President Donald Trump’s latest legal defense is “poppycock,” a legal analyst explained on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell.
Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal joined O’Donnell to explain the legal intricacies.
“Let me get your reaction to the president’s statement in that tweet he could have fired Robert Mueller himself without don mcgahn and there would be no problem, no obstruction of justice,” O’Donnell explained.
“And let me just add to that, because within the last hour, he told Sean Hannity this,” O’Donnell noted. “He said, ‘I could have fired everybody. I could have fired Mueller. I could have fired anybody that I wanted to fire, Article II — fired nobody other than Comey and very interesting that was early and people don’t talk about that.'”
“Your reaction to the president saying not only could he have fired Robert Mueller, he could have fired anybody — and that would be totally legal,” O’Donnell said.
“Yeah, the technical legal term for that, as I’ve said before, is poppycock,” Katyal replied.
“This is such a bad legal argument, I don’t think you would get a single serious Constitutional scholar to agree with it,” he continued.
“And here’s why. Of course, the president has the ability to fire people in his cabinet,” he explained. “Yes, just as you and I have the right to throw our laptops away in the garbage. But we don’t have that right if we know the FBI is about to knock on our door under a warrant and get it. You can’t destroy your laptop and similarly, you can’t fire someone for improper motive.”
“So yes, the president generally has that power, but specifically here he does not because — the Mueller report is devastating on this, page after page showing he did this to effectively obstruct justice,” Katyal added.