We have yet to hear from the Justice Department on whether or not Trump can be indicted for obstruction of justice. Remember that Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III has recused himself from the case so of course he’s not going to say anything publicly, but he’s certainly made his views known in the past about a president’s criminal liability, so we can rest assured that he will be consistent in his opinion.
Donald Trump’s personal lawyer argued Monday that, as the nominal head of federal law enforcement, the president is legally unable to obstruct justice. But the exact opposite view was once argued by another senior Trump lawyer: Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
In 1999, Sessions – then an Alabama senator – laid out an impassioned case for President Bill Clinton to be removed from office based on the argument that Clinton obstructed justice amid the investigation into his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
“The facts are disturbing and compelling on the President’s intent to obstruct justice,” he said, according to remarks in the congressional record.
Sessions isn’t alone. More than 40 current GOP members of Congress voted for the impeachment or removal of Clinton from office for obstruction of justice. They include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – who mounted his own passionate appeal to remove Clinton from office for obstruction of justice – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, who was a House member at the time.
In all, 17 sitting senators supported the obstruction of justice charge against Clinton in 1998 and 1999.
“The chief law officer of the land, whose oath of office calls on him to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, crossed the line and failed to defend the law, and, in fact, attacked the law and the rights of a fellow citizen,” Sessions said during Clinton’s trial in the Senate, two months after he was impeached by the House. “Under our Constitution, equal justice requires that he forfeit his office.”
So if that was the case then — Clinton HAD to be impeached — the same standard should be applied to Trump, right?
Of course not. It’s totally different. Y’see, Trump’s a Republican. Case closed. Move along.