If you remember back 150 years ago, candidate Donald Trump bragged he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any support. Well as an update on that charming idea. Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, says the President could shoot the FBI director in the Oval Office and NOT be prosecuted for it. Giuliani told HuffPost on Sunday,
“In no case can he be subpoenaed or indicted. I don’t know how you can indict while he’s in office. No matter what it is.“
The remedy for a president’s illegal behavior say Guiliani is impeachment ― even in the extreme hypothetical case of Trump having shot Comey to end the Russia investigation rather than just firing him…
“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.”
Norm Eisen, White House ethics lawyer under President Obama, said the goofyness of Giuliani’s claim shows how mistaken he is about presidential power.
“A president could not be prosecuted for murder? Really? It is one of many absurd positions that follow from their argument. It is self-evidently wrong.
The foundation of America is that no person is above the law. A president can under extreme circumstances be indicted, but we’re facing extreme circumstances.”
This all just a day after The New York Times revealed that Trump’s lawyers made their case to special counsel Robert Mueller in January that Trump couldn’t have obstructed justice because as POTUS he can shut down any investigation at any time. Jay Sekulow and John Dowd wrote in a 20-page letter. (Dowd has since left the legal team.)
“He could, if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired.”
The letter also admits that Trump “dictated” a statement that was then released by his son, Donald Trump Jr., regarding a meeting held at Trump Tower in June 2016 between top Trump campaign officials and Russians with links to that country’s spy agencies and Vladimir Putin himself.
Both Sekulow and WH press secretary Sarah Sanders claimed previously that Trump had NOT dictated the statement. Yesterday Sanders typically referred questions about the matter to Trump’s outside legal team.
Giuliani said he has so far met with Trump about 10 times and spoken to him on the phone another 40 or so times, totaling at least 75 hours of conversation. He’s taken on the case for free saying,
“I’m not billing by the hour, otherwise I could tell you exactly.”
Trump says tire’s no collusion (about every other tweet) but so far Mueller’s investigation has resulted in
5 guilty pleas of five people (including three former Trump campaign staffers) and 14 indictments including Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. A related investigation is examining the dealings of longtime Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who has agreed to cooperate in that probe and plead to New York state charges.
Just another case where the POTUS and his team say weirder and weirder shit just to get us used to it, so when when something REALLY fucked up happens, our tolerance is built up.