The President’s tweeting should be read and evaluated as a component of his legal strategy.
Bob Bauer served as White House Counsel to President Obama, and returned to private practice as a partner at Perkins Coie in June 2011. In 2013, the President named Bob to be Co-Chair of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration. He is a Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at New York University School of Law, as well as the Co-Director of the university's Legislative and Regulatory Process Clinic.
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The president is subject to investigation and, if the evidence supports it, indictment.
James Comey's testimony portrays an administration confronted with a grave issue—the President’s failure to observe norms and institutional boundaries—but no apparently effective process or implementation of norms for dealing with the potential for reoccurrences.
Nothing in explicit terms about whether Trump engaged in obstruction of justice appears in Comey's written account. But there is something close to it—the intimation that the President’s expressed desire that Mr. Comey "let… go" of the Flynn investigation would require evaluation at some point in the future.
The President is lawyering up in response to the Russia investigation, and the personal defense will get in the way of the discharge of his duties. For Trump, the pressures to first save himself may prove overpowering.
As in the case of Watergate or the Kenneth Starr investigation of President Clinton, we presume that it is reasonable for President Trump to “lawyer up" in facing the Russia investigation. Yet Trump’s defense will present serious conflicts with his duties as President.
The President, through his Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is fighting again with the Office of Government Ethics (OGE). Will the House, the Senate, or both, look beyond the particulars of Russia probe into the basic question of how the Administration functions on rule of law issues?