No top-secret meetings. No huddling in the Oval Office behind closed doors to plot a miscarriage of justice. No confabs with the most powerful operatives in his government to conspire against his political enemies. Just wide-open, off-the-cuff musings from a perilously-open mind. That is President Trump, leader of the free world.
Now, compare that to his predecessor, who weaponized the Justice Department like nothing we have seen in the better part of a half-century. President Barack Obama’s first Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. famously described his role in the Department of Justice as Mr. Obama’s “wingman.”
Meaning, of course, that Mr. Holder used his position as America’s top law enforcement officer to shoot down and destroy Mr. Obama’s enemies. Say, for instance, a retired three-star general that Mr. Obama fired as the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency over his criticisms of Mr. Obama’s prosecution of the war on terror.
Now, certainly, Mr. Obama had every right to fire Flynn. That is any president’s prerogative.
But it was a wild abuse of power for Mr. Obama’s Department of Justice to hatch an elaborate conspiracy to entrap Flynn after he later became a political enemy.
Compare Mr. Trump’s hands-off approach to Flynn’s case to the intimately-involved approach of his predecessor.
In the weeks leading up to Mr. Trump’s inauguration, Mr. Obama stunned members of his own administration with his intimate knowledge of the Flynn case during a secret meeting with his top intelligence henchmen in the Oval Office.
Even in jubilant victory after the Flynn case got dropped, Mr. Trump kept the focus precisely where it belonged. Instead of just brooding over the treatment of one man, Mr. Trump was more concerned about the larger issue of unjust abuse of power at the highest levels of the Department of Justice.
“What happened to General Michael Flynn, a war hero, should never be allowed to happen to a citizen of the United States,” Mr. Trump said in a triumphant Twitter message.
A few minutes later, Mr. Trump added in all capital letters: “Dirty cop James Comey got caught!”
Obviously, such boisterous gloating over the ruination of fired and disgraced former FBI Director James Comey is not exactly quiet or modest. But, wisely, the president keeps the political squabbling in the political realm where it belongs. Mr. Trump does not allow his political fever to infect the judicial process as his predecessor did.
Mr. Trump’s extreme modesty allows his Attorney General William P. Barr to act with the same judicial modesty and reverence for the rule of law.
At a press conference Monday, Mr. Barr lamented the “increasing attempts to use the criminal justice system as a political weapon.” He vowed the practice would end under Mr. Trump, telling reporters that his department is not presently seeking criminal charges against either Mr. Obama or his vice president, Joe Biden.
“The legal tactic has been to gin up allegations of criminality by one’s political opponents based on the flimsiest of legal theories,” Mr. Barr fretted. “This is not a good development.”
• Charles Hurt is opinion editor of The Washington Times. He can be reached at churt@washingtontimes.com or @charleshurt on Twitter.

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