“You know you have a problem when you’ve been president for less than 11 months and you’re already relying on Richard Nixon’s definition of what’s legal.
On Monday morning, Axios reported that Mr. Trump’s top personal lawyer, John Dowd, said in an interview that the “president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer” under the Constitution and “has every right to express his view of any case.”This will come as news to Congress, which has passed laws criminalizing the obstruction of justice and decided twice in the last four decades that when a president violates those laws he has committed an impeachable offense.
In 1974, the first article of impeachment drafted by the House of Representatives charged President Nixon with “interfering or endeavoring to interfere with the conduct of investigations by the Department of Justice of the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force.”A quarter-century later, President Bill Clinton was impeached by the House for, among other things, having “prevented, obstructed and impeded the administration of justice” and for having “engaged personally, and through his subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or scheme designed to delay, impede, cover up and conceal the existence of evidence and testimony.” ”
DL: Yes, thank you.
Here are some excellent comments, just a few of many.
Bruce Rozenblit is a trusted commenter Kansas City, MO 15 hours ago
If this is the best defense Trump’s lawyer can come up with, then Trump should get another lawyer.
This is a non-defense defense. It is an idiotic circular argument. It’s the kind of thing a person would expect Hannity to say.
Due to the weakness of this strategy, logic can only lead to the conclusion that Trump has no defense.
I don’t like to deify the founding fathers as many do. They were mere mortals like all of us. But they did the modern world a tremendous service when they set our government up with three branches of equal power. One is hopelessly corrupt, one is bought and paid for and so far at least one, the judiciary still functions. If that branch collapses under the weight of partisan politics, we are done.
TWR New York 16 hours ago
We are the heirs of Magna Carta upon which the founders of our American republic established our constitutional democracy. Magna Carta has not only been been invoked on the floor of the U.S. Senate in response to executive overreach but also cited as legally authoritative precedent in decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court. If nothing else, it stands for the principle that in Anglo-American jurisprudence and governance that “the sovereign is not above the law.” Are we now willing to allow a president to assert that he, like Louis XIV, is the state and above the law? Heaven help us if our democratic institutions agree with him.
“You cannot charge a president with obstruction of justice for exercising his constitutional power to fire Comey and to tell the Justice Department who to investigate and who not to investigate.”
This from Alan Dershowitz whose tenured spot at Harvard Law seems to have gone to his head.
No, I’m not a lawyer, but I do know why the US fought a revolution. I also know the founders were laser focused on creating a system of 3 branches of government, with checks and balances to keep any one person from acting like a king.
If Donald Trump could instruct Justice who to investigate –or not–he’d exercise the unchecked power of a king who not only administers laws, but makes them too.
I recently heard a lawyer frame it another way: the President only supervises judicial processes, not judicial content.
Frankly, I think Trump’s lawyers are all crackpots. One’s job seems to be to tell him fairy stories to calm him down before bed. Another’s is to go on TV, gesticulate wildly, and argue with pundits, sounding increasingly incoherent. The third who wrote the tweet has been videotaped cursing and making obscene gestures to reporters as he exits court after losing a case.
Maybe if Donald Trump paid these guys more, he’d have better counsel, at least lawyers who would tell him he isn’t a king.
Or a dictator, no matter how much Donald Trump tries to act like one.
The claim is that the president is the nation’s highest ranking law enforcement officer and has the constitutional authority to supervise and control the executive branch and can make decisions about what law enforcement actions will be pursued, without any checks on that power. This is tantamount to saying that the President is above the law.
That, my friends, is called a dictatorship.