Constitutional law professor Elizabeth Price Foley precisely pulled apart every obstruction narrative the frustrated MSNBC anchor tried to raise. Must see TV!
Whether the obstruction narrative regarded Michael Flynn, or the firing of FBI Director James Comey, Foley tore each argument apart.
MSNBC host Yasmin Vossoughian began by asking Foley a question based upon an assumption, “Is it not reasonable to expect the President to respect the boundaries between the FBI and the White House?”
“What boundaries, would be my legal response”, answered Foley. “The FBI director works for the Attorney General, and the Attorney General works for the President of the United States. All of these individuals have their jobs by the pleasure of the president.”
Foley then calmly popped the news anchor’s ‘boundary’ balloon, “one of the most remarkable things to me about the Comey hearing and his testimony, was how many times he referred to the FBI as an independent agency. That’s absolutely as a legal matter completely and utterly false. It’s not an independent agency at all.”
She went on to tell the tale of J. Edgar Hoover, an FBI director who used his office to amass influence, power and control over politicians and presidents during his 48 year reign. The lesson being that, “the last thing you want is an independent FBI director.”
With that narrative shutdown, Vossoughian tried a different argument, that the FBI should not be a reflection of any particular political party. Foley corrected her, pointing out that under Article II of the constitution, the bureau is under “the President’s complete discretionary authority”, meaning that the President (usually through the Attorney General) sets the course for the agency.
Again stymied, Vossoughian turned to a “legal expert” who laid out an opinionated narrative. Foley listened politely, then promptly dismissed his portrait, saying they were “irrelevant as a legal matter.”
The MSNBC anchor persisted, trying several more angles of attack in an effort to lay out some type of groundwork where a case of obstruction could be levied against President Trump.
With a smile, Elizabeth Price Foley brilliantly disarmed each attempt.
Aside from her teaching duties at Florida International University, Foley is a practicing constitutional attorney, and is one of the the chief architects of the House of Representatives (thus far) successful lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of President Obama’s executive branch funding of ObamaCare cost-sharing-reduction payments. The litigation is currently on hold, pending the Trump administrations effort to enact health care reform legislation.