Donald Trump’s lawyer has a strange way of representing the president. He decided to fall on his own dagger for Trump.
Attorney John Dowd claimed an unusual and controversial interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. He said that a president “cannot be guilty of obstruction of justice,” Axios wrote in its exclusive:
‘(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 took responsibility for a tweet that came out this weekend under Donald Trump’s name. He said that he dictated it, because he believed it made his case for obstruction stronger. When asked how many times he had done this, he said just the one time. The tweet implied that the president knew all about his former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, lying to the FBI.
Unfortunately, that took the case to another level, “raising new questions about the later firing of FBI Director James Comey,” Axios wrote.
Dowd called those who disagreed “ignorant” and “arrogant:’
‘The tweet did not admit obstruction. That is an ignorant and arrogant assertion.’
Dowd wants to build a case upon the concept that this president cannot be charged with any crime related to Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Those charges would be collusion and obstruction of justice.
That begs the question, why would Dowd build a case against collusion and obstruction unless he believed that such charges were on the horizon?
According to a conversation between a top Washington, D.C. attorney and Axios, obstruction is typically a secondary charge related to a principal one. One example the attorney gave was “as a quid pro quo between the Trump campaign and Russians.’ In other words, one favor exchanged for another one.
A New York University (NYU) law professor and former White House counsel to President Barack Obama told 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.’
The Articles of Impeachment against President Richard Nixon stated that he “obstructed and impeded the administration of justice.”
Reporter and author Bob Woodward told Axios that this statement “is a legal thicket and really has not been settled:”
‘I think a president can only be reached through impeachment and removal. But the House and Senate could conclude a president had obstructed, and conclude that was a “high crime.”
‘In Watergate there was political exhaustion — plus, as Barry Goldwater said, “too many lies and too many crimes.” These questions are now, in the end, probably up to the Republicans. The evidence was in Nixon’s secret tapes. Is there such a path to proof now is one way or the other? We don’t know.’
Any impeachment process begins in the House of Representatives. It alone has the power to decide whether to remove Trump from office. Thus far, the Republicans have been loathe to publicly denounce Trump, even though his actions have been erratic and could easily take us to the brink of war with North Korea.
Republicans own the House, so it is a matter of waiting to see if they have enough courage and less consideration for their own re-elections to follow through when the time is right.
Featured Image via Getty Images/Alex Wong.