FRED WERTHEIMER’S WEEKLY NOTE | MAY 3, 2018
“The President’s effort to interfere with a criminal investigation of his own activities is like the behavior of despots all over the world who believe they are above the law.”
President Donald Trump, Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) are colluding to obstruct and potentially give Trump control over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s criminal investigation, which Trump is a subject of.
Meadows and Jordan have threatened to file articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein if he does not let them access documents relating to the Special Counsel’s investigation of the President and his associates.
This was followed by the President attacking the Justice Department for not turning over the documents to Meadows and Jordan and tweeting, “At some point I will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the Presidency and get involved!”
The Justice Department’s longstanding position that “congressional inquiries pertaining to ongoing criminal investigations threaten the integrity of those investigations” is all the more important when Members of Congress appear to be acting on behalf of the subject of an active investigation, such as President Trump.
The reckless attempt by the President, assisted by his two helpers in the House, to thwart a criminal investigation involving his own activities constitutes gross abuse of office and an attack on the rule of law.
Furthermore, this appears to be a set up that would allow President Trump to improperly order Rosenstein to turn over the documents to Meadows and Jordan, and then to fire him when he refuses to do so. This would give Trump the ability to put his own loyalist into Rosenstein’s position as the ultimate decision maker in the Special Counsel investigation.
The President’s effort to interfere with a criminal investigation of his own activities is like the behavior of despots all over the world who believe they are above the law.
The President is not above the law, and he must not prevail.
Fred Wertheimer is the Founder and President of Democracy 21, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to strengthen our democracy and ensure the integrity and fairness of government decisions and elections.