Tierney Sneed reports on Trump’s latest obstruction of justice:
The Justice Department on Monday issued a legal opinion claiming that Congress could not compel former White House Counsel Don McGahn to testify about special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. The opinion was released not long after reports that the White House was planning to instruct McGahn to not comply with a House subpoena that he testify at a Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday.
The legal opinion can be found here and states in part:
Congress may not constitutionally compel the President’s senior advisors to testify about their official duties … This testimonial immunity is rooted in the constitutional separation of powers and derives from the President’s independence from Congress.
What an incredibly arrogant canard! McGahn is being asked to testify to Congress about what is clearly obstruction of justice – a crime. How is that an official duty of the White House? Oh wait – the Trump White House is nothing but a den of organized crime so maybe he sees committing crimes as one of his official duties!
Trump already waived the right to stop McGahn from testifying back in January of this year. This was done to make the argument “that Trump himself need not testify because any information he could convey would now be “practically available from another source. Trump allowed McGahn to testify for over 30 hours about confidential conversations, “waiving” any potential executive privilege.”
Trump waived his right to executive privilege with regard to McGahn. Also,former officials are not formally subject to the direction of the president or other superior executive branch officials, nor are they are subject to termination for defiance of a superior’s order.
There are others here who can answer this question better than I. Here is one article on the topic. It is complicated and convoluted enough to require several readings and an expert opinion beyond my layman’s court knowledge. https://www.lawfareblog.com/executive-privilege-and-compelled-testimony-presidential-advisers-don-mcgahns-dilemma
Starting impeachment proceedings would moot what the president proclaims.
The gist of the law fare article and of another article by the same author cited within it is that, aside from U.S. v.Nixon, there are really no precedents on the question of executive privilege and that the history of the conflict has been a series of thrusts and parries by many administrations, Republican and Democratic, that have been resolved by negotiations or sheer lapse of time leading to abandonment. The latter is the probable game plan of the Trump administration.
“aside from U.S. v.Nixon, there are really no precedents on the question of executive privilege”.
Aside from U.S. v. Nixon? This 8-0 decision is THE precedent. Of course I’m assuming Trump’s obstruction is far worse than Nixon’s, which strikes me as rather obvious.
Just so you are up to speed, Jack is a former Litigation Attorney. I usually ask him questions.
Trumps position is a bit unfair since the Republicans are calling witnesses on how Hillary ended up buying dirt from Russians and slipping the dirt to the FBI. What if Hillary told her legal team not to talk about how they paid for the dirt.
The return of Trump troll Matt Young treats us to even more lies from Herr Leader! Clinton did not buy anything from the Russians but leave it to Barr to waste FBI resources on this right wing charade!
I said “aside from U.S. v. Nixon” because the court in that unanimous opinion, created a balancing test that was rather vague as applied to any matter that did not involve criminal prosecution or investigation (in that case by the special counsel, not a congressional committee). It did acknowledge executive privilege but downplayed claims not based on national security or classified information. There is not a body of precedent helping to put definition on the application of the privilege.
“rather vague as applied to any matter that did not involve criminal prosecution or investigation (in that case by the special counsel, not a congressional committee).”
Have you read the Mueller report? Everyone else who has read it realizes that he noted many instances of obstruction of justice. While he was not allowed to prosecute, we are talking about crimes. But dance around this – Rudy G. certainly will.
The baseline for this is a report from a special counsel who did not reach a finding that any action involving Don McGahn and the President was criminal. He tried to waft smoke across that by invoking a made-up fairness principle, but it is easy to see through that weak ruse. Considering obstruction was fundamental to his appointment. It is not as if this special counsel was a particularly meek and timid man as he found the energy to prosecute crimes not involving Russians years prior to Trump standing for the 2016 election. The Congress can decide if singing in the shower is an impeachable high crime or misdemeanor, but the actions described in Volume II do not describe a federally chargeable criminal offense.
we reap what we sow.
we have stood around for decades and allowed the Constitutions protections against the rise of tyrannic concentrations of power to be eroded by “clever” but transparent weasel wording that “prove” black is white, war is peace,… and prosecution of individuals not liked by the hard right to amount to lynch law. not to mention complete abandonment of reasonable restraint upon the police, or any decency in whom prosecutors choose to prosecute and sentences hand down by judges.
i date this back to vietnam… though it goes back much further… not so much because the abuses of and by the law were so much in evidence, but because…for the first time in my life anyway, the American people accepted routine killing of civilians as a matter of war policy.