On Monday, during an interview with Axios, Trump’s lawyer John Dowd tried to claim that Trump can’t obstruct justice. His reasoning was because the president is essentially above the law.
Dowd stated, “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.”
This is similar to what former President Richard Nixon said about how presidents can act however they want.
At the time, Nixon’s statement was, “Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.”
The remark by Trump’s lawyer comes after Dowd claimed that he wrote one of Trump’s tweets on Sunday. The tweet implied Trump knew former National Security adviser Michael Flynn lied to the FBI.
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Below is the tweet that Trump’s lawyer is claiming he wrote:
I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2017
Dowd also tried to claim that the tweet “did not admit obstruction.” He continued, “That is an ignorant and arrogant assertion.”
A few weeks after Trump found out about Flynn, Trump met with Comey and that is when Trump asked Comey to drop the Flynn investigation.
This move led many to speculate that Trump fired Comey because he didn’t drop the investigation and this could be considered obstruction of justice.
Trump’s lawyer could potentially work with the idea that a president cannot obstruct justice. According to legal scholars, there is no clear answer on whether a president could obstruct justice. However, Congress has the power to impeach. Both former President Bill Clinton and Nixon had impeachment charges that included obstruction of justice charges.
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