Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Trump Lawyers: President is Above the Law

Steve Benen, Maddowblog: Donald Trump's legal defense team have responded to the Russia scandal in recent months by arguing, repeatedly and in public, that the president and his campaign didn't collude with Putin's government during last year's attack, and that the president didn't obstruct justice as the investigation has unfolded. The new line from Trump World is that collusion isn't a big deal and the president is literally incapable of obstructing justice.


John Dowd, who's helping lead Trump's legal defense, told Axios that a president "cannot obstruct justice" by virtue of the fact that he's the nation's chief law-enforcement official. "He is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States," Dowd said in an email to USA TODAY. "He has more power and discretion on that matter that DOJ and FBI put together. He cannot obstruct himself!"

The implications of such an argument are more than a little alarming. Matthew Miller, a former Justice Department spokesman and an MSNBC analyst, told the Washington Post's Greg Sargent yesterday, "Dowd is basically arguing that as the chief law enforcement officer, Trump has the authority to block investigations into himself, his allies and into his friends, and nothing he does can be construed as obstruction of justice."

Something appears to have changed Team Trump's legal posture very recently. For months, the president's lawyers were fully invested in the no-collusion/no-obstruction argument. Now, however, without explanation, these same lawyers want Americans to believe collusion is permissible and obstruction is impossible.


It's utterly shameful how quickly and easily Trump and all those who support him have moved the goalposts as more and more information comes out proving the myriad connections between Trump campaign officials and Russians, of which they've unanimously claimed were nonexistent and figments of their opponent's and detractor's politically-motivated delusions. Now they've gone into full-blown authoritarian mode, claiming that the US Constitution expressly allows the POTUS to say and do anything in his role as the nation's chief law enforcement official even if it includes stopping the Justice Department from investigating the President and his staff for having committed possible crimes.

Trying to keep up with every Trump presidential/governmental outrage has become like trying to follow single raindrops during a torrential downpour; something quite simply impossible.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2017-12-05 08:29 AM

When Vladimir Putin realized he could manipulate our elections our democracy was lost. It's done, it ain't coming back.

#2 | Posted by danni at 2017-12-05 09:05 AM

Sessions argued in Clinton impeachment that presidents can obstruct justice

...Donald Trump's personal lawyer argued Monday that, as the nominal head of federal law enforcement, the president is legally unable to obstruct justice. But the exact opposite view was once argued by another senior Trump lawyer: Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

In 1999, Sessions – then an Alabama senator – laid out an impassioned case for President Bill Clinton to be removed from office based on the argument that Clinton obstructed justice amid the investigation into his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

"The facts are disturbing and compelling on the President's intent to obstruct justice," he said, according to remarks in the congressional record.

Sessions isn't alone. More than 40 current GOP members of Congress voted for the impeachment or removal of Clinton from office for obstruction of justice. They include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – who mounted his own passionate appeal to remove Clinton from office for obstruction of justice – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, who was a House member at the time....

#3 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-12-05 09:41 AM

"In 1999, Sessions – then an Alabama senator – laid out an impassioned case for President Bill Clinton to be removed from office"

Sessions has no passions, aside from vindictiveness; he's a sociopath like his boss. Shame is also a feeling, so he won't have any problem living with this hypocrisy.

#4 | Posted by Zed at 2017-12-05 09:48 AM

Headline fail..................

#5 | Posted by Sniper at 2017-12-05 12:45 PM

Headline fail..................


Typically dumb poster fail.

Since Babbles was kicked out of town, You are the Village Idiot.

Watch your back, Ray and Msgt are always trying to take your crown.

#6 | Posted by oldwhiskeysour at 2017-12-05 01:22 PM

Humpty Trumpy sat on a wall..

#7 | Posted by donnerboy at 2017-12-05 08:11 PM

@#5 ... Headline fail ...

Why do you think it is a headline fail?

#8 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-12-06 11:56 PM

"President is Above the Law"


You could have typed "Bull S--t," saved yourself some time and arrived at the same place.

How Can the President Obstruct Justice?

Why Trump's Lawyer is Dead Wrong on Obstruction of Justice

#9 | Posted by et_al at 2017-12-07 12:57 AM

How are things in Moscow these days Sniper?

#10 | Posted by SomebodyElse at 2017-12-08 09:21 AM

also Presidential Candidates

#11 | Posted by Maverick at 2017-12-08 12:45 PM

Who's in power, MAVERICK?

Why don't they charge Hillary with a crime? The silence in this matter is deafening and yet here you are pushing it as though it has legitimacy.

#12 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2017-12-08 12:47 PM

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