Speed Reads


Trump's lawyer argues that Trump cannot obstruct justice, period

John Dowd, President Trump's personal lawyer and the purported ghostwriter of a Trump tweet that suggests Trump obstructed justice in the federal investigation of his campaign's ties to Russia, has a novel legal theory that surely would have been welcomed by Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon: 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 tried out his argument on Axios chief Mike Allen, and also defended the tweet he says he wrote, insisting that it "did not admit obstruction. That is an ignorant and arrogant assertion."

The House impeached Clinton and was set to impeach Nixon for obstruction of justice and other perceived "high crimes." The Republican-led House hasn't demonstrated any appetite to prosecute Trump, but Special Counsel Robert Mueller is moving fast in his investigation, and "Trump's legal team is clearly setting the stage to say the president cannot be charged with any of the core crimes discussed in the Russia probe: collusion and obstruction," Allen says. "Presumably, you wouldn't pre-emptively make these arguments unless you felt there was a chance charges are coming."