The government's failure to punish President Trump after he admitted this week that he would be open to receive opposition research from foreign entities will send the wrong message to the other presidential contenders, said the former Director of the Office of Government Ethics.
The authorities' failure to act might be interpreted by other candidates as a tacit approval of Trump’s actions, tweeted Walter Shaub, who is now a senior executive at the election law organization Campaign Legal Center.
Trump’s actions will also lead his own campaign staff to think they have his blessing to collude again. Candidates might then follow the president in order to remain competitive, added Shaub.
Shaub referred to Trump’s statements in an ABC interview released on Wednesday, in which the president said he would “want to hear” foreign information on his opponents during the 2020 election. “This is somebody that said, we have information on your opponent. Oh, let me call the FBI. Give me a break life doesn’t work that way,” the president said during that same interview.
Media organizations, including CNN, have echoed Shaub’s statements. “The more you allow yourself to accept potential lawlessness as the new normal, the worse off we are as a nation,” tweeted CNN’s Josh Campbell on Thursday.