Donald Trump: Above the Law?

Donald Trump: Above the Law?

John Dowd, one of President Trump’s lawyers, told Mike Allen of Axios that the president cannot be charged with obstruction of justice:

“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.'”

“The Articles of Impeachment against Nixon began by saying he ‘obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice.'”

— “Trump lawyer claims the ‘President cannot obstruct justice,'” Mike Allen, Axios

Presidents can’t obstruct justice? Attorney General Jeff Sessions disagrees. Back in 1999, as an Alabama senator, he said “The facts are disturbing and compelling on the President’s intent to obstruct justice,” he said, referring to Bill Clinton.

“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. In all, 17 sitting senators supported the obstruction of justice charge against Clinton in 1998 and 1999.”

— “Sessions argued in Clinton impeachment that presidents can obstruct justice,” Kyle Cheney, Politico


“Trump’s Lawyer Claims the President Is Above the Law,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“Donald Trump’s I-am-the-law defense on the Russia investigation,” Chris Cillizza, CNN

“A bold new legal defense for Trump: Presidents cannot obstruct justice,” Sari Horwitz and Philip Rucker, Washington Post

“19 Times President Trump May Have Obstructed Justice,” Margaret Hartmann, New York Magazine


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Image: Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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