Trump and Article II, Explained

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Earlier today Donald Trump gave a speech at the Turning Point conference where he said, “I have an Article II where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.” But what was this all about? What was the context?

It turns out that Trump was freewheeling about the Mueller report, telling the rapt audience that Mueller interviewed 500 people, issued 2,500 subpoenas, etc:

They did everything. The collusion, no collusion, they have no collusion. Then I have an Article II where I have the right to do whatever I want as president, but I don’t even talk about that. Because they did a report, and there was no obstruction. After looking at it—our great attorney general read it, he’s a total professional—he said there’s nothing here, there’s no obstruction.

So what was Trump talking about? As always, there’s no telling, really, but I assume he was referring to the fact that he’s allowed to fire executive branch officers if he wants to. In other words, firing James Comey was within his Article II powers, so it can’t represent obstruction of justice. Likewise, he could have fired Mueller if he’d wanted to.

That’s my best guess, anyway.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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