Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Feinstein says an obstruction of justice case against Trump is building

Feinstein says an obstruction of justice case against Trump is building

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". During that meeting, Comey later testified to a Senate panel, Trump told him that Flynn was "a good guy" and said, "I hope you can let this go".

Trump's lawyers determined that most legal scholars would say that a presidential firing couldn't be seen as obstruction unless there was a corrupt motive, since the president has the power to fire whomever he wants, the person said.

"The fight is basically embarrassing, because it shows that on one of the biggest questions facing this White House, does the president have exposure for committing a crime in office or while campaigning, his own lawyers can not publicly agree and are making their case against each other in public", Melber explained.

However, Trump lawyer John Dowd pursued to condone the president's tweet in part by apprising Axios and NBC News that the President can not barricade justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer and possesses every right to articulate his view of any case. He should just order that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation cease immediately, claim that his actions are "constitutionally authorized" and move on.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted that he "had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the Federal Bureau of Investigation". Trump is focusing renewed attacks on the FBI, and on the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, two days after ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn agreed to cooperate with the probe as part of a plea agreement. Trump also has a constitutional authority to tell the U.S. Department of Justice who to investigate and who not to investigate, according to Dershowitz. Trump had previously blamed the February 13 firing on the fact that Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition.

"This shows a Trump associate negotiating with the Russians against USA policy and interests before Donald Trump took office and after it was announced that Russia had interfered in our election", Feinstein said in the statement.

"My view is the president can obstruct justice if he did what [former President Richard] Nixon did, going back to your point about Watergate".

"For obstruction of justice by the president, you need clearly illegal acts".

If that is true of the prosecutor, the low man on the totem pole, the same would seem to apply to any government official who directs - even contrary to well established custom - that a prosecution be discontinued, including the attorney general or even the top law enforcement official, the president. Lawmakers cited obstruction in impeachment proceedings against presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. Sometimes he argues that impeachment could be justified, but other times he appears to claim it would be unconstitutional for Congress to even charge the president with obstruction absent additional criminal conduct. Both Nixon and Clinton were charged with obstructing justice in their respective articles of impeachment. Dowd's comments have been interpreted to mean that he believes Trump to - quite literally - be above the law (because he is the law).

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