Donald Trump‘s lawyers have submitted multiple memos to special counsel Robert Mueller suggesting that the president should not be the focus of the wide-ranging investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
One memo argues that the president did not obstruct justice when he fired former FBI Director James Comey in early May, according to an anonymously-sourced report in the Wall Street Journal.
That memo seemingly relies upon the unitary executive theory, which holds that the president has the ability to control the entirety of the executive branch. Trump’s lawyers argue that the president has the constitutional authority to hire and fire at will and therefore any such personnel decisions cannot rise to the crime of obstruction of justice. This memo is also said to have been bolstered with case law citing precedents which show Trump did not obstruct justice.
An additional memo is said to argue that Comey himself should not be relied on as a witness due to his past erratic behavior. According to Trump’s lawyers, the former head of the FBI tends to exaggerate, has not been credible during congressional testimony and was the source of leaks to the media. Trump has accused Comey of lying to Congress before and Comey admittedly leaked internal FBI memoranda in response to Trump’s infamous tweet about non-existent “tapes”.
Trump’s attorneys apparently submitted their memos to Mueller over the course of multiple meetings that have been held with the special counsel since he was appointed by the Department of Justice on May 17 of this year.
Apparently Trump’s lawyers hoped those memos would quickly end any and all investigations into allegations that the president obstructed justice with the Comey firing.
Mueller physically accepted the memos, but has thus far declined to respond to their substance.
[image via screengrab]