Here's a first: A blogger debate.
Millennial Me will defend the position the president committed obstruction of justice. Rumpole, as an intellectual exercise will take the other side.
Rumpole goes first*:
R: The President is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. Therefore, what he tells the FBI to do or not do, must be legal. Lincoln suspended the right of habeas corpus. When Trump fired Comey, he was within his rights to do so for reasons he does not need to explain since as President he is vested with power and knowledge of events that others do not have. As such, the courts cannot sit in judgment of his actions.
MM: Nixon was going to be impeached for obstruction of justice based on his actions with the tapes and the firing of the special prosecutor. A president is not above the law. If he violates the law and then tries to hide his violation, he commits a crime.
R: MM, being young and inexperienced has made my point. Nixon was going to be impeached- which is something that the Constitution provides for. Nixon was not going to be indicted for his actions in Wategate, which occurred before MM was born. Indeed, in the indictments that were issued in Watergate, Nixon was referred to as an "Unindicted co-conspirator". Article I, section three of the constitution specifically provides for removal of a President. Removal is by impeachment, not indictment. The lack of direction by the Constitution provides, within the penumbra if you will- an implicit grant of immunity to a president for a criminal prosecution. This is confirmed because Article I, section three goes on to state that the president, once impeached "shall be liable and subject to indictment, trial judgement, and punishment, according to law." This of course means that unless impeached, a President cannot be charged with a crime.
If a President was indicted, and a Judge found that by virtue of Air Force One he was a risk of flight, and denied bail, then the President might have to run a war from a jail cell if we were attacked. This is ridiculous proposition.
MM should try reading the Constitution instead of watching a video on Netflix or You Tube.
MM: I get the last word. Rumpole is a bit old and perhaps his better days are behind him. The Constitution does not provide the President with immunity for crimes. Which is why the Constitution provides for removal for office for committing a crime, because a criminal prosecution or conviction doesn't otherwise provide for removal. And how could a president be investigated and removed for committing a crime if he can obstruct justice willy-nilly and stop the investigation? Just because the prosecutor didn't indict Nixon doesn't mean he couldn't have. Under Rumpole's view the President could shoot someone in broad daylight, and unless he was impeached he could not be charged with a crime. And if the president had a large political majority, it is possible his party would not impeach him. We have a president, not a an emperor or king. The president in a democratic county cannot be above the law. End of discussion.
Rumpole inquires: Who won? Take our poll.
*Emails were exchanged between the bloggers so each blogger had the ability to review and respond to the other's argument.
JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG
WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM. Winner of the prestigious Cushing Left Anterior Descending Artery Award.