In the zeal to prosecute President Donald Trump, the special counsel may not encroach upon the Constitution. Recently, a confidential letter Trump’s legal team sent to Special Counsel Robert Mueller in January was leaked. The letter was a response to Mueller’s request to question the President about his possible obstruction of justice. No dice, explained Trump’s team, but did agree to provide written answers to any questions Mueller’s team provided.
Of course, this made liberals apoplectic, but Trump’s lawyers made the argument that the President of the United States has broad authority under the Constitution to supervise investigations (or terminate any investigation). After all, he is the head of the Department of Justice. Specifically, they say, “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.”And guess what? In spite of all the overreaction on the left, his attorneys are absolutely right.
Trump can absolutely terminate any investigation. He can direct the Attorney General to stop an investigation. Since Jeff Sessions has recused himself, he could direct Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein to end the investigation. If Rosenstein refuses, he could fire Rosenstein and hire a Deputy Attorney General who will. (Or, he could fire Sessions and hire an Attorney General who will not recuse, then direct him or her to terminate.)
In other words, he has the authority to end these investigations. Period. Full stop.
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Image Credit: President Donald Trump renders honors during the 136th Coast Guard Academy commencement exercise in New London, Conn., May 17, 2017. The ceremony was the president’s first service academy graduation as commander in chief. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.