Washing Post! MASSIVE reversal on Trump narrative. HE BROKE NO LAWS
Check this out people. This is a complete reversal from what they were pushing just a couple days ago.
There was serious implications from the bullsh*t media about impeachment and now this?? There must be some serious bets being hedged in the background.
Trump seems to have turned the tide here. The only way they would pull their foot off the gas on this whole thing is if they new they were screwed.
Intelligence officials say President Trump might have damaged relations with allies, who will now be more cautious in sharing sensitive information with the United States. Democrats say he’s a hypocrite, having lambasted Hillary Clinton for her own handling of classified information. But when Trump spoke about highly classified information with Russian officials in a White House meeting last week, he did not break the law, legal analysts say.
The president is essentially the ultimate arbiter of what is classified and what is not. While the heads of particular agencies also have original classification authority — the power to deem material classified or not classified — their authority is limited to their departments and bound by their departments’ particular rules.
The president, as the head of the executive branch, knows no such restrictions — his power on the matter comes straight from the Constitution, legal analysts say.
“When it comes to classification issues and those kinds of things, he’s not above the law,” said Edward B. MacMahon Jr., a criminal-defense lawyer who has done significant work on cases involving classified information. “He basically is the law.”
Trump’s aides have offered shifting defenses of his disclosure of information, but the president has been clear: What he did was allowed.
“As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety,” he wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.” ISIS is an acronym for the Islamic State.
President Barack Obama spelled out guidelines on classified information in an executive order in 2009 — though that was largely targeting agencies, rather than putting restrictions on the president’s authority.
Legal analysts said Trump is right that he committed no crime, though some said it was fair to question his judgment in revealing material to the Russians — especially since it originated with a partner country and could damage intelligence-sharing arrangements.
“He can do it at a whim. There really is no process for it,” said Barry J. Pollack, a white-collar criminal-defense lawyer who has done work on high-profile leak cases, including representing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. “He has the ability to do it as he wishes. Whether or not it is a wise practice or whether it will cause diplomatic or intelligence-gathering concerns obviously are other issues, and most presidents would consult with the intelligence community before choosing to declassify it.”