US Judge Brett Kavanaugh speaks after being nominated by US President Donald Trump (L) to the Supreme Court in the East Room of the White House on July 9,...
SAUL LOEB

Trump eyes Justice Department ‘rescue’ for Brett Kavanaugh

Questions surrounding Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged misconduct – and alleged dishonesty about the incidents in question – returned to the fore over the weekend, and Donald Trump is eager to defend the conservative jurist. Politico noted what the president has in mind.

President Donald Trump on Sunday once again came to the defense of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“Brett Kavanaugh should start suing people for liable, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue,” the president wrote on Twitter, misspelling the word “libel.” Approximately an hour after the original tweet, he sent out a new one with the correct spelling.

As presidential typos go, there’s something oddly perfect about Trump confusing “libel” and “liable.”

But what’s far more important is the president’s suggestion that the Justice Department should perhaps come to the “rescue” of the controversial Supreme Court justice. Why? Because news organizations have run reports about Kavanaugh that Trump doesn’t like.

I’d love to know more about how, exactly, that’s supposed to work in the president’s mind. The Justice Department would intervene on behalf of a judge receiving unflattering media attention? How?

The larger point, of course, is that Donald Trump, after nearly three years as an American president, and after several decades as an American adult, still doesn’t quite understand what the Justice Department does.

A year ago, for example, Trump argued that the Justice Department shouldn’t bring federal charges against allegedly corrupt members of Congress if the indictments might interfere in the Republican Party’s electoral plans. The president has also spent much of his term directing the DOJ to prosecute his perceived enemies and fire employees he considers disloyal.

It’s possible Trump hasn’t yet learned what the Department of Justice is for, but it’s just as likely the president has been briefed on its function and he simply doesn’t care.