Displaying items by tag: russia
Donald Trump’s lawyer, none other than former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani, said on the record very recently that Trump has the power to pardon himself. Despite that power, though, Giuliani says Trump likely won’t do so as it would probably lead to immediate impeachment. The statement falls in line with Trump’s argument that he cannot be charged with obstruction of justice because “he could, if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired” (quote form Trump’s legal team) based on the far-reaching pardoning powers of the US presidency.
FINSUM: From a legal perspective this is a quite an interesting question. But given the obvious political perils involved in exercising this theoretical power, we suspect this might be a moot point (but maybe not).
In what will likely lead to a sigh of relief from Congressional Republicans, Trump made clear yesterday that he will not take any action to shut down the DOJ investigation into his administration’s ties to Russia. The comments came shortly before the Senate judiciary committee passed a bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired. That bill has very little chance of becoming law, however, because of the composition of Congress and the position of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.
FINSUM: We think this is a very wise move from Trump. No only does it make him appear more innocent of any wrongdoing, but it also makes him look more committed to the investigative process.
Those close to Michael Cohen and the situation say that the lawyer seems poised to turn on his friend, Donald Trump, if put under pressure by investigators. At least that is what long-time Trump legal advisor, Jay Goldberg, is telling the president. Goldberg was a former prosecutor who has advised Trump since the 1990s. Trump reportedly called Goldberg asking for advice, and the Wall Street Journal quotes Goldberg as saying “On a scale of 100 to 1, where 100 is fully protecting the president, Mr. Cohen ‘isn’t even a 1,’”. He explained that if Goldberg were faced with criminal charges, he would tell all.
FINSUM: So it looks like Goldberg is going to tell all, but what nobody knows is how much of value he might really have to say.
One of the big overarching questions regarding the Mueller probe over the last few weeks has been two-part: will Trump try to fire Mueller, and will the Senate step in to protect Mueller from said firing. Well, one half of the answer is now clear. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has made clear that the Senate will take no action to protect Mueller from whatever moves Trump might make. McConnell said “I am the one who decides what we take to the floor … That’s my responsibility as majority leader. And we will not be having this on the floor of the Senate”.
FINSUM: The one Caveat here is that McConnell thought he said protecting Mueller was unnecessary because he did not believe Trump would try to fire him, which slightly leaves the door open to a change of position.
There is a lot of excitement and anxiety about the investigation into Michael Cohen, president Trump’s personal lawyer. Many fear that investigators may get him to spill all details about his dealings with Trump. The media has been hyping the idea, with magazines like Esquire saying “We can safely speculate that Cohen knows everything: the money, the scams, the women, the Russians. All of it”. However, Bloomberg reports that Cohen is not the biggest fish investigators could catch and that there are many close to Trump who know much more about his affairs than Cohen. In reality, another lawyer named Jason Greenblatt, who worked as in-house counsel for the Trump organization for almost 20 years, probably knows much more.
FINSUM: He may not know the most, but it seems like Cohen probably knows enough to get Trump in even hotter water.