Writing and publishing “sloppy” tweets isn’t the only thing attorney John Dowd apparently does for his client, Donald Trump. The president’s personal lawyer also defending him against the most recent onslaught of news reports related to the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation. After all, with the president now claiming he had fired Michael Flynn for lying to Vice President Mike Pence, and that the former National Security Advisor’s plea deal didn’t prove his campaign’s collusion with Russia, it seem’s Dowd’s plate is quite full. Hence why he bluntly told Axios that Trump “cannot obstruct justice” because of the U.S. Constitution.
“[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,” Dowd explained to reporter Mike Allen. The lawyer brought up obstruction of justice specifically because, as indicated by his previous claims regarding Trump’s recent Flynn tweet, many believe the latter helps make the case for such a charge against the president. Obviously, Dowd disagrees. “The tweet did not admit obstruction. That is an ignorant and arrogant assertion.”
Even so, experts Allen spoke with — as well as plenty of credentialed (and otherwise) tweeters responding to Monday morning’s news — indicate a precedent exists for pursuing an obstruction of justice charge against a sitting president. President Obama’s former White House counsel, Bob Bauer, told Axios, “It is certainly possible for a president to obstruct justice.” Meanwhile, as Princeton University historian Kevin Kruse aptly pointed out on social media, “Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton each faced an article of impeachment based on obstruction of justice.”