Does One Have to be a Fool to Work for Trumpie?
In a remarkable action, Trump’s lawyer has apparently filed a complaint against Comey for his releasing information about his conversations with the President. On the blog Take Care, Peter Shane* just destroys that position.
First there is this.
"The executive branch has long conceded that withholding information probative of possible executive branch wrongdoing should not be withheld from Congress. Moreover, the presidential interest in the confidentiality of his conversations was likely weakened by his own public discussion of their content. The only way the competing interests could have been authoritatively adjudicated, however, would be if privilege had been claimed, Mr. Comey had decided to honor it, and the Senate or one of its committees had sued Mr. Comey to compel his testimony."
And here is the real killer.
"There is no law prohibiting someone in conversation with the President from revealing that conversation to third parties without the President's consent. We are in the realm of norms, not statutes.
Of course, one could well imagine that the unauthorized disclosure of a confidential presidential conversation would be a fireable offense if committed by any federal officer serving at the pleasure of the President. Unfortunately for the President, he had fired Mr. Comey before the unauthorized disclosure. There is no presidential privilege to fire the same person twice." (emphasis added)
Over at DOJ where the complaint against Comey is to be received the laughter can probably be heard all the way to the White House. And hey Mr. Trump, here’s some advice. Get yourself a real lawyer.
* Peter M. Shane is the Jacob E. Davis and Jacob E. Davis II Chair in Law at the Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law, where he regularly teaches administrative law, law and the presidency, and courses at the intersection of law, democracy, and new media. Named a Distinguished University Scholar in 2011, he is the author of over fifty law review articles and book chapters, as well as author, co-author or editor of eight books, including leading casebooks in both administrative law and separation of powers law. In 2008-09, Peter served as executive director to the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy, and was the lead drafter of its report, Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age (2009).
His most recent books include Cybersecurity: Shared Risks, Shared Responsibilities (with Jeffrey Hunker, Carolina Academic Press, 2013), and Connecting Democracy: Online Consultation and the Future of Democratic Discourse (with Stephen Coleman, MIT Press, 2012). An earlier volume on transparency and national security is A Little Knowledge: Privacy, Security and Public Information After September 11 (with John Podesta and Richard C. Leone, Century Foundation Press, 2004).