Trump’s Lawyers: President Can’t Obstruct Justice or Be Forced to Testify

“When will this very expensive Witch Hunt Hoax ever end?” Trump tweeted…

(Larry McShane, New York Daily News) A pointed 20-page letter to special counsel Robert Mueller from White House lawyers warned the president’s cooperation with his Russian collusion probe won’t come easy — if at all.

The Jan. 29 missive, obtained by The New York Times, argues that Trump’s position as commander-in-chief spares him from obstruction of justice charges while making clear their belief that Trump cannot be forced to sit for questions as part of the ongoing Mueller digging.


“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,” wrote attorneys John Dowd and Jay Sekulow.


The legal argument raises the possibility of a court battle down the line over exactly how far Trump’s executive authority actually extends. And the memo specifically mentions Mueller’s “request for testimony on alleged obstruction of justice.”

Mueller has threatened to possibly subpoena the president to answer questions in the investigation that has sharply divided national opinion. Trump, in a Saturday afternoon tweet, ripped the leak of the letter and attacked the entire probe.

“When will this very expensive Witch Hunt Hoax ever end?” Trump asked. “So bad for our Country. Is the Special Counsel/Justice Department leaking my lawyers letters to the Fake News Media? Should be looking at Dems corruption instead?”

The hand-delivered letter from the lawyers also took a shot at the investigation by referencing “the astounding public revelations about the corruption within the FBI and Department of Justice, which appears to have led to the alleged … investigation.”

Trump’s newest lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has also said the Republican president should not sit for a Q&A with Mueller’s investigators. Mueller declined comment on the letter and its contents.

The letter mentioned 16 specific areas of inquiry for the president, and Trump’s lawyers argued they were all addressed in the “exhibits and testimony that have already been voluntarily provided to you by the White House and witnesses, all of which clearly show there was no collusion with Russia.”

Dowd resigned from team Trump in March, while Sekulow remains. Both men made it clear that getting Trump to cooperate remained an unlikely proposition.

“As you know, under our system of government, the President is not readily available to be interviewed. Ample academic and jurisprudential material supports this important principle. Moreover, as we have indicated in our meetings, we are reminded of our duty to protect the President and his Office,” the letter declared.

“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.”

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