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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Trump believes he is above any and all laws

President Donald Trump, center, accompanied by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn outside the Oval Office in Washington, Friday, June 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Five months ago, the lawyers for Donald Trump crafted an incredible 20-page letter to special prosecutor Robert Mueller claiming their client, as president, has “absolute authority” on any and all investigations, including the one against him.

The letter surfaced Saturday in The New York Times and attempts to make a case that Trump is above the law in any and all matters that concern him and anyone else he deems invulnerable.

Reports the Times:

Mr. Trump’s broad interpretation of executive authority is novel and is likely to be tested if a court battle ensues over whether he could be ordered to answer questions. It is unclear how that fight, should the case reach that point, would play out. A spokesman for Mr. Mueller declined to comment.

The letter states:

It remains our position that the President’s actions here, by virtue of his position as the chief law enforcement officer, could neither constitutionally nor legally constitute obstruction because that would amount to him obstructing himself, and that he could, if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired.1

Notes Charlie Savage of The Times:

This is a striking line — and an ambiguous one. Mr. Trump’s lawyers may be suggesting that he had the lawful power to shut down the investigation into the national security adviser at the time, Michael T. Flynn, or even to pardon Mr. Flynn if he wanted — so that whatever he said to Mr. Comey about that case could not have amounted to obstruction. But the sentence may also leave open the possibility that he could order the obstruction investigation into himself shut down or even pardon himself. No president has ever purported to pardon himself, and it is unclear whether he could.

The letter continues:

We express again, as we have expressed before, that the Special Counsel’s inquiry has been and remains a considerable burden for the President and his Office, has endangered the safety and security of our country, and has interfered with the President’s ability to both govern domestically and conduct foreign affairs. This encumbrance has been only compounded by the astounding public revelations about the corruption within the FBI and Department of Justice which appears to have led to the alleged Russia collusion investigation and the establishment of the Office of Special Counsel in the first place.2The Special Counsel acknowledged that he was aware of and understands this burden and, accordingly, has committed to expedite his effort.

Adds Savage:

The letter briefly shifts in tone to an attack on law enforcement institutions and the legitimacy of the investigation. The president and his allies routinely use such language in the public relations arena. But his lawyers’ use of it in a private missive to Mr. Mueller is striking: a reminder to the special counsel that he will face more than legal pushback if he subpoenas the president or accuses him of wrongdoing.

The letter, and Trump himself, continues to push the limits of presidential power and the use of “executive authority.”  Trump openly claims that he, as president, can and does whatever he wants without having to answer to anyone in the short term.

In the long term, voters have the final say, unless Trump finds a way to remain the nation’s “absolute authority” without ever having to stand for re-election.

Impossible?  Don’t be on it.


Copyright © 2017 Capitol Hill Blue

4 thoughts on “Trump believes he is above any and all laws”

  1. Go ahead dipshit try and pardon yourself. Maybe, his lawyers forgot to tell his Majesty that accepting a pardon is a tacit admission of guilt? That it doesn’t wipe away the crimes just the punishment and if you pardon yourself by Nixonian standards you’ll have to resign immediately after accepting it.

  2. Trump is good at finding lawyers who will tell him what he wants to hear. It doesn’t mean they are right. Consider the fact that his executive orders keep getting cancelled by the courts and his history of fighting every lawsuit right up to the point that he settles for a payoff. All his good lawyers have left, just like all US banks have decided he is not a good risk.

  3. This is complete banana republic stuff. Of course, that’s America for you these days.

    Imagine announcing before the Nov. 2022 election that he was going to shut down any and all investigations of voter fraud… except if the voting seemed to support his opponent. Anyone caught faking votes for Trump gets a pardon, every vote against Trump will be researched and scrutinized for validity and a criminal investigation shall commence against not only that voter but also their entire extended family.

    And: “December 2022 – Breaking News: In an election deemed by 192 countries as ‘more fraudulent than homeopathy’ the USA repeals the 22nd Amendment of the Constitution. All Hail President-For-Life Trump!”

    Et cetera. Jon

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