A leaked memo obtained by the New York Times lays out President Trump’s defiant response to the Mueller investigation, claiming the president can’t be charged for his possible crimes because he’s the president.
The memo was promptly destroyed on MSNBC by Nick Akerman, who was an assistant Watergate prosecutor. Akerman said Trump is surrounded by terrible legal talent and that his argument sounds like something that would be claimed by the British King who inspired the American Revolution.
“First of all, the whole idea that he can’t be charged with obstruction of justice—the last time that ever happened in this country is when we were ruled by King George. That’s what the whole rule of law is about. The president has to faithfully execute the laws. If it he winds up having the corrupt intent to put the kibosh to an investigation, that’s obstruction of justice. If I advise someone to take the fifth amendment that’s fine. But if I do it with the corrupt intent to cover up crimes I committed, that’s obstruction of justice. That applies to the president. The U.S. Supreme Court said no man is above the law.”
Former U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade agreed the memo was full of substandard legal reasoning and was unlikely to influence Mueller. Then she asked why this document has been released.
“Whenever there’s a leak, I ask myself, who might have had a motive and what purpose,” she said. “It may be that Trump’s legal team isn’t interested in convincing Mueller but in getting this conversation out in the public arena.”
Trump had accused his own justice department of the leak in a tweet.
There was No Collusion with Russia (except by the Democrats). When will this very expensive Witch Hunt Hoax ever end? So bad for our Country. Is the Special Counsel/Justice Department leaking my lawyers letters to the Fake News Media? Should be looking at Dems corruption instead?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 2, 2018
“It seems that, especially with such flimsy legal arguments, the audience isn’t so much Mueller and his team but the public and those who might be sympathetic to President Trump,” she said.
“They’re just trying to put up a bunch of flimflam. Donald Trump is just a flimflam artist trying to sell more snake oil, and this is another way to package the same snake oil he’s been selling to the public through Rudy Giuliani for the last week,” said Akerman.
Watch the full segment below.