Overnight The Washington Post published a bombshell report: President Donald Trump, in an effort to ensure his re-election, has been directing aides to break the law to get his border wall built. Trump has ordered White House aides to “fast-track billions of dollars’ worth of construction contracts,” and “aggressively seize private land and disregard environmental rules,” according to the Post, so he can fulfill a campaign promise.
To make matters worse Trump “also has told worried subordinates that he will pardon them of any potential wrongdoing should they have to break laws to get the barriers built quickly.”
Legal experts are weighing in n the news and they agree: Trump’s actions are illegal and impeachable.
The White House, in an effort to minimize the damage, has said the President was only joking when he told aides to break the law so he could cinch re-election.
Joking or not, Trump is “directing them to violate law,” as Georgetown Law Professor Marty Lederman notes:
Allegations by "several" witnesses that Trump directs officials to act unlawfully to increase his electoral prospects & implies he'll pardon them. WH spokesperson response is that the pardon bit was a joke–i.e., he's directing them to violate law *without* a prospect of pardon.
— Marty Lederman (@marty_lederman) August 28, 2019
Don Moynihan, a professor at Georgetown and visiting professor at Oxford notes that “Trump preemptively promising public employees a pardon makes clear that he knows what he asking them to do is illegal.”
Trump preemptively promising public employees a pardon makes clear that he knows what he asking them to do is illegal. Not a consitututional scholar here, but that seems pretty impeachable behavior. https://t.co/Pkp7gbjNHP pic.twitter.com/zIZgpKW60q
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) August 28, 2019
Ryan Goodman, a Chaired Professor NYU Law and a former Special Counsel at the Dept.of Defense offers a one-word response: “Impeachable.”
“When aides have suggested that some of his orders are illegal or unworkable, Trump has suggested he would pardon the officials if they would just go ahead….
‘Don’t worry, I’ll pardon you,’ he has told officials in meetings about the wall.”https://t.co/UlYhMVFhVf
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) August 28, 2019
Brendan Nyhan, a professor of government at Dartmouth College says this is “How the rule of law dies.”
How the rule of law dies: the President "has told worried subordinates that he will pardon them of any potential wrongdoing should they have to break laws" https://t.co/IYfrq2Pj2N
— Brendan Nyhan (@BrendanNyhan) August 28, 2019
Jonathan H. Adler, a law professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law looks back to America’s founding and adds:
This was actually why the pardon power was controversial and opposed by some Anti-Federalists https://t.co/zcPRs9IeN8
— Jonathan H. Adler (@jadler1969) August 28, 2019
Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe offers a two-word description: “impeachable bribery.”
Trump’s offer to pardon lawbreaking aides who seize property illegally to build his wall by Election Day is impeachable bribery. He says it’s a big joke. The joke’s on him. @SpeakerPelosi @RepJerryNadler @RepRaskin https://t.co/eXqx5tbx0K
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) August 28, 2019
Former Nixon Nixon White House Counsel John Dean gets very specific: “conspiracy to defraud the government and obstruct justice.”
If Trump’s telling aides to break the law, he will pardon them, it’s a conspiracy to defraud the government and obstruct justice in violation of 18 USC 371 not to mention an impeachable violation of his oath of office. Congress should pass a RES saying NO! https://t.co/2HgknKNOpT
— John Dean (@JohnWDean) August 28, 2019
People close to Giuliani are advising him to hire a criminal lawyer: CNN reporter
After two business associates of Rudy Giuliani were arrested, it was revealed federal investigators were looking into the finances of Giuliani to see the degree to which he was involved financially with Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. Now, those close to Giuliani are urging him to hire a criminal attorney to handle possible charges.
"Rudy Giuliani is parting ways with the personal attorney representing him so far in matters related to the impeachment inquiry," tweeted CNN's Shimon Prokupecz. "Giuliani confirmed to CNN Tuesday that his current attorney, Jon Sale, is ending his representation of the former New York City mayor shortly."
Trump trade adviser busted for making up ‘whimsical pen name’ to quote himself in his books for years
A senior economic and trade advisor to President Donald Trump has been busted for making up a person he can quote in his books and to justify his policies.
A shocking expose in The Chronicle of Higher Education revealed that Peter Navarro invented the name "Ron Vara," an anagram for Navarro, to justify his own opinions in his books.
The so-called Ron Vara has strong opinions, fortune-cookie-style quotes and an elaborate back story as "a military veteran and Harvard-trained economist who made seven figures in the stock market by investing in companies that do well during international crises," the report said.
Trump’s ‘diplomacy of narcissism’ is the most damaging attack on US credibility in history: career diplomat
In an op-ed for Foreign Affairs this Monday, former career Foreign Service officer and president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, William J. Burns, argues that President Trump has headed the biggest attack on US diplomacy that he's seen in his entire career.
"The contemptible mistreatment of Marie Yovanovitch—the ambassador to Ukraine who was dismissed for getting in the way of the president’s scheme to solicit foreign interference in U.S. elections—is just the latest example of President Donald Trump’s dangerous brand of diplomatic malpractice," Burns writes. "His is a diplomacy of narcissism, bent on advancing private interests at the expense of our national interests."