Updated May 7, 2019

Over 650 former prosecutors say Trump would be indicted if he weren't president

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

More than 650 former federal prosecutors have signed onto a statement asserting that if the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) did not prohibit a sitting president from being indicted, President Trump would be charged with obstruction of justice.

Why it matters: Special counsel Robert Mueller laid out extensive evidence of possible obstruction by Trump in volume 2 of his report, though he ultimately opted not to make a "traditional prosecutorial judgment" in part because of the OLC opinion. Attorney General Bill Barr's decision to clear Trump of obstruction has drawn the ire of many Democrats and former prosecutors who believe he is acting as the president's personal lawyer, rather than the country's top law enforcement official.

The statement is signed by more than 20 former U.S. attorneys and more than 100 career Justice Department officials who worked in every administration dating back to President Eisenhower. It cites a number of episodes Mueller detailed in his report as "acts that satisfy all of the elements for an obstruction charge" — meaning obstructive conduct and "corrupt intent." Specifically, the prosecutors point to:

  • "The President's efforts to fire Mueller and to falsify evidence about that effort;
  • The President's efforts to limit the scope of Mueller’s investigation to exclude his conduct; and
  • The President’s efforts to prevent witnesses from cooperating with investigators probing him and his campaign."

Go deeper: Trump's obstruction salvation was his disobedient staff

Go deeper

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Twitter: Trump's Minnesota tweet violated rules on violence

Twitter said Friday morning that a tweet from President Trump in which he threatened shooting in response to civil unrest in Minneapolis violated the company's rules. The company said it was leaving the tweet up in the public interest.

Why it matters: The move exacerbates tensions between Twitter and Trump over the company's authority to label or limit his speech and, conversely, the president's authority to dictate rules for a private company.

Updated 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump threatens to "assume control" of Minneapolis over unrest

Flames from a nearby fire illuminate protesters standing on a barricade in front of the Third Police Precinct in Minneapolis on Thursday. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump threatened via Twitter early Friday to send the national guard to Minneapolis following three days of massive demonstrations and unrest in the city over George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody this week.

Details: "I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right," Trump tweeted after a police station was torched by some protesters.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

Protesters cheer as the Third Police Precinct burns behind them on in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Cheering protesters set a Minneapolis police station on fire Thursday night in the third night of unrest following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in the city, per AP.

The state of play: Minnesota's governor on Thursday activated the state's national guard following violent outbreaks throughout the week, as the nation waits to see if the officers involved will be charged with murder.