messaging

Can Presidents Obstruct Justice? Republicans and Democrats Say Yes
Durbin: ‘Desperate statement’ suggests ‘they expect to lose on the merits’

Vermont Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, left, and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham confer before a hearing in 2015. Both senior Judiciary Committee members say there is ample precedent showing a president can obstruct justice, despite a claim to the contrary by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican and Democratic lawmakers say an assertion by Donald Trump’s personal lawyer that a sitting president cannot obstruct justice is dubious, warning the White House there is ample precedent to the contrary.

The members were reacting to Trump lawyer John Dowd’s legal argument in a recent interview with Axios that “the president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [Article II of the Constitution] and has every right to express his view of any case.”

‘Get Out And Vote For Roy Moore,’ Trump Says
President talks tax cuts, economy — and Hillary — during Pensacola rally

President Donald Trump and the first lady Melania Trump at the annual National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the White House Ellipse on Nov. 30. On Friday night, he gave a verbal endorsement to Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. (Photo by Astrid Riecken/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Friday flew 800 miles aboard Air Force One to the doorstep of the hotly contested Alabama Senate race, but addressed it directly for just over three minutes.

In a way, however, by using his remarks in Pensacola, Florida, to discuss his agenda and issues that matter to conservative voters just over the border in Alabama, the president sent a message: A vote for GOP candidate Roy Moore is vote for what he calls his “make America great again” agenda.

Trump: ‘VOTE ROY MOORE!’
President goes all-in on alleged child predator ahead of evening rally

Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, right, is welcomed to the stage on Dec. 5 by Steve Bannon, a former White House chief strategist. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Friday issued an emphatic endorsement of accused child predator Roy Moore, diving back into a special Alabama Senate race just a few days before voters there head to the polls.

“VOTE ROY MOORE!” the president tweeted eight hours before a much-anticipated campaign rally in nearby Pensacola, Florida, which bleeds into the southern Alabama television market.

No Deal For Trump With ‘Chuck and Nancy’ This Time
‘We agreed to keep on talking,’ McConnell says

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., did not reach a deal with President Donald Trump and congressional leaders Thursday.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“Chuck and Nancy” finally went to the White House on Thursday. But there was no script-flipping deal to be had with President Donald Trump this time.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., signaled the sides are still too far apart to close a deal, saying at the start of the meeting he was “glad we’re here to resume conversations.”

Trump’s Jerusalem Decision Called ‘Provocative,’ Counterproductive
‘He’s undercutting his own efforts at peacemaking,’ Rep. Welch says

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a joint statement in May with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. On Wednesday, Trump announced he is moving the American embassy to Jerusalem despite Muslim allies urging him against it. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump says his decision to buck the advice of America’s closest Muslim allies and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is part of a broader strategy shift needed to produce a Middle East peace pact. But some lawmakers and experts argue the president has unnecessarily undercut himself.

Trump on Wednesday formally announced he will abide by a 1995 U.S. law and move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and recognize that city as the country’s official capital. He noted that for the last 22 years, his predecessors have — despite some campaign-trail pledges to the contrary — exercised a waiver in that law to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv.

On Jerusalem, Trump Will Finally Enact Whims of Congress
Past presidents have resisted Congress on formal Israeli capital, embassy location

President Donald Trump on Wednesday will announce that he is reversing a decades-old U.S. policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Wikimedia Commons)

President Donald Trump is poised to enact a law Congress passed two decades ago by ordering the U.S. embassy be moved to Jerusalem, and answer a bipartisan call by recognizing the city as Israel's capital.

Like Trump, previous presidents promised to make the same decision prior to being elected. But once in office and confronted with responsibility for the inevitable fallout in the long-volatile Middle East, each one has opted instead to exercise a waiver built into the 1995 law to delay the embassy’s relocation to the city, which is important to the Jewish, Islamic and Christian faiths.

Trump’s Big Promises on To-Be-Written Tax Bill
‘We’re going to make it so that it comes out very beautifully,’ he says

Vice President Mike Pence met with Senate Republicans for their Tuesday policy lunch as the Capitol was awash in debate over taxes and spending. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Even before House and Senate lawmakers begin ironing out differences in their tax overhaul bills, President Donald Trump promised working families Tuesday the final product will ensure they soon will “be making so much money you are not going to know what to do with it.”

The president had a small group of Senate Republicans to the White House for a lunch meeting about trade and his ongoing effort to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement. But he could not resist talking up the still-emerging GOP tax bill.

As Crunch Time Approaches, More Rumbling About Trump Behavior
Many members taken aback by a chaotic 48 hours last week

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House on Sept. 27. A recent 48-hour period last week, which was chaotic even by Trump's standards, has lawmakers newly concerned about his mindset. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Several veteran Democratic lawmakers were flabbergasted last week by 48 hours that were among the wildest so far of Donald Trump’s presidency. And in private conversations, they say many of their Republican colleagues share similar concerns.

Trump appears to embrace a certain amount of chaos. After all, it generates media coverage — and the president is a voracious consumer of cable television and print news. But the 48 hours between last Tuesday and Thursday caused a spike in concerns among longtime Democratic members about Trump’s mindset and competence.

Trump: FBI ‘Destroyed’ Flynn’s Life, But Let Hillary Walk
Clinton ‘lied many times to the FBI. Nothing happened to her,’ president says

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump appear at an event at Trump's Washington, D.C., hotel in September 2016. Trump is defending Flynn, who pleaded guilty Friday to misleading federal officials. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Monday slammed his own Justice Department again over its Russia investigation, saying it “destroyed” Michael Flynn’s life while doing “nothing” to Hillary Clinton.

Three days after Flynn — Trump’s first White House national security adviser and former campaign aide — pleaded guilty to misleading federal officials, the president suggested Clinton also should face charges.

Trump Gives Roy Moore Strongest Endorsement Yet
President labels Democratic candidate Doug Jones ‘a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet!’

President Donald Trump made his strongest endorsement yet of Roy Moore in the special election for Alabama’s Senate seat. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Updated at 3:23 p.m. | Donald Trump on Monday gave his strongest endorsement yet to Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, making clear that keeping the seat in Republican hands is more important to the president than the sexual misconduct charges against the former judge.

The president used a pair of tweets to urge Alabama voters to send Moore to the Senate in next Tuesday’s special election, writing that Democrats’ blanket opposition to the just-passed Senate Republican tax cut bill shows Moore’s vote is necessary.