X

Trump Lawyers: President Can't Impede Justice, Because He Is Justice

The New York Times unveils their 20-page letter
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2018 3:30 PM CDT
President Donald Trump talks with Kim Yong Chol, left, former North Korean military intelligence chief and one of leader Kim Jong Un's closest aides, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as they walk from...   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(Newser) – Another day, another leak related to President Trump—and this one's a biggy. A 20-page letter acquired by the New York Times reveals that Trump's lawyers are making a novel Constitutional argument in an attempt to stave off questioning by Robert Mueller. The special counsel can't force Trump to talk about possible obstruction of justice, they argue, because the Constitution empowers Trump to, "if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon." In the January letter to Mueller, former Trump lawyers John Dowd and Jay Sekulow state that "the President’s actions here, by virtue of his position as the chief law enforcement officer, could neither constitutionally nor legally constitute obstruction because that would amount to him obstructing himself." More on the letter:

  • The Times says this "broad interpretation" of presidential power will likely be tested in court if Mueller presses Trump to undergo questioning. "We don't know what the law is on the intersection between the obstruction statutes and the president exercising his constitutional power to supervise an investigation in the Justice Department," says a Harvard law professor. "It's an open question."

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |  
7%
5%
5%
13%
10%
59%