Summary: Donald Trump’s personal attorney said that the president cannot obstruct justice because he is the president.
A sitting president cannot obstruct justice. Or at least that’s what Donald Trump’s personal attorney John Dowd wants you to believe.
The “president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under Art II and has every right to express his view of any case,” Dowd wrote in a statement to ABC News.
Dowd’s statement comes after Trump’s critics say that Trump admitted to obstruction of justice in a recent tweet. However, Dowd said that not only can a president not obstruct justice, but that Trump wasn’t even the one who wrote the tweet. Dowd told ABC News that it was he had drafted the post and sent it to Trump’s social media director, Dan Scavino.
“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!” Trump tweeted on December 2.
Last week, Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with a Russian ambassador, and Trump went online to say that he had fired Flynn back in February after he learned of this act. Trump’s critics say that if Trump knew Flynn had lied during the investigation and had not informed authorities, then he was guilty of obstruction.
Flynn worked as a national security advisor for less than one month before he was fired in February. At the time, the White House said he was let go for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his talks with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and this led Pence to give misleading information to the press.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating Trump’s alleged ties with Russia since his appointment in May of 2017. So far, he has indicted four people: Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, and Michael Flynn. Manafort and Gates have denied any wrongdoing while Papadopoulos and Flynn have pled guilty to lying to the FBI.
On Friday, CNN stated that Flynn’s guilty plea is “a sign that the investigation is intensifying, and details revealed Friday provide the clearest picture yet of coordination between Flynn and other Trump advisers in their contact with Russian officials to influence international policy.”
In addition to the aforementioned tweet, Trump has since tweeted that he had never told former FBI Director James Comey to ease up on his investigation of Flynn. However, Comey has said that Trump had asked him to and that was one reason he was fired months ago.
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