The leaked memo from Trump’s lawyers to Mueller reveals that Trump’s legal defense is that the president is above the law and can’t be subpoenaed or prosecuted.
The New York Times published the leaked memo, and what it states about executive power, “A President can also order the termination of an investigation by the Justice Department or FBI at any time and for any reason. Such an action obviously has an impact on the investigation, but that is simply an effect of the President’s lawful exercise of his constitutional power and cannot constitute obstruction of justice. We remind you of these facts simply because even assuming, arguendo, that the President did order the termination of an investigation (and the President, along with Mr. Comey in his testimony and in his actions, have made it clear that he did not) this could not constitute obstruction of justice.”
Trump is arguing a radical and undemocratic notion of executive power
What Trump’s lawyers were arguing is that the president can terminate any investigation into anything for any reason, or no reason, at any time. In practical terms, this means that Trump is above the law, and constitutionally has the power to end an investigation of himself. No person in this country has this sort of power. What Trump’s lawyers were arguing is that the president is the only person in the United States of America for whom the law does not apply.
If this argument were to be successful in court, it would set a precedent for unaccountable corruption and illegality in the White House.
Donald Trump is not above the law, and if he tries to have a court fight over whether or not the laws of this country apply to the President Of The United States, he will lose. Trump’s lawyers at the time were trying to scare Mueller off from subpoenaing the president, but it is their theory of executive power that represents a grave threat to US democracy.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association