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Opinion
Timothy L. O'Brien

Trump’s Lawyers Say He Is the Law

The public may be forced to choose whether they favor a presidency without limits.

The president’s lawyers and allies are asserting that he can swing a scythe across law enforcement institutions that might constrain or restrain him.

The president’s lawyers and allies are asserting that he can swing a scythe across law enforcement institutions that might constrain or restrain him.

Photographer: Jim Lo Scalzo/AFP/Getty Images

On Saturday, the New York Times published two confidential memos President Donald Trump’s legal team sent to Special Counsel Robert Mueller last year and earlier this year. The memos argue, among other things, that one facet of the Justice Department’s investigation of Trump – whether the president tried to obstruct the probe itself – isn’t viable because the president has such broad constitutional authority to end the investigation or pardon those targeted by it that presidential obstruction simply can’t exist.

The first memo, written shortly after Mueller’s appointment, offers an almost unfettered view of some of the powers the nation’s chief law enforcement official enjoys: