The Atlantic

How to Corrupt the Justice Department

Donald Trump has left his successors a playbook.
Source: Getty / The Atlantic

So you want to corrupt the Justice Department.

It’s a worthy project for the power-hungry politician. These are polarized times. Left alone, the department could get weaponized against you, particularly if—and only you know whether this is true—there are skeletons in your closet. The department has a lot of people with guns and subpoena power, a lot of investigative muscle, and it can lock up your friends—and even you—if you’re not careful. Getting it under control is a really good thing, if you can swing it.

But it’s hard. A lot of the people who work there are unfortunately earnest. They believe in this whole rule-of-law thing; some of them even believe in equal justice under the law. They don’t think of themselves as merely serving the powerful. So if you want to protect yourself and your people from a complex investigation, you can’t just declare

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