have been very wary about advocating for aggressive federal prosecution of Trump’s misdeeds, aware that only tradition keeps high level politicians from wielding the judiciary as a sword.

Comparisons to the late Roman republic are tiresome and often not relevant, but the Roman tradition of vigorously prosecuting former consuls and praetors is at least cautionary. Effective government became impossible partly because of that tradition, and only a strongman/dictator like Augustus was able to rise above it to rule.

You make a persuasive case, however, that Trump transcends the ordinary. His administration’s corruption is so extensive, and its behavior so egregious that not prosecuting might set an equally dangerous precedent.

If Trump can get away with flagrant disregard of the law, such disregard could become ordinary and expected.

These are dangerous times. The path we have to negotiate right now borders sheer cliffs on both sides.

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