Amazing. Trump's lawyers leaked a document they went to Robert Mueller in January 2018 (Remember how last month his attorneys leaked questions that Robert Mueller had sent? hahah. Trump's people are leakers) . NYTimes. Although Trump has been saying he would be happy to meet with the special counsel investigators, that is apparently not so. His lawyers have been trying to prevent him from answering questions about whether he obstructed justice and thus trying to stop Trump from being interviewed or having to answer a subpoena to testify. The most astonighing thing about the letter is that it argues that the president cannot commit obstruction because he has unfettered authority over all federal investigations. In other words, that the president is above the law. That's the same principle that Nixon claimed. Here's the document. (a 20 page document from Trump who says he is innocent and willing to go before Mueller who had his lawyers write up exactly on why he won't tell Mueller how innocent he really is)
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.
The lawyers further argued that, basically, Trump is too busy running the country to take time out to sit for an interview. Right, if you don't count all those expensive trips to his golf clubs or private clubs such as Mar-A-Lago.
"A.P. has just reported that the Russian Hoax Investigation has now cost our government over $17 million, and going up fast. No Collusion, except by the Democrats!" Trump tweeted Friday.
But that number is dwarfed by the amount required to pay for the president's numerous trips to the "Winter White House," which Washington Post and Politicoanalyses have estimated to cost taxpayers on average between $1 million and $3 million per trip.
As of Dec. 26, Trump had spent 39 days at Mar-a-Lago in 2017. Trump took his 17th trip to the property in April, according to Town and Countrymagazine.
Some takeaways. One is that Trump lawyers say that Trump dictated the statement on the Trump Tower meeting.
STATEMENT OF JULY 8, 2017, TO THE NEW YORK TIMES
You have received all of the notes, communications and testimony indicating that the President dictated a short but accurate response to the New York Times article on behalf of his son, Donald Trump, Jr. His son then followed up by making a full public disclosure regarding the meeting, including his public testimony that there was nothing to the meeting and certainly no evidence of collusion
This directly contradicts what Trump's lawyer, Jay Sekulow said last year.
Trump lawyer Sekulow, CNN interview, 7/12/17:
"That was written, no that was written by Donald Trump Jr. and I'm sure with consultation with his lawyer. That wasn't written by the president."
Sekulow, ABC interview, 7/12/17:
"The president didn't sign off on anything. He was coming back from the G20. The statement that was released Saturday was released by Donald Trump Jr., I'm sure in consultation with his lawyers. The President wasn't involved in that."
Sekulow, NBC interview, 7/16/17:
"The President was not — did not — draft the response. The response came from Donald Trump Jr. and — I'm sure — in consultation with his lawyer. ... Let me say this — but I do want to be clear — that the President was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement. It came from Donald Trump Jr.
Was his attorney lying (and now needs to be disbarred?) or did Trump lie to him? It's my understanding that an attorney who is contracted to represent a client can't just go off and make up stuff that his client has or hasn't said, but has the approval of the client (ie Trump). It might not be illegal to mislead the press but I believe if Sekulow lied, the NY Bar Association can disbarr him.
Sarah Sanders also said
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, daily press briefing, 8/1/17: "He certainly didn't dictate, but he -- like I said, he weighed in, offered suggestion like any father would do."
And Don Jr then apparently lied to Congress. (felony)
said he could not recall or did not know answers to key questions, including those about the president's role in crafting a response to disclosures of a 2016 that he could not recall what role the White House played in crafting the public response to disclosure of a 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer offering damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
Senate staff asked the president's son about a range of topics — from Russian influence on campaign-related social media communications to Trump plans to build a luxury skyscraper in Moscow. But for the most part the five hour closed door session focused on the June 9, 2016 meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and others. That conversation has become a key part of inquiries into President Trump's relationship with Russia during the campaign.
Trump Jr. said he was not aware of what role, if any, his father might have played in drafting an early explanation of the meeting that was widely criticized as misleading.
In the letter from Trump's attorneys to Mueller, they said
His son then followed up by making a full public disclosure regarding the meeting, including his public testimony that there was nothing to the meeting and certainly no evidence of collusion.
However, this is not true. Junior only made a disclosure about the Trump Tower meeting AFTER the media got his emails that proved the statement that was drafted with Trump Sr's help was baloney.
So, it turns out that the details about the Trump Tower meeting was being purposely hidden, and was lied about, including about who actually drafted the statement for Trump Jr to say to the press. Donald J Trump is the one that drafted it, in complete contradiction to what was publicly said. As a side note, Trump apparently talked to Putin the night before he drafted the statement about *adoptions*.
Don Jr at first lied about meet w Russians even occurring. Then Potus lied in statement he dictated for Don Jr. about topic of meeting, & lied about dictating it. Don Jr eventually was forced to own up that Hillary dirt was topic. -Andy Richter
So, can a president obstruct justice if he has constitutional authority over all federal investigations? Think about what this would mean. A corrupt president would always be above the law, and could use his power go after his enemies and possibly even pardon himself for his own crimes. Absurd. We're a government of laws, not of men. As Adam Schiff said
The President’s legal arguments would render whole sections of the Constitution moot, and allow a president to engage in any form of criminality and obstruct an investigation into his own wrongdoing. Nobody is above the law. Not this President. Not any president.
One more interesting fact from the letter that was sent to Mueller that was just leaked by the Trump team. Mueller thinks the fact that Trump admitted that he fired Come over Russia is *damning*.
Trump keeps claiming he is innocent. So why doesn't he just go and talk to Mueller, WITH HIS ATTORNEY, and get it over with? If he's subpoenaed, he won't be able to have his attorney present. Saw today that Guiliani believes that Trump will not give good testimony. Well, isn't that the case with ANYONE? If someone gets subpoenaed to go on the record to give testimony, IF that person is telling the truth, what does he or she have to fear. It's only the ones that can't keep track of their lies that have to be concerned.