“There are a good number of lawyers who don’t love their jobs. Sure, the pay is often good. But the hours can be long and the work narrow, leaving many people without much sense of a mission.The lawyers who work for the Department of Justice, however, tend to feel quite differently about their work.
I’ve known and interviewed many over the years, and they have some of the highest job satisfaction of any group of people I can think of. “You get to do good for a living, and in the name of your country,” as James Comey said in a 2005 speech to Justice Department employees (the same speech I highlighted in my column earlier this week). “If that doesn’t motivate you to work hard, nothing will.”
To many Justice Department lawyers, doing good means pursuing equality under the law. They see themselves as representing some of the highest American ideals: Every citizen deserves the protection of the law, and no citizen is above the law.Donald Trump does not share the view that the United States has a fundamental set of rules that apply alike to rich and poor, powerful and powerless. “Trump isn’t someone who played close to the line a time or two, or once did a shady deal. He may well be the single most corrupt major business figure in the United States of America,” The Washington Post’s Paul Waldman wrote yesterday. Waldman then listed Trump’s scams: Trump University, bankrupt casinos, illegal labor, stiffed vendors and on and on and on.
He has often figured out how to stop shy of outright illegality or, in other cases, to violate the law in ways that bring only minor sanctions. He has rarely faced big consequences for his misbehavior. But Trump now finds himself in a very different situation.”