Former acting United States Solicitor General Walter Dellinger on Tuesday shot down the notion that the president cannot obstruct justice, calling it “the lamest argument I have ever heard.”
Dellinger, who on Monday wrote a New York Times op-ed insisting a sitting president can be indicted on criminal charges, was speaking with CNN’s Don Lemon about the most recent defense set forth by attorneys representing the president in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Several month before he abruptly resigned from his role leading Trump’s legal team, attorney John Dowd argued the president “cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer” of the United States.
“Does that argument hold water, do you think,” Lemon asked.
“I’m holding water now, and the answer is no,” Dillinger joked. “The answer is absolutely no. That is the lamest argument that I have—that I have ever heard. A president has the power to appoint people, to fire people, but he can’t do it for a corrupt reason without triggering criminal liability.”
“A president who takes a bribe in order to appoint someone or fire someone is guilty of bribery and a president who fires someone for a corrupt motive can be guilty of obstruction,” he added.
Watch below, via CNN: