Trump suggests Robert Mueller is behind Russian Federation probe leaks

06 June, 2018, 03:54 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Bauer: Sessions should have been up front w/ Trump

Lawyers for President Donald Trump told Robert Mueller that Trump could not have committed obstruction of justice by "virtue of his position as the chief law enforcement officer", according to a January letter to the special counsel published Saturday by the New York Times.

Russian Federation has denied any interference and Trump has repeatedly said there was no collusion or obstruction.

"If Mueller tries to subpoena us, we're going to court", Giuliani told ABC News. However, the lawyers said they would be willing to provide written answers to questions asked by Mueller's team.

The special counsel investigation into Russian election interference and any coordination with President Donald Trump's campaign has cost more than $16 million so far.

Robert Mueller's team of prosecutors and Federal Bureau of Investigation special agents has spent by far the most money on covering salaries, followed by rent and information technology services, the statement of expenditures says.

Giuliani noted that the political ramifications of a self-pardon could be severe. "And it would lead to probably an immediate impeachment". Emmet Flood, who represented President Bill Clinton during his impeachment process, is joining the team.

Written by two of Trump's lawyers at the time, John Dowd and Jay Sekulow, the confidential memo was meant to highlight the president's cooperation with the Russian Federation investigation - particularly around whether Trump obstructed justice by firing former FBI Director James Comey - while stressing that the president doesn't have to sit for an interview with Mueller.

Donald Trump can not have obstructed justice because he is America's top law enforcement officer, his lawyers have argued according to leaked 20-page memo.

Can a president pardon himself?

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This amounts to Trump's opinion, and is a matter of debate among constitutional scholars.

The defense argument suggests that protocols meant to protect against abuses of power are merely norms the American public has come to expect, rather than laws binding on a president. The never-before-seen memo makes a broad case for the executive autonomy of the commander-in-chief, as the president's lawyers argue a sitting president can not be subpoenaed. "So bad for our Country", Trump tweeted after the investigation passed its one-year mark last month. "Fortunately, we are a government of laws, not men".

The past several days have also spurred arguments about the scope of the president's pardon power.

Trump also said he was considering pardoning lifestyle maven Martha Stewart and commuting the prison sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, convicted of corruption charges.

DOES Donald Trump think he's above the law?

Citing records handed over to the special counsel and interviews Mueller's team has had with White House staff, Sekulow and Dowd wrote in the letter, "In light of these voluntary offerings, your office clearly lacks the requisite need to personally interview the President".

"A president can also order the termination of an investigation by the Justice Department or FBI at any time and for any reason", the memo reads.

He said the president's legal team has not discussed that option, which many observers believe could plunge the nation into a constitutional crisis. "Should have told me!"



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