Trump’s lawyers argued executive privilege in attempt to head off risky Mueller subpoena: NY Times

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Donald Trump’s lawyers have been arguing for months that absolute presidential power could limit the ability of special counsel Robert Mueller to make the president answer questions in the investigation into whether he obstructed justice, the New York Times reported Saturday.

The lawyers, in the confidential letter sent to Mueller, asserted that Trump cannot be compelled to testify. Further, he could not possibly have committed obstruction because he has unfettered authority over all federal investigations.

The 20-page letter obtained by the Times contends that the president cannot illegally obstruct any aspect of the investigation into Russia’s election meddling because the Constitution empowers him to, “if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.”

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Analysts say it is a broad interpretation of executive authority and may force a Supreme Court ruling.

The letter, from January, was written by two of the president’s lawyers at the time, John Dowd and Jay Sekulow. Dowd no longer works for the president.

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Trump tweeted Saturday afternoon about the same time the article hit.

Trump’s lawyers, including Rudy Giuliani, have shown concerns that if he answers questions, either voluntarily or in front of a grand jury, he risks exposing himself to accusations of lying to investigators, a potential crime or impeachable offense.