Mueller: ‘Congress Can Validly Regulate’ Trump’s Actions to Prohibit Obstruction of Justice
A new revelation from Robert Mueller‘s findings shows that the special counsel believes that Congress has the green light to investigate President Donald Trump for possible obstruction of justice.
Part of Mueller’s report examines the broad discretion and Constitutional authority presidents have in directing investigations, but Congress has the authority to review those who Trump appoints to enact laws and supervise federal investigations. However, “when the President’s official actions come into conflict with the prohibitions in the obstruction statutes, any constitutional tension is reconciled through separation-of-powers analysis.”
From page 169:
Applying the Court’s framework for analysis, we concluded that Congress can validly regulate the President’s exercise of official duties to prohibit actions motivated by a corrupt intent to obstruct justice. The limited effect on presidential power that results from that restriction would not impermissibly undermine the President’s ability to perform his Article II functions.
While the report acknowledges the argument from Trump’s legal team that his authority to fire investigative officials “cannot constitutionally constitute obstruction of justice,” it also notes that “no Department of Justice position or Supreme Court precedent directly resolved this issue.”
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