But as much as the president’s legal team foreshadowed this contention, it was nonetheless breathtaking to see it spelled out, in uncaveated black and white, in a letter from Trump’s legal team to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
“A President can also order the termination of an investigation by the Justice Department or FBI at any time and for any reason,” the lawyers, John Dowd and Jay Sekulow, wrote in the January letter, obtained by the New York Times.
“Such an action obviously has an impact on the investigation, but that is simply an effect of the President’s lawful exercise of his constitutional power and cannot constitute obstruction of justice.”
At any time and for any reason.
As Daniel Hemer and Eric Posner write in the California Law Review, “No one thinks that . . . the president should be able to commit a crime and then call off the investigation of it. What if he murdered his valet?”