Now that former FBI Director James Comey is officially scheduled to publicly testify before Congress on June 8th, debate has erupted as to whether Donald Trump can or will try to stop it from happening. The debate centers around whether Trump can legally invoke executive privilege. The trouble: most pundits on both sides of that debate aren’t legal scholars. Fortunately, an actual legal scholar has weighed in decisively on the matter.
Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe, widely respected as a leading constitutional expert, shared the following legal interpretation yesterday: “If Trump claims [executive privilege] to block Comey testimony next wk, remember he waived that [privilege] when publicly giving his version of their exchanges.”
If Trump claims exec priv to block Comey testimony next wk, remember he waived that priv when publicly giving his version of their exchanges
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) June 1, 2017
Tribe then went on to expand on the matter today: “Comey testimony re his communications w/ Trump can’t be blocked by [Trump] because they became non-confidential once [Trump] discussed them publicly.”
Comey testimony re his communications w/ Trump can't be blocked by T because they became non-confidential once T discussed them publicly.
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) June 2, 2017
So that’s rather decisive, in terms of how the law applies to the situation. Donald Trump can still try to invoke executive privilege, but it would fall to federal court to make a definitive decision. And it’s difficult to imagine a judge coming up with a legal interpretation different than that of Professor Tribe. Follow Palmer Report on Facebook and Twitter.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report