Rudy Giuliani just can’t seem to avoid sticking his foot in his mouth. Since his very first interview as President Trump’s lead lawyer in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, his chronic off-the-cuff gaffes have made more headlines than even the president’s tweets.
Those gaffes have been so frequent and so damaging to the president’s reputation that many suspect they’re not gaffes at all, but part of an elaborate plot to somehow shape the public’s perception of Mueller’s investigation.
He was at it again Sunday as he did the rounds in the news media to advance some novel legal theories that he claims all but completely shield the president from any legal consequences, no matter the crime.
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Even if the president murdered, say, former FBI Director James Comey, he could not be indicted, according to Giuliani.
“In no case can he be subpoenaed or indicted,” he told the Huffington Post Sunday. “I don’t know how you can indict while he’s in office. No matter what it is.”
“If he shot James Comey,” he continued, “he’d be impeached the next day. Impeach him, and then you can do whatever you want to do to him.”
While there is some debate in legal and constitutional circles about what a sitting president can and cannot be indicted for – and whether or not he must comply with a subpoena – there is nowhere near a consensus opinion on these matters. Certainly no legal expert of any repute has gone as far as Giuliani and claimed that a president is, essentially, above the law.
In fact, if modern American political history has taught us anything, it’s that no president is above the law. While they may enjoy some privileges regarding the process most citizens don’t, presidents are clearly bound by all the laws the rest of us are. Just ask Presidents Clinton and Nixon.
That President Trump either doesn’t comprehend this fact, or thinks he’s somehow exempt from it, shouldn’t surprise anyone. Rudy Giuliani, however, knows better, and his insistence otherwise makes him Trump’s chief obstructionist.