On Saturday The New York Times published a twenty page confidential letter dated January 29th, 2018. The letter was hand delivered to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office sent from John Dowd, now resigned, and Jay Sekulow, President Trump’s legal counsel.
Below the January 29th letter, the Times, also published a letter dated June 23rd, 2017, again hand delivered to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, this time sent by former legal counsel for the President, Marc Kasowitz.
The first letter focuses on Mueller’s request to interview President Trump in order to close out his investigation into “alleged collusion and obstruction of justice,” while the second year old later focuses on “Governing Constitutional Principles.”
What the letters have in common, both attempt to discredit former FBI director James Comey, while at the same time relaying heavily on his words to defend the President’s actions in regards to if the President can in fact have committed obstruction of justice, by firing James Comey.
Both letters say no the President couldn’t have obstructed justice, “As all of the evidence demonstrates, every action that the President took was taken with full constitutional authority pursuant to Article II of the United States Constitution.”
Both letters, according to the Times are using “An outdated understanding of the law,” focusing solely on, “18 U.S. Code § 1505 – Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees,” (Cornell Law) arguing that the President could not have obstructed the FBI investigation because they are not considered to be covered by it, but that ignores “18 U.S. Code § 1512 – Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant,” (Cornell Law) enacted in 2002, “it criminalizes the corrupt impeding of proceedings even if they have not yet started—like the potential grand jury investigation an F.B.I. case can prompt.”
The January 29th letter differs from the summer letter in so far as the letter acknowledges for the first time, that President Trump did dictate the first statement provided to the Times, in regards to the Trump Tower Meeting, “It was a short introductory meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up. I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance, but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand.”
CNN has the five times the White House denied that President Trump was involved in that first statement in regards to the Trump Tower Meeting.
On Sunday lead attorney for President Trump, Rudy Giuliani went on This Week with George Stephanopolous to speak about the letter published in the Times, in the fourteen minute video he explains he believes the letter lays out a great legal argument, that a sitting President can’t be indicted, and that Mueller has a very high bar to reach in order to speak with President Trump.
At the ten minute and thirty-six second mark after Stephanopolous says, “you have no evidence that supports there was a spy inside Trump’s campaign.” Giuliani says, “No evidence, but I have tremendous suspicions.”
At the eleven minute and thirty five second mark Stephanoplous asks about the “shifting explanations,” in regards to the Trump Tower statement and how do “you answer for that?”
Giuliani says, “This is the reason you don’t let the President testify our recollection keeps changing or we aren’t even asked a question and somebody makes an assumption.”
Later on Sunday Rudy Giuliani told Huffing Post, that “I don’t know how you can indict while he’s in office. No matter what it is.” He explained that impeachment was the initial remedy for a president’s illegal behavior. He offered this hypothetical, “If he shot James Comey, he’d be impeached the next day. Impeach him, and then you can do whatever you want to do to him.”
Why It Matters
We are a nation of laws, as such, our President regardless of Party, Sex, Religion, or Race, cannot be above those laws.