President Donald Trump’s personal attorney John Dowd believes Trump cannot be prosecuted for 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,” Dowd told Axios, according to an article published Monday.
Dowd’s comments came after criticism of a Saturday tweet from Trump that suggested the president knew former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn lied to the FBI when he told Comey to “let Flynn go.”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2017
“The tweet did not admit obstruction. That is an ignorant and arrogant assertion,” Dowd told Axios. Dowd also claimed he is the one who drafted the tweet.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also maintains that Trump could not obstruct justice. However, the power to impeach resides with the House of Representatives, and Gingrich voted as a congressman to impeach Bill Clinton for obstruction of justice.
Republicans currently control the House and Trump allies reportedly worry a Democratic 2018 midterm sweep will lead to articles of impeachment.
California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein told NBC Sunday that she thinks “what we’re beginning to see is the putting together of a case of obstruction of justice.”
Trump is clearly aware of this talk of charging him with obstruction of justice. “A must watch: Legal Scholar Alan Dershowitz was just on [Fox and Friends] talking of what is going on with respect to the greatest Witch Hunt in U.S. political history,” Trump tweeted Monday.
Dershowitz, a Harvard scholar, told Fox and Friends: “For obstruction of justice by the President, you need clearly illegal acts. With Nixon, hush money paid, telling people to lie, destroying evidence. Even with Clinton they said that he tried to influence potential witnesses not to tell the truth. But there’s never been a case in history where a President has been charged with obstruction of justice for merely exercising his constitutional authority. That would cause a constitutional crisis in the United States, and I hope Mueller doesn’t do that, and Senator Feinstein simply doesn’t know what she’s talking about when she says it’s obstruction of justice, to do what a President is completely authorized to do under the Constitution.”