A bold new legal defense for Trump: Presidents cannot obstruct justice


WASHINGTON – The brazen assertion Monday by considered one of President Donald Trump’s legal professionals that a president can’t be discovered responsible of obstruction of justice signaled a controversial protection technique within the extensive-ranging Russia probe, as Trump’s political advisers are more and more involved concerning the authorized recommendation he’s receiving.

Trump tweeted over the weekend that he knew then-nationwide safety adviser Michael Flynn lied to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador earlier than firing him in February – and earlier than FBI Director James Comey stated Trump requested him to be lenient whereas investigating Flynn. Specialists stated the president’s admission elevated his authorized publicity to obstruction-of-justice fees, one of many core crimes underneath investigation by Particular Counsel Robert Mueller.

However Trump’s private lawyer John Dowd sought to excuse the president’s tweet partially by telling Axios and NBC Information on Monday that the “president can’t impede justice as a result of he’s the chief regulation enforcement officer beneath [the Constitution’s Article II] and has each proper to precise his view of any case.”

Dowd declined to elaborate on his concept or clarify the rising authorized technique to The Washington Submit.

Contained in the White Home, some senior officers have been baffled that Dowd publicly provided this interpretation of the regulation, which has been superior because the summer time by constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz in protection of Trump however flatly dismissed by many different authorized students.

Ty Cobb, a White Home lawyer overseeing its dealing with of the Russia investigation, stated Monday that the Dershowitz-Dowd principle was not the president’s official authorized technique.

“It’s fascinating as a technical authorized problem, however the president’s legal professionals intend to current a reality-based mostly protection, not a mere authorized protection,” Cobb stated in an interview with The Publish. “That ought to resolve issues, however all of us shall see.”

Requested whether or not Trump agrees that a president can’t impede justice, Cobb replied, “I by no means speak about what the president’s beliefs are or talk about communications between the president and his legal professionals.”

Many Washington legal professionals and authorized students disputed Dowd’s interpretation, citing a number of courtroom instances and articles of impeachment – in addition to, within the phrases of 1 skilled, “widespread sense.”

“We have now a president, not a king,” stated Sam Berger, senior coverage adviser on the Middle for American Progress, a liberal assume tank….



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