Trump’s Lawyers Respond To Tweet That Could End His Presidency
Donald Trump’s personal lawyer has advised he hasn’t obstructed justice even if he had known about former national security adviser Michael Flynn lying to FBI agents about his conversations with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Flynn had also given a falsified account to Vice President Mike Pence about the telephone conversation in question.
Lawyer John Dowd explained to The Washington Post how this information was given to President Trump by White House counsel Donald McGahn. McGahn had reportedly been told about Flynn’s inaccurate statement to Vice President Pence by a senior official from the justice department.
At the time, the reason given for sacking Flynn was this lie to Pence. However, a tweet on Saturday has landed the President in hot water…
Taking to Twitter, the 71-year-old President said:
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!
The tweet appeared to imply Trump knew Flynn had lied to the FBI in the same way he had lied to Pence, leading some critics to accuse him of the serious charge of obstruction of justice.
This tweet has also opened the President up to accusations he fired former-FBI Director James Comey because he would not give up his investigation into the nature of Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak.
Comey has previously claimed Trump asked him to drop the investigation against Flynn, an allegation Trump has described as being ‘fake news’:
I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn. Just more Fake News covering another Comey lie!
Speaking to Axios, Dowd argued how Trump has not obstructed justice as his status as President places him above the law:
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.
Dowd – who has claimed he was the one to draft the tweet – also said:
The tweet did not admit obstruction. That is an ignorant and arrogant assertion.
However, this defence might not be enough to cover Trump’s back according to some legal experts.
Former White House counsel to President Barack Obama, Bob Bauer, also gave his legal opinion on the matter to Axios:
It is certainly possible for a president to obstruct justice.
The case for immunity has its adherents, but they based their position largely on the consideration that a president subject to prosecution would be unable to perform the duties of the office, a result that they see as constitutionally intolerable
Former US Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Norm Eisen, has tweeted:
Dowd is serving baloney 4breakfast. Courts REGULARLY regularly consider otherwise lawful conduct BY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS to be obstruction if undertaken with corrupt intent–MANY examples
Can the Donald weather this latest storm, or is the writing already on