In Leaked Letter, Trump's Lawyers Tell Mueller To Go Pound Sand

A 20-page confidential letter from President Trump's legal team leaked to the New York Times argues that President Trump could not have obstructed justice at any point during his presidency due to his Constitutional authority, and that he cannot be compelled to testify in front of Special Counsel Robert Mueller due to his Constitutional powers as President.

The letter, crafted by Trump's legal team, reveals that the White House has been waging a quiet campaign for several months to prevent Mueller from trying to subpoena  the president - contending that because the Constitution empowers him to "if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon," Trump could not have illegally obstucted any aspect of the investigation into potential collusion between his campaign and Russia during the 2016 US election. 

Mr. Trump’s defense is a wide-ranging interpretation of presidential power. In saying he has the authority to end a law enforcement inquiry or pardon people, his lawyers ambiguously left open the possibility that they were referring only to the investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, which he is accused of pressuring the F.B.I. to drop — or perhaps the one Mr. Mueller is pursuing into Mr. Trump himself as well.

Mr. Dowd and Mr. Sekulow outlined 16 areas they said the special counsel was scrutinizing as part of the obstruction investigation, including the firings of Mr. Comey and of Mr. Flynn, and the president’s reaction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s recusal from the Russia investigation. -NYT

"It remains our position that 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," writes President Trump's former attorney John Dowd, who left the team in March.

The leaked letter effectively reveals Trump's trump card in the event Mueller proceeds with a subpoena.

“We are reminded of our duty to protect the president and his office,” wrote the lawyers, who stressed that “Ensuring that the office remains sacred and above the fray of shifting political winds and gamesmanship is of critical importance."

Translation - this is a clown show, go pound sand. 

Mueller's office has told Trump's lawyers they need to speak with the president to determine whether he criminally obstructed any aspect of the Russia investigation. If Trump refuses to be questioned, Mueller will be forced to choose whether or not to try and subpoena him - which, as Trump's lawyers have made abundantly clear, will result in a Constitutional crisis.

They argued that the president holds a special position in the government and is busy running the country, making it difficult for him to prepare and sit for an interview. They said that because of those demands on Mr. Trump’s time, the special counsel’s office should have to clear a higher bar to get him to talk. Mr. Mueller, the president’s attorneys argued, needs to prove that the president is the only person who can give him the information he seeks and that he has exhausted all other avenues for getting it. -NYT

The president’s prime function as the chief executive ought not be hampered by requests for interview,” they wrote. “Having him testify demeans the office of the president before the world.”

Trump's attorneys also argued that the president did nothing to technically violate obstruction-of-justice statutes. 

“Every action that the president took was taken with full constitutional authority pursuant to Article II of the United States Constitution,” they wrote of the part of the Constitution that created the executive branch. “As such, these actions cannot constitute obstruction, whether viewed separately or even as a totality.”

According to legal experts cited by the Times, the president wields broad authority to control the actions of the executive branch, which includes the Department of Justice and the FBI. The Supreme Court, however, has ruled that Congress can impose some restrictions on that power, including limiting a president's ability to fire certain officials. 

"As a result, it is not clear whether statutes criminalizing obstruction of justice apply to the president and amount to another legal limit on how he may wield his powers," notes the Times

About that Russia probe...

And while Trump's team works to make the case against testifying, media reports and Congressional investigations have revealed what appears to be grave misconduct by the FBI and Department of Justice in order to prevent Trump from winning the 2016 US election, and then once he won - discredit him with a Russia allegations fabricated by US Intelligence agencies, UK intelligence assets - in collusion with the Clinton campaign and the Obama administration. 

We now know that Trump campaign aides were likely fed rumors that Russia had damaging information on Hillary Clinton, and then used as patsies by Clinton-linked operatives in what appears to have been a set-up, something Trump once again hinted in his latest tweet, in which he also asked if the Mueller team or the DOJ is leaking his lawyers' letters to the "Fake News Media."

Trump's attorneys have also attacked the credibility of former FBI Director James Comey, while also contesting what they believe are Mueller's version of significant facts.

Mr. Giuliani said in an interview that Mr. Trump is telling the truth but that investigators “have a false version of it, we believe, so you’re trapped.” And the stakes are too high to risk being interviewed under those circumstances, he added: “That becomes not just a prosecutable offense, but an impeachable offense.” -NYT

They argue that Trump couldn't have intentionally obstructed justice anyway based on the fact that he did not know that Mike Flynn was under investigation when Trump spoke to Comey. 

“There could not possibly have been intent to obstruct an ‘investigation’ that had been neither confirmed nor denied to White House counsel,” the president’s lawyers wrote, adding that FBI investigations generally do not qualify as the type of "proceeding" covered by an obstruction-of-justice statute. 

“Of course, the president of the United States is not above the law, but just as obvious and equally as true is the fact that the president should not be subjected to strained readings and forced applications of clearly irrelevant statutes,” wrote Mr. Dowd and Mr. Sekulow. 

The Times, however, suggests that their argument may be outdated, as a 2002 law passed by Congress makes it a crime to obstruct proceedings that have not yet begun. 

But the lawyers based those arguments on an outdated statute, without mentioning that Congress passed a broader law in 2002 that makes it a crime to obstruct proceedings that have not yet started.

Samuel W. Buell, a Duke Law School professor and white-collar criminal law specialist who was a lead prosecutor for the Justice Department’s Enron task force, said the real issue was whether Mr. Trump obstructed a potential grand jury investigation or trial — which do count as proceedings — even if the F.B.I. investigation had not yet developed into one of those. He called it inexplicable why the president’s legal team was making arguments that were focused on the wrong obstruction-of-justice statute.

Regardless, it appears Trump's team is going to tell Mueller to take a hike if he tries to subpoena the president, and that it will simply further embarrass the United States on the world stage.

"We write to address news reports, purportedly based on leaks, indicating that you may have begun a preliminary inquiry into whether the president's termination of former FBI Director James Comey constituted obstruction of justice," the June 2017 memo from Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz to Mueller reads - while a more recent memo outlines the 16 areas they believe Mueller is focusing on (via CBS News)

  1. Former National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn -- information regarding his contacts with Ambassador Kislyak about sanctions during the transition process;
  2. Lt. Gen. Flynn's communications with Vice President Mike Pence regarding those contacts;
  3. Lt. Gen. Flynn's interview with the FBI regarding the same;
  4. Then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates coming to the White House to discuss same;
  5. The president's meeting on Feb. 14, 2017, with then-Director James Comey;
  6. Any other relevant information regarding former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn;
  7. The president's awareness of and reaction to investigations by the FBI, the House and the Senate into possible collusion;
  8. The president's reaction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal from the Russia investigation;
  9. The president's reaction to former FBI Director James Comey's testimony on March 20, 2017, before the House Intelligence Committee;
  10. Information related to conversations with intelligence officials generally regarding ongoing investigations;
  11. Information regarding who the president had had conversations with concerning Mr. Comey's performance;
  12. Whether or not Mr. Comey's May 3, 2017, testimony lead to his termination;
  13. Information regarding communications with Ambassador Kislyak, Minister Lavrov, and Lester Holt;
  14. The president's reaction to the appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel;
  15. The president's interaction with Attorney General Sessions as it relates to the appointment of Special Counsel; and,
  16. The statement of July 8, 2017, concerning Donald Trump, Jr.'s meeting in Trump Tower.

Comments

nmewn BaBaBouy Sun, 06/03/2018 - 09:56 Permalink

Nowhere in this article can I find a reference to Mueller consulting with Bibi, what are you trying to say or divert to?

/////

Oh. Now I get it! Yours is just a placeholder for the biblicist spambot ;-)

In reply to by BaBaBouy

y3maxx Leakanthrophy Sun, 06/03/2018 - 10:52 Permalink

I love the smell of Orange after this.

agreed...

"If, as it has been confirmed, Trump isn't the "target" of the investigation why should he testify?  I don't see what's in this for Trump.  I think his lawyers are right in this case to keep him away from Mueller."

No Debt

In reply to by Leakanthrophy

DosZap Leakanthrophy Sun, 06/03/2018 - 17:29 Permalink

He can still do it anytime he likes,that's the real Trump card.UNTIL horse face actually SEVERS him with a subpoena, he is free to punch all their tickets.

If Mueller IS gonna do it, he'd best HURRY up, the gate is almost closed.

In reply to by Leakanthrophy

philipat IridiumRebel Sun, 06/03/2018 - 21:10 Permalink

revolla, beepbop, pier, lloll, bobcatz, loebster, ergatz, armada, Mtnrunnr, Anonymous, luky luke, Cjgipper, winged, moimeme, macki mack, tchubby, sincerely_yours, HillaryOdor, winged, lexxus, kavlar, lhomme, letsit, tazs, techies-r-us, stizazz, lock-stock, beauticelli, Mano-A-Mano, mofio, santafe, Aristotle of Greece, Gargoyle, bleu, oops, lance-a-lot, Loftie, toro, Yippee Kiyay, lonnng, Nekoti, SumTing Wong, King Tut, Adullam, evoila, rp2016.

And at least 30-50 other suspected logins, slowly being “upgraded” to the list of infamy.

In reply to by IridiumRebel

swmnguy Chupacabra-322 Sun, 06/03/2018 - 11:37 Permalink

One interesting fact I don't see mentioned in this article, or the comments so far, is that this letter from Trump's attorneys to Mueller was written and delivered to Mueller in January, 2018.  5 months ago.  One of the authors has since left the Trump team (Dowd).  Mueller does not appear to have shut up shop and left town.

The only new thing about this letter is that somebody, presumably from Team Trump, has leaked it to the New York Times.  Could easily be Giuliani.

This may very well end up at the Supreme Court.  If that happens, I expect a 5-4 decision to exempt the President of the United States from the rule of law.  Won't that be fun when somebody like Elizabeth Warren becomes President in 2, 6, or however-many years? 

A lot of Republicans loved how George W. Bush amassed a lot of King-like powers, and then bemoaned it when Barack Obama used those powers of the "Unitary Executive."  That shoe cramps badly on the other foot, doesn't it.

In reply to by Chupacabra-322

swmnguy Bay of Pigs Sun, 06/03/2018 - 15:33 Permalink

So you'll be just fine with a Liberal President, freed from the rule of law by Supreme Court precedent?  Somehow I have my doubts you'll be so comfortable with the shoe on the other foot.

Not that I've ever had any faith in the FBI and DOJ.  I've personally seen them used as political police, over the past 40+ years just in my personal experience.  You Righties seem to think it just happened, under Obama, and they were pure as the driven snow as long as Republicans were in charge.

Power corrupts.  Taking power away from government is what I prefer, regardless of which party is in power.  Consistent thinking is unacceptable to partisans, however, which may explain your unease.

In reply to by Bay of Pigs

Mr Hankey Bay of Pigs Sun, 06/03/2018 - 16:47 Permalink

& with Billy Jeff,our First Black President, it wasn't about sex,it was about lying to nobody who matters ,right?

You LOVE & WORSHIP  our South American style mass  murdering baby burning secret police forces.

You  partisan rino cuckfags can't help yourselves. Fake outrage,piss& moan,

wank the flag & set up some more rape checkpoints.

In reply to by Bay of Pigs

el buitre Bay of Pigs Sun, 06/03/2018 - 19:35 Permalink

Agree with BofP.  Nothing to do with rule of law.  Obviously quite the opposite, as the law enforcement arm is up to its asshole in felonies, fraud and perjury.  What exactly was Mueller's mandate anyway?  In theory it would have been written by Rosenstink, but TTBOMK has never been released publicly.  It's pretty obvious at this point that Jeff "Reefer Madness" Sessions is a Trojan Horse planted by the Hillary-Bush faction of the deep state to bring Trump down in a classic purple color revolution.  Sessions never should have recused himself.  He should have hired some crack investigators who could have blown all the malfeasance in the FBI and Jihadi John Brennan open in a month or two, showing that the Russia thing with Trump was all perjurious fraud and then appointed his top serious guys in the FBI to look into all the incredible, felonious activities of the Clinton Foundation and indicted the Clap for perjury.  Trump has used his presidential prerogatives poorly.  He could have prevented this whole shitshow and still got the pervs indicted.  But in his defense he was a businessman and showman  and not a politician.  He should have said that if there were any evidence, it should be turned over to the House since they are the only ones with the power to indict a sitting president. This whole fiasco would have become a stinky 3 minute fart rather than an 18 month clown show.

In reply to by Bay of Pigs

Arctic Frost swmnguy Sun, 06/03/2018 - 14:17 Permalink

 

Uhm, so what you’re saying is the Supreme Court, which IS the rule of law, will likely interpret the Constitution correctly and UPHOLD the portions of the constitution that speak to not allowing the President to be encumbered with frivolous, unfounded charges that render him unable to execute the charge of his office while he is a sitting President, even though those charges CAN be brought as soon as he steps down. So this RULING OF THE LAW would be uncomfortable for you? Tough shit, you live in America where the Constitution reigns supreme. Are you one of those that wants to toss the constitution into the garbage all based upon, but but but we may not be able to bring our OWN unjustified, frivolous, unfounded charges on Presidents we don’t agree with and are SUPER angry they got elected?

 

CONGRESS amassed a bunch of King-like powers for Bush and Obama, ignorantly. The Supreme Court does not give any powers to the President and I have no problem with that court being the final word. 

 

 

In reply to by swmnguy

norecovery Arctic Frost Sun, 06/03/2018 - 14:56 Permalink

So, you think it's all hunky-dory? You think it's OK for the Supreme Court to INSTALL a presidential candidate (GWB), thus subverting the election process? You think it's constitutional for the Pres to start wars since Congress subverted the constitution with passage of AUMF? You think it's OK for the gov't to spy on everybody and arbitrarily detain/kill citizens/NoFly List etc under NDAA? The Supreme Court is not authorized to merely rule on cases based on "the law" as created by the Congress, but rather on the validity of those laws UNDER the constitution. THEY OFTEN DON'T DO THAT because they are well-paid swamp creatures, too.

In reply to by Arctic Frost

InternetToughGuy swmnguy Sun, 06/03/2018 - 15:26 Permalink

The problem with the special prosecutor is that we have another constitutional crisis of an unelected official, answerable to no one, having unlimited prosecutorial powers.  Why should the president have to answer to such a person? From whence do his powers originate? 

Mueller should never have been appointed in the first place: there has never been shown any probable cause. The only thing this investigation has turned up has been abuse of power by the (((deep state))) FBI and DOJ.  The FBI was spying on the Trump campaign, and using false evidence to obtain FISA warrants; the Obambi admin was unmasking NSA info on persons in Trump campaign; the FBI was using informants to spy on Trump; etc.  When Trump accused the Obama admin of wiretapping him, the NYTimes and other (((medai))) laughed it off as another conspiracy. Now that Trump as again be proven correct, the media is spinning this illegal spy operation as benign information gathering! Nixon should have said that he was protecting McGovern from the Russians!

There have been just as many, if not more, connections to Russia in the Hillary campaign, but there was no spying on Hillary. Hillary's illegally stored emails were hacked by foreign nations, but there was no special prosecutor assigned to investigate that. 

The Strozk/Page texts even show that the Obambi whitehouse was overseeing the illegal spying on Trump. 

So we have probable cause to investigate Hillary and Obama, but nothing against Trump. So why is the unelected special prosecutor going after Trump?  To me the greater constitutional threat is that the (((deep state))) can create a phony cause for impeachment every time the people get lucky and elect an honest president. 

 

In reply to by swmnguy

swmnguy InternetToughGuy Sun, 06/03/2018 - 15:30 Permalink

I'm no fan of the Special Prosecutor idea, don't get me wrong.  There's never been a Special Prosecutor investigation that wasn't politically motivated in one way or another.

But I prefer the Special Prosecutor to a King.

I don't believe in the sanctity of any human hierarchical authority system.  That's why I prefer them all to be weak, and to all have oversight power over each other.  It leads to gridlock of course, but I prefer gridlock to Royalism.

In reply to by InternetToughGuy

Withdrawn Sanction Chupacabra-322 Sun, 06/03/2018 - 18:41 Permalink

"They need his testimony."

They do indeed.... in order to spring a perjury trap on him, just like they did w/General Flynn.    The tell is the fact that they rejected written responses to questions from the special counsel's office.   

Mueller is pure establishment filth.  He is an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks to collect a bill (just like he did in the Enron fiasco, 9/11, and the anthrax frame up).  

In reply to by Chupacabra-322

fleur de lis Yen Cross Sun, 06/03/2018 - 11:05 Permalink

Wake me up when Mueller goes after his friends for the 911 murder spree.

Or if he decides to investigate the murder of Sgt. Terry Yeakey.

But Mueller is a NWO crack ho -- and going after the killers would upset his pimps.

So he uses the FBI and DoJ like filthy Bolshevik terror squads.

They were not concerned about laws either, they just targeted and destroyed whomever they wanted with impunity.

He and his handlers should have to pay for this misuse of power with their own money.

 

 

In reply to by Yen Cross

Yen Cross fleur de lis Sun, 06/03/2018 - 11:17 Permalink

 Have you looked at the incestuous relationship between Comey and Fitzgerald?

 These clowns think that they are above the law, and so very violate the statutes they were sworn to protect.

   The rotten hydra head, needs to be chopped off. James Clapper is a fucking treasonous compulsive LIAR.

  He better have a legal team, because I'm speaking with some people that want him sealed in a cave.

In reply to by fleur de lis

fleur de lis Yen Cross Sun, 06/03/2018 - 11:24 Permalink

Just another day in DC Swampland.

They remind me of roach nests where the vermin are always nesting cozy cozy together until an opportunity arises that allows them to bug the s**t out of the rest of us.

And of course they produce nothing, and mooch off everybody else's work.

Except these DC Swamp roaches carry badges and guns.

Only the DC Swamp could produce such freaks. 

They are a step below regular six legged roaches.

At least those roaches are better behaved than their DC cousins.

 

 

In reply to by Yen Cross