Trump Attorney: Sorry, but President Can't Obstruct Justice
John Dowd says any claims that a Trump tweet admitted so are 'ignorant and arrogant'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2017 9:22 AM CST
In this April 29, 2011, file photo, attorney John Dowd walks in New York.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

(Newser) – The Trump attorney who says he penned the "sloppy" tweet that some say indicates a possible obstruction of justice isn't done making headlines. John Dowd spoke to Axios' Mike Allen, scoffing at criticism of the tweet regarding Mike Flynn, which suggested Trump knew the former national security adviser had lied to the FBI before Trump canned James Comey. "The tweet did not admit obstruction," Dowd says. "That is an ignorant and arrogant assertion." Plus, the Constitution has Trump's back, per Dowd. "[The] president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution's Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case," he claims. Newsweek notes it's not clear which section of Article II Dowd refers to, though it speculates on one part involving the president seeking the opinion "of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices."

Allen notes that with this pronouncement, Trump's legal team is "setting the stage" to keep Trump insulated from obstruction of justice or collusion charges in the Russia probe—meaning, Allen speculates, that his lawyers may be nervous charges are coming down the pike. But one of Barack Obama's former counsels notes "it is certainly possible" for Trump to have obstructed justice, and Allen points out Richard Nixon's Articles of Impeachment were jump-started with the assertion that Nixon "has prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice." But whether Trump can or can't be held responsible for such a transgression may be moot, Allen adds. "The one thing everyone agrees on is that the House of Representatives, with its impeachment power, alone decides what is cause for removal from office," he writes. "For now, at least, the House is run by Republicans."

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