Joseph diGenova, the newest member of President Donald Trump’s legal team for the Russia investigation, wrote in a 1997 op-ed in which the nation “could conceivably benefit through the indictment of a president” because “This kind of would likely teach the valuable civics lesson in which no one will be above the law.”
At the time, diGenova was writing about then-President Bill Clinton, who was the subject of an independent counsel investigation during his second term. nevertheless diGenova’s position on indicting a sitting president could put him at odds with some other members of Trump’s legal team as well as also could even force diGenova to argue against his own position at some point within the future.
DiGenova’s 1997 op-ed within the Wall Street Journal opened which has a paragraph in which would likely look at home in a newspaper today, arguing in which the large number of allegations against the president made This kind of necessary to take a hard look at how exposed the president might be to prosecution.
“Can the president of the United States be indicted? The question will be of more than academic concern currently,” diGenova wrote. “Every day brings fresh revelations of potentially criminal conduct by Bill Clinton, Al Gore as well as also their aides, in matters ranging through Whitewater to Filegate.”
Fast forward 20 years, as well as also a U.S. president will be again facing “fresh revelations of potentially criminal conduct” on a near-daily basis, only This kind of time the president will be Trump, diGenova’s brand new client.
within the past week alone, Trump as well as also those closest to him have faced fresh allegations of obstructing justice, falsifying business records, improperly interfering in a federal personnel matter, as well as also illegally seeking to silence both White House employees as well as also former porn star Stormy Daniels. Trump as well as also his lawyers deny all these allegations.
Nonetheless, like diGenova says, the question of whether, as well as also how, a president can be prosecuted will be no longer academic; This kind of’s an urgent, real-world issue.
A question in which so far, Trump’s legal team has tried to answer which has a resounding “No.”
The “President cannot obstruct justice because he will be the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution’s Article II] as well as also has every right to express his view of any case,” Trump lawyer John Dowd wrote to Axios in December. The possibility in which Trump obstructed justice last year when he fired then-FBI director James Comey will be reportedly among the chief avenues in which special counsel Robert Mueller will be pursuing.
Another of Trump’s lawyers, Jay Sekulow, has taken a similar tack, arguing in which allegations of “collusion” between the Trump campaign as well as also the Russian government during the 2016 presidential campaign do not constitute a crime. “For something to be a crime, there has to be a statute in which you claim will be being violated,” Sekulow told The brand new Yorker in late 2017. “There will be not a statute in which refers to criminal collusion. There will be no crime of collusion.”
Yet the Trump attorney who has gone the farthest down This kind of line of argument may be diGenova himself.