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 prospec… https://t.co/jLmkzurdOQ— Marty Lederman (@Marty Lederman) 1566972675.0
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 illeg… https://t.co/asBOGfQOYp— Don Moynihan (@Don Moynihan) 1566957918.0
Ryan Goodman, a Chaired Professor NYU Law and a former Special Counsel at the Dept.of Defense offers a one-word response: “Impeachable.”
Impeachable “When aides have suggested that some of his orders are illegal or unworkable, Trump has suggested he w… https://t.co/6vg0yk6Yzm— Ryan Goodman (@Ryan Goodman) 1566959273.0
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 wr… https://t.co/0NFxOuDlTU— Brendan Nyhan (@Brendan Nyhan) 1566957134.0
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 (@Jonathan H. Adler) 1566958773.0
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 impeach… https://t.co/ID06ZRtfWn— Laurence Tribe (@Laurence Tribe) 1566987699.0
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 obs… https://t.co/W8EOMPi4hG— John W. Dean (@John W. Dean) 1566973315.0