It hasn’t drawn much notice but Mayor Bloomberg’s interview with Gayle King of CBS contains a kind of boomerang that must have given President Trump a moment of ironical satisfaction. At least that’s what we draw from Mr. Bloomberg’s defense of the principle that no newspaper can be expected to investigate its own publisher.
“I think,” the ex-mayor told Ms. King, “people have said to me, ‘How can you investigate yourself?’ And I said, ‘I don’t think you can.’” We agree. We don’t see where Bloomberg News has to lay off Hizzoner’s fellow Democrats. We do agree, though, that it is absurd to expect the reporters for any newspaper to take it as their job to investigate the proprietor.
Which is why we have hewn to the position throughout the Trump turmoil that the president should have fired the special prosecutor, Robert Mueller. That is no less true given that in the end Mr. Mueller came up with zilch. It’s just constitutionally illogical for a president to be investigated by his own blasted Justice Department.
The first time we made this point during the Trump years was in the editorial called “The Mueller Firing Speech.” It noted that the Constitution states that the president shall commission all the officers of the United States. Another way that it has been put is that the executive branch of our government is different from the legislative and judicial branches.
The difference is that 100% of the powers granted to the executive branch inhere in a single individual. In the judicial branch the power is held by something like 800 Article III judges; in the legislative, it is diffused among the 535 members of what passes for our Congress. All the powers that are given to the executive branch, though, go to the president.
That makes the president the only person in the entire sprawl who is required, and empowered, to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. It is why the Constitution established that the only proper way to investigate a president is in the representatives house through the process of impeachment. If the president is the prey, that’s the only option.*
Other than, of course, the press, which, under the Constitution, may never be regulated or reined in by the government. The only constraint on the press is that of its owner. Which brings us back to Mr. Bloomberg. He has made it clear that no editor in his employ is going to be investigating him. Good for him. It’s a sign that if he does become president, no special prosecutor is going to be permitted to operate against him, either.
* The Democrats’ impeachment hearings have so far come up with zilch, too, as far as we can see.