"Presidents can not obstruct justice" claim by Trump lawyers may not hold up


Whether a president can be criminally charged - for any offense - has never been tested in the courts. "The answer is yes, of course, a sitting president can obstruct justice", Judge Lewis explained.

Unfortunately for Trump, there's no sound basis for this claim of presidential immunity.

In an interview with Axios on Monday about whether President Trump knew Michael Flynn lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation when he was sacked, Trump's personal lawyer, John Dowd, claimed that a president can not obstruct justice because he is "the chief law enforcement official".

"Here's the thing; Trump's not supposed to have known Flynn lied to the FBI, because the day after he fired Flynn, FBI Director James Comey said Trump told him to go easy on Flynn".

"If you take the president's own statement, his tweet, that he knew Michael Flynn was lying to the FBI when he fired him, which means that he knew Michael Flynn had committed a felony when he asked Comey to stop the investigation of him", Blumenthal said. If so, that could increase the possibility that Trump was trying to impede Comey's pursuit of Flynn's potentially criminal behavior.

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On Sunday, Trump lawyer John Dowd told ABC News that he was actually responsible for the "sloppy" post.

But the Constitution is silent on the issue.

In the early 1970s, Nixon was involved in the cover-up of a June 1972 break-in at the Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate building.

"The idea that a president could be prosecuted for telling the Justice Department what to do is as ludicrous as saying the president could be prosecuted for telling the Defense Department what to do". Specialists said that the President's acknowledgement enlarged his legitimate subjection to hindrance of justice charges, one of the central felonies under inspection by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Nixon's threatened impeachment, as well as President Bill Clinton's actual impeachment in 1998, both began with reports from special prosecutors in roles such as Mueller's. To charge a president with obstruction based exclusively on such actions, he claims, would cause a "constitutional crisis." .

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But Myanmar has refused to cooperate and has blocked access to the team of investigators, who have begun their work outside the country.

In the Clinton ordeal, the Republican-dominated House of Representatives passed two articles of impeachment in December 1998 related to obstruction of justice and perjury. A president can be impeached and removed from office for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors".

Flynn pleaded guilty last Friday to a charge of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading a probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by the Trump administration. "That's obstruction of justice", Feinstein said.

"It's evidence of corrupt intent", Blumenthal said.

Much of the criticism of Trump's actions related to the Russian Federation probe go back to February when Trump asked Comey to drop the Flynn investigation and then fired him.

Indeed, Dershowitz has gone even further, arguing, "You can not charge a president with obstruction of justice for exercising his constitutional power to fire Comey and his constitutional authority to tell the Justice Department who to investigate, who not to investigate".

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Of course, that usually ends up being a bad thing in the Black Mirror universe. Given that it's Black Mirror , probably the latter. Just look at those glowing hands.