Trump tried to use the power of the presidency to get the FCC, Department of Justice, and others to investigate SNL.
According to two people familiar with the matter, Trump had asked advisers and lawyers in early 2019 about what the Federal Communications Commission, the courts systems, and—most confusingly to some Trump lieutenants—the Department of Justice could do to probe or mitigate SNL, Jimmy Kimmel, and other late-night comedy mischief-makers.
To those who heard it, Trump’s inquiries into what federal regulations could be used to bust the likes of Kimmel and SNL was more of a nuisance than a constitutional crisis. “It was more annoying than alarming, to be honest with you,” one of these sources recalled.
Republicans spent years dismissing this behavior by Trump with some version of the excuse that he is not a politician and doesn’t know what he is doing. Donald Trump was a politician by definition as soon as he ran for office, and he knew exactly what he was doing as he repeatedly attempted to use the federal government to attack those he perceived as enemies.
Trump used the Justice Department to conduct surveillance on House Democrats and journalists. He tried to use the resources of the federal government to overturn the election that he legitimately lost.
Illegal abuse of power is what the former one-term president is about. It is not surprising that he tried to use the federal government to shut down SNL and late-night comedians.
This behavior remains relevant because Trump is an authoritarian who is running one of the two political parties in the country. Republicans are the anti-democracy party, and returning them to political power in any way puts the nation at risk.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association