Dowd Is Right - President Can't Be Guilty of Obstruction of Justice

President Donald Trump during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on Nov. 28 2017 in Washington DC

President Donald Trump during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on Nov. 28 2017 in Washington DC. Kevin Dietsch Pool—Getty Images

The "president can not obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under Art II and has every right to express his view of any case", Dowd added.

It is however, important to note that the impeachment process is more of a political one, not a criminal one.

That tweet appeared to suggest Trump was aware when the White House dismissed Flynn on February 13 that the national security adviser had lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Obstruction of justice is the act of impeding an official investigation.

Next, Mr. Trump's personal lawyer, John Dowd, claimed that he, not the president, wrote that weekend tweet.

But his chief lawyer, John Dowd, suggested Monday it wouldn't even matter if he had - because a president can not obstruct justice by telling the FBI how he hopes a criminal investigation will be resolved.

Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz pushed back against the narrative that President Donald Trump obstructed justice in his firing of former FBI Director James Comey and his defense of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, saying Tuesday on "The Laura Ingraham Show", "This isn't Watergate".

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Trump has denied that he asked Comey to drop the investigation.

Dershowitz went further saying that Flynn talking to the Russian ambassador during the transition period about the United Nations resolution was the "right thing to do to stop the president - lame duck - from tying his hands".

Thus, while a president who deliberately falsified or withheld evidence, encouraged perjury, forged documents to implicate someone of a crime, etc. might technically be guilty of conduct proscribed by the statute, any decision by him to simply terminate an investigation or prosecution may not constitute a crime. His analogy to Nixon, who was threatened with impeachment but not prosecuted, suggests he thinks not even Congress could proceed against Trump in these circumstances. "Just because the president has the power to do something doesn't necessarily mean it's lawful for him to do so", he said. Impeachment results only in removal from office, and the Constitution expressly provides that an impeached official remains subject to indictment, prosecution and punishment for any criminal violations.

In the Clinton ordeal, the Republican-dominated House of Representatives passed two articles of impeachment in December 1998 related to obstruction of justice and perjury. As a flabbergasted former Office of Government Ethics director put it, this tweet might have been sufficient to end any other presidential administration all by itself.

"It's evidence of corrupt intent", Blumenthal said. And I see it most importantly in what happened with the firing of Director Comey, and it is my belief that that is directly because he did not agree to "lift the cloud" of the Russian Federation investigation.

Indeed, Dershowitz has gone even further, arguing, "You can not charge a president with obstruction of justice for exercising his constitutional power to fire Comey and his constitutional authority to tell the Justice Department who to investigate, who not to investigate".

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