Watch: Law Professor Explains Why Trump’s Not in Trouble for “Obstruction”
By Martin Lioll
on June 12, 2017
Ever since the firing of James Comey, the liberal media has been pushing the “obstruction of justice” narrative about President Donald Trump. However, one constitutional law professor just managed to shoot down that argument big league during an appearance on MSNBC.
It’s a shame Elizabeth Price Foley appeared on MSNBC on Sunday, when most of its liberal hipster audience is sleeping off a hangover. Foley, who is Harvard-educated and teaches law at Florida International University, told host Yasmin Vossoughian that Trump would have been within his rights to suggest to former FBI Director James Comey that the investigation into Michael Flynn be dropped.
“If the American people are unhappy with the way Trump acted,” Foley said, “their two options under our constitutional system are to push for impeachment or to vote somebody else into office in 2020.”
She said there were “many layers” to how the president handled the situation with James Comey and Michael Flynn.
“To the extent that people want try to make this obstruction of justice, there’s a million different layers why this is not technically obstruction of justice, either as a statutory matter or a constitutional matter,” Foley said.
“But this point, particularly about a ‘corrupt intent,’ is even worse. Because, think about it, the president also has the authority under Article II of the Constitution to pardon people, but we don’t say, for example, that the president can’t pardon a certain person because he has a corrupt intent, he likes the guy he’s known him for a long time, therefore he can’t pardon him.”
“The pardon power like the power to head the investigative, or the rest of the executive branch like the FBI, like the DOJ, is a plenary discretionary authority of the president. He can pardon anybody for any reason he wants, corrupt purpose or no, and he can direct the investigation or non-investigation of any person, corrupt motive or no,” she added.
“You don’t put discretionary limits on plenary constitutional authority, and if you, what you do is you invite Article III, non-elected non-accountable judges, to second-guess the president’s authority. You never want to have a constitutional regime that sets up that way. We the people can either not vote the president in the next election or we can impeach him, those are the political pushback mechanisms.”
Of course, the idea that it was actually the president’s intention to dissuade Comey from investigating Flynn is a matter of interpretation, but Foley’s appearance makes it clear that calling this obstruction of justice is a huge stretch.
Instead of looking for any possible reason to impeach, perhaps now is the time for the Democrats to face reality and realize that Donald Trump is our president, whether they like it or not. That’s not going to change just because of James Comey.