The Law of Obstruction as a Check on Presidential Power

Daniel J. Hemel & Eric A. Posner, Presidential Obstruction of Justice, 106 Cal. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2018), available at SSRN. Charles Shanor Amanda Shanor Full-length articles on current newsworthy issues are a difficult genre. Special praise, therefore, goes to legal scholars who thoroughly explore a constitutional question on a hot-button issue not only in depth and in a timely fashion, but with insights that exceed the present moment. Dan Hemel and Eric Posner have made just such a contribution with Presidential Obstruction of Justice. “Can a president be held criminally liable for obstruction of justice?” they ask. (P. 1.) This question has taken on greater urgency in the wake of President Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey and the continuing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. …

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