Instead of write memos, isn't it time for Trump to just fire the Special Counsel?
President Trump's legal team put out a 20-page memo to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in what the New York Times reported was a last-ditch effort to head off an unprecedented subpoena. The Times reports:
WASHINGTON — President Trump’s lawyers have for months quietly waged a campaign to keep the special counsel from trying to force him to answer questions in the investigation into whether he obstructed justice, asserting that he cannot be compelled to testify and arguing in a confidential letter that he could not possibly have committed obstruction because he has unfettered authority over all federal investigations.
In a brash assertion of presidential power, the 20-page letter — sent to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and obtained by The New York Times — contends that the president cannot illegally obstruct any aspect of the investigation into Russia’s election meddling because the Constitution empowers him to, “if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.”
[Read the Trump lawyers’ confidential memo to Mr. Mueller here.]
Mr. Trump’s lawyers fear that if he answers questions, either voluntarily or in front of a grand jury, he risks exposing himself to accusations of lying to investigators, a potential crime or impeachable offense.
The Times dryly notes that the legal approach is, well, 'novel' while the rest of the left is yelling about the dawn of "tyranny." Get a load of the hysteria at Vox, for example.
In reality, what the Trump team is saying makes perfect sense. A president can get rid of a Special Counsel any time he likes, because it's a power well within his executive powers. So, the fact that the Special Counsel - who has no evidence anyone in the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to steal the election from Hillary Clinton - is still out to Get Trump pretty well amounts to a matter of setting a legal trap for him and charging him with perjury in some way, no matter what Trump tells them.
That's what's brought on this legal reasoning, cited by Business Insider here:
According to legal experts, by far the most striking argument in the memo was one which said Trump's actions, "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."
The Times says he's doing this because he fears a legal trap, a pretext for charging Trump with lying to investigators, which presumably will be cause to call in the sheriff and handcuff him on out of the White House.
It makes sense that they are concerned about this scenario, which in fact would be the real negation of democracy and the will of the voters. Hauling off the president on a stupid legal trap set for him obliterates the will of the voters and amounts to the triumph of the Deep State with all its legal trickery. And don't think it's not Mueller's preferred tactic. He's done it already with Michael Flynn and George Papadoupoulos as well as some bit players (there probably is some merit to the Manafort case but it doesn't have anything to do with the original collusion charge), and in the absence of a big 'get' is busy charging them with lying to investigators, which is what justifies his witch hunt and makes people think that something is there. He can't get them on substance, so he's getting them on legal traps. And, the Times notes that Trump's team sees a new legal trap with this subpoena threat. Rest assured, if Trump testifies before Mueller, he too will be charged with lying to investigators - no matter what he tells them.
Nevertheless, the way the argument is framed looks funny. To say a president can't obstruct justice is not the point, given the protection the Obama administration gave to the illegal activities at the EPA, the IRS, the FBI, and the State Department, to take but a few examples. Obama most certainly obstructed the course of justice at those agencies. Yet it's utterly true that President Trump can shut down this Special Counsel clown show any time he wants.
The memo was written in January, and obviously, someone close to it - Mueller? - leaked it to the Times.
Instead of writing such memos, brimming with huffing and puffing about presidential powers and legalese about obstruction of justice, why not just give Mueller a real cause to either do his business or get off the pot? Just shut the whole Mueller farce down and let the Democrats holler.