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John Dowd, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer who recently took the blame for one of his client's controversial tweets, said on Monday that Trump “can not obstruct justice.”
Dowd told Axios that the “president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution's Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case.”
Trump's lawyer's comments come amid mounting pressure for the president to be investigated for obstructing justice related to his firing of former FBI Director James Comey. Trump's recent tweet, which Dowd has now said was his doing, bolstered the case for obstruction over the weekend when he implied that the president knew Flynn had lied to the FBI which raised questions about Comey's firing.
I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2017
Following Trump's tweet, many of his critics took to Twitter to claim the president may have just put himself in legal jeopardy. “THIS IS OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE,” tweeted Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.).
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) revealed over the weekend that the Judiciary Committee's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election “involves obstruction of justice,” adding that I think what we're beginning to see is the putting together of a case of obstruction of justice."
And as Trump's team begins to cast doubt on a possible obstruction of justice case, New York University law professor and former White House counsel to President Barack Obama Bob Bauer claimed the president can, in fact, face those charges. “It is certainly possible for a president to obstruct justice,” Bauer said.
“The case for immunity has its adherents, but they based their position largely on the consideration that a president subject to prosecution would be unable to perform the duties of the office, a result that they see as constitutionally intolerable.”