Schumer: Trump lawyers’ argument that he can’t obstruct justice would be valid in a dictatorship

Schumer: Trump lawyers’ argument that he can’t obstruct justice would be valid in a dictatorship
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerManchin on reported boos at Democratic luncheon: 'I heard a lot of nos' Wisconsin GOP quietly prepares Ron Johnson backup plans Senate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session MORE (D-N.Y.) on Saturday compared an argument made by President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Gosar's siblings pen op-ed urging for his resignation: 'You are immune to shame' Sunday shows - Delta variant, infrastructure dominate MORE's legal team to one that would be valid in a dictatorship.

A letter obtained by The New York Times and published Saturday revealed that Trump's lawyers sent a confidential letter to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE in January, arguing that the president could not have possibly obstructed justice because he has constitutional authority over all federal investigations. 

“This would be a valid legal argument — if our government were a dictatorship,” Schumer tweeted. “Fortunately, we are a government of laws, not men. And in America, no one is above the law, including the president.”

In his tweet, Schumer linked to the The New York Times article that featured the letter. According to the 20-page note, the Constitution gives Trump the broad authority to, "if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon."


The letter also said Trump doesn’t have to be interviewed by investigators.

For months, Mueller’s team has been working to get an interview with Trump for his investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Trump’s lawyers have been reluctant to agree to an interview for fear that the president might incriminate himself.

Mueller has considered subpoenaing Trump for an interview, a possibility Trump’s legal team has been preparing for.

The president has repeatedly stressed that his campaign did not collude with the Russians during the 2016 presidential election and has called for Mueller’s investigation to end on numerous occasions, dubbing the probe a "witch hunt."