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Steve Schmidt: Trump Letter Is ‘Most Dangerous’ and ‘Most Ridiculous’ Claim Ever Made by a President



Republican strategist Steve Schmidt blasted President Donald Trump and his lawyers for claiming executive powers beyond what the Constitution allows.

The New York Times reported a 20-page letter sent to special counsel Robert Mueller that argues the president cannot obstruct justice, and Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani told the Huffington Post that the president could have shot former FBI director James Comey and escaped indictment.

“Rudy Giuliani, his debasement, his servility towards Donald Trump at a moment where this country needs heroes — and he was a hero,” Schmidt said. “He was an American hero, and to see the debasement of Giuliani in service to this corruption and the debasement of the presidency makes me want to cry, to be honest with you. It’s tragic.”

Schmidt said the president’s legal team made outrageous and ridiculous claims about his constitutional authority.

“The letter that was put forward is the most disturbing that we’ve ever seen in the history of the presidency, and I’m not being hyperbolic here,” Schmidt said. “Trump, who’s already established a premise that truth is not objective, that what is true is what I say, what is true is what the leader says is true. So the crowd size materially smaller, obviously, so but because the leader says it’s bigger it must be bigger. Straight out of ‘1984.’ ”

The president’s lawyers claimed dictatorial powers for Trump in their letter to the special counsel investigating campaign ties to Russia.

“But now the claim in the letter is, ‘I am the law, I’m a king, I can if I wish, I can use the instruments of the Department of Justice to prosecute and lock up political opponents, anybody who obstructs me,’” Schmidt said. “That’s the claim in the letter. It’s the most disturbing and the most ridiculous claim ever made by an American president. It is an assault on the American republic, it is an assault on the concepts of the rule of law, on the idea that we’re a nation of laws and that no one is above the law.”

“The greatness of George Washington is that he was the first person in thousands of years since the Roman emperor Cincinnatus, who said, ‘I could be a king, I could be an emperor but I choose not to, I’ll be a president, I’ll be be a person with limited powers, and then I’ll return home to my farm in Virginia when my service is over,” Schmidt continued. “The letter that Giuliani defends is an assault on all of those concepts.”

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House Republicans Introduce Articles of Impeachment Against Rod Rosenstein – For Not Doing What He Was Not Asked to Do



U.S. Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) have just introduced Articles of Impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. It is a dramatic and stunning move, one many see as another attempt by Trump-supporting Republicans to end the Mueller probe.

“House Republicans have been ramping up their attacks on the deputy attorney general in recent weeks, accusing him of withholding documents and being insufficiently transparent in his handling of the probe led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III,” The Washington Post reports.

Meadows and Jordan are the leaders of the extremist House Freedom Caucus.

A University of Texas law professor notes Trump has not directed the DOJ to order Rosenstein to hand over any documents, which supposedly is at the center of the controversy:

The managing editor of the highly-respected Lawfare blog has been mocking the move:

More responses from legal experts (UPDATING):

A writer at The Atlantic notes just how extraordinary this move is:

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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Fox News Anchor Shep Smith Fact Checks Trump – By Reading the Constitution On-Air



After a day of confusing statements by Donald Trump and the White House, Fox News’ Shep Smith unequivocally declared that his reporting on the current administration is “without fear or favor.”

“We want to report without fear or favor and hold truth to power,” the host said following the president’s outlandish claim that he can pardon himself in case of indictment. “No matter who it is that’s in power.”

He proceeded to read from the U.S. Constitution’s clause about presidential pardons.

“He shall have the power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States,” Article II, section 2 reads. “Except in cases of impeachment.”

Nevertheless, Trump’s lawyers insist that he can self-pardon. Paired with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ unwillingness to agree with the president’s legal team about the Trump Tower meeting, Smith outlined the difficulties of reporting on Trump’s version of the truth.

“When you get a competing set of facts, one of them completely untrue, and no way to get through it, from the highest elected authority in the land, from those who work for us — it’s very frustrating for journalists. It’s not partisan, this is about facts — and knowing that someone is telling the opposite of that.”

Watch below, via CNN:


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Watch: Sarah Sanders Repeatedly Refuses to Answer When Asked if Trump Thinks He Can Pardon Himself



President Donald Trump Monday morning launched one of his most dictatorial tweets ever: “I have the absolute right to PARDON myself,” he claimed. Adding to the confusion, over the weekend Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani suggested that it would be unthinkable and an impeachable offense if the president tried to pardon himself.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders during a rare “daily” press briefing Monday at least four times rattled off a prepared remark, and repeated it word-for-word to reporters when pressed: “The President hasn’t done anything wrong and wouldn’t have any need for a pardon,” Huckabee Sanders continuously claimed.

She refused to actually answer if President Trump would pardon himself.

In this clip she repeats that sentence twice, without answering the reporter’s questions:

NBC’s Peter Alexander asked if President Trump believes he is above the law. Huckabee Sanders finally answered that “certainly no one is above the law,” while again repeating the claim that “The President hasn’t done anything wrong and wouldn’t have any need for a pardon.”

Notice how Sanders refused to allow Alexander a follow-up question. No reason, just no.

Huckabee Sanders increasingly refuses to hold White House “daily” press briefings. In the month of May, there were just nine.

Sunday night Rudy Giuliani said President Trump could shoot former FBI Director Jim Comey and still not be prosecuted.



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