In the January 29 letter, Sekulow and Dowd - who has since resigned from Trump's legal team - attack the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice over their "corruption" and suggest the president would not agree to testify unless the special counsel's team can "demonstrate with specificity why it is likely that the subpoenaed materials [here, his testimony] contain important evidence and why this evidence, or equivalent evidence, is not practically available from another source".
ABC News reporter Tara Palermi said Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor now working on Trump's team, confirmed that the letter published by the Times still represents their legal strategy. Those include whether a president can be forced to answer questions from prosecutors, whether it's possible for a commander in chief to criminally interfere in investigations and whether a president's broad pardon power can be deployed for corrupt purposes.
Trump has issued two unrelated pardons in recent days and discussed others, a move that has been interpreted as a possible signal to allies ensnared in the Russian Federation probe. Among those areas of interest is Mr. Trump's reaction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to recuse himself in the Russian Federation investigation.
David Sklansky, who teaches criminal law at Stanford, told us it is simply not accurate for the president to claim that the appointment of Mueller was unconstitutional.
The legal maneuvering comes as Trump tries repeatedly to undercut the investigation.
Trump has already proved willing to break from protocol through granting pardons outside the Justice Department's pardon attorney, which historically reviews clemency petitions and makes recommendations on worthy candidates.
"He could, if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired". And one of the articles of impeachment prepared against President Richard Nixon in 1974 was for obstruction.More news: International Friendly Report: England v Nigeria 02 June 2018
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They suggest, as president, Trump can not obstruct justice since he has the authority to terminate the investigation and use his pardon power "if he so desired".
U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the U.S. Coast Guard Change-of-Command ceremony at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2018.
Trump's lawyers also argued that the president could not have obstructed justice by firing Comey several months later.
A North Korean security agent stands still as President Donald Trump, right, looks on after a meeting with Kim Yong Chol, a former North Korean military intelligence chief and one of leader Kim Jong Un's closest aides, at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Friday.
If the president does not consent to an interview and Mueller instead subpoenas him, the interpretation of executive powers by Trump's lawyers would likely be tested in court if they made a decision to fight the subpoena.
Schatz responded to the news hours later, tweeting: "When the President does it, that means it's not illegal". "Should have told me!"